Department of Psychology at Illinois State University


Department History

Department of Psychology Celebrates 40 Years

Since its founding in 1857, Illinois State Normal University's primary mission was the training of teachers. Academic programs were organized into divisions and departments. Psychology classes, which focused on school psychology and guidance, were offered through the College of Education in the Education and Psychology Department. In 2007, the Department of Psychology, now in the College of Arts and Sciences, celebrated its 40th anniversary in conjunction with the Illinois State's sesquicentennial (150th) anniversary. The Department's and University's events coincided with Homecoming 2007

The Department's Early Years

On July 1, 1964, the University was renamed Illinois State University. Beginning with fall semester 1966, the structure of the University changed to reflect a new mission and the associated expansion of program offerings. The College of Arts and Sciences was created and the Department of Psychology became a separate department within the college. The department was first located in 420 Schroeder Hall.

The new undergraduate degree in psychology was directed toward providing the student with a solid liberal arts education. Also in fall 1966, the department began offering a master's degree in psychology. Available sequences included clinical, counseling, educational, experimental psychology, and measurement. The master's degree in school psychology, formerly in the Education Department, was moved to the Department of Psychology. As the department's program and training standards were expanded, students were required to complete an internship, often within the local elementary and high schools.

Radio Classes


A complete revamp of the psychology undergraduate curriculum was instituted to give more freedom of choice to the students. One innovation in 1969 was offering the general education psychology course by radio! Students could enroll and participate by listening to radio lectures and phoning in their questions.


Also in 1969, the department relocated to a house at 225 North University Street, one block north of Schroeder Hall. The first chair of the Department of Psychology was Walter Friedhoff. Faculty listed in the 1967-1968 catalog included the following: Department House

  • Professors Brown, Crist, Friedhoff, Gnagey, Marzolf, McCoy, Meyering, and Tiedeman
  • Associate Professors Cashen, Clark, Fitzpatrick, Hemenway, Hogan, Holmes, Kirchner, Lemke, Little, Livers, and Trupe
  • Assistant Professors Chesebro, Hutter, Johnson, Jorgensen, Lewis, Ramseyer, Rumery, Swank, Vernon, and Waimon
  • Instructors Bell, Brigham, Dines, and Goebel.

In the mid-1970s, the Department moved into its present location in DeGarmo Hall. The second chair of the Department of Psychology was Macon Williams.

The Department through the 1990s

Faculty listed in the 1980-1981 catalog included the following:

  • Professors Cashen, Crist, Friedhoff, Gamsky, Gnagey, Hogan, Jacks, Johnson, Lamb, Lemke, McCoy, Ramseyer, and Vernon
  • Associate Professors Berk, Carrington, Chesebro, Gill, Grupe, Leicht, Lewis, Manelis, Redding, Rumery, Schmaltz, Vinitsky, J. Williams, and M. Williams
  • Assistant Professors Barrow, Baum, Berger, R. Bergner, Chalmers, DeSantis, Goebel, Goldstein, Graybill, Hardwick, Harris, Hogan, House, Hutter, Moore, Overton, Presser, Reeder, Sodetz, Swerdlik, and Waimon
  • Instructor Tharp
  • Lecturers L. Bergner, Springer, Volle, and Wedding

Psychology ResearchDuring the 1980s, two graduate sequences and one doctoral program were added. Beginning in 1981, the department offered a graduate program in industrial organizational psychology. In the mid-1980s, a developmental sequence was added; since its inception, the sequence was interdisciplinary and focused on lifespan development.

Several years later in 1989, the Illinois Board of Higher Education approved a doctoral degree program in school psychology. Graduates of the doctoral program, with the required post-doctoral experience, are eligible for the state licensing examination for clinical psychologists, as well as for the state and national certification examinations for school psychologists.

In 1991, the school psychology master's degree program was upgraded to the specialist degree. Graduates of the specialist program are eligible to sit for the state and national certification examinations for school psychologists. The specialist program is a three-year program and is accredited by the National Association of School Psychologists and the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.

