Welcome from the Vice Chancellor
Welcome to the Division of Student Affairs! We are a team of highly competent and professional educators that are committed to enhancing the out-of-class experience for students at The University of Mississippi. From your first campus tour to graduation day, you will find Student Affairs partnering with you to become better acclimated to campus, to find a safe place to live, to keep you healthy while attending classes, and to build leadership and career-specific skills. We work hard to support the co-curricular, emotional, physical and financial needs of our students.
While students attend college to pursue an academic major and attain a degree, a great deal of learning occurs beyond the classroom walls. Those of us in Student Affairs are here to assist students with this important educational aspect of their college career. We invite students and families to get involved because the more invested you become with the Ole Miss culture; the more successful you are likely to be academically.
This website intends to introduce you to the ways you can connect and become involved with Student Affairs. Please review our materials closely and let us know how we can facilitate your engagement or assist you with any questions or issues. We look forward to working with you!
Brandi Hephner LaBanc, Ed.D.
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Student Affairs is a vital component in providing an environment in which University of Mississippi students can succeed. We are dedicated educators and passionate student advocates who provide extraordinary support services and learning opportunities. We believe in and model respect for all members of the University community. We are innovative and future-focused. Our fulfillment comes in helping students reach their full potential for the betterment of society and the world.
Brandi Hephner LaBanc, Ed.D.Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Much like our incoming class of first year students, I am new to The University of Mississippi and equally excited about my future at Ole Miss! I feel privileged to work with an exceptional team of Student Affairs professionals and I take my role as a student-centered advocate very seriously. As Vice Chancellor, I provide leadership and direction for all of the departments encompassed by the Division of Student Affairs. Our goal is to be educators outside of the classroom, as well as provide services, facilities and programs that will facilitate student success.
I was appointed Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs in July 2012. Prior to coming to The University of Mississippi, I served Northern Illinois University for six years, most recently as their Associate Vice President in the Division of Student Affairs & Enrollment Management. I have also worked at Kent State University, Arizona State University, University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Baldwin-Wallace College and The University of Akron in myriad student service roles.
I earned my bachelor's degree in Accounting at The University of Akron, my master's degree in Higher Education Administration & Student Personnel at Kent State University, and my doctoral degree at Northern Illinois University in Adult & Higher Education.
I am an Associate Professor in our excellent Higher Education program and my research interests include competency development and professional preparation of Student Affairs professionals, transitional experiences of graduate students, and crisis response and management.
My partner, Dave, also works at Ole Miss and we truly enjoy taking advantage of all of the amazing activities Ole Miss and Oxford offer us.
Leslie Banahan M.Ed.Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
As assistant vice chancellor for student affairs, I work closely with Enrollment Services, International Programs, the Career Center and University Counseling Center. I also provide oversight for division policies and search processes and serve as chair of the University's Student Intervention Team (SIT). It is my honor to serve as faculty advisor to the Ole Miss Food Bank and The Columns Society.
Day to day, I work with Vice Chancellor Hephner LaBanc to provide administrative guidance and support for the division's 13 departments. My office is located in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs' suite on the second floor of the Lyceum, and I encourage students and staff to visit whenever they have problems or concerns regarding student affairs programs, facilities or services.
I have earned two degrees from The University of Mississippi and have worked in student affairs at the University of Georgia and Ole Miss for more than 25 years. Early in my career, I served as an international student adviser and designed and implemented orientation programs for international students. Later, I developed and directed new orientation programs for freshmen, transfer students and parents, and worked closely with parents' associations.
I've written and spoken extensively about parents of today's college students and continue to speak to hundreds of parents each summer at Ole Miss Orientation sessions. I enjoy teaching the Freshman Year Experience (EDHE 105) course each fall and love to play golf, read a good mystery novel, and attend any Ole Miss Athletics event.
My husband, Ben, conducts pharmaceutical marketing research in the School of Pharmacy and teaches graduate research design courses. We have two children, Andy and Meg; a granddaughter, Mary Hart; two grandsons, Holt and Sterling; and two mischievous and loveable Goldendoodles, Mulligan and Waggle.
Thomas J. Reardon, Ph.D.Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
and Dean of Students
422 Ole Miss Union
Currently the assistant vice chancellor for student affairs/dean of students, I have worked in higher education for the last 35 years. At Ole Miss, I have served in numerous positions, including coordinator of pre-admissions, assistant director of student activities and associate dean of students. I have served as dean of students for the last eight years.
I received my B.A. from Ole Miss, my M.Ed. from Delta State University and my Ph.D. from Ole Miss. I am a member of NASPA and the Association of Fraternity Advisors. In 1998, I was recognized by my peers in the American college fraternity movement with the Bob Shaeffer Award for longtime, distinguished service to the profession.
I was very honored when students at Ole Miss selected me as the initial recipient of the Thomas Frist Student Service Award in 1995. I have spoken at more than 100 college campuses on issues ranging from leadership to hazing prevention to crisis management. In 2003, I appeared in the History Channel's documentary on the history of fraternities.
I am active in my local Catholic church and enjoy reading, golf, cooking and travel.
Pam BarefieldExecutive Assistant
I serve as Executive Assistant to the Vice Chancellor and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. My job is to provide administrative support and to help coordinate the daily operations in the office of Student Affairs. My duties include supervising student workers, coordinating travel, scheduling and coordinating meetings, maintaining departmental inventory, drafting reports and other correspondence, scheduling appointments and entering payroll.
I began working at the University of Mississippi in August of 2001. Prior to my current position in Student Affairs, I worked one year as Administrative Secretary in Housing and three years as the SAP Support consultant in the office of Information Technology. I have served on Staff Council as the Staff Textbook Scholarship Administrator. I received my bachelor's degree in Sociology from the University of Mississippi.
My husband, Jeff, is self-employed and does environmental road work. We have three children, Brittney, Jacob and Jess; two grandchildren, Paisley and Greysen - and one more on the way!
N. Camp Best
I currently have the good fortune of serving our students as their Student Advocate. My role is to be a welcoming, independent, fair and non-judgmental advocate for guiding our students through resolving allegations, disputes, complaints, appeals and other concerns within the campus community, so that they can be successful in meeting their intellectual, interpersonal and developmental goals while at Ole Miss.
I recently completed my Master's Degree in Mental Health Counseling at Ole Miss and have two previous Masters Degrees in Urban and Regional Planning and Southern Studies, all earned from the University of Mississippi. My undergraduate degree is a B.A. in History from Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss.
I regularly practice yoga and meditation and have incorporated numerous mindfulness and contemplative practices into my daily living. I have received extensive training in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and I am grateful for the opportunity to incorporate the well-being benefits of this training into my teaching and working with students, faculty and staff on our campus.