PCACAC in the News

Our friends and colleagues in an out of our region are important to us and we would like to share some of their moments and accolades with you.  We hope you enjoy learning more about our amazing members here and in the Member Spotlight


  • President-Elect (2020-2021), James B. Massey, Jr., made an appearance on the Today Show, with a shout out to the Terps!

  • Past President, Jake Talmage, served on a panel of NACAC experts for the "Why College Late Bloomers Are Special" podcast.  Listen to the session HERE.

  • Our own Jennifer Ewing, Student Support Grant Chair and Director of College Counseling at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, Eli Clarke, Director of College Counseling at Commonwealth Academy and former PCACAC Membership Chair,  and member Rodney Joyner, Director of College Advising at Baltimore City College, were awarded as CTCL's 2020 Counselors That Change Lives. This honor is given in recognition of their dedication to the college counseling profession as it reflects the mission of the Colleges That Change Lives (CTCL) organization: to promote and support a student-centered college search process.
  • Leaders from across the field of college admission were recognized last week by NACAC for the contributions they have made to students and to their profession. We are proud to announce that Fatmata Koroma was selected as an individual 2019 Rising Star Award recipient.

    Since joining Potomac Chesapeake ACAC over four years ago, Fatmata has worked tirelessly to help make the affiliate’s annual conference and other events successful. This year she volunteered to launch the Equity Collaborative on Diversity, Equity and Opportunity in Education—a PCACAC preconference offering. And when one of the scheduled speakers was unable to present due to unforeseen health issues, Fatmata stepped in and led the session.

    Fatmata, who recently assumed the role of assistant director of college counseling at St. John’s High School in DC, is passionate about the potential of higher education to change lives and has become an important voice within her affiliate. Through her hard work, Fatmata is constantly striving—often behind the scenes—to contribute to her school, her affiliate, and the profession. Congratulations Fatmata Koroma!

  • Scott Mayer, current Credential and Bylaws Chair, was featured on CBS 6 News in Richmond, VA (July 2019), when he shared about the history of baseball in Richmond. Grab a copy of the book he co-authored with W. Harrison Daniel:  Baseball and Richmond

  • Sanjay Mitchell, PCACAC College Fair Committee Chair and Director of College & Alumni Programs at Thurgood Marshall Academy PCHS, Sue Rexford, PCACAC Historian and Director of College Counseling at Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, and David Burge, Vice President for Enrollment Management at George Mason University, were recently live guests on the Kojo Nnamdi Show.  Listen to their insightful interview: How Local Schools Handle the Fervor Over College Admissions

  • University of Virginia's Associate Dean Valerie Gregory was recently honored for her diversity and inclusion efforts.  READ MORE

  • Congratulations to member Mary Hunter Hardison who was awarded CTCL's 2019 Counselors That Change Lives Award for those whose dedication to the college counseling profession reflects the CTCL ideals of "helping students frame their search beyond the ratings and rankings to find a college that provides the foundation for a successful and fulfilling life."

  • A special "Thank you!" to David Burge for his hard work as NACAC President this past year.  David is Vice President for Enrollment Management at George Mason University (VA).

  • Congratulations to the new NACAC President-elect, Jayne Caflin Fonash, Director of School Counseling at The Academies of Loudoun (VA)!

  • Melissa Kupferschmid, College Counselor and Founder of Achieva Educational Consulting, created, marketed, and launched a new dual enrollment program for Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland. The new Pathways in Network and Information Technology Program enables participating high school students to complete their high school diploma and an Associate’s in Applied Science from Montgomery College while in high school. The entire program is at no cost to students with starting salaries for its graduates projected to be $60,000 per year.

  • We're proud of member Melisa Hypolite, College Advisor at the CollegeBound Foundation, whose article was featured in the Baltimore Sun: It takes a village to raise a first generation college grad. Melisa is actively involved in PCACAC as Chair of Joining Hands for Colleges, an active member on the Inclusion, Access and Success Committee and recipient of the 2018 Student Support Grant.

  • Congratulations to longstanding member, Joseph Monte, who was  inducted into the Arts Hall of Fame at Albert Einstein High School in Rockville, MD.  To honor Joe, AEHS established the Joseph Monte Continuing Support Award.

  • Admission Practices Chair, Dale Bittinger, has been elected as a new Chief Admission Officer for Common Application's Board of Directors (beginning July 1).
  • Heather Jeter, PCACAC's Secretary and Director of College Counseling at the Steward School (VA) received Steward's prestigious 2018 Cramer Award.

