MU
Oak Leaves

November 22, 2019


Maegan Pollonais

Already a hall director for Schwalm Hall, Pollonais is becoming the assistant director of Student Diversity and Inclusion.

Photo provided by Chris Francois

Pollonais Accepts Student Diversity Role


Carly Greaves

 

With her unique cultural background and a desire to celebrate differences, Maegan Pollonais has proven to be a diverse addition to the staff at Manchester.

Pollonais, who has served as the hall director for Schwalm Hall since late July, has recently been appointed to the position of assistant director of Student Diversity and Inclusion.

This position suits Pollonais perfectly. Her parents are from the Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago, and Pollonais lived there herself from ages 6 to 18. “It was truly an amazing upbringing,” Pollonais said. “I would go out all the time with friends to the beach or to parties and then we would all come back by my pool and hang out in my backyard.”

It was also in Trinidad and Tobago that Pollonais discovered her love of music. She won multiple vocal competitions at the Biennial Music Festival of Trinidad and Tobago and sang with the Marionettes Chorale, one of the oldest choirs in the Caribbean. This passion continued to influence Pollonais after she moved to the United States to study sociology, and it was not long until she added music as a major. Even now, Pollonais is working to get her doctorate of arts in music, with a concentration in educational psychology, from Ball State University. “Music has been the vehicle for all my successes,” Pollonais said. “Studying music has shaped the way I view the world through the study of foreign arts and diverse concepts.”

While Pollonais has been working hard on her studies, she has also been engaged with her duties at Manchester University. Pollonais serves as a hall director at Schwalm Hall, a job she strives to do well. The tasks involved with being hall director include supervising and distributing tasks to the residence assistants and planning events with the other hall directors. “Essentially, we are the liaison between the Administration and Residential Life and the students,” Pollonais explained.

Despite already having these responsibilities, Pollonais was glad to accept the title of assistant director of Student Diversity and Inclusion. Her new responsibilities include supervising five Multicultural Affairs programmers and helping any international students with documents and visas. The time that Pollonais lived in the Caribbean has put her into a unique position to help these students. “What I bring to the table and this position is that duality and understanding,” Pollonais said.

“It will help me reach a wider scope of the needs of our students.” This understanding, along with her supervising experience, makes Pollonais a logical choice for the position. While she intends to take some time to get her bearings, Pollonais does have plans for her new role. “My plans [are] to increase the recognition of the importance of international students on this campus and the importance of diversity as a whole,” Pollonais said. “We are tasked with preparing our students for the future—how we treat people with different kinds of diversity or different kinds of situations—so it’s important that we bring that importance to this campus and that is part of truly preparing our students for the future.”

While she is certainly kept busy with her jobs on campus, Pollonais still takes pleasure in some of her hobbies: watching Korean romantic dramas and international movies, trying different foods and traveling. She also enjoys her interactions with Manchester students. “I see them grow and see how their minds work,” Pollonais said. “It’s so great to work with younger students.”

She has a lot of work ahead of her, but Pollonais is eager to spread her appreciation of diversity and understanding to the students of Manchester.