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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 at any time.


Annette S. Kluck, Ph.D.
Dean of the Graduate School

Annette S. Kluck, Ph.D., joined the University of Mississippi as the Dean of the Graduate School and Professor of Leadership and Counselor Education on March 1, 2019. She came to the University after 12.5 years at Auburn University, where she was the Assistant Provost for Women’s Initiatives within the Office of Inclusion and Diversity and a Professor of Counseling Psychology within the College of Education. She also directed the nationally accredited doctoral program in counseling psychology and served as a member of the affiliate faculty for Women’s Studies. Currently, she also serves as an Associate Editor for Psychology of Women Quarterly, a highly rated journal within Women’s Studies. Dean Kluck earned her bachelor’s degree in 2001 from Nebraska Wesleyan University and earned her master’s (Psychology, 2003) and doctoral (Counseling Psychology, 2006) degrees from Texas Tech University.


Picture of Dr. Robert Doerksen
Robert J. Doerksen, Ph.D.
Associate Dean of the Graduate School

Robert J. Doerksen serves as the Associate Dean of the Graduate School, professor of medicinal chemistry, and research 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 Ph.D. in Chemistry from UNB. He completed postdoctoral fellowships at University of California, Berkeley, and at University of Pennsylvania.


Dr. Murrell Godfrey
Murrell Godfrey, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Murrell Godfrey, Ph.D., joined the Graduate School as the inaugural Assistant Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion on July 1, 2020. Dr. Godfrey earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1994 from Dillard University and his doctoral degree in 2003 from the University of Mississippi. He has served as a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry since 2003 where he directed the Forensic Chemistry Program through the FEPAC accreditation process and mentored undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral students. His major research includes method development and analysis of prescription and illicit drugs in wastewater and other matrixes, development of computational approaches to predicting new psychoactive substances, and development of methodology to determine the biogeographic origin and genealogy of cannabis.  Dr. Godfrey currently serves the University community as a member of the Climate Study Working Group (CSWG) and as the director and site coordinator for the Ronald E. McNair and Louis Stokes Mississippi Alliance for Minority Participation (LSMAMP) programs, respectively.  He also represents the University of Mississippi by serving external constituencies of the University as president of The National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemist and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE), commissioner for the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC), and Lieutenant Governor for District 10A of Kiwanis.


Prof. Sandra Spiroff, Assistant Dean of Professional Development and Communication
Sandra Spiroff, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean of Professional Development and Communication

Sandra Spiroff, Ph.D., joined the Graduate School as the inaugural Assistant Dean of Professional Development and Communication in 2022. Dr. Spiroff has been a faculty member in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Mississippi since 2008. Originally from St. Louis, MO, Dr. Spiroff earned her bachelor’s degree from Indiana University in Bloomington, a master’s at Saint Louis University, and, in 2003, the doctoral degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She completed a postdoctoral appointment at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, UT. Before accepting her current appointment, Dr. Spiroff served as a rotator with the National Science Foundation for two years.



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.



Taylor Burton
Secretary II

Taylor Burton began her employment with the Graduate School in 2023.


Image of Michelle Dickson

Michelle Dickson
Administrative Coordinator II

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 an 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.


Julian Gilner
Manager of Graduate Admissions

Julian Gilner began his employment with the Graduate School in 2023. He is in charge of graduate recruitment for the Graduate School.


Jena Payton
Graduate Activities Assistant

Jena Payton is from Sledge, MS. She began her employment with the University of Mississippi in 2023. As the Graduate Activities Specialist, she assists with processing admission applications to the Graduate School.


Picture of Tameka Smith

Tameka Smith
Academic Advisor II

Tameka Smith graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1998 with a BSBA in Finance. In 2017, she earned her MA in Higher Education/Student Personnel from the University of Mississippi. Tameka’s job responsibilities at the Graduate School include assisting students to ensure that they complete all requirements for graduation for the many graduate programs at the university.


Graduate Assistants:

Picture of Jacqueline Cole

Jacqueline Cole

Jacqueline Cole is a 1st-year master’s student in integrated marketing and communication. She received a bachelor of science in integrated marketing and communications from UM in Spring 2023.


Picture of Caroline Helms.

Caroline Helms

Caroline Helms is a 1st-year master of integrated marketing communication student.


Kayla Foster

Kayla Foster is a 1st-year master of arts in journalism student. She was born and raised in Memphis, TN and received a bachelor of arts in broadcast journalism from Rust College. During her junior and senior year at Rust College, she conducted a WKRA 92.7 FM radio show, weekdays from 11AM-2PM.


Peyton Stephenson

Peyton Stephenson is a 2nd-year master of criminal justice student.


Picture of Tyranda Williams

Tyranda Williams

Tyranda Williams is a 2nd-year master’s in sport and recreation administration student.


Sponsored Programs:

Louis Stokes Mississippi Alliance for Minority Participation (LSMAMP) STEM Program 

Jacquline A. Vinson

Project Coordinator

A native of Decatur, Alabama, Jacquline Vinson, earned her Bachelor of Business Administration (2001) and Master of Arts in Student Personnel (2010), both from the University of Mississippi.  As Project Coordinator of LSMAMP, she is responsible for its daily operation and management.  In addition, she provides academic support to minority STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) undergraduates giving them the tools to be successful in attaining a BS degree and exceling to graduate/professional school.  In her free time, Jacquline enjoys being active in her Church and Sorority, traveling, walking and reading.

Picture of Dr. Barbara Howard







Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program

Barbara Howard, Ed.D.

Associate Director of the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program at the University of Mississippi

Barbara Howard, Ed.D., as associate director of the McNair Program, is responsible for its daily operation and management. In addition, she assists participants in career planning, conducts needs assessments and provides academic counseling.


Jacob Eftink
Administrative Assistant

Jacob Eftink is an Oxford, MS native who earned his B.S. (1997) and M.S. (2003) in Chemistry from the University of Mississippi. He has been employed by the University of Mississippi since 2005. He currently provides administrative help with the Image, McNair and LSMAMP programs.