Nicole C. Focareto
Dean of Admissions
Nicole provides oversight and leadership in the areas of recruitment, event management and scholarship administration for prospective first time college students and transfer students. She is a proud native of Cleveland, Ohio and grew up in the Old Brooklyn neighborhood. Nicole holds a B.A. in Elementary Education and Leadership Studies with a concentration in Language Arts, Reading, and Social Studies from Marietta College. She also has an M.A. in Education from Marietta College in southeast Ohio.
Throughout her career, Nicole has held several positions in enrollment management, educational administration and college access, including serving as the director of admissions at The Cleveland Institute of Art, director of admissions at Holy Name High School, manager of financial aid for Cleveland Scholarship Programs, and assistant director of admission at Marietta College.
Nicole’s love of travel provided opportunities to serve as a primary delegation leader with the People to People Student Ambassador Program, traveling with middle school students to bridge cultural gaps between the U.S. and other countries such as Australia, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. Nicole has served as a faculty advisor for the Global Young Leaders Conference (GYLC) in 2001 and 2004 and GYLC-Europe in 2006 and 2011 in Vienna, Prague and Budapest.
Nicole genuinely enjoys working with students and providing opportunities for them to reach their potential. She is happy to lead the Belmont Abbey College Admissions staff and is looking forward to being a part of the positive changes at The Abbey. During her spare time, Nicole enjoys attending social events, traveling, reading, and volunteering.
For Traditional Students (Highschool, Homeschool, International, and Transfer)
Native of Belmont, NC, Kara attended South Point High School. She holds a B.S. in Psychology with a concentration in Human Services from Appalachian State University. She also has an M.S. in Educational Psychology and Counseling with a concentration in School Counseling from The University of Tennessee at Knoxville. She spent her time swimming at App State and being involved in Greek life. Kara has experience working in the high schools of Knoxville, TN, but is eager to work and learn more about the operations of Admissions in higher education.
During her free time, she enjoys watching sports, and participating in outdoor activities.
Megan Walden was born and raised in Belmont, North Carolina. She is a 2013 graduate of UNC Wilmington with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies with a concentration in Interpersonal and Organizational Communication and minor in Sociology. She developed her passion for admissions through her internship in the UNCW admissions office where she – attended college fairs and high school visits, assisted during the planning and execution of events, application review and created various schedules, documents and itineraries for the team. Megan’s territory includes Gaston County where she was once an English teacher at a local high school! She is excited to be back in her hometown and continue her career as an Admissions Counselor at Belmont Abbey College. She enjoys aiding future students through the admissions process and encouraging them to become a part of the wonderful community here at The Abbey.
Native of Davidson, NC, Thomas was born and raised in Charlotte area. He graduated from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio in 2012, where he Majored in History with a Minor in Business. Thomas is an avid sports fan, especially the Carolina Panthers. His first few years out of college were spent working in the sports industry, but he is excited to transition his career to higher education.
“I’m excited to join the Belmont-Abbey College staff and to meet all prospective students in my territory to help and assist them with the next step in their lives!”
Thomas Karcher is a recent graduate of December 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in English. Thomas is originally from the Savannah, GA area, where he spent most of his life.
During his time at the Abbey, Thomas was very involved in the community. He spent a lot of time in intramural sports, Greek life, and working as a student ambassador. He also spent time with the Abbey Players and participating in performances at the college. He looks forward to continuing his time at his alma mater Belmont Abbey, and to work with all students looking for a life-changing college experience!
Admissions Operations Specialist
Leslie grew up in the suburbs of Cleveland, OH and is a graduate of Denison University. She holds a B.A in Political Science with a minor in Spanish. She also has both a Paralegal Certificate as well as her Advanced Paralegal Certificate from Bentley University. Leslie has three children that attend Catholic School. Her children and all of their activities keep her busy, but she loves it! Leslie has a passion for travel and has lived in Florence, Italy. Her most interesting moment while spending time abroad was crossing through Check Point Charlie into East Berlin while the Wall separating Germany was still active. Leslie is a passionate advocate for Catholic education. She is excited to join the Belmont Abbey College Admissions team as she embraces the opportunity to work with a wonderful staff to help future students navigate the College Application process.
Admissions Operations Manager
Rianna is a May 2015 graduate of Belmont Abbey College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and History. She is originally from Hampstead, Maryland.
While she attended the Abbey, she was involved in many clubs and organizations, most prominently the Abbey Players Theatre Program. She served as an Abbey Ambassador for the Admissions Office during her junior and senior years, and is excited to continue playing a role in the Admissions process for future Belmont Abbey students. She couldn’t be more excited to be a part of the staff at her alma mater, and to help share Belmont Abbey with those looking to create a college experience of their own.
For Adult Students (23+)
Julia has been serving the Adult Degree Program and its students since 1992. Julia was raised in a military family so grew up traveling from base to base until her father retired in New Jersey to be near family. She first learned about the Abbey while attending a college presentation and decided then and there that Belmont Abbey College was the college to attend. Julia graduated in 1981 with a B.S. in Biology with a minor in Philosophy and has also earned a B.A. in Business from the Abbey and an M.S. in Adult Education from North Carolina A&T State University.
Julia has held several positions in her tenure at the Abbey but all have focused on the Adult Degree Program and the great students in the program. Her passion is to get to know and work with our adult students to help them reach their potential and fulfill their academic goals.
During her spare time, Julia enjoys music, both playing and singing, is an avid gardener and dabbles in creative exploits like making jewelry, crocheting, sewing and painting.
David Haun has been with Belmont Abbey College for eight years in the role of enrollment counselor and academic advisor. David began working in higher education as a freshman while attending Lee University. Once he graduated, he realized that he wanted a career in higher education to continue his work with students. While working with the non-traditional population at Central Piedmont Community College, David discovered the many challenges and barriers facing adult and transfer students attempting to return to college. It wasn’t until he started working for Belmont Abbey that his passion for working with these students was ignited because he found a place that cared about providing an education that meets the needs of working adults and transfer students and he wanted to be a part of a place where students can thrive and be successful.
Adult Degree Program Admissions Specialist
Barry assists planning and goal setting with students that wish to continue their education as adult members of society. He is a native of Gaston County. Barry holds a B.A. in Business Administration from Belmont Abbey College through his own personal experience in the Adult Degree Program.
After graduating from Belmont Abbey College, Barry was in the banking industry serving as branch manager for several local financial institutions. He still longed for the “Abbey experience” and decided to pursue his lifelong dream of assisting students to achieve their goals and dreams of college success.
In his spare time, Barry enjoys spending time with his family and participating in activities on the family horse farm.