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Oakton Professor Receives Prestigious Illinois Counseling Association Award

The Illinois Counseling Association (ICA) honored John D’Anca, Psy.D. and Ed.D., professor of student development and psychology at Oakton Community College, with the 2012 Wendell S. Dysinger Award, which recognizes an outstanding professional publication. At its annual conference in Springfield last month, the ICA paid tribute to D’Anca as the lead author of Understanding Abnormal Psychology: Clinical and Scientific Perspectives (BVT Publishing, 2012).

Established in 1983 to honor Dysinger, who co-founded the ICA, the award is presented annually for an exceptional published article focusing on professional counseling, human development, or student affairs.

“With all the talented practitioners in the state, I’m truly honored to be singled out,” said D’Anca, who joined Oakton in 1979 as assistant professor of student development and was promoted to his current position in 1990. “The award was unexpected, but it’s nice to be recognized for compiling years of teaching experience so that others may benefit.”    

A member of the Illinois Mental Health Counselors Association (IMHCA) Board, D’Anca formerly served as its vice president and president. He is a member of the ICA’s Governing Council, and serves on the Board of the Coalition of Illinois Counseling Organizations (CICO), which works with the Illinois Legislature to represent and advocate for mental health issues. D’Anca has also been a champion for mental health issues on a national level, working with the American Counseling Association.

Between 2008 and 2011, he sat on the Illinois Faculty Advisory Council, which advises the Illinois Board of Higher Education on policy issues. In 2003, he was the recipient of a National Award for Teaching Excellence from the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) and in 2011, D’Anca received a Distinguished Service Award from the IMHCA.

In addition to his work at Oakton, D’Anca, a resident of Highland Park, has been in private practice since 1973, specializing in trauma issues. He presents and consults frequently throughout the country and the state.

D’Anca holds a Psy.D. in clinical psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology and an Ed.D. in curriculum and supervision from Northern Illinois University. Prior to his Oakton position, D’Anca served as associate director/director of counseling services for the Ball Foundation in Glen Ellyn.

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