USC Gould Search

Honors Scholars

Launched through the generosity of USC Trustee Stanley Gold, JD 1967, and his wife, Ilene, the Honors Scholars combines financial support with mentoring and networking opportunities for selected, highly ranked incoming USC Gould JD students.

The Honors Scholars provides financial support to approximately 20 students in each class, as well as three years of academic, professional and social programming. In addition to receiving merit-based scholarships, every Honors Scholar will have the opportunity to be assigned a faculty mentor who shares his or her area of interest and will guide him or her during the three years in law school. In addition, Honors Scholars will be invited to advanced academic workshops and networking functions with prominent alumni and other distinguished members of the legal profession.

Stanley Gold, JD 1967

I am committed to helping students achieve their very best, and I wholly believe that USC Gould offers the most stellar legal education. Its small environment is designed so students may achieve great things.

Stanley Gold, JD 1967
Of Counsel, Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown
Member, USC Board of Trustees
USC Gould Board of Counselors

2016-17 Honors Scholars

The 2016-2017 Honors Scholars are Madeline Anguiano, Daniel Brovman, Courtney Deklotz, Steven Eheart, Daniel French, Julie Gantz, Alexandra Jackson, Matthew Kordowski, Shelby Lindholm, Anahit Muradian, Morgan Nelson, Elizabeth Nguyen, Jin Kyoung Oh, Alexander (A.J.) Pinto, Eric Pittaluga, Joseph Rudin, Schuyler (Sky) Taylor, Nicholas Thomas, and Courtney Ung.

Courtney Deklotz

Undergraduate: University of California, Santa Barbara

Courtney attended the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she received a B.A. in Political Science in three years with high honors. While at UCSB, Courtney worked for the Annual Fund and was actively involved in Alpha Phi. She was awarded the Margaret H. Blaney Strong Female Scholarship and the Therese Campbell Scholarship for Academic Excellence.

After graduation, Courtney returned to her hometown in Orange County to work for an investment banking firm. In 2013, Courtney obtained her FINRA Series 79 and Series 63. After four years of working on a broad spectrum of transactions and strategic situations, including M&As, private placements, and restructurings, Courtney decided to join the USC Gould Class of 2019 as a recipient of the Dean S. Butler Scholarship.

In her first year of law school, Courtney served as a 1L Representative for both the Business Law Society and the Public Interest Law Foundation. Her first summer was spent as a summer associate at Paul Hastings LLP, where she will be returning. Courtney is particularly interested in corporate law, with a focus on private equity. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, reading political thrillers, and watching reality television.

Alexandra (A.J.) Jackson

Undergraduate: University of California, Los Angeles

Alexandra (A.J.) Jackson graduated magna cum laude from UCLA with a double major in Communications and Political Science. She spent her undergraduate years working as a Student Assistant to the Dean of UCLA Law, volunteering as Head Philanthropy Chair of Chi Omega sorority, and serving on UCLA's Pediatric AIDS Coalition. At USC, she is a Stanley & Ilene Gold Honors Scholar, a member of the Hale Moot Court Honors Program, works as a USC Gould Peer Mentor, and serves as the Student Bar Association's Faculty Selection Chair. A.J. plans to become a litigator, focusing primarily on commercial and entertainment litigation. Accordingly, she will be spending the summer of 2018 working as a summer associate at Sheppard Mullin Century City in its Business Trial Practice Group.

A.J. loves to travel, run, write, visit her hometown of Laguna Beach, and work as a manager for her close friends aiming to "make it" in L.A.'s entertainment industry. She loves USC Gould and could not be happier to spend her years as a law student at the most incredible school!

Shelby Lindholm

Undergraduate: University of Southern California

Shelby was raised in sunny San Clemente, and attended the University of Southern California, where she earned a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration, Finance and a minor in International Relations. She graduated magna cum laude in 2015. After graduation, she worked as a marketing relations associate for an aerospace engineering firm, where she had the opportunity to draft press releases and oversee the social media for the entire company. Eager to return to her dream school, she quickly accepted the offer to become a part of USC Gould's Class of 2019. She is thankful everyday she made the decision to stay in southern California and return to the best university in L.A. (Fight On!).

During her 1L summer, Shelby externed for the Hon. Manuel L. Real in the Central District of California. She is currently a writing fellow at the law school and loves teaching the 1Ls the basics of legal writing. Next summer, Shelby will be a summer associate at Paul Hastings LLP, OC. Outside of school, she has an unhealthy addiction to Dr. Pepper, crime shows, and candy.

