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External Relations

External Relations provides the services and information you need to grow in your relationship with Morris. We are dedicated to advancing the campus mission by increasing awareness and goodwill, fostering financial support, and building community among our many and varied constituents:

  • Alumni
  • Donors
  • Retirees
  • Parents
  • The Morris community
  • Residents of west central Minnesota
  • Public leaders and representatives
  • Local, regional, and national media
  • Local, regional, and national businesses, corporations, and foundations

External Relations’ three departments welcome your participation in the life of this learning community.

Carla Riley

Senior Director, External Relations

MA, University of St. Thomas
BA, University of Minnesota, Morris

Contact

Welcome Center 106
320-589-6394
Email

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Susan Schmidgall

Chief Development Officer

BA, University of Minnesota, Duluth
Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE)

Contact

Welcome Center 116
320-589-6160
Email

Services

  • Serve as a major gifts officer.
  • Work with donors who wish to support Morris now or in the future.
  • Work closely with External Relations staff and the University of Minnesota Foundation.
  • Serve a variety of constituents-alumni, friends of the campus, faculty, staff, students, and parents, providing information about fundraising programs, scholarships, planned giving, and the many ways to give to the University of Minnesota, Morris.
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Melissa Vangsness

Director of Communications

BS, North Dakota State University

Contact

Welcome Center
320-589-6414
Email

Services

  • Oversight and management of the Office of University Relations
  • Campus brand
  • Internal and external communications
  • Media relations
  • Campus website
  • Emergency Communications

Kari Adams

Graphic Designer/Media Artist

BA, University of Minnesota, Morris
AAS, Alexandria Technical College

Contact

Welcome Center
320-589-6219
Email

Services

  • Design communications materials for the campus
  • Photograph campus events
  • Maintain and assist others with maintaining campus brand and identity guidelines
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Erin Christensen

Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving

MA, University of Minnesota, Duluth
BA, University of Minnesota, Morris

Contact

Welcome Center 107
320-589-6067
Email

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Janell Kolden

Gifts and Stewardship Administrator

BA, University of Minnesota, Morris

Contact

Welcome Center 110
320-589-6456
Email

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Jeff Lamberty

Office and Project Specialist

BA, University of Minnesota, Morris

Contact

Welcome Center 115
320-589-6386
Email

Services

  • Act as point of first contact for External Relations and Fund Development visitors and callers.
  • Support the various staff in Fund Development and beyond.
  • Ensure smooth day-to-day office operation.
  • Assist with both on- and off-campus event planning.
  • Take on special projects and assignments as they arise.
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Kaitlyn McBrady

Executive Office & Administrative Specialist

MA, University of St. Thomas
BA, University of Minnesota, Morris

Contact

Welcome Center 108
320-589-6396
Email

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Beverly Metzger

Principal Office & Administrative Specialist

AAS, Metropolitan Community College, Omaha, Nebraska

Contact

Welcome Center
320-589-6066
Email

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Jenna Ray

Editor/Writer

BA, University of Minnesota, Morris

Contact

Welcome Center 107
320-589-6068
Email

Services

  • Press release writing/editing/dissemination
  • Homepage news and feature stories
  • Internal and external publications
  • Writing/editing for the web
  • Media relations
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Bill Robb

Development Officer

BA, University of North Dakota
Certified Gift Planning Associate (CGPA)

Contact

Welcome Center 109
320-589-6387
Email

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Laura Thielke

Gift Funds Specialist

BA, University of Minnesota, Morris

Contact

Welcome Center 111
320-589-6494
Email

Services

  • Deposit gifts in the correct funds and help disciplines and departments use gift dollars as requested by donors.
  • Manage Alumni Relations and Annual Giving, Fund Development, and University Relations office budgets.
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Megan Welle

Project Manager

BA, University of Minnesota, Morris
AA, Alexandria Technical College

Contact

Welcome Center
320-589-6050
Email

Services

  • Project management
  • Communications project liason
  • Hometown news release management
  • Public/community events coordination
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