2018 CMA Chair Election

We are pleased to announce the 2018 CMA Chair Election is now active.  CMA members may vote for their preferred candidate until 11:59 pm on February 1st.  Please review below for Dr. Jonathan A. McElderry's biographical information. 

Dr. Jonathan A. McElderry serves as the Assistant Dean of Students and Director of the Intercultural Center at Wake Forest University. His experience in higher education has focused on enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion on college campuses. Additionally, his research has sought to raise awareness of the experiences of underrepresented students at predominately White institutions and provide strategies to increase their academic and social success. He has presented both nationally and internationally, held leadership positions within the American College Personnel Association, and has received several awards for his work in higher education. Jonathan earned a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis with an emphasis in Higher Education from the University of Missouri, a M.Ed. in College Student Personnel from Ohio University, and a B.S. in Administration of Justice from George Mason University.

Position for which you are applying: Coalition for Multicultural Affairs, Chair

I have been an active member of ACPA since 2010. ACPA immediately became my home that would propel my professional career and passion for student affairs. My participation in the association began with the Pan African Network under the Coalition for Multicultural Affairs (CMA). I served as the Executive Secretary for several years and was then elected as the Chair Elect, serving as the Chair for the Pan African Network during the 2015 annual conference in Tampa, Florida. Upon serving with PAN, I continued my leadership with ACPA by serving as the Executive Secretary and Sponsored Programs Chair for CMA. Through this role, I gained a greater awareness of the ways in which the Coalition impacts underrepresented members’ sense of belonging in ACPA. In addition to my work with CMA, I volunteered with the Coalition for Men and Masculinities as a member of their Sponsored Programs committee. I am proud to call ACPA my professional home and understand the long-term impact we are able to have on members who invest in the organization. My hopes are to continue serving in ACPA to give back towards the next generation of student affairs professionals entering the field.

The ACPA Strategic Imperative for Racial Justice and Decolonization provides a plethora of opportunities to bring visibility to the work of CMA and the Networks. By directing resources and energy towards addressing racial justice and decolonization in student affairs, ACPA creates opportunities for CMA and the Networks to bring additional programming, professional development and resources to membership and leadership within the organization. My plan is to utilize the core values set forward by the association and ensure that CMA’s core values align in tandem. Through my leadership, I am committed to CMA continuing to celebrate the accomplishments and highlight the work of individuals and groups from historically marginalized racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds; advocating for the issues and concerns of our constituency; respect and honoring historically marginalized groups; providing education through convention programing, sponsored programs and educational outreach throughout the year; and continuing to support the CMA networks and ACPA community.

Prior leadership has laid the groundwork to bring about cohesion amongst the programming, open business meetings, and socials during the annual convention between the Networks. My hope is to continue building a strong connection amongst the Networks within CMA through our annual summer meetings, monthly conference calls, and creating opportunities for each of the Networks to work together. CMA must continue to be a safe enough space for members to discuss issues around race and social justice and our constantly changing society that we live in. My hope is to continue to build strong relationships with members within each of the Networks to help advance their mission, the mission of CMA and ACPA as a whole.

I meet and fulfill each of the requirements to serve as the Chair for CMA. My dedication to ACPA for over seven years shows my passion and commitment to the organization and furthering its mission. Additionally, my experience as a Network Chair allowed me the hands-on skills and an understanding of the needs and functionality of the Networks within CMA. My experience in higher education focuses on enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion on college campuses. Additionally, my research seeks to raise awareness of the experiences of underrepresented students at predominately White institutions and provide strategies to increase their academic and social success. My dedication to ACPA and CMA will allow me to continue to advocate for the needs of the Networks, community development and organizational management to move the Coalition and Networks forward.

Throughout my tenure with ACPA, I have been exposed to its ability to create significant leaders within the Association and the field of higher education. Each year I look forward to connecting with colleagues, learning new information and serving the Association. If selected to serve as the CMA Chair, I will capitalize on the vision of ACPA and align the goals of CMA with the direction of the Strategic Imperative for Racial Justice and Decolonization. My experiences in higher education through campus protests and crisis management have equipped me with the experience to advocate for and with individuals whose voice often go unheard. Subsequently, I believe there is still a need to advocate for individuals and groups from historically marginalized racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds across the association and in higher education. I also plan to partner with Commissions and Coalitions throughout ACPA to bring a greater awareness to the importance of CMA and the Networks through effective marketing and continued advocacy. I believe in the power of CMA and the Networks and I am committed to ensuring that our needs and issues are voiced at the international, national and local level. I will also ensure that the business and processes of CMA are met to continue the legacy and long standing traditions that each Network brings to the Association. Lastly, I believe I have the skill set as a visionary and through goal setting to move CMA forward and in line with our Association.

My experiences within higher education focus on enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion on college campuses. I understand the importance of collaboration and working to build bridges between Commissions and Coalitions for the betterment of the organization. The intersection of my identities allows me to understand the importance of having multiple voices at the table and allowing space for those to be heard. I hope to take the knowledge and skill set that I have developed in my daily work and relay that to my work with CMA and ACPA. My belief is that through communication and working together we can work to build and unite not only ACPA, but the profession as a whole.


Dr. Symphony Oxendine

Native, Aboriginal, and Indigenous Network Chair

[email protected]