Alumni News

School of Education presents annual alumni awards

Excellence In Teaching Award
John Scott Westefeld

Few people have done more to improve our understanding of suicide and suicide prevention among adolescents and college students than John Scott Westefeld.

John graduated in 1978 from the School’s doctoral program in counseling psychology. He also holds two other degrees from Carolina, earning a Bachelor of Arts in psychology in 1972 and a Master of Public Health in 1973. While at Carolina, he served as a teaching assistant for Dr. Gerald Unks, and for the Theories of Counseling and pre-practicum courses.

After earning his doctorate, John moved on to Iowa State University where he served as an adjunct professor and counseling psychologist from 1978 to 1982. He later was an assistant professor of psychology at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland; and an assistant and associate professor in the Department of Counseling and Counseling Psychology at Auburn University. In 1991, he was hired with tenure in the Division of Psychological and Quantitative Foundations at the University of Iowa.

Recently, John was elected president of the Society of Counseling Psychology, Division 17 of the American Psychological Association - one of the most important national professional organizations in the counseling field. The division recognized his accomplishments in 2001 with the Outstanding Contribution Award for his work on “Suicide” published in the journal, The Counseling Psychologist. He also has received the two highest distinctions in counseling psychology: board certification by the American Board of Professional Psychology, and fellow status in the American Psychological Association.

John’s outstanding teaching also earns accolades. In 1990, he received the Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award from the Alabama Psychological Association, and in 2004 he won the University of Iowa Collegiate Teaching Award.

In the years since his graduation, John has remained an interested and active supporter of the counseling programs at Carolina. In 1987, it was his initiative that led to the establishment of the Gregory D. Berrier Counseling Psychology Practitioner Award, given annually to a doctoral candidate who demonstrates outstanding counseling skills. In the spring of 2009, he was instrumental in organizing an alumni reunion of the counseling programs of the School of Education.

For his many academic achievements, his outstanding instruction, and his important research contributions to the field of counseling psychology, we honor John Scott Westefeld with the Excellence in Teaching Award.