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Shannon McCullough

Faces of IUPUI: Shannon McCullough

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Shannon McCullough sits in a studio at the Herron School of Art and Design. Photo by Liz Kaye, IU Communications

When Dr. Shannon McCullough graduated with her doctoral degree in higher education and student affairs in 2016, she made history as one of eight women of color to receive a Ph.D. from the School of Education that year. Dubbed the "Great Eight," the group represented the largest group of African-American women to ever receive doctorates from the same school at the same time, affirming their accomplishment and cementing their legacy. To commemorate their graduation, the women created the Great Eight Scholarship to support other graduate students — especially black women — seeking to pursue degrees in the School of Education at IUPUI.

For McCullough, receiving her doctoral degree was a remarkable and humbling distinction that was years in the making. As an undergraduate psychology student in the IUPUI School of Science, McCullough got involved with a new program at the Bepko Learning Center called Structured Learning Assistance. In 2001, she became one of the program's first psychology peer mentors. Through this experience, she discovered a love and talent for mentoring that propelled her academic and professional career.

"That program became the subject of my doctoral research, so that's a big point of pride for me," said McCullough.

After receiving her undergraduate degree from the School of Science, McCullough returned to the Bepko Learning Center and brought her passion for mentoring, first as coordinator of science mentor initiatives, then as assistant director of academic support services, and finally as the center's associate director until 2013. Mentorship remained a core focus in each of these positions, which encompassed course instruction, curriculum development and assessment, student recruitment, and cross-departmental collaboration and planning.

Shannon McCullough and the School of Education's Great Eight
Shannon McCullough chats with some colleagues.
Shannon McCullough works at her desk.

From top: McCullough (second from right) with The Great Eight; McCullough laughs with colleagues; McCullough works at her desk. Top photo courtesy of News at IU; bottom photos by Liz Kaye, IU Communications

Now serving as assistant dean of admissions and student affairs at the Herron School of Art and Design, McCullough provides strategic vision and leadership on enrollment management, student access and retention, and academic success at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. In addition, she oversees the student affairs programming, including co-curricular and engagement activities, and of course, the school's mentoring initiatives.

"I came to IUPUI in 1999 for my undergraduate degree. Since then, not only have I advanced through three degrees on this campus, I also began my path in a professional career in academia," McCullough said. "I am very proud to be at IUPUI. I'm a Jaguar through and through."