USC Annenberg Graduate Fellow brings Krump Dancing to the Screen and Stage

USC Annenberg Fellow, Jessica Koslow, grew up dancing. Last year, she attended a “krump” class by Marquisa Gardner a.k.a. “Miss Prissy,” one of the founders of the energetic and expressive dance style born on the streets of South Los Angeles. Miss Prissy invited her after class to attend a weekly midnight krump session in a North Hollywood supermarket parking lot. When Jessica arrived to the midnight dance circle a few weeks later, she discovered an enthralling and thriving underground culture.

This first encounter with the midnight dance circle, nicknamed the “818 Session,” occurred while Jessica was completing the Master of Arts in Specialized Journalism (The Arts) degree from the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. As part of her coursework, Jessica took a Documentary Production class with Cinema’s William Yahraus in which she created a 15-minute documentary titled The 818 Session with fellow classmate Tshego Tee Letsaolo.

Jessica continued investigating the 818 Session beyond the completion of this course, and developed the documentary into her master’s thesis project. Although The 818 Session was her first time handling a camera, the film has seen great success. The piece premiered at the USC Annenberg Graduate Symposium in April 2012, and was later accepted into the Dances with Films and the Dance Camera West Media Film Festivals, screening at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) in June 2012.

Exercising her journalistic muscle, Jessica is expanding her coverage beyond print and film by bringing krump to the stage to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the dance style. Over the next week, USC Visions and Voices will host three krump events that Jessica has organized with the collaboration of Dr. Sasha Anawalt, Director of the Arts Journalism Programs and Associate Professor of Professional Practice in the Journalism Department of USC Annenberg, and Taj Frazier, Assistant Professor for the USC Annenberg School for Communication. The first is the live show, The Underground: From the Streets to the Stage, taking place Wednesday, September 5, 2012 at 8:00pm in Bovard Auditorium. The Underground features two of krump’s founders, Christopher A. Toler a.k.a. “Lil’ C,” and “Miss Prissy.” The show explores issues such as gender, the use of space, and fame, through the lens of the birth and growth of krump, touching on its links to historical community dance rituals. RSVP and find out more about the show here:

The second event features Jessica herself, and takes place Tuesday, September 11, at 12:00pm noon, in Annenberg 207: Journalism Director’s Forum –Krump on the Screen and Stage: A Conversation with Miss Prissy, Star of “Rize,” and Journalist Jessica Koslow.

The final event is a krump dance workshop with krump legends, Lil’ C and Miss Prissy, which will take place Wednesday, September 12 at 5:00pm in the North Gym in PED:

Jessica earned her degree in May 2012, and thanks the USC Annenberg Graduate Fellowship and the Master of Arts in Specialized Journalism (The Arts) programs for providing the opportunity to explore her interests as a mid-career journalist: “One of the greatest gifts of going back to grad school is to be able to write stories that interest me.”

Congratulations, Jessica Koslow!

Marguerite DeLiema Examines Elder Abuse

Marguerite DeLiema

Marguerite DeLiema

By Lynn Maleh

Los Angeles may be the epicenter of plastic surgery, anti-aging campaigns, and a Peter-Pan mentality, but USC student, Marti DeLiema, is not afraid to face our fears.  As the baby-boom generation reaches maturity and life-expectancy climbs, it’s comforting to know there are strong-willed scientists, like Marti, looking out for our older population.

A natural inquisitor, Marti excelled in sciences from a young age and chose to further her studies in Psychological Biology at UCLA. While completing her Bachelors of Science, Marti enrolled in Frontiers in Human Aging, a year-long course, which she admits “planted the seed” for her interest in gerontology.

Upon graduating, Marti began working as a research coordinator, in the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry, at the UCLA Medical Center. Her work focused on the potential health benefits, of Tai Chi and Kundalini Yoga, on the depression and stress of caregivers, for patients with Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

It was opportune for Marti, that USC’s Davis School of Gerontology offered her a nationally ranked doctoral program, with a generous Provost Scholarship, in her immediate location. But despite the geographic and financial convenience, Marti’s studies pit her against a new challenge – public policy.

Though she began her doctorate studies with a focus in psychological biology, Marti has become more concerned with public policy, particularly in the field of elder abuse. She is now learning to balance her time in the lab with political discourse and writing policy briefs.

Marti was recently featured on USC’s front page for her honors at the Gerontological Society of America’s 64th annual scientific meeting in Boston, where she was awarded The Task Force for Minority Issues in Gerontology Paper Award and an honorable mention for the Carroll E. Estes Student Paper Award, for her studies in elder abuse in low income Latino communities, led by her faculty mentor Kate Wilber. She credits Kate and the team, immeasurably, for her success.

Marti’s current research project, and a potential basis for her dissertation, involves organizing a multidisciplinary team in a case study of the Los Angeles County Elder Abuse Forensics Center. Under the guidance of Kate Wilber, the team will investigate the effectiveness of the center’s interventions on elder abuse, on a case-by-case basis.

Marti’s primary goals are to raise awareness of elder abuse and improve the quality of life for older adults. She encourages increased government and media attention, examining the gap between gerontological theory and practice (i.e., between researchers, like Marti, and actual caregivers), and revisiting society’s perceptions of older adults/aging. Upon completing USC, Marti plans to continue towards a postdoctoral degree, with the intention of a career in academia and research – “where the work has a significant human impact.”

As for the anti-aging creams, Marti says to toss ‘em. Improved aging starts with regular cognitive and physical exercise, an anti-inflammatory diet, and keeping an open dialogue with loved ones, about end-of-life care preferences.

Link to!/article/37867/usc-study-examines-abuse-of-low-income-latino-elders/