Tom Ollendick, University Distinguished Professor of Psychology in the College of Science at Virginia Tech, has been conferred the title of University Distinguished Professor Emeritus by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The emeritus title may be conferred on retired professors, associate professors, and administrative officers who are specially recommended to the board by Virginia Tech President Tim Sands in recognition of exemplary service to the university. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board receive a copy of the resolution and a certificate of appreciation.

A member of the Virginia Tech Department of Psychology since 1980, Ollendick received several National Institute of Mental Health grants for his clinical and research interests, ranging from the study of diverse forms of child psychopathology to the assessment, treatment, and prevention of these child disorders from a social learning/social cognitive theory perspective. His collaborations with scholars across the world brought international visibility to Virginia Tech. He also served as director of the renowned Child Study Center at Virginia Tech and was an affiliated member of the Virginia Tech Autism Clinic.

Ollendick was the author or co-author of more than 350 refereed research publications, more than 100 book chapters, and 38 books. From 2017 to 2019, Ollendick took on the Herculean task of lead editor of the latest incarnation of the "Oxford Handbook of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology," a text that is now used worldwide by academics and practitioners of child psychology and psychiatry.

Oxford University Press approached Ollendick in early 2017 about editing the book, noting his background as one of the world’s leading researchers in childhood psychiatric disorders and their treatment.

Upon publication, Oxford described the book as “a state-of-the-science volume providing comprehensive coverage of the psychological problems and disorders of childhood. Conceptually rich and evidence-based, this handbook is an essential resource for students, practitioners, and researchers, providing a cutting-edge compendium of the latest theoretical and empirical developments by leaders of the discipline.”

Ollendick said at the time, “This is a volume that is timely and cutting-edge and we are honored to be the editors. We really do look for it to set the stage for the field of clinical child and adolescent psychology for years to come.”

The edition contains 51 chapters covering a wide range of topics from conceptual and empirical issues to assessing and treating clinical disorders and special problems in childhood and adolescence, along with future directions for the field. Chapter authors range from fellow Virginia academics, including from Virginia Commonwealth University, and abroad, including Australia, Canada, England, Israel, the Netherlands, and South Korea.

Ollendick received numerous professional honors and awards including Distinguished Research Contributions to the Field of Clinical Child Psychology in 2007 from the American Psychological Association, an honorary doctorate from Stockholm University in 2011, the Career/Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ACBT) in 2013, the Lifetime Achievement Award for Scientific Contributions from the Society of Clinical Psychology in 2017, the Academy of Cognitive Therapy’s lifetime achievement award in 2019, and the 2020 Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology’s Distinguished Scientist Award.

He was also recognized as a Pioneer of Behavior and Cognitive Therapy by the ABCT in 2019.

In the classroom, Ollendick taught both undergraduate and graduate courses. He served as the mentor and dissertation advisor for 45 doctoral students and served on numerous master’s degree and doctoral committees in psychology.

Ollendick earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, in 1967, and master’s and doctoral degrees in clinical child psychology from Purdue University in 1969 and 1971, respectively. He then worked a postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute for Clinical Training and Research, the Devereux Foundation, Devon, Pennsylvania, before launching his academic career as an assistant professor of psychology at Indiana State University in 1972.

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