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Karla Gutierrez-Hernandez ’19


Assistant Director of Admission

Headshot of Karla Gutierrez-Hernandez ’19

Contact Information

Salem Campus

900 State Street
Salem  Oregon  97301
California (Far Northern, Sonoma Valley, Sacrameno/Tahoe), New Mexico, Oregon (Eastside Greater Portland, Central/Eastern and Southern)


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Karla serves as an Assistant Director of Admission for the College of Arts & Sciences. In her role, Karla works with various student populations, including assisting with transfer students and scholar-athletes in offering extensive advising and mentorship to articulate the value and benefits of a liberal arts education through the application process. Additionally, she is the liaison for the Willamette Academy program. Willamette Academy offers students from historically underrepresented communities within the Salem-Keizer School District who have the desire to advance to higher education support in achieving their goals.

As a local Salem resident with a bilingual and bicultural background, Karla is the first in her family to attend college and received a Bachelor's degree in Latin American Studies and Spanish from Willamette University in 2019. Karla is a member of the Rocky Mountain Association for College Admission Counseling (RMACAC), Western Association for College Admission Counseling (WACAC) and the Pacific Northwest Association for College Admission Counseling (PNACAC) and accepted the PNACAC Program of Excellence Award in 2023 for Willamette's Camp College program. Her journey into college admissions is fueled by a desire to advocate, support, serve, and empower students to find their place at Willamette to leave a lasting impact.

Why Willamette?

Willamette’s interdisciplinary curriculum that provides a well-balanced academic journey through course selection, which reflected my own academic career interests to build transferable skills through civic engagement and student leadership roles on campus. Now as a staff member, I am able to give back to the community by helping other prospective students, particularly students and families who are unfamiliar with the college admission process. In some cases, directly see the ways they grow throughout their time on campus that strengthens the sense of community.

Favorite High School or College Class or Subject?

My favorite college subject was all of the public policy and sociology courses to learn about cultures, systems, and the ways it shapes our society.

Something You Learned in College You Still Use?

The greatest lesson I took from my Willamette experience is to always be a lifelong learner and absorb as much knowledge from different perspectives. Most importantly, to use your platform to advocate and empower others to live their authentic self.

Memorable/Favorite High School or College Co- Curricular Activity

Going to The Bistro, the student-run coffee shop, and grabbing a London Fog with oat milk and cheese bagel.

Proudest Accomplishment to Date

Completing the three-mile Rugged Maniac Obstacle course.

Favorite Book

In the Time of the Butterflies, by Julia Alvarez

Willamette University

Office of Admission

Salem Campus

Willamette University
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.
1-844-BEARCAT toll free