Anahit Muradian

Undergraduate: University of Southern California

Anahit grew up in Glendale, Calif. She graduated valedictorian of her high school and decided to stay in Los Angeles to be close to her family. As an undergraduate student at USC, Anahit majored in economics and minored in forensics and criminality. Having completed her Bachelor's degree in three years, Anahit spent her fourth year at USC completing her Master's degree in economics. After graduation, she worked as an employment litigation consultant at Resolution Economics in Beverly Hills, where she developed an interest in labor and employment law.

Upon being accepted to USC Gould, Anahit jumped at the opportunity to be a Triple Trojan (or as her soccer-fan dad likes to call her, a hat-trick Trojan). She spent her first summer as a summer associate at Littler Mendelson, a labor and employment law firm, and will be practicing labor and employment law as a summer associate at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter and Hampton her second summer. Anahit is currently the co-president of the Armenian Law Students' Association. She is also a huge soccer fan, with Manchester United being her favorite team.

Alexander (A.J.) Pinto

Undergraduate: University of Southern California

A.J. is a proud double Trojan from Mission Viejo. As a USC Presidential Scholar during his undergraduate years, he studied History and Political Science. He was involved in student government, where he developed a passion for building strong communities and a heart for service. His interests led him to work in various government and political offices, nonprofits, and the Los Angeles Times.

A.J. enjoys any and all pick-up sports, working out at the gym, and going to the beach. In addition, he appreciates great storytelling and loves to tell stories, which at times can test the boundaries of nonfiction.

A.J. is a follower of Jesus Christ and strives to embody his faith in his legal career. Last summer, he participated in the Blackstone Legal Fellowship, where he provided legal aid to people in need and serving churches in Orange County and Los Angeles. He continues to prioritize pro bono work, and he is currently planning and coordinating the winter trip for USC Legal Aid Alternative Break.

A.J. is looking forward to Hale Moot Court and the opportunity to develop practical litigation skills this year. This summer, he will be working for Rutan & Tucker in Costa Mesa.

Eric Pittaluga

Undergraduate: Loyola Marymount University

Eric was born and raised in Irvine. He attended Loyola Marymount University (LMU) where he studied history and political science and graduated in 2015. While an undergrad, Eric found a passion for community service through his involvement in LMU's Ignatians Service Organization, where he served as president.

After graduating LMU, Eric did a post-graduate year of service with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps (JVC), where he was stationed in San Diego and worked with intensive-treatment foster youth. As a 1L, Eric involved himself in Legal Aid Alternative Break (LAAB) and the Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF), and now serves as President and Public Donations Chair of each organization respectively. During his 1L summer, Eric worked as a law clerk for the Los Angeles District Attorney's Organized Crime Division and found himself fascinated with criminal law and the justice process. Now a 2L, Eric is working as a Certified Law Student for the Post-Conviction Justice Project clinic. In his free time, Eric enjoys going to Dodger games, USC tailgates and football games, and running in Tough Mudders and Spartan races. To relax, Eric enjoys a good IPA at one of the many microbreweries around Los Angeles and trips to Disneyland where he worked as a ride operator for 2.5 years.

Joseph Rudin

Undergraduate: Chapman University

Joseph was born and raised in Westlake Village. He graduated from Chapman University in 2016 with a B.S. in Psychology. As an undergraduate, he participated in the University Honors Program, where he used his Senior Capstone project to investigate whether there is scientific evidence for free will.

This summer, he attended the Sports Business Classroom at the Las Vegas NBA Summer League, where he met industry leaders including front-office executives from many NBA teams. He intends to use this experience as the first of many steps to launch a career in basketball. Currently, he contributes to "The Bench Mob" NBA Podcast and writes articles about the Los Angeles Lakers, particularly regarding their salary cap status. In his free time, Joseph obsessively follows the Lakers as well as USC's football and basketball teams.

2017-18 Honors Scholars

The 2017-2018 Honors Scholars are Meaghan Allen, Stephanie Alvarez Salgado, Nikita Aneja, Dveen Babaian, Michael Ball, Michael Bloom, Jeremy Chai, Michelle Choi, Jaclyn Combs, Samuel Djahanbani, Rose Frihart, Joseph Harper, Casey Mangan, Joshua McWhorter, Nassim Moallem, Ariel Prince, Jason Rooindej, Gurgen Sargsyan and Eva Schifini.

