Charlotte Fant Pegues, Ph.D.
Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Assistant Provost and Assistant Professor of Leadership and Counselor Education
The team of professionals within the Division of Student Affairs are committed to providing exceptional programs and services to support our students. We strive to create an environment where all students can be successful, and I am honored to serve as the Interim Vice Chancellor. I have dedicated my professional career to the University of Mississippi and could not have chosen a better place to serve!
I joined the university in June 1993 and have been fortunate to serve in several positions within the Division of Student Affairs including Director of Admissions and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. In addition, I have had the privilege of working within the Division of Academic Affairs as Assistant Provost and Registrar. I will continue to serve as Assistant Provost since I manage a variety of student issues. I believe this unique experience gives me a valuable perspective on how best to serve and guide our students.
I have earned several degrees from the university including the Ph.D. in Leadership and Counselor Education and hold an academic appointment in the School of Education. My husband, Tee, and I love living and working in Oxford!
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Wellness and Student Success
As the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Wellness and Student Success, I provide leadership to the Student Health Center, University Counseling Center, University Recreation, the Center for Student Success and First Year Experience, and the Luckyday program. Within these departments, the mission is to provide transformative wellness programs and student success experiences for constituents of the University of Mississippi.
Prior to joining the University of Mississippi in August 2019, I served as the Assistant Dean of Health Wellness and Prevention Services at Winston-Salem State University in Winston-Salem, NC. In this role I provided management and leadership to the Counseling Center, Health Center, the Office of Interpersonal Violence Prevention, University Recreation, and Student Conduct. My responsibilities included collaborations and creating successful education and prevention initiatives for students and campus constituents. Since beginning my career in student affairs, I’ve served in many capacities: Health Educator, Principal Investigator and Grant Liaison for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Prevention initiatives, Director of Student Development, Special Assistant to the Vice Chancellor, Assessment Coordinator, adjunct faculty in Health Science, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, and Director of First Year Experience, all of which allowed me to acquire extensive servant leadership skills and knowledge of success factors for effective organizational leadership.
I am a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where I earned my Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Masters in Public Health with a concentration in Community Health Education. I earned my PhD in Public Health with a specialization in Epidemiology from Walden University in Minnesota. I am a Certified Health Education Specialist and a Certified Health Coach. I am passionate about wellness and have spent the past two decades helping students, faculty, staff, and other professionals in higher education understand the connection between wellness and student success. Educating students and student success are at the core of what I value as a professional and reflect my commitment to transforms lives, communities, and the world.
My partner Christopher and I are proud to call Oxford home where we live with our children Kai and Eddison.
Dr. Brent Marsh, Ph.D.
Assistant Vice Chancellor and Dean of Students
I arrived at the University of Mississippi in August 2019, being honored to join this wonderful community as Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Dean of Students. Prior to my arrival at UM, I served for five years as Vice President for Student Affairs at Rogers State University, overseeing numerous programs and services that promoted student engagement and success. Before my time at RSU, I served for 10 years at Howard Payne University in central Texas in three successive student affairs leadership roles, culminating my time there as Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students. I earned bachelors and masters degrees at Kansas State University and a doctorate in higher education administration from Bowling Green State University. My earliest professional experiences were in student housing at two universities in Abilene, Texas, serving there between my academic stints at K-State and BGSU.
I am actively involved in NASPA where I currently serve as Director for the Public Policy Division (2019-2021). Prior to this role, I served as Coordinator of Region Finances for the IV-West region (2017-2019), while simultaneously sitting on the Small Colleges & Universities Division advisory board as Public Policy Liaison, which also placed me on the Public Policy Division’s leadership team. From 2015-2017, I served a two-year term as the Student-Athlete Knowledge Community chair.
My spouse, Miranda, and I are thankful to be in Oxford where we live with our two young children.
Samantha Payton, Ph.D.
Director for Research, Assessment & Planning
As the Director of Research, Assessment, and Planning, I serve as direct support to the exemplary professional staff and graduate students who work within the Division of Student Affairs. I provide technical support with survey design and statistical analyses, as well as Excel, Qualtrics, and Tableau software. I direct and coordinate departmental strategic planning, a comprehensive and structured process aimed at focusing efforts to consistently improve and grow programs, services, and initiatives offered by the Division of Student Affairs. Finally, I offer guidance in disseminating results from assessment plans and other research projects via grants, publications, and conference presentations.
Prior to my joining the University of Mississippi in July 2018, I served as an assessment specialist within the Division of Student Life at The University of Alabama with similar functions. I received my Ph.D. in Biology at the University of Alabama in 2016, which might appear to be a grand leap into my current career within higher education. However, my training within the biological sciences taught me how to strategically plan to reach short and long term goals, trained me in the art of statistical evaluation of complex data, and allowed me to become fluent in computer programming (R, Python, Unix) and frequently used software in higher education (Excel, Qualtrics, and Tableau).
I am absolutely passionate about data science. My partner, Jason, is also a biologist and data scientist. When we are not playing with data, you will find us walking our Doberman and Labrador at Lamar Park. We also enjoy Sunday morning reading dates on The Square, lifting weights at the Turner Center, and supporting our student athletes on game day!
Merrill Magruder, M.A.
Coordinator of Family Programs & Special Events
As Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, I serve in a variety of roles. My primary responsibilities include planning and coordinating family programs and events through the Ole Miss Family Association, providing coordination of division-wide assessment and strategic planning initiatives, assisting with professional development and recognition initiatives for the division, and coordinating the annual graduate assistantship interview process. And of course, serving students.
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 University 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 an instructor for EDHE 105, The Freshman Year Experience, a class that I encourage all incoming freshman to enroll in.
My husband, Josh, is an Assistant Professor for the Leadership and Counselor Education Department. We welcomed the smallest rebel to our family in 2014, our precious daughter. 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 story time at Square Books Junior.
Pam Barefield, M.A.
I serve as Executive Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs of Wellness and Student Success. I provide administrative support and help coordinate the daily operations within the office. My responsibilities include coordinating travel, scheduling and coordinating meetings, maintaining departmental inventory, drafting reports and other correspondence, scheduling appointments, managing the departmental website and monitoring of departmental budgets.
I began working at the University of Mississippi in August of 2001. Prior to my current position in Student Affairs, I served as Administrative Secretary in Housing and as the SAP Support Consultant in the office of Information Technology. While working at the University of Mississippi, I earned a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a master’s degree in Higher Education.
In my leisure time, I enjoy working out, all things outdoors and spending time with my family and friends.