Nicole C. Focareto
Executive Director 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.
Assistant Director of Admissions
Marcus, now the Assistant Director of Admissions has been with the Abbey family since March of 2011. He is originally from Uniontown, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Wheeling Jesuit University with a BA in International Studies. He has also earned a Master’s of Science in Sport Management from California University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining Belmont Abbey, he has worked in staff management and promotions for a minor league baseball team. He also has experience working in for-profit education. In his spare time he enjoys exploring Belmont, Gastonia, and Charlotte. He is also a devout follower of all Pittsburgh sports teams.
“I will always be a Wheeling Jesuit Cardinal for life, but Belmont Abbey has given me a great opportunity. Every day I look forward to promoting this wonderful institution. I believe in the education and the vision going forward. I’m honored to be working with such a great staff through all departments. I look forward to adding many more years of service to the Abbey community!”
Regional Admissions Counselor
Welcome to the Abbey! Originally from Georgia, Lucy Conaway joined the Abbey Admissions Team in May 2011. She is one of seven siblings and is a proud graduate of Furman University. One of her favorite things about Belmont Abbey College is the community, it does not take long for one to feel at home on this beautiful campus! Lucy looks forward to guiding prospective students through the admissions process. She is currently serving as the main transfer student counselor and is located regionally in Greenville, South Carolina.
Senior Admissions Counselor
Courtney Grooms was born and raised near Belmont Abbey College. She attended the College of Charleston where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Communication with an emphasis in Media Studies. Courtney worked in recruiting, sales and event planning in Charlotte, NC and Boston, MA before joining the Belmont Abbey admissions team in July 2012. Her territory includes the southeastern United States and central North Carolina. Courtney also works with Belmont Abbey’s international students. She enjoys her roles as liaison to Student Life on campus and admissions events planner.
Abbey Peoples was born in Dothan, Alabama, but spent her elementary years in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Her formative middle school years were spent in Charlotte, North Carolina homeschooling with her four siblings under Carolina blue skies. Leaving her Carolina home to reside in Roswell, Georgia, she was excited to return “home” in 2009 to Belmont Abbey College where she received a scholarship to participate in the Honors Institute, and she completely fell in love with The Abbey. During her time as a student she worked as a section editor for the Crusader newspaper, participated in Faithful Daughters Women’s Household, attended every Abbey Players show at least once, and worked as a part of the Admissions Student Call Team for 3 ½ years. In May 2013 she graduated with a B.A. in English, and less than 48 hours later was right back home, this time as an Admissions Counselor. She’s very excited to be working for her alma mater, welcoming new Crusaders to fall in love with The Abbey as she did.
Martin is from the small town of River Ridge, just outside of New Orleans, Louisiana. He first came to Belmont Abbey College to visit his oldest brother, Ralph, and later decided he too would attend. During his collegiate career, Martin studied Political Philosophy, participated in the Hintemeyer Catholic Leadership program, ran NCAA Division II Cross Country and Track & Field, and was a brother of Sigma Alpha Fraternity. Now that Martin has graduated, he is pleased to continue his Belmont Abbey experience by serving as an Admissions Counselor. He looks forward to helping future students become a part of this wonderful community!
Megan Rollins 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 and the Western United States. She is excited to be back in her hometown and start 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.
Data Entry Specialist
Sharon began working at the Abbey in July of 2006. She is also a self-employed artist and has had her own business, DreamStar Designs, for twenty years. Recently she has sculpted replicas of historic local buildings, including one of the Abbey Basilica.
When not sculpting or doing data entry, Sharon enjoys photography and international travel. In the last ten years she has island hopped in Greece and explored museums and churches in Italy , as well as other countries in Europe . She has climbed Machu Picchu in Peru and ridden a camel near the pyramids in Egypt. She is especially interested in Southeast Asian culture and and her favorite trip included Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam.
Sharon has a BA in History and Art from Gardner-Webb University and has lived in Belmont for the past twelve years.