USC Alumni Leadership Conference
Rising to the Challenge

September 11, 2020

On September 11, more than 300 USC volunteer leaders from around the world participated in the first-ever virtual USC Alumni Leadership Conference which included presentations from the university’s senior leadership, as well as a virtual celebration to commend this year’s honorees of the Volunteer Recognition Awards.

Thank you for spending the day with us. Below are tools and resources that will help you navigate life as a volunteer. Don’t forget to continue the conversation and share such resources with fellow attendees in Communities. See you there.

USC Alumni Association at a Glance 2020-2021

Get the latest stats and program updates on the alumni in our global Trojan Family.

USC Office of Athletic Compliance – Playing by the Rules

Volunteer leaders and ambassadors must always strive to maintain the integrity of our great Athletics tradition. Bookmark the digital Athletic Compliance guidelines “Playing by the Rules” and use it as a point of reference for any and all compliance questions.

ALC Zoom Backgrounds

Show your Trojan spirit with one of these Trojan-themed conference backgrounds during the ALC networking sessions and Volunteer Recognition Awards.

Click here to get your special 20% off promo code for your next online purchase at the USC Bookstore! Valid between Sept 11-13th.

Inspiration from Around the Trojan Family

Trojans are making a difference on campus, in the community, and around the world. During the conference breaks or whenever you need a little inspired pick-me-up, enjoy watching, liking, and sharing these videos covering some of USC’s exciting programs and most groundbreaking work.


A Place Like No Other: The University of Southern California

First-Generation College Students at USC


Conquest for the Class of 2020


Fight On


Street Medicine Team Helps the Unhoused

Images of Resilience: Keck Medicine Staffers Share Their Selfies


We are USC


USC Business of Cinematic Arts

USC Cinema 90th Anniversary

USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance: The New Movement

USC Mobile Dental Clinic

USC Rossier Impact in L.A.

Technology Changes Lives at USC for Veterans and Military Programs

The Robotics and Coding Academy – USC Viterbi School of Engineering

Research for Alzheimer’s Patients Changes Lives at USC

Every year, the USC Alumni Leadership Conference brings together volunteer leaders from across the university and around the world — including representatives from the USC Alumni Association Board of Governors, the Council for Opportunity and Regional Engagement, USC School and Athletics boards, multi-cultural alumni associations, industry and affinity networks, alumni groups and regional programs — to hear briefings by senior university officials, meet and network with fellow Trojan leaders, and learn and share best practices. 

Greetings, USC Alumni and Volunteer Leaders!

Welcome to USC’s 19th annual Alumni Leadership Conference: “Rising to the Challenge.” A foundational component of USC’s alumni relations program, the conference brings together alumni and volunteer leaders from around the world to hear briefings by senior university officials; meet and network with fellow Trojan leaders; and learn and share best practices. This year, in strict observance of public health and safety guidelines, we’re convening online, of course, via Zoom.

The pandemic has been a challenge for all of us this year. In addition, the launch of our new approach to engaging USC’s regional communities has been a source of some concern and confusion. As we continue the work of increasing engagement and restoring trust among all members of the Trojan Family, your leadership is more important than ever. We hope that you will make the most of this year’s conference by sharing your thoughts and inspiring one another to work together as we move the university forward.

Our planning committee has put a lot of time, energy and thought into the program for this year’s conference, and we hope you’ll find it stimulating and productive. We thank you for being here with us, and for your unwavering commitment to USC and the Trojan Family.

John Iino JD ’87
2020-22 President, USC Alumni Association Board of Governors

Patrick E. Auerbach EdD ’08
Associate Senior Vice President for Alumni Relations

Friday, September 11, 2020

9:00 – 10:30 a.m. Morning Sessions

9:00 – 9:10 a.m.
Conference Welcome Featuring John Iino JD ’87 and Patrick E. Auerbach EdD ’08

9:10 – 10:00 a.m.
University Remarks by USC President Carol L. Folt
Hear from the 12th president of the University of Southern California about how she is leading the Trojan Family through these unprecedented times.

10:00 – 10:30 a.m.
USC Athletic Compliance Reminder
Scott Simon ’07, MEd ’13, associate vice president for athletic compliance, reminds us of our collective responsibility to ensure that every member of the Trojan Family plays by NCAA rules.

10:30 – 10:40 a.m.
Break and transition to Networking Breakouts

10:40 – 11:30 a.m. Networking Session

10:40 – 11:30 a.m.
Networking Breakouts
Meet and network with fellow volunteer leaders from around the world in Zoom breakout rooms to discuss the roles of mentors, ambassadors, and volunteers.

