Get to Know: Admissions and Student Services

At the beginning of the school year, the School of Dramatic Arts asked the Office of Admissions & Student Services staff a few questions for our new students to get to know them. Here are their responses (in alphabetical order of last name).

Aspen Cole

Aspen ColeHow long have you been at USC?
3 years

What do you do?
I am an academic advisor

What’s the most common question you get from students? What’s your response?
The most common question I get is “Can I double major or minor?” to which I most likely will say, “It depends on how many extra units you have available, your program of interest, and how long you intend to be at USC for. We can update your course plan during your mandatory advising appointment and see what option works best for you.”

Favorite organization on campus?
SAGE (Student Assembly for Gender Empowerment)

Favorite theatrical production at SDA?
I actually haven’t seen an SDA production yet, since I just started working here, but I am so excited for Spring Awakening – one of my favorite shows!

Fun Fact?
The arts are a huge part of my life. I majored in Theatre with an Acting emphasis at UCLA and currently dance with the Leigh Purtill Ballet Company.

Alexandra Hypolite

Alexandra HypoliteHow long have you been at USC?
14 years and counting!!!!

What do you do?
Currently, I am the Scheduling Coordinator for SDA. I handle room reservations, schedule of classes keys, etc.

What’s the most common question you get from students? What’s your response?
Q: Can I Switch my room reservation I was given?
A: Only if it’s available!!

Favorite organization on campus?
Black Alumni Association.

Favorite theatrical production at SDA?
West Side Story since someone I knew was in the production.

Fun fact?
I am a second generation USC employee and my grandmother’s house was down the street from campus growing up, so I have basically spent a significant part of my childhood and adult life being a part of the USC campus!

Meghan Laughlin

Meghan LaughlinHow long have you been at USC?
15 years. ????????(!!)

What do you do?
Director of Internships & Special Programs. I help students find cool opportunities outside USC and bring in awesome guest artists!

What’s the most common question you get from students? What’s your response?
Q: What kind of internship can I get?”
A: Meet with me! Let’s talk about your goals and interests and see what’s possible.

Favorite organization on campus?
Visions and Voices. It’s not technically an “organization”… but the programs and events they offer all year are AMAZING — and free!

Favorite theatrical production at SDA?
Our 2012 production of City of Angels still reigns supreme for me. I loved everything about it — direction, design, performances. That cast and crew nailed it!

Fun Fact?
I’ve lived in five different offices in the DRC (and it’s a small building…) LOL! ????

Daniel Leyva

Daniel LeyvaHow long have you been at USC?
I have been at USC for 8 years. I began my 9th year on Friday, August 14!

What do you do?
I am the Assistant Director of Advisement. My role is as lead advisor takes on many roles and duties, but much of what I do revolves around the BFA, BA and minor programs.

What’s the most common question you get from students? What’s your response?
Q: Will I be able to double major and study abroad?
A: How long do you want to be here? **I like to describe students arriving to USC is like a young child entering a candy store. There is so much to choose from, but in most cases there is a limited amount of time (and money). The more programs, the more time and money. Pretty simple.

Favorite theatrical production at SDA?
Grease.

Fun fact?
I have visited approximately 20 countries and more than 30 US states.

Mabel Lopez

Mabel LopezHow long have you been at USC?
8 ½ years.

What do you do?
Office Manager of Admissions & Student Services.

What’s the most common question you get from students? What’s your response?
Q: How can I register for a class with a “D”?
A: You may submit a “D” (Departmental) clearance on our student portal at sdastudents.usc.edu and select D-Clearance Course request.

Favorite organization on campus?
All Acapella groups.

Favorite theatrical production at SDA?
My favorite was Grease!

Fun fact?
I love to sing so much that I joined my church choir six years ago.

Sergio Ramirez

Sergio RamirezHow long have you been at USC?
14 years.

What do you do?
Associate Dean of Admissions & Student Services.

What’s the most common question you get from students? What’s your response?
Q: What does it take to get into USC?
A: Academically, it takes hard work and to take the most rigorous curriculum at your high school. Artistically, it takes imagination and a driving spirit.

Favorite organization on campus?
SoCal Vocals. I love listening to them!

Favorite theatrical production at SDA?
My favorite musical would be Grease. My favorite stage-play would be The Kentucky Cycle.

Fun fact?
When I am not cheering on my USC Trojans, I love watching old movies and TV shows.

 

Ramón Valdez

Ramón ValdezHow long have you been at USC?
I have been working for SDA in some capacity since 2007. I started as a student work-study and have worked my way to my current position.

What do you do?
I am the Assistant Director of Admissions. In my role, I work with prospective students to our undergraduate and graduate programs through the application process.

What’s the most common question you get from students? What’s your response?
Q: What is your favorite thing about USC?
A: For me, my favorite thing is the people. In my experience at USC, from being a student in the classroom to my work in admissions, the variety of personalities, experiences and unique offerings everyone brings to our dynamic community is extremely rewarding.

Favorite organization on campus?
The Spirit of Troy. The Greatest Marching Band in the History of the Universe.

Favorite theatrical production at SDA?
Grapes of Wrath.

Fun fact?
I share the name with a very well-known Mexican actor.