Mary Kinnane Award for Excellence

Mary Kinnane Award

The 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 B.A. 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 JournalJournal of the National Association of Women Deans and CounselorsVocational Guidance QuarterlyThe Educational RecordJournal of College Student PersonnelHumanitySchool 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

Year Recipient
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.
2013 Zachary Cole, M.A. and Caitlin Green, M.A.
2014 Ann Masterman, Ph.D. and Elizabeth Parolski, M.A.
2015 Jessica Pesce, Ph.D. and Chelsea Kott, M.A.
2016 Brooke Goodman, M.A.
2017 Kevin Gin, Ph.D. and Cherry Lim, M.A.
2018 Andrew Mercado, M.A.
2019 Georgiana Mihut, Ph.D. and Margaret Babson, M.A.
2020 Lisa Unangst, Ph.D. and Mitchell Strzepek, M.A.