2019 50 Under 50

baityDamein P. Baity

Damein P. Baity serves as the Chief Financial Officer of the Birmingham Public Library for the city of Birmingham, Ala. A proud graduate of Alabama State University, Baity owes a lot of his professional success to ASU, where he holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting from the College of Business Administration. Baity, who has more than 20 years of accounting experience, received the 2018 Transformer Award for his financial leadership with the Birmingham Public Library. 

One of Baity’s many community leadership roles includes being an active member of and a campus host for the Church of the Highlands Dream Team. Baity is a charter member of the ASU Jefferson/Shelby County Alumni Chapter, a member of the Board of Directors of the Alabama State University Foundation Inc. and a member of the Government Finance Officers Association. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Alabama Regional Medical Services Board and the Talladega College Real Estate SC Board.

barnettDr. Robert Barnett, M..D

Dr. Robert Barnett, M.D. practices Obstetrics and Gynecology in Yuma, Ariz. He is a fourth generation graduate of Alabama State (1993) where he received a bachelor’s degree in biology.  Barnett’s father, Arthur Barnett, is a 1963 graduate; his mother, Leah Barnett, is a 1965 graduate; and his brother, Dennis Barnett, is a 1992 graduate. Barnett received his medical degree from The University of South Alabama College of Medicine and completed his residency training at Yale-New Haven Health Systems in Connecticut.

Barnett is the past chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Yuma Regional Medical Center and he serves on the Medical Executive Committee, Policies Committee and Peer Review Committee. Barnett is a faculty preceptor for the University of Arizona College of Medicine and Yuma Regional Medical Center Family Medicine program. Barnett volunteers his time to organize annual medical mission trips to developing nations. He and his team perform gynecologic surgeries and lecture on current trends in obstetrics and gynecology.

bridgesMelvin “MJ” Bridges Jr.

Melvin “MJ” Bridges Jr. is a storyteller and personal finance life-coach. Through his brand, Young and Debt Free, Bridges enjoys sharing his story of how he eliminated $96,000 in five and a half years.  He conducts Young and Debt Free workshops to educate and inform college students and young professionals on how to eliminate debt through strategies of personal discipline, goal setting, budgeting and side hustling.

Bridges’ mission is to challenge a generation to eliminate all personal debt so that they may have more economic, physical, mental and creative power to live out their dreams.  He is a Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellow Scholar, former Teacher of The Year and member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. The Atlanta native has spoken on numerous podcasts, at colleges and at conferences on millennial and money. He is a graduate of Alabama State University and the University of Indianapolis where he earned a B.S in mathematics and M.A. in education, respectively.

brownRobert E. Brown

Robert E. Brown, a former standout student-athlete who was a member of ASU’s 1991 National Championship Football team, serves as COO/ Vice-President of Universal Sports & Entertainment Management LLC in Atlanta, Ga.  Brown is a certified NFLPA contract advisor who works closely with some of sports’ most notable figures. He deals extensively in the areas of contract negotiations, marketing and endorsements.

Brown understands the complex needs of professional athletes and strives to ensure that each client reaches their full potential on and off the field. Brown’s competitiveness and leadership ability enables him to continually secure solid contracts and endorsement opportunities. His strong work ethics and great attitude are reasons why he is highly respected. Under Brown’s guidance Universal Sports has experienced tremendous growth while guiding some of the country’s top sports figures and becoming a premier sports agency.

baldwinTerrence Baldwin Sr.

Terrence Baldwin Sr. is a musician, entrepreneur and educator. The Montgomery native, who has more than 30 years of experience in performing arts,  performed on some of the world’s biggest stages as a touring musician with American Idol winner Ruben Studdard. Baldwin is the owner of T Baldwin Music LLC, where he provides quality music entertainment through his flagship entity SOULED OUT band. He is the founder of MEOW (Music Education on Wheels) Academy, a nonprofit parallel at which he serves as Executive Director.

Baldwin is a member of Phi Mu Alpha Professional Music Fraternity Inc. and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. He is a member of the Class XXXI Leadership Montgomery and a recent graduate of The James W. Wright Leadership Development Institute. Baldwin graduated from Alabama State University with a Bachelor of Arts and Science degree in music education. Baldwin and his wife, Ronya, are the parents of Terron, Terrence Jr. and Rodney.

cabbleDr. Munich Cabble-Ware

Dr. Munich Cabble-Ware, a second-generation graduate of Alabama State University, is employed with the Alabama Department of Labor as the Assistant District Manager in Montgomery’s District Tax Office. Cabble-Ware also is an Associate Faculty member with Ashford University's Forbes School of Business and Technology with more than 20 course approvals in Human Resource Management and Organizational Leadership. She has a Certified Public Manager (CPM) designation.

Cabble-Ware is the founder of Sit with a SiStar LLC, an organization that focuses on maintaining and sustaining scholastic and professional mentorships. She owns and operates the self-love blog Straight Talk and the luxury eBay online store FabLux Finds. She volunteers with Common Ground Mentoring Program and HandsOn River Region. Cabble-Ware is a member of the National Management Association, Alabama City County Management Association, Alabama State Employees Association, Alabama State University Alumni Association, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., Junior League of Montgomery, Montgomery Sunset Rotary and Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.

cullarCinque Cullar

Cinque Cullar, a successful International Gospel Recording Artist and a passionate educator, is the Director of Student Life and Partnerships for Walter H. Dyett High School for the Arts. The Chicago native has produced five acclaimed Gospel Albums. His latest solo project was recorded live in Gothenburg, Sweden. His most noted accomplishment to date is founding the nationally renowned gospel choir the Tribe of Judah at Alabama State University (1997).  Cullar, who has dedicated his music career spreading the word of God, was a writing instructor at ASU and has taught ninth grade English. 

A minister, educator, artist, producer, director and CEO, Cullar has toured nationally and abroad with notable gospel groups and performers, including singing backup for gospel pioneer Jessy Dixon, and touring and recording with Walt Whitman, a member of Fortitude aka Nu Wave. Their debut album “So Grateful to You” earned them a “Best New Artist” nod, and they were nominated for “Best Group Duo” under the Word label. Cullar is now working on his solo recording “Letters to God.” He received both his B.A. in communications with an emphasis in public relations and his Masters in English Education degrees from Alabama State University.

deanBrandon Dean

Brandon Dean is an Assistant Director with the Alabama High School Athletic Association. As a former educator, coach, school administrator and school system athletic director, he has mentored numerous students and student-athletes.

A 2012 graduate of Leadership Montgomery, Dean has served on various athletic boards and committees. He is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. and the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association. He has been recognized as a Certified Master Athletic Administrator.

angelaAngela M. Dixon

Angela M. Dixon, a proud alumna, serves as the Deputy Director of Finance for Jefferson County Commission in Birmingham, Ala. Her professional career spans over 27 years, which includes five years of public accounting experience at Ernst & Young. Dixon’s professional accomplishments include leading ASU through SACS reaffirmation when she was the University’s Comptroller. She has been instrumental in creating best-in-class accounting departments and maintaining confidence and integrity of accounting data while developing collaborative relationships with all stakeholders.

She earned a Master of Accountancy degree (1996) from Auburn University. Dixon is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in Alabama and Texas. She is a member of the Jefferson/Shelby County Metro Alumni Chapter, the Montgomery Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and serves as the Southeast Region Treasurer for the National Alumni Association. She has served as mentor, speaker and employer to accounting students, as well as supports various initiatives at ASU.

duboseDarren L. Dubose

Darren L. Dubose is a sixth-grade English Language Arts Educator at KIPP Courage College Prep in Houston, Texas. Dubose’s goal is to end educational inequity across the country through his membership in the Teach for America Corp. Prior to teaching, he was an intern for the Office of Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell, was an education fellow for HCM Consulting Firm and most recently a policy and advocacy fellow for New Charter for Alabama.

After graduating from Alabama State University, he pursed his Master of Public Service and Administration at The Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. While at ASU, Dubose was elected Student Government Association President, joined Kappa Alpha Psi - Beta Zeta Chapter and served as a Golden Ambassador. A dedicated and driven alumnus, Dubose has worked with incoming ASU students to help bridge the gap from high school to college.

duncanPrintes M. Duncan

Printes M. Duncan is the director of Enterprise Systems Engineers (Georgia) for Dell Technologies and a professor of Finance at Shorter University. A loyal Hornet, whose parents, brother and sister also attended ASU, Duncan strives to always represent “Bama State.”  As an advocate for STEM programs, he is a mentor and lecturer for programs in high school and college.  He is currently working on a pilot program at Dell Technologies that prepares college students at HBCUs for technical sales positions at Dell and other companies. 

In addition to technology, Duncan has a strong passion for financial literacy. He travels the country and lectures at churches, social venues and corporations on personal finance, including budgeting, debt reduction, investing and giving. Duncan has been awarded Dell’s Americas Leader of the Year, Shorter University Professor of the Year, and was the President of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity’s Graduate Chapter of the Year.

feaginBridgett Feagin

Bridgett Feagin, Chief Financial Officer at DMC Harper-Hutzel and Detroit Receiving Hospitals, has a proven track record of successfully managing the financial operations of highly complex matrix health care organizations. Prior to her current role, Feagin held the position of CFO at United Way for Southeastern Michigan (UWSEM). Prior to UWSEM, Feagin spent 20 years serving in various financial leadership roles at DMC.

 Feagin has received several professional accolades, most recently she was selected as one of the 2019 Becker’s African American Leaders in Healthcare from Becker’s Healthcare; named one of the 2019 Women of Excellence from Michigan Chronicle; and recognized as one of Crain’s 2018 Detroit Business’s Notable Women in Finance. She received her Bachelor of Science in accounting from Alabama State University and earned a Master of Business Administration in information systems management from Wayne State University. Feagin supports and actively participates in multiple community organizations.

fieldsEd Fields

As the Senior Advisor and Chief Strategist for the city of Birmingham, Ed Fields leads city strategy, communication and social justice efforts on behalf of the mayor’s office. Earlier in his career, Fields co-founded and led “Relax, It’s Handled,” an award-winning association and event management company, before selling the company in 2015. During his time serving professional associations and nonprofits, Fields created and produced fundraising and outreach programs that have raised millions of dollars and reached thousands of members, customers and citizens.

