Kathy Yadrick, former University of Southern Mississippi Chair of the Department of Nutrition and Food Systems, recently accepted a new position as the Associate Dean of the College of Health. She formerly took on limited responsibilities as the Associate Dean in 2011 but was asked to take on the position entirely after the former dean stepped down.
Yadrick, once a Chemistry major, said she found food and nutrition a good fit.
“I always liked food,” Yadrick said. “I liked to cook, and I also liked nutrition.”
Yadrick received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Michigan State University and her Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University.
Yadrick said she always knew she wanted to work in higher education. She said she ended up at The University of Southern Mississippi after an unplanned trip to visit friends in Hattiesburg on her way to Disney World.
Though being at Southern Miss was not her initial plan, Yadrick said she loves her community.
“Hattiesburg grows on you,” she said. “It’s nice here.”
As the new associate dean, Yadrick said her responsibilities will include “a little bit of everything.”
Yadrick said she participates in a number of university committees that seek input across the university. She oversees the development of the department curriculum and reviews research that involves people as participants. Yadrick also serves on the Institutional Review Board with the university and works on the Implementation Committee that is working on new software that will help the department schedule classes more efficiently.
Yadrick said she thoroughly enjoys being involved all over the school.
“One thing I like about performing these responsibilities is I really have an opportunity to interact with people around campus not just in my department,” she said.
Yadrick said she is able to get the perspective of other people of other academic positions capabilities. She said she has worked with the Student Success Committee, Provost Office, as well as other disciplines.
“We’re all in this together,” she said. “It’s important that we have a strong support system amongst each other.”
Yadrick said she feels as if her job is her commitment to her students.
Ashley Lovetere, a former student of Yadrick, said USM strives to make students feel at home.
“The professors here are so family-oriented,” Lovetere said. “You’re able to talk to them one-on-one, and they really care about you your life outside of school. She’s so sweet, and she has a wonderful way of critiquing and giving good feedback.”
Yadrick said she strives to continue the achievements of the College of Health and would like to continue to: produce graduates who fill an important need in health care, develop important research, support the younger faculty as they develop their careers and continue to engage their students. Yadrick plans on staying in her position until her responsibility at Southern Miss is completed, but until then she says she is “always ready to be of service.”