USM’s Dr. Shannon Campbell Announces Retirement
Mon, 12/18/2023 - 09:21am | By: Gabriela Shinskie
Dr. Shannon Campbell, Senior Associate Vice President of the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) Coastal Operations, has announced her retirement after 28 years of public service leveraging her professional experience and expertise of which the last three have been focused on the school’s Gulf Coast presence.
“I’m most proud of what we have done on the coast,” Dr. Campbell said. “To me, that’s been the largest accomplishment.”
Dr. Campbell began her career as an industrial engineer and later transitioned to the community college system for 17 years. Her involvement with workforce development was routinely paired with local economic developers to recruit companies to the area to establish businesses and partnerships. Her love for economic development led her to pursue her doctorate in international development, resulting in a new-found passion.
Her career at USM began in 2010 as an adjunct professor, teaching courses in human capital development and workforce models. In 2013, she was named director of USM’s Trent Lott National Center for Economic Development and Entrepreneurship, where she helped launch economic development outreach services of the university. During this time, she served as a key leader in establishing the Mississippi Defense Initiative focused on protecting, growing, and diversifying defense and national security assets as an economic driver for the state.
In 2021, she became the Senior Associate Vice President of Coastal Operations, serving as the lead administrative officer for the coast.
Dr. Campbell is proud of the positive steps made in bringing cohesiveness to USM coastal campuses, including the establishment of Gulf Blue. USM has celebrated significant milestone moments in the last two years with the 100thanniversary of Gulf Park campus and the 75th anniversary of Gulf Coast Research Laboratory. Now with the opening of the Roger F. Wicker Center for Ocean Enterprise, she is proud of how Coastal USM is continuing to make strides in innovative learning and research.
“Bringing together USM’s individual units across the coast to create a comprehensive strategy was a significant step forward,” Dr. Campbell said.
New academic programs at Gulf Park Campus are distinctive and designed to respond high-demand jobs along the coast. “We now have ocean engineering, hydrographic science and programs that were housed in other locations that are now being taught here [at Gulf Park], and other offerings like Organizational Leadership and Accelerated Nursing are among the newest areas of study,” said Dr. Campbell.
Over the course of her career, Campbell’s grant administration experience has accumulated 22 federal and state grants totaling more than $48 million. Two of the recently awarded grants included $7.9 million federal grant for the construction of a Language Speech Disorder Therapy building and $2.5 million state grant for establishing a Digital and Multimedia Center of Excellence.
At Gulf Park, she noted the interior and exterior renovations and improvements to campus facilities, along with paving the way for new programs in 2024 like the Executive Education Services, to be housed in Hardy Hall.
Dr. Campbell and her husband, Neal, are excited to enter a new chapter of life full of travels and quality time with their family. Her mark has been made as a trailblazer for Coastal USM growth and development.
And for her, USM will always be home.
“I will miss the people,” Dr. Campbell said in reflecting on her time at the university.
Dr. Jacob Breland, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, Coastal Operations has worked with Campbell and recalls her dedication to Coastal USM.
“Dr. Campbell has dedicated her career to public service and has done so with a passion, commitment, and integrity that is inspiring,” said Breland. “Her dedicated work over the last few years at Coastal USM has been transformational and is a perfect example of 'leaving Southern Miss better than you found it.'”
Dr. Kelly Darnell, Director of the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory (GCRL) reflects on working with Campbell and is excited for her future.
“It’s been an absolute pleasure working with and learning from Shannon. During her long career, she has worked tirelessly in support of USM. She is the perfect example of a successful and accomplished, but humble, leader. I will miss working alongside Shannon and wish her the best in retirement,” said Darnell.
Pamela Moeller, Director of External Relations for Coastal Operations said Campbell has been instrumental in guiding Coastal USM to new heights.
“She will be greatly missed. Shannon leaves behind a legacy of excellence, hard work, and a commitment to fostering a positive work environment. Her contributions have shaped the success of Coastal USM and have had a lasting impact on everyone,” said Moeller.
“To see the smiles of the students walking across the stage at graduation, that’s a huge honor. Having an opportunity to work with incredibly talented people, that makes it all worthwhile,” said Campbell.