Our Spring 2023 Initiatives


TL;DR: everything we're doing this semester.

Editor's note

Every semester, we take a look at the initiatives we've recently run, evaluate campus culture and student needs, and determine Spark's initiatives for the following few months. Spark has formed committees to work on five external initiatives this Spring and one internal. The leads of each committee have deeply thought how their initiative addresses Spark's mission, what the work will look like, and what it'll be like to join the committee. Click to jump to an initiative → Lunar Gala | Project Launch | Reprogram | Operation Exhibition | Bay Trip | Trojan Marketplace

Introduction to our Spring 2023 initiatives

A few of our household initiatives, like Trojan MarketPlace and Project Launch, have been running for semesters because they feel so core to our mission and our beliefs. We might decide to continue, pause, or retire an initiative, but one can always come back if a lead is passionate about its cause. We frequently start new initiatives at the beginning of each semester as part of our commitment to serving our mission—whatever that means in the current semester. We have a lot in store and we can't wait for you to see what we'll be up to. Hopefully, you'll find something that piques your interest! If you join Spark, you'll join two of these committees and help us push it to its fullest potential.

Lunar Gala 🌌

Committee leads:

Zhamilya Mussaibekova, Freshman majoring in Computer Engineering & Computer Science and Italian.

What is Lunar Gala? LunarGala is a student-run fashion show that centers on interdisciplinary collaboration to highlight USC innovation and creativity through the merging of fashion and engineering.

What does Lunar Gala have to do with Spark's mission?

At Spark, having a vision is the only prerequisite for making it a reality. As a life-long fashion enthusiast turned engineer, I vehemently searched to combine what made my heart soar and the world go round—both facets perfectly exhibited in Lunar Gala. Spark seeks to foster entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship, at its core, is a state of mind — one where you take a little risk and think the unthinkable. With Lunar Gala, we are bringing out the beauty and craftsmanship inherent in engineering and fashion to create something revolutionary and make Wearable Tech a force to be reckoned with 🌌✨🌃🌟🌠

What will the work look like?

  • First up, the committee will be focus on internal outreach —reaching out to USC schools and USC orgs to attract interested students to participate in creating for the gala. 💭
  • We will also be doing a lot of external outreach and trying to secure both monetary sponsorships as well as industry professionals in the field of Fashion Innovation to come and give workshops for participating students. 🗯
  • There will also be a fair amount of logistics involved, especially securing the venue and solving organizational questions for the day of the actual gala. 👩🏼‍💻
  • Finally, we will be providing guidance and support for participating students, by checking in with them bi-weekly to log their progress, helping them with any pain points and just offer some creative direction. 🎨

What will it be like to join the committee?

To join the Lunar Gala committee is to be at the forefront of fashion innovation. This committee will require a lot of dedication as we will work to bridge the gap between fashion and engineering, thus creating surprising, but meaningful connections. A lot of focus is going to be put on helping best accommodate our student-designers, by not only attracting participants, but helping them access to the best materials and workshops.

Lunar Gala is all about breaking down stereotypes surrounding fashion and engineering, and feeding their beautiful symbiosis during weekly whole-commitee meetings and check-ins with individual teams 🌙

Project Launch (PL)

Committee lead:

Dutch Hansen, Sophomore majoring in Mathematics and Computer Science

Christina Vo, Sophomore majoring in Sociology and NGOS & Social Change

What is Project Launch?

Project Launch is a creative fellowship for 6 Hybrid High sophomores. We guide each student through a personalized curriculum with three emphases: Mentorship, Project-based Learning, and Community.

What does Project Launch have to do with Spark's mission?

Project Launch originated from Spark’s mission to spread entrepreneurial spirit to people at and around USC. Last year, we employed design thinking to re-evaluate the foundations of the initiative alongside students and faculty at USC Hybrid High. Now, with a renewed take on curriculum and a clear basis of evidence for decision-making, we will be implementing a new iteration of Project Launch.

What will it be like to join the committee?

