Alumni News

John Westefeld (Ph.D. '78) elected president of APA Division 17

John Westefeld (A.B. '72, M.P.H. '73, Ph.D. '78) was recently elected president of Society of Counseling Psychology Division 17, a division of the American Psychological Association. According to its Web site, this multifaceted organization brings together psychologists, students and affiliates who are dedicated to promoting all aspects of professional psychology and supporting the advancement of counseling psychology. 

Westefled is a professor in the Counseling Psychology program at The University of Iowa’s College of Education.  He previously served as chair of this program.

Westefeld’s areas of specialty include suicide, crisis intervention, severe weather phobia and men’s health issues. He has focused much of his research and scholarly work on understanding and preventing suicide in high school and college settings. His work has been published in the Counseling and Clinical Psychology Journal and the Journal of Family Violence.

Prior to his position at Iowa, Westefeld was a member of the faculty and head of the Counseling Psychology program at Auburn University in Alabama and was on the faculty for one year at Hood College in Maryland.

In 1978, Westefeld was one of the first two graduates of the Counseling Psychology Ph.D. program at the UNC School of Education. The program was later discontinued, but the School of Education now offers an option within the Ed.D. program in Educational Leadership to train leaders for central office positions as Directors/Assistant Superintendents for Student Support Services, including school counseling, school psychology, school social work and special education.