The College of Charleston officially welcomes another group of staff members to the Cougar family. With familiar and fresh faces alike, these employees (listed below alphabetically) come from all over campus to contribute to and enhance the CofC community and make it an even better learning and working environment for us all. Welcome to the College!
Marissa Bamonte ’18 (M.A. ’20)
Digital Media Specialist, Office of Admissions
Background: I am from Tiverton, Rhode Island. I went to high school at the Moses Brown School in Providence, Rhode Island, prior to attending the College of Charleston. I am a graduate from the College of Charleston, receiving my bachelor of science degree in international business with a minor in Spanish. I am a recent graduate from the Graduate School, University of Charleston, South Carolina, earning a master of arts in communication.
Interests: During my time as an undergraduate at the College of Charleston, I was a student-athlete on the Division 1 College of Charleston sailing team. Sailing holds a very special place in my heart!
Looking Ahead: I am looking forward to getting started in growing and developing the digital platforms for College of Charleston Office of Admissions.
Academic Advisor, Academic Advising and Planning Center
Background: Born at MUSC and raised across the river in Mount Pleasant, I attended local schools before earning a degree in English language and literature from Winthrop University. After graduating, I returned to Charleston and began my master’s in English education. During this time, I worked several jobs and even took a year off to teach English in South Korea. I returned and completed my master’s and teaching internship last year while taking some classes at the College, and have pursued a role in higher education advising since. I am happy to be here!
Interests: Getting involved in the community is very important and as simple as taking a walk down the street and saying hi to someone. I enjoy activities like bowling and hiking, but love to also eat and complete a jigsaw puzzle. Every now and then I add to the book I have been writing for the past 14 years.
Looking Ahead: I am looking forward to getting more involved and active in the community and helping to welcome and acclimate our new students to the living and goings-on of college life.
Public Safety Officer, Department of Public Safety
Background: Lived in Charleston, South Carolina, and employed by Charleston County Sheriff’s Office since 2012.
Interests: My favorite hobby is scuba diving.
Looking Ahead: Experiencing professional growth and development opportunities.
Building and Equipment Project Manager, Facilities Management
Background: I am originally from Great Mills, Maryland, but have lived in Summerville, South Carolina, since 1996. I have over 30 years experience in the management of industrial mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems. Prior to coming to the College of Charleston, I have worked at the Medical University of South Carolina as a facility director and Bernhard Energy as a project director.
Interests: Family and friends are most important to me, and the work relationships I have made throughout my career. I enjoy studying history, particularly military history, and I am a board member of the Dorchester Heritage Museum in St. George, South Carolina. I also enjoy restoring old vehicles including military jeeps and trucks.
Looking Ahead: I look forward to meeting new people and challenges and using my skills to maintain and improve the College’s facilities and equipment to help provide a more efficient and pleasant learning environment.
Arian Bonetto Fernandez
Assistant Director/Hispanic Recruitment Coordinator, Office of Admissions
Background: I am originally from Córdoba, Argentina, and am fluent in Spanish. I moved to Colorado in January 2004 to earn my MBA from Colorado State University-Pueblo and later moved to Charleston in November 2014.
Interests: I love meeting new people and learning about new cultures. My hobbies are usually small home projects and fixing things.
Looking Ahead: I’m looking forward to my travel season and to meeting all the amazing high school students who can have a wonderful college experience at CofC.
John (Russ) Grimm
Groundskeeper, Groundskeeping, Facilities Management
Background: Originally from Maryland, I attended Limestone College for 4.5 years, where we won several national lacrosse championships. I’ve since been involved, mostly in the Maryland area, in golf course maintenance, environmental restoration and general landscaping for almost 20 years.
Interests: Family is most important to me. I have two dogs. I enjoy the beach and all sports – hunting and fishing, especially. Planning on getting married this summer.
Looking Ahead: I’m looking forward to a new and friendly culture, growing in my trade and the opportunity to meet new people.
Austin Hunt ’19
Webmaster, Ancillary Web and Mobile Department, Division of Information Technology
Background: I am a May 2019 computer science graduate of CofC’s Honors College from Anderson, South Carolina. I spent my junior and senior years working as the primary developer for PolyPy: a pedagogical, university-oriented web application for streamlining various aspects of Python programming education, which introduced me to the wonderful world of web development.
Interests: I really love to create things and solve problems, so my interests are a swirl of sketching (portfolio at sketchyactivity.com), programming, cooking and building. I’m also an avid apostle of the jazz/funk/hip-hop trinity, so I spend almost all of my time listening to music. Multitasking is key.
Looking Ahead: I’m looking forward to growing as a web developer and as a programmer, but more generally as a problem-solver, particularly in an environment where I’m surrounded by people I can learn from. On that same note, I’m looking forward to helping people.
Robert (Bob) Simmons
Painter, Paint Shop, Facilities Management
Background: I am from North Charleston and have been painting for 20 years.
Interests: I like to play video games in my spare time.
Looking Ahead: I look forward to learning new things.
Jefferson (Carlos) Summersett
Residence Life Custodian, Custodial Services, Facilities Management
Background: I’m from Charleston. I worked part time as a dishwasher before coming to the College of Charleston.
Interests: My hobbies consist of playing the guitar and eating.
Tradd Tobin ’19
Academic Advisor, Academic Advising and Planning Center
Background: I am from Charleston but lived in Atlanta from ages 1–11 years old. I graduated from College of Charleston in May 2019 where I worked as a peer advisor for two years. Before this position, I worked as an academic advising intern for the AAPC filling a very similar position.
Interests: I am a mechanic by hobby and come from a large family of tinkerers. I enjoy working with and participating in motorsports and spend lots of my weekends restoring my vintage Honda motorcycle. I also enjoy being outdoors and often go on long hikes in the Frances Marion National Forest.
Looking Ahead: I most look forward to the opportunity to continue my professional career with an amazing group of peers. As a CofC graduate, I am honored to be able to contribute to a college that has offered me so much both as a scholar and as a working professional.
ERP Administrator, Division of Information Technology
Background: I am originally from Holly Hill, South Carolina. I graduated from South Carolina State University. I previously worked in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, in higher education for 24 years in the IT field.
Interests: I enjoy spending time with family and friends and traveling.
Looking Ahead: I am excited about the atmosphere, meeting new people and contributing to the continued success of CofC.
Assistant Director for Career Education, Career Center
Background: I am originally from Ohio and have lived in Charleston for just over 20 years. I have worked in higher education for approximately 25 years across seven colleges in the areas of career services, academic advising, institutional research and residence life. Locally, I have worked at The Citadel, Trident Technical College and most recently in a temporary position for the Career Center at the College of Charleston.
Interests: When I’m not at work, I enjoy spending time with my husband and our 2-year-old lab. For fun, I like to travel, be on or near the water, go biking and create electronic scrapbooks. I also enjoy visiting my family who live out of state as often as possible.
Looking Ahead: I am most looking forward to being able to return to CofC for the opportunity to work with a wonderful staff and assist students with their career planning and preparation.
Residence Life Maintenance Technician, Facilities Management
Background: I did maintenance/janitorial work at ABM Industries for about 20 years, and I am a grandfather from Charleston.
Interests: I spend my free time keeping the kids happy and watching football.
Looking Ahead: I just look forward to a fun day at work and getting my work done.