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Professional Staff

The Barbara and Patrick Roche Center for Catholic Education

picture of Weitzel - O'Neill

Patricia Weitzel-O'Neill, Ph.D.
Executive Director 

Patricia Weitzel-O'Neill, Ph.D., is the Executive Director of the Barbara and Patrick Roche Center for Catholic Education, Lynch School of Education, Boston College. She is responsible for the work of the Center, focusing on research, professional development, and advocacy, both locally and nationally. In particular, she serves on the leadership team for the Two-Way Immersion Network for Catholic Schools (TWIN-CS), and actively supports the work of the program.

Dr. Weitzel-O’Neill is a co-author with Dr. Hosffman Ospino of the report Catholic Schools in an Increasingly Hispanic Church (2016), based on the first National Survey of Catholic Schools Serving Hispanic Families. Also, she is a co-editor of the National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools (2102) (NSBECS) and with co-editor Dr. Lorraine Ozar, Loyola University Chicago, continues the work focusing on research and new resources. As an advocate, she serves on multiple boards, including the Governing Board for the Journal of Catholic Education and is frequently invited to present at national and local conferences. Prior to Boston College, Dr. Weitzel-O'Neill served as Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of Washington, and served Trinity Washington University as Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. She is a graduate of Wheeling Jesuit University and holds an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Sociology from St. Louis University.

Email: patricia.weitzel-oneill@bc.edu

Charles Cownie

Charles Cownie
Director, Urban Catholic Teacher Corps

Charlie joined the Roche Center for Catholic Education in 2012 as the Director of the Urban Catholic Teacher Corps of Boston College (UCTC). Prior to arriving at Boston College, Charlie was an Associate Director of Campus Ministry at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.  Previously, he was also a member of the Educational Partners in Catholic Schools Program (EPICS) at Seton Hall University, which provided him the opportunity to teach in a Catholic high school in New Jersey while also earning an M.Ed.  Charlie graduated with a B.A. from Santa Clara University and also received a J.D. from Loyola Law School.
Email: charles.cownie@bc.edu

Derek Hoy

Derek Hoy
Fiscal and Operations Administrator

Derek joined the Roche Center for Catholic Education in the fall of 2013 and supports center operations and finance, as well as general research and programmatic initiatives.  Derek completed his Master's in the Higher Education Administration Catholic University Leadership program in the Lynch School of Education in 2014.  Prior to arriving at Boston College, Derek worked internationally in Catholic higher education and served for two years on an inaugural team that established a branch campus for St. John’s University (New York) in Paris, France. Derek received a B.S. in business management from St. John’s University.
Email: derek.hoy@bc.edu

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Cristina Hunter, Ph.D.
Associate Director, Research Initiatives

Cristina joined the Roche Center for Catholic Education as the Associate Director of Research Initiatives in June of 2015.  Prior to joining the Roche Center, Cristina completed a post-doctoral research fellowship on a collaborative study between Boston College and Tufts University, examining character development in youth. Additionally, she has taught undergraduate courses in the Applied Developmental & Educational Psychology Department at Boston College and has collaborated with Lynch School faculty on numerous publications.  She earned her doctorate in Applied Developmental & Educational Psychology and has extensive experience as research coordinator managing projects related to the experiences of Latino migrants in the United States including translational research with the Human Rights and Migration Project, the NICHD-funded Kindergarten Language Study, a language and literacy intervention for Spanish-speaking young children; and developmental and longitudinal projects with minority families at the Center for Research for Culture Development and Education.  Cristina received her undergraduate degree from the Lynch School of Education of Boston College, her Master's degree from New York University, and her doctorate from Boston College.  
Email:  huntercr@bc.edu 

Kristin Melley

Kristin Melley
Director, Professional Development

Kristin joined the Roche Center for Catholic Education in the fall of 2011 as an Associate Director focusing on professional development and brings 13 years of education experience, as both a classroom teacher and administrator, to her position. For six years she served as the director of a national center for Catholic schools and students. She is passionate about serving the mission of Catholic schools and empowering Catholic school leaders to excel in the many roles they hold. Kristin holds a B.A. from Wheaton College in Norton, MA and an M.A. in theology from Harvard University.
Email: kristin.melley@bc.edu