Voting is now open for eligible CMA members. Please email info@collegemedia.org if you have not received your ballot. Voting closes on April 10 at 5 pm ET. 


Here are the names of the 2021 CMA Board of Director nominees. Their goals and bios can be found further below. 

President-Elect Position 

  • Jackie Alexander
  • Len O'Kelly

Vice President of Member Support

  • Hillary Warren
  • Steve Listopad
  • Carol Terracina-Hartman

Vice President of Member Training 

  • Fredrick Batiste
  • Kirstie Hettinga

More information on the election process can be found here

Missed the Candidates Forum? Click here to watch the  recording.


Candidates for President-Elect 

Jackie Alexander

Jackie Alexander, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Please briefly describe your experience in journalism and media:

I served as editor-in-chief at The Daily Gamecock of the University of South Carolina. I worked for three years as part of the New York Times Regional News Group between the Ocala Star-Banner and the Gainesville Sun.

Please briefly describe your experience in college media advising:

I worked at Clemson University beginning spring 2012 and served there for six years. As the assistant director for student media, I was solely responsible for more than 200 students across seven organizations. I currently serve as the director of student media at UAB for nearly three years now.

Please briefly describe your leadership experience within CMA and/or other similar organizations:

Within CMA, I have had several supporting roles. I served as co-chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force with Rachele Kanigel. We, alongside Candace Baltz, founded the Summit on Diversity and Inclusion in College Media. I have recently served on the Diversity and Inclusion Committee and currently consult with the Ethics Committee. I've also served as diversity programming chair for the past two conventions. I was part of a team of three members who drafted the Diversity and Inclusion Statement approved by the board in summer 2020. I also worked with a small team to revise the What is An Adviser? Statement and develop the Diversity and Inclusion Code.

Please briefly describe your administrative experience; for example, your work with budgets, contracts, personnel, legal issues, event programming, etc.:

At Clemson, I was responsible for eight separate media accounts totaling more than $150,000. I also implemented a debt plan for student newspaper, resulting in the erasure of $40,000 in debt in two years. I've overseen multiple RFP processes, including yearbook and newspaper printing. I oversaw the planning and hosting of the South Carolina Press Association annual training and awards ceremony. I have served as an external reviewer for other student media departments. I was signatory authority on more than two dozen contracts per year at Clemson, including artist and vendor contracts.

Please describe the biggest challenge facing college media, then explain how it might be addressed by CMA:

The biggest challenge facing college media is eradication. College media was insulated for many years from the big bubble that professional media underwent more than a decade ago. The combination of decreased advertising revenue and institutional support means that CMA must help its adviser members as much as possible to find creative solutions to current budget woes.

CMA needs to promote its current and develop new fundraising strategies, including strategic partnerships outside of the college media realm. CMA, through those efforts, should provide innovation micro-grants to advisers that want to tackle the next big project, but are limited in funds. CMA needs comprehensive budget development and management training for all of its members beyond our current offerings of revenue generation and introductory budget training. CMA can create a finance buddy system in which members in need can connect with previously identified members for assistance with developing budget documents and arguments in a personalized setting. I'd like to see the finance committee or another group take that on.

Please list the three priority goals you would hope to see achieved during your term as a CMA officer:

The term of president-elect is a four-year term. Many of these can be achieved quickly, while others with financial implications may take the entirety of the term.

1. Transparency, visibility and accessibility: While CMA has made some strides in transparency, there are attainable short-term goals to be implemented. CMA should send annual letters to all major media outlets and media corporations to acquaint others with our organization. Committees should submit quarterly formal reports to the membership via the listserv and direct email, while the board submits an annual report directly to the membership. Membership meetings during convention should be open to all members -- not just those who have registered and attended the convention. Biannual town hall meetings, where members hold the microphone, should round out those two membership meetings. Regular board meetings should be announced to the membership in advance for each meeting, and each meeting must have an open comment period for the membership to speak directly to the board. Each board member would also hold monthly virtual open office hours to allow membership to connect with the board in a personalized setting. To help our new and returning members not get lost in the shuffle, a new members onboarding portal should be created, directing them to the listserv, committees, Day of Giving, membership profile development and other CMA opportunities. I also advocate for the creation of two bodies: a student advisory council to inform the board on issues students are facing so we can equip advisers to help them navigate those needs as well as a Student Media Consortium. The Student Media Consortium would include representatives from ACP, CBI, CMBAM, BEA and other groups as deemed necessary. The consortium would meet quarterly to discuss issues facing each of our constituencies and how we can work together to solve those.

