By Sarah Horn – Dawn Barnes Morhaus, William Jewell Graduate (class of 1985), is Vice President of Application Delivery Services in the Information Technology Division of The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. She serves as the Bank’s liaison to the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Management Service in carrying out responsibilities related to payments application development assigned to the Bank by the Treasury.
Mrs. Morhaus was kind enough to visit with me while on campus attending a meeting of the Executive Advisory Council of the Department of Business and Leadership. As a member of the Advisory Council she shares her experience, guidance, and advice with Department leadership and faculty.
During our conversation, I asked what qualities she values most in young, new employees at the Fed. In response, she stressed the importance of communication skills, initiative, and continuous learning and improvement. Someone can have the best ideas but if they cannot effectively present and communicate those ideas, they are worthless. She credits Elizabeth Hoyt’s Senior Capstone class, Business Problems & Policies, for having refined her communication abilities. She also recognized practical work experience in a corporate type environment as a necessity to learning essential survivor skills such as adaptability.
While attending William Jewell College, Mrs. Morhaus gained this experience working both at MCI telecommunications and for a private law firm. She then broadened her area of knowledge after college working as a sales communication specialist at Cerner Corporation during the very early stages of the company’s development. In 1987 she started at the Federal Reserve Bank as an Analyst in the Computer Systems Department. Within a few years she had moved up to Manager of the Check Collection Department, and then to Assistant Vice President of Retail Payments Support in 1997. In 2001 Dawn transferred to the Operations Division and assumed oversight for the Cash Services, Wholesale Payments, and Savings Bonds departments. She assumed her current position as the Treasury’s Business Leader and Liaison in 2004 and assumed additional responsibility for IT Applications Development in 2008. In 2010 her responsibilities were expanded to include the HR Technology Center, Database Administration, and Application Middleware Services.
While Mrs. Morhaus recognizes the importance of work experience, she is grateful for and appreciates the quality of education she received at William Jewell. If a student strived to be a high achiever, other students and teachers created a challenging environment. She thought that the close-knit community set Jewell apart from other institutions. She built strong relationships with professors, classmates, and coaches. Jewell’s environment encouraged her to be involved in numerous organizations including Delta Mu Delta, Alpha Gamma Delta, the Cheerleading and Dance Team, and the Tattler Review. To this day she says she still makes connections with old classmates everywhere she goes.
Mrs. Morhaus loves her work and spends a great deal of time at it. She likes to stay current so invests in learning about recent events and innovations. When she isn’t working she can be found cheering on one of her two teenage daughters at a volleyball tournament or other event. She also loves the outdoors, and is a fan of any water sport.