In the Division of Biological Sciences, undergraduate advising is student-centered and viewed as an integral part of the higher education process. Each student is assigned both a professional and peer advisor.

Professional Advisors

Professional advisors focus broadly on what students can get out of their undergraduate degree. They are available to assist students with course selection and registration, deciding on a B.A. versus a B.S., choosing minors or secondary majors, building an academic and professional portfolio, integrating internships and Study Abroad into an academic plan, careers in biology, scholarship opportunities, and more.

Elise Buchert

Elise Buchert joined the Division of Biological Sciences as a professional academic advisor in 2022. She earned her bachelor’s degree in the field of Educational Studies from the College of Education and Human Development, where she also worked as a student employee and served as a student Ambassador. While pursuing her degree, she interned as an academic advisor in Mizzou’s School of Health Professions and also was a student assistant for the Mizzou Transfer and Discovery Centers.  

She is a Bright Flight Scholar, a Virginia Booth Memorial Scholar, and the recipient of the Chancellor’s Award. She is also an active member, and former president, of the Little Sisters of the Gold Rose service sorority.  

Laura Carroz (students with last names H-N)

Laura Carroz joined the Division of Biological Sciences as a professional academic advisor in August 2021. Previously, she worked in Admissions and then with the Trulaske College of Business. During her decade with the College of Business, she was responsible for advising 350+ students on degree and graduation requirements and coordinating its $1 million endowed scholarship program. She also taught courses on professional development and success strategies for both the College of Business as well as the Student Success Center and co-facilitated the proseminar for a business FIG. She is the recipient of MU's Excellence in Advising Award and Advising Shout-Out Award as well as the  the National Academic Advising Association Region VII Outstanding Advising Certificate of Merit.

Carroz earned bachelor's degrees in psychology and biological sciences from Mizzou and is currently working toward her Master's of Education degree in educational leadership and policy analysis from the College of Education.

Jordan Parshall (Students with last names A-G)

Jordan Parshall joined the Division as an academic advisor in 2014. Previously, she was an admissions and recruitment recruiter for MU’s Law School. She received her bachelor of arts degree in geography and her masters of education degree from MU in 2009 and 2012, respectively. As a Senior Professional Academic Advisor for the Division of Biological Sciences, Parshall advises approximately 400 undergraduate students on degree requirements, campus involvement, career planning and overall student success. She also supervises the Division’s peer advisors and assists with the Biology Integrative Orientation Mizzou Experience program.  In addition to advising students, Parshall teaches three undergraduate courses, a biological career explorations course for biological sciences majors, a student success seminar for first- and second-year undergraduates, and a lab section on success strategies for business majors.

Parshall is the recipient of MU's prestigious Mick Deaver Memorial Award for Student Relations Excellence, the Excellence in Advising Award and an Advising Shout Out Award from the MU Advisors Forum, and a Certificate of Merit Award from the regional chapter of the National Academic Advising Association. In 2018, she was one of 20 advising staff selected to participate in the UM System’s inaugural Advisor Development Program. 

Christian Vachaudez

Christian Vachaudez joined the Division of Biological Sciences as a professional academic advisor in 2022. He has over a decade of experience working in student affairs with expertise in student financial aid advising. He worked as the Financial Aid Director for Columbia Area Career Center and as Senior Financial Aid Coordinator at Columbia College. He has comprehensive knowledge of federal Title IV and state student financial aid systems, experience helping students define their academic/life goals and resolving barriers to enrollment, and enjoys helping students transition to college life and pursue their life goals.

Christian earned his bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Columbia College. 

Peer Advisors

These upper-level biology majors share a student perspective on a Mizzou education by providing valuable information about topics such as study skills, choosing electives, undergraduate research, campus life, volunteering, job shadowing, leadership opportunities, and more.

Caleb Casanova (A-C)

Caleb Casanova (A-C)

Year in School: Junior
Major: Biological Sciences
Minor: Psychology
Hometown: Rogersville, MO

I grew up in a small town in southwest Missouri. I was very certain that I wanted to go out of state to pursue my undergraduate degree. Then a friend suggested I visit Mizzou and everything changed. I immediately felt connected to the campus. I love the fantastic facilities, the campus size, and the "not-too-close yet not-too-far" distance it was from my home. I have been involved in a variety of organizations, clubs, and events on campus: from being president of my fraternity and joining the homecoming dance team to training as an EMT and competing in the sorority philanthropy athletic games. I have tried just about everything that has interested me! When I finish my bachelor's degree, I plan on attending medical school to become an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine. When I'm not studying or working, I love to workout, play guitar, watch baseball, and go out with friends. I am excited for what this year has in store, and I look forward to meeting and working alongside each of you!

