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2015 Presenters

institute for administrators in catholic higher education


Dr. Sandra Estanek

Dr. Estanek is a professor of Graduate Education and Leadership and director of the master’s program in College Student Personnel Administration at Canisius College in Buffalo, NY. Before joining the faculty ranks in 2002, Sandy was a student affairs practitioner for 23 years, including 15 years as vice president for student affairs at two Catholic colleges. Sandy holds a doctorate in leadership in higher education. Her master’s and bachelor’s degrees are in political science.

Among her publications are Reading the Signs: Using Case Studies to Discuss Student Life Issues at Catholic Colleges and Universities in the United States (Information Age Publishers, 2008), co-edited with Robert S. Meyer, Laura A. Wankel, and Edward P. Wright, Rethinking Student Affairs Practice (Jossey-Bass, 2004), co-authored with Patrick G. Love, and Understanding Student Affairs at Catholic Colleges and Universities: A Comprehensive Resource (Sheed & Ward, 2002). She also has published articles and presented nationally on topics related to student affairs practice and Catholic identity. With Dr. Michael James, she co-chaired the process that developed both editions of the Principles of Good Practice for Student Affairs at Catholic Colleges and Universities and wrote the final documents.


Dr. Michael Galligan-Stierle

Dr. Galligan-Stierle has been President of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, in Washington, DC, since 2010. Prior to that, Michael served for four years as Vice President of ACCU and for six years as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Assistant Secretary for Catholic Higher Education and Campus Ministry. He has a Ph.D. in Sacred Scripture, an M.A. in Psychology, and has thirty years of experience in various educational and ministerial settings. Michael has had a number of roles within higher education: a campus minister, a religious studies undergraduate and graduate professor, a seminary teacher, a diocesan higher education administrator, and a practicum director for graduate students in pastoral ministry. Michael’s book, GOSPEL ON CAMPUS, is viewed as a standard for Catholic campus ministry in the U.S. In addition to numerous articles, Michael is the author of Promising Practices: Collaboration among Catholic Bishops and University Presidents. He is currently working on volume II of the Mission Officers Handbook. Since becoming president of ACCU, Michael has led the association in strengthening and promoting the Catholic mission and identity of its member campuses. He has been married for thirty-six years to Pamela, and they are the proud parents of two biological and two adopted children, and grandparents of four grandchildren.


Rev. Michael J. Himes

Fr. Himes was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Brooklyn in 1972. He was awarded with distinction a Ph.D. in the History of Christianity from the University of Chicago.  From 1977 until 1987, he served as Dean of the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington, New York, and from 1987 until 1993 was Associate Professor and director of the collegiate program in Theology at the University of Notre Dame whose students twice voted him their most influential teacher.

Currently Fr. Himes is Professor of Theology at Boston College where he has been honored with the Phi Beta Kappa Award for excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. He has been awarded five honorary doctorates and is a recipient of the Social Concerns Medal of the University of Notre Dame and the Washington Theological Union’s Sophia Award for Excellence in Theology. He has written or edited six books and has twice been the recipient of the Catholic Press Association Book Award.  His articles have appeared in many books and numerous journals here and in England. He has lectured widely in the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia.


Rev. Dennis Holtschneider, C.M.

The Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., is president of DePaul University, the nation’s largest Catholic university and the largest private university in the Midwest.  Recognized as a national advocate for the advancement of mission-based Catholic education, he serves on the boards of the American Council on EducationAssociation of Catholic Colleges and Universities, and Chicago History Museum.  He also is vice chairman of the board of the Ascension Health Alliance, the nation’s largest Catholic and largest nonprofit health system, and represents the university on the steering committee of the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition.

Father Holtschneider became DePaul’s 11th president on July 1, 2004 and oversees a $564.1 million budget, 24,414 students and 973 full-time faculty on five Chicago campuses.  A Detroit native, he studied at Harvard University and received his doctorate in administration, planning and social policy in 1997 after writing a dissertation on the early history of financial aid in the United States.  He earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Niagara University in 1985, studied for the priesthood at Mary Immaculate Seminary in Northampton, Pa., and was ordained in 1989. 

