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M. Anne Murphy ’78


Anne, a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE), began her fundraising career as a student intern at Stephens College, and then went on to New York to earn a master’s degree in fundraising management at the New School. Upon graduation, she worked as a staff consultant for Girl Scouts USA and on the campaign staff for the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island Centennial campaign. 

Eventually, Anne’s career led her back home to Houston, where she worked for the University of Houston Foundation, the March of Dimes, University of Houston Downtown and Dini Spheris before becoming vice president of development for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast.

Anne has served in several leadership roles in the philanthropic sector, including the national foundation and local board of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), where the M. Anne Murphy Award for Outstanding Professional Advancement is given out each year in her honor at National Philanthropy Day. 

In 2015, she was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from AFP. She has spent over 30 years teaching fundraising courses and serves on the advisory board at Rice University, Center for Philanthropy and Leadership. She also serves on the executive committee of Giving USA Foundation and the fund development committee of the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council. 

While at Stephens, Anne served as president of the 1978 senior class and her sorority. She was on the committee that initiated the student annual fund campaign in 1977 and the tradition of presenting the president with a gift at graduation; the first gift was marbles in 1978. Anne previously served as president of the Alumnae Association Board and received the 2016 Stephens Alumnae Achievement Award.


Valerie Shaw ’00

Vice Chair

Valerie retired from a 36-year banking career at Commerce Bank in June 2016. She served as the executive vice president and retail director for Commerce Bank. In this capacity, she oversaw the retail sales, service and operations for 14 branches in the Central Missouri Region (in the Missouri counties of Boone, Moniteau, Audrain, Randolph and Marion). Valerie was also responsible for branch security, facility management and 17 ATMs. Prior to her move to Columbia, she worked at Commerce Bank in Hannibal, Missouri, from 1980 to 1990. 

Valerie earned a Master of Business Administration from Williams Woods University in 2003 and a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Stephens College in 2000. As a non-traditional student, she worked full time while working toward her degrees at both Stephens and William Woods. 

Her volunteer activities include treasurer, Columbia Branch of the NAACP; treasurer, Second Missionary Baptist Church; member (president 2019-20), Columbia Kiwanis Club; member, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; charter member and past treasurer, and Central Missouri Chapter of The Links, Inc.; Financial Secretary. She also has assisted with numerous committees for school bond issues, selection committee for the Battle High School site selection, Bias Free Columbia Committee, and several sewer bond issue committees, among others.

Valerie has received numerous distinguished awards, including the 2017 George F. Hixson Fellowship award from the Kiwanis Children’s Fund, the Keeper of the Flame 2016 President’s Award for Outstanding Community Service from Columbia NAACP, the 2014 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award for Outstanding Community Service from the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Association, the 2013 President’s Award for Outstanding Leadership from the Missouri State Conference of the NAACP, and the 2010 Professional Excellence Award from the Columbia Daily Tribune. 

She has two sons, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Valerie enjoys traveling, watching Missouri Men’s Basketball, spending time with family and friends, and public service volunteer work. She has a passion for traveling and has visited Ghana, Germany, France, Italy, Ireland, China and England, to name only a few.


Sara Herrnstadt Crosby ’76


Sara received her B.F.A. in Theatre from Stephens and enjoyed a varied acting career based out of New York City. Her roles brought her to Off-Broadway, television and film as well as regional theaters. Most notably, she starred in Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap for the Barter Theatre at George Mason University opposite Kevin Spacey and Off-Broadway at the Cherry Lane Theatre as Wilhelmina in The Passion of Dracula. On television, she appeared on All My Children.

In 1984, Sara left N.Y.C. for Chicago, where she began the Graduate Social Work program at Loyola University Chicago. Since graduating in 1986, Sara has worked as a psychotherapist with individuals, couples and groups in the Chicago area and Madison, Wisconsin. She has given many workshops on several issues, including women’s issues, prejudice and discrimination, and suicide prevention, to name a few.

