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.

Jordan Parshall - Advises students with last names A-C

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 the College of Arts and Science Advisor of the Year Award, the 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. 

Laura Carroz - Advises students with last names D-J

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.

Elise Buchert - Advises students with last names K-Q

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.  

Christian Vachaudez - Advises students with last names R-Z

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.

Abby Brennan - Advises first year students with last names A-C

Year in School: Sophomore
Major: Biological Sciences (BS) and Health Humanities (BA)
Minor: Women’s and Gender Studies
Hometown: Plano, Texas
Career Track: Pre-Med

I decided to come to Mizzou to branch out and try something new. I recognized how many
opportunities Mizzou had to offer and how great of a college experience I could have here. It didn’t take long for me to realize that Mizzou is even greater than I could have imagined and I am so glad I have gotten involved here on campus. I have found a sense of community through several clubs and organizations including Tour Team, Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, and Pre-Medical Society. I also volunteer weekly at a local elementary school which has brought me so much joy! All of these experiences have helped me grow so much as a person and I can’t wait to keep learning and growing during my time here at Mizzou. I am super excited to be a Biology Peer Advisor and help students find what they are passionate about and help students be successful! I can’t wait for a great year with each and every one of you!

Breeyn Garrett - Advises first year students with last names D-G

Year in School: Senior
Major: Biological Sciences
Minor: Journalism
Hometown: Waterloo, IL
Career Track: Pre-Optometry

Since I am from a small town in Illinois, I wanted to go to a big school out of state to experience new opportunities and meet new people. When I came to Mizzou, however, I was not expecting to learn, grow, or experience as much as I have already! I began my journey here at Mizzou as a journalism major, and I struggled to discover exactly what career path I wanted to follow. Now as junior, I am majoring in biology, and my goal is to go to optometry school once I complete my undergrad. The advisors and many other resources here at Mizzou helped direct me to where I am now, and I am so thankful that Mizzou provided me the resources I need to confidently achieve my goals! Outside of class, I am involved In Tri-beta (a biological sciences honors society) and I am the Vice President of MU’s Pre-Optometry Club! I also volunteer weekly at Boone Hospital as an Outpatient Lab Assistant! I love Mizzou and Columbia more and more every year that I am here, and I cannot wait to help new students find their way and be successful at Mizzou just like I have!

Camila Gutierrez - Advises first year students with last names H-L, plus all transfer students

Year in School: Junior
Major: Biological Sciences (BS) and Psychological Sciences (BS)
Minors and Certificates: Chemistry Minor, Neuroscience Certificate, and Addiction Studies Certificate
Hometown: Bogota, Colombia
Career Track: Pre-Med

Being a pre-health student, I decided to transfer to Mizzou because of its excellence in research. I wanted to step out of my comfort zone, experience new cultures and languages, and grow as a student. When I came here, I fell in love with Mizzou's campus and all the opportunities the university has to offer. Throughout my undergraduate degree, Mizzou has allowed me to explore and expand in research areas that interest me, such as neuroscience, and overall, given me opportunities to become a well-rounded student. Moreover, being far from home encouraged me to make new connections, learn to become a leader, and become involved on campus. I would strongly encourage students to get involved! Getting involved is a great way to meet new people and make friends, and it can also help students hone crucial skills such as leadership and communication. Outside of Peer Advising and studying, I am also a Research Assistant and Coordinator at the Cofresi Addiction Neuroscience lab, an International Student Ambassador at the Office of International Admissions, a mentor for TEAM (Transfer Experience and Advising Mentors), and a member of Psi Chi International Honors Society in Psychology and Mixed at Mizzou. I also enjoy volunteering weekly at Cedar Creek Therapeutic Riding Center, where I assist in the therapeutic intervention process for kids with neurodevelopmental and motor disabilities. In my free time, I can be found at the MizzouRec, spending time with friends, reading a good book, and discovering new places in Columbia. I'm looking forward to meeting each and every one of you and being a part of your Mizzou journey!

Keith Nyanyo - Advises first year students with last names M-R

Year in School: Senior
Major: Biological Sciences
Minor: Chemistry
Hometowns: Accra, Ghana / Wentzville, MO
Career Track: Pre-Med

Immigrating to the United States in 2020, I found myself looking for a social life. I wanted a good mixture of a good education and the ability to make lifelong and amazing friendships. Mizzou offered the perfect mix of it all. So without even touring in person, I applied to Mizzou and got accepted. Mizzou has been nothing short of amazing. It has exceeded my expectations. It has facilities to cater to my every need. I love to lift weights and Mizzou has an amazing Rec just for that. I love to play soccer and there’s an amazing field for that. I love to meet people and there are amazing social events always going on. I also love to study and we have an amazing library at our disposal. I have learned so much about myself, my interests and my environment and I cannot complain in the slightest. I have held leadership roles like being on general leadership for Mizzouthon, Mizzou’s largest student-run philanthropy club. There’s truly something here for every one and each day, my love for Mizzou grows. Excited to have you here. M-I-Z!!

Madelynn Murphy - Advises first year students with last names S-Z

Advises students with last names S-Z

Year in School: Senior
Major: Biological Sciences
Minors & Certificates: Psychology Minor, Multicultural Certificate
Hometown: Saint Charles, MO
Career Track: Pre-Physician Assistant

Coming from a suburb right outside of St. Louis, the thought of Mizzou was always there but just in the back of my mind.  I wanted to go "off the beaten path" and attend somewhere out-of-state and unfamiliar for my college years.  However, it wasn't until I toured Mizzou's campus that I realized exactly what everyone loved about this school.  Mizzou has brought me endless opportunities for growth, learning, and forever friendships.  I have had the opportunity to be both a member and even a leader in some of my clubs and organizations.  Outside of Peer Advising, I am a campus tour guide, a member of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, Tri-Beta Biological Sciences Honors Society, and the MU Pre-PA Association.  I have had the ability to develop myself both as a student and a leader through my involvement, and without coming to Mizzou, none of that would have been possible.  After completing my undergraduate degree, I hope to attend Physician Assistant School to pursue my Master's degree.  Outside of school, I enjoy exploring the many hiking trails Columbia has to offer, playing intramural sports, finding new places to eat downtown, and attending Mizzou sporting events (basketball season is my favorite!).  I cannot wait to work alongside each and every one of you and I am excited for a great year!

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 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday