Purdue Black Alumni Organization

PBAO Board

Andrea Fay Barber-Dansby

(IE’84)

Anderson, IN

Andrea Fay Barber-Dansby is a senior lecturer with the engineering technology program School of Engineering at Purdue Polytechnic Anderson. Barber-Dansby previously worked for General Motors (GM) as an industrial and manufacturing engineer and was a certified engineering recruiter for GM component divisions. She is an alumna of the Indianapolis Entrepreneurship Academy, a recipient of an education award from the Anderson Madison County Black Chamber of Commerce, and was featured in a Temple University publication highlighting women in science and engineering. Barber-Dansby serves her community in many ways, including facilitating the Anderson Advanced Manufacturing Program. Barber-Dansby currently serves as a board member and co-coordinator of PBAO’s Indianapolis region.
Andrea Fay Barber-Dansby is a senior lecturer with the engineering technology program School of Engineering at Purdue Polytechnic Anderson. Barber-Dansby previously worked for General Motors (GM) as an industrial and manufacturing engineer and was a certified engineering recruiter for GM component divisions. She is an alumna of the Indianapolis Entrepreneurship Academy, a recipient of an education award from the Anderson Madison County Black Chamber of Commerce, and was featured in a Temple University publication highlighting women in science and engineering. Barber-Dansby serves her community in many ways, including facilitating the Anderson Advanced Manufacturing Program. Barber-Dansby currently serves as a board member and co-coordinator of PBAO’s Indianapolis region.

Angela Threlkeld Dodd

(IE’83)

Chicago, IL

Angela Threlkeld Dodd is the director of assessment and curriculum management for Cleveland Avenue, a venture capital firm. In this role, she extends philanthropy to Black, Latinx, and women entrepreneurs in Chicago to help build stronger businesses and communities on the city’s south and west sides. Dodd has a degree from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and has served as both an officer and a board member for the Detroit chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners. She is currently the vice president of PBAO and a team leader on Purdue University’s Equity Task Force.
Angela Threlkeld Dodd is the director of assessment and curriculum management for Cleveland Avenue, a venture capital firm. In this role, she extends philanthropy to Black, Latinx, and women entrepreneurs in Chicago to help build stronger businesses and communities on the city’s south and west sides. Dodd has a degree from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and has served as both an officer and a board member for the Detroit chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners. She is currently the vice president of PBAO and a team leader on Purdue University’s Equity Task Force.

Ashley D. Gilmore

(LA’05)

Durham, NC

Ashley Gilmore is a clinically certified counseling professional. With degrees in education as well as marriage and family therapy, Gilmore specializes in sharing the importance of mental health in the Black community. She is currently a clinical coordinator for a mental health agency that serves low-income Black clients in her community. She also runs her own private therapy practice that seeks to educate, inspire, and create opportunities for mental and emotional wellness. Gilmore is a member of several professional organizations, including Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority.
Ashley Gilmore is a clinically certified counseling professional. With degrees in education as well as marriage and family therapy, Gilmore specializes in sharing the importance of mental health in the Black community. She is currently a clinical coordinator for a mental health agency that serves low-income Black clients in her community. She also runs her own private therapy practice that seeks to educate, inspire, and create opportunities for mental and emotional wellness. Gilmore is a member of several professional organizations, including Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority.

Brian K. Saunders

(ECE’83)

Oakland, CA

Brian Saunders is the founder and owner of Agent Hi5 Marketing, a national agency providing digital marketing services to businesses and nonprofits. Throughout his career, Saunders has been an advocate for STEM education for Black pre-college students and is on the editorial board for STEM News Chronicle. He received his MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, where he currently serves as a board member and webmaster for the Black Alumni of Dartmouth Association. In this role, Saunders actively advocates for the college to address its slavery roots and as well as its current racial issues. He is an active member of the Sigma Iota graduate chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.
Brian Saunders is the founder and owner of Agent Hi5 Marketing, a national agency providing digital marketing services to businesses and nonprofits. Throughout his career, Saunders has been an advocate for STEM education for Black pre-college students and is on the editorial board for STEM News Chronicle. He received his MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, where he currently serves as a board member and webmaster for the Black Alumni of Dartmouth Association. In this role, Saunders actively advocates for the college to address its slavery roots and as well as its current racial issues. He is an active member of the Sigma Iota graduate chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.

