The James McKeever Promising Professional Award

James McKeever

PACAC is proud to recognize the James McKeever Promising Professional Award, which is named to honor and remember an individual who was indeed a bright light and promising PACAC admission professional.

Jim was a 1985 graduate of Mercyhurst College.  He was recommended to Mercyhurst by his high school counselor as “his class’s outstanding citizen.”  Following a brief time in management upon graduation from Mercyhurst, Jim returned to his alma mater as a graduate assistant.

Jim was described by Andy Roth, previous Vice President of Enrollment Management at Mercyhurst, as “a natural” – warm, gregarious, and outgoing.  Jim chose to make admission his career despite the draw of a higher salary and the perks of corporate life.  He chose his path to positively impact young people and their futures. In three and a half years as an admission professional, Jim made a positive impact on the PACAC organization.  He made a contribution as a member of the Conference Planning Committee and the College Fairs Committee and was instrumental in establishing the PACAC Northwest Regional College Fair.

Jim was a “presence” in the admission field through Pennsylvania.  His greatest gifts were the care and attention he gave to others – his family, his colleagues and his community.  His promise as a profession was limitless and emblematic of the very best of our profession.  He cared, he worked hard, and he had a lot of fun.  Many were blessed to have known Jim personally, but all members of PACAC are blessed because Jim’s legacy of caring and giving lives on in the work that we do.  Jim passed away in 1995 from cancer at the age of 27.

The James McKeever Promising Professional Award was established by the Executive Board of PACAC as a means of recognizing and encouraging contributions by secondary or postsecondary members early in their careers. To be eligible, a nominee must be employed by a member institution and have completed no more than three years of professional service. Age is not a factor in the nomination process. Nominees must have demonstrated both outstanding job performance and meaningful professional services beyond their institutions. The person nominating an individual for this award must write a separate letter to the Past President outlining the reasons why this person is deserving of the award.

Previous Recipients

2022    Gabriela Marrero, Albright College

2021    Sofia Fallas, Saint Joseph's University
            Jade Johnson, The Hill School
            Erin Kennedy, La Roche University

2020   Timothy Joy, University of Pittsburgh
            Philip Morabito, Franklin & Marshall College

2019   Lucas Frankel, Shady Side Academy
           Hilary Yoh, Lebanon Valley College

2018   Adam Kauffman, University of Pittsburgh

2017   Sandra Vasquez, Cabrini University
           Marissa Bowlby, Spring-Ford High School

2016   David DeBor, Carnegie Mellon University
           Jake Kohler, Ursinus College
           Valerie Martin, Gettysburg College

2015   Heather Nicotra, La Roche College
           Taylor Miller, Albright College
           John Solewin, Cabrini College

2014   Miles Smith, Wilson College

2013   Meg Ryan, Carnegie Mellon University
           Rachel Dingman, Allegheny College
           Ryan Gillon, La Salle University
           Samantha Pitcher, Saint Joseph's University

2012    Mike Goebel, Gannon University

2011    Shannan Smith, Widener University
            Justin Mohney, Carnegie Mellon University
            Ryan Mignone, Goldey-Beacom College

2010    Melanie Holodynsky, Temple University
            Laura Jacobs, Allegheny College
            Kate Rickards, Temple University

2009   Maria Caggiano, Marywood University

2008   Laura Fahy, Kutztown University
           Adrienne Greth, Temple University
           Loren Morgan, Albright College
           Lauren Smarkanic, Moravian College

2007   Jennifer Birkenmeier, Immaculata University
           Ian Harkness, Gettysburg College
           Bryn Johnson, Immaculata University
           Amanda Modar, The Pennsylvania State University

2006   Justin Holmes, Lafayette College

2005   Karthryn Adams, Albright College

2004   Katie Gerst, Temply University
           Stacey Gluc, King’s College
           Heather Lazzini, Robert Morris University
           Jennifer Spirer, Allegheny College
           David Weisbord, Susquehanna University

2003   Jennifer Keegan, Chatham College
           Mitchell Murtha, Northampton Community College
           Jaclyn Zimmerman, Elizabethtown College

2002   David Kaiser, Temple University
           Ian Sladen, Drexel University

2001   Eric Szentesy, Drexel University

2000   Christopher Boehm, Albright College
           Pia Houseal Alport, Ursinus College
           Tricia Uber, Drexel University
           Karin West, Temple University
           Larel Williams, University of Pennsylvania

1998   Betty Brown, Delaware County Community College
           Molly Leese, Gettysburg College
           Karl Liedtka, Lebanon High School

1997   Melissa Little Plotkin, York College
           Kenny Perry, College Access Center
           Misty Lang Whelan, Cheltenham High School

1996   Grace Bruno, Mercyhurst College
           Jennifer Hendricks, Albright College
           Karen Tafaraolo, Pennsylvania School of Art and Design
           Edwin Wright, West Chester University

1995   Tara Dzmitrizk, Thomas Jefferson University
           Greg Eichhorn, Albright College
           Tom Morris, The University of the Arts
           Christine Wells, Springfield High School

1994   Hope Lentine, Neuman College
           Kent Barnds, Elizabethtown College
           Kim Atchinson, Wharton School of Business

1993   Kathry Bagnell, Allegheny College
           Yvette Dennise, The Pennsylvania State University
           Karen Evans, Milton Hershey School
           Greg Goldsmith, Swarthmore College
           Carolyn Nelson, Gwynedd-Mercy College