In 2017, Fields served as campaign manager for the successful grassroots campaign to elect Randall Woodfin as mayor of Birmingham, Ala.  Fields received his undergraduate degree in Business Administration with a concentration in marketing from Alabama State University and earned his Masters of Business Administration from the University of Alabama’s Manderson School of Business. He received his Institute of Management designation, a nonprofit management certification, from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

fossettDr. Pamela Fossett

Dr. Pamela Fossett leads the Education Policy and Professional Practice Department at the Alabama Education Association. She plans national and statewide professional learning events; engages educators in social/racial justice initiatives; analysis federal and state education policies and legislation; and serves as education policy liaison to the State Department of Education. She leads an extensive scope of association work in the areas of Teacher Quality, Human and Civil Rights, and Community Advocacy and Partnership Engagement.

She intentionally engages in the recruitment and retention of ethnic minority educators, specifically promoting outreach and targeted training and preparation at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. She is a former Spanish educator in Homewood City Schools and Selma City Schools. She is a University of Alabama at Birmingham Multicultural Scholars Program Pioneer Award recipient and Sheffield Education Foundation Registry of Honor inductee. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and The Links Inc.

garrettTyrish Garrett

Tyrish Garrett has been employed by the United Parcel Service for 19 years. As a   Pricing Senior Analyst (Corporate Marketing), Garrett’s duties include evaluating pricing requests, evaluate competitive situations and current market conditions and develop appropriate sales/pricing strategies. Prior to his current role, Garrett rotated into two Corporate Assignments, Saturday Ground Team and Edge Carwash Coordinator.

For seven years, Garrett worked as the Sales/Marketing Supervisor handling implementation of sales strategies, evaluation of customer compliance and value, and provided cross-functional support for profitable sales growth. Previously, Garrett managed district profitability analysis, customer profitability and auditor training as a Finance Supervisor. He gives back to his community by working as a volunteer for the United Way where he is meets with Company Coordinators to plan, organize and schedule employee meetings.

hairstonJamila Brown Hairston

Jamila Brown Hairston is a global innovation leader, entrepreneur and published author.    Hairston’s career trajectory landed her in executive leadership and advanced technical enterprise positions with Fortune 100/500 corporations before starting her own company, Virtue Technology, in 2004. She has advanced her skill set by becoming a certified solutions expert on various enterprise systems and has received additional web and project management certifications.

Hairston was recognized as Woman of the Year for her community and leadership efforts in the STEM community. She recently added to her business portfolio Cloud Tech Academy, Georgia’s only black owned enterprise cloud software training and testing center, with additional locations in Africa and the U.K. The academy prepares students for lucrative high-valued careers in today’s digital economy and has helped to gross more than $10 million in annual salaries to date. Hairston earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Computer Information Systems from Alabama State University.

HamiltonBonita J. Hamilton

Lauded for her role as Shenzi the hyena in the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical “The Lion King,” Bonita J. Hamilton is a highly decorated actress, singer, voice-over artist and speaker. Hamilton’s 15-year tenure on Broadway includes pre-Broadway workshops for “The Color Purple,” “The Legend of Stagecoach Mary” and “Madiba the Musical.”  A master storyteller, Hamilton brings words to life in her voice-over performances. Recent roles include ESPN’s “NBA Countdown,” the Academy Award nominated film “Can You Ever Forgive Me” and the animated series “Through the Woods.”

Hamilton has performed on “Good Morning America” and at NBA games.  Her body of work includes a recurring role in HBO’s “The Knick” and high-profile speaking roles such as “Disney Musicals in Schools.” Hamilton mentors theatre students from Alabama State University and other institutions of higher learning, as well as being a mentor for Vanguard Theaters Broadway Buddies. Hamilton has been commissioned to speak at the annual Women’s Day on Broadway. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from Alabama State University and a Master of Fine Arts degree in theatre from Brandeis University.

hardenLindsay Harden

Lindsay Harden serves as the Executive Director of the Fultondale Chamber of Commerce. She also is the owner of Harden Holdings LLC where she publishes books, manages creative professionals and assists with individual branding. She is a proud Hornet and currently serves as the President of the Jefferson/Shelby County Metro Alumni Chapter. Harden has a strong interest in her community and gives back to the Birmingham area through various organizations.

She is a graduate of Leadership UAB, a graduate of the FBI Citizens Academy, a member of the 2015 Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama (PARCA) Roundtable, and was a member of the Rotaract Club of Birmingham for several years. Initiated in the Beta Eta Chapter in 2005, she is now a member of the Jefferson County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. Lindsay and her husband, William, live in Birmingham and they have one son.

hardwickAntwon Hardwick

Antwon Hardwick is a Consulting Executive at the Atlanta-based PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC). He serves as the Risk Assurance U.S., East and South Region Transformation Assurance Practice Leader.  During his 18 years at PwC, he has delivered various audit, risk and consulting services to large public and private clients across a number of industry sectors. He was selected as PwC Chairman’s Award Winner for his outstanding client service, practice development and diversity accomplishments.

