Mississippi College

Biology Instructor Terry Dent Named MC Director of Student Success

May 9, 2013

A Mississippi College biology instructor for a little over a decade, Terry Dent will take on a new role at his alma mater as the full-time leader of the Office of Student Success.

Working to boost retention efforts at MC is a terrific fit for Dent, who’s worked closely with students for years.

“My personal strengths in this area include an ability to connect to the differing participants in this retention effort, from faculty to staff to students,” says Dent, a Clinton resident.

“My history with MC gives me insights into the structure of how things really work here, but also how to advance change, as we have done with the Blue & Gold 101 program.”

A 1981 MC graduate with a bachelor’s degree in education, Dent worked as a science teacher at Clinton High from 1994 until 2002 before joining MC’s Department of Biological Sciences as an instructor and lab coordinator. He served as academic coordinator for international students for two years on the Clinton campus and has directed the Freshman Experience now known as Blue & Gold 101 since 2008.

In that capacity, Dent said he discovered that Mississippi College needed someone who could “work with all the offices and help create a unified successful experience for incoming freshmen.” As a result, the Christian university created the Office of Student Success.

Expect the Holly Springs native to do lots of listening as he goes to work with a new assignment on the Clinton campus.

“I am a communicator and would love to hear from all MC personnel on how we might accomplish our goals,” he said. “I can envision that in a few years we won’t be able to imagine what it was like way back before we had an Office of Student Success.”

He hopes the office “will be a conduit where students can be directed to the particular resources they need on the MC campus.”

Dent and his wife, Nancy, who he first met as Mississippi College band members, are the parents of one son, Sam, a University of Southern Mississippi freshman.

A 1975 Marshall Academy graduate, Dent received a master of combined science degree at Mississippi College in 1997. In addition, he’s held positions at area churches. He’s served as music ministry assistant and interim music minister since 2009 at Morrison Heights Baptist Church in Clinton. He worked as the interim minister of music at First Baptist Church Madison from 2006 until 2008.

Photo: Terry Dent

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