University of South Alabama, Office of Public Relations
June 18, 2008
Contact: Jennifer Z. Ekman, (251) 460-6360
USA Names Michael Mitchell Dean of Students
Former Alumnus, SGA President Returns in Leadership Role
Michael Mitchell
Michael Mitchell
  University of South Alabama alumnus and former Student Government Association President Michael A. Mitchell has been named dean of students.

For the past eight years, he has served as associate dean of students at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Miss. He begins work at USA on July 14.

USA Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. John Smith said Mitchell’s understanding and commitment to USA make Mitchell the ideal person to connect with USA’s growing student body.

“We are very excited to have Mike coming back to South Alabama,” Smith said. “He’s a wonderful individual, and as a former student government president, he is coming back in an important leadership and mentoring role to our current students.”

Mitchell said the return to USA came at the perfect time for him and the growing Mobile institution.

“South Alabama is entering a dynamic milestone in the area of student life. My alma mater is posed to become one of the most vibrant campuses in the south, and it is an honor to be a part of that development,” Mitchell said.

The 37-year-old Mobile native said he was happy to return to the place where he found his professional calling.

“It was my work in student organizations while at USA, and the mentoring of former Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Dale Adams, that gave me the idea of becoming a student activities professional,” he said. “At USA, I found what I now know to be my life’s mission and life’s purpose. It humbles me to come back and serve the University and serve students like the student I once was.”

Before he took the role of associate dean of students at USM, Mitchell worked as assistant director of student activities there from 1997-2000. Prior to that, he served as assistant director of the Colvard Student Union at Mississippi State University from 1995-97.

Mitchell received his bachelor’s degree in communications from USA in 1994. He served as SGA president from 1992-94, and led the University of South Alabama’s Black Student Union from 1991-92. He was also a member of the USA Southerners, the student ambassador group, from 1991-92. In 1992, he was named a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honor society, and the Abeneefoo Kuo African-American Honor Society. Mitchell was listed in the “Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges” in 1993.

He received his master’s degree in college counseling and personnel services from USM in 1995, and he has completed all coursework toward a doctorate in higher education administration from that institution.

Mitchell has been an active member of West Point Baptist Church, where he served as its stewardship campaign director. He is also a 2002 graduate of Hattiesburg’s Leaders for a New Century, and a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. In 2002, he was recognized by Mississippi’s Institution of Higher Learning for providing exceptional leadership and commitment to diversity at USM. He served on USA’s National Alumni Association’s Board of Directors from 2005-07.

Mitchell and his wife, Merlinda, have one daughter, 5-year-old Maiben.

The University of South Alabama

Since its founding in 1963, the University of South Alabama has been one of Alabama’s fastest growing universities, currently enrolling more than 14,000 students in a wide range of academic programs in Allied Health Professions, Arts and Sciences, Mitchell College of Business, Computer and Information Sciences, Continuing Education and Special Programs, Education, Engineering, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy. The University has awarded more than 62,000 degrees.

In addition to teaching and research, USA is one of the largest health care providers in the Mobile region, with its faculty physicians and two hospitals – Children’s & Women’s and USA Medical Center – involved in more than a quarter million patient encounters annually.

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