The Board of Directors for Campus Communications, Inc.
Jean Chance, emeritus professor of journalism at UF, joined the board of Campus Communications Inc. after retiring in 2003. She was elected chairman in 2004. Her professional newsroom experience includes the Miami Herald, St. Petersburg Times, Tampa Tribune, Sarasota Herald Tribune and Gainesville Sun. She serves as the community representative on the board.
Editor-in-chief of The Alligator
Melissa Gomez is a voting-student member of the board. She is currently serving as editor-in-chief and has previously served as managing editor, print. She has spent two semesters serving as a board member and five semesters working at The Alligator. Previously, she interned at the Naples Daily News, Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Tampa Bay Times. This summer, she will be interning with the New York Times.
Alligator alumnus with newsroom experience
Managing Editor of Miami Herald
Rick Hirsch is managing editor of The Miami Herald, where he has worked as a reporter and editor for 38 years. He is responsible for day-to-day oversight of The Herald’s news content on mobile, tablet, desktop, social and print platforms. He played a key role in its shift to digital news and video, as well as its collaboration with public radio. He also supervises newsroom training and recruiting.
Prior to moving into digital journalism in 2003, Hirsch served in a variety of editing and reporting roles, including managing editor of the newspaper’s Broward County edition. In Miami, he has supervised The Herald’s coverage of local government, public and private schools, and played a key role in coverage of Hurricane Andrew and its aftermath, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.
Hirsch is a past president of the Florida Society of News Editors, a past chair of the University of Florida’s College of Journalism Advisory Council and a college Alumnus of Distinction, and a founder of the Online News Association’s South Florida group.
Managing Editor, Online, of The Alligator
Caitlin Ostroff is the managing editor, online for The Independent Florida Alligator. She is a UF journalism and political science senior now in her sixth semester at The Alligator. She has interned at the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, CNN Digital and the Miami Herald. This summer, she’ll be interning with The Wall Street Journal.
Member serving in a professional newsroom
Executive Director of PolitiFact
Aaron Sharockman is the executive director of PolitiFact, the largest fact-checking organization in the United States. Aaron leads the growth and development of PolitiFact, manages its outreach and news partnerships, and oversees new initiatives and product development. Aaron has been with PolitiFact since 2010 and served most recently as the editor of PunditFact, a website dedicated to checking claims by pundits, columnists, bloggers and the hosts and guests of talk shows. Previously, Aaron was a government and politics reporter for the Tampa Bay Times. Aaron was a 2016-17 Reynolds Fellow at the University of Missouri and taught a class on political fact-checking at the University of Missouri School of Journalism.
Managing Editor, Print, of The Alligator
Jimena Tavel is a journalism senior at UF. She was born and raised in Honduras by a Costa Rican mother and a Cuban father, while surrounded by three rowdy, closely aged brothers. When she was gifted the opportunity to study abroad in the U.S., she chose journalism as her major because she enjoyed writing. However, she knew nothing about it. Right after learning what syllabus week was, she discovered the AP Stylebook and fell in love with the adrenaline of breaking news. She joined the Alligator as a contributor in Fall 2016, after transferring to UF from Florida Gulf Coast University. She then worked her way up to managing editor, print and joined the Board of Directors this Spring. She’s also the treasurer for the UF Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. After graduating, Jimena hopes to work for a newspaper and forever hold her Alligator family close to her heart.
Graduate student with journalism experience
University of Florida Graduate Student
Austin Vining is a doctoral student and graduate research fellow with the Marion B. Brechner First Amendment Project at the University of Florida. He joined the Campus Communications Inc. board in 2016. Before returning to academia, Vining worked as a journalist for community daily newspapers in Mississippi. His work garnered awards from the Mississippi Press Association, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana/Mississippi Associated Press Media Editors. Fun fact: Vining holds the distinction of serving as his college newspaper’s first two-term editor-in-chief.
Faculty member of UF's College of Journalism and Communications
Kim is a former newspaper health reporter who teaches at UF. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia and her master’s degree and doctorate from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. At UF, she has taught news writing, magazine and feature-writing, journalism ethics and a variety of other courses, including UF’s first solutions journalism course. Her research focuses on news coverage of health issues and mass media effects on individual health and health policy. Her work has been supported by grants from the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National Cancer Institute and the U.S. Department of Defense. She also spent an academic year teaching journalism ethics in Ireland as a Fulbright Scholar.