He's a professor of religious studies, and was driving to class when he first heard on the radio that Pope Benedict would be resigning.
"I said to myself, 'The pope can't resign!'" McKale said.
Soon McKale realized the news was real, and he knew the Benedict's health influenced his decision.
"I was surprised but not shocked," he said. "He [Benedict] realizes when your physical abilities begin to go, you can't do what needs to be done...let's face it, the pope is a world figure now."
In March, many are expecting Catholic Cardinals to elect a new pope, and McKale said he wouldn't be surprised to see the next pope come from a country in Latin America.
"The strongest growth is in Latin America," he said. "It's been very innovative in terms of theology."
McKale said Honduras Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez is a strong contender to become next pope.
"I've met him three times," McKale added. "He's very dynamic, speaks languages, is a pilot and is relatively young."
Cardinal Rodriguez is 70 years old. Benedict was 78 when he was elected.
McKale said during the last papal election in 2005, Rodriguez reportedly received quite a few votes.
Penn State sophomore Mary Claire, vice-president of the Penn State University Catholic Student Association didn't speculate on who she thinks the next pope would be, but she respects Benedict's decision to step down.
"His humility he's shown, especially with stepping down is very important," she said.
As for the next pope, Claire isn't concerned about geography.
"I don't think it's about where he's from," she said. "It's all about what his values are."