Dean of All Trades

Dr. John Z. Kiss

By Tyler Carter

Dr. John Z. Kiss is not only the dean of the Graduate School here at the University of Mississippi, but he is also an ambassador, scholar, and teacher. Kiss received his B.S. degree from Georgetown University and obtained his doctorate degree from Rutgers University. Kiss then served as a NASA post-doctoral fellow at the University of Colorado and after that venture, he worked as a faculty member at Miami University for 19 years before landing in Oxford, Miss in 2012. He is a Professor of Biology and maintains his active research program in space biology with NASA.

On July 27 through August 8, Kiss traveled to Vietnam to serve as a panelist for the VEF (Vietnam Education Foundation). His duties as a panelist included making recommendations and interviewing top tier Vietnamese students to provide funding to as well as through the VEF to strengthen the U.S. and Vietnamese partnership by educational exchanges in the STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics, medicine) fields. Kiss said this about his experience:

“As Dean of the Graduate School, serving on this panel helped me better understand the needs of international graduate students as well as brought University of Mississippi’s name forward with other universities with panelists ranging from Harvard, Johns Hopkins, University of Wisconsin, and the University of Southern California.”

Another thing he took from his experience in Vietnam was some advice for students.

“I would tell our students that it is important to look within and find their own passions. Then, I think they should use that passion to advance their chosen field of study.”