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Board of Directors


Chris Whitley

President, Tarrant County College

Chris Whitley is the director of student publications at Tarrant County College, a community college district in Fort Worth, Texas. He started at TCC in 2008 as an instructor/adviser of TCC's award-winning newspaper, The Collegian, before becoming director in 2017. Before then, he was the adviser of The Shorthorn at the University of Texas at Arlington. He was a longtime contributing writer to The Dallas Morning News and has worked for WNBC in New York as well as newspapers in Texas and Ohio. He's been a CMA member since 2001 and served as the director for the 2017 National College Media Convention in Dallas. Whitley was born in Dallas and still lives there with his wife, Melissa Dease. His election to the CMA board is his greatest honor, except for that time he was a pie judge at the State Fair of Texas. | Elected term for President-elect runs October 2019 - October 2021. Whitley stepped in as President in December 2020 to fill Griffin's vacancy. President term runs October 2021-2023.

Jackie Alexander

President-Elect, University of Alabama

Jackie Alexander serves as the director of Student Media at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Alexander started her journey in college media advising and the College Media Association in 2012 during her role as associate director of student media at Clemson University. She also is a former committee member of the Diversity and Inclusion committee and is co-founder of National Summit of Diversity and Inclusion for College Media. She attended and graduated from the University of South Carolina’s journalism school, where she served as editor-in-chief of the Daily Gamecock. After college, she was a professional newspaper reporter in north central Florida. She is a single parent to Little Boss, who is in training to either rule or destroy the world. In her spare time, Jackie enjoys starting new projects, feverishly writing discussion post questions for her master’s program shortly before 11:59 p.m., and reading copious romance novels. Email:  | October 2021 – October 2023.‎

Hillary Warren

Vice President, Member Support, Otterbein University

Hillary Warren advises T&C Media and is professor of communication at Otterbein University in ‎Westerville, Ohio. A California native, Warren was a political organizer and campaign finance ‎consultant before becoming a producer/reporter in public and commercial radio. She holds a Ph.D. in ‎journalism (1998) from the University of Texas at Austin and was honored to work for Griff Singer, one ‎of the legends of Texas journalism, and Bradley Wilson, one of her advising idols. While at Texas, she ‎worked in the very first workshops and institutes devoted to data journalism, web-based content ‎delivery and website development. Warren taught journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens ‎Point and Denison University before becoming adviser at Otterbein in 2002. In her time at Otterbein, ‎Warren has transitioned the student staff and curriculum from a weekly paper to a magazine and ‎website. She is most proud of the current collaboration between the web, magazine, radio and video ‎students to move to a common website. Since joining CMA in 2003, she has served as assistant ‎convention director and convention director of the New York convention, chaired the SPLC benefit ‎book auction, created the Iron Reporter competition and collaborated to revise the CMA Bylaws and ‎Code of Ethics. ‎ Email: | Term runs October 2021 – October 2023.

Fredrick Batiste

Vice President, Member Training, Houston Community College

Fredrick Batiste is a journalism instructor and adviser to The Egalitarian at Houston ‎Community College, a community college district in Houston, Texas. ‎A CMA member since 2008, Batiste worked 13 years advising aspiring journalists after ‎spending six years as a journalist covering schools and sports in South Louisiana. He ‎continues to freelance.‎ Batiste currently sits on the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s Journalism ‎Field of Study Advisory Committee. The Committee is charged to identify 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.‎ Fredrick holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in mass communication from ‎Southern University and A&M College. He is a member of the National Association of ‎Black Journalists.‎ Email: | Term runs October 2021 – October 2023.‎

Steven Chappell

Treasurer - Northwest Missouri State University

Steven Chappell is an instructor of mass media and director of student publications at Northwest Missouri State University. He has been a media adviser and active member of College Media Association since 1993, and was a professional journalist for 10 years before he began advising college media. He is also the founder of the Twitter feed @comminternships, which shares internship and entry-level openings in communication jobs across the globe. Chappell has been a professional journalist for more than 30 years and a college media adviser for more than 20 years. He was named to the College Media Advisers Four-Year College Newspaper Adviser Honor Roll in 2004 for outstanding media advising and his service to the organization, and he was named Missouri College Media Association Adviser of the Year for 2016. His Twitter feed has landed him roles as a communications internship expert with organizations such as ProfNet, Reuters and LinkedIn. In his spare time, he seeks out the hottest food he can find. He has yet to find something he can’t eat. If you have an idea, send it his way. Nothing is too hot or outrageous. | Appointed May 2018. First term runs October 2018-October 2020. Seconds term runs October 2020-October 2022.

 Sandra Combs 

 Secretary - Arkansas State University 

Sandra is an associate professor in the School of Media & Journalism and adviser to The Herald student newspaper. She came to Arkansas State in 2008. Before then, she taught journalism classes at Michigan State University and Wayne State University. She has degrees in journalism from the University of Florida and Michigan State University. She worked as a journalist at The Fort Myers News-Press, The Oakland Press and The Detroit News. Combs now freelances part time. Along with CMA, she is also a member of Arkansas College Media Advisers, National Association of Black Journalists, Central Arkansas Association of Black Journalists, Society of Professional Journalists, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, the Western Social Science Association, a former board member of the Arkansas ACLU and a lifetime member of the NAACP. Email: | Appointed December 2020. First term runs December 2020-October 2022.