Carlos Banks ll

(M’08)

Roanoke, TX

Carlos Banks ll is a managing director at Accenture, a multinational professional services firm, where he focuses on operations. Banks received master’s degrees in business administration and engineering management from Northwestern University. At Purdue, he was a member of the Business Opportunity Program and served in multiple student leadership roles for the Krannert School of Management. He is the recipient of the Dr. Cornell A. Bell Award, Purdue Black Caucus Academic and Service and Leadership Awards, and the Krannert Outstanding Senior Award. Banks also served as president of the Society of Minority Managers and the Krannert Management Ambassadors and was a member of both the Krannert President’s Council and the Purdue Black Student Union.
Carlos Banks ll is a managing director at Accenture, a multinational professional services firm, where he focuses on operations. Banks received master’s degrees in business administration and engineering management from Northwestern University. At Purdue, he was a member of the Business Opportunity Program and served in multiple student leadership roles for the Krannert School of Management. He is the recipient of the Dr. Cornell A. Bell Award, Purdue Black Caucus Academic and Service and Leadership Awards, and the Krannert Outstanding Senior Award. Banks also served as president of the Society of Minority Managers and the Krannert Management Ambassadors and was a member of both the Krannert President’s Council and the Purdue Black Student Union.

Curtis A. Baylor

(IE’72)

Indianapolis, IN

Curtis Baylor is a licensed financial services professional and retired military officer with more than 20 years of experience as a self-employed entrepreneur. He received an MBA from Loyola University and has completed several military courses of instruction as well as doctoral courses in higher education at George Washington University. Baylor has been a deacon at Alfred Street Baptist Church since 2009, serves with Leadership Fairfax, and is on the board of directors for several organizations. He is currently the president of PBAO and believes it is crucial to be involved in bettering one’s community.
Curtis Baylor is a licensed financial services professional and retired military officer with more than 20 years of experience as a self-employed entrepreneur. He received an MBA from Loyola University and has completed several military courses of instruction as well as doctoral courses in higher education at George Washington University. Baylor has been a deacon at Alfred Street Baptist Church since 2009, serves with Leadership Fairfax, and is on the board of directors for several organizations. He is currently the president of PBAO and believes it is crucial to be involved in bettering one’s community.

Darien Thompson

(PNW’17, MBA PNW’19)

Anderson, IN

Darien Thompson is the associate director of diversity initiatives for the Krannert School of Management. During her undergraduate career at Purdue University Northwest, she led the women’s basketball team to a regular season championship, a conference tournament championship, and three NAIA tournament appearances. Thompson continued to serve the team as a graduate assistant while working on her MBA. She also was a graduate assistant for the White Lodging School of Hospitality and Tourism Management and was involved with the Institutional Advancement team.
Darien Thompson is the associate director of diversity initiatives for the Krannert School of Management. During her undergraduate career at Purdue University Northwest, she led the women’s basketball team to a regular season championship, a conference tournament championship, and three NAIA tournament appearances. Thompson continued to serve the team as a graduate assistant while working on her MBA. She also was a graduate assistant for the White Lodging School of Hospitality and Tourism Management and was involved with the Institutional Advancement team.

