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Board of Directors

The Board of Directors for Campus Communications, Inc. 

Jean Chance

Jean Chance


Community member

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.


Melissa Gomez

Meryl Kornfield

Student member

Editor-in-chief of The Alligator

Meryl Kornfield is a voting-student member of the board. She is currently serving as editor-in-chief and was previously the metro editor. She has spent five semesters working at The Alligator. Previously, she interned at the Palm Beach Post and the Sun Sentinel. 


Rick Hirsch

Rick Hirsch

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.


Caitlin Ostroff

Romy Ellenbogen

Student member

Digital Managing Editor of The Alligator

Romy Ellenbogen is the digitial managing editor for The Independent Florida Alligator. She is a UF journalism senior in her fourth semester at The Alligator. She has interned at the Palm Beach Post and Rodale, Inc. 

Aaron Sharockman

Aaron Sharockman

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.


Jimena Tavel

Paige Fry

Student member

Engagement Managing Editor of The Alligator

Paige Fry is the engagement managing editor for The Independent Florida Alligator. She's a UF journalism senior with an outside concentration in criminology and law. She's been on staff since Summer 2016 and has previously held the positions of university administration reporter, student government reporter and freelance editor. She has also served internships covering breaking news and crime at The Palm Beach Post in West Palm Beach, Florida, and crime and justice at the Chicago Tribune. 


Austin Vining

Austin Vining 

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.


Kim Walsh-Childers

Kim Walsh-Childers

Faculty member of UF's College of Journalism and Communications

Journalism Professor

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.