- The Board of Trustees of The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (TCSPP) voted unanimously on Friday to appoint Dr. Michele Nealon-Woods as the next president of the 31-year-old institution. Dr. Nealon-Woods succeeds Dr. Michael Horowitz, who served TCSPP as president for 10 years and recently moved to a new role as president and CEO of the nonprofit TCS Education System, which includes The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Dr. Horowitz leaves a remarkable legacy, having grown the institution from a single-program, single-campus institution with 215 students to a prominent multi-campus leader in graduate psychology and behavioral sciences education, with 20 programs and more than 3,000 students.
"Our decision was an affirmation of the experience and commitment of Dr. Nealon-Woods, who has served The Chicago School mission for more than 15 years," said Ricardo Grunsten, chairman of the Board of Trustees of TCSPP. "As the eighth president of TCSPP, Dr. Nealon-Woods will be the voice of a national organization that is a recognized leader in professional education and an advocate for expanding psychology's benefits to more people and communities."
When Dr. Horowitz announced in March of this year that he would be transitioning full-time to lead TCS Education System, the board began a nationwide search for a new president. Led by a representative committee of faculty, student, alumni, and staff delegates and co-chaired by trustees Edward Bergmark and George Mitchell, the search committee identified and evaluated more than three dozen potential candidates. The three finalists each participated in forums open to all students, staff, faculty, alumni, and trustees. Feedback from these played an important part in the board's final, unanimous decision.
"I am deeply honored to accept the position as president of The Chicago School of Professional Psychology," said Dr. Nealon-Woods. "I am proud to serve an institution that is at the same time innovative and steadfast in its commitment to preparing students to become outstanding practitioners while providing direct service to the larger community."
Dr. Nealon-Woods specializes in the treatment of children, adolescents, and their families. She began her career in clinical psychology in Dublin, Ireland, and moved to the United States in 1994, where she worked with adolescents in group homes and foster care. She received a Psy.D. from TCSPP in 2000, and began teaching at the Chicago campus while continuing to work in a variety of clinical settings with diverse groups, including inpatient, outpatient, community mental health, forensic, and academic settings. In 2006, Dr. Nealon-Woods received The Chicago School's Distinguished Teaching Award in the area of public service teaching. She became chair of the Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.) Department in 2007 and the first dean of the school's Los Angeles Campus in 2008 before being named campus president for the Los Angeles, Westwood, and Irvine campuses of TCSPP in 2009.
Under her direction, the three campuses of TCSPP in Southern California have grown to nearly 600 students in two years. Students have access to more than 220 practicum sites within the community, including the school's community counseling center in Westwood. Dr. Nealon-Woods is responsible for establishing partnerships with local agencies and organizations including the City of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Police Department, the U.S. Veterans Initiative, and A Better LA.
Dr. Nealon-Woods will formally begin her tenure as president of TCSPP on July 1, 2010.
About The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Founded in 1979, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (TCSPP) is the nation's leading nonprofit graduate school dedicated exclusively to the applications of psychology and related behavioral sciences. The school is an active member of the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology, which has recognized TCSPP for its distinguished service and outstanding contributions to cultural diversity and advocacy. The school's community service initiatives have resulted in three consecutive years of recognition on the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service to disadvantaged youth. In 2009, the school was named to The Chronicle of Higher Education's annual list of "Great Colleges to Work For." Campuses are located in Chicago; in Los Angeles, Westwood, and Irvine, California; and a new campus is proposed for Washington, D.C., which is awaiting final approval from the Higher Learning Commission. Programs are offered on-ground and in an Online format.
For more information about The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, visit www.thechicagoschool.edu
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Contact: Lynne Baker