Forrest Carter

(M’72, MS M’74, PhD M’78)

Lansing, MI

Forrest Carter is an associate professor of marketing for the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University, where he teaches courses in marketing research, marketing strategy, and entrepreneurship. He also serves as the faculty director of the university’s Burgess Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. In addition to his master’s and doctorate degrees specializing in marketing and quantitative methods, he has entrepreneurship experience in lighting, housing development, and market research. Carter is a former president of the Black Faculty, Staff, and Administrators Association at Michigan State University, a charter member of the Lansing Black Chamber of Commerce, and has served as a consultant with numerous organizations, including Citibank, Johnson & Johnson, and several small minority-owned businesses across the Midwest.
Forrest Carter is an associate professor of marketing for the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University, where he teaches courses in marketing research, marketing strategy, and entrepreneurship. He also serves as the faculty director of the university’s Burgess Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. In addition to his master’s and doctorate degrees specializing in marketing and quantitative methods, he has entrepreneurship experience in lighting, housing development, and market research. Carter is a former president of the Black Faculty, Staff, and Administrators Association at Michigan State University, a charter member of the Lansing Black Chamber of Commerce, and has served as a consultant with numerous organizations, including Citibank, Johnson & Johnson, and several small minority-owned businesses across the Midwest.

Gayle Thornton

(EnE’82)

Washington, DC

Gayle Thornton is the chief of staff and senior executive advisor with the Federal Aviation Administration’s Interagency Planning Office for NextGen. Throughout her career with the FAA, she has held management roles in research and development, navigation and surveillance, policy and planning, and environment and energy. Thornton received a law degree from the University of Baltimore School of Law and is a member of the bar in both Maryland and Washington, DC. Thornton has been a Presidential Management fellow with the Department of Homeland Security, a senior policy advisor for the Environmental Protection Agency, and a delegate and technical advisor to the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development.
Gayle Thornton is the chief of staff and senior executive advisor with the Federal Aviation Administration’s Interagency Planning Office for NextGen. Throughout her career with the FAA, she has held management roles in research and development, navigation and surveillance, policy and planning, and environment and energy. Thornton received a law degree from the University of Baltimore School of Law and is a member of the bar in both Maryland and Washington, DC. Thornton has been a Presidential Management fellow with the Department of Homeland Security, a senior policy advisor for the Environmental Protection Agency, and a delegate and technical advisor to the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development.

Kathryn Jordan

(HHS’78)

Indianapolis, IN

Kathryn Jordan is the president and CEO of KJordan Consulting, which helps identify and develop resources, tools, and strategies that maximize personal and professional performance in sports, entertainment, and business. Jordan spent 25 years with the Indiana Pacers, where she gained recognition from professional sports teams nationwide for her innovative approach to athlete development and community relations. She is the founder and former president of the Pacers Foundation and served as vice president for both communications and team and player development for Pacers Sports & Entertainment. A member of the Alpha Mu Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Jordan was appointed the project director for Indianapolis’s Landmark for Peace memorial, which honors Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy.
Kathryn Jordan is the president and CEO of KJordan Consulting, which helps identify and develop resources, tools, and strategies that maximize personal and professional performance in sports, entertainment, and business. Jordan spent 25 years with the Indiana Pacers, where she gained recognition from professional sports teams nationwide for her innovative approach to athlete development and community relations. She is the founder and former president of the Pacers Foundation and served as vice president for both communications and team and player development for Pacers Sports & Entertainment. A member of the Alpha Mu Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Jordan was appointed the project director for Indianapolis’s Landmark for Peace memorial, which honors Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy.

Nneka Madus

(LA’04)

San Francisco, CA

Nneka Madus is a marketing management professional who specializes in driving client engagement and revenue growth through the strategic activation of live and digital programs. She currently manages the digital and channel marketing strategies for a Bay Area renewable energy startup.
Nneka Madus is a marketing management professional who specializes in driving client engagement and revenue growth through the strategic activation of live and digital programs. She currently manages the digital and channel marketing strategies for a Bay Area renewable energy startup.

