Barbara Austin '63 Bio

I’m a native Mississippian and grew up in Terry, some 15 miles south of Jackson. I graduated from MSCW in l963 with a Bachelor of Arts degree magna cum laude in journalism and English. After graduation, I spent six months in Ireland and Northern Ireland as an International 4-H Youth Exchange student. IFYE is a competitively selected program; there were 11 other participants from around the nation that year that went to various countries around the globe.

When I returned to the States, I accepted a position at Belhaven College in Jackson – as the assistant director of public relations. I resigned that slot in 1967 to accept a position in public relations at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. I moved up through the ranks and became director of the Division of Public Affairs in 1979, a position in which I remained until I retired in 2007.

Currently, I seem to be working as a volunteer almost full-time -- primarily for New Stage Theatre, Mississippi’s only professional regional theatre, and the Red Cross, both nonprofit causes close to my heart.