Graduate School staff profile: Michelle Cole Dickson
Story by Tyler Carter
If you ask around the Graduate House about Michelle Cole Dickson, you will get nothing but positive feedback about her. Kegan Armstrong, regional admissions counselor, had this to say about Dickson.
“Michelle has been such a godsend for me since I began working here four years ago. She has given me direction, and encouraged me to tailor this job to accommodate my natural skill set. She has been much more than just a colleague; she has been a friend.”
Dickson has been employed here at the Graduate House for 10 years and thoroughly enjoys what she does. “Being able to assist the students make the transition as simple as possible is what I enjoy the most,” Dickson said. Her duties include: processing payroll for graduate school staff, supervising graduate assistants in our office, accounts payable, processing stipends, scholarships associated with graduate assistantships, minority scholarships, and fellowships.
Dickson has answers to questions you may have at the beginning of your tenure here at the University of Mississippi. One of the most frequently asked questions she gets is, “When will my scholarship be posted or why hasn’t my scholarship been applied to my account?” According to Dickson, “Departments have deadlines to get their assistantship paperwork submitted. Once the paperwork is submitted to our office, there is still another process; we have to verify the student’s GPA, resident status, and make sure that the students’ registration is within the guidelines set by our office for their appointment levels (10 or 20 hours). If departments submit paperwork by the deadline that provides ample time to get scholarships in place for disbursements.”
Another frequently asked question pertains to financial aid. “Releases of funds are not done by the Graduate School,” Dickson said. “We apply the scholarships; releases are done by the Financial Aid office. Initial disbursement is done a week to ten days prior to the first day of classes. After that, releases are done daily. Students need to make sure that their financial aid is complete, and awards are accepted. This is done by logging into your myolemiss.edu account and you then select the financial aid tab. The financial aid office will notify you via email if there is something that you need to do.”
For the incoming graduate class, Dickson wants to leave you with one last nugget of advice regarding assistantships. “If you have an assistantship, make sure that your department has processed your paperwork. Scholarships cannot be disbursed until you have completed your registration. The Graduate School has one person that processes these scholarships; please be patient as I work diligently to get this done in a timely manner. If you cannot reach me via telephone, please feel free to email me firstname.lastname@example.org.”