University News

Alphons Richert Scholarship in Psychology Clinical/Community Mental Health

February 4, 2013


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MACOMB, IL -- The Alphons J. Richert Scholarship in Clinical/Community Mental Health has been established by Richert's family and friends in the Department of Psychology at Western Illinois University. The scholarship will assist graduate students in the clinical/community mental health (C/CMH) program, where Richert taught and worked for more than 30 years.

"It seems a fitting and natural thing to do," said Richert's wife, Ruth. "Al devoted many years to the clinical/community mental health program at Western and cared about it very deeply. I feel that he would want to continue helping the program and the students."

Richert earned his bachelor's degree in psychology, a master's degree in clinical psychology and and his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Chicago. He came to Western in Fall 1972 as an assistant professor of psychology, was promoted to associate professor in 1979 and to professor in 1986. In addition to his teaching and research duties, Richert provided clinical services for student and community clients. He became director of the Psychology Clinic and coordinator of the Master's Program in Clinical/Community Mental Health Psychology in 1975. He became a licensed clinical psychologist in the State of Illinois in 1979. Richert authored numerous scholarly articles and presented many papers at professional psychology conferences. He performed all of these duties with distinction until his retirement in 2007.

Richert's book, "Integrating Existential and Narrative Therapy," was published in 2010. He was also active in professional and community service. He consulted with the McDonough County Rehabilitation Center and with Macomb schools throughout his years at WIU. He also coordinated many non-credit conferences, and was an active member of the American Psychological Association, the Midwestern Psychological Association and the Illinois Psychological Association. Richert was instrumental in the formation of the national Council for Applied Masters Programs in Psychology.

The scholarship recipient will be receive a minimum of $1,000 in an academic year, and may receive the scholarship during his/her internship.

"The Alphons Richert Scholarship will be a tremendous boost for the students in the program. Psychology students at the graduate level have few resources to assist with their many expenses, particularly during their internship year when they are working, often without pay," said Tracy Knight, coordinator of the C/CMH program and director of the Psychology Clinic. "This is a great tribute to Al, and the department is grateful."

After retirement, Richert enjoyed being a volunteer tutor in English-as-a-Second-Language classes and singing in the choirs for St. Paul Church and the McDonough Choral Society. He was an avid traveler, fisherman and camper. Richert enjoyed woodworking, cooking and entertaining friends and family, and was a passionate historian of trains. Richert died in late November 2012.

"I am pleased we are able to do this," said Ruth. "The scholarship will celebrate Al's life."


Posted By: Julie Murphy, WIU Foundation (JD-Murphy1@wiu.edu)
Office of University Relations