Father Holtschneider’s leadership and expertise stem from a broad range of higher education experiences.  He was an administrator with St. John’s University in Queens, N.Y., from 1996 to 1999, first as assistant dean of Notre Dame College and later as associate dean of the university’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.  Concurrently, he served as an assistant professor of higher education in St. John’s Graduate School of Education.  He gained a university-wide perspective as executive vice president and chief operating officer at Niagara University in Niagara Falls, N.Y., from 2000 to 2004, where he directed the university’s strategic planning efforts and daily operations.


Currently, he is a professor of education at DePaul and a faculty member in the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Management Development Program, as well as Boston College’s Institute for Administrators in Catholic Higher Education.


Burt Howell

Burt Howell is the director of the Intersections at Boston College. Started in 2001, Intersections invites faculty and staff to discuss vocation, discernment, mission, student formation, and Jesuit education. The Intersections office, under the direction of the division of University Mission and Ministry, sponsors faculty seminars, retreats, and immersion trips.


Dr. Michael James

Michael James brings more than 25 years experience in teaching, research, administration, and international educational consulting and development to his current position as a Lecturer in Boston College's Lynch School of Education.  Prior to his appointment at Boston College, Michael served as the Vice President for research and professional development with the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities in Washington, DC, and as a Senior Officer and Dean of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at Mount Marty College, Yankton, SD.  In addition he has held a variety of university student-service administrative positions in admissions, financial aid and residence life at both Indiana University and the University of Notre Dame. 

Michael James is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame where he studied Theology and Psychology.  He earned his MA and Ph.D. in philosophy of education, and educational policy studies and higher education administration from the Indiana University, Bloomington, IN. Currently Michael is Director of the Institute for Administrators in Catholic Higher Education and a faculty member in the Boston College graduate program of Higher Education Administration, where he also coordinates the concentration in Catholic University Leadership.  He is Chief-Editor of the research journal, Catholic Education: a Journal of Inquiry and Practice and co-editor for the academic journal, Claritas: A Journal of Culture and Dialogue. 

Michael lectures internationally on topics including: educational leadership; institutional mission and strategic planning; religion, education and culture; and, educational development and moral identity.  Dr. James is a recent recipient of the Outstanding Contribution to Scholarship Award bestowed by the national Jesuit Association of Student Personnel Administrators.  Michael is the lead author of Education’s Highest Aim: Teaching and Learning Through a Spirituality of Communion.  2010. New City Press: Hyde Park, NY.


Rev. Gregory Kalscheur, S.J.

Father Kalscheur is the Interim Dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Boston College.  He joined the faculty of the Boston College Law School in 2003, and from August 2012 to May 2014 he served as the Senior Associate Dean for Strategic Planning and Faculty Development in the College of Arts and Sciences.  He received his A.B. in 1985 from Georgetown University and his J.D. in 1988 from the University of Michigan, where he served on the editorial board of the Michigan Law Review. After law school, he clerked for Judge Kenneth F. Ripple, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and worked as a litigator at Hogan & Hartson in Washington, D.C. 

After entering the Society of Jesus in 1992, Father Kalscheur served as Adjunct Professor of Political Science and Assistant to the Director of the Center for Values and Service at Loyola College in Maryland (1996-98) and as Associate Pastor at St. Raphael the Archangel Church in Raleigh, N.C. (2001-02).

Father Kalscheur’s primary teaching and research interests include law and religion, constitutional law, civil procedure, Catholic social thought and the law, and the contributions of Ignatian spirituality to the character of Jesuit education.

Much of Father Kalscheur’s scholarship draws on the insights of the Jesuit theologian John Courtney Murray regarding religious freedom and the role of civil law in promoting the common good.  Father Kalscheur’s most recent publication, Healthy Secularity and the Task of a Catholic University, 73 Theological Studies 924-34 (December 2012), suggests that we can also learn a great deal from Murray’s reflections on the purpose of the Catholic university as an institution that might be a place of enlarged dialogue characterized by healthy secularity in pursuit of the wholeness of truth.  Father Kalscheur has also published on Jesuit education and engagement with the Catholic intellectual tradition, and through his work as co-chair of the Catholic Intellectual Tradition subcommittee of BC’s Church in the 21st Century Center Advisory Committee, he took the lead in drafting a publication entitled, The Catholic Intellectual Tradition: A Conversation at Boston College


Rev. William P. Leahy, S.J.

