FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2007
Former MUW student body president returns to his
By Jill D. O'Bryant
COLUMBUS, Miss. -- Phillip Cockrell, a 2003 graduate
of Mississippi University for Women who served as
the university's first African-American student body
president, has returned to his alma mater to work in
He recently was hired as the assistant director of
student life for diversity education and programs.
"I wanted to come back to MUW because I had such an
amazing experience here and to provide others with a
similar experience," Cockrell said.
"MUW made me into the person that I am today because
of the many things that it has to offer.
One of the things I enjoyed most about MUW as a
student was the fact that people really cared about
me as an individual. They were my parents away from
home, role models, counselors, confidants and
encouragers when I needed them. I was not seen as a
number or any random student within my classes,
organizations, etc. People really took the time out
of their schedules to learn about me. Now that I've
been away and gained experience, I want to give back
to others like my now colleagues gave to me."
In addition to the bachelor's degree in family
studies he earned from MUW, Cockrell also earned a
master of science in educational leadership (student
affairs administration) from Florida International
While at Florida International University, Cockrell
served in many areas of student services, including
assistant residence life coordinator and a practicum
student in the offices of financial aid,
multi-cultural programs and services and campus life
Cockrell also has worked at The Ohio State
University where he was a residence hall director.
After conducting focus groups with students and
staff to learn more about what type of programs and
services they would like for diversity education and
programs to offer, his goals are to raise awareness
about diversity issues and to create a multi-racial
student network or organization where students from
all different nationalities could live together to
learn about one another's cultures and experiences.
"I am truly enjoying myself so far," Cockrell said
about being back at MUW. "I enjoy walking across
campus and actually seeing someone I know.
I believe this is what makes MUW
so unique -- that we are truly one big happy