Graduate School

The University of Mississippi

Graduate School Staff

The Graduate School staff is here to assist you throughout your graduate education. Among the duties of the office are to receive applications, coordinate their review, communicate with prospective students regarding their admission status, maintain academic records, monitor students’ progress, process assistantship appointments, advise students and interpret academic policies established by the Graduate Council.

We are here to help you, so please feel free to contact us any time.



Christy M. Wyandt, Ph.D.
Interim Dean of the Graduate School

Christy M. Wyandt serves as the interim dean of the Graduate School, professor of pharmaceutics and research professor in the Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences. She joined the faculty of the School of Pharmacy in 1989, served as chair of the Department of Pharmaceutics from 1999-2003 and became associate dean of the Graduate School on July 1, 2003. She received a B.A. in chemistry from Carleton College and a Ph.D. in pharmaceutics from the University of Iowa. Prior to joining the faculty, she worked in product development in the pharmaceutical industry for seven years.


Associate Dean of the Graduate School
Robert J. Doerksen serves as the associate dean of the Graduate School, associate professor of medicinal chemistry and research associate professor in the Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences. He joined the faculty of the School of Pharmacy in 2004 and became associate dean of the Graduate School on December 11, 2017. He was born in Winnipeg, Canada and obtained a Double First Class Honours Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Physics from University of New Brunswick (UNB) in Fredericton, Canada, a graduate level Diploma in Christian Studies from Regent College in Vancouver, Canada, and a PhD in Chemistry from UNB. He completed postdoctoral fellowships at University of California, Berkeley, and at University of Pennsylvania.



Robin Wiebe Bourgeois
Assistant to the Dean

Robin Wiebe Bourgeois earned her Master of Arts and Bachelor of Arts in anthropology from the University of Mississippi. Bourgeois manages the graduate assistant health insurance program and oversees the admissions and records processes.





Michelle Dickson
Administrative Coordinator

Michelle Dickson began her employment with the Graduate School in 2003 as office manager. After a brief departure, she returned as coordinator of records and is now administrative coordinator. Her duties include reconciling and monitoring budget statements; supervising student workers; and processing payroll, accounts payable/receivables, tuition and nonresident scholarships for minority students, financial aid for graduate assistants and electronic forms.



Paige Duke
Senior Project Administrator

Paige received her B.B.A. from the University of Mississippi. Her job responsibilities include orientation, recruiting, student counseling, alumni connections and creating new programs for our graduate students. She also acts as a liaison for the Graduate Student Council and Graduate Program Coordinators.

Pam Norwood
Graduate Activities Specialist for Admissions

Pam received her Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Mississippi.  Her job responsibilities include processing and maintaining admission applications, scanning transcripts, GRE and TOEFL scores.  She also receives letters of recommendation, resumes and statements of purpose.  Her special interests are listening to music and spending time with family.


Candace Oswalt
Coordinator of Graduate Records

Candace Oswalt’s job responsibilities include maintaining information on admitted, currently enrolled and recently degreed graduate students, and verifying graduate requirements. She is also responsible for receiving and processing applications for graduate degrees; receiving and approving the formatting of thesis and dissertations; and administering graduating student surveys.


tameka 3

Tameka Smith
Graduate Activities Specialist for Admissions

Tameka Smith’s duties at the Graduate School include processing and maintaining admission applications, and scanning transcripts, GRE and TOEFL scores. She also receives letters of recommendation, resumes and statements of purpose. Smith graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1998 with a degree in banking/finance and real estate.


Brenteria Travis
Manager of Graduate Admissions

Brenteria, a computer scientist, devises, implements and manages programs, communication strategies, analytical campaigns, and functions that aid in the enlistment of prospective students for graduate programs offered at the university. She counsels interested students on the admissions process, funding opportunities, programs of study, and any facet related to entrance into the university. Moreover, on behalf of the graduate school, she is responsible for providing representation at sanctioned events designed to advise and inform potential students about the university’s advanced degree offerings.

Sponsored Program:

Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program

Donald R. Cole, Ph.D.
Assistant Provost and Assistant to the Chancellor for Multicultural Affairs;
Associate Professor of Mathematics

In his capacities as assistant provost and assistant to the chancellor for multicultural affairs and associate professor of mathematics, Donald R. Cole plays an active leadership role in policy making, teaching, research and diversification at the university. Cole holds a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Mississippi, M.A. degrees from the State University of New York and the University of Michigan, and a bachelor’s degree from Tougaloo College. Believing that education is the “great equalizer” and the central feature in the prevailing endurance of mankind, he is a stern advocate for education, particularly for minority students. He devotes his time and energy to projects and causes that promotes the teaching, training and guidance of our children – particularly towards advanced degrees.

Cole is originally from Jackson, Miss., where he was a member of the St. Matthews M.B. Church. During his travels, he has been an active member of Holy Tabernacle Church of God in Christ, (Fort Worth, Texas) and Prayer Temple Church of God in Christ (Tallahassee, Fla.). He is currently an active member of the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Oxford, Miss., serving as a church trustee, Sunday school superintendent and director of Christian education. He is a firm believer that “With God All Things Are Possible,” and he yields his life to the direction of the Holy Spirit. His wife, Marcia, is a minister of the Gospel, and they have three children, Donald II, Mariah and William.


Demetria Hereford
Assistant Director of the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program at the University of Mississippi

Demetria Hereford, a native of Tupelo, Miss., obtained a Bachelor of Arts in sociology at Stillman College in 1995. While attending Stillman, Hereford was a dean’s list scholar, student support services participant and member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. She received a Master of Arts in sociology from the University of Mississippi in 1997. As assistant director of the McNair Program, she is responsible for its daily operation and management. In addition, she assists participants in career planning, conducts needs assessments and provides academic counseling. Her special interests are demographics, population analysis and community/economic development.