Meaghan Allen

Undergraduate: Transylvania University

Meaghan Allen grew up in northern Kentucky, just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, and for her undergraduate education, she remained in the state, attending her parents' and grandfather's alma mater, Transylvania University in Lexington. There, she got her Bachelor's degree in PPE (Philosophy, Politics & Economics) and German Studies with a minor in History. She was also a four-year NCAA athlete on Transylvania's dance team and volunteer coach of a local middle school dance team, and she held positions as an August Term (freshman orientation) coordinator and Writing Center tutor. While an undergrad, she studied abroad three times, once in Munich, and twice in London, the latter experiences encouraging her to pursue postgraduate studies there.

After graduating from Transylvania, Meaghan attended the London School of Economics and Political Science, earning her Master's degree in Gender, Media & Culture. Now as a 1L at USC Gould, Meaghan plans to pursue a career in entertainment law and is currently a 1L Representative for both the Women's Law Association and the Entertainment Law Society.

Stephanie Alvarez Salgado

Undergraduate: University of California, Santa Barbara

Stephanie was born and raised in Lakewood, Calif. She graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Political Science. Due to her own experience as a first-generation American, Stephanie became dedicated to helping students from diverse backgrounds succeed academically. During her time at UCSB, she became a mentor for first-generation college students from underrepresented communities, a mentor for honors students, and an academic peer advisor in order to help students from a wide-range of backgrounds overcome educational barriers. In the summer between finishing undergrad and starting law school, Stephanie interned for the Long Beach City Prosecutor's Office and spent her free time at the beach.

Now at USC, she is excited to be an Honors Scholar, a member of the first-generation program, and serve as the 1L representative for the Latino Law Students Association. Fight On!

Nikita Aneja

Undergraduate: Columbia University

Nikita was born and raised in L.A. and is happy to be back in sunny southern California. She received a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and Psychology with a Math Emphasis from the University of California, Davis. Throughout her undergraduate career, Nikita interned at an autism research study, served as a peer counselor, and worked for Student Housing as a resident advisor. She spent a summer interning in Washington, D.C. at United Cerebral Palsy, a nonprofit organization that advocates for individuals with disabilities. Outside of school, she enjoys hiking, going to the beach, and attempting to teach her dog tricks.

In this upcoming year, Nikita will serve as a 1L representative for Women's Law Association, Public Interest Law Foundation, and National Lawyers Guild. She is looking forward to exploring various career opportunities and is very proud to be a Trojan!

Michael Ball

Undergraduate: University of Florida

Before coming to USC, Michael attended the University of Florida where he majored in Criminology, minored in Anthropology and attained a certificate in Latin American Studies. When he began his freshman year, Michael intended to join the FBI after graduating. After taking a Latin American Studies class - Law and Order in Latin America - he became intrigued by injustices carried out by the U.S. government in foreign countries. However, what intrigued him the most was the lack of attention given to victims who suffered as collateral damage. These intrusions have affected generations of people from issues ranging from mass killings to some of the current immigration issues the U.S. is facing.

Outside of law school, Michael enjoys dancing. During college, he spent a lot of time growing his dance career, eventually leading to performances in Tampa and Atlanta in competitions state-wide and regionally.

He is looking forward to serving as a 1L Representative for the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) where he’ll work with clients and get a head start in the field.

Michael Bloom

Undergraduate: University of Michigan

Before law school, Michael was a general assignment producer at The Atlantic magazine, in both New York and Washington. At The Atlantic, he researched and reported stories on topics ranging from politics and economics to health, technology, and education.

Michael also managed public events in the Obama White House, where he was a staff assistant in the Visitors Office. He previously served as an intern in the White House Office of Cabinet Affairs and on Capitol Hill.

Michael studied public policy and history at the University of Michigan. During his time at Michigan, he was a member of the debate team and worked in the Office of Admissions. He was raised in Iowa City, Iowa.

Jeremy Chai

Undergraduate: University of Florida

Jeremy was born and raised in Foster City. He attended Case Western Reserve University and graduated with a B.S.E in Biomedical Engineering, with a focus in Biomaterials. While at Case, Jeremy worked in a polymeric materials lab, where he experienced the excitement of being on the front lines of cutting-edge research. He also learned (the hard way) the terrible power of winter, which gave him enormous empathy for those North of the Wall.

