NIU welcomes new director of Specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy program

DeAnna Harris-McKoy is the director of NIU’s Specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy program.

DeAnna Harris-McKoy, NIU associate professor in the School of Family and Consumer Sciences, has been named director of NIU’s Specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy program. She replaces J. Mark Killmer who retired Sept. 1.

Harris-McKoy is a licensed marriage and family therapist, researcher and social justice advocate with over a decade of clinical experience. Her research focuses on adolescents, Black mental health, and social justice in the field of marriage and family therapy.

“DeAnna comes to us with a vast amount of experience,” said Thomas Pavkov, chair, NIU School of Family and Consumer Sciences. “I’m impressed with her vision of how to strengthen and grow the Specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy program at NIU.”

Harris-McKoy holds a bachelor’s degree in family studies and psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park, a master’s in family therapy from Drexel University and a doctorate degree in marriage and family therapy from The Florida State University.

“I look forward to collaborating with faculty in the College of Health and Human Sciences and with faculty across the university in community informed research,” Harris-McKoy said. “As social justice is a crucial part of my personal and professional self, I was deeply appreciative of the university’s focus on social justice. I look forward to contributing my knowledge, talents and skills to the commitment the university has made to social justice in action.”

Harris-McKoy has a passion for training students to be systemic thinkers and couple and family therapists, and looks forward to the opportunity to work with NIU Huskies.

“I am looking forward to collaborating with Specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy faculty, students, alumni, and other stakeholders to continue the legacy of this program,” Harris McKoy said.

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