Author: Carolyn Barnes

Meet Richard Watanabe, PhD, Vice Chair for Education

Meet Richard Watanabe, PhD, Vice Chair for Education at the Department of Preventive Medicine.

Meet Richard Watanabe, PhD, Vice Chair for Education in the Department of Preventive Medicine and professor of biostatistics. Meet our other directors on YouTube.

What is your history with USC?

“I have a very long association with USC. I did all three of my degrees here – starting with my bachelor’s – and I actually did my master’s degree back when the department used to have the applied biometry program. So, I got my master’s in preventive medicine. I then left USC to go do my post-doc at the University of Michigan, and I came back to join the faculty in [the year] 2000. I’ve been on the faculty in the Division of Biostatistics ever since.”

What do you enjoy most about directing the education programs?

“I took the job as Vice Chair for Education because I enjoy interacting with the students. In particular, I like that one-on-one aspect of mentoring students and talking to them. I tell the students all the time – whether it’s orientation or any other forum – I tell them, you know, your educational problems are my educational problems. So, in that sense, I really enjoy that aspect of the job. I also like the fact that this department has a very wide breadth of educational programs and different educational challenges, which makes the job relatively interesting.”

What do you like to do outside of work?

“Outside of work I do a lot of volunteer work. I am a Volunteer Docent at the Japanese American National Museum, which I do on Sundays. I am also a photographer for them, so I will shoot museum events of various kinds. I also am a member of the Japanese American Optimist Club. The club, for those who don’t know, actually tries to support children to build better lives and get better education, etc. So we basically go out to Los Angeles Elementary School, which is an elementary school in downtown LA, and we do various programs like Career Day [where we] introduce them to careers; we have a reading day, we read books to them; we do other fun things like Halloween parties and Christmas parties and things like that. I also like going to concerts. I listen to all kinds of stuff, but primarily I like blues and jazz. And every once in a while, I grab my camera and go hiking.”

Master of Public Health student published on American Public Health Association sponsored blog

high school football game

California is the only U.S. state that does not regulate athletic trainers, professionals commonly employed by public high schools in other states to help prevent young athletes from getting injured.

Fareed Dibazar, MPH candidate
Fareed Dibazar, MPH candidate. Photo courtesy Fareed Dibazar.

Fareed Dibazar, a second-year student in USC’s Master of Public Health program, delves into this issue and the ensuing conflict over school health care mandates in the School Health Policy Series on The Medical Care Blog, the official blog of the peer-reviewed journal Medical Care, sponsored by the Medical Care Section of the American Public Health Association.

Follow Fareed on Twitter @fdibazar and Instagram @dibazarfareed. Fareed is a member of the Master of Public Health Student Association.

USC remembers one of our own

Roman Corral, MS '12

The Department of Preventive Medicine celebrates the life of a beloved member of the Trojan family, Roman Corral, MS ’12. Corral, who passed away over Labor Day weekend is remembered as hard-working, diligent and extremely kind-hearted by friends and colleagues. He made many contributions to the department as a staff member and student, in particular, to the research group led by Marianna C. Stern, PhD. Dr. Stern remembers him:

Roman Corral, MS '12
Roman Corral, MS ’12 and Mariana C. Stern, PhD. Photo courtesy Mariana C. Stern, PhD.

“It is with a heavy heart that I share the sudden passing of Roman Corral, a dear past Preventive Medicine member and graduate who worked for ten years in my group. Roman came to USC in 2002, as a recent graduate from UCLA, and helped me start my group as my lab manager. He quickly became my friend and a terrific colleague. Through the years, he helped train others who joined my group, and he collaborated with many people in Preventive Medicine and outside, and earned the respect and friendship of so many. His enthusiasm and curiosity motivated him to pursue an MS in Molecular Epidemiology, which he completed in 2012, with many publications under his belt. He took a job at Keck as part of the Galaxy Health project working at LA County hospital for two years, and contributed to the success of this project. A testament to this is the fact that they hired him at LAC where he worked as a hospital administrator, until now. He was one of the most generous persons I have met, and never hesitated to go the extra mile to help others, or to make someone else happy. He especially liked showing his love of LA and good food to the outsiders and foreigners who spent time in my lab, many of whom became his good friends. He had a gentle and loving soul, a heart of gold, and he touched many lives while he worked here at USC, and many more outside. He had a major impact on my path at USC. I will always remember him with gratitude and love, and will miss his bright smile and shining soul. He leaves behind his parents and two siblings, all of whom live here in LA, and with whom he was very close. Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers, they will need much strength to overcome this tragedy. May his memory be a blessing.”

Mariana C. Stern, PhD
Professor of Preventive Medicine & Urology
Keck School of Medicine of USC
Associate Director of Population Sciences
USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center
Program Director, CaRE2 Health Equity Center
University of Southern California