Meet Your Admissions Counselor


Kristie VanceKristie 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!

Carolyn Kuzell / 828-689-1589

Associate Director of Admissions
Assisting International & Nursing Students (BSN)

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.

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!

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

Admissions Counselor Assisting Transfer, Adult & Graduate Students

I’m an Honors graduate of The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications with a minor in American Sign Language. I was fortunate to have two wonderful college experiences as I started my undergraduate studies in Marketing at East Tennessee State University. As a once transfer student and now transfer counselor, I feel confident in helping ensure a smooth and efficient transfer process. During college I worked in the office of Community Health, played intermural volleyball and racquetball, and was inducted into the Lambda Pi Eta honor society as a lifetime member. I’m so thankful to be a part of a strong campus community and believe in the transformative power of higher education. I look forward to assisting future Mars Hill University Mountain Lions as they matriculate.

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

Admissions Counselor Assisting Performing & Visual Arts & Returning Students

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.

Shomarii Thomas / 828-689-1356

Admissions Counselor Assisting Students with Last Names A-G


Vernon Jackson / 828-689-1354

Admissions Counselor Assisting Students with Last Names H-P

“Never say never, because limits, like fears, are often just illusions.” – Michael Jordan
I graduated from Mars Hill in December of 2018 with a Bachelor of Human and Health Performance degree with a concentration in Coaching. I was a member of the Mars Hill Lions Men’s Basketball team for 4 years. My time at Mars Hill gave me the connections and opportunities to assist potential students. My involvement in sports programs and other groups on campus made me believe that Mars Hill truly does have something for everyone. I look forward to assisting any potential students with an interest in attending Mars Hill.

Andrew McKinney / 828-689-1357

Admissions Counselor Assisting Students with Last Names Q-Z

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.

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