Smith joins MSU-Meridian as associate dean of students

Deanna Smith, Associate Dean of Students (Photo by Marianne Todd)Contact: Marianne Todd

MERIDIAN, Miss.—A Mississippi State University graduate with two decades of experience in supporting students personally and academically is the new associate dean of students at MSU-Meridian.

In her role, Deanna Smith serves students, their families, faculty, staff and the communities of the College Park and Riley campuses of MSU-Meridian.

Smith graduated from MSU with a bachelor’s degree in marketing in 2004 and started her career at Meridian Community College shortly thereafter. At MCC, she began work as a student recruiter, then pivoted to admissions counselor at MSU before returning to the community college three years later as director of advising and retention and then dean of students.

“As soon as I got to MCC, I knew I wanted to be with students,” Smith said. “That’s where my passion is.”

She hopes to be a beacon of support for MSU-Meridian students, serving as a liaison between students and faculty and alleviating stressors by helping students navigate resources such as housing, meals and counseling, along with other services they might need during difficult times.

She was drawn to the position at MSU-Meridian, she said, because it offers a chance to work with a different sector of students.

“At MCC I worked under a large umbrella, and this role is more focused,” she said. “This enables me to work with more nontraditional students, both graduate and undergraduate. I feel like if we can meet students where their needs are, they’ll be successful, and when they’re successful, we’re successful.”

A native of Meridian, Smith shares a home with her husband, Eric, and two sons, Wilson, 9, and Grey, 6.

To reach out to Smith, email her at

Mississippi State University is taking care of what matters. MSU-Meridian is online at

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