2. Diversity and Inclusion: I have worked on diversity and inclusion efforts in college media for the last six years. Six years later, we still face old challenges while discovering new ones. Under my administration, I would restart the efforts on the diversity and inclusion certification with a goal of 50 percent completion rate among all CMA members. That will provide vital feedback on the efficacy of a new certification. After accomplishing that foundation, I would advocate restarting efforts to recruit members from HBCUs, HSIs, tribal colleges and others. I'd also advocate for intense research on the college-to-pros pipeline to examine barriers for students from marginalized backgrounds in entering the workforce and staying in media. Inclusion means that not just one person's network has opportunities. I would advocate for formal applications from all members and board interviews for the following: convention programming committee chairships, convention planner, summer workshop track leaders and appointed board positions. For convention, I'd like to establish inclusive speaking and presentation practices to be shared with each session presenter. Ideally, if finances will support it, CMA will provide need-based scholarships for advisers to attend convention.

3. Training and programming: Training and programming are the lifeblood of our organization. It is mission critical. We must continue to grow those opportunities outside of convention. First we need to examine our conventions' efficacy -- both fiscally and educationally. Information regarding session ratings should be provided to each presenter and committee after the conclusion of convention. The convention programming committee chairs should meet monthly as a group so convention planning is an on-going process that is regularly reviewed. I would advocate for the creation of an internal speakers database - adviser members that have a particular expertise or passion area that are open to presenting for their colleagues' students. I'd like to see CMA expand their certifications to include a mid-level manager/director certification, focusing on administrative demands such as budgeting, assessment, employee supervision and development, strategic planning, etc. I believe that New Advisers Certification is a great way to help those new to the profession. I know it helped me. What also helped was the commiseration of colleagues who were new and struggling to figure out what it is we do. I would advocate for the creation of cohorts that are supported for the first year by the VP of member training in order for those members to create community, which leads to retention. I would also like to see CMA create a knowledge database with items we regularly see asks for on the listserv: governing documents, training schedules, RFP examples, assessment examples, strategic plans, evaluations. There is an area of the members only portion of the site for a syllabi bank. Unfortunately that has not been updated in over a decade.

Without CMA, I would not only not be where I am today -- I would not be an adviser. The organization has given me a lot over the years and I have lent my efforts where I can in a supporting role. I believe that CMA can be better. I believe that CMA can and must innovate for all of our futures. And I believe that as president-elect, I can help the organization create a stronger foundation that we can plan for that future atop.


Len O'Kelly

Len O'Kelly, Grand Valley State University

Please briefly describe your experience in journalism and media:

Before coming to Grand Valley I spent 25 years working in commercial radio, in markets as small as Macomb, Illinois and as large as Chicago. I spent fourteen of those years as a program director and one as a news director. After starting in my teaching role at GVSU in 2012, I took on a job working as the morning news anchor for KAMB in Merced, CA, a position I held for eight additional years from the comfort of my home studio.

I have also hosted the simulcast for World College Radio Day each of the ten years the broadcast has been circulated.

Outside of these projects I have worked as a narrator for training, industrial, and "on-hold" projects, with occasional acting in student film projects when the need for a professor arises.

Please briefly describe your experience in college media advising:

I started working as the adviser for GVSU's student radio station in 2010 while working for the university's public radio outlet. I have served in that capacity ever since. In 2012, I was asked to work with our student television station, GVTV, for a semester while the adviser went on sabbatical. She never returned to her role, and I remained as the television adviser until 2018.