Prior to joining PwC, Hardwick served seven years as a United States Air Force Officer, earning various Company Grade Officer Awards at the wing and major command levels. He also received the Air Force Commendation and the United States Meritorious Service Awards. Hardwick is a member of the Institute of Internal Auditors, the National Association of Black Accountants, the Project Management Institute, the Information Systems Audit & Control Association and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc.

harrisDr. Nickie Harris-Ray, M.D.

Dr. Nickie Harris-Ray, M.D. has been a surgical podiatrist for more than 15 years, and a college professor for more than 10 years. She currently is in self-practice and is an instructor and curriculum developer with Tulane University. She is a published author, a freelance writer and guest lecturer for news media and for numerous public speaking events. She has experience teaching medical/health courses, career development courses and other science courses.

Harris-Ray is a 501(c)3 founder and CEO (NHR Blueprint Foundation). She has won numerous awards for her work in the community, including Winner, Medical Category, Gulf Coast Women Magazine; Lighthouse Biloxi Women of Achievement-Woman of the Year; three-time Sun Herald’s Top 10 under 40 Nominee; and the first ever appointed female Imperial Physician of the Imperial Court DOI. She is a Fellow for Tulane University School of Professional Advancement. Harris-Ray serves on several local and regional boards.  Harris-Ray earned her doctorate from Barry University, her MPH from Purdue University Global and her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Alabama State University.

harrisonDr. George Eric Harrison, M.D.

Dr. George Eric Harrison, M.D. is the Chief Medical Officer at Fairview Park, a hospital under the umbrella of Hospital Corporation of America, the nation’s largest health system. He is also listed No. 67 in Fortune 500.  Harrison has received numerous awards, including Saint Jude High School Teacher of the Year; National Health Service Corps Scholar; Chief Resident – Duke University Family Medicine; Physician of the Year – Black River Health Care; and Hospitalist Director of the Year – Eagle Hospital Physicians.

Harrison advocates strongly for HBCUs (Historical Black Colleges and Universities)  and is deeply involved in numerous youth mentorship programs. Harrison is most impassioned by the recruitment and retention of African-American males into health care careers, especially those aspiring to become physicians.  He is a life member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. Harrison is a former Presidential Scholar and SGA Vice President who completed undergraduate and graduate school at Alabama State University prior to becoming a Doctor of Medicine.


hicksDr. Simone B. Hicks

Dr. Simone B. Hicks serves as the Assistant Dean and Director of Case Management at Scripps College in Claremont, Calif.  She is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. Hicks have held positions in community mental health, acute psychiatric units and college counseling centers. She dedicates her research/publications to transition-aged youth with disabilities in the African-American community.

Hicks has made professional presentations at International refereed counseling conferences in the areas of students with disabilities, advocacy and racial identity in Thimphu, Bhutan and Reggello, Italy. Her awards include receiving the 2017 Research, Mentorship and Outstanding Doctoral Student of the Year Award from the Alpha Chapter of Chi Sigma Iota counseling organization, and Alabama State University’s 2015 College of Health Science Graduate Student of Year award. Hicks’ passion is mentoring youth and serving in national organizations that support people with disabilities.

Dana Bolden Hill

Dana Bolden Hill is a Shareholder with the Birmingham law firm Hill, Hill, Carter, Franco, Cole & Black, P.C., and she serves as general counsel and litigation counsel to several boards of education throughout the state of Alabama. The Mobile, Ala. native is a summa cum laude graduate from Alabama State University where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics. She received her Juris Doctor degree (2000) from Samford University Cumberland School of Law.

For nearly 20 years, Hill has counseled and advised school districts and school officials on various employment and management related issues. In 2010, she received national recognition as Alabama Rising Star in the Legal Area of Education and Public School Law. Hill is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., the Alabama State Bar and the Alabama Council of School Board Attorneys. She is happily married to Ryan Hill and they are the proud parents of 9-year-old twins, Evan and Elyse.

HOLLANDMonique Holland

Monique Holland is the Senior Associate Athletic Director and Senior Woman Administrator at Auburn University. She is a former Alabama State University women’s basketball student-athlete and ASU’s first female Athletics Director. With more than 20 years of diverse executive athletics administrative experience, she has devoted her life to the holistic development of young people through sport.

Holland worked on the 1996 Olympics Logistics Team before landing an assistant women’s basketball coaching position at Georgia Tech. Holland transitioned to athletics administration to expand her impact on all student-athletes. Although winning multiple industry awards, Holland is the proudest of being honored as the recipient of the S.P.I.R.I.T Award for representing the values of service, passion, integrity, respect, innovation and teamwork in the workplace. Holland, who continues to be an avid supporter of ASU women’s basketball, delivered the keynote address at the YWCA’s Women of Excellence Luncheon in her hometown of St. Joseph, Mo., this summer.

HOLMESDr. Scott Holmes, LPC, NCC

Dr. Scott Holmes serves as the Clinical Director of Behavioral Health Services for the Alabama Department of Youth Services. He is a former Clinical Supervisor of Psychological and Drug Treatment Services at Tutwiler Prison for Women and at Kilby Correctional Facility for the Alabama Department of Corrections.  Holmes is a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor, Forensic Evaluator and Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).

