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The USC Sol Price School of Public Policy has seen an increase in its female student population. This year, the school has a total of 100 female students in both its graduate program and undergraduate program, which was launched nearly three years ago. With 350 students enrolled in both programs, female students now represent nearly 30% of the total population, making USC the largest educator of female real estate professionals in the country. The school recently hosted a Women in Real Estate luncheon to promote and encourage women to pursue leadership positions in real estate. The alumni panel included Clare De Briere, founder of C+C Ventures and chair of ULI Los Angeles; Lindsay Garcia, assistant VP at US Bank; Rose Olson, SVP of development at Related California; and Jessica Palmquist, senior acquisitions analyst at Clarion Partners. To find out more about the luncheon and the increase in the program’s gender diversity, we sat down with Sonia Savoulian, associate director for programs in real estate at the USC Price School, for an exclusive interview.

GlobeSt.com: Why do you think that the number of female students is increasing in the real estate program?

Sonia Savoulian: One of the reasons that I am thinking about is the way that undergraduates choose real estate as a field of interest. The traditional path has been majoring in business and along the way gravitating toward finance and then settling on real estate as the primary field of interest, because it is a tangible asset. There is a population of students that absolutely goes down that road. What we have done differently with our undergraduate program is that we have taken the essential elements of a traditional business real estate finance curriculum and married it with the essential elements of an urban planning degree. We start by thinking about creating places that positively impact people’s lives. We think that women are being attracted to our program because it is starting from improving communities and improving the quality of life, and wanting to do that through real estate.

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on GlobeSt.com and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.

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