In 2001, Sara co-founded the award-winning Dakota Academy of Performing Arts (DAPA). She is the lead facilitator and a director for DAPA at the Pavilion Plays for Living Theatre Company. Sara also sits on the board of directors for Breathe Bravely, a cystic fibrosis advocacy organization, and is a social justice and diversity consultant and educator. She is the 2013 Champion for Children Award winner for South Dakota Voices for Children. Sara is a licensed clinical social worker and lives with her husband, Daniel, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where they raised their three children.


Ellen Vollrath ’86


Ellen is a budget analyst for the Eurasia Foundation, an international not-for-profit organization. She previously worked as the director of treasury at International Relief and Development after serving as the director of grants and accounting services for the American Bar Association.

She earned a B.A. in political science with a minor in history from Stephens.

Ellen participated in Stephens’ Women in Civic Leadership Series along with classmate Jenifer Brandeberry ’86 in 2011. Since graduating, Ellen had been active in the Stephens Alumnae Club of Greater Washington. She received the Stephens Alumnae Service Award in 1996, and served as an alumna trustee (1990-93), a member of the Alumnae Association Board (1990-94) and a regional representative on the Former Alumnae Association Board.

While at Stephens, Ellen played on the golf team, was part of Searcy Honors House Plan as a freshman, and was a re-founding member and president of Omega Psi social sorority. She also participated in Japan Travel Seminar, Model United Nations, Oxbridge Study Program and China Travel Seminar. As a senior, she received the John Dekker Social Sciences Award.

She and her significant other, Musonda Chisambisha, have a cat named Lusaka.

Ellen enjoys traveling, crossword puzzles, reading, socializing with friends, cultural events, thinking about playing golf and cheering on the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks, as well as the Green Bay Packers.


Gayle Flannery Bentsen ’67

Gayle, a former board member (1996-2004, 2006-2015), served as a regional co-chair of the College’s first comprehensive campaign with her husband, Lloyd. She also has served on the Alumnae Development Board. She received the Stephens Alumnae Achievement Award in 2009.

Gayle is a founding member of Victory, a group of American Cancer Society volunteers who sponsor the Cattle Baron’s Ball in Houston; a public member of the State Bar of Texas Grievance Committee for six years; and a former advisory board member of the UTMB Galveston School of Nursing. With her husband, she co-chaired a Project Orbis Gala to fund eye care in less-developed countries. 

Gayle completed her second term as a member of the board of trustees at Mitchell College in New London, Connecticut. She also was involved with capital campaign work at Mitchell. Gayle received a Distinguished Service Award from Mitchell and is a trustee emerita. The Bentsen Learning Center was named in honor of her family.

She received an A.A. and studied fashion merchandising at Stephens. Gayle also studied interior design at the University of Texas.

She and her husband have two children, Lloyd IV and Ryan, and one grandson, Lloyd Bentsen V.


Vice Admiral Nancy E. Brown ’73

After completing over 35 years of service Vice Admiral Nancy E. Brown retired from her position as the Director, Command, Control, Communications and Computer Systems, The Joint Staff. Since retiring on 1 October 2009, she has served as an Outside Director of Systematic Software Engineering, Inc, on the Board of Advisors for Enlightened, Inc, The EDGE, and Kingfisher Systems, Inc., Vice Chair of the Broad of Directors of the United States Naval Institute, Chair of the Board of Directors of Homeward Deployed and an Executive Committee Member of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA). She also served as the Vice Chair of Veterans Honor Flight of Southern Illinois and was instrumental in organizing and executing their first flight to Washington, D.C. She currently works as an independent consultant for various C4I focused companies.

Raised in Marion, Illinois, she is a 1973 graduate of Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. Following graduation, she joined the United States Navy. Highlights of her assignments include attending the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, where she earned a Master of Science Degree in Communications Systems Management; the Naval War College and was awarded a Master of Arts Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies; and the Senior Course at the Army War College, Carlyle, Pennsylvania.

