EXL LAB: Transformation Series

USC’s Dornsife Office of Experiential & Applied Learning, The EXL LAB,  and USC’s Office of Religious & Spiritual Life present: 



A quality or experience that is truly transformative is no mere transactional exchange. It is an activating force that, when fully embodied, enables profound personal and communal growth. Each five-week program in this dynamic EXL Lab series at the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life “Fishbowl” will curate a distinctive itinerary of immersive experiences that empower students to explore, activate, and integrate one of the following transformative qualities:


It is one thing to contemplate the nature of these qualities; it is quite another to experience them as real forces impacting our lives. Together, we will test the transformative potential of these qualities by experiencing them as essential and powerful tools of personal and professional growth.

The experiences we share will range from stories, field trips and in-class activities, to interviews with authors, chefs, and community thought leaders, with making-focused readings, discussions, and assignments that all serve as material and inspiration for a final maker project.

When students can see for themselves how gratitude or compassion in motion and action transforms their lives and the lives of others, they access a deeper level of equilibrium with the quality and can commune with it as if it were a friend, family member, or trusted guide. You will come away from each program with a stronger grasp of who you are and enter the world with a tangible, confident sense of your agency, values, and belonging.

THE EXL LAB Based in the Dornsife Office of Experiential and Applied Learning under Associate Dean Tammara Anderson, the EXL Lab creates experience and maker-based programs and events for undergraduates and faculty in association with USC Departments, Offices and secondary schools associated with the University. Our programs enrich and deepen your academic experience and enhance your résumé and e-portfolio.




(Beginning October 4th)

“Everybody has a gift. Have you discovered yours?”


Gratitude is a powerful, motivating force for personal purpose and lifetime fulfillment. It is by its nature inclusive; Gratitude never divides or separates; it includes, supports, and unites. It is the reason why we seek to be good, why we seek to use our gifts to create a fulfilling life, and why we choose to share those gifts with others so they may do the same.

Join us for an immersive, experiential, five-week journey exploring Gratitude in motion and action. Through select readings, conversations with authors, chefs, and teachers, journaling, and shared experience, we will activate the immense power of Gratitude in your personal and professional life.

Our shared experience culminates in you creating a project that speaks to the power of Gratitude in your life as a force for inspiration, transformation, and community. We invite you to discover this transformative quality with us and share your gift with the world. We know you will be surprised by what you discover on the journey.

Classes will be held at the University Religious Center Fishbowl every Tuesday and Thursday, beginning October 4 and ending November 15. Tuesday classes are from 5:00-6:30pm PST and Thursday classes are from 5:00-7:00pm PST.

Please contact Dr. Shaub for more information.

Kiel Shaub is the Academic Curator (AC) for EXL Lab, a new experience-based program initiative at the USC Dornsife Office of Experiential and Applied Learning under Associate Dean Tammara Anderson. As AC, Kiel develops, designs, and teaches dynamic experiential and maker-focused programs and events with USC faculty and the Lab’s non-academic partners.

This summer, the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life invited Kiel to teach the Lab’s new Transformation series. Each course in the series presents a distinctive itinerary of immersive experiences that empower students to explore, activate, and integrate one of seven transformative quality that will profoundly impact their personal, academic, and post-graduate lives: Gratitude, Tolerance, Humility, Empathy, Compassion, Joy, and Love.

For the Fall 2022 Semester, Kiel will offer the first course in the series—Discover Your Gift: The Transformative Power of Gratitude in Action.

Previously, Kiel taught as a lecturer in the English Department at UCLA, where he received his Ph.D. In the English Department, Kiel enjoyed teaching introductory courses on critical thinking, reading, and writing, as well as advanced courses on the literature of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. While at UCLA, Kiel also co-taught “The History of Modern Thought,” part of the College’s innovative Freshman Cluster series.