Aligning for Black Excellence in Higher Education Summit (ABEHE)

Saturday, March 26, 2022 


Aligning for Black Excellence in Higher Education (ABEHE)

A highly regarded networking and informational conference, ABEHE features a wide range of distinguished presenters, including USC faculty and alumni, as well as community partners and special guests. Usually held in Marina del Rey, this conference provides an excellent opportunity for students and alumni to build relationships and strengthen professional networks. ABEHE is a ticketed event (complimentary admission for students).

Date: Saturday, March 26, 2022

Time: 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Location: Marriott, Marina Del Rey ( 4100 Admiralty Way, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292)


$40 General Admission| $25 Young Alumni (35 and under)

Complimentary Admission Current Students

All ticket purchases include admission to event, continental breakfast, lunch and a $5 gift in support of USC Black Alumni Association programs and services.

8:00am Check-in: 

  • Marriott MDR, lobby check-in table  
  • Continental Breakfast, Sierra/Inner Foyer  

8:30am Welcome to the Aligning for Black Excellence in Higher Education Summit 

  • Danielle Harvey ‘00, ML’19, Assistant Vice President of Alumni Relation & Interim Executive Director USC Black Alumni Association 

8:40am Feature Speaker

9:40am Session I 

Workshop I:  LinkedIn 101  

  • Ryan Zervakos ‘95, Account Director, LinkedIn Talent Solutions

Workshop II: Branding and why it Matters 

  • Randa Hinton ‘20, Brand Strategist 

10:50am Session II

Workshop I:  LinkedIn 101  

  • Ryan Zervakos ‘95, Account Director, LinkedIn Talent Solutions

Financial Literacy: Setting Financial Goals along with Budgeting & Saving 

  • Raphael Henderson ‘82, Regional Banking Senior Manager 

11:50am Lunch  

12:30pm Panel 

Success in a Digital World – Panel Discussion and Moderated Q&A, Bayview Room 

  • Ayanna E. Davis ‘83, Ed.D ‘17, Principal, Los Angeles Unified School District 
  • Mark A. Pearson ‘00, MPA ‘07, Ed.D ‘12, Faculty Manager Director 
  • Shaun-Teka Joynew-Bossett ‘07, Senior Instructional Designer, Education Consultants 
  • Stephen Baker ‘83, Manager Product Management & Development 
  • Tyra Hughley, Esq. ‘08, Principal Attorney & Founder, Hughley Smith Law, PC 

1:30pm  Closing Remarks 

  • Danielle Harvey ‘00, ML’19, Assistant Vice President of Alumni Relation & Interim Executive Director USC Black Alumni Association 

2:00pm Networking Session 

  • Resume Review 
  • Linkedin Review 
  • Mock Interviews 
  • Headshots 

Ayanna E. Davis ’83, Ed.D ’17

A Los Angeles Unified School District Principal, is a dynamic and innovative leader whose early childhood education expertise has provided services for over thousands of children and families throughout her 22 years as an administrator and 27 years in the field of education. Ayanna began her career with the Los Angeles Unified School District as an elementary school teacher and became inspired to focus on early childhood development and education. During her earlier years as a early childhood educator, she developed a passion for observing socialization and emotional development skills as it relates to school readiness for preschool students, specifically, those children who are living in low socio-economic environments.


Mark A. Pearson ’00, MPA ’07, Ed.D ’12

Dr. Mark Pearson has worked in education and government safety net programs, for nearly two decades. He has also been involved in leading Higher Education Enrollment Solutions, Big Data Analytics, Community College Contact Centers, Health Insurance Exchange, Medicare, Medicaid and a variety of other education and government programs. Currently, Dr. Pearson serves as part-time faculty at Rossier School of Education and teaches in both Online and On-The-Ground Ed.D programs. Dr. Pearson received a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations, Master of Public Administration and a Doctor of Education, all from the University of Southern California.

