The University of West Georgia Alumni Association is pleased to announce our new additions to the UWG Alumni Board of Directors who will become a part of the Class of 2023. This distinguished collection of UWG alumni have generously agreed to serve a three-year term, which began on July 1, 2020. Those members include Chantrice Copeland (’09), Dr. Karen “KC” Curtis (’74, ’78, ’84), Tanya Debick (’99, ’01), Tyler Duffey (’09, ’13), Keith Haber (’18) and Dr. Frederick “Rick” Martin (’73).
The Board is led by Melanie Hildebrandt (’03, ’08) who was elected to serve as Chair in 2019. Hildebrant is a senior economics lecturer in the UWG Richards College of Business. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in International Economic Affairs and a Master of Business Administration from UWG. Additionally, she holds a Master of Science in Applied Economics from Georgia Southern University. Melanie has served as a member of the board of directors since 2014.
Four board members – Michael Davis (’05), Jason Kennedy (’09, ’18), Christopher Sanders (’03) and Dr. Terie Smith-Phillips (’82, ’85, ’86) – were selected to serve a second three-year term.
Class of 2023 Board Members
Chantrice R. Copeland (’09) is an Information Technology Program Manager, an artist, a mentor, and a podcast host and producer. In her role as an IT Program Manager, Chantrice has worked with a variety of software development teams and has had the opportunity to represent AT&T’s Atlanta Technology Development organization on a panel with the Department of Education. She is the founder of Project SWATS, an organization with a mission to share wisdom and tools for success in subject areas that are typically neglected in the traditional classroom setting. Among her many volunteer roles, Chantrice has served as a mentor for a UWG student in the Richards College of Business. She earned a dual Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Management Information Systems and Management from UWG and a Master of Science in Information Technology from Southern Polytechnic State University (now Kennesaw State University).
Dr. Karen “KC” Curtis (’74, ’78, ’84) is an experienced independent consultant with a focus on nonprofit organizations, budgeting, career development, team building, and customer service. Before starting her own consulting firm, KC spent the bulk of her career as the Career Services Director at West Georgia Technical College. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Education, a Master of Education and an Education Specialist degree from then-West Georgia College and a Doctorate of Education in Higher Education Administration from Nova Southeastern University.
Tanya Debick (’99, ’01) is the Senior Center Director for the City of Bremen Parks and Recreation. She has spent her entire career serving her community in local government organizations. In addition to her work, Tanya is involved in the Carrollton Junior Women’s Club and Carroll County Community Theatre. Tanya earned a Bachelor of Science in Sociology and a Master of Arts in Gerontology from UWG.
Tyler Duffey (’09, ’13) is REALTOR® and Director of Marketing at Century21 Novus in Carrollton. After spending six years in the sports and entertainment marketing industry, representing UWG Athletics, General Motors, and BMW, Tyler returned to Carrollton to begin his career in real estate. Tyler is on the boards of Keep Carroll Beautiful, Dawnbreakers Rotary, CASA, and West Georgia Young Life and is involved in Rotary, Carroll County Mental Health Advocates, and his church. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sport Management and a Master of Business Administration from UWG.
Keith Haber (’18) is Assistant Principal at McIntosh High School in Peachtree City, Georgia. Keith has been in education for nearly two decades and was named STAR teacher in 2009 and 2013 and Teacher of the Year finalist in 2012 and 2013. He has served on a variety of county and state committees including the Superintendent's Teacher Advisory Council. Keith holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology/Anthropology and Russian Studies from Washington and Lee University and his teaching certificate and Master of Arts in Education from St. Joseph College. He completed his Educational Specialist in Educational Leadership at UWG in 2018.
Dr. Frederick Martin (’73) is a long-time resident of Carrollton and a retired physician. After graduating from West Georgia College in 1973 with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology, Rick earned his medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia. He returned to Carrollton in 1981 and began a private practice in OB-GYN where he practiced for more than 30 years. In 2015, Rick established an endowed scholarship for UWG students majoring in biology or chemistry with an interest in pursuing a medical degree in honor of his mother, Lois Martin. Additionally, Rick previously served as president of the UWG Alumni Association board of directors.
Dr. Michael Davis (’05) is Associate Executive Director of Prevention at GUIDE Inc. In his role, Michael is responsible for oversight of the organization’s prevention strategies, activities and campaigns. Michael currently serves as the chair of the engagement committee, which is charged with assisting with engagement events and the mentorship program. In addition to his Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education from UWG, Michael holds a Ph.D. in Education from Iowa State University and a Master of Science degree in Professional Counseling from Georgia State University.
Jason Kennedy (’09, ’18) is the Department Chair of Social Sciences and an Instructor of History at West Georgia Technical College in Carrollton. Jason is also a member of the West Georgia Technical College online faculty committee. He is a current member of the UWG Alumni Association board of directors, a member of the Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity and the Phi Alpha Theta History Honors Society. On the Alumni Association Board, Jason serves as co-chair of the engagement committee. Jason earned his Bachelor of Arts in History as well as his Master of Arts in History from UWG.
Christopher Sanders (’03) is executive director of the East Metro Community Improvement District. In his role, Chris engages stakeholders to coordinate economic redevelopment efforts through East and South DeKalb County. Chris holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from UWG and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Georgia. He was a member of the 2018 class of Leadership DeKalb, 2017 class of the Leadership Summit Network at The American Enterprise Institute, and currently part of the 2020 class of the Zell Miller Leadership Institute.
Dr. Terie Smith-Phillips (’82, ’85, ’86) is a triple graduate of the University of West Georgia. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Education, Master of Education, and Education Specialist degrees in Special Education from UWG. Additionally, Terie earned her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Clark Atlanta University. She taught special education for nearly 20 years before pursuing a career in school administration where she served as assistant principal and principal for 16 years. She now serves as Student Services Coordinator for Carrollton City Schools. Terie is also the Membership Director for the West Georgia Track Club.
About the UWG Alumni Association Board of Directors
The UWG Alumni Association board of directors fosters relationships between alumni and the university through local, national and international events and programming. Applications for the Board of Directors will open from Sept. 1 through Dec. 15. For more information about the Alumni Association or the board of directors, please visit alumni.westga.edu/boardofdirectors.