Stephens College Dream Up

Staff Profiles

Meichele Foster 
As vice president of institutional advancement and initiatives, Meichele is responsible for designing and executing comprehensive institutional advancement programs, including prospect research, endowment initiatives, capital and targeted campaigns, corporate and foundation relations, alumnae and constituent relations and employer relations development. She also works closely with President Dianne Lynch in the development and solicitation of major gifts and gift planning and on institutional initiatives.

Meichele came to Stephens in July from the University of Missouri School of Health Professions, where she served for 14 years, most recently in the position of assistant to the dean for strategic operations. She also served as the development officer on the "For All We Call Mizzou" campaign, leading her school to become the first at the university to reach its fundraising goal. In 2003, she was honored with an Outstanding Staff Award from the School of Health Professions Alumni Organization. Meichele holds a Master of Public Affairs from the Truman School of Public Affairs and a Bachelor of Arts with distinction in Sociology, graduating summa cum laude from Columbia College. She also is a licensed practical nurse.

She has been a member of Alpha Chi Honor Society, the Missouri Epsilon Chapter National Honor Society and the Pi Alpha Alpha National Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration.

Meichele resides in Columbia with her spouse, Rose Hayden, and three four-footed friends described as extra large, medium and tiny, and one very chatty little bird.

Liz Bird
As director of donor relations, Liz is responsible for managing the stewardship process and fostering relationships with alumnae, friends and community supporters who give back to Stephens College. With 12 years of advancement experience, she is passionate about recognizing and honoring those who contribute to the College, whether those contributions come in the form of time, talent or treasure.

Prior to coming to Stephens, she served as development officer for the Kansas State University Foundation and College of Engineering, director of development for MU’s College of Engineering, and director of external relations for MU’s College of Human Environmental Sciences. She has also worked as a sales manager for Macy’s and Dillard’s department stores, and Kellwood Company, a fortune 500 apparel manufacturing company.

Liz earned a Bachelor of Science in Textile and Apparel Management from the University of Missouri. She is a lifetime member of the Mizzou Alumni Association, a member of the Human Environmental Sciences Alumni Board of Directors, and a member of the Stephens College Staff Advisory Council. 

Liz and her husband, Scott, spend their free time enjoying live music, cheering for the Mizzou Tigers and Stephens Stars, spending time with family, and spoiling their cat, Lucy. 

Marissa Todd ’10 M.B.A. 
As the director of advancement services and planned giving, Marissa manages the advancement data base, prospect research and reporting. In addition she is responsible for annual giving and planned giving programs.

Marissa earned a B.A. in Political Science and a J.D. from the University of Missouri and is proud to have earned an M.B.A. from Stephens. She is a member of Sunrise Southwest Rotary, the Columbia Chamber of Commerce and currently serves as president of the board for Columbia Entertainment Company, a community theatre in Columbia.

Marissa previously worked at Stephens from 2005-2009 as the director of panned giving and scholarships and left for two and a half years to lead fundraising efforts at local non-profits in Columbia. She returned to Stephens in 2012 and is so glad to be part of the Stephens family again.

Marissa and her husband, Michael, have two cats. In her free time, she enjoys reading, sports (watching not playing) and experimenting with food and wine.

D. Shawn Poore
As director of philanthropy, Shawn works with alumnae around the country, reconnecting them with Stephens College and engaging them in the development of gift opportunities and other ways to benefit the College.

Shawn earned a degree in Political Science from Westminster College in Fulton, Mo., in 1996. He is a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. At Westminster College, he was the student tour guide for the visit of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher during her visit in 1996.

Prior to coming to Stephens, Shawn spent 10 years at the University of Missouri as a senior director of development in the College of Engineering as part of the “For All We Call Mizzou” campaign. In 2012, Shawn was recognized with a Columns of Excellence Award for “Respect” from his colleagues in MU Development & Alumni Relations. He worked in political fundraising prior to coming to Mizzou.

During his free time, Shawn enjoys traveling, running, baseball, watching Mizzou athletics and spending time at his family’s farm in northeast Missouri.

Annie Bastida 
As advancement associate, Annie assists the director of donor relations and the director of alumnae relations. She is especially focused on engaging students and young alumnae.

Annie earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Master of Public Health from the University of Missouri. She was executive director of Mizzou Dance Marathon from 2012-2013, which raises money for MU’s Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

Annie previously served as coordinator of alumni and student programming in MU’s School of Health Professions.

In her spare time, she enjoys working out, spending time with friends and pampering her cat, Bumblebee. 


Candy O'Block 
As the administrative assistant, Candy is the point person of the office and helps our Alumnae with any questions or information as well as assists the advancement team. In addition, she is a special events assistant and registration manager for the Reunion.

In her free time, she enjoys suspense and mystery books, walking with her dog, and going to movies.

She has a grown son and daughter and one grandson each.

Shannon Blankenship Walls ’93
Currently special assistant to the president for philanthropy, Shannon has worked at Stephens since 1995. She is a 1993 graduate of the Theatre program, and studied scenic design. She spent five summers at the College's Okoboji Summer Theatre (two as a student and three as staff scenic designer).

She often argues she has the best job in the world because she gets to meet the most amazing women on the planet every day—Stephens Women, of course.

Shannon enjoys traveling, and so far, says her favorite spot is China. Nationally, she especially enjoys traveling West. 

When she’s not traveling, Shannon enjoys quiet days on the deck with her husband, Dick, and two dogs, Barney and Boone.