Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Assistant Professor of Leadership and Counselor Education
As Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, I am privileged to lead a team of professionals who are committed to providing exceptional services and creating an environment where all students can be successful. I have served the university in a variety of roles for 28 years, with more than 10 of those in the Division of Student Affairs. During that time, I have been assistant vice chancellor for student affairs, assistant provost, director of admissions and registrar.
In addition to my service in senior leadership, I serve on the Council of Academic Administrators, the Strategic Planning Council and the following committees and task forces: Incident Response Team; Future Planning; Services and Support; Athletics Compliance; Completion and Student Success; Keep Learning; Recreational Facilities; Recruit, Admission, Orientation and Advising; Sensitivity and Respect; Student Affairs; and the Student Affairs Incident Response Team. Additionally, I serve as the university’s representative to the Women in Higher Education Mississippi Network and the institutional representative to the SEC Council on Racial Equity and Social Justice.
I earned several degrees from the university including a B.A. in Psychology, an M.Ed. in Education and a Ph.D. in Leadership and Counselor Education. I hold an academic appointment in the School of Education as an Assistant Professor of Leadership and Counselor Education. My husband, Tee, and I enjoy living in Oxford and love being a part of the Ole Miss community and family.
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Wellness and Student Success
As the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Wellness and Student Success, I provide leadership to the University Health Center, Career Center, Counseling Center, Campus Recreation, the Center for Student Success and First Year Experience, Student Disability Services and the William Magee Institute for Alcohol and Other Drugs and Wellness Education. 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.
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: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education where I served 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 and 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. I am currently engaged with NASPA in deliberative dialogue work in partnership with the Kettering Foundation.
My spouse, Miranda, and I are thankful to be in Oxford where we live with our two young children.
John Yaun, Ed.D.
Assistant Vice Chancellor and Director of Student Housing
I currently serve as the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Director of Student Housing. My areas of focus include student housing, sustainability, strategic planning, staff development, assessment and the Luckyday Success Program. Previously, I served as Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs at California State University, San Bernardino. Prior to that, I served in leadership roles at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Texas State University, Louisiana State University, the University of Miami, and Marshall University. I am originally from Baton Rouge, LA.
I have taught courses at several universities on African Politics, First Year Seminar, American Government, The Holocaust, Antisemitism, and Comparative Genocide. Outside of work, I enjoy playing tennis, collecting wine and taking care of several adopted pets. Also, I currently serve as a CrossFit Level One Instructor.
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.
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.
Administrative Coordinator I
I serve as Administrative Coordinator I for the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Dean of Students and the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Director of Student Housing. 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, and updating departmental budgets.
I am originally from Laurel, MS, but Oxford has been my home since 2016. I completed my undergraduate degree in Integrated Marketing Communications at the University of Mississippi in 2020. I am currently enrolled in the Higher Education and Student Personnel Masters program. I previously served as the Graduate Assistant for the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs and Department of Higher Education before having the opportunity to serve in my current position
I love to cook and barbeque in my free time. My fiancée and I love exploring Oxford’s wonderful and diverse food culture. When the weather’s nice, we love having a picnic and reading a good book in the Grove or any of the beautiful parks around Oxford.
As the Graduate Assistant in the Office of the Vice Chancellor, I serve in many ways to provide support to students and faculty across campus. I am originally from Clarksville, TN and graduated in 2021 with a Bachelors of Science in Health and Human Performance. I am currently working on my Master’s in Higher Education/Student Personnel at the University. I bring undergraduate experience from Student Success, Greek Life, Student Government, and a wide variety of other departments on campus.
I am extremely passionate about helping students navigate through college and overall, I want to be an advocate for students in higher education. I am so thankful to be here in Oxford and I look forward to what this institution has to offer.