After graduating with a bachelor's degree from Indiana University with concentrations in marketing, management and administration, Dawn moved to Springfield, Missouri to accept a position at the Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) World Headquarters. She traveled extensively throughout the United States and Europe working with university administrators, faculty and students. While at SIFE she also enjoyed success as a development officer working with Fortune 500 executives.
In 2006, Dawn was recruited to Drury University, where she earned her MBA, to serve as the Director of the MBA program. After successfully implementing enhancement strategies related to curriculum and experiential learning, Dawn began transitioning into the Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. In 2008, Dawn was named Executive Director of the Edward Jones Center, where she worked closely with civic, business and educational partners to educate, train and fund entrepreneurs. In the fall of 2009, Dawn was appointed to the position of Dean of Admissions for the university.