Giving News Archive


February 16, 2017

USC Viterbi Alum Ken Sherman Providing Legal Services For Competition Winners

“This school changed my life,” says USC Viterbi alum and attorney Ken Sherman. “I want to provide the same kind of opportunities that I had and help everyone here succeed.”

As entrepreneurship and innovation opportunities continue to emerge within the school, a culture of creation is taking hold that has propelled it into the top echelon of engineering institutions.

Alumni play an important role within these efforts. It is their passion for giving back that enables the success of our innovators and provides them with resources that establish a springboard for success.

One of those alumni is Sherman, the managing partner of L.A.-based Sherman IP and creator of AKeyMark, a trademark application platform that combines the efficiency of an online self-filing system in hiring the expertise of a trademark lawyer. Sherman has generously donated free (to the winners) and discounted (to runners-up) legal services to students as part of various prize packages in the Maseeh Entrepreneurship Prize Competition and the Min Family Engineering Social Entrepreneurship Challenge.

These two popular competitions are two competitions have provided students at USC Viterbi with opportunities to change the world around them through innovation and entrepreneurship

Thanks to the generosity of Bryan and Julie Min, the Min Family Challenge is a competition that provides students with the opportunity to use engineering and technology to develop sustainable and effective solutions to global problems. In particular, it aims to address the development of solutions to challenges faced by underprivileged parts of our society or in underdeveloped countries worldwide.

Through a gift from Fariborz Maseeh, USC Viterbi also runs the annual Maseeh Engineering Prize Competition to inspire innovators to lead global transformations. The competition began in 2010, when Maseeh, a member of the USC Viterbi School Board of Councilors, established an endowment through the Massiah Foundation to create the annual prize. The MEPC Program is run by USC Viterbi with support and collaboration from the USC Stevens Institute for Innovation and the Lloyd Grief Center for Entrepreneurial Studies.

A graduate of USC Viterbi, Sherman received his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering in 1985. While at USC, he was an Undergraduate Research Fellow with USC’s Optical Materials and Devices Laboratory, where he conducted scientific research into such technologies as optics, image processing, thin film sputter deposition, ion implantation, and liquid crystal devices.

He is now a successful Intellectual Property Attorney, serial entrepreneur, and the Managing Partner of Sherman IP LLP. He has more than 25 years of experience practicing Intellectual Property law and has litigated business disputes and prosecuted thousands of patent and trademark applications. He taught Intellectual Property law at USC Viterbi and designed a program so that engineers and company principals could understand the attributes of the Intellectual Property tools they use in their developments and product markets.

Sherman is also a serial entrepreneur creating, managing and acting as a principal in various business entities. These companies include AKeyMark, BlueStar Indexes (a financial services company that developed and manages the stock indexes behind the ISRA and ITEQ Exchange Traded Funds (listed on the NYSE and NASDAQ, respectively), as well as Quantum Business Solutions Network, Inc., Atilla Pictures/Kenphika Films and Colorado Park Ventures, LLC, a real estate investment company.

Now Sherman is helping USC Viterbi by providing important support to students whose ideas are poised to take off.


November 1, 2016

Executive Decisions

USC alum Harry W. (Webb) McKinney has co-written a vital new book Becoming Hewlett-Packard while devoting much of his time to philanthropic efforts.
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May 20, 2016

Commencement 2016: A New Generation of Engineering Leaders

Graduates at the 88th annual engineering commencement ceremony embodied the spirit of innovation and global engagement.
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March 8, 2016

Doing Well By Doing Good

Unlike other business model competitions, the Min Social Entrepreneurship Challenge focuses as much on addressing major social issues as with profit making.
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February 26, 2016

In Memoriam: USC Trustee, Entrepreneur Alfred E. Mann

The entrepreneur dedicated himself to developing technologies that dramatically improve patients’ lives.
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February 9, 2016

Prem Natarajan Named Inaugural Keston Executive Director

Event celebrated a visionary and inspiring gift to the USC Information Sciences Institute (ISI).
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January 12, 2016

GIVING OPPORTUNITY: USC Solar Car Team – Journey to the American Solar Challenge

The Southern California Solar Car Team is a new undergraduate project devoted to building an exclusively solar-powered vehicle from the ground up.
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January 12, 2016


This year, the Associated Students of Biomedical Engineering (ASBME) would like to host an inaugural event at USC Viterbi called The Makeathon, a medical device design competition in which student teams from both USC and other universities will compete to solve a challenge with a limited amount of time and resources.
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December 10, 2015