In August 1993, VADM Brown assumed command of Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station Cutler, Downeast, Maine. After completing her command tour, she was assigned in August 1995 to the National Security Council staff at the White House. In July 1997, VADM Brown assumed command of the Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station Atlantic, Norfolk. Completing her major command tour in June 1999, VADM Brown returned to the White House as the Deputy Director, White House Military Office. In October 2000, she reported to the Chief of Naval Operations as Deputy Director and Fleet Liaison, Space, Information Warfare, Command and Control (N6B). In August 2002 she assumed duties as Vice Director for Command, Control, Communications, and Computer Systems (J6), the Joint Staff. In August 2004 she deployed to Iraq becoming the first Multi-National Force–Iraq C6 headquartered in Baghdad and returned to the Joint Staff in April 2005. In August 2005 VADM Brown assumed the duties as J6 Director for both North American Aerospace Defense Command and United States Northern Command. In August 2006 she assumed her last active-duty position as the Director, Command, Control, Communications and Computer Systems (C4 Systems), The Joint Staff.

Vice Admiral Brown's decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), the Defense Superior Service Medal (with two Oak Leaf Clusters), the Legion of Merit (with Gold Star), the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal (with two Bronze Stars), the Global War on Terrorism Medal, the Armed Forces Service Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal (with two Bronze Stars). She has also been recognized by the Diversity Journal in 2007 as one of their 5th Annual Women Worth Watching, in February 2009 by Fast Company The Most Influential Women in Tech, the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award Marion Area Chamber of Commerce, the 2017 Southern Business Journal Leaders Among Us and the 2019 Distinguished Graduate from Stephens College.


Greg Flaker 

Greg Flaker graduated from the University of Missouri in 1972 and was co-captain of the basketball team with Mike Griffin, spouse of Daryll Griffin. After medical school and residency at the University of Missouri, he completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Cardiovascular Diseases at the Ohio State University.  Since 1981 he has been a faculty member at the University of Missouri, serving for 6 years as the Chief of the Division of Cardiology. He has been the local principal investigator of grants totaling over $2.5 million with research interests which include antithrombotic drug therapy, antiarrhythmic drug therapy, and cardiac rhythm devices.   His CV lists 200 publications and a book on atrial fibrillation. He is the proud husband of Sondra Flaker, the proud father of 5 daughters and the proud grandfather of 3 grandchildren.


Laura A. Gross

Laura A. Gross joined Warner Bros. in 2003 to establish the WB International research and media team. In 2011, she was promoted to handling global responsibilities, adding the United States and Canada. In her position, she has built a global consumer insights and research team that manages groundbreaking and innovative consumer research, analytics, and modeling across digital and packaged movies and TV products. Her team partners with all aspects of the business — theatrical, TV, games, content sales, marketing, sales, finance, strategic planning and executive management.

She pursued her graduate studies at New York University and has a B.S. degree from Stephens College in Columbia, MO.


Shatenita Whitfield Horton '06

For over 27 years, Shatenita Horton has been a leader in the financial services industry.

In her conversations, her work, and her many volunteer gigs, Shatenita brings a passion for unlimited enthusiasm. She hails from Columbia, Missouri and has been in Roanoke for 2 years.

Shatenita currently serves as the Senior Vice President Retail Banking at Freedom First Credit Union. In her role at FFCU, Shatenita is a member of Senior Management and will direct the sales and service efforts through creation, coordination and management of company-wide retail banking programs.

Shatenita holds a Bachelor of Science from Columbia College and an MBA from Stephens College. Shatenita is a graduate of the Leadership Roanoke Valley Class of 2022 and has since been selected to the Roanoke Higher Education Authority Board of Trustees, Stephens College Board of Trustees and United Way of Roanoke Valley Board of Directors. Shatenita is eager to volunteer and live out her passion of helping be a part of the solution to issues faced in the community for which she lives, learns, works and plays.


