Meet Our Staff

Kari Winklepleck

(712) 274-5450
VP Institutional Advancement

Kari joined the Institutional Advancement team in 2003. She has over 15 years of experience in higher education fundraising and is passionate about generating philanthropic support for student scholarships, facility improvements, and most importantly a strong endowment. Kari serves as the college’s senior fundraiser and oversees major gifts, gift planning, alumni relations, advancement services and the annual scholarship fund.


Shiran Nathaniel

(712) 274-5295
Director of Alumni Relations

Shiran took over the role of Director of Alumni Relations at Morningside in 2016. He originally began working at Morningside for Sodexo, where he managed the food services. For Sodexo, Shiran worked at a variety of places beginning in 1999 including Mutual of Omaha, Friends University, and Adams State College to go along with Morningside. Starting in 2013, Shiran worked as director of conferences and special events at Morningside. In 2015 he was named assistant director of alumni relations. Shiran is a business administration and management graduate of Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa.


Jonathan Blum

(712) 274-5408
Director of Gift Planning & Donor Advising

Jonathan began his career at Morningside as the Director of Gift Planning & Donor Advising in 2014 after a career as a private practice attorney in Sioux City. He is a 2001 summa cum laude graduate of Morningside College with a major in criminal justice. Upon graduation from Morningside, he also completed his Juris Doctor degree at the University of Iowa College of Law. In his current position, Jonathan assists alumni and other donors in planning gifts involving annuities, trusts, life insurance, estate plans and other instruments to support the annual fund, capital projects and endowment.


Michael Freeman

(712) 274-5464
Director of Development

Mike joined the Institutional Advancement team in September of 2014. As the Director of Development, Mike is focused on connecting alumni with Morningside College through annual giving. Additionally, Mike works on major gifts as well as Siouxland business giving to the annual fund. Prior to joining the team at Morningside, Mike was a director of operations in the call center industry and an active member in the community serving on past boards of the Red Cross and Dakota Valley Business Council. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri, and brings a wealth of business knowledge to his role.


Jennifer Marlow

(712) 274-5424
Director of Annual Scholarship Fund

JJ earned her Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Morningside College in 2003. She decided to change career paths in 2006 and joined the Institutional Advancement team as a Regional Development Officer. She is now the Director of the Annual Scholarship Fund and her main responsibilities are to raise scholarship dollars and increase alumni participation through personal solicitations, direct mail, telethon, text to give and the day of giving campaign. She is also responsible for athletic fundraising, which includes radio and athletic program ads and game sponsorships.


Mark O'Connell

(712) 274-5153
Assistant Director of Annual Scholarship Fund

Mark joined the Institutional Advancement team in August of 2016 as the Assistant Director of the Annual Scholarship Fund. He earned his Bachelor's degree in Business Administration/Industrial Psychology from Morningside College in 1985. Since graduating from college, he has enjoyed a leadership career in the call center industry. His main responsibilities are to increase alumni participation through personal solicitations, directing the Annual Telethon efforts and direct mail for the Annual Fund.


Karen Dreessen

(712) 274-5107
Advancement Services Manager

Karen is a native to Sioux City and joined Morningside College in 2006. Previously she was employed by Avnet Technology Solutions in Tempe, Arizona, as the Executive Assistant to the President. During her time at Morningside, Karen has held the positions of Administrative Assistant to the Director of Alumni Relations, Administrative Assistant to the Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Advancement Services Assistant Manager and currently Advancement Services Manager. Karen oversees the data systems and processes related to the Office of Institutional Advancement, including gift processing, gift receipting and acknowledgement, and constituent data management.


Trace Taylor

(712) 274-5266
Stewardship and Creative Manager

Trace joined the Institutional Advancement team in November 2013 and serves as the Stewardship and Creative Manager. She supports the overall efforts of the team by providing information to gift officers as well as fostering an environment of good stewardship between scholarship recipients and donors. In addition, Trace partners with staff to create, design and write pieces for distribution to alumni and friends of the college. Before joining the team at Morningside, Trace had worked in higher education for three years as the Director of Residential Education and Services at Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Journalism and Public Relations from Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, N.M., and a Master's degree in Mass Communications from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.


Elizabeth Schlitter

(712) 274-5409
Administrative Assistant

Beth joined the Institutional Advancement team in May 2018. She came to Morningside in 2007 serving as the Administrative Assistant for Student Services and Residence Life, and then transitioned to Administrative Assistant for Project Proficient, a federally funded grant. Prior to working for Morningside, Beth was the District Administrative Secretary for the Sioux City District of the United Methodist Church, located on Morningside’s campus. Beth has a bachelor’s degree in Sociology, Spanish, and French from the University of South Dakota. Her responsibilities include office management, and support for the Vice President of Institutional Advancement and the Institutional Advancement team.