Profile: Jackie and Tabor Mullen
Passion for each other and the students with whom they work defines Jackie and Tabor Mullen.
Jackie, the associate director for student activities at Mississippi State, is the spontaneous one, while Tabor, the assistant dean of students, is the serious one. They've been married a little more than three years, but at the end of the day, Jackie and Tabor are on the same page — it's all about the students.
Jackie gets to schedule many of the Student Affairs-sponsored speakers and events, and Tabor addresses student disciplinary issues. While their work is very different, overlap happens pretty regularly, they said. They stay focused on MSU's students.
"We're not big on the limelight; we're there in the background," Jackie said. "We let the students lead: it's their voice, it's their opinions, it's their time. We're here to give them guidance when they need it."
For the most part, students understand Tabor and Jackie are working in their best interests, he said.
"Even though a lot of what we do in Student Affairs is not measured, the students' successes are our successes. Their failures are our failures. They're living on the line between adolescence and adulthood," Tabor said.
Jackie and Tabor agreed their favorite place to be on campus is Colvard Student Union, a place where a wide variety of students meet, interact, study and have fun. While Jackie enjoys in the indoor food court scene, Tabor especially likes the outdoor Union Plaza in front of the building.
They see romance at campus events pretty regularly, they agreed. Whether young men and women are meeting for the first time at Greek formals or the sun is setting on the Drill Field, Jackie and Tabor said campus is a wonderful place to connect. More than 100 weddings take place on campus each year, and athletic events feature great opportunities for couples to enjoy themselves.
"Some of the best family times we have are just walking around campus," Jackie said.
"Or stealing a kiss at the end of an event," Tabor added.
While some students naturally gravitate toward Jackie and others to Tabor, the couple never underestimates the influence they're having in students' lives.
"Mississippi State is just a part of our lives — it's where we work; it's where we play. It's more than a paycheck: It's a way of life," Tabor said.
He and Jackie have a son, Carson, and are active members of First Presbyterian Church in Starkville.Writer: Leah Barbour | Photo: Russ Houston
Next week … Cory Gallo !