Rajah Maples-Wallace '97

Rajah Maples is founder and owner of Rajah Maples Media Productions in addition to serving as a former Executive Producer, Evening Television News Anchor, Broadcast Journalist, and News Manager for KHQA Television in Quincy, Illinois. She started reporting as an intern at KHQA. She later worked as a producer's assistant at "The Today Show" and WNBC in New York City where she worked with and learned from Katie Couric, Ann Curry, Meteorologist Joe Witte, and other news talent. She reported and anchored at KMIZ (ABC-17) in Columbia, Mo. in addition to more training at KOMU. Rajah also has served as news director of KWWC radio.

She's received awards from the Iowa Broadcast News Association, Illinois Broadcast Association, and Missouri Broadcasters Association. Rajah appeared on CBS' "The Early Show" in June 2008, reporting on Mississippi River flooding. Her stories have been distributed through CBS Newspath, CNN Newsource, and Sinclair Broadcast Group.

Rajah covered many high-profile news events including protests in Ferguson, Missouri in August 2014. She's also covered the presidential campaigns of Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and Donald Trump and the race for Illinois’ 18th Congressional District. Rajah also has reported on many Tri-State dignitary visits, including President Barack Obama, Prince Albert of Monaco, Stephen Covey and Mike Huckabee, and Emmy-award winner Ed Asner.

Rajah served as a legal correspondent for KHQA, working extensively with police departments, prosecutors, defense attorneys, crime victims, victims’ families, and defendants. Her fair, accurate, and compassionate Cold Case storytelling is sought after throughout her viewing area. Rajah has taught News Writing, Speech, and other college communication classes. She is a requested speaker for various community events. You may even spot her singing the national anthem before your favorite sporting event.

She serves as a board member for the Quincy Humane Society, the International Radio and Television Society in New York City, and on the Board of Trustees for Stephens College - a private women's college in Columbia, Missouri- the second-oldest women's educational establishment that is still a women's college in the U.S.

She received her bachelor's degree in mass communication from Stephens College, and her master's degree from the Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia where she continued her doctoral studies in media effects and media law.


Angeleigha “Angel” Mendez ’14

Angel is the communications manager for the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis, where she develops communication strategies that works to elevate the medical school’s educational rankings and increase research funding, leading to some of today’s biggest medical discoveries.

Before joining the medical school, Angel led the marketing and communications efforts at the New Mexico State University Foundation, Helen of Troy in El Paso, Texas, and for the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council housed at the University of Northern Iowa. She was also a television reporter and production assistant at KMIZ-TV (ABC 17 News) in Columbia, Missouri.

Angel has earned several awards throughout her career, including a bronze CASE award for “Panorama,” the NMSU alumni magazine she led as editor, and four Public Relations Society of America PRIME Awards for her work with the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council. In 2010, she was selected among 1,000 students as a Gates Millennium Scholar and received a good-through-graduation scholarship to attend college. The Gates Millennium Scholars Program is funded by Bill and Melinda Gates.

While a student at Stephens, Angel received three Missouri College Media Association Awards as well as the College’s Sara Ann Fay Broadcasting Award. She worked with Columbia Access Television and the film department at Stephens to develop a weekly television broadcast that featured the staff of Stephens Life magazine. As a student, Angel was a member of the National Broadcasting Society – Alpha Epsilon Rho Honor Society, Alpha Lambda Delta and Mortar Board: Athena Chapter. 

Angel graduated summa cum laude from Stephens College with a B.S. in Integrated Media and a minor in Business Marketing. She received her M.A. in Integrated Marketing Communications from Marist College in 2018. 


Kay Nadel '65

Kay Chaney Nadel ’65 joins the Stephens College Board of Trustees as both an alumna and as a former Director of Alumnae Programs.

After receiving her A.A. at Stephens, Kay earned a B.S. in Education and a Masters in School Administration from the University of Missouri. Soon after she was invited back to Stephens to develop an alumnae program to support the admissions process. In its first year, 800 alumnae from across the country were recruited, trained and activated to aid prospective students in their route to Stephens. Kay and her team developed a 100 member Columbia, Missouri leadership program, the first ever Stephens’ Student Annual Fund Campaign, and an Alumnae Career Resource Program.

