Terrence KollerPh.D. in Psychology, 1980
Executive Director/Legislative Liaison, Illinois Psychological Association
On August 28, 1990, an F5 tornado, clocking wind speeds between 261-318 mph, swept through Plainfield, Ill., killing 29 people and injuring 350. This tragedy inspired Terrence Koller, at that time president of the Illinois Psychological Association (IPA), to help begin one of the country's first mental health disaster-response collaborations with the Red Cross. "Since then, the American Psychological Association has developed a national Disaster Mental Health Network to encourage psychologists to volunteer during other disasters, " says Koller, now the IPA's executive director, a role he has held for the past 15 years. "My projects are many, " he explains about his role with the association, "but I ultimately work to protect and advance the profession of psychology and the people we serve through legislation and advocacy. " Besides heading the IPA, Koller is a clinical assistant professor of psychology at the University of Illinois Medical Center and has a private practice specializing in the treatment of children and adolescents.
While completing his master's degree at Xavier University, Koller learned of the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Program at IIT College of Psychology through a friend who was enrolled in the school's Industrial/Organizational Psychology Program. Before joining the IPA, Koller held several positions, including director of psychological services for contracts with Project Head Start and the Chicago Commission on Urban Opportunities Model Cities Day Care Program. He was also director of psychological training for the Michael Reese Health Plan. At the conclusion of his term as IPA president in 1991, Koller was presented with the Distinguished Illinois Psychologist Award.