Holmes serves on the National Faculty for the National Institute of Corrections (U.S. Department of Justice) Board of Prisons Division. His duties include facilitating training in the area of operational practices for women’s prisons, executive management in correctional health care, and mental health crisis intervention in prisons and jails. He is an active member of the Epsilon Theta Sigma Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., as well as an ordained Elder and a member of the Levitical Worship Team at Montgomery’s New Life Church of God in Christ.

hurstBrandon Hurst

Brandon Hurst is one of America’s youngest Chick-fil-A franchise owners. The part-time job Hurst landed at a Chick-fil-A restaurant in 2008, along with the education he received in ASU’s College of Business Administration, launched  his career as an entrepreneur. After graduating magna cum laude from Alabama State University (2010) with a degree in accounting, the Atlanta, Ga. native accepted a position with Chick-fil-A as Director of Operations in Chicago. Later, he joined Chick-fil-A’s Leadership Development Program in Atlanta after completing his MBA in finance in 2012.

In 2014, Hurst, at the age of 26, was selected to become a Chick-fil-A franchise owner, opening his first location in Baltimore, Md., in 2015. Hurst, who has more than 12 years of experience in the industry, is passionate about serving others. He has received numerous awards and has traveled across the country speaking at local colleges and universities and other community organizations, often sharing his life journey and the importance of focusing on community service, advancement of youth education, financial responsibility and building tomorrow's leaders.

jamesHon. Claudine R. James

Hon. Claudine R. James is an Administrative Judge with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. She has presided over numerous complex discrimination cases necessitating substantial relief, both monetary and nonmonetary. James authored a landmark religion discrimination decision of first impression, which was upheld by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

James serves as the HBCU Coordinator for the EEOC Houston District Office, National Trainer for the EEOC Training Institute and an Adjunct Professor at Houston Community College.  She is a member of the Thurgood Marshall School of Law Alumni Board and serves as co-chair of Houston Community College Business Technology Advisory Board. James is a proud life member of Beta Eta Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.  She has received numerous awards and most recently was awarded the 2019 Judge of the Year by the TMSL Board of Advocates.


jeterSamita L. Jeter

Samita L. Jeter is currently the Director of the Lowndes County Board of Education Head Start Program. Prior to this appointment, she taught first and third grades and served as Assistant Principal and Principal.  For more than 23 years, Jeter has shown dedication to the children in the Lowndes County School system. In addition to running her local program, she is the President of the Alabama Head Start Association.

As an advocate for young children and families, she serves on several boards, including Alabama Head Start/Pre-K Task Force, the Lowndes County Children's Policy Council and the Region IV Head Start Association. She also is a member of the Alabama Education Association, Lowndes County Education Association, National Alumni Association of Alabama State University (Lowndes County Chapter) and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.  She has received several awards, including Administrator of the Year and Director of the Year.

johnsonJacelyn Penée Rainere Johnson

Jacelyn Penée Rainere Johnson is as an actress, screenwriter, songwriter, producer, dancer, choreographer and web series showrunner from Minneapolis, Minn. Johnson wears several professional hats: she is the Agency Director of Model and Talent Management  Agency in Minneapolis; the Founder/Creative Director of JahPenée Productions: The Oracle of Life's Evolutions, a Los Angeles-based film/TV production company; and the Creative Director of Hit Maker Society (HMS), a music production company based in Los Angeles. Johnson has performed background vocals and co-wrote songs on several HMS artists’ albums. She co-wrote her debut single, “Beautiful Me” in 2013.

Johnson has taught acting and modeling at John Casablancas Learning Center in Bloomington, Minn.  In 2018, she was featured in Rolling Out magazine. She is currently writing a TV series focused on the LGBTQ community and is developing an apparel line, Power Tee Quotes. The Theater Arts alumna graduated in 2004 from Alabama State University with a minor in African Anthropology. She attended Hampton University (2000-2001) and Auburn University (2004). Her parents are ASU alums, W. Rayford and Irma J. Johnson. 

Dr. Linell King

After graduating from Alabama State University, Dr. Linell King earned a doctoral degree from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine in 1997, and completed his internal medicine residency with Johns Hopkins/Sinai Hospital in 2000.

King’s early career was spent working as a Hospitalist and later as a Medical Director/Internal Medicine Hospitalist. He pursued further education in Functional and Integrative Medicine, to learn more about how nutrition, lifestyle factors and treating the whole person could radically improve patients’ immediate and long term health and quality of life. In order to improve health care in the community and the world at large, King founded Naples Vitality in Naples, Fla.

King is the author of “Mastering Vitality” and has spoken internationally about utilizing combined methods of traditional and holistic modalities to safely create optimal health and wellbeing. He is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.   

knightPhaidra Knight

Phaidra Knight is a former international athlete, sports media talent, motivational speaker, lawyer and business entrepreneur. Knight works as a Rugby Analyst for NBC Sports, ESPN, CBS Sports and Flo Sports. For nearly 18 years, she traveled the globe as a professional rugby player, establishing herself as one of the premiere players in the sport. In 2010, she was named the USA Rugby Player of the Decade. She became the first African-American, the second American and eighth woman inducted into the 2017 World Rugby Hall of Fame.