Please briefly describe your leadership experience within CMA and/or other similar organizations:

I was asked to be the first chair of the Broadcast Committee when the positions were created a few years ago. The committee positions provide limited opportunity for leadership but also offer the opportunity to take part in Advisory Board meetings at the CMA conferences.

I have recently seen my role step up with GVSU's Student Media Advisory Board. COVID-19 led to many early retirements at our institution; among them, our Associate Dean for Student Life, who oversaw this board. His replacement retires in May, and she has tasked me (as the senior adviser on campus) with helping organize board function for the near future.

More of my leadership roles have been administrative, which I will explain in detail in the next section.

Please briefly describe your administrative experience; for example, your work with budgets, contracts, personnel, legal issues, event programming, etc.:

The role of a radio program director is a huge task. In that position you are responsible for each of the things mentioned as examples in this section: overseeing a portion of the station budget; entering into contracts with vendors for syndicated programming; hiring (and firing) and scheduling air talent; preparing needed FCC documentation for license renewal and ensuring advertising copy is not illegal; booking, scheduling, and hosting concerts and dances, etc. Effectively you are responsible for every single thing that airs on the radio station in some way. You also have the added responsibility of managing feedback from listeners, advertisers, other department heads, upper management, and corporate ownership - all of them offering widely varying opinions on how you should be operating the station. I spent fourteen years in this capacity at various radio stations across the Midwest and at one in New Zealand.

My academic role at GVSU is to serve as the Associate Director of our School of Communications, which houses four undergraduate programs and one graduate program. Just over a thousand students are enrolled in these areas. In my role I primarily work closely with adjunct instructors, hiring and coaching contingent faculty to best serve student and departmental needs. While no longer directly responsible for a budget, I provide input and recommendations to the school director on such matters.

Please describe the biggest challenge facing college media, then explain how it might be addressed by CMA:

Relevance.

Our media outlets are under attack. In my work with College Radio Day I have lost track of the number of student radio stations that have been rendered homeless by administrations selling off frequencies to the highest bidder. Newspapers funded by student governments face pressure to "say nice things" or be rendered obsolete through funding cuts. Advisers who once dealt with now-retired administrators who understood the value of student media now find themselves squaring off with newly-minted admins looking to flex power and save a few dollars in the process. These types of situations all existed pre-COVID, and the enhanced budgetary pressures the pandemic has placed on higher education will only make them more commonplace.

Perhaps our best tactic for survival is to double down on demonstrating just how we uniquely serve our respective student bodies. To show our campus communities that the voices our media amplify matter and desperately need to be heard - perhaps now more than ever.

I think that CMA can address student media relevance by not only continuing to provide the excellent training and support for advisers and students that it always has, but also by being a louder voice of support for student media as a whole, both in the academy and in the popular press. We can answer the call more quickly and more strongly when we learn of media outlets and/or advisers placed in jeopardy of survival. We can spotlight and showcase the accomplishments of our student publications and content in ways beyond an awards presentation amongst ourselves - ways that demonstrate that the work our students do has never been more important. We can truly be the voice for those who pave the way for students to find their voices.

Please list the three priority goals you would hope to see achieved during your term as a CMA officer:

Priority goals for CMA (in no particular order):

-Continuing to serve - and finding ways to better serve - all of our students year round, whether they are involved in newspapers, broadcast media, web, yearbook, magazine, etc. Our conventions are great. What can we be doing the other ten months of the year to make sure our students get the most out of their time in our media outlets? How do we help the institutions we work for see the value in what we do?

-Enhancing diversity and inclusion in the organization. Much work has been done here, but we still have a long way to go. I want to be sure that CMA is a place where everyone feels comfortable exchanging ideas and supporting each other as we support our students.

-Creating an opportunity for others to grow in this organization. I am thankful for the advice and counsel that I have received from so many along my path in CMA. Some of those folks have started to step aside as their advising careers conclude, and we'll need new resources to fill that gap. As an example, I'd like to revisit the committee structure as it exists and adjust it to possibly foster an environment that can create additional leadership opportunity. At our institution we have a problem in which a few members of the faculty do the bulk of the service - because we haven't trained new leaders and no one feels prepared to step up. This leads to frustration and burnout. I want to be sure the same thing doesn't happen to this organization, and at the same time want to create the opportunity for new voices to be heard at the highest levels of the association.


