This year’s Alumna of the Year Award recognized Louella DeVries ’93, president and Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor at Olive Branch Counseling Associates in Oak Forest, Illinois.
Congratulations, also, to the honorary alumni award recipients. They include:
Louella DeVries ’93
Louella holds a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from the Adler School of Professional Psychology. At Olive Branch, she provides psychotherapy and counseling to clients as well as clinical supervision for other therapists. Louella is married to fellow alum Dr. Michael DeVries ’74, professor of psychology at Trinity, and serves the children and women of Huaycan, Peru, through the Light and Leadership Initiative, an organization started by their daughter Lara ’08.
Louella started at Trinity in 1972 as an art studio major, married Michael in 1973, then left to enter the workforce while Michael pursued graduate studies. In 1977, Michael was asked to join the Trinity faculty.
When she first visited Trinity, she said she never dreamed of psychology as a career, but during her time as a stay-at-home mom, Louella started to feel a call to a career outside of the home and to a career in psychology—a call she tried “very hard to ignore.”
“Ignoring that call was simply not in the plan for me. I knew I was supposed to become a psychotherapist in order to answer that call,” said Louella. So, she returned to Trinity in 1992 as a wife and a mother of four very active children. “People often ask how I changed from art to psychology. I simply changed the medium that I work in; it’s still a creative process.”
As a student, she was deeply influenced by a number of professors, including her husband Michael. “Michael had the ability to put it all together so it made sense. Theories of Personality was a class that set the stage for my graduate school work and laid a foundation for my practice of clinical psychology,” said Louella. “I have been blessed to have Michael's academic influence as well as his influence in my personal life.”
Since her graduation, her involvement with Trinity has been ongoing; she has served as an adjunct professor, clinical supervisor at the Cooper Counseling Center, Interim leader, and keynote speaker at the annual alumni conference. She also oversees the internship program through which Trinity students have served at Olive Branch for over 10 years.
Of her role as an alumna, Louella said, “We are all representatives of our school, and that is a pretty heavy responsibility. When I get the opportunity to speak up about Trinity, I do so. I received a great education there and so did my children.”
The DeVries have four grown children: Julia, Anna ’ex 03, Jonathan ex ’06, and Lara ’08. They are members of Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago.