Meet Our MBA Admissions Team
Investment in your future is a significant decision. We're here to help you through the process.
Reach out to our team early in the application process to ensure that our support and expertise are available to you throughout your decision-making. We encourage all candidates to join us for a virtual visit, browse our list of events, and learn more about the scholarships and fellowships available.
J.R. McGrath, Executive Director of Masters Admissions
J.R. joined the Masters Admissions team in 2021. In his role as executive director, J.R. is excited to meet great candidates and help them navigate the admissions process. J.R. holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics and a master’s in college administration from Slippery Rock University. He brings 17 years of experience working with high-achieving college students and is excited to continue that work at the Tepper School. J.R. loves to travel and explore new places and can’t wait to find all the new, cool places Pittsburgh has to offer. He enjoys being active, playing or watching sports, cooking, and spending time with his family.
Douglas Alford, Director of Masters Admissions
Douglas joined the Masters Admissions team in 2022. In his role as director, he leads our admissions marketing and communication Douglas holds a bachelor of arts in Journalism and a Master of Arts in higher education/student personnel from the University of Mississippi. He believes in the importance of higher education and the benefits of an advanced degree. Growing up in a region of the country where access to both was quite limited, he appreciates the wealth of opportunities his graduate degree provided. He values his academic experiences and cherishes the opportunity to serve in a role that allows him to connect prospective students to programs that provide a greater return on their graduate degree investment.
Kari Calvario, Director of Masters Admissions
Kari joined the Masters Admissions team in 2014. In her role as director, Kari leads our admissions operations and is eager to work with students throughout their application process. She also oversees admissions for our MSPM and MSBA programs and enjoys working with our MS candidates. Kari holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from Waynesburg University and a Master of Education from West Virginia Wesleyan College. A self-described “almost-lifelong Pittsburgher,” she and her husband are parents to identical twin girls who keep them on their toes. She also enjoys reading (mostly kids’ books these days) and running (chasing after two, busy toddlers).
Tony Gomez, Senior Associate Director of Masters Admissions
Tony joined the Masters Admissions team in 2022. In his role as senior associate director, he assists with recruitment activities, is the lead for underrepresented minority and LGBTQ+ candidates, collaborates with our diversity partners, and liaises with Tepper affinity student organizations. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish from Westminster College and a Master of Education degree in higher education from Pennsylvania State University. He is passionate about providing access to higher education to historically underserved populations. He enjoys traveling, playing video games, reading, attending live performances, and hanging out with his cat, Pixel.
Amy LaSota, Senior Associate Director of Masters Admissions
Amy joined the Masters Admissions team in 2021. In her role as senior associate director, Amy assists with recruitment activities and manages major admissions events including Diversity Weekend, Women’s Visit Day, and Welcome Weekend. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Chatham University and has over 15 years of experience in admissions and recruitment. Amy has two Scottish Deerhounds and five cats and enjoys true-crime podcasts, international travel, and performing in local musical theatre.
Gina Cecchetti, Associate Director of Masters Admissions
Gina joined the Masters Admissions team in 2018. In her role as associate director, she assists with recruitment activities and is the lead for women’s recruitment and the Tepper Future Business Leaders deferred admission program. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Westminster College and a master of arts degree in higher education management from the University of Pittsburgh. Gina was a competitive figure skater at the Senior Ladies level, the highest competitive level, and still likes to coach her figure skating and hockey players.
Paige Davies, Associate Director of Masters Admissions
Paige joined the Masters Admissions team in 2018. In her role as an associate director, she assists with admission operations activities and recruitment. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Arts in higher education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Paige enjoys reading, hiking, and attending concerts with friends.
Megan Grady, Associate Director of Masters Admissions
Megan (she/her) joined the Masters Admissions team in 2022. In her role as associate director, she assists with student ambassadors and office fellows, and is the lead for alumni outreach. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in music from the College of William & Mary, a Master of Music in clarinet performance from Florida State University, and a Master of Public Management from Carnegie Mellon University. Megan enjoys working with prospective students and helping them assess the best-fit path for their future goals. She enjoys kayaking, camping, tie-dying, reading literature by diverse authors, doing dog sports with her three Australian Shepherds, and riding scooters and motorcycles with her wife and neighbors.
Allison Hill, Assistant Director of Admissions
Allison joined the Masters Admissions team in 2021. In her role as assistant director, she assists with marketing, recruitment, and admissions events. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and German from the University of Pittsburgh. Allison previously worked in the international education field and enjoys traveling to new countries and learning about different cultures. In her free time, Allison enjoys playing/coaching ultimate frisbee, hiking, and reading.
James Spelman, Assistant Director of Admissions
James joined the Masters Admissions team in November 2022. In his role as assistant director, he assists with admissions operations activities and recruitment. He holds a bachelor of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania. James has worked in higher education recruiting since 2020. Prior to this, he worked in the events services industry where he was fortunate to have met and heard from some of the brightest minds in various industries. Outside of the office, James enjoys cooking and trying new recipes, playing board and card games, and spending time at his parent’s lake house in New York.
Diane DeNardo, Admissions CoordinatorDiane joined the Masters Admission team in January of 2022. In her role as an admissions coordinator, Diane assists with all aspects of the application process and enjoys assisting students with completing their Tepper MBA application. Diane holds a bachelor of education in Secondary Education Social Studies and a master of education in American History from Duquesne University. She is an avid urban gardener and loves to be on a tennis court or riding her bike along Pittsburgh’s riverfront trails.
Dunya Khoury, Admissions Coordinator
Dunya joined the Masters Admission team in December 2022. In her role as an admissions coordinator, Dunya serves as the initial point of contact for prospective students who contact the Admissions office through telephone, email, and walk-ins. Dunya holds a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Master of Science in Administrative Leadership from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She loves to bake, spend time with friends and family, and travel.
Paula Wilson, Admissions Coordinator
Paula joined the Masters Admission team in 2013. In her role as an admissions coordinator, Paula assists with events and admissions operations activities. Paula will be your point person to assist you with application components as you apply for your Tepper MBA. She enjoys spending time with her family and has life-long friendships that she treasures. Her hobbies are cake decorating, collecting vintage Christmas ornaments, and being a “handywoman.”