USC Women’s Conference: Thrive Together

Two-day virtual conference with free admission!

Join us for our first-ever virtual USC Women’s Conference on March 5-6! At a time when we could all use a healthy dose of inspiration and encouragement, this year’s conference provides the opportunity to learn new skills that empower you to realize your potential. Also, you’ll have the ability to connect and form lasting bonds with fellow Trojans worldwide, who can attend for the first time in conference history!

Our two-day program will feature several dynamic speakers, including USC President Carol L. Folt. In addition, we will focus on a wide range of timely and thought-provoking subjects, from the groundbreaking advances women have made in politics, medicine and business, to the importance of making a positive social impact. You’ll learn strategies for overcoming personal and professional obstacles, valuable tips for practicing wellness and reducing stress and much more.

Sign up today and join us to “Thrive Together” on March 5-6!

The virtual conference is complimentary; we encourage participants to consider a gift in support of  USC scholarships.


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2021 Women's Conference: Thrive Together

About USC Women’s Conference

The USC Women’s Conference is held in March during International Women’s Month and brings together women of all ages and backgrounds—alumnae, parents, students and friends—for two days of programs and activities designed to inspire and empower them to create positive change in their personal lives, their communities and the world.

12th Annual USC Women’s Conference Committee

Cari Berg ’89
Terri Chan ’95 , MS ’00, MBA ’08

Committee Members
Gloria Burgess PhD ’80, MBA ’08
Karen Carr-Crawford MPA ’83
Sriratna Josyula MS ’10
Michele Kahrs ’06
Chanyn Kirtman
Monique Richards Lipman
Rebecca Meza MCG ’16
Brenna Clairr O’Tierney MA ’13
Jameelah Nuriddin ’06
Jeannie Trautman Ruckelshaus ’90
Natalia Saucedo ’19
Maithreyi Shankar ’13
Evelyn De la Vega Stewart MS ’06
Sumy Thomas
Cassandra Villa MAT ’09
Melody (Miao) Zhang MBA ’20

View photos from the 2019 conference on our Flickr page!


2021 Conference Schedule*

Friday, March 5, 2021

Mainstage Program – Morning Session

8:00 – 8:45 a.m.
Registration and event platform opens

8:50 – 9:00 a.m.
Welcome and Introduction of Keynote

  • Cari Berg ’89, Annenberg, Co-Chair
  • Terri Chan ’95, MS ’00, MBA ’08, Viterbi & Marshall, Co-Chair

9:00 – 9:30 a.m.
Keynote with President Carol L. Folt

9:30 – 9:35 a.m.

9:35 – 9:45 a.m.

9:45 – 10:00 a.m.
Be the CEO of your career – TED-Style Talk

  • Asia Briviesca-Hedin

10:00 – 10:55 a.m.
Breaking Barriers and Changing the Status Quo – Panel Discussion

  • Stayce Harris ’81, Viterbi
  • Denise Eger ’82, Dornsife
  • Carol Geffner MPA ’78, Price

10:50 – 10:55 a.m.
Morning Session Closing Remarks

Healthy Living, Social Impact, Networking, Thrive Career Lounge

11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
School programs

Mainstage Program – Afternoon Session

2:00 – 2:05 p.m.

2:05 – 2:10 p.m.
Afternoon Welcome

2:10 – 2:45 p.m.
Don’t Wait for a Seat at the Table, Build Your Own – Panel Discussion

  • Vanessa Dew MBA ’13, Marshall

2:45 – 3:00 p.m.

3:00 – 3:15 p.m.
Make Moves Not Excuses – TED-Style Talk

  • Nicole Davis ’04, Dornsife

3:15 – 3:30 p.m.
Keynote – Transformational Leadership During a Global Crisis

  • Felicia Washington, Senior Vice President for Human Resources, University of Southern California 

3:30 – 3:35 p.m.
Afternoon Closing Remarks

Healthy Living, Social Impact, Networking, Thrive Career Lounge

3:45 – 5:00 p.m.
School Programs

5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
School Receptions

6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Cardinal Table Talk

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Healthy Living, Social Impact, Networking, Thrive Career Lounge

8:00 – 9:00 a.m.
School programs

Mainstage Program – Morning Session

9:00 – 9:05 a.m.
Welcome and Introductions

9:05 – 9:55 a.m.
From Women’s Sufferage to the White House: A 101-year journey – Panel Discussion

  • Jill Darling, Dornsife, Survey Director, Understanding America Study, USC Dornsife Center for Economic and Social Research
  • Christina Bellatoni, Annenberg, Professor of Professional Practice; Director USC Annenberg Media Center

9:55 – 10:05 a.m.

10:20 – 11:00 a.m.
Together We Are More: A Conversation on Allyship – Panel Discussion

  • John Iino JD ’87, Gould

11:00 – 11:05 a.m.

