On April 18, 2023 Dr. Michele Kerulis was honored with the Spirit of Excellence Alumni Award from the Lake Park Educational Foundation for her cutting edge work in the fields of mental health counseling and sport psychology. This award recognizes leadership, excellence, and achievement.
Dr. Michele Kerulis honored with the Spirit of Excellence Alumni Award from the
Lake Park Educational Foundation
Photo:Lake Park High Educational Foundation
Dr. Kerulis’s leadership in the counseling field took place not only in Illinois or the Midwest Region, but also nation-wide. She volunteered as a student counselor with the Illinois Counseling Association (ICA) and her talents were quickly recognized. In 2013, she was elected as ICA President with a focus on counselor wellness. This began her work at the Regional level, and in 2016 she was elected by nearly 11,000 members of the Midwest Region of American Counseling Association (ACA) to serve as the Region’s representative to the ACA Governing Council. In that same year, she became the Treasurer of the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development (AMCD), a division of ACA, and was also the AMCD Regional Representative in 2019. Dr. Kerulis is currently the ACA Treasure and member of the Executive Committee.
In addition to counseling, Dr. Kerulis is known among her sport psychology colleagues as she is currently a member of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) Ethics Committee, Coordinator of the AASP Media in Sport Special Interest Group, and is a regular continuing education presenter within AASP. She is also a member of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee Sport Psychology Registry, AASP Certified Mental Performance Consultant, Director of the Chicago Psyching Team, and Mental Health and Sport Psychology Consultant for the U.S. Soccer Federation. Additionally, Dr. Kerulis developed a graduate program in Sport and Health Psychology for which she gained accreditation through the State of Illinois (IDFPR), National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC), and Association of Applied Sport Psychology (AASP). This trio was unprecedented and the accreditations allowed her students to become licensed counselors in Illinois, nationally certified counselors, and nationally certified sport psychology consultants through AASP.
Dr. Kerulis is a published author. Her works include academic textbook chapters, peer-reviewed articles, and mainstream media publications, including the award winning pieces Mind Over Marathon and Happy Body Happy Brain: Physical Exercise for Mental Health and Wellness. She currently has over 46,000 readers on her Psychology Today blog, Sporting Moments.
Outside of work, Dr. Kerulis enjoys volunteering with organizations that are important to her including the Bank of America Chicago Marathon Medical Committee, Camp Koru Fellows Program, and Imerman Angels Mentor Angels. She is a certified yoga teacher enjoys her own yoga practice, running, and boating.
Part of the Spirit of Excellent Award includes honorees naming teachers who were influential to them. Dr. Kerulis named her theater teacher, Michale Dice Sr., as an influence on her current success. Through Dr. Kerulis' theater training, she learned about stage presence, confident speaking, and audience engagement. These skills helped her as a group fitness instructor, counselor, and public speaker. Dr. Kerulis' classmate and friend, Michale Dice, Jr., accepted Dr. Kerulis's tribute to Mr. Dice, Sr., as a Distinguished Educator.
Alumni, classmates, and friends Michale Dice, Jr. and Dr. Michele Kerulis accept their awards at the Spirit of Excellence Banquet.
Photo: Michele Kerulis