Trya Hughley Smith, Esq. ’08

Tyra Highley Smith is the founder and principal attorney of Hughley Smith Law, PC, a boutique law firm focusing on intellectual property (specifically copyrights and trademarks) and business strategy and protection for business owners and creatives. Tyra holds a dual degree from the University of Southern California, where she obtained her Juris Doctorate from the Gould School of Law simultaneously with a Masters of Communication Management (M.C.M.) from the Annenberg School.



Stephen C. Baker ’83

A Product Manager and Technology Consultant with over 30 years of transforming requirements into solutions in both vertical and geographic clients with a global footprint. Stephen graduated from the University of Southern California with a bachelor’s of Science degree in Computer Science. Stephen has made mentoring part of his everyday life for over 30 years.  He was instrumental in multiple youth conferences at USC, and put together several tutoring programs for students looking to achieve academically. He lives by the code of “Do what you have to do, so you can do what you want to do”.




Shaun-Teka Joyner Bossett ’07

Has spent 15 years of her professional career assisting students to get into and pay for college, both as a nonprofit executive and education consultant. After devoting much of her life to college access, she transitioned to Instructional Design during the 2020 pandemic. As an ID, she consults with subject matter experts to develop high-quality online courses. She assists companies, colleges, school districts, nonprofit organizations, and their boards, increasing the effectiveness of their corporate training. Shaun-Teka is a graduate of the University of Southern California (USC) with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master’s in Public Administration (MPA). In addition to her professional experiences, Shaun-Teka is the author of “Where is Your Sock?” which is a fun and interactive children’s book.







Randa Hinton ’20 

Branding and why it Matters 

Randa Hinton is an LA-based brand strategist. She helps people and organizations develop and improve their brand stories with consistent and effective messaging. She works with her clients to help them understand the intersection of communication and technology through the analysis and creation of engaging digital content. Randa has a master’s degree in Communication with an emphasis in Organizational & Strategic Corporate Communications and Marketing from USC and a bachelor’s degree in Journalism, Integrated Media and Public Relations from Biola University. Randa is also the co-creator and co-host of Opportunity Unknown, a podcast dedicated to providing practical tips for job seekers. 

Raphael Henderson ’82

Financial Literacy: Setting Financial Goals along with Budgeting & Saving

The Vice President and Foothill Corridor Regional Banking District Manager for Wells Fargo. With more than 20 year of banking experience, Henderson assumed his current role in February 2013. A sought-after public speaker throughout Greater Los Angeles, Henderson has proven himself to be a qualified expert in advising public and private sectors on how to build and sustain mutually beneficial long-term partnerships that focus on improving the quality of life for residents and communities at- large.


Ryan Zervakos ’95

LinkedIn 101

A Southern California native and attended the University of Southern California with a Navy scholarship as part of the NROTC program. After graduating with a Business degree, he was commissioned in the US Navy’s flight program. Ryan settled back in Southern California in 2009 working in the e-learning industry. LinkedIn came along 6 years ago and fit perfectly with his passion for learning and giving him the ability to live out the LinkedIn ethos; dream big, have fun and get stuff done! Now working specifically with Colleges and Universities it is his mission to make sure every student knows how and why to use LinkedIn to create their own personal professional brand.

All attendees over the age of 12 are required to either be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or to have had a negative PCR COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the start of the event. Attendees must show their ID, proof of vaccination (vaccine card, digital photo of card or medical records) or a negative PCR COVID-19 test to gain campus access. Note: “Rapid” test and at home kit test results will not be accepted.

All attendees, vaccinated or unvaccinated, are required to wear a surgical mask, N95 or KN95 (cloth face masks or other non-surgical grade masks are not permitted) at all times indoors when individuals are not actively consuming food or beverage. Unvaccinated individuals must maintain a 6′ physical distance from those outside their household while consuming food or beverage. Anyone refusing to comply with mask requirements is subject to removal from the event.

In addition, you and your guests will be required to adhere to all local and USC public health guidelines including completing Trojan Check the day of the event prior to your arrival to access campus.

Protocols are subject to change based on updated health guidelines leading up to the date of the event.

Check out previous ABEHE Summit photos by clicking the year below: