An award-winning chief strategist and architect of communication, marketing and branding blueprints across multimedia, Chandra Harris-McCray has more than 10 years of experience and expertise in storytelling, creative direction and design strategy contributing to ingenious partnerships in higher education. As an intuitive collaborator, she has a proven record of producing highly effective marketing and communication platforms and successful creative concepts for advancement marketing and communications, including capital campaigns, annual giving, alumni relations and donor relations.
Before her role as the Executive Director of Advancement Marketing and Communications at the University of Colorado Boulder, she served in progressive alumni and development leadership positions at the University of Tennessee. She also served as an adjunct lecturer in communications and First-Year Studies during her tenure at the University of Tennessee. Prior to her professional journey in higher education, she served as a storyteller at the helm of various newspapers throughout the Midwest and Southeast.
A native of Chicago, Chandra earned her bachelor’s degree in communications and journalism from Illinois State University, her master’s degree in advertising and marketing from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and she is currently a doctoral candidate in the Higher Education Administration and Leadership program at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her research focus examines how race and gender matter in higher education philanthropy. It explores how, at the intersection of higher education philanthropy, diverse voices are missing from the perspectives of many organizations and agencies. Chandra most recently was chosen as the 2018 Women’s Philanthropy Institute Doctoral Dissertation Fellow by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.
In 2017, she was selected as a participant in “Living Systems Leadership: Cultivating Women’s Leadership,” a weeklong intensive retreat in New Mexico. Along with maintaining an active speaking and presentation schedule and serving within the community and on various boards, she also has received numerous professional awards from the Council of Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), Tennessee College Public Relations Association, Tennessee Press Association, Society of Professional Journalists, Poynter, Kaiser Foundation and Scripps.