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.

 

Sarah Salmons

Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management + Marketing

Sarah's deep commitment to student access, success and inclusion in higher education as well as her passion for the literary and performing arts aligns seamlessly with the mission and culture of Stephens College. Sarah loves that Stephens empowers individuality and that the campus is a welcoming place where differences are embraced, supported and celebrated. Before joining Stephens, she lead high profile events and initiatives for the Office of Postsecondary Policy at the Missouri Department of Higher Education + Workforce Development. Other previous roles include college instruction, news writing, and professional theatre.

Sarah earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Lindenwood University and undergraduate degrees in English and Theatre from Truman State University. 

 

Office of Admissions

Gerica Curry ’18

Director of Admissions

Gerica is from Crocker, MO and a Stephens alum. In addition to receiving her BS in Human Development from Stephens in 2018, she is now in the Master of Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at Stephens. While attending Stephens, Gerica had her dog, Kip, on campus & played soccer and softball. Gerica is passionate about Stephens and how empowering the environment is at a Women's College. In her free time, Gerica is playing cornhole, reading, cheering on the KC Chiefs, being with her dogs and her fiancé. 

 

Olivia Paz

Admissions Counselor

Olivia PazOlivia is from San Diego, California. After graduating high school, she moved to Marshall, Missouri where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with a minor in Sociology from Missouri Valley College. After graduating college, Olivia was employed in the social work field as a Lead-Youth Care Specialist and then moved onto become a Foster Care Case Manager. Olivia currently is a Head Coach for a highly competitive travel softball team based out of Des Moines, Iowa. Olivia enjoys guiding the youth and helping them accomplish their dreams, hence what brought her to Stephens!

Not only does Olivia work at Stephens, but she is also enrolled in the Master of Education in Counseling program at Stephens and hopes to one day be able to say she is a Stephens Alumna! In her free time, Olivia likes to spend time with her friends, binge watch a good show, and cheer on her hometown team, the San Diego Padres!

 

Office of Strategic Marketing

Kristen Bagwill

Communications Director

Kristen joined Stephens College in 2023 after owning a copywriting and communications agency for over five years, where she helped clients craft brilliant brand messaging, innovative internal and external communications, and on-the-mark marketing campaigns and collateral. Passionate about creating open, collaborative environments and clear communication that connects, she enjoys strategizing and implementing effective organizational change. 

Previously, Kristen served as Employee Development Manager at the Missouri Department of Transportation, led the Network Recruitment program at Columbia College, and got a taste of corporate culture while working in Finance and International Contracts for the Boeing Company in St. Louis. 

Named a “Game Changer” by Workforce Magazine in 2016, Kristen holds master’s degrees in communications (Lindenwood University) and business administration (Missouri State University). Her bachelor’s degree is in international business administration and marketing (Missouri State University). 

Kristen is also passionate about: her partner, Jake, and their kitty, George; getting crafty and repurposing vintage finds; supporting incredible local restaurants and small businesses; her family and friends; exploring the globe; and enjoying quality time with Mama Nature. 

 

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.

 
Office of Financial Aid

 

Keri Gilbert

Director of Financial Aid

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

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

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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