Meet Your Admissions Counselor


 Kristie Vance / 828-689-1353

Director of Admissions

I look forward to working with all students interested in attending Mars Hill! I enjoy helping students realize the endless opportunities and advantages that Mars Hill has to offer. As a recent graduate, I enjoy sharing my Mars Hill experience and how I benefited from the opportunities and advantages found here. The very best way to learn more about the Mars Hill experience is to visit campus. Our staff will show you around our beautiful campus, you can meet our faculty, current students, and staff, and you can even sit in on a class! Contact us to schedule a visit – we look forward to seeing you soon!

Susan Bryson / 828-689-1201

Visit Coordinator

Susan schedules all campus visits and really keeps the Admissions Office running! She has worked at Mars Hill for over 20 years so she knows the campus, faculty, staff, and students well. Give her a call at 828-689-1201 to schedule your campus visit. When you arrive on campus you will be greeted by Susan and she will get you ready for the day!

Carolyn Kuzell / 828-689-1589

Associate Director of Admissions & International Students Counselor

I’m a 2009 graduate of Allegheny College and a world traveler. During my four years as a student at Allegheny, I double majored in political Science and French. Having spent my junior year in France, I am very passionate about encouraging students to study languages and spend a semester or year abroad. As a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority, Phi Sigma Iota Honor Society, Allegheny Swimming and Diving Team, and Phonathon Team, I feel strongly about students getting involved in campus activities and exploring their passions and interests. Having grown up in Europe, attended college in Pennsylvania, and now working in North Carolina, I believe in students trying new experiences, discovering new places and gaining friends from wherever they go. Aside from working in the office, I greatly enjoy cooking, traveling, exploring Asheville, and playing with my pet greyhound, Justine.

Emily Ostertag - admissions counselorEmily Ostertag / 828-689-1356

Admissions Counselor – Assisting students with last names starting A-D

Having grown up just over the Madison County border, I’ve spent most of my life in and around Weaverville. After graduating from a local middle-college high school program, I earned my Associate in Arts from Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College. Transferring into the University of North Carolina at Asheville, I then earned my Bachelor of Arts in mass communication with a focus in journalism. I can’t get enough of hiking with my dog through the mountains—they are such a special aspect of living in this area, whether you admire them from afar or enjoy getting out on the trail. I have always appreciated the small-town atmosphere of Mars Hill University and how all students become a part of the community. I look forward to welcoming each student and guiding you as you begin your path of higher education here at Mars Hill.

Travis Wilson / 828-689-1142

Admissions Counselor – Assisting students with last names starting R-Z

I am a 2011 graduate of Liberty University, where I majored in sport management. During my time there, I participated in intramural basketball. After college I coached varsity women’s basketball for two years at Trinity Academy of Raleigh in Raleigh, NC. I am from Salisbury, NC, and enjoy playing/watching basketball, watching football, bowling, going out to dinner, and meeting new friends. I feel that I can definitely relate with young adults and share my experiences that could ultimately help students succeed in school as well as professionally.

Andrew McKinney / 828-689-1357

Daytime Admissions Counselor Assisting All Students
Returning Students
Spring Students

I grew up in Madison County and graduated from East Tennessee State University, majoring in history and minoring in political science. I have been married since 2014. In my spare time I like to read and watch professional wrestling. I enjoy getting to know students and their families and I especially enjoy advising the Student Ambassador Program.

Sami Wyatt, admissions counselorSamantha Wyatt / 828-689-1392

Counselor – Assisting students with last names starting E-K

I graduated from Mars Hill in May of 2018 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre. If you really want an inside look at student perspective, I have the scoop. While participating heavily in the arts at Mars Hill, I was also involved on campus as a Student Ambassador and First Year Mentor. The kinds of connections and opportunities I was afforded at Mars Hill are tremendous. I look forward to sharing these experiences with potential students. At Mars Hill, I found a community of professors, classmates and even staff that have been dedicated to my success. This community was so important to me, I just couldn’t bear to leave it. I hope to help you start your journey to joining this Mars Hill family.

Kara Mugrage - admissions counselorKara Mugrage / 828-689-1206

Transfer Admissions Counselor

Assisting transfer students and students majoring in nursing.

Tips for students from the staff:

  • Start early. Take the SAT and ACT multiple times, research schools, schedule a visit, apply to schools, apply for scholarships, ask questions and keep in contact with your admissions counselors! (We like to hear from you!)
  • Visit campus. There is no better way to get a feel for the school and determine if it’s the “right fit.”
  • Talk to current students, parents, teachers, mentors and coaches about their college experiences and try and determine where you may best excel.
  • Don’t be afraid to choose a major that you love.
  • Enjoy college! It is an extraordinary time in your young adult life when you get to try new things, make new connections and dedicate yourself to what you are passionate about.


Get in touch with us!

Mars Hill University
Admissions Office
P.O. Box 6663
Mars Hill, NC  28754

[toll free] 1-866-642-4968
[phone] 828-689-1201
[fax] 828-689-1473