Meet the Admissions + Aid Team
We're excited to get to know you!
We believe in the mission of Stephens College, and we can’t wait to share with you why Stephens is the best place for you to pursue your education. Tell us more about you, and we’ll help you plan the perfect visit, navigate programs and majors, connect with faculty and understand your financial aid options.
Vice President for Enrollment Management
Steve Pankey has had the pleasure to serve the higher education community in various capacities over the last 15 years. He has served in numerous roles that have spanned from two- and four-year institutions as well as public and private organizations. During that time, Dr. Pankey has led numerous recruitment and retention initiatives, including leading the departments of admissions, academic advising, counseling, the Registrar's Office, and financial aid. Prior to the Vice President of Enrollment Management role at Stephens College, Dr. Pankey oversaw the Enrollment Services and Registrar's Office for Des Moines Area Community College, which included Recruitment, Admissions, International Student Services, Academic Records, Scheduling, Transcripts, Credentials, and Registration. Dr. Pankey graduated from the University of Missouri in Columbia with his bachelor's and Avila University with his master's in counseling psychology, and completed his doctor of education degree in higher education administration at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. After working in mental health for several years, Dr. Pankey discovered his passion for student development and enrollment management, and has been dedicated to supporting student access, success, and persistence. He is an avid fan of any sport, a musician, and general music enthusiast. Steve, his wife, 9-year-old daughter Blake, and 7-year-old son Beckett transitioned to Columbia from Ankeny, IA.
Liz Borges ’18
Liz became a first-generation college grad when she received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Stephens College in 2018. During her college career, Liz dived right into the Stephens community by starting a student organization called Firestone Fellowship. Liz would love to share with you her transition from life on a farm in Marshall, Missouri, to living in Columbia. After graduating from Stephens, Liz served in social work as a case manager. She hopes to help prospective students immerse themselves in the community at Stephens and invest in their dreams. In her spare time, you may find Liz singing, painting, or finding new recipes to try out.
Sydney grew up in Libertyville, Illinois, before graduating with a degree in elementary education from the University of Missouri in 2017. In college, Sydney was involved in Greek Life, Residential Life and Mizzou Alternative Breaks. After graduating, she taught fifth grade for a year before returning to higher education. Sydney knew she wanted to work at Stephens because of its strong sense of community and excellent academic programs! When not talking to prospective students, you’ll find Sydney eating pizza at Shakespeare’s, attempting a DIY project, or watching Veronica Mars.
Melissa Lewis ’16
Melissa is a proud Columbia, MO, native and Stephens College alumna. Since receiving her BFA in Digital Filmmaking in 2016, she has worked as an adjunct professor at the University of Missouri and Stephens College, served as a commercial video producer/editor for the Midwest region, and co-founded Columbia’s newest community media center, Vidwest Studios. Melissa is excited to share with prospective students the unique life and culture that Stephens College and Columbia, MO, have to offer. In her free time, you’ll find Melissa hiking at Rockbridge State Park, collaborating on local video projects, and attending downtown concerts and performances.
Graduate and Online Admissions Counselor
Kaitlyn grew up in Birch Tree, Missouri, and graduated from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Multicultural Certificate in spring 2021. During her time at Mizzou, Kaitlyn was involved in Mizzou Alternative Breaks, the Psychology Club, volunteered in a cognitive neuroscience lab, and worked at Bookmark Café in Ellis Library. She is excited about the empowered environment Stephens College provides for young women and helping students achieve their higher education goals! Kaitlyn loves trying new foods, watching true crime documentaries, hiking, and has a big heart for animals.
Assistant Director of Financial Aid
Born and raised in Missouri, Jason spent time at several different institutions of higher education as an athlete before ultimately graduating from Columbia College with a Bachelor of Arts in General Studies. He almost immediately took the opportunity to enter higher education as a profession with Columbia College as a financial aid specialist, working five and a half years in various roles with his alma mater. Jason brings a passion for higher education and the role it can play in shaping students personal and professional life as they transition in the years beyond high school. In his spare time, Jason enjoys attending local sporting events; spending time with his wife and son; and assisting his wife, who is an equine veterinarian, on farm calls.
Financial Aid Counselor
Anne grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and has made Columbia her home base since 2012. She holds a B.S. in Social Sciences from Michigan Technological University and a M.S. in Information from the University of Michigan. As a student, Anne worked to support university pre-college outreach, and has made her way back to higher education after several years working as an archivist in the public sector. Her goal is to help all students navigate the financial aid landscape so they can successfully pursue their passion at Stephens. After hours, Anne enjoys singing in area community choirs, spending time with her husband and two children, and listening to podcasts.
Marlena Thompson ’18
Engagement Office Coordinator
Born and raised in Columbia, Missouri, Marlena received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Communication from Stephens College in 2018. During her time at Stephens, Marlena held several leadership positions on campus, including resident director of Wood Hall, Class of 2018 president, and membership chair of Mortar Board. Marlena is excited to be able to share her Stephens experience with students while encouraging and supporting them to create their own.