While not guzzling mango passionfruit Boba, Jeremy enjoys scouring Rotten Tomatoes for his next cinematic conquest and brainstorming names for his future dog.

Jeremy aims to use his science and engineering degree to explore opportunities in intellectual property law, and also has inklings that entertainment law might be a great fit too. He is humbled to be selected as an honors scholar and is optimistic for the year ahead!

Michelle Choi

Undergraduate: University of California, Los Angeles

Raised in sunny Los Angeles, Michelle attended the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) before crossing over to the other side. She graduated from UCLA in 2015 with Latin Honors as a Political Science major, concentrating in International Relations. After graduation, she jumped into the workforce as a paralegal, which helped reaffirm her desire to pursue law. Now as a student at USC Gould School of Law, she is excited to be part of the renowned Trojan family and hopes to expand her legal knowledge while gaining a deeper insight into specific legal fields. Her legal interests include business, entertainment, and intellectual property law.

As a first year at USC Gould School of Law, she is currently the 1L Representative for the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA) and the Intellectual Property & Technology Law Society (IPTLS).

Samuel Djahanbani

Undergraduate: University of California, Santa Barbara

Sam was born and raised here in sunny Los Angeles and attended UCLA, where he graduated summa cum laude with a degree in business economics and a minor in accounting. He spent some time working for Deloitte before returning to school and earning a Master in Business Taxation from the USC Leventhal School of Accounting. Sam then worked as a tax accountant for three years for a public accounting firm in West Los Angeles, earning his CPA license along the way (look him up!) and specializing in real estate, entertainment, and high net worth individuals. Ultimately, he decided to leave the tax world behind and pursue a career in law, but if you need some tax advice, feel free to just ask!

Sam probably watches a little too much sports, specifically basketball and football; ESPN is background noise to him at this point. He has also forgotten more about Game of Thrones than most people will ever know (yes, he's proud of this). Lastly, if you want to try a new sushi restaurant, go to him for a recommendation!

Rosie Frihart

Undergraduate: University of Tulsa

Rosie hails from Tulsa and is a graduate of the University of Tulsa. While a student there, she served as editor of the creative writing journal and president of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. She graduated in 2011 with a degree in Film Studies and History, and minors in Creative Writing and Sociology.

After graduation, Rosie worked briefly in film before joining Teach For America. The program luckily ignored her request to teach high school history and instead assigned her to teach fourth grade math at Gilcrease Elementary in Tulsa. Rosie loved her four years with the Gilcrease World Changers (yes, that is their actual mascot), and hopes to continue to work for them through poverty or education law.

Though Rosie loves cold weather, rain, and parking easily, she couldn't resist the urge to head west when she received her acceptance letter from USC. After all, who wouldn't want to be a member of the Trojan Family? She has enjoyed her experience at Gould thus far, and is thrilled to be a Gold Honors Scholar.

Joseph Harper

Undergraduate: Loyola University

Joseph Harper grew up in Chicago. Finding the winters intolerable, he was drawn to the warm weather and rich culture of New Orleans for his undergraduate studies at Loyola University. He majored in English Literature and Spanish graduated with Honors, summa cum laude, and wrote his undergraduate thesis on a close reading of Shakespeare's Sonnets. Upon graduating in 2007, with all the vigorous spirit of youth, he moved to Los Angeles to participate in the burgeoning arts scene, performing a sort of comedic, philosophically indulgent musical act called "featherbeard" (complete with a prosthetic beard of feathers—yes, this is the crazy truth).

Recently, he worked as a wine director for a local restaurant and had a baby boy with his wife of nine years. He is excited to be back in school, to be intellectually challenged by the study of law at USC, and to see what new adventures lie ahead. His intellectual hunger makes specialization difficult and so his interests vary from the federal judiciary, to real estate, tax, Intellectual Practice, and arts law; though he expects fate will step in and make some decisions for him.

Casey Mangan

Undergraduate: Azusa Pacific University

Casey Mangan grew up in Santa Cruz and graduated from Azusa Pacific University (APU) in 2014 with a B.A. in Sociology. As an undergraduate, he studied abroad in South Africa and did a fellowship with Polaris, the nation's largest anti-human trafficking organization. After graduating from APU, he spent two years teaching at Inonu University in Malatya, Turkey as a Fulbright Scholar. He spent the past year in Salamanca, Spain teaching both English and Spanish.

