Michèle G. Turner ’81, EdD ’14
Michèle G. Turner is an executive, entrepreneur, educator, and community leader, committed to advancing policies and practices that promote higher education access, equity and inclusion. In 2007, she became the executive director of the USC Black Alumni Association (BAA). Due to her vision and leadership, the BAA has achieved national prominence for engaging supporters through mentoring, major events such as the BAA’s annual Summit, and increased philanthropy. During her tenure, the BAA has awarded over $6 million in scholarships, and increased its scholarship endowment from $256,000 to over $5 million in cash and pledges. Since 2008, 100% of “BAA Scholars” have graduated—a rate unmatched in higher education for Black students.
Dr. Turner is also general manager of Metropolitan Radiology, Inc., which has been providing services for outpatient imaging centers and hospitals throughout the Southern California area since 1996. Prior to starting her own firm, she was a senior management consultant for the IBM Consulting Group, specializing in mass customization, business-process re-engineering and supply-chain management.
Active in the Los Angeles community, Dr. Turner serves on the boards of several nonprofits and frequently appears as a speaker at academic, community and corporate conferences on entrepreneurship, diversity policy leadership and tech innovation and disruption. She is an advisor to Silicon Beach think-tanks that focus upon increasing minority participation and start-ups. In recognition of her dedicated and long-standing community and institutional leadership, Turner has received numerous civic awards from the U.S. Congressional Office (CA), the County of Los Angeles, the California Regional Black Chamber of Commerce and others.
A double USC alumna, Dr. Turner received her undergraduate and doctoral degrees from the USC Marshall School of Business and the USC Rossier School of Education, respectively. She earned an executive MBA from UCLA, and has completed professional management courses at Harvard Business School, and the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. Her recent book is Affirmed: Life Lessons in Racial Healing and Transformation (2018), an introspective collection of narratives based upon her experiences as a biracial protagonist in American Society.
Tensie Taylor ME ’14
Tensie Taylor serves as the assistant director of the USC Black Alumni Association. In this position, she plans, coordinates and oversees programming and events, and also assists with the BAA alumni mentoring program.
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
Gary D. Brown serves as the manager of the USC Black Alumni Association. In this position, he oversees the BAA Scholar Program and events, and also handles administrative duties.
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.
Currently the owner of a dance studio, Brown formerly managed his own recording studio. His expertise in event management has helped him produce a number of successful events in venues of all sizes, ranging from nightclubs to concert halls. In his spare time, Brown enjoys movies, gaming, electronics and shopping.