PNW National Recognitions: Marriage and Family Therapy Program Students, Former Director Receive 12 Honors

Wetchler-JoeThe former director and 11 students of Purdue University Northwest’s Marriage and Family Therapy master’s degree program were nationally recognized at the recent American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) conference.

Professor and former 25-year program director Joseph Wetchler of Chicago received the AAMFT’s 2016 Outstanding Contribution to Marriage and Family Therapy Award.

Those who received student awards are Gisela Leija of Troy, Mich., Master’s Thesis Award, and Bridget Sanchez of Highland, Student Research Award.

Selected for entry into the AAMFT Minority Fellowship Program, which provides training and financial support to students who desire to further their skills working with underrepresented and underserved populations, are Angelique Foye of Griffith, Song Paik of Merrillville, Rachel Moore of Festus, Mo., Bailey Mack of Griffith, Shelby Manning of Bolingbrook, Ill., Brogan Crosby of Highland, Sydney Ray of Birmingham, Ala., Stephanie Sullivan of Ortonville, Mich. and John Wall of Munster.

Former director honored
Wetchler, an AAMFT Clinical Fellow and Approved Supervisor, directed the Marriage and Family Therapy program at the former Purdue University Calumet in Hammond from 1988 through 2013. He advanced a rigorous and high quality program of study by requiring students to complete a thesis as a graduation requirement. Wetchler continues to teach and routinely encourages students to publish papers written for class in peer-reviewed journals.

“While I am honored to receive this prestigious award, I must thank my colleagues and the PNW administration who have pushed and supported the MFT Program and me,” Wetchler said. “This award is a reflection on all of us.”

Wetchler is associate editor of the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, former editor of the Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy, and he serves on the editorial boards of several other professional journals.

He has authored or edited nine books, 63 articles in peer-reviewed journals and 16 book chapters. He also has made 96 presentations at national, state and local conferences. Additionally, several textbooks he has written routinely are used as required MFT program reading.

“His devotion to Marriage and Family Therapy permeates everything he does,” current Purdue Northwest Marriage and Family Therapy Program Director Megan J. Murthy said. “

Marriage and Family Therapy at PNW
The Purdue Northwest Marriage and Family Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education. The three-year program attracts student applicants from across the nation and around the world.

The program stresses a three-pronged approach of theory, research and practice and has built a reputation of providing rigorous clinical and academic training. The program also claims a 100 percent placement rate among graduates, who either gain employment or admission into a related doctoral program.

Purdue University Northwest
Purdue University Northwest (PNW), part of the Purdue University system, is a comprehensive regional university comprised of two Northwest Indiana campuses. PNW was established in early 2016 with the unification of the former Purdue University North Central at Westville and Purdue University Calumet at Hammond. With more than 15,000 students and nearly 70 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, Purdue Northwest is Indiana’s fifth largest public university. For more information about PNW, visit