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 with your questions. We’re eager to get to know you and work together during this exciting, new chapter in your life!

Rylee Benzing PlourdeRylee Benzing-Plourde

Senior Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions

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Territory: Massachusetts – Middlesex & Suffolk Counties; Maryland; Texas

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. 

Al KoningAlison Koning

Associate Director of Admissions 

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Territory: New Hampshire; Maine; Vermont; Pennsylvania; all other states (excluding TX). MA Independent Schools – Worcester Academy, Lawrence Academy, Cushing Academy, Northfield Mount Harmon, Winchendon School. CT Independent Schools – Marianapolis & Pompfret

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.

 

George KuntzGeorge Kuntz

Assistant Director of Admissions 

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Territory: MA – Essex & Northern Worcester county; all of NY except NYC

Where are you from? Croton-on-Hudson, New York

Education: B.A. in Communications from Endicott College.

What made you interested in pursuing a professional career in higher education?  There is an energy that you cannot find anywhere other than on a college campus.  The students, the staff, and the feeling of purpose once you set foot on campus is intoxicating.  It truly is a calling for many of us, and I am honored each and every day I get to come to work and help students in their journeys. 

What do you look for in a CommonApp Essay? Authenticity!  We want you to shine as YOU, not what you think we want to hear. Tell us your story, tell us why YOU want to come to college, and why you think you would succeed with us! Live your truth and make it shine! 

If you had to give one piece of advice to someone going through the college search process, what would it be? Learn to disagree without being disagreeable. Often times we are fearful of disagreeing with each other, and often times when we do, we do not present our disagreement well. Learn to acknowledge the other person’s views, respectfully disagree, and both be open to listening to what the other has to say. It’s okay to not always agree, but you have to do it in a manner of respect, maturity, dignity, and poise. 

What is your favorite spot on campus? The fountain in the center of campus near the chapel. I grew up on the water, and always have found it to have a calming effect on the soul. It is always nice to grab a cup of coffee, walk over, and just watch and listen to the water for a few minutes. 

Marci Mayo

Marci Mayo
Visit Experience Coordinator

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Where are you from? I was born in Lansing, MI, but grew up in Longwood, FL. Massachusetts has been my home longer than anywhere else.

Education: B.S. in Recreation with an emphasis in Special Event and Meeting Planning from the University of Florida

Why did you choose to work at Assumption University? Assumption University impressed me with the  wide variety of majors and minors along with the personal attention students experience with small class sizes. I also value the dedication that faculty and staff have to shaping well-rounded students – academically, professionally, and personally. Also, the campus is beautiful year-round and is perfectly located in Worcester. 

What inspired you to work with students? It’s a pleasure to provide information about Assumption University to prospective students and their families. Choosing a college can be a difficult decision and I’m happy to be able to aid in the decision-making process. 

What is your favorite restaurant in Worcester? I love the Fix Burger Bar for burgers, Volturno for pizza, and The Boynton for everything else!

What is your favorite sports team? I have dual loyalties between the Florida Gators and the Michigan State Spartans. 

What is your favorite thing about Assumption? There is a great sense of community among both the staff and the students and there are numerous ways for students to be involved both on campus and in our local community. 

Fun fact about yourself: I love being outdoors as much as possible – relaxing at the beach or pool, taking a boat ride, playing a sport, riding a bike, enjoying a meal, reading a book, and everything in between. 

Stephanie MurinStephanie Murin
Assistant Director of Admissions

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Territory: MA – Southern Worcester county; MA Catholic Schools – Notre Dame Academy, Worcester & Hingham, Saint Paul, Saint John’s (Shrewsbury, Hyannis, and Danvers), Malden Catholic, Arlington Catholic, Archbishop Williams, Bishop Fenwick, Bishop Feehan, Bishop Stang, Saint Bernards, Trivium School; RI Catholic Schools – La Salle, Bishop Hendricken, Mount Saint Charles, Saint Raphael Academy, Bayview, Prout, and Portsmouth Abbey

Where are you from? I grew up in North Kingstown, RI but live in Worcester now – right around the corner from AU!

Education: B.A. in English Literature with a concentration in Elementary Education from Assumption University and an M.A. in Special Education. 

Why did you choose to work at Assumption University? Working at AU feels like coming home.  I spent four of the best years of my life on this campus and I want to encourage other students to come here too. 

What inspired you to work with students? I originally became a teacher because of my personal experiences as a disabled student – learning did not come naturally to me.  I faced discrimination and wanted to do my best to prevent other young students from experiencing what I did. Now, as an Assistant Director of Admissions, I hope to encourage students to advocate for what they need so that they can get the most out of their college experience. 

What is your favorite restaurant in Worcester? Leo’s Ristorante on Shrewsbury Street!  They have the best Fettucine Alfredo. 

What is your favorite sports team? The New England Patriots!

What is your favorite thing about Assumption? The sense of community that is prevalent in every aspect of campus life  When I toured AU for the first time as a junior in high school, I immediately had the feeling that this place could be my home away from home and the people I met here could be like a family.  I am happy to report that the same holds true when working here! 

Vicki RosaVicki Rosa
Associate Director of Transfer Recruitment

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Territory: Nursing majors; Transfer students; International students

Where are you from? Syracuse, New York 

Education: B.A. in English from SUNY, Fredonia

Why did you choose to work at Assumption University? The unwavering sense of community that I felt from my first steps on campus!  I could immediately see and feel that this was an exciting time to join the team.  I can’t wait to contribute to all the initiatives that will further enhance the student experience. 

What inspired you to work with students? I’ve had the opportunity to work with so many students who know exactly what they want to pursue and their passion is contagious!  I’ve also worked with plenty of students who need the college experience to really figure things out. I love being able to serve as their guide through the process.  There is nothing better than seeing first-hand when a student has found the right fit and I’m always grateful to be a part of that experience.   

What is your favorite restaurant in Worcester? I’m so new to this area and I’m eager to start exploring!  anything Italian will be my first stop. 

What is your favorite sports team? I’m a New Yorker and a New York Giants fan for life, even through the tough years!

What is your favorite thing about Assumption? The commitment to educating the whole person and providing so many opportunities for students to learn and grow beyond the classroom.  And this classic New England campus is a great place to do this! 

Fun fact about yourself: One of my life’s goals is to write a children’s book. 

Kira CotterKira Cotter
Assistant Director of Admissions

Territory: MA – City of Worcester; CT – Fairfield, Litchfield, Hartford, and Tolland Counties; NY – NYC (Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens, and Richmond); New Jersey

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