Brandi Hephner LaBanc, Ed.D.
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
I feel privileged to work with an exceptional team of Student Affairs professionals and I take my role as a student-centered advocate very seriously. As Vice Chancellor, I provide leadership and direction for all of the departments encompassed by the Division of Student Affairs. Our goal is to be educators outside of the classroom, as well as provide services, facilities and programs that will facilitate student success.
I was appointed Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs in July 2012. Prior to coming to The University of Mississippi, I served Northern Illinois University for six years, most recently as their Associate Vice President in the Division of Student Affairs & Enrollment Management. I have also worked at Kent State University, Arizona State University, University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Baldwin-Wallace College and The University of Akron in myriad student service roles.
I earned my bachelor’s degree in Accounting at The University of Akron, my master’s degree in Higher Education Administration & Student Personnel at Kent State University, and my doctoral degree at Northern Illinois University in Adult & Higher Education.
I am an Associate Professor in our excellent Higher Education program and my research interests include competency development and professional preparation of Student Affairs professionals, transitional experiences of graduate students, and crisis response and management.
My partner, Dave, also works at Ole Miss and we truly enjoy taking advantage of all of the amazing activities Ole Miss and Oxford offer us.
Leslie Banahan, M.Ed.
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Wellness and Student Success
As assistant vice chancellor for student success and wellness, I work closely with the Career Center, Campus Recreation, Center for Student Success and First-Year Experience, Student Disability Services, University Counseling Center, and University Health Services. It is my honor to serve as faculty advisor to the Ole Miss Food Bank and The Columns Society.
Day to day, I work with Vice Chancellor Hephner LaBanc to provide administrative guidance and support for the division’s 12 departments. My office is located in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs’ suite on the second floor of the Lyceum, and I encourage students and staff to visit whenever they have problems or concerns regarding student affairs programs, facilities or services.
I have earned two degrees from The University of Mississippi and have worked in student affairs at the University of Georgia and Ole Miss for more than 25 years. Early in my career, I served as an international student adviser and designed and implemented orientation programs for international students. Later, I developed and directed new orientation programs for freshmen, transfer students, and parents, and worked closely with parents’ associations.
I’ve written and spoken extensively about parents of today’s college students and continue to speak to hundreds of parents each summer at Ole Miss Orientation sessions. I enjoy teaching the Freshman Year Experience (EDHE 105) course each fall and love to play golf, read a good mystery novel, and attend any Ole Miss Athletics event.
My husband, Ben, conducts pharmaceutical marketing research in the School of Pharmacy and teaches graduate research design courses. We have two children, Andy and Meg; a granddaughter, Mary Hart; two grandsons, Holt and Sterling; and two mischievous and lovable Golden Doodles, Mulligan and Waggle.
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management and Housing
Mr. Lionel Maten joined the administration at The University of Mississippi in June 2012 as Director of Student Housing and Residential Life; however, he was appointed by Vice Chancellor Brandi Hephner Labanc to become Assistant Vice President for enrollment management and housing—a newly created post—in July 2013.
He is responsible for providing executive leadership, definition, and organization to the division of enrollment management, and oversees instrumental campus departments including the offices of Admissions, Financial Aid, Luckyday, and Student Housing.
He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas at Monticello and his master’s degree from Murray State University. Prior to joining the University of Mississippi, he served as director of housing and residence life at the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Mr. Maten’s career has included student affairs post at the University of Arkansas at Monticello, University of Southern Mississippi, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Louisville, and Oakland University.
Mr. Maten is a native of Port Hudson, LA. He is married to Rose Marie Maten, a graduate of Mississippi Valley State University. We have two children, Jayden and Kayla.
When Mr. Maten is not meeting with students, he can be found fishing and taking advantage of other outdoor activities within the North Mississippi region.
Thomas J. Reardon, Ph.D.
Assistant Vice Chancellor, Dean of Students
422 Ole Miss Union
Currently the assistant vice chancellor for student affairs/dean of students, I have worked in higher education for the last 35 years. At Ole Miss, I have served in numerous positions, including coordinator of pre-admissions, assistant director of student activities and associate dean of students. I have served as dean of students for the last eight years.
