What is your educational background?

I have a B.S. degree from Lubbock Christian College from back in the “dark ages”.


Karen Viertel

Karen Viertel


What is your work background?

I have been a business manager for a medical clinic, a school nurse/secretary, and an academic advisor. My most important work has been being a mom and now grandmother.


What do you do at ACU/COBA?

I am so privileged to serve as an academic advisor in COBA. I have been here for more than 10 years and I.LOVE.MY.JOB.


The three Amigos. Karen Viertel, Samantha Matta and Nuria Hall.

The three Amigos. Karen Viertel, Samantha Matta and Nuria Hall.


What drew you to work at ACU? Why did you want to work with students?

What drew me here was the opportunity to work with students every day. No two days are the same and it is NEVER boring. I love watching the life metamorphosis that happens between a student’s freshman year and graduation day. It’s truly remarkable to witness and I get to have a front-row seat for the whole show!! Most come to college scared and afraid and not sure at all about what they want to do after college. To watch them grow wings and be ready to fly off to a new job or adventure upon graduation, ready for the world is a pretty incredible feeling.


Outside of ACU, what passions and hobbies do you have?

My husband Mark and I operate a large family ranch north of Abilene. There we raise cattle and LOVE to build things: fences, houses, good memories. I enjoy “junkin’” and repurposing furniture, etc. I love a good flea market or junk store almost more than anything. My favorite thing to do is to be with my family. We have two grown children, both married and now two grandsons. At ages 3 years and 7 months, they are simply amazing. I can’t get enough of them.


What is a good, early story about your first job or when you were in college?

I remember landing my first job as a business manager for the only obstetrician in the small town we lived in, just prior to college graduation. I had NO IDEA what I was doing but he was patient and I worked hard to soak up everything I could while I was there. In the two years I worked for him, we made tremendous improvements in office efficiency and accuracy. Plus, I learned a lot about teamwork. Without the ability to be a team player, you severely restrict your effectiveness in any organization. Work chemistry is essential.


Do you do any charity or non-profit work?

Yes. Mark and I are very involved with Global Samaritan, Dry Bones in Denver and our church family. I also really love to help with Meals on Wheels.


Mark and Karen Viertel

Mark and Karen Viertel


Who is your role model and why?

My grandmother has always been my role model, but now I would also add my mom. Granny was a very strong woman that raised two children, one of which became my equally strong mother. My mom became a widow at 28 and managed to raise myself and two sisters with the help of her widowed mother. I look back now and wonder how they did it. My mom was a rancher/farmer. She drove a tractor, plowed fields and pulled calves – not the type of work any other mothers at the time did. They both showed us that being a strong woman is a good thing. As a result, I’ve always been pretty much of a tomboy and am very at-home with outdoorsy ranching pursuits and I don’t shy away from hard, manual labor. In fact, I like it. It’s good for the soul.


Who was your most inspirational professor and why?

I would list two teachers: Dr. Gary Evans at LCC. He was my first college Bible teacher and he will never know the impact he had on my life and thinking about being a Christian. Incredible man and mentor. Also, Dr. Christa Dobbs, my accounting teacher. She was an amazing woman and fantastic teacher.


If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?

The ability to fly and also time-travel. I mean, come on…who wouldn’t?


What is something that students might be surprised to find out about you?

I LOVE to travel, I know how to use a cutting torch and enjoy ranch work. I am learning how to weld.