Michael & Linda Keston Endow Executive Directorship Of Information Sciences Institute

Real estate entrepreneur and philanthropist Michael Keston and his wife, Linda, have made a generous gift of $3.5 million to create the first endowed directorship position at USC Viterbi’s Information Sciences Institute (ISI). The Marina Del Rey-based USC ISI, an agent of computing innovation for over 40 years, has played a pioneering role in the protocols of the Internet, the Domain Naming
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November 30, 2015

USC Society Of Women Engineers Launches 2015 GoldieBlox Campaign

This holiday season, you can give the gift of engineering to young girls in the Los Angeles community. The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) is a USC student organization that encourages the next generation of female engineers. SWE wants women to achieve their full potential while expanding the image of the engineering profession as a positive force in improving the quality of life.
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November 13, 2015

Celebrating The Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering & Materials Science

Rarely do 10 year olds possess a world-class, cutting edge mastery of chemical engineering. Not so, in the case of the Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, which Thursday celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Mork family’s transformative $15 million naming gift to the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. The donation brought together the disciplines of chemical engineering, materials science
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October 21, 2015

Bryan And Julie Min Launch Social Challenge

Their recent gift to USC Viterbi will establish a student business plan competition to fund startups with a socially assistive bent. The competition will encourage would-be social entrepreneurs to build businesses that benefit society, ranging from technological problems facing under-served communities to frugal engineering in developing countries, including access to clean water and affordable energy.
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October 20, 2015

Fall 2015 Viterbi Magazine

Check out our latest issue.
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October 15, 2015

Let's Change the Conversation

In his Sept. 29 “State of the School” address, USC Viterbi Dean Yannis C. Yortsos spoke to faculty and staff members at Town and Gown about how engineering has become the main driver of innovation by empowering “all other disciplines, from the natural sciences, to medicine, to social sciences, to the arts.” He calls this process “Engineering+.” Building on that
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September 30, 2015

Michelson Center Construction

The center is named in honor of philanthropist and retired orthopedic spinal surgeon Gary K. Michelson and his wife, Alya Michelson, who recently presented USC with a gift of $50 million. The university continues to raise funds for the facility, which will add 190,000 square feet of laboratories and offices for key researchers to the southwest quadrant of the University Park Campus.
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September 24, 2015

Inaugural Scholarship Luncheon Connects Donors With Students

The inaugural USC Viterbi Scholarship & Fellowship Luncheon brought together donors and scholarship recipients. Dean Yortsos spoke about the importance of scholarships and how they allow USC to attract and retain the best students, one of the school’s top priorities.
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September 17, 2015

USC Viterbi Startup Awarded Silver Medal In Beijing

USC Viterbi’s Stasis Labs made headlines earlier in the year when Inc. Magazine named it one of 16 “Coolest College Startups of 2015,” but the young company is now earning international recognition after winning the silver medal in the student business plan competition at the Global Grand Challenges Summit (GGCS) in Beijing on September 14. Read all about it here.
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June 3, 2015

USC Viterbi Commencement 2015

Gloomy skies and a light rain gave way to bright smiles and high spirits at the 87th Annual Engineering Commencement Ceremony on Friday, May 15. Newly minted graduates warmly embraced loved ones. Parents beamed with pride. USC Dean Yannis Yortsos congratulated the 575 graduates – 30 percent of whom are women – on their accomplishments. He told them that they would shape the future for humanity’s benefit.
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June 3, 2015

USC Trustee Gordon S. Marshall Dies at 95

USC Trustee Gordon Marshall, retired founder of electronics giant Marshall Industries and namesake of the USC Marshall School of Business, died June 2 in Pasadena. He was 95. Marshall was also on the USC Viterbi Board of Councilors.
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May 30, 2015

Andrew Viterbi Nominated For Presidential Post

President Barack Obama has announced his intent to nominate Andrew Viterbi as a member of the President’s Committee on the National Medal of Science.
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April 3, 2015

Spring 2015 Viterbi Magazine

Check out our new digital magazine!
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February 18, 2015

Erna Viterbi (1934-2015), Philanthropist and Joint Namesake of USC Viterbi

Wife of USC Trustee Andrew Viterbi leaves a legacy for future USC Viterbi students.
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January 21, 2015

MIT News: Andrew Viterbi Inspires Future Engineers

Wife of USC Trustee Andrew Viterbi leaves a legacy for future USC Viterbi students.
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Published on July 31st, 2017

Last updated on April 13th, 2020