Candidates for Vice President of Member Support 

Hillary Warren

Hillary Warren, Otterbein University

Please briefly describe your experience in journalism and media:

I worked as a reporter and producer in public and commercial radio in California. I have also spent a sabbatical as a reporter for a local weekly paper.

Please briefly describe your experience in college media advising:

I have been a college media adviser since 2002, when I was hired at Otterbein University as the newspaper adviser. Over the past 18 years, my position has included developing the magazine and website and coordinating activities with radio, video and live sports.

Please briefly describe your leadership experience within CMA and/or other similar organizations:

While my service experience with CMA has been limited to the convention and the bylaws committee, I have also been a division chair in AEJMC.

Please briefly describe your administrative experience; for example, your work with budgets, contracts, personnel, legal issues, event programming, etc.:

Part of my advising at Otterbein includes supervising the budget, payroll, travel and working with visiting professionals. I also have experience with large-scale event planning through CMA and AEJMC. I have also executed multiple fund-raising events for political campaigns and local interest groups. Those events have ranged from high-ticket lobbyist dinners to rummage sales.

Please describe the biggest challenge facing college media, then explain how it might be addressed by CMA:

The biggest challenge facing college media is irrelevance. Students are able to build a sense of community via social media. Universities are able to bypass college media through their own media channels (closed circuit TV, social media, text-messaging). For-profit media companies have also entered the college media space and are directly competing with college media for advertising dollars and audiences--sometimes with the assistance of the university. This poses a significant risk to college media and an even larger risk to students who may find too late that their ability to organize and be heard is limited to their own information silos.

Please list the three priority goals you would hope to see achieved during your term as a CMA officer:

If elected VP of Member Support, my three priorities would be:

1. To increase the number of new and diverse voices involved in CMA programming and governance through recruiting members to committees and, eventually, to board leadership.

2. To learn why some members have left CMA and why some members are inactive and see how those members can be reengaged.

3. To build community within CMA through small groups formed around specific challenges facing advisers. We have seen that small groups are very effective for advisers to help each other with distance learning. I'd like to develop these groups into small communities for advisers to support each other.

In essence, I'd like CMA to grow larger, but that growth has to come from internal strength. We will not become resilient with larger membership lists alone. We need to build organizational strength through supporting small groups, building interpersonal connections and mentoring new leaders.


Steve Listopad

Steve Listopad, Henderson State University  

Please briefly describe your experience in journalism and media:

I started out reporting for my hometown daily newspaper and broadcasting our town's city council meetings at 13 and never quit. While in college and between degrees, I was associate editor and reporter for an alt weekly, a reporter for military newspaper, and a post-production supervisor at New Line Cinema, among other things. I was also editor of my high school newspaper and college yearbook. All of that and more before 23. Since I entered the classroom full time, I have continued to freelance, contribute, and consult.

Please briefly describe your experience in college media advising:

I started teaching and advising college media at 23 at the University of Jamestown. In 2003 I was as the only media and journalism faculty. The yearbook had just been shuttered before I got there, and the newspaper was about to be. By 2010, with still no colleagues, the university had a brand new Student Media Center decked with a thriving, award-winning newspaper, a student media website running on our own servers, a student-run TV studio with 24/7 live cable broadcasting across county and streaming online, a 10,000 watt full power FM student-run radio station, and a student-run agency. In 2010, I was honored to receive the CMA Distinguished 4-year Multimedia Adviser Award. Now at Henderson State University, I advise the student newspaper, website and yearbook. I helped our students create a business/ad agency, and our new website, The Oracle Online, which also incorporates our student TV and FM radio, won Arkansas College Media Association's 2020 Website of the Year. Coolest (and saddest) of all, though, due to a series of unfortunate events in our local news environment, my students are now producing The Oracle: Community Edition weekly, becoming the only news organization of any kind servicing our city and surrounding area.

