HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - The University of Southern Mississippi announced their choice to lead their coastal teaching and research sites In Long Beach, Gulport, Ocean Springs and at the Stennis Space Center, as Dr. Shannon Campbell has been named Senior Associate Vice President for Coastal Operations.
Campbell will plan, develop and arrange all proceedings for a wide range of activities, programs and services that will increase student life at USM, along with serving as the lead strategist and relationship builder for coastal initiatives.
“Dr. Campbell has a deep understanding of the state of Mississippi and has spent decades cultivating rich relationships with community partners,” said USM President Rodney D. Bennett. “I am confident her strong ties across our state will elevate and further enhance the University’s Coastal Operations, which remain a key component in our larger vision to be the model for public higher education across the country.”
Campbell was the director of Trent Lott National Center for Excellence in Economic Development and Entrepreneurship at USM in recent years. She administered economic impact studies, created strategic partnerships and connected business and industry with knowledge offered by the university.
Dr. Chad Miller, Professor of Economic Development and Program Coordinator for the Master of Science in Economic Development, will serve as interim Director at the Center while USM searches for a new director.
Campbell has put together applied research on many projects along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, including 2017 State of the Coast Economy, Highest-and-best Use Analysis for NASA Stennis, 2018 Quality of Place Study and 2018 Economic Impact of Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport. She also was project lead for developing A Narrative for The University of Southern Mississippi’s Role in the New Blue Economy.
“USM’s Coastal Operations have tremendous momentum,” Campbell said. “We are building long-term partnerships with communities and organizations along the entire Coast. As we are finding new ways of sharing a common vision and better leveraging our resources, we are positioning the Mississippi Gulf Coast to compete for the best of jobs and business growth.”
Before her work at USM, Campbell earned an Industrial Engineering degree from Mississippi State University and a Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degree from USM, as she is a certified Project Management Professional. After receiving her degrees, she worked 17 years in community college administration and five years as a manufacturing quality engineer.
“I am excited about Dr. Campbell’s depth of experience with Mississippi’s community college system and her strong relationships with our community college partners,” Bennett said. “I look forward to her leadership as we continue USM’s work to expand educational access and opportunities for the pipeline of students who begin their educational journeys in that system.”
The new SAVPCO position was brought in as USM announced the restructure of its Coastal Operations to be built on the vision to be a national leader addressing issues relevant to people in coastal and maritime settings, in order to understand the ocean and coasts, improve coastal resilience and support the Blue economy.