Fr. Leahy, the 25th president of Boston College, entered the Society of Jesus in 1967.  Fr. Leahy holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from St. Louis University, a M.Div. and S.T.M. from the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, and a doctorate in United States history from Stanford University.  He was ordained a priest in 1978.  Prior to his appointment as president of Boston College in 1996, he was a member of the history department and executive vice president of Marquette University.

Fr. Leahy serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of Boston College, Creighton University, and Santa Clara University as well as the Board of Directors of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. He is the author of Adapting to America: Catholics, Jesuits and Higher Education in the Twentieth Century (Georgetown University Press, 1991), as well as various articles on religious and educational history in the United States.


Dr. Patrick McCormick

Dr. McCormick received his S.T.D. in moral theology from the Gregorian University in Rome in 1984, taught at Mary Immaculate Seminary in Allentown, PA from 1985-90, at St. John’s University in Queens, NY from 1990-93, and did a postgraduate fellowship in bioethics at the Cleveland Clinic from 1993-94. Since 1994 Patrick has taught Christian Ethics at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA, where he is Professor of Religious Studies and Chair of the Religious Studies Department.

Patrick has written Sin as Addiction (Paulist Press: 1989), Character, Choices & Community: The Three Faces of Christian Ethics (Paulist Press, 1998), Facing Ethical Issues: Dimensions of Character, Choice and Community (Paulist Press, 2002), and A Banqueter’s Guide to the All Night Soup Kitchen of the Kingdom of God (Liturgical Press, 2004). Writing mainly in the area of Catholic Social Thought, Patrick has published two dozen articles in theological journals. Since 1994 he has written a monthly column on Christianity and Culture for U.S. Catholic.


Dr. Ed Peck

Edward J. Peck, Ph.D. is the Vice President for University Mission and Identity at John Carroll University. Prior to assuming this role in August 2014, Ed was the founding executive director of the Ignatian Colleagues Program, now a program of the AJCU.  Also at John Carroll, Ed was an Associate Dean of the Graduate School and taught Business Ethics in the MBA and Nonprofit Administration programs. Previously, he was an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Neumann College in Aston, PA. In his five years at Neumann College, Ed served as coordinator of the Religious Studies department and was awarded the Distinguished Faculty Award in May 2000. He also designed and served in the College’s residential and athletic chaplaincy programs. In addition to his involvement in local, regional, and national Jesuit mission and identity work, Ed is a spiritual director. He holds masters degrees in Divinity and Systematic Theology from St. Johns Seminary, a Ph.D. in Christian Ethics from Loyola University Chicago, and a certificate in Ignatian Spiritual Direction from the Ignatian Spirituality Institute at John Carroll University.


Dr. Tom Reynolds

Dr. Reynolds serves as Regis University’s Vice President for Mission and Planning, which includes oversight of University Ministry, the Institute on the Common Good, Diversity Affairs, University strategic planning, and promoting the University’s Jesuit Catholic identity. He first came to the University in 1987 as Vice President for Student Life after working in similar capacities at Loyola Marymount University. He assumed his current position in 2004. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English literature from Loyola Marymount University and his doctorate in Education from U.C.L.A.

He has been active in local Catholic educational initiatives serving the inner city communities of Denver, including serving as chair of Escuela de Guadalupe, a dual language Catholic elementary school, and serving as a founding trustee of Arrupe Jesuit High School. He is the past president of the Heartland Delta Association of Jesuit universities, which sponsors mission formation programs for faculty and staff of those institutions, including the Ignatian Colleage Program, Magis National Retreat, and other workshops and leadership development activities. He and his wife, Madeline, have two children and three grandchildren.


