Meet the College Counseling Team
Jody Sweeney (director)
An experienced professional in higher education, Jody graduated from Cornell University in 1994, where she studied human development, concentrating in cognitive development, and rowed varsity crew. She began her admissions career working for Marist College and her alma mater. She also worked in alumni relations at Swarthmore College and interned at the University of Pennsylvania in athletics. After earning her master of education in higher education planning, policy and leadership from the College of William and Mary in 1999, Jody spent eight years working in admissions at Bryn Mawr College, most notably serving as the director of admissions for five years. Jody’s knowledge of a broad array of campuses and competitive admissions enables her to give families expert advice, having had firsthand experience with the Ivy League, state colleges, liberal arts colleges and women’s colleges. Jody is an active member of the Association of College Counselors in Independent Schools (ACCIS) where she serves on the board. She enjoys writing about the college search process and has contributed blogs to various websites including ACCISnet, AdmitHub, CollegeAdmissionBook, and The Choice Blog, New York Times. She is also a proud Penn Charter parent (P ’23, P ’25).
Eric Furda (senior associate director)
Eric J. Furda, a 1987 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, served as Penn’s dean of admissions from 2008 through 2020. While a student at Penn he was a four-year letterman on the varsity lightweight football team and was captain his senior year. Eric has served as a higher education leader for nearly three decades, including the position of executive director of admissions at Columbia University in the City of New York from 1995 until 2004. He was appointed as the inaugural vice president for alumni relations at Columbia University, a position he held from 2004 through 2008. Eric earned a master's degree from Teachers College, Columbia University. Over his career, he has served on or led committees for the Ivy League and the Consortium on Financing Higher Education (COFHE). He held various positions on the board of The Common Application, including chair of the board. Eric was also a member of the scholarship selection committee for The Lenfest Foundation, supporting students from rural counties in Pennsylvania. Eric co-hosts a monthly show on college selection, The Process, on SIRIUSXM Radio; co-taught a Couresera MOOC, How to Apply to College; and is the co-author of a recently released book for families on the college process, The College Conversation. Eric received the A. Philip Randolph Award for Diversity and Inclusion from student leadership at Penn. He is also a proud Penn Charter parent (P ’26, P ’29).
Diona Nicolucci (associate director)
After graduating from Pennsylvania State University in 1991, Diona spent nine years as the executive director of a placement and recruiting firm. Diona joined Penn Charter's College Counseling team in 2001 and since then has been instrumental in bringing the latest technology and resources to the office; she also serves as Penn Charter’s AP coordinator and liaison to the NCAA Eligibility Center. Committed to professional development, Diona is a member of several local and national college counseling organizations and regularly participates in professional conferences and presents on college admissions panels. She is also a proud Penn Charter parent (P ’18, P ’25, P ’27).
Jordan Studevan OPC '09 (assistant director)
Jordan Studevan will return to PC as assistant director of College Counseling to support the ongoing and increasing efforts of our team. Jordan will begin working with the rising juniors in August 2021.
Jordan was the assistant director of college counseling at Saint Mark's School, a boarding school in Southborough, Mass., where he served as house head and a two-sport coach. Jordan started his education career as a City Year AmeriCorps member, working in various Philadelphia schools. In his second year at City Year, Jordan ran a mentoring program for seniors at Mastery Charter School that was centered around post-secondary success. Jordan graduated from Franklin & Marshall College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and government. Jordan also played varsity football for F&M and for PC. Jordan's energy and enthusiasm for working with teenagers, his nuanced understanding of college list development and his experience with athletic recruitment are only a few of the many strengths he brings to the PC College Counseling team.