Dr. Arthur G. Nikelly's Annual Lectures
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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.