Dr. Arthur G. Nikelly's Annual Lectures

The Dr. Arthur G. Nikelly annual lecture is established in 2012 in honour of the memory of Dr. Arthur G. Nikelly, a clinical psychologist and Associate Professor of Health Sciences, who began his career at the University of Illinois in 1959. Dr. Arthur Nikelly's life was a testimony to the importance of human rights, social justice, freedom or expression, and educational achievement. During his lifetime, his work and philanthropy furthered trese values not only at the University and in the communities of Urbana-Champaign and Chicago, but also at the village of Vritsa, birthplace of his parents, George J. and Mary G. (Koletti) Nikelly, on the Greek island of Lesvos. The Dr. Arthur Nikelly's annual lectures have become possible due to a donation funded from the assets of Dr. Arthur G. Nikelly to the University of Illinois by his sister, Eva G. Nikelly, of Morton Grove, Illinois. In line with the endowment agreement between Eva G. Nikelly and the University, a mutidisciplinary comittee of faculty, students, administrators, and consulting members of the Modern Greek Studies Program is convened every year and decides the name of the scholar to be invited for the annual lecture.

Dr. Arthur G. Nikelly

Arthur G. Nikelly, Ph.D., was a clinical psychologist and Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The son of George and Mary (Koletti) Nikelly, he was survived by his sister Eva, of Morton Grove, Illinois. Arthur G. Nikelly received a bachelor's and a master's degree from Roosvelt University in Chicago and a Ph.D. in Psychology from Ottawa University in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He served in the US Army during the Korean War. From 1959 to the mid 1980's he served as a clinical psychologist at McKinley Health Center and Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He was a member of the American Psychological Association and other professional societies. A prolific scholar on many topics, Dr. Nikelly had several books and over 50 scholarly publications to his credit. His books included Mental Health for Students: A Guide for Adjusting to College (1966); Techniques for Behavior Change (1972); Achieving Competence and Fulfillment (1977); Techniques for Behavior Change: Applications of Adlerian Theory (1979). His publications addressed greed, nostalgia, depression, the challenge of immigrants to the helping professions, group psychotherapy with Greek immigrants, demons and the evil eye in Greece, the role of environment in mental health, sexual deviation in college students, the schizophrenic in college, ethical issues in research on student protest, alcoholism, techniques for counseling African-American students, health care and mental health care in Cuba, the impact of television on social interest, drug advertisements and the medicalization of depression in women. Dr. Nikelly's last book, The Romantic Poetry of Greece (1880-1960) (2009) translated the work of famous Greek poets into English for the first time. Dr. Nikelly left a legacy of good deeds. A major philanthropist, he initiated the design and construction of Nikelly outpatient health clinic (Nikelleio Iatreio) together with his sister, Eva and brother John, in their hometown village of Vrisa on the island of Lesvos, Greece. They also provided funds for all medical equipment and office furnishings. The clinic opened in 2011. Dr. Nikelly also bought a century-old building and oversaw its adaptive reuse into the Vrisas Library (Bibliothiki Vrisas), to be opened shortly. Arthur, Eva, and John also donated land for the new St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and natural reserve in Vatera, a seaside village near Vrisa. The church opened in 2011. Long before it became fashionable, Dr. Nikelly lived a sustainable lifestyle. He lived modestly in a small home, walked to work, maintained a regular health and fitness routine, and engaged in healthy eating habits based on a Mediterranean diet. He received awards for his swimming abilities and swam an average of one to two miles per day. He worked our regularly at the University recreation center. Dr. Arthur G. Nikelly passed away October 19, 2011.

First Annual Dr. Arthur G. Nikelly Lecture (AY 2012-13)

The first Dr. Arthur G. Nikelly annual lecture took place on Monday April 8 2013 at 17:00 on the 3rd floor of the Levis Center. In line with the endowment agreement between Eva G. Nikelly and the University, a multidisciplinary committee of faculty, students and administrators, and members of the Modern Greek Studies Program advisory board was convened on November 1 2012 to select the name of the scholar to be invited for the first such annual lecture. The multidisciplinary committee decided to invite Professor Thomas W. Gallant, holder of the Nicholas Family Endowed Chair in Modern Greek History and Archaeology a the University of California in San Diego to be the first “Dr. Arthur G. Nikelly” lecturer. “I am both honored and pleased to accept your invitation to present the inaugural Arthur G. Nikelly lecture, which I am flattered and humbled to receive” were Professor Gallant’s exact words to the selection committee’s invitation. Professor Gallant’s lecture was entitled: “Writing Greek History in the 21st Century”, in which it was argued that the time is ripe for a radical departure in the ways we conceptualize Greek history in general and social history in particular. There is a movement among historians to turn away from the nation state as the field’s primary geographical frame of analysis and to opt instead for regional transnational perspectives. Taking this as his starting point, Professor Gallant explained why a social history of the Greeks must adopt a framework that is transnationalist, that connect global developments with local experiences and that is broadly comparative. In addition to articulating the difficulties historians face, Professor Gallant highlighted the topics and themes on which such as study should focus. The first annual Dr. Arthur G. Nikelly lecture was videorecorded and a video was uploaded on the program’s website

Professor Thomas W. Gallant (Biographical Info, April 2013):

Dr. Thomas W. Gallant holds the Nicholas Family Endowed Chair in Modern Greek History at the University of California, San Diego. He received his Ph.D. in Classical Archaeology from the University of Cambridge in 1982. He is the author of seven books and over forty articles; among his books are Modern Greece, Experiencing Dominion: Culture, Identity and Power in the British Mediterranean and Violent August: The 1918 Anti-Greek Riot in Toronto, which had been made into a prize-winning documentary film and which is now available in a new, bilingual edition. Published this month is his latest book: Πολιτισμός, ταυτότητα και εξουσία στα Επτάνησα, 1817-1864: Βιώματα αποικιακής κυριαρχίας (Athens: Alexandria, 2013) and he has forthcoming Murder on Black Mountain: Love and Death on a 19th Century Greek Island (Princeton UP) and The Edinburgh History of the Greeks, volume 9. 1768-1913: Transitions and Transformations Transnationally. He is also the editor-in-chief of the ten volume Edinburgh series. He has been the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships, and is a past president of the Modern Greek Studies Association.

Click the video below to watch the First Annual Dr. Arthur G. Nikelly Lecture: "Writing Greek History in the 21st century" by Professor Thomas W. Gallant
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