Upon completion of her baccalaureate, she studied law at the University of Wisconsin and received her J.D. degree in 1999. In 2010, she became an avid CrossFit competitor and later joined the 2013 United States Developmental Bobsled Team. Knight founded Peak Unleashed, a nonprofit organization devoted to cultivating youth leadership and development through rugby and yoga. Knight, a sought-after speaker, serves on the USA Rugby Board of Directors and the Board of Trustees for the Women’s Sports Foundation.

lawerenceShannon Wayne Lawrence

Shannon Wayne Lawrence is the Inclusion and Diversity Manager for Balfour Beatty, an international infrastructure construction company. In this role, he is responsible for developing and implementing strategies for small and underrepresented business inclusion in public-private partnership construction projects. Lawrence also is the Far West Region Director for the ASU National Alumni Association, and is Treasurer and Past President of the Los Angeles Chapter, where he regularly represents his alma mater throughout the region as a volunteer recruiter and fundraiser.

Active in public service, Lawrence served on the staff of many elected officials, has been appointed to several countywide commissions and boards of directors, and is often sought-after to coach and advise candidates for public office. Lawrence is Chief Community Officer and Assistant Pastor at New Way Bible Church in Southern California.  He is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc.

loweDr. Marvin A. Lowe 

Dr. Marvin A. Lowe, a 23-year veteran in education, currently serves as the Director of Career and Technical Education in Bullock County. The Daytona Beach, Fla. native, who now resides in Pike Road, Ala., diligently served 10 consecutive years in Montgomery Public Schools. In those 10 years, four were spent teaching elementary students, five years were spent as a high school guidance counselor and the last as an assistant principal in that same high school.

For the next five years, Lowe was the principal of Bullock County High School and then principal of Union Springs Elementary School for six years. Lowe earned triple degrees (B.S. in elementary education, M.S. in school counseling and Ed.S. in administration) from Alabama State University. In 2018, he earned his Ed.D. from Nova Southeastern University. Lowe and his wife have been married for 16 years and they have two wonderful boys, Marvin Jayden, age 11, and Jace Alexander, age 7.

lumzyMario J. Lumzy

Mario J. Lumzy is currently serving as a principal in the Birmingham City School District.  He has served as a successful principal since 2002 at a K-5 school, a 6-8 school and presently at a K-8 school. He finds joy in working and helping his students to successfully prepare for the next level. Lumzy constantly takes time to talk with students about preparing for college and always encourages them to attend his alma mater, The Alabama State University.

Lumzy is a proud member of The Alabama State University Board of Trustees, was selected by his colleagues to serve on the Superintendent’s Principals’ Advisory Committee, is a member of the Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools, a mentor for Project Dads, serves on the Isiah Davis Usher Board at his church, and is an active member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc.    

mayaMaya A. McKenzie, Esq.

Maya McKenzie is currently an associate at Paul Hastings LLP in Atlanta where she counsels multinational corporations on data privacy regulatory and transactional matters. She also maintains an active pro bono practice through partnership with the Georgia Justice Project and Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta.

McKenzie graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Political Science from Alabama State University in 2013. During her time at ASU, she was involved in several organizations, including the Golden Ambassadors, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and the SGA. After graduating, she worked as a Legal Fellow at Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP in Los Angeles. McKenzie earned her Juris Doctor degree from Georgetown University Law Center, where she served as a Student Attorney for the Georgetown Law Social Enterprise and Nonprofit Law Clinic, and Academic Chair of the Georgetown Black Law Students Association

mckinneyDr. Kylle’ D. McKinney

Dr. Kylle’ D. McKinney, a 1991 Alabama State University graduate, serves as the Alabama Public Affairs Specialist for the Social Security Administration. With 28 years of agency experience, McKinney promotes and educates the public on Social Security’s benefits, policies, programs and services through forums, briefings, seminars, radio, television, print and social media. 

McKinney currently writes weekly and monthly Social Security columns for five city newspapers, one city magazine and one statewide magazine (Alabama Living). For his exemplary service as a public affairs specialist, McKinney received the Deputy Communications Director’s Citation Award, the highest national communications award given within the Social Security Administration. McKinney serves as Co-Pastor of the New Life Church of God in Christ in Montgomery, Ala.  He also is a leading financial coach and founder of True Prosperity Financial Coaching, which helps high achievers obtain their financial goals.

mctoyRoj’a “JoJo” McToy

Roj’a “JoJo” McToy is a former member of the Alabama State University baseball team and is currently the voice of the world famous Harlem Globetrotters. McToy has toured with the Globetrotters for three years traveling to all 50 states and 12 countries, from Amsterdam to Brazil. His voice has been heard in all 30 NBA arenas, including Madison Square Garden and Staples Center. Before joining the Trotters, McToy was the afternoon drive host at Hot 105.7 in Montgomery. Ala., the “voice” of Alabama State University Mighty Marching Hornets and the voice of ASU sports, from volleyball, football, basketball to softball.

A deep devotion to ASU, McToy is credited with creating ASU’s war cry “Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeaahhhhh State.” McToy began his career in radio at WVAS as a sideline reporter. He has received awards from the Alabama Association of Broadcasters as “Personality of the Year” and GQ Magazine’s “Man of the Year.” A member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., McToy received two degrees from ASU in communications and English.

mocriefHerman L. Moncrief

Herman L. Moncrief, a Certified Public Accountant and a dynamic accounting and finance leader, serves as Director for TechCXO, an on-demand executive financial services firm which provides financial expertise to start-up and mid-sized technology companies. Moncrief leads the technical accounting and advisory practice at TechCXO.