Please briefly describe your leadership experience within CMA and/or other similar organizations:

I have been a CMA member since 2004, shortly after I started my media advising career. I started becoming more active in the organization after receiving the Distinguished 4-year Multimedia Adviser Award in 2010. I have served on multiple advisory committees, chaired convention session groups, and served as a the chair of the Adviser Awards Committee for three years. I was the VP for the North Dakota Newspaper Education Association for six years. I am currently the VP for the Arkansas Pro-Chapter for SPJ, a board member for the Arkansas Newspaper Foundation, and serve on the Arkansas FOIA Coalition. I have also been closely involved with SPLC and New Voices organizing around the country.

Please briefly describe your administrative experience; for example, your work with budgets, contracts, personnel, legal issues, event programming, etc.:

As a student media director and media adviser, budgets, payroll, personnel, contracts, legal issues, event programming, etc. are part of the daily grind for all of us. The Student Media Center build I planned and implemented was the largest single project I've lead. From fundraising to asbestos abatement to bidding and hiring contractors, that half a million dollar project was a great teacher. Every year I recruit, plan, organize and implement media study abroad programs. This is includes scouting locations, contracting with service providers and housing, managing the budget, and hiring faculty. I have also organized two successful state-wide legislative campaigns in North Dakota and Arkansas to pass New Voices legislation, along with evolving the New Voices brand for nationwide organizing.

Please describe the biggest challenge facing college media, then explain how it might be addressed by CMA:

There are plenty of issues. As many of you know, censorship of student journalism is an important issue to me. My students and I created the New Voices movement in 2015 to address this problem, and I continue to be as active as I can be in it. I have always been pleased with whatever help CMA has given to the movement, but censorship at the collegiate level is often not seen as as big of a problem as at the scholastic level. I think it's a mistake to dismiss censorship in higher education, and I would hope to see CMA become more active in outreach and education regarding this issue, especially in the area of retaliation against the adviser.

But I'd like to point to a tangential challenge to censorship, that I think is an amazing opportunity - News Deserts. Professional media platforms are drying up in small and mid-sized communities at unprecedented rates. That happened to us, and now our student media organization is producing the only community newspaper and website for the residents of Clark County. No news due to market forces produces a similar result as no news due to governmental interference - No News is still No News. Many student media organizations across the country are taking impressive steps to fill these vacuums, and CMA could play a vital role in helping students and their advisers turn their campus-focused media into community-focused media. I would like to be a part of helping CMA invest in this opportunity.

Please list the three priority goals you would hope to see achieved during your term as a CMA officer:

Three of my priorities as VP of Member Support would be:

1. To increase membership in CMA

2. To increase member satisfaction in CMA

3. To increase/improve outreach to members and non-members.

I have plenty of ideas to accomplish these goals. I'd love to talk to you more about them.


Carol Terracina-Hartman

Carol Terracina-Hartman, Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania

Please briefly describe your experience in journalism and media:

Primarily, I write about health and science, with an emphasis on environment and big data. I began in radio and build the enviro beat for Capital Public Radio. I also worked in print (newspaper and magazine) in Northern California for 12 years and was hired on the inaugural Examiner.com team for hyper-local news. Most recently, I have been working as a News Editor for daily news outlets, in CA and PA (producing weekly health & science sections) and weekend hosting on public radio. During election season, I cover the campaigns and help set the Editorial calendar.

Please briefly describe your experience in college media advising:

I was drawn into media advising when UW-Madison ran into opposition to installing towers for its campus radio station. I was working with WORT FM (community radio) on a new 'Madison Science Radio' show and hosted a forum in which the community and the campus reps could present their views. Next thing I knew, I was a content adviser to the News Department. Years later, when I began teaching in NorCal, I was hired as Faculty Advisor to The Current, a weekly newspaper. Through grants we soundproofed a darkroom and added podcasting. I left to complete my doctoral residence at Michigan State. When I returned to full-time advising at UW, I was faculty adviser to The Royal Purple, a weekly newspaper. Like prior positions at Clarion and Bloomsburg, we were just beginning convergence; partnerships with UWWTV and UWSUW allowed all of us expand coverage with multimedia options in our weekly delivery and Web updates / social media posts. Presently, I advise a new, 5-campus, all-digital news outlet, HawkEye Media.

