Undergraduate Student Initiated Education (USIE) is an innovative program designed to provide a select group of juniors and seniors with the opportunity to develop and facilitate, under close faculty supervision, a lower division seminar for their peers.

The application and selection period is during Spring quarter. During the Fall and Winter quarters, selected student facilitators work closely with their faculty mentors in two 1-unit independent study courses (one each quarter) focused on the content-area of their proposed seminar. In addition, selected student facilitators enroll in two 1-unit pedagogy seminars (one each quarter) in which various facilitation strategies and techniques are discussed in preparation for leading a spring seminar. Through the independent study courses and pedagogy seminars, student facilitators develop a formal syllabus for their spring seminars for review and approval by the USIE Faculty-Student Advisory Committee and the Faculty Executive Committee (FEC).


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USIE Facilitators have represented almost 50 different departments from the College and Professional Schools at UCLA. Seminar topics selected are just as diverse as the students who lead them. Our 2017-18 USIE facilitators led a total of 23 seminars in Spring 2018.

Nina CrosbyNina Crosby (English/History of Science and Medicine Minor)
Musicology 88S: Zinesters Unite!: Living Literacy Legacy

Nina’s love for punk music and academia always felt at odds until she began making zines. With the academic analysis of punk culture inspired by Professor Schwartz’s courses and Nina’s personal experiences within the punk scene as a poet, she thought to herself, “Why not teach zines in a classroom? It’s too rad not too!” Read More

Leane NasrallahLeane Nasrallah (Biology, Public Health)
Neurology 88S: Varying Perspectives of Disease: From Molecules to Populations
What led Leane to create her own course? She felt that while her courses gave her a sampling of various fields of study, they rarely spent time connecting varying perspectives of disease. Through USIE, Leane seeks to incorporate interdisciplinary studies by exploring a disease and its care and management. Read More

Cole OostCole Oost (Biology)
MIMG 88S: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: An Analysis of Amazing Animal Adaptations

While watching “Planet Earth”, Cole realized that many of the traits people think of as belonging to mythical or magical creatures, like breathing fire or changing shape, actually exists in real organisms. Unfortunately, many of these incredible species face extinctions as a result of our daily human activities. Read More

Eric PanEric Pan (Bioengineering)
Management 88S: Starting a Startup: Lessons from the Grapevine

Eric’s inspiration for his course stems from his own entrepreneurial experience and lessons learned from chasing big dreams. He drew inspiration from the humble stories of entrepreneurs turning their dreams into reality. Eric made sure to attend workshops, industry events, and he constantly asks for advice on how to find success. Read More

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