11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Take a digital break; be sure to breathe, stretch, hydrate and grab a bite.

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Volunteer Recognition Awards

12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Volunteer Recognition Awards
Join the USC Alumni Association, fellow Trojans and friends as we proudly recognize the outstanding contributions of volunteers and staff who have devoted their time, energy and passion in service to the university.

1:00 – 1:15 p.m.
Rest your eyes, breathe and stretch your neck and back.

1:15 – 3:30 p.m. Afternoon Sessions

1:15 – 2:15 p.m.
USC’s Academic Leaders Rising to the Challenge
USC Provost Charles Zukoski moderates a lively discussion with three of USC’s newest deans: Geoffrey Garrett (USC Marshall), Sarah Gehlert (USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck) and Pedro Noguera (USC Rossier).

2:15 – 2:25 p.m.
Walk around your home or office while singing the Fight Song. Be sure to hydrate.

2:25 – 3:05 p.m.
Diversity and Leadership: Developing Your Leadership Pipeline
Renata Simril MRED ’99, president and CEO of the LA84 Foundation, shares strategies and insights related to developing a diverse leadership pipeline for the health and longevity of your organization. Kimberly Freeman MPP ’97, USC Dornsife associate dean for diversity and inclusion and chief diversity officer, moderates the discussion.

3:05 – 3:25 p.m.
USC Athletics Update
Athletic Director Mike Bohn updates us on USC Athletics and how USC is supporting its student-athletes through the pandemic.

3:25 – 3:30 p.m.
Conference Wrap Up with John Iino and Patrick E. Auerbach

3:30 – 4:00 p.m. Post-Conference Networking Sessions

Degreed Alumni: Sign in to FightOnline and join the ALC Communities Group


Dr. Carol L. Folt
University of Southern California

Dr. Carol L. Folt is a highly experienced leader, internationally recognized life scientist and award-winning teacher. In leading USC, Dr. Folt brings broad executive and leadership experience across the academy, including arts and sciences, professional schools and academic medicine. Throughout her career, she has earned a reputation for always placing students at the center, advancing academic excellence and innovation, setting ambitious goals, prioritizing shared governance and focusing on the future.

John Iino

John Iino JD ’87
USC Alumni Association Board of Governors

John Iino has served on the USC Alumni Association Board of Governors for eight years. In addition, he has served as the chair of the USC Gould School of Law’s Board of Councilors for the past two years.  A former member of the USC Asian Pacific Alumni Association Board of Directors, he currently serves as pro bono counsel to Ednovate, the charter management organization overseeing five charter high schools, including USC Hybrid High.

Patrick Auerbach

Patrick E. Auerbach EdD ’08
Associate Senior Vice President for Alumni Relations
University of Southern California

Patrick Auerbach manages all operations of the USC Alumni Association and serves as the university’s primary representative to its alumni. He advances USC’s mission by developing and implementing programs, events and services to engage the Trojan Family’s diverse alumni constituency of more than 430,000, and also works closely with the USC Alumni Association Board of Governors. As a senior leader in University Advancement, Auerbach also supervises the USC Associates, the university’s 2,500-member premier academic support group.

Scott Simon

Scott Simon ’07 MEd ’13
Associate Vice President,
Office of Athletic Compliance

Scott Simon oversees the Office of USC Athletic Compliance, which ensures USC’s compliance with NCAA and Pac-12 rules. He has created cutting-edge policies to address trending NCAA and Pac-12 membership issues; helped coaches, administrators, student-athletes, parents and boosters interpret NCAA and Pac-12 regulations; and conducted rules-education programs forathletes, staff and university liaison groups. In addition, he supervises investigations of potential NCAA and Pac-12 violations and oversees all waiver petitions.

USC Provost Chip Zukoski poses for a portrait Thursday, Oct 3, 2019. (USC Photo/Gus Ruelas)

Charles F. Zukoski
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
University of Southern California

Charles F. Zukoski joined USC from the University of Buffalo last fall. As the university’s second-ranking administrator, he oversees the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, the Keck School of Medicine of USC and 21 other professional schools and academic units, as well as USC’s museums and the divisions of student affairs, libraries, research, student religious life and enrollment services. Zukoski also holds the Shelly and Ofer Nemirovsky Provost’s Chair.

