Allegheny offices bring new faculty, employees for upcoming year

A new academic year is on the horizon, and with it comes new Allegheny College employees. The offices of Athletics and Recreation, Residence Life, Admissions and the Allegheny Gateway will all have new faces this year.

As the semester begins, so does the season for the male and female sports teams at Allegheny. The men’s basketball team will be welcoming a new member to the coaching staff for this season — Evan Bonnaure, who will be the new assistant coach of the men’s basketball team.

Before Bonnaure took the coaching position at Allegheny, he spent two seasons as a men’s basketball graduate assistant coach at East Stroudsburg University. Prior to East Stroudsburg, he spent four years playing for La Roche University’s men’s basketball team.

Bonnaure said he is excited to work with the men’s team at Allegheny, with the hopes of establishing the college as one of the top programs in the region.

“I accepted this coaching job at Allegheny College because when you look at the basketball program in terms of where it was four years ago to where it is now, it is really a program on the rise,” Bonnaure said. “Ultimately, I determined that this was something I wanted to be a part of.”

Bonnaure also believes he can make an impact on the student-athletes, since he was a student-athlete prior to accepting the coaching position at Allegheny.

“I hope my impact on campus for all student-athletes and other students can be an overall positive one,” Bonnaure said. “I hope that I am somebody they feel like they can turn to for advice.”

His main goal, Bonnaure said, is to help grow the athletic legacy of Allegheny’s student body while helping to bring in top-notch student-athletes.

“My primary focus will be on helping the Gators play winning basketball, while also recruiting and graduating tremendous student-athletes and overall people,” Bonnaure said. “I want the basketball program, and the entire athletic department, to be a point of pride for all Allegheny Students.”

Residence Life will be adding Stephanie Carson, ’16, as the student life coordinator. After graduating from Allegheny with a psychology major and Spanish minor, Carson taught for three years before accepting the job from her alma mater.

“I wanted to return to my alma mater and work with the students here at Allegheny,” Carson said. “Previously, I have worked as a teacher for three years and I was ready to work with older (students). I’m excited to be able to work with people who are passionate about issues and able to take action to make changes in the world.”

For Carson, the students on Allegheny’s campus are the driving force behind her desire to work at the school. Her main goal is to make sure students are comfortable on campus, no matter who they are or what might be affecting them.

“I hope that by working with students, specifically with the (resident advisors), we can make sure everyone feels like they belong on the campus and that they are empowered and prepped to be successful in their lives,” Carson said. “I’m passionate about mental health, self-care and professional growth.”

The Allegheny Office of Admissions will be filling the position of Campus Visit and Building Coordinator. Rachel Meerson will be filling the position just in time for the new semester.

Meerson earned her bachelor’s degree in behavioral sciences from the University of Chicago and worked in brand protection and e-commerce fraud prevention for close to 18 years. Before accepting the position at Allegheny College, Meerson worked as an ophthalmic assistant.

“I feel that my friendliness and acceptance of all people will be one of my contributions to the college community,” Meerson said. “I am excited to be part of the community here at Allegheny College. I love being in close contact with all the teaching and learning that happens here on a daily basis.”

Ben Helkowski III will also be joining the list of new employees, and will be working in the Allegheny Gateway. Helkowski graduated from The Ohio State University and is currently finishing his graduate studies at Mercyhurst University. He will graduate from Mercyhurst with a degree in organizational leadership in the spring of 2020.

The experiences that Helkowski had prior to taking the job at Allegheny College is the reason he believes he will help the students on campus.

“Last year, I completed a year of service through AmeriCorps VISTA at Mercyhurst University, where I helped coordinate two mentoring programs,” Helkowski said. “Following that, I was offered a job as the Lake Effect Leader — AmeriCorps*VISTA program coordinator, and I wanted to help support our initiative.

Helkowski’s previous work laid the foundation of his current goal of helping to uphold the Statement of Community, especially in terms of the low-income student population.

“My year of VISTA service has given me a better understanding of the policies and structures that enable poverty in our communities,” Helkowski said. “I hope to use this knowledge to help create a stronger community that is determined to combat these issues.”