In his 20 years of experience, Moncrief has lead fast-paced corporate finance organizations for both publicly traded and private equity backed technology companies.  He has served in several corporate finance leadership roles, including Vice President of Finance and Corporate Controller. He has a career foundation in Big 4 public accounting with Arthur Andersen and KPMG. Moncrief volunteers his time through community organizations such as the Turning Dreams Into Realities Scholarship and Mentoring Program, where he is a founding board member; a board member of United Way of Williamson County; and a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. 

morrisJimmy Morris Jr.

Jimmy Morris Jr., a former Alabama State University Golden Ambassador, is the owner and managing member of Morris Builders LLC in Prattville, Ala. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in music and a minor in education from Alabama State University, an M.B.A. with a concentration in project management from Columbia Southern University and is a graduate of Babson College Goldman Sachs’ 10KSB program. He is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in entrepreneurship and project management from Walden University.

Through philanthropy and mentorship, Morris serves his community by volunteering at organizations such as the Advisory Board for the Prattville Baptist Hospital and the Brantwood Children’s Home. Morris is a certified Hospital Trustee for the Alabama Hospital Association and former Board President for the Autauga and Chilton Counties Habitat for Humanity. He is listed in the 2008 edition of Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. Morris holds membership in several professional organizations and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.


Tiffany Simpkins Northern

Tiffany Simpkins Northern is the Vice President for Hospital Operations at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, the largest and most complex hospital in Washington, D.C. In her role, she is responsible for revenue generation, management and strategy development for clinical support services, which includes administrative oversight of approximately 1,000+ employees. Her passion for health care operations was ignited after learning that women and African-Americans were underrepresented in hospital leadership roles. 

Northern graduated from Alabama State University’s College of Business Administration (COBA) and obtained her master’s in Health Services Administration from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (2006).  She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Alpha Kappa Psi Professional Business Fraternity and the National Association for Healthcare Executives. Northern holds the distinction as a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and was recognized nationally this year as one of only six Thomas Dolan Executive Diversity Program Scholars with the American College for Healthcare Executives. 

James “J.J.” Vaughn Oliver Jr.

James “J.J.” Vaughn Oliver Jr., a collegiate coach, serves as the Head Girls’ Basketball Coach and Health/P.E. teacher at Stone Mountain High School in Stone Mountain, Ga.  A devoted second generation Hornet, Oliver is proud to have recruited dozens of traditional students and student-athletes to his alma mater.  Oliver, a former Alabama State University Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach, has gone on to become a very successful head coach and mentor to student-athletes.

His teams have a 100 percent graduation rate and have won numerous championships and academic excellence awards. Oliver has received numerous Coaches of the Year awards from countless awarding organizations.  Oliver is heavily involved in community service and seeks scholarship opportunities for those with higher education aspirations. He is a member of several organizations, including Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. As a husband and the father of two daughters and two sons, Oliver lives with an “Expectation of Excellence.”  

priceBrandon Price-Crum

Brandon Price-Crum is a personal injury attorney with The Vance Law Firm and an Adjunct Instructor at Alabama State University. His pro bono efforts include creating initiatives such as the Junior Law Academy and The Future of Alabama organization. The Atlanta native by way of Flint, Mich., attended ASU on a full academic scholarship, graduating magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice.  Price-Crum earned his Juris Doctor degree from Florida A&M University College of Law. He passed the Georgia Bar Exam and is awaiting his results from the Alabama Bar Exam.

While at ASU, Price-Crum held numerous student leadership positions, including Chief Golden Ambassador and Student Government Association Chief Justice. He was the founder of an on-campus organic garden called the ASU Gifted Gardeners organization, now known as the ASU Teaching Garden.



Ronnie Thomas

Ronnie Thomas is an enthusiastic and passionate technology-driven educator with a solid commitment to the social, academic and developmental growth of students. Known for his engaging and versatile STEM teaching methods during his 20-year career, Thomas has the ability to challenge and inspire hands-on learning experiences that capture a student’s imagination. A two-time Teacher of the Year recipient, Thomas has conducted research with NASA Reduced Gravity Education Flight Program.

Thomas is the founder of Georgia Science & Robotics Academy Inc. and Fun Weird Science LLC.  Fun Weird Science is the programming brand for the Academy, which provides impactful K-12 STEAM enrichment for teachers and students through professional development, teacher cohort coaching, summer STEM enrichment programs for students and interactive science shows. He is a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., Beta Zeta Chapter. Thomas graduated from Alabama State University with a bachelor's in elementary education. The Birmingham native now resides in Atlanta with his wife and three children.

Marlyn Thompson

Marlyn Thompson, a former Louis Stokes AMP and MARC scholar, is a data scientist and a former educator. As a data scientist, he has used experimental design to optimize several marketing channels and built models to determine the incremental impact of various initiatives. This has resulted in helping three Fortune 500 companies save millions of dollars in operational and marketing costs.

