Higher Education Administration
Alumni Engagement Associate
University of Mississippi Medical Center
As a psychology major at Millsaps College, Megan Shaw James ’07MED set out to pursue a career that included a high level of ethical and social responsibility in a diverse world. Landing a career in higher education provided her with an opportunity to “meaningfully influence students at a pivotal time in their lives and to engage with these students as alumni.”
James graduated with her bachelor’s degree in 2004 and entered into higher education, working in various capacities, including serving as the chapter development consultant for Delta Delta Delta Fraternity. During her time as a student in the higher education administration program in the NC State College of Education, James served as a graduate assistant for the Office of the Dean of Students at UNC-Chapel Hill. Upon earning her Master of Education degree, she landed a job as assistant dean of students for campus life at her alma mater, Millsaps College, before accepting her current role as alumni engagement associate in the Office of Institutional Advancement at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.
As an alumni engagement associate, James coordinates 75 alumni engagement events and programs for the Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, Health Related Professions, Nursing and Graduate Studies in the Health Sciences. She advises five alumni chapter boards of directors, which includes the selection and onboarding process for each volunteer member, and works to establish strategic relationships with a wide variety of clients to ensure positive relationships with stakeholders and vendors. James was attracted to her current position because it allows her to “provide lifelong connections across disciplines through meaningful engagement opportunities, communication and philanthropic outreach.”
Aside from her duties at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, James also serves as the president of Delta Delta Delta Fraternity (Tri Delta), an assembly of more than 240,000 women with shared values who are committed to helping women live, learn and lead — with purpose — for a lifetime. As president, she serves as the chair of the executive board, which consists of the fraternity president, six directors and all alumnae volunteer leaders, and serves as Tri Delta’s official voting delegate to the National Panhellenic Conference, which is made up of 26 value-based member organizations.
James has been a member of Tri Delta for 20 years and has volunteered for 15 years in various roles, including collegiate district officer, leadership development committee member, member discipline innovation team member, Tri Delta Housing board director, executive board director and now, international fraternity president.
“When searching for a master’s program in higher education administration, I sought one that would combine research and analytical skills with real-world applications. NC State was the perfect match. In the classroom setting, I learned about the history of higher education, the importance of finance and budgeting, student development theories and applying ethical principles to all areas in student affairs. Outside of the classroom, I was able to gain professional experience in a variety of student affairs functions at a variety of higher education institutions, such as community colleges, HBCUs, a small liberal arts college, large private and public universities, etc.
Most importantly, the faculty members, especially Dr. Audrey Jaeger, Ph.D., [Alumni Distinguished Graduate Professor and executive director of the Belk Center for Community College Leadership and Research], and my incredible cohort inspired me to constantly evaluate my role in higher education and how to adapt during challenging times. It is my hope that this resiliency and pursuit of excellence has inspired others throughout my career.”