Graduate & Family Housing

Sophomore, junior & Senior Class Standing (2)


The Office for Residential Education is dedicated to providing all USC Housing residents a quality living environment.   While each residential community is unique, all provide residents with programming targeted specifically to resident needs and interests as well as the support and mentorship of undergraduate, graduate and professional staff members.


Graduate & Family Housing East


GradFam East is a residential community comprised of 7 apartment buildings for predominantly graduate students.  17 Resident Assistants work closely with one Residential Community Coordinator and one Faculty in Residence to put on events that support career exploration, networking, community building, and a connection to the city of Los Angeles. There is one Building Government that serves the 700 students who are a part of GradFam East. The following apartment buildings are in GradFam East:

  • Annenberg House
  • Cardinal ‘N Gold
  • Seven Gables
  • Severance Street
  • Stardust
  • Troy East
  • Troy Hall
  • Vista
  • 2831 University Ave Apartments


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Staff & Faculty


Jasmine King
Residential Community Coordinator
Graduate and Family Housing, East

Jasmine King serves as the Residential Community Coordinator for Graduate and Family Housing East. She is originally from the Chicagoland area. Jasmine received a Bachelor of Arts in Corporate Communication and a Master of Education in Adult & Higher Education from Northern Illinois University (NIU).  After her undergraduate experience she became a Graduate Hall Director at her alma mater, where she completed her Master’s degree. Most recently, Jasmine joins us from Santa Monica Community College, where she worked in the African American and Latino Center. Prior to that, she served as a Community Coordinator at California State University, Fullerton. Her passion areas include authenticity, leadership development, and supervision. In her free time she enjoys hanging out at the dog park with her husband and Shih Tzu/Maltese mix, DIY crafting, sewing, and traveling.


Jose Cruz Berber
Graduate Residential Community Coordinator
Graduate and Family Housing, East

Jose Cruz Berber is the Graduate Residential Community Coordinator for Century Apartments. He grew up in Farmersville, a small town in the Central Valley of California and attended the University of California, Santa Barbara where he received his degree in Communication and Spanish. While at UCSB, Jose Cruz served as a Resident Assistant, a Student Manager at the university bookstore, a Research Assistant for the Department of Communication and was active in his fraternity. Upon graduation Jose Cruz worked full-time at UCSB for two years as an Assistant Resident Director. He enjoys working with students and developing intentional relationships where he can support their holistic success. Jose Cruz is pursuing a Master of Communication Management with a focus in Media and Entertainment Management at USC School of Annenberg. He is passionate about working with media content that serves a socially responsible purpose to both educate and entertain. Jose Cruz hopes to support the creation of media content that supports, uplifts and honors the lived experiences of marginalized identities. In his free time, he enjoys exploring new cities, eating Thai food, drinking coffee, exercising and spending time with loved ones.


Darnell Cole (Community- EAST)Darnell Cole
Faculty in Residence, Graduate and Family Housing, East
Associate Professor, Education

Dr. Darnell Cole is an Associate Professor of Education with an emphasis in higher education and education psychology. His areas of research include college student experiences, student-faculty interactions, diversity (i.e. race, gender, religion, and international comparisons), and learning. Previously he served as an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Administration at the University of Hawaii, Mānoa (Honolulu). He was also a faculty member at Marquette University. He completed his undergraduate work at the University of North Carolina, at Charlotte and received his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees at Indiana University, Bloomington. He is on the editorial review board of the Journal of College Student Development.

He has received over $7.5M in grants and contracts. He has published over 30 articles and book chapters and is featured in the major journals for higher education and other related fields including The Journal of Higher Education, Journal of College Student Development, NASPA Journal, Journal of Classroom Behavior, and Journal of Creative Behavior. He has begun to extend this most recent area of research to polytechnic students in Singapore, and university students in Malaysia and Thailand.



Signature Events



Community Welcome Week

In order to get our residents engaged in the USC Community, we plan welcome programs such as movie screenings, excursions to explore the LA area, various programs with free food, and more!

Lunar New Year

Each year a festive program is held to celebrate the Chinese New Year and expose residents to the culture and history behind this festival. Community Apartments staff engage residents in interactive activities featuring red envelopes, paper lanterns, board games, and delicious catered food.

Faculty Master Events

These events take place monthly and are held by Faculty Master Dr. Darnell Cole. Once a month, he invites residents of East Area to join him for his traditional events. These events include horse back riding, hikes, super bowl showings, trips to El Capitan theater in Hollywood, and dinners at LA Live.

Toms Urban April Toms Urban November

Faculty Dinners

These events take place on Thursday nights each week and they are held by one of our 3 faculty members: Dr. Darnell Cole, Ashley Uyeshiro Simon, or Victor Jones. These dinners are hosted either in Community or Troy. Along with the dinner, we sometimes have other events combined including paint night, game night, movie screenings, and special speakers.