Payton Barry (D-H)

Payton Barry, D-H

Year in School:  Senior
Major: Biological Sciences

Hometown: Carrollton, MO

I am from the small town of Carrollton, MO, which has made the transition to Columbia such an exciting experience. I initially wanted to travel out of state to attend college, but I chose Mizzou because of the varied options and opportunities it offers students. I have grown and developed as a scholar and person during my time at Mizzou with experiences that I never would have had at another university. I am so glad that I made the right choice! I want to be a conservation geneticist after graduation and know that Mizzou has prepared me for my career. I am a member of Alpha Phi Omega, a service fraternity, and Beta Beta Beta, the biological honors society. When I am not studying in the Student Center, I spend time with friends, volunteer through APO, lounge around the Francis Quadrangle, and take care of my pets. If you have any questions about getting involved, staying on top of your classes, or where to find the best cup of coffee in Columbia, feel free to contact me! I look forward to another year as a peer advisor and to meeting all of you!

Justin Schulz (I-M)

Justin Schulz, I-M

Year in School: Senior
Majors: Biological Sciences

Minors: Chemistry, Microbiology, Psychology
Hometown: Edwardsville, IL

Although I grew up in Illinois surrounded by corn fields, I still had big love for the Tigers. Many members of my family went to Mizzou, including my mom who majored in Animal Sciences. Thus, unlike  everyone else who stressed about college decisions, I knew I belonged at Mizzou. I didn’t hesitate. It was an added bonus that the biological sciences program is super welcoming and offers a lot ways to get involved and be successful. I love to talk, and I can talk about almost anything, from sports to academics. I hope to pursue a career in industry doing research and may possibly go to graduate school. I have had many opportunities at Mizzou, both academic and otherwise. I work as a replay operator with the best college sports broadcast team and have been working closely with the biology department, both as a Peer Advisor and as a TA. Throughout my years at Mizzou, I have been lucky to have met and interacted with a lot of amazing people and to have built meaningful, lasting relationships. Everyone has a place here, and I look forward to helping you find your place in the Mizzou family.

Kayla Robinson (N-Sh)

Kayla Robinson (N-Sh)

Year in School: Senior
Major: Biological Sciences 
Minor: Philosophy
Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri

I went to a fairly large high school, so I knew I wanted to be in a similar environment in college. Mizzou does a good job of making campus feel smaller than it is. Since I started at MU, I feel I have really grown as a person in all aspects. I have been provided with many helpful resources that have been crucial to my success as a student. There are so many people on campus who genuinely want to see every student succeed, including me! In addition to being a peer advisor, I am involved in undergraduate research and am a member of several organizations on campus, including Minority Association of Pre-Health Students (or MAPS). After I finish my bachelor's degree, I plan to attend medical school to become an emergency medicine physician or a pediatrician. It's a long road but I am enjoying the journey, and I’m excited to help you during your own journey! 


Ally Renaud (Si-Z)

Ally Renaud (Si-Z)

Year in School: Junior 
Major: Biology and Psychology 
Minor: Business 
Hometown: Lake Saint Louis, MO 

When I was thinking about colleges to attend, Mizzou was not on my list. Then I came here for a visit. As soon as I stepped foot on campus, I knew I wanted to be here.  I love how pretty the campus is and how willing everyone is to help each other. During my time at Mizzou, I have grown academically, professionally, and as a leader.  I know I would have had a very different experience if I had gone elsewhere. I am involved in many organizations: I am Vice President of Membership for Tri-Beta (the biological sciences honor society) and a member of the Kappa Delta Sorority and Phi Delta Epsilon (a pre-med fraternity). I also am a research assistant in a biomedical sciences lab and a lab technician in the Emergency Department at University Hospital.  When I am not studying or working, I enjoy walking and hiking around Columbia, spending time with friends, and finding new experiences. After I complete my bachelor's degree, I plan to attend medical school. I'm confident of being a competitive medical school applicant because of all the resources available to me on campus. If you have any questions about getting involved, managing your time, or even places to hike around Columbia, feel free to reach out to me!  I enjoy being a peer advisor and look forward to meeting new students! 

Meeting with An Advisor

Current MU students should schedule appointments with their advisor through MU Connect.

Prospective students considering attending MU can schedule a campus visit, including a meeting with a biological sciences advisor, through Mizzou Admissions.


Undergraduate Advising Office
3 Tucker Hall
Columbia, MO 65211 USA
Phone: (573) 882-4068

Office Hours: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday