A Message from the Director

A change is going to take place in alumni relations at Morningside College on June 1. That’s the date Shiran Nathaniel officially assumes the duties of alumni director.

Some of you already know Shiran from your student days at Morningside when he was general manager of the Sodexo food service on campus for seven years. During the past year, Shiran served as assistant director of alumni relations. And many of you may have met him at alumni events on campus or at various gatherings the alumni office sponsored around the country.

Shiran will be leading the alumni office at an exciting time. Morningside is expanding alumni programs and exploring new was to connect with you.

I will start a new role as special projects assistant in the president’s office at Morningside. In my new assignment, I will still interact with alumni – only in a slightly different way. One of my new assignments is to build an organized and highly proactive student-alumni mentorship program in cooperation with our career services staff on campus. Also, Morningside is coming up on its 125th anniversary, and I will help oversee planning and execution of that year-long celebration.

Morningside College has made tremendous progress over the past 15 years. The campus has been transformed, enrollment has grown and new academic programs are preparing students for fulfilling careers. During this period, alumni played an important role in supporting Morningside. Under Shiran’s leadership, the alumni office will continue to involve alumni in new and exciting ways with all of the great things happening at this college.

Published in: on May 12, 2016 at 5:03 PM Comments (0)

A Look Inside Morningside College: Student Spotlight


Alexander Schmitz is a sophomore biology major from the small town of Carroll, Iowa. Schmitz is a part of the wrestling team and prides himself as being a Mustang.

“I love being on the wrestling team,” said Schmitz. “The competitive and brotherly bond that we all have is something you can’t get any other way. It affects every aspect of my college experience, from competing in the sport to being held accountable in the classroom to being active in the community.”

He believes that there is a lot of tradition at Morningside that is manifested through conversations with alumni and the Siouxland community.

“There is a positive association with Morningside and I am proud to be a part of it,” Schmitz said. “I especially feel that pride when I wear the Morningside singlet when I compete. I know I represent something special when I compete and whenever I get to associate with Morningside.”alex3

In addition to wrestling, Schmitz is in Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society and a member of Acacia Fraternity, where he has been both the senior and junior dean. He has been on the athletic director’s academic honor roll every semester and was also named second team All-GPAC at the end of his freshman wrestling season.

“I think that both being a part of the wrestling team and being a member of Acacia has shown me how strong of a community a college, especially one like Morningside, can be,” said Schmitz. “There is a really strong link with alumni, and the college makes a huge impact in the community. It has impacted me knowing that the little things I do within the school are noticed by others and make an impact on others’ lives.”

When asked about his major, Schimtz said, “I had a pretty specific plan going into college, knowing exactly what I wanted to do for a career. I knew biology would be the best path and that the staff in the biology department would prepare me well.”

After college Schmitz hopes to attend a graduate school and become a certified prosthetics and orthotics practitioner. He would design and help build braces for individuals with limb defects in order to improve their quality of life.

He was exposed to the prosthetics field after a work-related accident that caused his uncle to lose his leg.

“Seeing his own experience and hearing more and more about veterans and even children who rely on artificial limbs made me think that this was a field I could really make a difference in,” Schmitz said.

Being a part of Acacia has given him the opportunity to visit The Shriner’s Hospital in Minnesota. His visit included a tour of the Shriner’s Hospital prosthetics ward and the opportunity to interact with the hospital staff.

Schmitz said, “I learned a lot about the process I will need to go through to work in the prosthetics field, and I gained some excellent connections that I hope to use in the future.”

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Check It Out: Alumni Spotlight

Catelin Drey, 2010 graduate, spent many hours backstage in Klinger Neal Theatre managing productions and serving as the president of the theatre fraternity, Alpha Psi Omega, her senior year. After graduation she remained active and involved with Morningside College and still holds great relationships with her professors.

To this day, she is asked to return to the theatre department to photograph productions for the archives and has also given presentations to photography classes about art and business. Professor Betty Skewis-Arnett from the theatre department was present at her wedding to Tyrel Drey in 2010, and she still maintains contact with Terri McGaffin and Dolie Thompson in the art department for various art and photography functions.

When asked why she stays involved with the college, Drey said, “I valued the real-world connections I was able to make while in classes and hope to provide the same to current students.” Since her graduation in 2010, Drey has seen the college change with an explosion of new development and building projects that has remarkably transformed the campus appearance.

Drey double majored in photography and Spanish. She initially chose to focus on photography because of her enjoyment for creating art. She chose Spanish because it would make her more employable. In retrospect, she chose these majors because of the connections that she is able to make with different people.

In order to increase her Spanish fluency and broaden her worldview, Drey spent the year after her graduation teaching first grade at a bilingual school in Honduras.  She returned to Sioux City in 2011 and was employed both in banking and social work. Both of these positions were based on her ability to speak Spanish.

Drey then started working part time for the City of Sioux City in order to focus more energy on photography.

In 2014 she officially opened a portrait photography business, Shirley Chic, and has steadily grown her services and client base in Siouxland.   In 2015 she was able to combine both of her degrees when she photographed two weddings where the majority or all of the family members spoke Spanish as their first language.

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