Please briefly describe your leadership experience within CMA and/or other similar organizations:

When I returned to CMA as a full-time adviser, I volunteered as Managing Editor for CMR. Having contributed manuscripts to the paper competition and presented at several conferences (fall and at AEJMC Council of Advocates), I wanted to lend my copyediting skills and contribute to the process. I felt such encouragement as a researcher / scholar, I wanted to encourage others also. I also wanted to elevate the status of CMR as a desirable research journal and one that institutions seek out when studying college media. I volunteer regularly as conference panelist-host, participate in on-site critiques, and in the early days was a First Amendment Advocacy Committee member (I think we were called 'First Amendment Responders' early on). For JACC, I held several leadership roles over 10 years: NorCal Chair, NorCal conference chair, NorCal Judging Chair [mail-in contests], Contest Chair: News, Feature, Opinion, Bring-Ins 2002-2007; First Response Adviser; Cal-JEC Publications Chair [primarily responsible for sending comments to state Legislature on relevant legislation, such as SLOs, funding, theft of free newspapers, etc]. For Sacramento Press Club, I chaired the Speakers' Committee, served as member of Diversity Committee, member of Membership Committee, member of Scholarship Committee. For SPJ, my greatest tasks have been to resurrect chapters at Michigan State and at UW-Whitewater (the latter affiliating with Milwaukee Press Club). While in California, I also helped establish Capitol Region Writers Bloc to unite area free lance writers and producers. I served as inaugural vice president and later chair of speakers committee. I also helped establish student membership and scholarships (We later merged into Sac Press Club). Presently, I am active in PA Newspaper Publishers Assoc and SPJ-PA, occasionally attending events at PSU aiming to establish a chapter in Harrisburg.

Please briefly describe your administrative experience; for example, your work with budgets, contracts, personnel, legal issues, event programming, etc.:

As department chair, I managed 7 budgets, a computer lab, staff of 3, faculty of 7. I was lead adviser also so I managed all travel, programming (guest speakers, annual forum, awards program, field trips), vendor contracts and kept our building safe and on the maintenance rotation. At UW, PASSHE and presently, I had less building maintenance worries, but more tech worries, such as rewiring phone lines, installing ethernet cords and fixing printers – which meant developing a network of tech support and advisers. I advised UW's staff as they faced a libel lawsuit all the way to the state Supreme Court. We prevailed, but it cost $9,000 and a lot of spiritual damage. It could have been avoided had the prior adviser had support to do his job. I have hired and fired photo and business advisers to campus media. Presently, I am responsible for all contracts, event programming, training, curriculum development, recruitment, outreach to students and the faculty and the surrounding community.

Please describe the biggest challenge facing college media, then explain how it might be addressed by CMA:

Revenue. COVID shut some media operations down completely. Some had to go digital without sufficient infrastructure or digital tools. And some lost staff because their staff and their community can't support students working remotely at such intensive levels of delivery.

So how to sustain advertising base to support college media delivery and develop new lines of advertising as we stare down a world in which the rules change daily?

CMA's townhalls last spring and summer were a life preserver for those of us drowning in a sea of nonbelievers. Ideas! Positivity! But ... hearing from panelists representing a diverse collection of campus news outlets (big, small, hybrid, bilingual, barely online) would be helpful. The big programs have budgets I will never see. They have connectivity I will never experience. So here are some ideas: 1) invite some professionals (outside of Flytedesk) who can pick our brains and prod us to new ideas for marketing and revenue streams to a TownHall. We all do 'Greet a Grad' and 'Sweet on Sadie' personal ads campaigns and likely tie DIY recipes of soda bread at St. Patrick's Day to ad specials, but what else? How can we attract sponsorships to our digital delivery: who will sponsor our Crime Log? Who will sponsor our "Wherever in Whitewater" photo contest each week if we are online only and visibility is weak?