Prior to his career as a data scientist, Marlyn helped to start a small private Christian high school in Durham, N.C. As a founding faculty member and dean, he worked tirelessly to create an environment that would breed innovative, dynamic and thoughtful students who loved learning. Despite changing careers, he still spends time working with high school students to show them the power of education and hard work. Marlyn and his wife, Kasey, have been married for three years and are the proud parents of their daughter, Ava Rhys.

travisJoi L. Travis, Esq.

Joi L. Travis, Esq., an educator, motivator and entrepreneur, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Alabama State University, a master's degree in public administration with an emphasis in public policy from Auburn University and a Juris Doctor degree from Birmingham School of Law.  The Cleveland, Ohio native launched Travis Law LLC. in 2017.

Travis is a member of The Birmingham Urban League Young Professionals, Vice President of the Metro Birmingham NAACP, board member for the Birmingham School of Law Foundation, State Executive Committee board member for The Alabama Sierra Club, a League of Women Voters State board member, a Shelby/Jefferson County ASU Alumni Association member, a Friends of the Birmingham Public Library Board of Directors member, a member of both The Alabama and Birmingham Bar

Associations, a Greater Birmingham Criminal Defense Lawyers Association member, and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.

trussDr. Brencleveton “Donta” Truss

Dr. Brencleveton “Donta” Truss is the Senior Vice President for Enrollment Management, Student Affairs & Student Success at Shippensburg University.  His more than 20-year career reflects his dedication toward strengthening institutions and improving the pathway to higher education for many, especially low-income and first generation students. Truss, a former Director of Admissions and Recruitment at Alabama State University, has served in a variety of capacities, including institutional research, accreditation, student retention, grant writing, program development and supervision.

Truss has authored and secured more than $10 million in federal, state and local grant funds to support student achievement. A trained accreditation evaluator, he has a strong background with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). His expertise has cemented him as a highly sought-after professional. He has received numerous commendations for his work and continues to mentor through his nonprofit organization, Turning Dreams into Reality (TDI). Truss is a triple graduate of Alabama State University and is an active member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. He holds several professional memberships.

turnerDr. Tenika Turner

Dr. Tenika Turner is an accomplished second-year professor in the Occupational Therapy Department at Tuskegee University School of Nursing and Allied Health. Turner is an adviser to more than 30 students. Before her career as a professor, she worked as a licensed occupational therapist for more than15 years, concentrating in geriatrics and adult physical dysfunction. During that time, she assisted hundreds of clients in their recovery process to regain the highest level of independence possible with self-care and activities of daily living.

Turner’s passion for service continues through community-based projects ranging from directing HIV/AIDS Awareness events to assisting children with special needs to receive hippotherapy. Turner, a 2004 Alabama State University graduate, is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., an organization she joined in 2002 through the magnificent Beta Eta Chapter. In addition to managing her busy career, Turner is the proud mother of her 6-year-old son, Tanner.

vandiver Dr. Marcus Elliot Vandiver

Dr. Marcus Elliot Vandiver is currently an education administrator with the Alabama Department of Education. He previously administered the School Improvement Grant (SIG) and was responsible for close to $55 million in federal funding for school improvement initiatives. He also was the program lead for the Data Strategist Initiative for the department’s data analysts, a result of his completion of a leadership program for data strategists at Harvard University.

Vandiver was a member of the first cohort of Alabama State University’s Education Leadership, Policy and Law doctoral program. His dissertation garnered the Outstanding Dissertation Award through the International Society of Educational Planning. Vandiver is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., serves on several professional and civic boards, and recently ran as the Democratic candidate for a seat on the Montgomery County Board of Education, District 1.

wesleyDr. Lonnie D. Wesley III

Dr. Lonnie D. Wesley III, a former Hornet baseball player, is the pastor of Greater Little Rock Baptist Church in Florida.  His professional career includes working in the NFL Public Relations Offices of the Dallas Cowboys and the Cleveland Browns. The Pensacola, Fla. native also worked at Jackson State University’s Sports Information Office where, among other accomplishments there, he negotiated the Blue Bengals’ first Nike apparel contract.

Wesley sits on numerous boards, including the Baptist Hospital board. He regularly visits schools to read to and mentor children. Wesley holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in mass communications (public relations) from Alabama State University, a Master of Arts degree in Christian education from Selma University (2006) and a Doctor of Ministry degree in biblical preaching from Anderson University. He is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. Wesley is married to the former LaTonya Neal and they have three children: Kalen, Jeffrey and James.

wilsonJasmine Wilson

Jasmine Wilson is a Special Events Coordinator at INROADS Inc. He has six years of successful experience in the sports/hospitality industry, event planning and catering-sales management.  Wilson, a proud student-athlete (soccer), graduated from Alabama State University with a B.S. degree and from the University of Southern Mississippi with a M.S. degree. Jasmine used that knowledge in business and sports management to make significant strides within her profession.

Early in her career, she discovered her passion as an event specialist, allowing her to make a daily difference in the lives that she encounters and motivates. Wilson gives back to her community as a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sigma Sorority Inc. and through diverse efforts with such organizations as the ASU National Alumni Association-Metro Atlanta Chapter, The American Legion Post 438, the Atlanta HBCU Alumni Alliance and the National Society of Black Sports Professionals. She recently obtained her certificate in Grant Writing Consulting. Wilson has exceptional organizational, communication and presentation skills.