WWU Alumni Spotlight: Queen of the Bells, Stephanie Morrell ('08)

The friendly, knowledgeable face behind the Bellingham Bells is WWU alumna Stephanie Morrell. Join us on June 13 and you might catch a glimpse of this baseball legend!

How did you become GM of the Bellingham Bells?

My first job post-WWU was at the Bellingham Herald, as an advertising sales representative. I loved working with local businesses on their marketing campaigns and getting to know the community in a different way than when I was a student at Western. As part of that role, I worked with the new ownership of the Bells. They were growing the team’s brand in the community and looking to grow from one employee to two. I happily joined the team as Marketing Director in 2013, and was promoted to AGM in 2014 and GM in early 2016.

What courses, classes, or experiences at Western helped prepare you?

All my classes in the journalism department, especially PR classes, were (and still are) relevant to work I do today. I learned so much about how to communicate with the public and build successful and professional brands. I have a double major in Communication as well, and I really gained a lot of valuable skills and experience in public speaking.   

Is there a particular moment or memory that stands out in your mind about your Western experience?

My senior year, I worked in the Associated Students Publicity Center, as a PR assistant helping to promote on-campus events. It was a very valuable experience that piqued my interest in event planning and really helped me fine tune my PR, writing and administrative skills.   

Did you have a favorite experience at Western you'd like to share?

I really enjoyed working on student publications, particularly Klipsun, where I was able to be a managing editor, and The Planet. I also always enjoyed classes with Stephen Howie, Jennifer Keller, Tara Perry and Karen Stout. I think one of my favorite experiences at WWU was having the opportunity to work with Penny Britton and the Communication Department to be part of the Communication Instructional Assistant program. I learned a lot about working with students, managing people and public speaking – plus I met some of my closest friends!

What is your favorite career achievement? 

Being named West Coast League Executive of the Year for the 2021 Season.

What kinds of hobbies do you have and how do you like to spend your free time?

Traveling, UW Husky Football, Indoor Cycling, Cooking & chasing around my five-year-old daughter, Sydney!  

Do you have any advice for current students?

Make the most of all the unique resources you have available during this time in your life! Not just the first-class faculty and amazing facilities, but also the opportunities to learn valuable skills and connect with mentors who are happy to help you get your start. As a WWU alumna, I always take the chance to connect with students and help them if I can, and I know I am not alone in this. If you have an interest in connecting with someone—or are curious about what they do—just ask! These connections are so valuable down the road as you begin your professional career.

P.S. Western students have really enjoyed internships with the Bells.