Alumni News



Aviv Meshulam '14

Where are you now?

I am currently at the University of Southern California finishing my bachelors of science in neuroscience and a minor in consumer behavior. I am actively involved in research: running lab studies and collaborating with graduate students on answering questions such as the meaning of life, moral hypocrisy, morality and anthropomorphism. Outside of the lab I investigate how virtual reality technology can be used for medical therapy. There is more to VR than gaming and entertainment, and my colleagues and I are excited to first explore means of improving mental health. I consult and analyze for TAMID at USC, a national multi-phased organization connecting over 1,500 American entrepreneurial-minded students with the Israeli economic landscape. I also teach and lead experimental sessions at local elementary schools through Science Outreach by employing science experiments and exposing a core science curriculum prior to the normal science educational route. 

How did your experience at Santa Monica College influence your life? Your current career?

Santa Monica College taught me more about who I am, what I want to do, and where I am going to be. The experiences I made are invaluable to the person I became today. SMC showed me how to approach the real world, how to overcome my weaknesses, and how to further build strong and lasting connections. Before starting at SMC, I was an introvert. I’ve walked through moments of humility, grit, and hard work. But I saw myself change and become a leader, because when I left SMC, I blossomed and stood out like the many brilliant minds here at USC except I was different.

Shout Out! To a faculty or staff member that made a difference.

There are too many, so I would like to give a HUGE SHOUT OUT to Karin Breedlove, the STEM SRI staff – Melanie Bocanegra, Vanan Yahnian, Jose Cue, Debbie Ostorga – Deirdre Weaver, the alumni and PA staff, former President Dr. Chui Tsang and Echo for all their endless support, advice, and elevation in my success. I would not be where I am today without them.

Words of wisdom to share with future alumni.

Be open-minded and never be afraid to leave your comfort zone. Take on novel challenges and develop your interests by getting involved in extracurriculars. The more you engage yourself, the more you will be able to learn from the people around you, as well as build character and momentarily detox from the obligatory academia and studying. Aim to be the best that you can be.

What's Next?

I look forward to building more experience in the biotech industry for a few years to develop more research and clinical-based skills. I am thinking about pursuing a master’s but I’d like to work towards a doctorate’s degree in neuropsychopharmacology or related discipline in the near future. 

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