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Pollonais named director of diversity and inclusion at Manchester

Maegan-PollonaisMaegan Pollonais has been promoted to director of student diversity and inclusion at Manchester University.

Pollonais manages day-to-day operations of the Jean Childs Young Intercultural Center and assists in developing and retaining students of color and international students.

"I am thankful for this position with its added responsibilities and faith in me,” she said. “I am grateful to Manchester University for affording me opportunities to feed my passions; working to educate students on diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, leadership development, as well as the opportunity to continue making music!”

Pollonais recently completed her doctoral degree in music, with a concentration in educational psychology, at Ball State University. Her dissertation focused on the importance of multicultural vocal music as a means of diminishing the achievement gap between students of color and white students.

Her performance in 2018 at Ball State of Dominique Le Gendre's Caribbean song cycle, Songs of the Islands, was its international premiere. In spring 2021, the Manchester Symphony Orchestra will offer the world premiere of the orchestrated version by Manchester Professor Debra Lynn. It will feature Pollonais and two Manchester graduates. Pollonais will give a pre-concert talk to educate listeners about the history of the Caribbean region and the significance and beauty of these songs.

“I am excited to continue working with my amazing colleagues and serving the needs of our students, especially our underrepresented students and helping foster an environment where all students can succeed and thrive,” she said.  “It is my hope that our positive initiatives on campus will contribute to a lasting impression on the outside community, exemplifying our commitment to dismantling systems of oppression and truly appreciating the infinite worth of every individual.”

In her time at Manchester, Pollonais has led several programs about diversity and inclusion for students, including “The African American Musical Experience” by guest performer Rory Wallace, who shared a brief overview of the impact African-Americans have made to the United States and a lecture recital on African-American music and the role it played in America's history.

She gave a presentation to the MU Board of Trustees on a new vision for the Office of Multicultural Affairs, including hiring a coordinator for student diversity and inclusion programming.

Pollonais also led a Night of Solidarity against Racial Violence that invited students, colleagues, community members and alumni to honor those who have lost their lives to racial violence, to address how we are grieving and processing, and to discuss ways we can all use our voices to inspire change.

She is a member of the President's Diversity and Inclusion Council.

At Ball State, she was the graduate assistant for the Ph.D. Pathways Program in the Office of Institutional Diversity. A mentoring program, it matches high-achieving undergraduate and graduate students from underrepresented backgrounds with faculty and professional staff.

Originally from Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean, Pollonais earned bachelor’s degrees in sociology and music from State University of New York at Plattsburgh and a master’s in music from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. At Bowling Green, she received the Winifred O. Stone Presidential Scholarship for Diversity.

She is also director of the residential Helman Hall at Manchester.

For the media

Maegan Pollonais,

Jean Childs Young Intercultural Center:

Manchester University, with campuses in North Manchester and Fort Wayne, Ind., provides vibrant and transformative student experiences. Learn more at

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Manchester University respects the infinite worth of every individual and graduates persons of ability and conviction who draw upon their education and faith to lead principled, productive and compassionate lives that improve the human condition.

August 2020