Begin collecting these ideas and store them under our Adviser Tips on collegemedia.org or add to the Advising Manual (most of us have a COVID section added to our Ops Manual, I guess). 2) Invite some affiliate organizations – AAJA CCNMA – and see what resources we can share to benefit students. How is college media participation looking for their students? What information might be missing to make a college paper useful to all readers?

3) Invite some area SPJ chapter leaders to a TownHall. Address how student journalists can safely engage with the local community to tell today's story. The #COVID story goes beyond campus. Campus staff and faculty experience a cross-section of life; telling this story can enhance the value of the product to readers and boost visibility. It might preserve campus funding (for those in trouble) and it might drive some attention – dollars – if everyone is saying, 'hey did you see that story in The Voice? It's about us.' Who wouldn't want to advertise? read? The analytics could benefit.

Lastly, we should debate a best practices way for building new customer lines. What I am finding is that the adviser (business & editorial) has to make some of these initial contacts and then transfer that contact to the Ads Manager or Business Manager. It's safer and parents are happier, but is it sustainable?

Please list the three priority goals you would hope to see achieved during your term as a CMA officer:

Connect with affiliate organizations to boost diversity in membership, serve more students and expand reach and expertise in CMA

Call on working professionals to affiliate for committed time periods to lend expertise to navigate a business world that challenges and demands a new skillset for producing remotely

Development of databases of resources (vendors, reviews, syllabi, legal updates, assignment ideas etc) to serve as clearinghouses of easily accessible and easily shared information


Candidates for Vice President of Member Training

Fredrick Batiste

Fredrick Batiste, Houston Community College

Please briefly describe your experience in journalism and media:

I spent six years (2002-08) as a reporter and editor for a newspaper in Louisiana. I worked as an education writer covering school districts and higher education for the first three years, and moved over to sports for the final three years. The years in sports focused on covering preps (high schools) and the Southland Conference. I ended my tenure at the paper as assistant sports editor, making decisions on daily and long-term sports coverage.

I covered portions of Hurricane Katrina's aftermath, federal lawsuits dealing with religion in schools and other issues during my time in the field.

I also freelanced for The Advocate newspaper in Baton Rouge, covering preps. I currently contribute to HBCUSports.com, which focuses on sports at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

I participated in the Dow Jones News Fund's Multimedia Training Academy as a fellow in 2019.

Please briefly describe your experience in college media advising:

I'm currently in my 13th year as a college media adviser. I began at my alma mater, Southern University and A&M College, and advised students there for five years before moving on to my current position at Houston Community College.

I went through adviser certification at the College Media Mega Workshop, and presented a breakout session focusing on conflict resolution at the 2015 National Media Convention.

More recently, I moderated a virtual discussion with media professionals in print media, television and public relations discussing cultivating reliable content in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and racial unrest. I continue to work with journalism alumni at my alma mater to raise funds for professional development for current students.

Please briefly describe your leadership experience within CMA and/or other similar organizations:

I currently serve on the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board's Journalism Field of Study Committee.

The committee identifies the block of courses which must be substituted in transfer to a general academic teaching institution for that institution's lower-division requirements for the Journalism degree program into which the student transfers.

Please briefly describe your administrative experience; for example, your work with budgets, contracts, personnel, legal issues, event programming, etc.:

I held the title of program coordinator for Houston Community College's communications program for four years. In that role, I facilitated program committee development and maintenance of program curriculum in collaboration with the department/program chair, including appropriate course and program student learning outcomes (SLOs, PSLOs and core curriculum) that support both the missions of the program and the institution.

Generally served as the representative of the program in matters of curriculum to entities outside the program committee (catalog, curriculum committee, etc.).

At HCC, I facilitate contract negotiations and other professional services for The Egalitarian/HCCEgalitarian.com. I also collaborate with administration on budget issues. I also facilitate student training, and co-sponsored a mentorship breakfast with the local NABJ chapter.