Geoff Garrett 3

Geoff Garrett
Dean, USC Marshall School of Business

Geoffrey Garrett joined the USC Marshall School in July, after serving as the dean of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School for six years. He previously taught international relations, business administration, communications and law at USC from 2005 to 2008. In addition to serving as the USC Marshall dean, Garrett holds the Robert R. Dockson Dean’s Chair in Business Administration, and is a professor of management and organization.

Sara Gehlert

Sarah Gehlert
Dean, USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work

Sarah Gehlert joined USC in April. She previously served as dean of the College of Social Work at the University of South Carolina. Gehlert is known for her work on the connections between social and environmental factors and health, with a focus on vulnerable populations. Gehlert is currently president of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare. She is also co-author of the Handbook of Health Social Work, now in its third edition.

Pedro Noguero

Pedro Noguera
Dean, USC Rossier School of Education

Pedro Noguera joined USC in July from UCLA. He had previously served as a tenured professor at New York University, Harvard University and the University of California, Berkeley. A sociologist, Noguera focuses on the ways in which schools are influenced by social and economic conditions, as well as by demographic trends in local, regional and global contexts. At USC Rossier, he holds the Emery Stoops and Joyce King Stoops Dean’s Chair in Educatio

Renata Simril

Renata Simril MRED ’99
President and CEO, LA84 Foundation

Renata Simril is an accomplished civic and private sector trailblazer with more than 20 years of diversified experience. Committed to leadership and service, she currently serves as the president and CEO of the LA84 Foundation, a nonprofit supporting youth sports programs and public education in Southern California. Simril previously served as the senior vice president and chief of staff for the publisher of the Los Angeles Times.

Kimberly Freeman

Kimberly Freeman MPP ’97
Associate Dean, Chief Diversity Office
USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences

Kimberly Freeman manages USC Dornsife’s office for diversity and strategic initiatives. Her vision is to achieve representational diversity and create an inclusive culture for faculty, students and staff by leveraging social connectedness and the wisdom of multiple perspectives. She is working with faculty, staff and students to complete the development and implementation of a college-wide diversity strategic plan. Freeman joined USC from the UCLA Anderson School of Management in 2018.

Mike Bohn

Mike Bohn
Director of Athletics

Mike Bohn joined USC last November from the University of Cincinnati. He provides strategic and administrative oversight of the USC athletics department, including the university’s 21 women’s and men’s varsity teams, and holds the Charles Griffin Cale Director of Athletics’ Chair. Bohn has more than 35 years of experience in collegiate athletics administration and an established record of integrity and strength in critical areas including compliance, recruiting and athletic excellence.

The USC Alumni Association gratefully acknowledges the dedication and hard work of the members of our 2020 USC Alumni Leadership Conference Planning Committee.


John Iino JD ’87
2020-2022 President, USC Alumni Association Board of Governors

Patrick E. Auerbach EdD ’08
Associate Senior Vice President for Alumni Relations

Committee Members

Martin Arreola ’18
Alumni Veterans Network

Ismael Bautista ’03
Latino Alumni Association

Peter Brejcha JD ’09
Alumni Association Board of Governors

Edmundo Diaz MPA ’19
Price School of Public Policy

Renee Dominguez MS ’16
Alumni of San Diego

Justin Lacey ’11
Black Alumni Association

Dominique Langerman MPA ’18
Alumni of Los Angeles

Maddie McKinley ’13
Young Alumni Council

Frank Rexach ’81
Asian Pacific Alumni Association

Clint Sallee ’94
Alumni Association Board of Governors

Josue Sandigo MCG ’16
Alumni Entrepreneurs Network

Tiffany Tay
Viterbi School of Engineering

Trish Vick ’67
Half Century Trojans

Chelsea Watkins ’93, MFA 2004
USC Second Decade Society

Nadine Watt MA ’94
Alumni Association Board of Governors

Meredith Weiss ’08
Alumnae Coordinating Council

USC Alumni Association Staff

Lara Alexander Abell
Signature Events

Ashley Bonanno-Curley MPA ’17
Affinity Programs

Blaire Chapman
Alumni Relations

Melissa Chapman

Christina Denning ’13
Regional & Engagement Programs

Danielle E. Harvey ’00, ML ’19
Alumni Relations

Madeline Lindsay ’13, MS ’19
Marketing & Member Services

Dominique Mendoza
Student Outreach

2019 USC Alumni Leadership Conference
2019 Alumni Leadership Conference

If you are looking for information about the Volunteer Recognition Awards, click here.