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Lynch School of Education

Mary Kinnane Award For Excellence

higher education program

Mary KinnaneThe facts of Mary Kinnane's professional life demonstrate the Jesuit ideal of education in service to others. Professor Mary T. Kinnane was born in Dublin and educated in Ireland, England, and the United States. She received her A.B. degree from Liverpool University and won a teaching fellowship at the University of Kansas where she earned an M.A. in Speech and Theater. In 1954 she joined the then two-year old School of Education at Boston College as a teacher of speech and the following year assumed, in addition, the role of Dean of Women. Professor Kinnane was instrumental in winning membership for Boston College in the American Association of University Women in 1963. It was also due to her initiatives that women were admitted to the previously all-male University Chorale, were accepted into the Junior Year Abroad program, and were made eligible to apply for Woodrow Wilson Fellowships.

Supported by a Carnegie Foundation Fellowship for her dissertation research on the attitudes of college students towards college teaching as a career, Professor Kinnane received her Ph.D. from Boston College in the field of Counseling Psychology in 1963. In 1972 when Higher Education became a graduate division in Boston College's School of Education, Dr. Kinnane established the program in Student Personnel/Student Development leading to the doctoral degree. Later she added a similar program leading to the Master's degree, and she chaired the division of Higher Education. Dr. Kinnane also served as Dean of the Summer School at Boston College for four years, 1967-71.

Professor Kinnane served on the Board of Directors of the Association for the Study of Higher Education and on the editorial boards of the Journal of the American College Personnel Association and the Journal of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators. Her research on student development, college students' perceptions and attitudes, and the role of women in higher education was published in such professional journals as The American Personnel and Guidance Journal, Journal of the National Association of Women Deans and Counselors, Vocational Guidance Quarterly, The Educational Record, Journal of College Student Personnel, Humanity, School and Society, and Improving College and University Teaching.

The Mary T. Kinnane Award for Excellence in Higher Education was instituted in 1990 upon the retirement of Dr. Kinnane from the Higher Education Program at Boston College by graduate students who had studied under her. Students appreciated her support, encouragement, enthusiasm and, as needed, the push she gave them. Financial support for this award is a result of the gratitude and respect that graduate students, alumni, faculty, and friends have for Mary T. Kinnane.

This award is given annually to a graduating student in the Higher Education Program. The criteria include academic excellence and the quality of the nominee's service which reflects Mary T. Kinnane's embodiment of the Jesuit ideal of education in the service of others. Higher Education Master's and doctoral graduates from the current academic year (September, December, and May) are eligible. Graduating students in Higher Education can nominate themselves or be nominated by students, faculty, alumni, or other members of the Boston College community.


Recipients of the Mary T. Kinnane Award for Excellence in Higher Education

1991   Brenda Ricard, M.A.
1992   Barry Corey, Ph.D.
1993   Claudia Morner, Ph.D.
1994   Richard Salmie, Ph.D. and Nancy Surma, Ph.D.
1995   Kelli J. Armstrong, Ph.D
1996   Susan Cass, M. A.
1997   Heather Kelley, M. A.
1998   Kristen Renn, Ph.D. and James JF Forest, Ph.D.
1999   Margaret Curran, M. A.
2000   Diane Dittmar, Ph.D.
2001   Lisa Millora, M. A.
2002   Mary Lou Jackson, Ph.D.
2003   Katya Salkever, Ph.D.
2004   Mandy Savitz-Romer, Ph.D.
2005   Karen Lysaght, M.A. and Roberta Bassett, Ph.D.
2006   Deborah Cady, Ph.D.
2007   Jessica Donovan, M.A.
2008   Mary Patricia Lohse, Ph.D.
2009   Susan Marine, Ph.D. and Kathryn Lynk-Wartman, Ph.D.
2010   Elizabeth Gionfriddo, M.A.
2011   Mary Ogburn, M.A.
2012   Melissa Grove, M.A.