The success of these programs brought speaking engagements, invitations to consult with other colleges, published articles, and a Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) national award.

With proven need, Kay created new and specialized non-profit divisions for two for-profit marketing firms. Based on market research, problems were analyzed, objectives set and programs developed to increase enrollment, identify/develop new funding sources and improve brand recognition; all to meet the unique and specialized world of 501-C3 designated organizations.

Three years later, Kay started her own firm, KC Harris & Associates, later renamed Chaney-Nadel. With offices in Kansas City and New York clients included Girl Scouts of the USA, The Girl Scout Cookie Sale, Boys & Girls Clubs, The National Center for Learning Disabilities, Westchester Classic PGA Golf Tournament, as well as multiple colleges and universities.

As an avid golfer and listening to her entrepreneurial spirits, Kay founded Chaney Fine Golf Jewelry. As CEO she purchased raw silver and gold, oversaw the design of original art pieces, contracted with mold makers and

coordinated production by bench jewelers. Kay personally handled the marketing and advertising of Chaney’s beautiful but subtle golf motif jewelry. Chaney jewelry was featured in Golf for Women, Golf Digest & Golf Digest Women, and was showcased at the LPGA Tournament at Pumpkin Ridge (staffed by Stephens College alumnae), at the PGA Show in Orlando and the Asian Golf Show in Singapore.

Throughout her career and varied professional interests, design always played a role. Specifically Interior Design. In 2000 she turned to interior design full time. Her work includes whole house renovations, residential and contract interior design. Her design styles maximize use of natural materials, open spaces, green plants & trees and few conversation-worthy accessories and antiques. Her work was featured nationally on Property Man, Fox Network Television in 2017.

In addition to her professional career, Kay has volunteered her time to boards and chaired many benefits while maintaining her involvement with Stephens and her interest in women’s issues. These included the Westchester County New York ARC who honored her and her late husband, Edwin. In 2008, they were featured in The New York Times for their community work. The article was called “The Key to a Retired Life…Get Involved.”


Anita K. Parran ’73

Anita, a native of St. Louis, makes her home in Kansas City, Missouri, where she is principal for KK Charles Communications, LLC, an international award-winning firm she founded in 1998 that specializes in public and media relations, professional writing and special events management. The company provides communications consultation services for a select clientele of small-to-medium size nonprofits and for-profit entities.

Anita earned a B.A. in Journalism from Stephens College and an M.A. in Business Management from Webster University in Webster Groves, Missouri. She also earned the Certified Communications Professional (CCP) designation from the Matrix Foundation University of Washington School of Communications.

An ardent and committed servant leader, Anita is the public member on the Missouri Board of Pharmacy. In 2018, she was elected co-chair of the Association for Women in Communications (AWC) Board of Directors and serves as the national membership committee co-chair. This year, Anita was elected president of the Board of Directors for the AWC Advancement Fund. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Urban League of Greater Kansas City, Southland Progress Committee, and Executive Committee/Secretary for the Kansas City Association of Black Journalists (KCABJ). Anita is a member of Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), Kansas City Press Club, National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), Kansas City Freelance Exchange, American Association of University Women (AAUW), VIP member of the National Association of Professional Women (NAPW), and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. – Beta Omega Graduate Chapter.

Anita received the 2015 Velma E. Woodson Outstanding Leadership Award from the NAACP Kansas City, Missouri Branch for being a committed volunteer for government, civic and community entities. The same year, Anita was honored to join the Kansas City Globe’s Society of Influentials. In 2014, she was selected as one of City’s Most Influential Women by the KC Business Magazine, an honor she received in 2007 as a member of the magazine’s charter class. In 2006, she received the National Headliner Award from the Association for Women in Communications, and the same year was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Kansas City Association of Black Journalists.

