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)
Martin C. Aucoin ‘13
Director of Admissions
Martin provides leadership and support to the Admissions team as they assist future students and families in navigating the college search and decision process. He is a native of River Ridge, Louisiana, and a 2013 Belmont Abbey College graduate. Similar to many students, he was not the first in his family to attend the Abbey. Martin was nine years old when his family dropped off his oldest brother, Ralph, for his freshman year, and he says “it seems like there has been a pull to return ever since.”
During his time as a student, he was a Government and Political Philosophy major, Hintemeyer scholar, captain of the Cross Country team, and president of Sigma Alpha fraternity. “I would not have guessed it then, but my career in college admissions began my freshman year as an Abbey Ambassador student tour guide,” says Martin.
Upon graduating, he joined the professional staff as an Admissions Counselor and later as Admissions Operations Manager. Martin served as the Director of Enrollment Management at Southwestern Community College in Sylva, NC for three years before returning in 2018 to become Director of Admissions.
Martin is grateful for the continual support of his wife, Mary. She is an alumna of the BAC Biology program and holds a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Western Carolina University. Their daughter, Nora, just turned two and they are eagerly awaiting the birth of their second child this Fall.
Martin’s advice to future students: “Have fun, get involved in things that interest you, explore things you do not understand, strive to always do your best, and don’t be discouraged by failure.”
Assistant Director of Admissions
Born and raised in Greensburg, PA, Brenna graduated from Susquehanna University with a B.A. in German and International Studies. At Susquehanna, she participated actively in Greek Life and discovered a passion for travel after spending a semester abroad in Freiburg, Germany. During her undergraduate career, Brenna worked closely with the office of First Year Experiences and Admissions, where she served as an Orientation Team Leader, campus tour guide, and student caller. This helped Brenna establish her career path in higher education, which led to her first position as an Admissions Counselor at Defiance College in Defiance, OH. Brenna is very excited to begin working with future students and welcoming them to the community here at Belmont Abbey College!
Originally from Rockingham, NC, Dylan is a December 2016 graduate of Belmont Abbey College with a BA in Business Management. As an undergraduate student, Dylan worked closely with Student Life as a student DJ, an Orientation Leader, a Resident Assistant, and served as Vice President of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity’s chapter at Belmont Abbey College. He was also a St. Thomas More Scholar. Dylan is very excited to continue to make a positive impact on the Abbey’s campus by recruiting exceptional and talented students. During his free time, Dylan particularly enjoys the company of good friends and discovering new music.
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.
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.
Danielle grew up just minutes away from Belmont Abbey College in Cramerton, North Carolina. She is a 2017 graduate of the Abbey, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Educational Studies with a double minor in Technical Theatre Arts and Artistic Theatre Arts. Danielle made the most of her college experience by getting involved as an Orientation Leader, Abbey Ambassador, Abbey Player, Art Club president, and sister of Epsilon Sigma Alpha. Before joining the Admissions professional staff, she served as Technical Director and Lighting and Sound Designer at a local high school theater. Just as she empowered students to be seen and heard on the stage, Danielle is excited to help students reach their full potential here at Belmont Abbey College!
Director of Non-Traditional Programs
As Director of Non-Traditional Programs, Michael oversees recruiting efforts of prospective students and the coordination of day-to-day processes and activities in the Loughridge Center for Continuing and Professional Studies. He grew up throughout North and South Carolina and holds a B.A. in Finance and Spanish from Wofford College and an M.B.A. from Pfeiffer University. Throughout his career, he has served the continuing education market in various academic and enrollment management positions at Pfeiffer University and then Gardner-Webb University. He feels incredibly privileged to be part of the Abbey community and play a leadership role.
For Adult Students (23+)
Executive Director of the Adult Degree Program
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.
Transfer Counselor/Associate Director of the Adult Degree Program
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.