At Southern, I accepted student media director responsibilities in a 3-year period where the university did not install a full-time director. During that period, I negotiated contracts for printing and other professional services while facilitating training for students on legal issues and other items.

Please describe the biggest challenge facing college media, then explain how it might be addressed by CMA:

The biggest challenge facing college media is helping students navigate a highly-polarized and highly-splintered media marketplace.

CMA must address the problem by ensuring advisers are prepared to address navigating the marketplace through training and advocacy. CMA must set the tone for helping ensure advisers are ready to guide their students through these issues.

Advisers must also ensure students that their voices and concerns are welcomed in college newsrooms, and that the advisers have their best interests in mind in regards to developing budding student journalists.

Please list the three priority goals you would hope to see achieved during your term as a CMA officer:

Expand adviser training resources: The pandemic taught us that staying sharp and current gets a little difficult when movement is limited. Everyone has played a sort of catch-up game as we deal with pandemic and its impacts on our members and students. CMA implemented online adviser certification, and it is available for members. We should grow the amount of available to membership. We should work to lower/remove barriers to training in areas such as Adobe Premiere, Audition, podcasting and other content that advisers must know or want to know more about.

In order to increase what is available to members, we must aggressively reach out to our members to help facilitate additional training.

Diverse voices: Our membership is as diverse as the students we work with daily. We should strive to encourage as many advisers from different backgrounds and skill sets to lend their voices and expertise in training students and other advisers.

I want to work to increase the pool of advisers who are willing to develop training materials for students and fellow advisers.

Explore partnerships: CMA must explore other groups/companies involved in media training to see what possibilities exist in terms of member training. The pandemic also taught us that we cannot operate in silos. CMA leadership must work strategically with others in order to enhance member training by identifying gaps and opportunities.


Kirstie Hettinga

Kirstie Hettinga, Cal Lutheran University

Please briefly describe your experience in journalism and media:

I worked briefly in communication for a nonprofit, interned at a daily newspaper in graduate school, and worked for a short time at AccuWeather writing and editing weather-related feature content.

Please briefly describe your experience in college media advising:

I have been a college media adviser for about 10 years. I served as the faculty adviser to The Grizzly at Ursinus College outside of Philadelphia for two years while I was a visiting assistant professor. While there, I helped launch The Grizzly's first website. I joined the faculty at Cal Lutheran in 2013 and have served as the faculty adviser to The Echo since I was hired. As a Hispanic-serving Institution, we have recently added Spanish-language content.

Please briefly describe your leadership experience within CMA and/or other similar organizations:

While I have not had leadership experience with CMA, I joined the board of the California College Media Association in 2020. I also serve as the coordinator for the Champions of Editing event at AEJMC.

Please briefly describe your administrative experience; for example, your work with budgets, contracts, personnel, legal issues, event programming, etc.:

As a faculty adviser, I oversee our publication's budget and related student pay. In addition to planning the AEJMC's Champions of Editing annual event, I oversee its budget, which comes from sponsors, and recently helped launch related teaching and research competitions. In fall 2019, I coordinated a 1-day free journalism training with Dr. Elizabeth Smith at Pepperdine that included 11 speakers/presenters. This grant-funded event will run again in fall 2021.

Please describe the biggest challenge facing college media, then explain how it might be addressed by CMA:

While we all know about issues of budgets, student media freedom, etc. I believe more could be done to address the mental well-being of students who are facing incredible pressures that are exacerbated by the pandemic, social unrest and uncertain work futures. It seems as if many faculty advisers are doing extra work in addressing student well-being. CMA could offer adviser training to help advisers help students.

Please list the three priority goals you would hope to see achieved during your term as a CMA officer:

As VP for member training, I would 1) work to keep member training current and relevant, 2) explore the creation/re-establishment of new adviser mentoring, and 3) seek to provide diverse training that is reflective of the CMA membership, and particularly addresses the needs of smaller publications/programs.