Anita’s life partner is Clinton Adams, Jr., Esq. who has a daughter, Courtney M. Adams. Anita enjoys membership in two book clubs, Women of Words (WOW) and Characters; mentoring young women, traveling, and convening a networking group of women called The Usual Suspects.


Leigh Anne Preston '85

New to retirement, Leigh Anne brings more than 35 years of experience including as a staff member on Capitol Hill, a trade association executive, small international business owner, and elementary school teacher.

Additionally, she has served as a board member on several high-profile nonprofits including numerous three-year terms on the Henderson, Ky., based Raymond B. Preston Family Foundation (RBPFF) board since 1990 and has engaged, participated in and delivered training for board members since that time. She helped facilitate the transformation from being a reactive donating organization to a strategic impactor. She has served a term on the Woodcock Foundation working with churches in the Episcopal Diocese of Kentucky to identify qualified college scholarship recipients. Preston is actively involved with Impact 100 Louisville, a group of women working to award large grants to transform lives through the Louisville nonprofit Community.

As a small business owner, she travelled extensively to present her popcorn product lines in Asia and the Middle East and was successful in designing.

bulk and long-term contracts with sought after customers. Her company helped bring microwave popcorn to Israel and was the largest supplier of bulk popcorn to S. Korea.

At the end of her consulting contract following the sale of her business, she was sought out by the Louisville Classical Academy where she taught many special area classes over ten years including: elementary global studies, science, Civics, Ancient Greek Mythology, Kentucky history, PE and art.

Preston served on the board of directors of Field & Main Bank in Henderson, KY from 2016-2021, and continues to serve on the Field and Main Bancorp board and Governance Committee.

She graduated from Stephens College in 1985 with a BA in Business and Minor in French. She did her junior year abroad at the American College of Paris. She served as president of the Stephens Alumnae Club of DC and helped start the endowed scholarship that continues today. She is the youngest of four daughters, three of whom graduated from Stephens. She currently lives in Louisville, KY with her husband Jeff and 17- and 19-year-old daughters.


Michael Quevli '84

Michael has been with Blackbaud since 2008 and brings 27 years of experience in prospect development. As a principal fundraising consultant with Blackbaud he has worked with a wide variety of non-profits assisting them with the implementation of predictive custom modeling, wealth screening and prospect research. Michael began his prospect development career at AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA) as a prospect researcher. In 1997 he joined the Keck School of Medicine and became the director of prospect research shortly thereafter and managed a staff of four. In 2005 he joined P!N/Kintera and worked with hundreds of clients on implementing their wealth screening service. He was instrumental in transitioning P!N clients to the ResearchPoint platform and introducing them to the world of predictive modeling. Michael served nine years on the Apra International Board and was president in 2012 and served on Apra Board of Trustees still 2022. He also served on the CARA board and on the Stephens College Alumnae Board for three consecutive terms. Michael is the recipient of the 2004 CARA Service Award. In 2007, he was the first male to receive the Stephens College Alumnae Service Award and recently received the Apra Distinguished Service Award in 2018.


Tom Richards

Tom serves as treasurer and chief investment officer of the University of Missouri System. In his current role, he provides operating leadership and strategic direction for the university’s cash management, debt and banking relationships across all four campuses and the healthcare system. In addition, Tom manages investment portfolios in excess of $6 billion, including the university’s retirement, endowment and general operating funds.

Tom served as interim vice president of finance from July 2013 to August 2014. Prior to his appointment as treasurer by the Board of Curators in January 2011, he was responsible for the university’s financial reporting and taxation matters as well as all accounting for the treasury function.

Tom received the 2013 Rising Star Award from the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO). The award is given to up-and-coming leaders in higher education in the areas of finance, administration and business who are known for their innovative, meaningful contributions to the improvement of their profession and to the efficiency of their institution.

With over 20 years of experience in the financial sector, Tom served as chief financial officer of a $2 billion community banking organization headquartered in Columbia, Missouri. He also was an audit manager in the financial services practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers in Indianapolis. 