The third chair of the Department of Psychology was Larry Alferink. Faculty listed in the 1990-1991 catalog included the following:

  • Professors R. Bergner, Berk, Crist, Gamsky, Gnagey, Hogan, Johnson, Lamb, Lemke, Ramseyer, Redding, Reeder, Schmaltz, and Swerdlik
  • Associate Professors Alferink, Binning, Goldstein, Graybill, Hardwick, Harris, House, Landau, Leicht, Pryor, Rumery, Stevens, and M. Williams
  • Assistant Professors Catanzaro, Creasey, Jarvis, Laurent, Nastasi, Pfost, Walczyk, and K. Williams
  • Instructional Faculty Campbell-Raufer and Kroll
  • Visiting Faculty Moore
  • Lecturers Archer, Mark, Overton, Phillips, Roberts, Surber, and Zylan.


After John Pryor served a year as acting chair, David Patton Barone became the department's fourth chair. In 2000, the master's degree program in psychology was reorganized into four sequences: cognitive and behavioral sciences (formerly known as experimental psychology), developmental psychology, industrial/organizational-social psychology, and quantitative psychology (formerly known as measurement-statistics).

Since the College of Education had discontinued its counseling degree program and Illinois had institute licensing, the Psychology Department created a separate master's degree program in clinical-counseling psychology. It was approved in 2002 by the Illinois Board of Higher Education, and the first class of clinical-counseling psychology graduate students started in fall 2003.

The undergraduate program has been revised in various ways. Incoming students take an introductory psychology course in small sections. All majors take a one-credit, eight-week course on careers in psychology. Statistics courses now include two to three hours per week in the department's 31-station computer classroom. The research methods course also includes weekly laboratory/discussion sections.

Psychology Research Advanced laboratory courses in research methods are taught in the DeGarmo Hall human (former animal) research suite and in psychology faculty members' animal laboratories in Felmley Hall. The new capstone options for seniors provide out-of-class experiences that incorporate knowledge and skills acquired in the classroom. Capstone options include research apprenticeships, teaching assistants, internships, honors thesis and presentation of the research at the honors colloquium, or participation in senior seminar.

In addition to undergraduate and graduate programs, the department also operates the Psychological Services Center (PSC). Originally identified as Counseling Services or "the Clinic," the PSC utilizes undergraduate students and graduate students in the school psychology and the clinical-counseling psychology programs to provide psychological evaluations and therapeutic services primarily to underserved children in the local community. The PSC has evolved over the years to meet the changing needs of students, parents, school systems, and the community with the services it supports.

In 2007, the Department of Psychology celebrated its 40th anniversary. The Graduate Programs in School Psychology also celebrated its 50th anniversary with a special dinner that included current and former faculty, students, and alumni.

Marzolf Center plaqueDuring Homecoming 2008, the Psychological Services Center hosted a naming ceremony and dedication for the Stanley S. Marzolf Center for the Psychological Assessment and Treatment of Children and Adolescents. In 1945, Dr. Marzolf developed the Psychological Counseling Service, an entity that used graduate psychology students who provided diagnostic and counseling services to children and adolescents in area schools, and also serviced the mental health needs of university students. Dr. Marzolf served as the director for 25 years. A plaque was installed in the Marzolf Center lobby recognizing Dr. Marzolf's substantial contribution to Illinois State, our students, and countless clients who have benefited from the services provided over the years.

In the fall of 2009, a monograph was published, The History of Psychology at Illinois State University: Expanding Opportunities 1857-2009, based on the collaborative work of current and former psychology faculty. This historical monograph presents the development and growth of the study of psychology in our undergraduate and graduate programs. There is also a chapter on each of our graduate programs and sequences (School Psychology, Clinical-Counseling Psychology, Cognitive and Behavioral Sciences, Developmental Psychology, Industrial/Organizational-Social Psychology, and Quantitative Psychology).