Dean's Office

It is my pleasure to introduce The Team in the Dean's office. It is a team of capable professionals who assist faculty, students, alumni, donors, visitors, friends of the college, and all university constituencies. Their position descriptions (see below) belie the magnitude of knowledge, skill, and experience that they bring to their respective areas – and are offered as a valued starting point for your interest and to direct and assist you with immediate needs.

Bryant Keith Alexander, Ph.D., Dean

Michele Hammers, Ph.D., Associate Dean, works with Academic and Faculty Affairs in the college. She assists students in overall academic planning and works with the assistant dean and the staff of the CFA Academic Advisement Center for Student Success (AACSS). Most specifically, Hammers handles student/faculty grievances, academic honesty cases, grade appeals, faculty affairs/faculty support-related issues, and college committees. Hammers will work on curricular issues, including program reviews, accreditation, and academic assessment; enrollment management; registration activities/planning, including first year student online summer registration, college-university interface through the associate dean network and university committees as assigned, as well as operations and the Undergraduate Research Symposium, inclusive of the Arts Showcase; amongst other things.

Elaine Patricia Walker, Ed.D, Assistant Dean, helps students to clarify educational and life goals, guides students who are struggling academically and assists those on academic probation, helps students to prepare for undergraduate research and scholarship applications, approves study abroad plans and transfer courses for currently enrolled students, partners with other colleges and student support services across the university to address services for CFA students, assists students with academic policy questions and academic advising protocols, helps students to understand Degree Progress Reports, and represents the Dean and the College at meetings and events. Walker is also the Director of the CFA Student Mentor Program, and the CFA Liaison for Career and Professional Development. She serves on the University Assessment Advisory Council and The Associate Dean’s Council.

Tom Barette, Associate Director, Academic Budgets and Planning, will direct the development and administration of CFA’s budget including budget planning, policy development, strategic business operation, forecasting, and financial planning. In this capacity, he will support the dean with internal controls to ensure compliance with university policies and regulatory requirements, and will work closely with the dean and the dean's council on the development of CFA’s multi-year strategic plan.

Alexander Egger, Technology Support Specialist, provides technology support for the College through Information Technology Services. Alexander will provide guidance, trouble-shooting and innovative solutions in order to improve student and teacher user experiences at CFA.

Jameia McDuffie, Academic Advisor, will help students understand degree requirements; create, clarify, and refine educational goals and plans; explore curricular and co-curricular opportunities; select majors; understand academic policies and procedures; connect with faculty members and university resources; address concerns and challenges both inside and outside the classroom that impact academic success; determine academic goals and develop meaningful educational plans. She will work closely with other departments and offices to ensure that students are effectively served and may be responsible for coordinating co-curricular or other academic support programs.

Kate Shirley, Associate Director, Academic Communications, is responsible for developing, managing, and executing all CFA marketing and communications initiatives, to further the strategic goals of the college. This involves supervising all content creation for the college, including both internal and external print and digital publications and collateral materials, graduate program marketing, video production, as well as managing all content on the College's website, blog, and social media channels.

Charisse D. Smith, Budget Analyst, provides guidance and support about: University policies and CFA internal policies and guidelines, the management of work study funds, procedures for submitting travel requests, travel advances, travel reimbursements, p-cards and personal expense reimbursements.

Rachel Van Houten, Senior Coordinator of Academic Services, assists the Associate Dean and Assistant Dean in the implementation of college and university functions, policies and bylaws. She coordinates a full range of services to support the undergraduate academic experience from orientation to graduation, including academic advisement, evaluation of transfer courses, recommendation of curricular exceptions and substitutions, and analysis of individual progress toward degree completion, through daily direct interaction with students and faculty. Rachel supports the college's annual online University Bulletin revision and bi-annual class schedule development process. She assists the Von Der Ahe Chair of Communication and Ethics with curricular and co-curricular programming, and also supports the college's internal research functions, compiling, and disseminating data as necessary.

Tania Walls, Academic Affairs Administrative Coordinator, performs a wide variety of administrative and professional duties to support the Associate and Assistant Deans of the College of Communication and Fine Arts. She assists with compiling and analyzing information for college reports, maintains records and databases. Tania also provides analytical data research for CFA program reviews, and assists with annual class scheduling and The Bulletin reviews. She works closely with the Associate and Assistant Deans regarding their daily schedules of college and university functions supporting both students and faculty.


Pamela Wimberly-Willis, Administrative Specialist, works in tandem with the Dean and other college leadership to manage broad-based operations in the college; manages the records of full-time faculty and part-time faculty, which includes online processing of all part-time requisitions; facilitates the resource management plan for computers/peripheral orders; supervises office moves; prepares tenure-track faculty for promotion to rank and/or advancement to tenure; instructs tenure-track faculty on grant submissions, CFA internal grants, CFA fellowships, summer research grants, and Rains research grants; is responsible for records maintenance and recording of student evaluations of all faculty; placing ads and hiring work-study students.

Pam Headshot