Board of Directors
Victor Luckerson is a journalist and author who also serves as the president of MASTHEAD. At UA Victor was the editor-in-chief of The Crimson White from 2010-2012, and the co-founder of the online magazine Changing Tides in 2009. During his time as a student journalist he led coverage of structural racism in the white college greek system, the presence of Confederate monuments on campus, and corruption in student government elections. After a few years working as a technology and business reporter for Time magazine and The Ringer, he is now a freelance journalist who writes about Black businesses and the inequities embedded in the U.S. economy. His work has appeared in The New Yorker and The New York Times, and he’s writing a book about Tulsa’s Black Wall Street for Random House. He hopes MASTHEAD will expand the opportunities for young journalists just finding their footing at the University of Alabama.
Ashanka Kumari is the secretary for MASTHEAD. From 2009-2013, Kumari served as a contributing writer, staff reporter, and ultimately Chief Copy Editor for The Crimson White while completing her BAC in Journalism and a BA in English. Since her time at the University of Alabama, Ashanka went on to complete her MA (University of Nebraska-Lincoln) and PhD (University of Louisville) in English, Rhetoric and Composition. Now, Dr. Ashanka Kumari is assistant professor of English at Texas A&M University–Commerce where she teaches undergraduate and graduate writing courses. Ashanka hopes to bring her investment in mentorship and anti-racist research and teaching practices toward supporting and sustaining MASTHEAD.
Joseph D. Bryant is a board director for MASTHEAD. A 2001 University of Alabama journalism graduate, he became the first African-American editor of The Crimson White in 2000. While at the Capstone, Bryant also worked for Alabama Public Radio and for the office of communication in the Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration. His more than 20 year communications career includes 12 years as a reporter with The Birmingham News/AL.com, where he spent a decade covering the mayor’s office and city government. After leaving news, Bryant spent three years at The Housing Authority of the Birmingham District, where his roles included serving as spokesperson and as interim vice president for community engagement at Alabama’s largest affordable housing agency. He currently works in communications at The University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Melissa Brown is a board director for MASTHEAD. While at the University of Alabama, Brown worked as a news reporter, News Editor and ultimately Online Editor for The Crimson White before graduating in 2013. She worked for eight years as a reporter in Alabama, first springboarding off her CW experience to cover higher education and local politics in Tuscaloosa. Brown reported on state politics for the Associated Press before moving to The Montgomery Advertiser as an enterprise reporter, where she reported on state prisons and the justice system. She is now the state political reporter at The Tennessean newspaper in Nashville.
Will Tucker is the treasurer for MASTHEAD. He graduated from UA in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in international studies. Today he is an investigative reporter for the Southern Poverty Law Center, where he covers civil rights in the South. He has written about corruption in Alabama’s prison alternative programs, Immigration and Customs Enforcement operations in Mississippi and health & safety in Southern prisons. Prior to moving to Montgomery in 2016, Will was an investigative reporter in Washington, D.C. covering the Texas Congressional delegation and money-in-politics. Reports under his byline led to two Ethics Committee investigations in the House of Representatives involving misconduct by 11 members of Congress and the federal conviction of a former congressman on nearly two-dozen corruption charges. He was editor-in-chief of The Crimson White from 2012 to 2013.
Natalie Peeples is a board director for MASTHEAD. She was a designer at The Crimson White from 2009-2011. She now works as a graphics editor for The Onion. She contributes art for A.V. Club and The Takeout as well as illustrating the Funny Women column at The Rumpus.
Tionna Taite serves as the editor-in-chief of Nineteen Fifty-Six and is an ex-officio board member of MASTHEAD. Tionna is a sophomore majoring in News Media on a Pre-Law track. A Montgomery native, Tionna has been exposed to journalism since elementary school, where she gave the morning announcements as her school’s news reporter. At the University of Alabama, Tionna is the editor-in-chief of MOSAIC Magazine for the Honors College and a member of the Alabama Forensic Council, the speech and debate team. Tionna’s blog Becoming Black Excellence was listed as the “Top 35 Black Millenial Blogs to Follow in 2020” and is currently ranked 13 out of the 35 blogs mentioned. Tionna has a passion for journalism because it gives her the opportunity to write and speak about topics that people need to know about.
Keely Brewer serves as editor-in-chief of The Crimson White and is an ex-officio board member for MASTHEAD.
Amethyst Holmes is a board director for MASTHEAD.