Cowan Scholars

 

Elizabeth Islas

Geoffrey Cowan Scholar

Elizabeth Islas is a Specialized Journalism student at USC Annenberg. She recently graduated with a Bachelor’s in Journalism at USC in May 2020. Elizabeth previously served as the managing editor for True Blue LA where she covered the Los Angeles Dodgers through the postseason in 2019. She aspires to work in the television broadcast industry and is interested to research to learn about the future of journalism.

 

Ashley Otah

Geoffrey Cowan Scholar

Hailing from Dallas, Texas, Ashley graduated and holds a BA in Public Relations from USC Annenberg. Currently, she is pursuing a Master’s degree in Annenberg’s progressive MA Public Relations and Advertising program where she is using her passion for social strategy, strategic communication, and creative content development to analyze the intersection between culture and digital communities.

 

Liam Reilly

Geoffrey Cowan Scholar

Liam Reilly is a second-year MSc/MA Global Media and Communication student. Liam spent several years working abroad, first in PR in Morocco and then in journalism in South Korea. As a Cowan Scholar, he’s excited to continue his research into consumer-level production/circulation of misinformation and disinformation, which was the focus of his dissertation at the London School of Economics. A dual French-U.S. citizen raised in Brooklyn, Liam holds a BA in Comparative Literature from Kenyon College, has developed a nose for good bagels, and has seen his written work published both in the U.S. and internationally.

 

Steven Vargas

Geoffrey Cowan Scholar

Steven Vargas (he/him) is a performance artist and journalist based in Los Angeles. He graduated from USC with a double major in Theatre (Acting) and Journalism with a minor in Dance and is returning for a MA in Specialized Journalism (The Arts). Most of his work is focused on social change, diversity and inclusion. He’s worked on theatre projects with organizations like USC Arts in Action, Sojourn Theatre of Chicago, Black Lives Matter LA and Reform LA Jails Coalition. More recently, his short doc “Dancing at Home” earned first place in LA Press Club’s “Life in the Time of the Coronavirus Contest.” When he is not working in the newsroom or on stage, he is endlessly swiping through TikTok. More about Steven can be found at vargassteven.com

 

Caroline Wohl

Geoffrey Cowan Scholar

Caroline is a current graduate student in Annenberg’s progressive M.A. Public Relations and Advertising program, with a specialization in corporate communications. A San Diego native, Caroline graduated cum laude with a B.A. in Public Relations and a Marketing Minor from USC Annenberg in 2020, where she was a recruited member of USC’s women’s rowing team and served as a speaker at Annenberg admissions events as a student ambassador. Her passions for strategic storytelling and combatting misinformation and disinformation lend to her skills as a strategic communications consultant with interests in the technology and healthcare industries.