  • IAS Chair, Chris Miller, has accepted a position as Director of College Counseling at Sandy Springs Friends School (MD).

  • Member Michele Flores, Counselor at Baltimore City College (MD), received the 2018 CTCL Award.

  • Mike Oligmueller of NSU University School in Fort Lauderdale, FL was presented with the 2018 Apperson Award
  • Todd Rinehart of the University of Denver was presented with this year's Jack Blackburn Award for Ethics.

  • 2018 Counselor of the Year Awards go to:
    • Melisa Hypolite, CollegeBound Foundation (MD)
    • Luis Portillo, University of Delaware (DC & VA)
    • Mildred Johnson, Radford University (VA)
    • Gina King, Cristo Rey Jesuit High School (MD)
    • Sanjay Mitchell, Thurgood Marshall Academy PCHS (DC)
    • Charlain Bailey, Montgomery Blair High School (MD)
    • Sarah Boswell, Jefferson College of Health Sciences (VA)
    • Judy Edwards, Lake Braddock Secondary School (VA)
  • These deserving individuals attended our 53rd Annual Conference as Marion Flagg scholars:
    • Katie Graul, Urban Alliance (MD)
    • Ayanna Jones, CollegeBound Foundation (MD)
    • Erik Olson, Liberty High School (VA)
    • Meghan Parsons, Albemarle High School (VA)
    • Samantha Ratchford, Hanover High School (VA)
    • Mary Carter Scott, ACCESS College Foundation (VA)
  • Anthony Ambrogi, PCACAC's Immediate Past President and Director of College Counseling at St. Catherine's School (VA) was featured in NACAC's member spotlight.


  • Stephen Maczynski, Age 61, passed away on September 23, 2020 in Alexandria, Virginia after a long illness. Steve went to Georgetown Prep in 2016 as Dean of College Counseling and Academic Support Services. He was a member of the Prep College Counseling staff from 1990-2006. During his 20 years there, Steve served as Director of College Counseling and taught AP Government and history. In between his time at Prep, Steve continued his love of working with students at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart as a College Counselor, Westfield High School New Jersey as Director of Guidance, and Commonwealth Academy as Director of College Counseling. He taught and counseled thousands of students over the years. On May 6, 2020, Steve was the recipient of PCACAC's "Counselor of the Year" award. In his years in the classroom and in college guidance, Steve was an enormous source of encouragement to countless students, and to many of his peers, as well. He has been a wonderful friend, mentor and colleague who will be greatly missed.

During our membership meeting at NACAC's 2018 conference, members shared a moment of silence for those lost this past year. Let us remember these amazing individuals...

  • Thomas Pollard:  Tom was longtime Dean of Admissions at the University of Richmond and a recognized leader and innovator in our profession. He served as president of PCACAC from 1974-1975 and received the Association’s 1979 Richard Apperson Award. Tom's obituary was posted in the Richmond Times-Dispatch on November 2, 2018.

  • Stephanie Balmer:  Stephanie was former Vice President of Enrollment and Dean of Admissions at Dickinson University (PA). Colleagues remember Balmer as “nothing short of a force of nature,” according to Connie McNamara, vice president of marketing and communication.  Read more in an article from The Dickinsonian.

  • Silas Purnell:  "After 49 years, it is appropriate to honor Silas Purnell for his successful effort to set more equitable admissions standards for disadvantaged students.  He dominated the 1969 conference and persuaded attendees to pass affirmative action resolutions.  Attached is his obituary." ~ Joe Monte, Past President, NACAC 1975

  • Carl Ahlgren:  We are saddened to share the news of Carl Ahlgren’s passing on Monday, April 16, 2018. A long time member and leader of PCACAC, Carl was a trusted and respected colleague, friend and mentor. Carl will be remembered for his thoughtfulness, compassion and wit. Our thoughts are with Carl’s family, friends and those who cared for him.  In his memory, we share his member profile from 2015. We would also like to share a link to the Go Fund Me Page created as a college fund for Carl's four children: www.gofundme.com/ahlgren-children-college-fund

  • Bill Dingledine:  Odds are excellent many of you know Bill Dingledine and would appreciate knowing that Bill, a 40+-year veteran of college counseling and a widely known and hugely respected friend and colleague to many in Southern ACAC and across the country, sustained a serious spinal cord injury and is currently paralyzed below his shoulders. The man who has helped so many in our profession for so many years now needs our help.