We're excited to get to know you!

We believe in the mission of Stephens College, and we can’t wait to share with you why Stephens is the best place for you to pursue your education. Tell us more about you, and we’ll help you plan the perfect visit, navigate programs and majors, connect with faculty and understand your financial aid options.


Derrell Carter

Vice President for Enrollment Management + Marketing

Derrell CarterDerrell joined Stephens in 2021 after serving three years as associate vice president of communications and institutional advancement at Triton College in River Grove, IL, where he oversaw development and implementation of the college’s mission, vision and three-year strategic plan. He also led development of Triton’s first diversity, equity and inclusion plan for employees and students, oversaw grants processes for securing $8.8 million in external funding, and managed a division of more than 20 staff.

Previously, Derrell was senior manager of corporate communications at BMO Harris Bank in Chicago, IL, vice president of global internal communications at Arthur J. Gallagher in Itasca, IL, and communications manager at Boeing in Chicago, IL, and St. Louis, MO.

Derrell has received numerous awards for his work, including the Platts Global Energy Award for Best Marketing Campaign and the Pacific Plains Region Silver Quill Award of Excellence. He holds master’s degrees in political management (George Washington University), business (University of Missouri-St. Louis), media communications, and finance (Webster University). He earned his BA in Public Relations from Webster and is a doctoral candidate in Leadership at American College of Education.


Jennifer Cropp

Creative Director

Jennifer grew up in nearby Glasgow, Missouri. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Commercial Art with an emphasis in Graphic Design from the University of Central Missouri. Jennifer started her career in higher education and hasn’t looked back. She joined the University of Missouri Press where she was a designer and collaborator in the publication of books. She enjoyed the details involved in composition and typesetting, as well as bringing an author’s vision to fruition in the cover design. As an added bonus, she was able to read many manuscripts while typesetting, combining her love of design with her love of reading. Jennifer joined Stephens in 2012, where she implements the visual needs of the College through print and digital media. She thrives on the energy Stephens creates and loves to see the campus come alive with Stephens women each fall. On her down time, you will find Jennifer spending every second with her family, whether it be sporting events or lazy evenings watching the storm roll in from her back porch.


Vivian Allen

Social Media Coordinator

Vivian is from Princeton, Missouri. After graduating high school, she moved to Trenton, Missouri and earned her Associates of Arts Transfer degree from North Central Missouri College while playing softball. Vivian transferred to the University of Missouri-Columbia, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication with a minor in Business and a certificate in Multicultural Studies. During her free time, Vivian enjoys reading, watching sporting events and spending time with her friends and family.



Dr. Trish Parsons

Director of Student Retention and Success

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Dr. Trish Parsons has served as the associate vice president for academic affairs since April 2019. She has been an educator at Stephens College since August 2015, first as a coordinating tutor with the Margaret Campbell Student Success Center, and later becoming the assistant director of the center. She has also taught as an adjunct instructor in the School of Health Sciences.

Before following her passion to work with students, Dr. Parsons was a research scientist. She directed research studies in pathobiology at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine before coming to Stephens. Prior to moving to Missouri, Dr. Parsons held a post-doctoral fellowship at the Center for Craniofacial and Dental Genetics at the School of Dental Medicine at University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Parsons earned her Ph.D. in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. Her research focused on the evolutionary development of the mammalian skull. She earned a B.S. in Biological Anthropology from Penn State.


Gerica Curry ’18

Admissions Counselor

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Gerica is from Crocker and is a Stephens College alumna. She graduated in 2018 with a Bachelors of Science in Human Development. While attending Stephens, she played soccer and softball all four years (Go Stars!). She worked in the social work field as a foster care case manager, but chose to come back to Stephens because of the lasting impact it had on her. Gerica wants to give future Stephens women the support that she was given. When she is not working, she is at the gym, playing cornhole, on a restaurant patio, or hanging out with her dogs. 



Keri Gilbert

Director of Financial Aid

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Keri Gilbert headshotKeri started her career in financial aid at the University of Missouri-Columbia and rapidly discovered her passion for helping students navigate the complex world of paying for college. She has a deep love for advocacy and has visited with legislators in Jefferson City and Washington, D.C. to fight for program funding and initiatives to simplify the financial aid process. Keri’s passion and dedication to students and their success is infectious, and she has been recognized at both the state and regional level for her work. She has received numerous awards for her committee efforts, and is a recipient of both the MASFAP Bob Berger Newcomer Award and MASFAA Outstanding New Professional Award. Keri is also one of only 65 individuals from across the nation to have earned all 17 NASFAA credentials, and has been certified as an NCAN Access Advisor. In addition to her work with Stephens, Keri serves on the Executive Board of the Midwest Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators as well as the City of Columbia New Century Fund, Inc. Board. Keri received her Master of Public Affairs from the University of Missouri-Columbia. When she isn’t dreaming up ways to simplify the FAFSA, you will find Keri spending time with her friends and family, traveling, and snuggling up with a good book.


Jason Enright

Assistant Director of Financial Aid

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Born and raised in Missouri, Jason spent time at several different institutions of higher education as an athlete before ultimately graduating from Columbia College with a Bachelor of Arts in General Studies. He almost immediately took the opportunity to enter higher education as a profession with Columbia College as a financial aid specialist, working five and a half years in various roles with his alma mater. Jason brings a passion for higher education and the role it can play in shaping students personal and professional life as they transition in the years beyond high school. In his spare time, Jason enjoys attending local sporting events; spending time with his wife and son; and assisting his wife, who is an equine veterinarian, on farm calls.


Lynda Bjorklun

Financial Aid Counselor

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When Lynda began working in financial aid in 1994, she never considered that it would become more than just a job. Communicating her knowledge of federal financial aid to students and then seeing their "aha" moment, when they understand and have a better idea of what to do next, is always a moment of great satisfaction.

Working at Stephens is a kind of homecoming. One of her daughters graduated from Stephens College and Lynda came to know Stephens through the eyes of a mother of a college student. She is so glad to be a Financial Aid Counselor at Stephens, and share the knowledge and help that was once shared with her and her daughter!

In her non-working hours, she loves to travel, spend time with family, watch sports of all kinds, go to operas and symphonies, read and listen to music.

Contact Us

Admissions + Aid

Stephens College Visitors Center
(573) 876-7207 (573) 876-7237 [email protected] 1215 E Broadway, Columbia, MO 65215

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