Skip navigation

Thompson Named Associate Dean of USM College of Education and Human Sciences

Wed, 12/16/2020 - 16:29pm | By: Karelia Pitts

Dr. Melissa ThompsonDr. Melissa Thompson, professor of sport psychology and coaching in the School of Kinesiology and Nutrition, has been named associate dean for faculty development in the College of Education and Human Sciences at The University of Southern Mississippi, following the retirement of Dr. Carol Connell.

Formerly known as the associate dean for research and graduation education, this role has been revamped to include overseeing all aspects of curriculum and graduate studies while also leading initiatives to support scholarly and creative activities within the College.

“Dr. Thompson brings an array of curriculum, governance and research experiences that will augment our operations in the dean’s office,” said Dr. Trent Gould, dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences. “The coronavirus pandemic has precipitated an uncertainty that pervades all aspects of public higher education. We are seizing this opportunity to reimagine how we approach our education practices at Southern Miss. Given her broad higher education and leadership experiences, Dr. Thompson is uniquely suited to help us strategically transform our educational landscape.”

Thompson is a Certified Mental Performance Consultant through the Association of Applied Sport Psychology, as well as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. Her primary area of research is in coach development, with emphasis on the impact of the coaching internship and development of coaching ethics. She recently published a co-edited book titled “Coach Education Essentials,” along with a co-authored companion text for the National Standards for Sport Coaches.

“The faculty, staff and students in the College of Education and Human Sciences are among some of the best at our University. In my new position, I will work to find ways to support their efforts and celebrate their successes,” said Thompson. “Graduates of our college make a real impact on our society through education, child development, human movement and nutrition, and mental health services. I look forward to continuing to be a part of such an impactful and diverse college composed of difference-makers.”

Thompson earned a doctorate in sport psychology from Florida State University in 2008. She completed her master’s degree in sport psychology at Georgia Southern University in 2004 and bachelor’s degree at Rockford College in 2002. She began her academic career at Southern Miss in 2008.

For more information about the College of Education and Human Sciences, visit To learn more about the School of Kinesiology and Nutrition, visit