Dr. Mary Pat Seurkamp

Dr. Seurkamp is currently the president of MPS Consulting Group, LLC. Through her firm, she has been engaged as a consultant for an executive compensation and assessment firm and an investment management consulting firm. Independently, she has provided formal and informal consulting to senior leadership in higher education. Dr. Seurkamp also presently serves as senior advisor and director for the CIC New Presidents Program. The CIC (Council of Independent Colleges) represents more than 600 colleges, universities, and organizations.

Dr. Seurkamp was the first permanent lay president of College of Notre Dame of Maryland, serving from 1997 until her retirement in 2012. Before her arrival at Notre Dame, Dr. Seurkamp served at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York for 21 years.  During that time, she held the positions of Vice President for Institutional Planning and Research, Vice President for Academic Services and Planning and Acting Vice President for Academic Affairs.  Dr. Seurkamp also served in a variety of academic and student affairs capacities in the earlier part of her career at St. John Fisher College and Gannon University.

Dr. Seurkamp represented Notre Dame with significant participation on national and local boards. She served as chair of the Maryland Independent College and University Association for three years and is a member of various not-for-profit boards of educational and healthcare institutions.  She previously served as chair of the Board of the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) and as a member of the Board of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.

Dr. Seurkamp graduated from Webster University in 1968 with a B.A. degree in psychology, from Washington University in 1969 with an M.A. in guidance and counseling, and from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1990 with a Ph.D. in higher education.


Dr. James Trainer

Dr. Trainer is an Associate Vice President at Villanova University where he reports jointly to the University President and the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) and directs the Office of Planning and Institutional Research (OPIR).  He previously served for 11 years as Director of Planning and Assessment in OPIR and from 2007-2011 as Special Assistant to the VPAA.  Prior to arriving at Villanova, Jim served for eight years as Director of the Higher Education Data Sharing Consortium (HEDS), a national organization of 138 independent colleges and universities, including Villanova and, at the time, Boston College and Notre Dame, as well, which assists member institutions in their institutional research and planning functions.  In addition to his work with OPIR, Jim teaches graduate courses at Villanova.

Active in a number of national and regional professional organizations, Jim is Vice President, President-elect of the Association for Institutional Research (AIR).   He is a past President of the North East Association of Institutional Research and served previously on the Board of Directors of both HEDS and AIR, as well as on steering committees and advisory groups for a various other organizations.  He is a regular conference presenter and is a published author.  Jim serves as a reviewer for a number of associations and publications and is a consultant to a variety of organizations. Jim was a founding member of the Catholic Higher Education Research Cooperative (CHERC) and served ex officio as a member of the CHERC Board of Directors.

Jim holds a B.S. degree from Delaware Valley College of Science and Agriculture, where he is a past President of the Alumni Association, was appointed to the Board of Trustees in 2001 and elected Chair of the Board in 2007.  He earned his Ph.D. in Higher Education from Penn State University where he served as a graduate research assistant both to the University President and at the Center for the Study of Higher Education.  En route to his doctorate, Jim minored in Educational Psychology with an emphasis on evaluation and measurement.


Dr. Cynthia Zane

Cynthia A. Zane assumed office as Hilbert College’s president in July 2006 and is serving as the institution’s third president since its founding in 1957.  A native of Johnstown, Pa., Zane has had a broad career in higher education. She previously was chief academic officer and dean of the faculty at the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati. Prior to this, she spent 10 years (1991-2001) at the University of Detroit Mercy where she was dean of the McAuley School of Nursing and also the College of Health Professions, an area for which she was previously associate dean.  While at her alma mater, Saint Xavier College in Chicago, Zane was on the School of Nursing faculty (1979-91) and was later named assistant dean of continuing studies and director of the institution’s weekend college (1988-91).

Zane is currently serving on the Boards of the Association of Franciscan Colleges and Universities (Chairperson 2013-14), Catholic Health System, and the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC). With respect to CIC, she is serving on the Future of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges steering committee. She earned a doctorate in education from Northern Illinois University, a master’s degree in nursing from Rush University, and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Saint Xavier University.  Zane is married to Stephen Mazurak, is the proud mother of three grown sons and has a new grandson.

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