11:05 – 11:10 a.m.
Closing Remarks

Healthy Living, Social Impact, Networking, Thrive Career Lounge

11:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
School programs

3:00 p.m.
Conference Concludes

* Schedule is tentative. Updates to the conference schedule will be announced in early February. Sessions may include the following topics: professional development, politics, mental health & wellness, social impact, women and technology, sustainability, and diversity, equity and inclusion.


Exhibitor Opportunities

The USC Women’s Conference provides excellent visibility with one of the university’s most successful, affluent and devoted constituencies. This year, we invite businesses and organizations that cater to women to partner with us as a conference exhibitor in our virtual marketplace. By partnering with the USC Alumni Association on the 2021 conference, you can take advantage of this valuable opportunity to market your company name and brand to more than 183,000 women—alumnae, parents, students and friends of USC—through our virtual marketplace and social media, as well as on the USC Alumni Association website.

Marketplace Exhibitor Booth: $250*

  • Virtual exhibitor’s booth in marketplace for duration of the conference
  • Company name, one-sentence company description and company website hyperlink on the conference’s “Sponsors & Exhibitors” page
  • Company name and hyperlink in the digital commemorative book for attendees
  • Acknowledgment/thank you to all exhibitors during conference programming
  • Co-branded social media kit

Thank you in advance for your consideration. If you would like to become an exhibitor, please click here.

Questions? Please email or call the USC Alumni Association at 213-740-2300.

* Refunds are not available after February 22, 2021.


Thank You to Our 2021 Sponsors!

Bank of America Liberty Mutual Mercer

road to successVeteran Women Perspectives on Navigating Power Structures
January 28 | 6:00 p.m. (PST)

Join the USC Alumni Veterans Network, in partnership with the USC Alumni Women’s Conference, for a discussion about the importance of finding and being an advocate while working your way up the ranks. Our moderators, Maj. Major Kristine Poblete EdD ’19 and Major Alyson Kil MPH ’10, MD ’14, will also share their stories about successfully navigating the power structures in the male-dominated U.S. military.




Global Voices for Women’s Equality
February 4 | 5:00 p.m. (PST)

Across the globe, women are breaking barriers to take on leadership roles. Join the Trojan Women’s Network for a virtual walk around the world to meet USC alumnae who are shattering the glass ceiling. Travel to Mexico to learn about the changing role of women in media. Visit Southeast Asia, where women are occupying the C-suites of some of the region’s largest firms. And head to Brazil, where women are making groundbreaking medical advancements.


Carol L. FoltCarol L. Folt
President, University of Southern California
Robert C. Packard President’s Chair

Dr. Carol L. Folt serves as the twelfth president of the University of Southern California. She 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, Dr. Folt 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.

Prior to her appointment at USC in July 2019, Dr. Folt led the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill—one of the nation’s most distinguished and research-intensive universities—from 2013 to 2019. At UNC, she set a bold course for the university’s future by spearheading a historic capital campaign, raising billions of dollars; building the school’s first-ever strategic plan in collaboration with every school and department; fighting to make college education accessible and affordable; and inspiring thousands of Tar Heels to embrace the arts and sustainability. Under her leadership, UNC was repeatedly named the No. 1 value in public higher education, surpassed $1 billion in annual research expenditures for the first time in school history (No. 5 in the nation overall), and set admissions records every year.

Prior to her tenure at UNC, Dr. Folt served in various leadership roles at Dartmouth College, including as interim president, provost, dean of faculty, and Dartmouth Professor of Biological Sciences.

An Akron, Ohio, native, Dr. Folt earned her bachelor’s degree in aquatic biology and a master’s degree in biology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She received her doctorate in ecology from the University of California, Davis, and did postdoctoral work at the W.K. Kellogg Biological Station of Michigan State University.

Dr. Folt is married to David Peart, an emeritus professor of biological sciences at Dartmouth. They have two adult children, Noah and Tessa.

Check back for more speaker bios soon!


Whether you are a first-time job seeker or a seasoned professional, we offer professional development services for everyone in our Thrive Career Lounge. Take a professional headshot using the virtual photo booth, receive resume and LinkedIn advice, and listen to programs about “Navigating Power Structures” and “Overcoming Imposter Syndrome.”

Updates to the conference schedule will be announced in early February.


Around the world, USC alumnae are making a positive difference in the lives of others and their communities.  Meet some of these Trojan trailblazers, who are breaking new ground in sustainability, STEM and more.

Updates to the conference schedule will be announced in early February.


Connect with former classmates in USC schools’ virtual receptions and come together in Cardinal Table Talk to discuss various topics in a safe space.

Updates to the conference schedule will be announced in early February.


Watch cooking demonstrations in our Trojan Kitchen, attend virtual workouts in Hecuba’s Fitness Center, and learn valuable tips for staying healthy, mentally and physically.

Updates to the conference schedule will be announced in early February.