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UCM Alumni Foundation’s Next Generation Council Announces ‘10 Under 40’

By Kathy Strickland, June 5, 2024

CM Alumni Foundation’s Next Generation Council Announces ‘10 Under 40’

The University of Central Missouri Alumni Foundation is pleased to announce the inaugural cohort of its “10 Under 40” alumni recognition program. The program celebrates the achievements of young UCM alumni across the country who are advancing their professions and serving their communities. 


“These are people who have made waves in their profession at a young age,” said Brea Parnell, alumni and events coordinator for the UCM Alumni Foundation. “They are also living the ‘Education for Service’ motto by engaging in their local communities.”

Ingram’s launched its “40 Under 40” list for Kansas City in 1998, and Forbes popularized “30 Under 30” nationwide in 2011. Countless variations of such lists have been adopted by other magazines and organizations since.


“We are thrilled to launch our own ‘10 under 40’ and highlight the accomplishments of our young alumni,” said Tiffany Cochran, ’05, ’23, senior director of events and alumni engagement for the UCM Alumni Foundation. “This initiative not only celebrates individual success but influences current students and recent graduates as they pursue their career goals. When alumni combine a degree from UCM with hard work, they are able to redefine what’s possible.”

The new recognition program aligns with the university’s newly launched “Redefining What’s Possible” marketing campaign. Recognition criteria include being 39 years of age or younger and making a significant impact within their company, industry or field of study. Civic, community and/or cultural achievements are also key influencers in the selection process. These young alumni are innovating in their fields, inspiring their communities and leading by example as the next generation of UCM alumni leaders.


Here is the 2024 official list of “10 Under 40” honorees (for individual photos, extended bios and quotes, visit


Rayna Brown, ’14, ’15, serves as director of environment health safety and sustainability at Catalent Pharma Solutions in Kansas City. She earned her bachelor’s in Occupational Safety and Health and her master’s in Industrial Hygiene at UCM.


Ebony Davis, ’18, is a social worker for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center in Kansas City. She developed a passion for advocacy as a Social Work student at UCM. 


Matt Faupel, ’13, ’15, is senior property manager at Cushman & Wakefield in the St. Louis area. He earned a bachelor’s in Graphic Arts Technology Management and a master’s in College Student Personnel Administration at UCM. 


Morgan Hobbs, ’10, is a visual artist and assistant director at Gross McCleaf Gallery in Philadelphia and owner of Structure and Form Artist Services. She earned her bachelor’s in Studio Art at UCM.


Matt Killen, ’11, is senior director of growth and retention at Audacity Inc., a leading multiplatform audio content and entertainment company that connects with 200 million consumers. He was a General Studies student at UCM.


Alex Kolster, ’13, is director of choirs and secondary fine arts curriculum coordinator at Raytown High School. He earned a bachelor’s in Music Education with a vocal emphasis at UCM.


Aly Kowal, ’07, is vice president of employee engagement and development at TierPoint in St. Louis and serves on the board of directors for the Little Bit Foundation. She earned a bachelor’s in Broadcast Media at UCM. 


Andrew Mather, ’12, ’15, is a freelance photographer who has worked extensively with the Kansas City Chiefs and other high-profile clients. He earned a bachelor’s in Photography and a master’s in Mass Communication/Media Studies at UCM.


Olivia Rivers, ’08, is CEO and founder of The Bridge Over Troubled Waters Inc. in Houston, providing advocacy and education to end domestic and sexual violence. She earned a degree in Criminal Justice at UCM.


Holly A. Shores, ’07, ’09, serves as Burns & McDonnell’s regional safety and health manager for California. She earned her bachelor’s in Aviation Technology and master’s in Occupational Safety Management at UCM. 


The 10 inaugural honorees were selected by the Next Generation Council, a group of young alumni professionals who act in a volunteer advisory capacity for the UCM Alumni Foundation. The council advises on matters of concern to young alumni, provides feedback on university initiatives, helps build a network of recent graduates and recommends venues for alumni gatherings. They meet via video call once per semester over their lunch hour.


“The Next Generation Council is a low time commitment volunteer opportunity that is virtual,” Parnell said. “This is a way for younger alumni to stay engaged with UCM during their current phase of life.”


New and recent graduates are encouraged to join the Next Generation Council and provide valuable insights to UCM. Participation can also be a stepping stone to a leadership position in one of more than 10 MuleNation alumni chapters across the country. Learn more at


Nominations for the “10 Under 40” recognition are accepted for any graduate of the University of Central Missouri who meets the recognition criteria. Nominations remain on file for consideration for four years. To learn more or nominate a young alum, visit


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