Nicole 2013 Transfer CounselorsNicole 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.

Maria 4W 1024x1024 Transfer CounselorsMaria Vilardo
Admissions Counselor

Maria was born and raised in Niagara Falls, New York, and joined the Belmont Abbey College Admissions team in August 2014. Maria received a Bachelor’s degree in May of 2008 from the State University of New York (SUNY) College at Fredonia, with a major in Psychology and a minor in Sociology. She attended graduate school at SUNY Buffalo State, where she received a Master’s degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration in December 2013. Maria has a lot of experience working closely with Student Veterans, international and other non-traditional students, and loves to help all students have a successful transition into college. Maria is very passionate about working for The Abbey and couldn’t be more excited to be a part of such a warm, welcoming and special community! Maria is our international and transfer counselor. She also works with a population of students within North Carolina.