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Cantrell Named Associate Vice President and Dean of Students at USM

Sat, 08/24/2019 - 18:44pm

Sirena Cantrell has been named Associate Vice President and Dean of Students at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM), effective October 1, 2019. She will succeed Dr. Eddie Holloway, who retired from USM on June 30 after 40 years of service to the institution.

Cantrell has extensive experience in higher education serving in a variety of roles throughout her career in Student Affairs.

“Ms. Cantrell’s expertise in student conduct, student crisis management, counseling services, and student support services will be critical as we continue our efforts to develop healthy, connected, learning-focused students and communities,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Dee Dee Anderson.

The Associate Vice President and Dean of Students will be responsible for supervisory oversight of the Dean of Students office; Office of Disability Accommodations; Student Counseling Services; Student Health Services; Center for Military Veterans, Service Members, and Families; and Student Support and Outreach. 

“I am excited to get the opportunity to serve the students at The University of Southern Mississippi. I have a passion for working with students,” said Cantrell. “I strive to be available and present for students because I want each of them to know their time at Southern Miss impacts the rest of their lives moving forward and the overall culture at Southern Miss. I want to learn from them, as their experiences are the best indicators of where growth can occur within the University.”

The Associate Vice President and Dean of Students resides within the USM Division of Student Affairs, and reports to the Vice President for Student Affairs.

“Ms. Cantrell demonstrated her passion for students and her dedication to their success during her interview. It is clear that she will be engaged with our students and will be involved in the activities and experiences that we provide to students at Southern Miss,” said Anderson.

Cantrell holds a Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in Psychology from Millsaps College, a Master of Science in Counselor Education from Mississippi State University, and is nearing completion of her Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education at Mississippi State University. She currently serves as Dean of Students at Mississippi University for Women.

For more information on the Division of Student Affairs, visit