Despite the occasional bouts of reverse culture shock, Casey is very excited to be back in California to study at Gould. He is currently a 1L Representative for the Public Interest Law Foundation and the International Refugee Assistance Project. He hopes to spend a career in Immigration Law-specifically working with and advocating for refugees, asylum seekers, and human trafficking victims.

Nassim Moallem

Undergraduate: San Diego State University

Nassim Moallem grew up in Silicon Valley before moving down to Southern California to attend San Diego State University. She graduated summa cum laude and served as commencement speaker with a double major in Women's Studies and Political Science, and a double minor in honors interdisciplinary studies and television, film, and new media.

She was inspired by her work as a student activist to pursue a career in public interest law. Nassim is especially committed to the promotion of gender and racial justice. She has worked extensively on the issue of violence against women, particularly on how universities address the issue of campus sexual assault.

She felt a connection to USC Gould after assisting a professor with research on alumna Yvonne Brathwaite Burke (JD 1956), the first black woman elected to California's legislature. Now at USC Gould herself, Nassim is excited for the resources and opportunities being an Honors Scholar will provide.

Nassim also served as a Panetta Institute Congressional Intern for the D.C. Office of Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. Working with policymakers shed light on the need for formal enforcement in order to truly implement change. Beyond law school, Nassim seeks to one day hold public office herself.

Ariel Prince

Undergraduate: University of California, Berkeley

Ariel Prince was raised in the San Fernando Valley, and is thrilled to be back in L.A. while attending USC Gould. She graduated with a degree in Political Science from U.C. Berkeley in 2015, While at Berkeley, Ariel participated in student government, served as the Vice President of the Jewish Student Union, and learned how to successfully walk backwards as a campus tour guide.

Ariel's enthusiasm for the written word led her to work as an Executive Communications Manager at Hewlett-Packard after graduation. She greatly enjoyed all aspects of this role, from crafting keynote speeches to operating a live teleprompter behind-the-scenes. Ariel spent the summer before law school exploring nearly every coffee shop in San Francisco, savoring tapas in Spain, and honing her urban photography skills.

She looks forward to pursuing her interests in real estate and corporate law as well as participating in clinics while at USC Gould.

Jason Rooindej

Undergraduate: Loyola Marymount University

Jason was born and raised in Los Angeles. He received concurrent degrees from University of California, Berkeley a B.S. in Environmental Economics and Policy and a B.A. in Media Studies, with an emphasis on Marketing Strategy. While at UC Berkeley, Jason served on the Interfraternity Council board.

After graduating from UC Berkeley and moving back to Los Angeles, Jason worked as management consultant at Mercer, where he focused primarily on Mergers and Acquisitions and IPOs. After leaving Mercer, Jason co-founded an education technology startup in Palo Alto, California. Jason has also co-founded real estate investment company here in Los Angeles.

Before coming to law school, Jason volunteered at Bet Tzedek Legal Services and School on Wheels. This year, in addition to being a Stan and Ilene Gold Honors Scholar, Jason looks forward to tackling his 1L classes and serving as a representative of the Business Law Society. In his free time, Jason enjoys investing, traveling, trying new restaurants, and researching real estate trends. Fight On!

Gurgen Sargsyan

Undergraduate: University of California, Los Angeles

Gurgen was born in Yerevan, Armenia. He immigrated to the United States in 2001, at the age of seven, and grew up in Glendale, Calif. Fluent in English and Armenian, Gurgen also studied Spanish. He attended Glendale Community College for two years, and then transferred to UCLA, where he earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy.

Gurgen is interested in business law. He decided to attend USC after visiting friends here and seeing the tight-knit community formed by the students and faculty.

Eva Schifini

Undergraduate: Occidental College

Eva grew up in Las Vegas. She earned a B.A. in economics at Occidental College (Oxy) with a double-minor in mathematics and public health. At Oxy, Eva fell in love with Los Angeles, and hopes to make this incredible city her forever home.

During undergrad, Eva gained a lot of teaching experience. She worked for the economics department as a tutor and teaching assistant for two econometrics course. Additionally, she taught health education in public schools for a nonprofit called Peer Health Exchange. In 2017, Eva was the only female to complete an honor thesis in economics. Her work examined the link between the minimum wage and chronic disease in California. Eva hopes to carry on her passion for research and economics into a career creating health law and policy.

In her spare time, Eva works as a group fitness and pilates trainer at various studios around the greater Los Angeles area. Reach out to her for a great workout or any Las Vegas travel recommendations.