Meet Your Admission Counselor

Assumption is a welcoming community eager to support you in your journey and throughout the application process. As you begin your college search, one of the first parts of the process is getting to know your personal admission counselor.

Excited to meet high school students looking to attend college, each counselor travels to different parts of the country (in person and virtually!) to meet with students and school counselors, sharing information about what makes Assumption special as well as what the admission process is like. Most of the time, the person you meet at a college fair or high school visit is the person who will read your application. It's an excellent opportunity to make that great first connection with the place you can call home for college! 

Meet your counselor in a city near you

Since you share so much with us throughout the admission process, we thought we'd share a little bit about ourselves with you. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions. We're eager to get to know you and work together during this new chapter in your life!

Rylee PlourdeRylee Benzing-Plourde
Undergraduate Admissions Counselor

Email Rylee

Territory: Massachusetts - Essex, Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, Norfolk Counties; Alabama; Delaware; Indiana; Kentucky; Ohio; Maryland; Michigan; Montana; Nebraska; New Jersey; New York; Pennsylvania; Virginia; Washington, DC; West Virginia

Where are you from? I have spent half of my life in Wallingford, Connecticut, and the other half living in Hillsdale, Michigan, so I truly feel like I am from two places!

Education: B.A. in Psychology from Western New England University 

Why did you choose to work at Assumption University? Assumption is a comprehensive university, but it provides the personal support of a small college. The tight-knit community here is incredible!

What inspired you to work with students? As an undergraduate student, I worked as a student ambassador giving tours to prospective students. Through this experience, I fell in love with guiding students and families through the college selection process. I find it so impactful to share information and help lay the foundation as students begin looking at what their next steps are after high school. I'm so grateful that, as an admissions counselor, I now have the opportunity to do this in a more official capacity!

​​​​​What is your favorite restaurant in Worcester? I could eat pizza all day, every day; I would have to say that Volturno is my favorite! 

What is your favorite sports team? I am a big soccer fan, so the United States women’s team!

Fun fact about yourself: I have three sisters and one brother - Kassidy, Aubrey, Kyra, and Bryce. 

Brother Richard GanonBro. Richard Gagnon, AA
Transfer Counselor

Email Bro. Richard

Territory: All transfer students from U.S. and International

Where are you from? Born in Portland, Maine, and raised in Saco, Maine. I’m still a Mainer all the way, although I haven’t lived there for many years.

Education: B.A. from St. Francis College of the University of New England in Secondary Education and Foreign Languages, M.Ed. from Boston College in Education and Theology

Why did you choose to work at Assumption University? Assumption is the realization of our founder's dream for a Catholic university and continues to be sponsored by the Augustinians of the Assumption.  It is an important, motivating ministry for the entire order.

What is your favorite restaurant in Worcester? Since I love Italian food, I’ll say VIA.

Fun fact about yourself: As an Augustinian of the Assumption, I have lived in 5 different states and 2 foreign countries

Alison KoningAlison Koning
Assistant Director of Admissions and Recruitment

Email Alison

Territory: Massachusetts - City of Worcester, Shrewsbury, Auburn, Middlesex County;  Alaska; Colorado; Idaho; Maine; New Hampshire; Utah; Vermont; Washington; Wyoming 

Where are you from? Carlisle, Massachusetts

Education: B.S.B.A. in Sports Management with a Concentration in Marketing and a Master of Science in Management with a Concentration in Sports Leadership from Mount Ida College

What inspired you to work with students? I enjoy counseling students on to the next phase of their educational career. I always had someone there to guide me and I enjoy being that person for others.

Why did you choose to work at Assumption University? I loved the best of both worlds feel that the campus provides. You are set back on a beautiful suburban campus but, you are minutes from the second largest city in Massachusetts which provides students a lot of opportunity.

What is your favorite thing about Assumption? I love the school pride and the community feel. I also love how involved students are in clubs, intramurals, athletics and organizations.

Fun fact about yourself: I love spending time in New Hampshire...hiking, swimming, water skiing, and alpine skiing! I am also currently attempting to hike all 48 4,000 foot mountains in New Hampshire with nine completed to date.

Brooke Porter-JordanBrooke Porter-Jordan
Assistant Director of Admissions and Recruitment

Email Brooke

Territory: Connecticut; Massachusetts - Plymouth County and Cape Cod Counties (Barnstable, Dukes, Nantucket); Worcester County (excluding City of Worcester, Shrewsbury, Auburn); Arizona; California; Kansas; Minnesota; Mississippi; Nevada; Oklahoma; Oregon; North Dakota; South Dakota; Wisconsin

Where are you from? Brooklyn, Connecticut

Education: B.A. in Communication and M.S. in Higher Education Administration - both from Southern New Hampshire University 

Why did you choose to work at Assumption University? I could immediately feel how welcoming the entire campus community is! The more I learned about Assumption University and its unwavering commitment to student success, I knew I needed to be a part of this incredible institution. 

What inspired you to work with students? As a first generation college student, I know the confusion that comes with the admissions process and the anxiety of making one of the biggest decisions of your life. I never had the support system to help me navigate through the college search process; I want to be that person for all of my students! I’m extremely committed to supporting my students in every capacity to make the admissions process as seamless (and fun!) as possible. 

What is your favorite restaurant in Worcester? Easily, The Flying Rhino Café. I highly recommend their brunch on Sundays!

What is your favorite sports team? Boston Red Sox all day!

What is your favorite thing about Assumption? Besides the incredible community here, the campus is absolutely beautiful! It's tucked back in the suburbs outside of Worcester with plenty of outdoor space to enjoy the seasons but you have the excitement of the city of Worcester right down the road!

Fun fact about yourself: I’m completely obsessed with Halloween! For 10 years, my family had a giant Halloween maze in our backyard for the entire neighborhood to enjoy. We would dress up and volunteer to scare kids as they went through the maze, pass out candy, etc. It was to the point where this Halloween maze got so big that we had, on average, 2,000 people walk through our yard every Halloween! As you can imagine, that’s a lot of candy to go through!