Staff

 

Michèle G. Turner ’81, EdD ’14
Executive Director

Dr. Turner is an accomplished higher education administrator with extensive entrepreneurial, corporate executive and academic experience.  She remains deeply committed to involvement that advances policies and practices which improve access, equity and inclusion, with an emphasis upon eliminating social and institutional racism.

 

Professional Background

As Executive Director of the USC Black Alumni Association since 2007, Dr. Turner develops alumni engagement and donor strategies that have resulted in more than $10 million in scholarship awards and donor investments.

Additionally, as an entrepreneur for over 25 years, she is General Manager of a privately held corporation which provides radiologist consulting services for diagnostic imaging centers and hospitals.  She is a corporate veteran, formerly employed at IBM Corporation as a marketing executive and senior management consultant in the practice areas of mass customization, business process re-engineering and supply chain management.

Dr. Turner completed a Doctorate in Global Education Policy from the USC Rossier School of Education, to include international studies (US, China, Qatar, UAE). She  earned an Executive MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management, and a BS degree from the USC Marshall School of Business. She is a noted keynote speaker, case competition judge and featured panelist in educational and corporate conferences on entrepreneurship, leadership, diversity policy and practices, and tech innovation.  Dr. Turner’s recent book is titled, AFFIRMED:Life Lessons in Racial Healing and Transformation (2019).

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Tensie Taylor ME ’14
Associate Director

Tensie Taylor serves as the Associate Director of the USC Black Alumni Association. In this position, she manages the BAA’s Legacy Through Leadership alumni mentoring program, plans, coordinates and oversees programming and events, and also oversees social media for the BAA to include the BAA’s Young Professionals group.

A North Carolina native, Taylor earned a BA in communication—media concentration—and a minor in psychology from North Carolina State University (NCSU) in 2009. She then went to work for the University of North Carolina (UNC) General Administration, where she assisted then UNC President Erskine Bowles and served on committees to increase student retention and graduation rates.

In 2011, Taylor returned to NCSU to work as a diversity program coordinator for her alma mater’s Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity. In this role, she created programs to educate faculty, staff, students and NCSU community members about diversity and relevant issues.

A USC Rossier School of Education alumna, Taylor earned a master of education in postsecondary administration and student affairs in 2014. While in school, she served as a USC Rossier graduate assistant, as well as a student ambassador for USC’s Center for Black Cultural and Student Affairs, and as a mentor for the Product of My Dream program.

In her free time, Taylor enjoys reading, singing, playing the piano and trumpet, volunteering and mentoring young people. Her favorite quote is by Mahatma Gandhi: “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

 

Gary D. Brown ’96
Assistant Director

Gary D. Brown serves as the Assistant Director of the USC Black Alumni Association. In this position, he oversees the BAA Scholars Program. He is the primary contact for the BAA Scholars and works with them to ensure their success in the program and throughout the academic year.  Brown is also involved in Event Planning for the BAA. He handles logistics for events such as Homecoming, The BAA Summit, and the Annual Scholarship Gala.

Growing up a short distance from the University Park Campus, Brown earned a degree in Business Administration, with an emphasis in Management and Organization, from the USC Marshall School of Business. Since graduating in 1996, he has put his training into practice while pursuing a multifaceted career encompassing education, nonprofits, and entertainment.

Brown began his career as an elementary school teacher in the Compton Unified School District, where he founded an after-school program and produced many community events. He subsequently entered the nonprofit field as a program director at an award-winning after-school program; during his tenure there, he developed many programs, running the gamut from sports to performing arts, that are still in place today. In addition, he directed dance teams that toured the country and won multiple awards, including two national titles.

His expertise in event management has helped Brown produce a number of successful events in venues of all sizes, ranging from nightclubs to concert halls. Brown formerly owned and managed his own recording studio and more recently a dance studio, where he worked with youth in the community exposing them to the arts. In his spare time, Brown enjoys learning about new technology advancements and is a home theater/ gaming enthusiast.