Who We Are

Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The Marshall School of Business, Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion guides the strategic efforts to ensure a welcoming and engaging educational environment in a community of diverse faculty, staff and students. Our strategic efforts include engagement and leadership workshops, panels, discussions, speaker series, and trainings designed to create an authentic sense of belonging, engagement, collaboration, and community, as well as fostering a culture of inclusion paramount to the success of all at USC Marshall.

At Marshall we partner with outstanding statewide and national organizations and programs like the Ph.D. Project, which since 1994 has more than tripled the number of African-American/Black, Latinx and Native American business school professors. USC Marshall currently has a number of Ph.D. Project scholars and actively recruits at the annual Ph.D. Project conference.

Programs such as our Master of Science in Global Supply Chain Management convene conferences to excite interest in USC Marshall among women and underrepresented groups and to enhance their access to the field. We also offer an award to women in this area, who today fill only 15 percent of top-level supply chain positions. USC Marshall has taken important steps toward supporting and advancing women's achievement. Recently, the USC Marshall Graduate Women in Business and the Marshall Business Competition Program presented the inaugural MBA Everyone's Business Global Case Competition, which works with similar groups across the nation to reach gender parity and equity in business schools today and boardrooms tomorrow. Those efforts are bearing fruit: USC Marshall was the first school to achieve and exceed gender parity in the full-time MBA program for the Class of 2020.

Through the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, we have established a close relationship with the Leslie and William McMorrow Neighborhood Academic Initiative (NAI), USC's signature college preparatory program, which enrolls close to 1,000 children annually. NAI is a rigorous, seven-year pre-college enrichment program designed to prepare students from South and East Los Angeles for admission to a college or university. Students who remain in the program in good standing from sixth grade until their high school graduation are eligible for a full scholarship to USC.

Additionally, we partner with leading organizations such as the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, the Forté Foundation and Management Leadership for Tomorrow to help women, people of color and other underrepresented groups access transformational business education and develop as next-generation leaders. This year marks USC Marshall's 50th anniversary as a Consortium member, and we were the first school on the West Coast to join. Since 1968, over 700 USC Marshall students have been Consortium-affiliated. We also help nurture achievement through support of diverse student groups such as Black Graduate Business Leaders, the Black Business Student Association, the Graduate Asian Business Society, the Latino Business Student Association, the Latino Management & Business Association, SpectrumSC, Marshall Pride and others. National organizations such as the National Association of Black Accountants and the Association of Latino Professionals for America have thriving chapters at USC Marshall as well.

The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is led by Dr. Sharoni Little, Vice Dean and Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, along with Dr. Smrity Randhawa, Assistant Dean, and Tonisha Jester, Senior Associate Director.

Meet the Team

Sharoni LittleDr. Sharoni Denise Little, Associate Dean, Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer, and Professor of Clinical Business Communication is an award-winning teacher, researcher, and mentor. A renowned author, global facilitator, and media commentator, Dr. Little’s research and expertise centers on organizational leadership, strategic communication, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. She is completing her forthcoming books, The Perpetual Surveillance of Black Men (2019), and Diapers and Dissertations: Women, Education, and Work (2019), and is the recipient of the USC Faculty Mentoring award, two Marshall School of Business, “Golden Apple” teaching awards, and the USC Remarkable Woman award. An educational and social advocate Dr. Little is a member and Immediate Past Chair of the Los Angeles County, Policy Roundtable for Childcare and Development Commission and sits on several boards of trustees. Throughout her career, she has partnered with numerous community leaders and organizations, including the Aspen Institute, Obama Foundation, Children's Defense Fund, and the Compton Human Trafficking Task Force.

Smrity RandhawaSmrity Randhawa is an Accounting scholar whose area of expertise spans financial accounting, managerial accounting, valuation, disclosure and corporate governance. Smrity holds a PhD in Business from the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University. In her research, she has studied the effect of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act on small public companies. At Marshall School of Business she has taught classes ranging from Introductory Accounting for undergraduate students to Financial Statement Analysis for graduate students. In addition to her faculty duties, she also provides consulting services related to: bankruptcy analysis; fair value accounting measurements and valuations; and provides opinions on the analysis of other experts.


Tonisha Jester

Tonisha Jester, Senior Associate Director at the USC, Marshall School of Business Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion is a catalyst for change and passionate about infusing values around diversity, inclusion, climate and equity into all programs and activities.

Tonisha has nearly 20 years of experience in higher education, program planning and implementation, project and budget management; the breadth of her experience is comprehensive.  In her various roles at USC, she managed and provided  program advisement for the Marshall Business Case Competition Program, Marshall Leadership Fellows Program and Marshall student organizations.  She also managed the recruitment, admissions, academic advising and student services for six newly created Specialized Masters Programs.

In addition, Tonisha is founder of LT Elite Prep, an educational and organizational consultancy; that develops programming and opportunities for the advancement of youth in marginalized and disenfranchised communities.  

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