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News-Roundup: The Next MacGyver

Viterbi's "Next MacGyver" has been featured in many news outlets
By: Rashid Binnur
October 01, 2015 —


The USC Viterbi School of Engineering, along with The National Academy of Engineering and The MacGyver Foundation, organized “The Next MacGyver,” a competition seeking to help find a script for a TV show with a lead female engineering role. The following articles appeared around the competition and live pitch session which was held at the Paley Center for Media on July 28th.





Fox News covered the "Next MacGyver" competition, a contest organized by the USC Viterbi School and others to create new T.V. ideas featuring a strong female engineer. 




The Washington Post highlighted the "Next MacGyver" competition as one of the methods by which institutions such as USC are encouraging women to enter tech fieds. The goal of the program was developing "the first great television show with a female engineer lead and is based off the notion that media shapes perceptions of science and technology for women," the story noted.



Fast Company covered the winners of the "Next MacGyver" competition. The hope is that these shows could influence more girls to join STEM-related fields. "Consider what The West Wing has done for public policy, what CSI has done for forensics science—we have a good sense of the power of this medium to influence human behavior," said USC Viterbi School Dean Yannis C. Yortsos.


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Los Angeles Times featured Vice Dean Maja Mataricl as one of 10 up-and-coming L.A. innovators to watch. Her work as co-director of the USC Robotics Research Lab and the development of "socially assistive robotics" could help autistic children to learn social skills and remind stroke patients to exercise. The story noted she was a judge in the "Next MacGyver" contest calling for T.V. show proposals starring female engineer characters.


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Los Angeles Times featured winners for "The Next MacGyver.' Finalist Beth Keser said that the only way women in tech will feel that they can be promoted is that people "look at their internal bias." She believes that "media and entertainment can have a big impact."



The Chronicle of Higher Education  interviewed Dean Yortsos about the competition. "The goal is to inspire and change the culture," said Dean Yortsos. The show will encourage girls to seek out STEM fields.



CBS Los Angeles covered the competition and the collaboration between Hollywood and engineers.




The Institure IEEE featured the winners of "The Next Macgyver."




KPCC covered "The Next MacGyver." The story cited USC alumna Wanda Austin explaining the importance of having positive role models. 




MyInforms highlighted producer Miranda Sajdak, a finalist for the competition about her story concept and why she entered "The Next MacGyver"  competition. 


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 MyNorthwest featured Nao Murakami, a finalist for the competition who is a Ph.D. at the University of Washington.


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Popular Science covered "The Next MacGyver," and how the competition along with campaigns like #Ilooklikeanengineer challenged stereotypical assumptions of what an engineer or scientist looks like.




BBC covered "The Next MacGyver," mentioning that the competition celebrated the ingenuity female engineers. 


Scentific American includes a post by The Next MacGyver," competition winner Jayde Lovell. She wrote "'The Next MacGyver' competition is one of only a few intitiatives directly aimed at influencing what we see on TV for the betterment of scientific understanding."


Arcadia Weekly covered "The Next MacGyver" competition, a contest organized by the USC Viterbi School, the NAE and The MacGyver Foundation to encourage women to pursue engineering degrees.                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Bustle featured the "The Next MacGyver" and the possible Hollywood actresses with STEM backgrounds who might play leading STEM-focused characters.                                          




Altwire reprinted a Scientific American column about the "Next MacGyver" competition.


 Locker Dome also posted the Scientific American column




Science Magazine covered the "Next MacGyver" competition finalists and their concepts for a new TV show featuring a female engineer.


Women Engineer Magazine wrote about "The Next MacGyver" finals and quoted Dean Yannis C. Yortsos as saying "We hope 'The Next MacGyver' will help change the conversation about engineering, break down stereotypes and attract young women of all backgrounds to engineering and science."                                                                                            

San Diego Business Journal covered the "Next MacGyver" competition, and finalist Beth K.