Laura Nunnelly, Ed.D.

Vice President for Student Development

With more than 20 years of experience in higher education, Laura became the vice president for student development at Stephens College in July 2019. She previously served as director of student life and engagement in the Office of Student Development since April 2017.

With a deep commitment to Stephens, Laura is dedicated to building a dynamic, inclusive community for all the College’s students. In her role, she leads Stephens’ Security, Student Development and Athletics teams.

Laura has a successful history in developing cross-functional teams, retention strategies (like helping to develop the Stephens Behavioral Intervention Team), program development, assessment and event planning. Prior to Stephens, she most recently oversaw a team of 14 members as the senior director of student life at Santa Fe University of Art and Design.

Laura holds a Doctorate of Education in Higher Education: Leadership from the University of Liverpool, Liverpool, U.K.; a Master of Arts in English from Missouri State University; and a Bachelor of Science in Clothing and Textiles from the University of Missouri-Columbia.


Shannon Blankenship Walls ’93

Title IX Coordinator

Shannon serves as the College’s Title IX coordinator and special assistant to the president. As Title IX coordinator, her primary responsibility is to provide support and oversight of the College’s efforts to ensure that its community is a working, living and learning environment free from sex-based and gender discrimination, harassment or violence.

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.

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