Elyse Morris resigns as associate director of residence life


Caleb Geer

Elyse Morris recently resigned from her position as Associate Director of Residence Life.

by Shelby McCasland, Staff Reporter

Elyse Morris, Associate Director of Residence Life and Title IX Deputy Coordinator, is leaving Simpson after eight years working on campus. 

Elyse Morris graduated from Simpson in 2011 and came back to work as an area coordinator.  She then moved on to work in several roles including Title IX Investigator, assistant director of residence life, and teaching for the music department.  

“It was just like a dream come true, honestly, to come back and work here. And so, I think, you know, in one sense, it kind of fulfilled a goal of mine just to work here,” Morris said. 

Morris’s many roles all involve working closely with students and many of the interactions are what makes the job meaningful. 

“I’ve had many conversations where I’ve walked away from something that I was kind of dreading to start, just because I knew it was going to be a hard conversation and hard conversations can be really awkward sometimes. But I left feeling like, `I think I really made a difference to that person today, or you know, maybe even in their life,’” Morris said.

Morris has become a staple in the student development office and has made many close connections on campus in her time here.  Morris said the community is what drew her to work at Simpson and the community is also what made leaving so hard.

“It’s the people who make Simpson what it is and so I feel really thankful to have had those relationships over the years here,” Morris said. 

Senior Katie Pantzar has worked with Morris for three years as a Community Advisor (CA) and a Team Lead for the CA staff. 

“I have absolutely loved working with Elyse on many different issues whether that be planning fun residence life programs, working through difficult situations that come with working as a CA or even playing the occasional game of Munchkin at CA game nights,” Pantzar said. 

Pantzar said she feels that Morris has had a lasting impact on Simpson’s campus and the students that have come through during Morris’s time working here. 

“She has truly made students, and especially the ResLife staff, feel as though they belong at Simpson and that they are cared about while they are here. Elyse really will be greatly missed on campus,” Pantzar said. 

Morris will be moving to a new role as the Development Manager at the Des Moines Metro Opera.  She has been working with the organization since her time as a vocal performance major at Simpson. 

 “I wasn’t searching. It wasn’t something that I was planning to do, but Des Moines Metro Opera had a job opening. My background is in music, and I’ve been connected to that particular organization since I was a student here,” Morris said. “And so just like I always wanted to work at Simpson, I’ve also always sort of had in my mind that someday maybe I’ll work at DMMO.” 

Pantzar said her experience on campus has been greatly impacted by Morris and would not have been the same without her. 

 “My entire Simpson experience would not have been the same had I not worked with her for three years. The leadership skills she has helped me develop, and the confidence in myself that came with the development of those skills, will be something I carry with me for the rest of my life,”  Pantzar said. 

Morris plans to stay on as a contract Title IX Investigator after she leaves her full time position.