Roland B. Brown

(M’73)

Atlanta, GA

Roland Brown spent 43 years as a leader in corporate financial accounting, where he worked with plant management, startups, mergers and acquisitions, and joint ventures. He received his MBA from Middle Tennessee State University and has provided financial oversight for revenue streams exceeding $1.7 billion. An active member of the Kappa Alpha Alpha graduate chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Brown believes in providing a solid foundation for the next generation and serves as a community youth advocate, mentor, and financial instructor. He is also a volunteer master gardener in his community.
Roland Brown spent 43 years as a leader in corporate financial accounting, where he worked with plant management, startups, mergers and acquisitions, and joint ventures. He received his MBA from Middle Tennessee State University and has provided financial oversight for revenue streams exceeding $1.7 billion. An active member of the Kappa Alpha Alpha graduate chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Brown believes in providing a solid foundation for the next generation and serves as a community youth advocate, mentor, and financial instructor. He is also a volunteer master gardener in his community.

Shanita D. Starks

(M’96)

Gary, IN

Shanita Starks is the deputy chief of staff for the mayor of Gary, Indiana. She works directly with residents and business owners to reimagine Gary and think about its possibilities. Starks is a former participant in the Business Opportunity Program under Dr. Cornell Bell, whom she hopes to emulate by serving as the connector between Northwest Indiana and Purdue’s West Lafayette campus. Starks is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.
Shanita Starks is the deputy chief of staff for the mayor of Gary, Indiana. She works directly with residents and business owners to reimagine Gary and think about its possibilities. Starks is a former participant in the Business Opportunity Program under Dr. Cornell Bell, whom she hopes to emulate by serving as the connector between Northwest Indiana and Purdue’s West Lafayette campus. Starks is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

Sharon James

(A’90)

Washington, DC

Sharon James is an IT professional with more than 25 years of experience in UX design and project management. She specializes in the interactive design of web applications and has worked for Lockheed Martin, Electronic Data Systems (now HP), Harris Corporation, General Dynamics, and smaller woman- and minority-owned companies. A graduate of the Army ROTC Boiler Battalion, James is a retired military officer who served more than two decades in the Army Reserve. James received a master’s degree in project management from the Florida Tech Nathan M. Bisk College of Business. She holds certifications as a project management professional and interaction design specialist.
Sharon James is an IT professional with more than 25 years of experience in UX design and project management. She specializes in the interactive design of web applications and has worked for Lockheed Martin, Electronic Data Systems (now HP), Harris Corporation, General Dynamics, and smaller woman- and minority-owned companies. A graduate of the Army ROTC Boiler Battalion, James is a retired military officer who served more than two decades in the Army Reserve. James received a master’s degree in project management from the Florida Tech Nathan M. Bisk College of Business. She holds certifications as a project management professional and interaction design specialist.

Veronica Appleton

(LA’10)

Chicago, IL

Veronica Appleton is a lecturer of intercultural communication at DePaul University in Chicago and the vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusion for the Marketing Arm, a creative advertising agency. She received her master’s degree from DePaul and is now pursuing a doctoral degree in organizational behavior and leadership at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, with significant research interests in organizational culture and diversity management. Appleton has served in various academic roles at Purdue University and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and Feinberg School of Medicine. She has also worked with ABC 7 Chicago, Sports Illustrated, and PepsiCo’s division of Gatorade and Propel Fitness Water. Appleton is a multicultural children’s author and supports several Chicagoland nonprofits.
Veronica Appleton is a lecturer of intercultural communication at DePaul University in Chicago and the vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusion for the Marketing Arm, a creative advertising agency. She received her master’s degree from DePaul and is now pursuing a doctoral degree in organizational behavior and leadership at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, with significant research interests in organizational culture and diversity management. Appleton has served in various academic roles at Purdue University and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and Feinberg School of Medicine. She has also worked with ABC 7 Chicago, Sports Illustrated, and PepsiCo’s division of Gatorade and Propel Fitness Water. Appleton is a multicultural children’s author and supports several Chicagoland nonprofits.