Tom earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and is a certified public accountant. He serves as a volunteer member of the Board Finance Committee of Columbia Public Schools and as treasurer of the Northwest Rotary Foundation. He served 10 years as a board trustee for the Columbia Public Library and Daniel Boone Regional Library.

His wife, Melissa Lawson, M.D., is an associate professor of child health in the School of Medicine, specializing in adolescent medicine, at the University of Missouri-Columbia. They have two children, Laura and Jack.


Vicki Russell

Vicki worked for Tribune Publishing Company in various capacities from 1977 until she retired in late 2016. The Fulton Sun (12 years) and then the associate publisher (21 years) and publisher (five years) of the Columbia Daily Tribune. Aside from decades of management experience, Vicki was the driving force behind numerous new initiatives and publications at both newspapers. She served on the Tribune’s corporate board of directors for more than 20 years. 

She has been quite active in professional, business and civic organizations. Her newspaper industry roles include: Current chair of the Missouri Press Foundation Board of Directors, past chair of the Missouri Press Service Board of Directors, past president and long-time member of the Missouri Press Association, and founding committee member and first board chair of the Missouri Society of Newspaper Editors. 

Vicki serves on the corporate board of The Callaway Bank and on the Boone County Community Trust Board of Directors. She is a past board chair of the Fulton Chamber of Commerce and the Columbia Chamber of Commerce. She is also a past board chair of Regional Economic Development, Inc. (REDI) and has chaired the boards of many civic, arts and charitable organizations. 

Her leadership was recognized in 2016 by the Columbia Chamber of Commerce Women’s Network with the Athena Award and by the Greater Missouri Leadership Foundation as the Community Leader of the Year. She was also inducted into the Missouri Press Association Hall of Fame. 

She was chair of the Stephens Board of Trustees from July 2015 through June 2018, has served on the board for more than 12 years, and has helped with various fundraising campaigns since 1995. 

Vicki received a B.J. (1972) from the University of Missouri School of Journalism, where she also attended graduate school and worked as a graduate teaching assistant. 

Her late husband, Henry J. (Hank) Waters III, was a Stephens trustee for many terms.


John Sebree

John Sebree has been CEO of Missouri REALTORS® since September 2014. Prior to his move to Missouri, John served as senior vice president of public policy for Florida REALTORS®. Prior to joining the team at Florida REALTORS®, John worked in the government affairs division of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR) in Washington, DC for thirteen years. Prior to NAR, John worked for two years for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs. 

John is a native of Kentucky. He received a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Northern Kentucky University where he was student body president. John earned an M.B.A. from The George Washington University in Washington, DC. John is also the current chair of the Hawthorn Foundation, a highly diverse group of Missouri leaders in business, education, economic development, health care and labor dedicated to making the state of Missouri stronger. 

John resides in Columbia, Missouri, but enjoys travel and spending time with family and friends on his farm in Williamstown, Kentucky.


Dylan Shelofsky ’13

Dylan is a fourth-grade teacher at Metropolitan Arts Academy, an arts magnet school in the Westminster Public Schools district in Denver. She also is the leader of arts integrated education.

While at Stephens, Dylan worked with fellow board member Sara Herrnstadt Crosby ’76 to start the first collegiate affiliate of Plays for Living. She was also a proud three-year member of Stephens’ own Velvetones and traveled to Spirit Lake, Iowa, and New York City with the group. She was a part of the Warehouse Theatre Company and loved her time at Okoboji Summer Theatre. She earned her B.F.A. in Theatre from Stephens in 2013.

After graduating from Stephens, Dylan moved to N.Y.C., where she not only lived and worked for four years — teaching elementary musical theater and voice — but also received her master’s degree in elementary arts integrated inclusive education from Teachers College, Columbia University. In 2017, she moved back to her home state of Colorado, where she now lives with her husband, Zach Levenson, and their cat, Frank. 