Mutt Monday

Last Monday of each month, faculty Ashley Uyeshiro Simon holds a program called Mutt Monday where we have therapy pets come interact with residents in the Troy Conference Room. This program is also combined with a community service aspect where we make blankets that are donated to a local animal shelter. Occasionally, there are snacks and dinner provided.

 Mutt Monday Mutt Monday2



Graduate & Family Housing West 



GradFam West is a residential community comprised of 21 apartment buildings for predominantly graduate students. One Residential Community Coordinator (RCC) and one Graduate RCC work closely with 18 Resident Assistants and two Faculty in Residence to put on events, provide nightly emergency assistance, and support resident development.  The following apartment buildings are in GradFam West:

  • Bel-Air*
  • Centennial
  • Fairmont
  • Founders
  • Helena
  • Hillview
  • Hoover Street Residence
  • Manor
  • Max Kade House
  • Pacific
  • Regal Trojan*
  • Regent*
  • Senator*
  • Sierra
  • Sunset*
  • Terrace
  • Troyland
  • Twin Palms
  • University Regent
  • Windsor
  • 920 W. 28th Street Apartments

* designates USC Family Housing



Staff & Faculty



Kevin Villalta
Residential Community Coordinator
Graduate and Family Housing, West

Kevin Villalta is the Residential Community Coordinator for the Graduate and Family Housing West. Kevin has worked for several years within the residential education programs at UC Santa Barbara and Cal State Northridge. Kevin also has experience in the field of clinical social work having provided mental health therapy services for children, families, and adults from underserved communities in LA County. His passions within residential education include health promotion, first-generation student success, social justice education, and student leadership. In his spare time, Kevin enjoys attending live concerts, exploring art museums, traveling, bowling, and karaoke with friends and family.


Alexis McDonald
Graduate Residential Community Coordinator

Graduate and Family Housing, West

I am Alexis McDonald, a wanderlust from the dirty south, Atlanta, GA to be exact. After graduating from high school I followed LeBron James and took my talents to South Beach where I studied at the University of Miami. While in undergrad, I majored in Electronic Media with minors in Africana Studies, Education, Theatre, Film, and Photography. At the []_[], I discovered that I have a passion for connecting with people and telling underrepresented stories so, I am thrilled that I will be able to continue doing those things as I serve as the GRCC for the Terrance Apartments and pursue my Masters of Fine Arts in Studio Arts with a concentration in photography. Attending USC is a dream come true, growing up I was a huge Reggie Bush fan so I cannot wait to cheer on the Trojans, this football season. I love attending live sporting events and concerts. When I’m not losing my voice in the stands or audience, I enjoy binge watching television shows. My current favorite tv shows are Power, Insecure, This Is Us, Grey’s Anatomy, and Queen Sugar. I’ve never been in LA for longer than a weekend so I cannot wait to see all the city has to offer!


Kimberly Lenington

Kimberly Lenington
Faculty in Residence, Graduate and Family Housing, West
Assistant Professor, Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy

Kimberly Lenington is a clinical faculty member at Keck Hospital of USC where she provides direct patient care and works closely with populations affected by continence-related health issues in inpatient and outpatient settings.

Dr. Lenington completed her undergraduate degree in psychology at Chapman University followed by her master’s degree and clinical doctorate degree in occupational therapy at the University of Southern California. As a doctoral resident at Keck Hospital of USC, Dr. Lenington focused on delivering acute care services for patients affected by continence-related health issues. Her efforts resulted in expanding occupational therapy’s role with this population as well as raising awareness about the effects of these issues on overall quality of life and participation in occupation.



Signature Events



Graduate Casino Night

Held the last week of March, this traditional event is open to the entire USC Graduate and Professional Students community. In collaboration with GSG and RSG, this one night celebration recognizes the hard work of the USC Graduate population.

Faculty Meet & Greets

In the fall semester, Residential Faculty Fellow Scott Smith goes to each of the 10 RA communities in the Graduate & Family Housing community to meet residents at a casual meet & greet event held in the building. The objective of these programs is to begin building relationships with residents throughout the residential community.

Metro Series

In the fall semester, Residential Faculty Fellow Scott Smith leads a series of 5 programs to locations easily accessed using the metro. On 2015-2016,  the programs included the Chinatown Festival, Grand Central, Little Tokyo, DTLA art tour, and Game Night at Grand Central Market.

Sunday Meditation Sessions

Residential Faculty Fellow Scott Smith hosts weekly unguided meditation sessions in his apartment in Hillview on Sunday evenings. This ongoing program is open to all Graduate & Family Housing residents.

Smoothies with Scott

On the second Sunday of each month, Residential Faculty Fellow Scott Smith makes smoothies for residents before the meditation session. This is the longest standing of Scott’s programs and a tradition in the Graduate & Family area.

LA: Branching Out Series

In the spring semester, Residential Faculty Fellow Scott Smith led a series of 4 programs that were culturally or artistically themed. This year the programs were the Museum of Jurassic Technology, Getty Center, silent movie at the Egyptian Theater, and The Broad.