Shannon Blankenship Walls '93

Vice President for Advancement

Shannon serves as the Vice President of Advancement and special assistant to the president. In her role, she is the chief fundraising officer for the College and advises the president on all matters pertaining to the management and operation of development, alumni relations, as well as community and donor relations. She provides strategic leadership and direction for the Advancement program and is responsible for designing and implementing best practice, sustainable and comprehensive institutional advancement programs, recruiting and developing talented team members focused toward the ultimate goal of significantly increasing constituent involvement and fundraising outcomes.

Shannon maintains close working relationships with the president and key internal and external stakeholders. She works to advance the mission, vision, and short and long-term goals of the College in concert with the president and senior administrative colleagues. She personally maintains a dynamic portfolio of high-net-worth individuals and secures major, capital and planned gifts, as well as advanced annual gifts and endowment support.

As special assistant to the president, Shannon serves as the liaison for the President’s office for campus committees involved with management hiring and advancement and strategic initiatives. Shannon serves as the staff liaison for the Trusteeship Committee.

Shannon earned a B.F.A. in Theatre Arts from Stephens, and she began working at the College in 1995.

Shannon is married to Dick, a retired Columbia restaurateur. Together, they enjoy traveling and spending time with their dogs, Boone and Brody. They are avid fans of the Missouri Tigers, St. Louis Cardinals and Stephens Stars, and they frequent many of the local restaurants and arts organizations in Columbia.


Jenny Trom

Director of Philanthropy and Engagement

Jenny serves Stephens College as a Director of Philanthropy and Engagement. Jenny enjoys engaging with alumni and obtaining gifts to advance the mission of Stephens College. She has been with Stephens for over four years and loves her job. She graduated from the University of South Dakota with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in marketing. After many years as a hospital sales representative in the pharmaceutical industry, Jenny stayed at home to raise her children and volunteer for several organizations. Upon returning to the workforce, she worked at Columbia Public Schools for four years and then at the University of Missouri for six years. Her experiences in sales and education are a perfect fit for Stephens.

Jenny resides in Columbia with her dog, Jaynee. She enjoys all sports and is a fan of the Missouri Tigers, the Kansas City Chiefs, and, of course, the Stephens Stars. In her free time, Jenny enjoys spending time with her adult children, extended family, and close friends. She also loves to travel, both in the United States and abroad.


Enola-Riann White

Director of Philanthropy and Engagement

Enola has an MPA from the University of Missouri with a specialization in nonprofit administration. She has over 15 years of experience in the non-profit sector as a nonprofit consultant, executive director, grant writer, DEI specialist, volunteer coordinator, and board member. She volunteers and serves on boards for various organizations including the Missouri Symphony, the Do Good Collective, and ACA Business Club.  Enola was selected for the 2023 20 Under 40 class by COMO Magazine. In 2022 she was an honorable mention for COMO Magazine’s Impact COMO Most Impactful Executive Director (Columbia Entertainment Company) and an inaugural recipient of the Columbia Salvation Army Women Doing Good Award.

Enola is a classically trained saxophonist and woodwind specialist. When not working or at home with her two dogs, Jazz and Aria, she and her partner, Matt Fetterly, can be found performing in pit orchestras for mid-Missouri theatre companies – including The Conservatory for the Performing Arts at Stephens.


Christine Pickett

Alumni and Family Connections Specialist

Christine earned a BA in Communications from Wingate University in North Carolina and started her career in Chicago, IL. Since moving to Columbia in 2006, Christine worked for the University of Missouri for more than 10 years in roles as a Conference Coordinator with the MU Conference Office where she managed a diverse range of continuing education conferences, and then as Director of External Relations for the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) where she played a pivotal role in enhancing the College's engagement with its stakeholders, overseeing key events, publications, and fundraising initiatives. Christine also has experience in Commercial Real Estate and Business Insurance Sales and has established lasting connections with individuals and businesses here in Mid-Missouri.

Christine joined the team in April of 2023 and is excited to be engaging with Stephens alumni, students, faculty, and staff every day. She lives in Columbia, with her husband and two children and marvels daily at the impact Stephens has had on the town and community she loves. In her free time, Christine enjoys exploring the outdoors with her dogs, paddleboarding, cycling, watching old movies, and entertaining family and friends.


Mackenzie Allen, '20

Advancement Concierge and Volunteer Liaison

In her role, Mackenzie provides support and information for the College’s network of Alumni, donors, and volunteers. She contributes to the Advancement team by managing social media content and creating brand cohesion through graphic design. Mackenzie is also responsible for the logistics, planning, and execution of the Stephens Volunteer Action Council in their outreach to donors and alumni. In her previous role as a Home Buying Concierge at Veterans United Home Loans, she contributed to the company’s growth and customer satisfaction by establishing and maintaining long-term relationships with clients. As such, Mackenzie has extensive experience in customer service and internal and external communications. 

Mackenzie is a proud Alumni of Stephens College and graduated with a BFA in Fashion Communication. Her journey has come full circle, leading her back to Stephens, an institution that played a pivotal role in shaping her academic and personal growth and she is thrilled to be connecting with other alumni. Mackenzie resides in Columbia and enjoys running, strength training, yoga, and spending time with her family and friends.


Contact Us

Office of Advancement

Oberdorfer Alumni Welcome Center | 317 Lela Raney Wood Hall
(573) 876-7110, Ext. 4110 [email protected] Stephens College, 1200 E. Broadway, Box 2035, Columbia, MO 65215 After Stephens

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