Silissa Uriarte Smith ’98

With over 20 successful years in the nonprofit, political and public sectors, Silissa’s diverse and multifaceted career includes the areas of advocacy, fundraising, community engagement and public affairs. She has worked for organizations such as Planned Parenthood, the Feminist Majority Foundation, community-based organizations, numerous progressive political campaigns, and the City of Long Beach. 

Born and raised in Orange County, California, Silissa has deep roots throughout Southern California. Her professional successes are the result of mentorship, hard work and an exceptional education: general education and theater coursework at Fullerton Community College, a B.A. in Political Science from Stephens College, and an M.A. in Organizational Leadership from Chapman University’s Brandman School. Her executive leadership training and professional development experiences include: MANA A National Latina Organization, AvanZamos Fellowship Program and HOPE’s (Hispanas Organized for Political Equality) Leadership Institute. 

Silissa has served as a trustee for the College since 2015 and is a former member of the Stephens College Alumnae Association Board. She received the PLEN Leadership Award in 2015, the Stephens College Black Alumnae Association Award in 2008, the Californians for Justice, Racial Justice Hero Award in 2007, the MANA de Orange County Crystal Award for Advocacy in 2008, and the California Democratic Party JFK Junior, Community Service Award in 2003. 

While at Stephens, Silissa re-energized the College Democrats chapter, was a Mortar Board member, and an editorial contributor for Stephens Life when it was the College’s campus newspaper. She served as an intern for retired Representative Vicky Riback Wilson in Jefferson City. In her senior year, she received the John Dekker Award for Social Sciences Student of the Year. 

Silissa currently manages her business, 360 Collaborative Solutions, created in 2013, where she works with mission-driven nonprofits, political candidates, associations and chambers, small businesses, and local governments on advocacy, community engagement and fundraising development programs and projects throughout California. She recently added coaching to the business, where she coaches social change leaders and others making meaningful contributions to their communities. In her spare time, she serves as an active member and volunteer for the Congregational Church of Fullerton, spending time with family and friends, mentoring young professional women, butterfly chasing, camping, hiking, yoga, self-discovery and meditation. 


Mary Ann Sprinkle '84

Mary Ann Sprinkle serves as Vice President of Development for the Adrienne Arsht Center for Performing Arts in Miami, Florida.

Previously, Sprinkle served as the Vice President for Advancement at Emory University and as Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations for the Woodruff Health Sciences Center at Emory University. At Emory, Sprinkle oversaw teams for all schools, colleges, and units; clinical and grateful patient programs; and regional and international fundraising. The teams were responsible for Emory’s $4 billion comprehensive campaign, Emory 2036, and its leadership phase of $2.6 billion, where they secured Emory’s largest gift—$400 million.

Prior to the appointment at Emory University, Sprinkle served as the Associate Vice President for Advancement/Chief Development Officer at the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine in Miami, Florida for more than a decade. The Miller School of Medicine raised more than $1 billion for Momentum2: The Breakthrough Campaign for the University of Miami. This campaign successfully finished with a total of $1.6 billion in support for the University of Miami and, combined with the initial Momentum Campaign, raised a total of $3 billion during the tenure of President Donna E. Shalala. Additionally, Sprinkle served as Assistant Vice President for Medical Development and Alumni Relations for the Miller School of Medicine, Director of Development for the National Parkinson Foundation, and Managing Director of Development for Florida Grand Opera. Prior to her 16 years in Florida, Sprinkle’s fundraising career was largely in the Pacific Northwest.

Sprinkle graduated summa cum laude from Stephens with a BA in Psychology and holds an MS in Counseling from the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon.  While at Stephens, Sprinkle was a member of Prince of Wales, Psi Chi and was a recipient of the Capstone Award.  Later, she received the Century Candle Award and served as the first alumna Director of Admission for Stephens, after serving as a regional admission officer in the southeast, working in advancement and serving as managing editor of the national poetry magazine at Stephens, Open Places.

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