ACCU Staff
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ACCU staff serve member institutions, scholars, journalists, Church officials, and others Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (Eastern time).

ACCU Staff


Rev-Dennis-HoltschneiderRev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, CM, Ed.D., PRESIDENT

Prominent in the field of Catholic higher education, Fr. Holtschneider began his tenure as ACCU president on July 1, 2019. He served as president of DePaul University in Chicago, the nation’s largest Catholic university, from 2004 to 2017. A frequent speaker, consultant, and writer on issues facing colleges and universities, he has served on the boards of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the American Council on Education, and ACCU, which he chaired from 2010 to 2012. He currently chairs the Niagara University Board of Trustees and the Institute of Advanced Catholic Studies at the University of Southern California.

Contact Fr. Dennis at (202) 457-0650, ext. 222 or


Michelle joined ACCU in May 2020 and oversees marketing and membership engagement, which includes recruitment and records management, and also assists with financial operations for the association. Previously, she worked for 10 years as a higher education professional and educator, serving in the division of student life at Notre Dame of Maryland University and charged with student engagement, community building and programming, and leadership development. Michelle holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Roanoke College and a Master of Arts degree in contemporary communications from Notre Dame of Maryland University. Michelle and her husband Brett are parents of four children who range from middle school to college age. She can be found making memories with her family, cheering on her sons and daughter at an athletic game, volunteering for her church and other non-profits, or tackling a new DIY project.

Contact Michelle at (202) 457-0650, ext. 234 or


Alex Flinn-Palcic PhotoAlexandra Flinn-Palcic, DIRECTOR, ANNUAL MEETING

Alexandra joined ACCU in May 2022 and oversees all aspects of ACCU’s Annual Meeting. Previously she worked at American University’s Center for Latin American & Latino Studies implementing the Center’s grant-based projects, communication efforts, and grant funded events. Alexandra previously worked at ACCU from 2017-2019 where she oversaw membership engagement, ran the 2018 ACCU Annual Meeting, and led the Hispanic Initiative. She is enthusiastic about her return and looks forward to supporting the Association. She is fluent in Spanish and her additional interests include performing, teaching music, and traveling.  

Contact Alex at (202) 457-0650, ext. 233 or



Nadine Jalandoni, DIRECTOR, RESEARCH
Nadine joined ACCU in November 2017, bringing over 20 years of experience working in the nonprofit and philanthropic sector. Prior to ACCU, she spent 17 years at Independent Sector, first as Director of Research and eventually as Vice President for Convenings and Knowledge Management. She authored the Nonprofit Almanac, led annual conference planning and execution, research and evaluation, and interactions with global civil society organizations. At ACCU, Nadine is responsible for data collection and reporting on trends pertaining to Catholic higher education, conducting research studies on issues important to the field, serving as staff liaison to Mission Officers,  managing the Journal on Catholic Higher Education and assisting with the Annual Meeting. Nadine is a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and completed her M.A. in International Development from American University. Her interests include traveling and cooking and is a loyal Trekkie. She and her husband have been blessed with two grown children who have done them proud!

Contact Nadine at (202) 457-0650, ext. 224 or



Sandra Kerr-Porcari, CHIEF OF STAFF
Sandra joined the ACCU staff in April 2014 after living for over two decades in Northern Italy and working in a variety of administrative positions, both inside and outside the world of Catholic education. In the role of parent, teacher, and school administrator, Sandra has both a multicultural perspective and broad-based experience in Catholic education from grades K thru 13 and beyond. Her degree is from Dartmouth College, where she majored in government and Asian studies, including the study of two languages (Spanish and Mandarin Chinese), to which she has now added Italian. Sandra and her husband Maurizio currently live in Takoma Park, MD. All three of their children are college graduates going on to pursue careers in pediatric neurology, aerospace engineering (although currently serving as a US Navy submariner), and strategic policy consulting, respectively. Her hobbies include reading, walking, cooking, and traveling. 

Contact Sandra at (202) 457-0650 ext. 227, or



Sean joined ACCU in 2021 after spending many years in formation with a Roman Catholic religious community. As Administrative Coordinator he is responsible for managing the weekly tasks of the association's processes, financial functions, and general office operations to ensure the overall success of the association and betterment of its members' experiences and engagement. He completed his graduate studies at the University of Notre Dame where he attained a doctorate in history specializing in nineteenth-century France. His dissertation focuses on the cooperation between the Catholic Church and the French government in the dissemination of smallpox vaccination during the early nineteenth century. He also holds a Master of Divinity from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia. He is happy for his growing family which includes his future wife Meagan and son Judah. In his spare time, Sean loves to read, travel, and volunteer for his church. He is also an avid Russian philatelist..

Contact Sean at (202) 457-0650, or



Rebecca Sawyer, Ed.D., VICE PRESIDENT
Rebecca joined ACCU in September 2016 after spending four years as the vice president for student life at Notre Dame of Maryland University. She has more than 20 years’ experience in higher education, notably in areas of change management and working with diverse groups. At Notre Dame of Maryland, she supervised campus ministry, residence life, student activities, intercollegiate Division III athletics, community service, leadership programs, diversity initiatives, and more. At ACCU, Rebecca is responsible for the on-going operations of the association including finances and human resources, overseeing the association’s programs and services for members, working with annual meeting sponsors and other advancement efforts, and supervising association research. Rebecca and her husband Jonathan are parents of three children.

Contact Rebecca at (202) 457-0650, ext. 223 or



Lorraine has been with ACCU since 2010.  She has been in her current position since September 2017 and spent 7 years prior to that as a consultant with ACCU on numerous mission-related projects. Previously, she worked in Advancement and Alumni Relations at The George Washington University. She was also a research assistant for the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) program (Drexel University) for women executive leaders. A trained teacher, she spent 6 years teaching in the classroom in Bogota, Colombia and in Washington, DC, before returning to pursue her doctorate. Her dissertation was on lay presidents and their unique contributions to leadership of Catholic identity and mission. Currently, Lorraine has responsibility for the Trustees/Leaders in Catholic Higher Education program, the Institute for New Presidents, Aspiring Presidents, Women Executive Leaders, and the Charism Cabinet. She is from Toronto, Canada and enjoys paddling her canoe in Ontario lakes when she can. She is blessed with two children, both attending Catholic school.

Contact Lorraine at (202) 457-0650, ext. 231 or