PL has 3 teams this semester: Mentorship, Education, and Impact Systems:

Mentorship: work 1:1 with Project Launch Fellows as they deeply explore a topic of interest through principles of design thinking

Education: develop and execute meaningful educational experience for Fellows

Impact Systems: structure and analyze data to support future decision-making

The expectations for members of PL are high—we are building this program for real people!

That being said, all committee work will make a tangible impact on the program. We also care deeply for the growth of committee members. Working on PL, you will have plenty of opportunities to sharpen your creative problem-solving skills and learn from older members of Spark!


Committee leads:

Joshua Senior, Sophomore majoring in Biological Sciences and International Relations

What is Reprogram? Reprogram builds its foundation on unlearning and relearning how humans solve problems together. Bringing artists and entrepreneurs together, Reprogram proffers individuals the opportunity to collaborate and create imaginative products. Through interactive social experiments, Reprogram seeks to promote multidimensional thinking in the arts and entrepreneurial ecosystems.

What does Reprogram have to do with Spark's mission?

50% of this initiative is focused on promoting entrepreneurial thinking to the pure arts community, which directly serves Spark’s mission. The other 50% is dedicated to understanding that the status quo of entrepreneurship culture might not be perfect.

Rather than constantly pushing our way of thinking outwards to other communities, there may be an opportunity for us to grow by learning from the communities that feel disconnected from us, particularly that of pure arts.


Through this collaboration, each group gets to experience, learn from, and influence each other's creative processes and ways of thinking:

  1. The entrepreneur gets to communicate a part of themselves with someone—this may fall outside their comfort zone, but is more natural to their artist partner.
  2. The artist gets to represent someone else's experiences. This builds the empathetic muscle that entrepreneurs exercise in design thinking.
  3. Together, the artists and entrepreneurs eventually present and witness the artistic representation of the entrepreneur's journey.

There's a significant potential for impact when we push artists and entrepreneurs to work together directly. And there's a lot to learn about how to catalyze the mindsets of both worlds to evolve into more empathetic, healthy, and authentic versions of themselves.

What will the work look like?

Any new from-scratch initiative invites many question marks. This semester will be research-, ideation-, and planning-heavy, with time dedicated to speaking with students, brainstorming and discussing as a team, and fleshing out the logistics of the program so we are ready to pilot it next semester!

What will it be like to join the committee?

I value open-mindedness in every team—towards each other and our ideas without judgment. I believe in establishing systems proactively for clear communication, and prioritizing mutual trust between teammates. Acknowledging each teammate’s “why” behind being on the team is incredibly important to me, to develop individual and shared north stars that allow us to explore varying questions without straying from our mission.

You should join this committee if you share the following:

  • An ambitious mindset.
  • A commitment to seeing this idea through despite the inevitable question marks we will encounter.
  • Care for high-quality work.
  • A willingness to open your mind to the mission of this committee.
  • Comfort with the uncertainty that comes with experimenting with something new!

Operation Exhibition

Committee leads:

Sarvani Kolachana, Junior majoring in Art

Brett Park, Junior majoring in Communication and Art

What is Operation Exhibition? Operation exhibition’s goal is to redefine and revamp the traditional gallery experience to be more conducive for emerging artists and young people. Along with the exhibition platforming the work of artists and creatives on campus, there will also be a gallery party outside in which local vendors can sell their work, viewers can listen to music from a DJ, and drink ... perhaps.

What does Operation Exhibition have to do with Spark's mission?

The face of entrepreneurship is too often dominated by blue-tinted images of glowing computer screens and smiling suits brandishing stacks of paper. In the rush to crown the next Silicon Valley CEO, art and design—fields that rely perhaps the most steadily on the creative ingenuity that lies at the heart of Spark’s own community—are often forgotten. Through this exhibition, we will simultaneously be affording the art community at USC a voice (and funding!) while allowing them to showcase their own inventiveness and (hopefully) build a community along the way.

What will the work look like?