I received my B.A. from Ole Miss, my M.Ed. from Delta State University and my Ph.D. from Ole Miss. I am a member of NASPA and the Association of Fraternity Advisors. In 1998, I was recognized by my peers in the American college fraternity movement with the Bob Shaeffer Award for longtime, distinguished service to the profession.
I was very honored when students at Ole Miss selected me as the initial recipient of the Thomas Frist Student Service Award in 1995. I have spoken at more than 100 college campuses on issues ranging from leadership to hazing prevention to crisis management. In 2003, I appeared in the History Channel’s documentary on the history of fraternities.
I am active in my local Catholic church and enjoy reading, golf, cooking and travel.
Merrill Magruder, M.Ed.
Coordinator for Divisional Operations and Special Projects
The University of Mississippi has been my home since I was a freshman. I completed my Bachelors of Applied Science in Hospitality Management, followed by my Masters in Higher Education and Student Personnel, both from Ole Miss. As a graduate student, I was able to work as the Internship Coordinator for the Career Center. In this capacity, I helped students find an internship that would complement their interest or major. I then went to work for the Luckyday Success Program where I was the Project Coordinator for the Freshman Year Experience Program and I oversaw the Luckyday Residential College.
My main focus is working with students and parents to make sure you have a smooth transition to Ole Miss. I encourage you to reach out with any questions so that I can help you have an amazing experience while you work on your degree. If you ever have any questions regarding our Division, don’t hesitate to call or email me. I also am in instructor for EDHE 105, The Freshman Year Experience, a class that I encourage all incoming freshman to enroll in.
My husband, Joshua, is a counselor at the University Counseling Center and teaches for the Department of Counselor Education. We love to participate in all of the activities that Ole Miss and Oxford have to offer. Our favorites are the amazing meals offered both on and off the Square and anything related to Ole Miss Athletics.
I serve as Executive Assistant to the Vice Chancellor and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. My job is to provide administrative support and to help coordinate the daily operations in the office of Student Affairs. My duties include supervising student workers, coordinating travel, scheduling and coordinating meetings, maintaining departmental inventory, drafting reports and other correspondence, scheduling appointments and entering payroll.
I began working at the University of Mississippi in August of 2001. Prior to my current position in Student Affairs, I worked one year as Administrative Secretary in Housing and three years as the SAP Support consultant in the office of Information Technology. I have served on Staff Council as the Staff Textbook Scholarship Administrator. I received my bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Mississippi.
My husband, Jeff, is self-employed and does environmental road work. We have three children, Brittney, Jacob and Jess; two grandchildren, Paisley and Greysen – and one more on the way!
My name is Levi May, and I am a second-year graduate student in the M.A. Higher Education/Student Personnel program. My undergraduate experience at James Madison University drew me into this field, and I hope to return to JMU later in my career. Currently, I work on the second floor of the Lyceum and serve as the graduate assistant for the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. This opportunity allows me to co-advise The Columns Society, co-teach a section of EDHE 105, and assist with other assignments throughout the Division of Student Affairs.
Upon graduation, I plan to pursue my career in Higher Education and find a job working with students on a college campus. I really enjoy seeing students succeed and being able help students in their quest for success brings me great joy. My study abroad experience this summer was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and now I am even considering university employment opportunities in Europe. I hope to find a position working within Disability Services, Study Abroad, International Outreach, Alumni Relations or Admissions.
When off the clock, I enjoy hiking, mountain biking, reading, exploring, traveling, and watching a good TV series on Netflix. I love exploring The Grove on game days, ordering fried pickles from Ajax, and people watching from one of Oxford’s many balconies.
Student Assistant 1
I am a senior Theatre Arts major with an emphasis in Musical Theater, and I am also pursuing a minor in Psychology. I am from Oxford, Miss., and the things I love most about Ole Miss are the beautiful campus, the amazing food, the growing art scene, the close-knit community and the support you can find almost anywhere.
Student Assistant 2
I am a senior Accounting major from Greenwood, Miss., and I am a member of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College. I love Ole Miss because the school feels like a large family where everyone wants to see each other grow and succeed.
Odie Johnson III
Student Assistant 3
I am a senior Biology major from Tupelo, Miss. I am involved with numerous campus organizations, such as The Columns Society and The University of Mississippi Gospel Choir. I also serve as a Peer Leader for the Luckyday Success Program, and I have previously served as both an Ole Miss Ambassador and Orientation Leader.