Passionate UNI student affairs alumni wins service award
Megan Stull is the recipient of the 2021 Alumni Service Award. Stull served on the UNI Alumni Board of Directors for a decade, acting as both vice chair and chair of the board. The Alumni Service Award recognizes UNI alumni who have shown long and continuous service to the university and their community. Stull currently serves as the administrative assistant to UNI Vice President of University Advancement Jim Jermier.
After earning a Bachelor’s of Arts in communication and English from Luther College, Stull was unsure of her future plans. While an undergraduate student, she worked in the Luther College admissions office as a student tour guide. This paved the way for her first job out of college as an admissions counselor for Luther. Stull worked with prospective high school students in southern Minnesota and South Dakota for six years. She loved helping students and families through the college search process and this motivated her to look at master’s programs in student affairs.
Stull enrolled in UNI’s post-secondary education: student affairs master’s program in the fall of 2006. “I grew up just outside of Cedar Falls. So this is home…I knew it was a great program and had enjoyed the interaction with Dr. Wagner. And so I just decided to go ahead and make the leap.” Stull was slightly nervous about attending graduate school because she was a nontraditional student, having worked in admissions for six years instead of attending graduate school soon after graduating with her bachelor’s. However, she said she “found her tribe” in her graduate school cohort. As a graduate assistant for the Graduate College she planned both academic and social events for graduate students.
Soon after graduation in 2008, the UNI Director of Alumni Relations asked Stull to join the alumni board. She was vice chair for two years, which rolled into the chair position for two more years. Stull loved serving on the board. “[The board is] a really passionate group of people who are emotionally invested in the university and feel strongly about the value of a UNI educational experience, and also feel strongly about giving back to the University of Northern Iowa.”
Her UNI colleagues were thrilled about Stull winning the Alumni Service Award. “Megan was a beacon for our alumni office during several changes and transitions. She helped us navigate transitions in leadership within our division and the university and our movement away from a dues-based organization,” said current President of the Alumni Association, Leslie Prideaux.
Stull began her current position of working for the Vice President for University Advancement, Jim Jermier, right before the pandemic began. She had to juggle learning a new job with navigating the challengers of the pandemic. “Like most people during the pandemic, you pivoted –that was the word of the pandemic–you found new and different ways to do the things that you'd been doing forever. We did virtual events, we did zoom interactions.”
To describe her current role at UNI, Stull said that “we are raising funds for students, faculty, and staff. We're working on scholarship programs, but also buildings, facilities, and structures. But the root of all of that is the people. We're making UNI a better place.” The funds are used to enhance the UNI experience. “Collectively, everyone contributes to those efforts. But our focus, and the heart of what we do, is the student experience.”