Our committee will comprise of four different teams:

  • Outreach 🧑🏻‍🤝‍🧑🏽 will focus on reaching out to student artists and designers and finding ways of encouraging collaboration. In this role, you have the amazing chance to connect with and help elevate SC’s community of creatives!
  • Logistics⌚ is primarily centered around securing the venue and organizing the main exhibition. We will have fundragers/events along the way that this team will also help organize.
  • Finance 💰 is responsible for both sourcing and allocating funds for the final exhibition. This is crucial, because one of OpEx’s main missions is to combat the issue of underfunded art projects/exhibitions.
  • Social Media/Marketing 📱will be involved in documenting the process of putting together the exhibition and giving our student artists and designers and invaluable platform to share their work! After all, if it hasn’t been featured in a 10-square-slideshow on IG did it even really happen?

What will it be like to join the committee?

Since this is a brand new committee, you will have the opportunity to shape its growth and journey! We already know that the USC creative community is incredibly diverse and energetic (from initiatives like Trojan Marketplace!) and you will have a chance to help cultivate that community through your work ✨

Commitment-wise, expect biweekly meetings every month so the workload is still manageable and we’re hoping to arrange a team dinner/bonding session at the beginning and end as well! We are targeting for the final exhibition to be in mid-April.

Bay Trip

Committee leads:

Alex Wan, Sophomore majoring in Computer Science & Business Administration

What is Bay Trip?

Bay Trip is the only committee specifically geared towards Spark members and has been a defining trip for many members in the past. Each semester, Spark SC’s board members migrates to San Fransisco for a weekend to visit companies to gain inspiration, foster fellowship, and make life-long connections!

What does Bay Trip have to do with Spark's mission?

Spark is about fellowship as much as it is about making an impact in our community. Creating a strong community and providing our members opportunities is a core part of what makes Spark so special. In addition, visiting other companies who are on the forefront of innovation gives our members the drive and inspiration to create new and exciting entrepreneurial avenues for our USC.

What will the work look like?

This is the first semester of Bay Trip since COVID. As such, we will be unveiling how Bay Trip operated in past semesters in order to create a trip just as memorable and impactful.

The committee will be split into 2 sections: outreach and logistics.

  • Outreach occurs in the first month of the committee and entails cold emailing interesting companies in the Bay Area
  • Logistics is spread out, however the bulk of work begins one month before the scheduled trip and will be focused on planning housing, transportation, scheduling, and alumni contact

What will it be like to join the committee?

Join this committee if you are interested in creating memorable and impact memories for the members of Spark SC. Bay Trip will develop your problem-solving, networking, and organizational skills, and work with a fun, social group of students.

My goal is to ensure that this committee does not have as much of a time and work commitment as other committees. Although geared towards older members as an incentive to come back to board, Bay Trip opens its arms to Sparklets interested in our mission. Oh! I will also make sure to bring snacks to each meeting ;)

Trojan Marketplace

Committee leads:

Giselle Cortez, Sophomore majoring in Industrial & Systems Engineering

Shailee Sankhala, Freshman majoring in Arts, Technology, & the Business of Innovation in IYA

What is Trojan MarketPlace? Trojan Marketplace is an event aiming to inspire entrepreneurship at USC by showcasing USC students and LA community businesses to the local community, emphasizing cultural representation. We will be simultaneously hosting performances by cultural groups on campus. We will work towards building a platform to support entrepreneurs after the event as well.

What does Trojan MarketPlace have to do with Spark's mission?

Trojan MarketPlace aims to capture and further uplift the entrepreneurial spirit found within the USC community.

What will the work look like?

We collaborate during our meetings to bring our work to life as a group, but also want to give our members the ability to take ownership of their own initiatives to further drive this semester’s iteration of Trojan Marketplace.

TMP’s work can be split into 3 categories

  1. Outreach/Marketing
    1. Reaching out to potential vendors, and cultural performance groups, creating social media campaigns
    2. Finding ways to reach out to a diverse population of vendors
  2. Logistics
    1. Securing our location for the semester, designing our event layout
  3. Finance
    1. Reaching out to potential sponsors, applying for funding, creating budgets
    2. Potentially creating a fund to further support our vendors

What will it be like to join the committee?

Aside from working on our deliverables, we will have biweekly committee bonding events such as taking field trips to local flea markets over the weekend to nurture a tight-knit feeling within our committee and the LA community.