Division of Student Affairs

University of Mississippi

Professional Development Committee

The Student Affairs Professional Development Committee will seek to provide professional development and enrichment opportunities for staff, administrators, and graduate assistants within the Division of Student Affairs. Professional development events, workshops and presentations will be planned to incorporate basic skill levels of the Professional Competency areas as endorsed by College Student Educators International (ACPA) and Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education (NASPA).

15-16 Professional Development Committee Curriculum

2016 Professional Development Conference

Empower “U”: Modeling Our Values

In an effort to continue to develop strong, prepared leaders, the Student Affairs Professional Development Committee is proud to announce the return of a one-day Professional Development Conference on Tuesday, January 19, 2016. Participants should register through OrgSync at Ole Miss: https://orgsync.com/90665/forms/167332  

The conference will include two breakout sessions each in the morning and afternoon, as well as optional programming both during lunch and to conclude the conference. Each breakout session will deal with topics that are important to the changing climate of higher education, and presenters have been asked to address at least one of the four Core Values for the Division of Student Affairs at the University of Mississippi. Participants will be able to choose from four concurrent presentations during each breakout session, as space allows. Sessions will be repeated in the afternoon in order to give participants the opportunity to attend multiple presentations of interest to them. 

The selected presentations for the 2016 conference are as follows: 

– Breaking Bad News to Students (Whitney Webb)
– Managing Up: Creating Positive and Powerful Partnerships for Success (Brandi Hephner LaBanc and Melinda Sutton)
– Not So Soft Skills: The Importance of Grit and Resiliency to College Student Success (Patrick L. Perry and Rebekah Reysen)
– Providing Inclusive Programs for Students of All Abilities (Shannon Richardson and Katherine Westfall)
– Relax, Relate, Release, and Restore: Integrating Restorative Practice and Language into Your Professional and Personal Life (Patience D. Bryant and Alexandra Lasso)
​- Socially Accessible Media: Best Practices for ADA-Friendly Social Networking (Samra Ward)
– Straight out of (Kin)Compton: Changing Reputations and Perceptions on College Campuses (Kara Alspaugh)
– The Greatest Magicians on Earth: Finding Your Pseudo Work-Life Balance While Handling Your Field with Grace (Paige Freeman and Veneta Graham)

In addition, the Student Affairs Professional Development Committee is pleased to announce that Ms. Stephanie Gordon will serve as the keynote speaker for the conference. Ms. Gordon is currently the Vice President for Professional Development at the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA). Previously, Ms. Gordon has served as Director of Residence Life at Chatham University, Assistant Director of Residence Life at Colgate University, and Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions at Simmons College.

Please plan to join us for the second-annual conference. All exempt and nonexempt employees within the Division of Student Affairs are eligible to participate, as well as graduate students and faculty members in the Higher Education program.

  • Date: Tuesday, January 19, 2016
  • Time: Check-in will begin at 8:00 a.m., and the conference will conclude at 4 p.m.
  • Location: The Robert C. Khayat Law Center at the University of Mississippi
  • Priority Registration will be open from Monday, October 12 until Monday, December 14, or until event capacity is reached​

Questions regarding the conference or the registration form can be directed to Ty Allushuski (tgallush@olemiss.edu). 

Human Resources

Training and Development

Ole Miss Toastmasters Club

Professional Associations

The following staff members within the Division of Student Affairs are members of professional organizations:

Toni Avant, Director of Career Center: NASPA, NACE, SoACE, MACE, NODA
Bradley Baker,
Director of the Ole Miss Student Union: ACUI, NACA
Leslie Banahan,
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs: NASPA
Patience Bryant,
Coordinator of Student Conduct for Student Housing: NASPA
Laura Diven-Brown,
Director of Financial Aid: MASFAA, SASFAA, NASFAA
Kyle Ellis,
Director of The Center for Student Success and First-Year Experience: NACADA, CSRDE
Brandi Hephner LaBanc,
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs: ACPA, NASPA
Merrill Magruder,
Coordinator of Division Operations and Special Programs for Student Affairs: NASPA, AHEPP
Lionel Maten,
Director of Housing and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs: ACUHO-I, NACAS, SEAHO, MAHO, ASCA, NASAP
Senora Miller,
Assistant Director for Luckyday Programs: ACPA, NASPA
Patrick Perry, Director of Luckyday Programs: NASPA
Shannon Richardson, Assistant Director of Campus Recreation/OMOD: NASPA
Val Ross, Assistant Dean of Student for Multicultural Affairs and Volunteer Services: NASPA
Golda Sharpe, Project Coordinator for Luckyday Scholarships: NASPA
Jennifer Simmons, Associate Director of Admissions: MACRAO, SACRAO, AACRAO
Travis Yates, Director of University Health Services: ACHA