Michele Kerulis, EdD, LCPC, CMPC

Director of Community Engagement

Dr. Michele Kerulis is an associate professor with the Family Institute at Northwestern University and specializes in general mental health, sport & exercise, and lifestyle & wellness. Her years of experience as an athlete, fitness professional, and therapist have
created the foundation for her belief that the skills necessary to achieve success in sport and performance are the same skills necessary to achieve excellence in life.

​Sport and Exercise

Starting her early career as a fitness instructor, Dr. Kerulis quickly became a thought-leader in sport and exercise. Through her academic, professional, and clinical roles, she became a content expert in the field. She developed a Chicago-based graduate master’s
program in counseling with a specialty in sport & health psychology where her students were eligible for clinical licensure (LCPC) in IL and to become certified through the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) and the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC). Several of her graduates have and continue to present at professional conferences, publish their work, and have developed successful businesses of their own.
Dr. Kerulis is certified through the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) as a Certified Mental Performance Consultant (CMPC) and a member of the United States Olympic Committee Sport Psychology Registry. Her involvement in AASP includes Media in Sport Special Interest Group Coordinator, member of the Web Presence Committee, and member of the Ethics Committee. In 2021, Dr. Kerulis was named a Fellow within the Association for Applied Sport Psychology.

A Leader in Counseling

Dr. Kerulis has held many elected leadership positions in local, regional, and national associations including Past President, Illinois Counseling Association; Executive Committee, American Counseling Association (ACA); Midwest Representative to the Governing Council (ACA). Other involvements in professional associations include Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development (AMCD, ACA, Treasurer and Bylaws Committee Chair, Midwestern Representative); was a board member with Illinois Counseling Licensure and Discipline Board, Illinois Mental Health Counseling Association, and Illinois Counselor Educators and Supervisors. Dr. Kerulis is Past Chair of the Midwest Region of the American Counseling Association.

​Dr. Kerulis is currently Core Faculty and Social Media/Marketing Specialist with Counseling@Northwestern, the CACREP-Accredited Master of Arts in Counseling Program from The Family Institute at Northwestern University. She serves as the content expert in counseling ethics and is faculty editor of the Counseling@Northwestern blog which was named one of the best counseling blogs of 2017.

In addition to her professional and academic appointments, Dr. Kerulis serves as a media expert for sport and exercise, lifestyle and wellness, and mental health, and has appeared on outlets such as ABC Chicago, CBS New York, Miami, & Chicago, WGN Chicago, and TMZ.

Awards and Honors

Fellow, Association for Applied Sport Psychology, 2021

AASP recognizes Fellows as professionals who have achieved distinction through significant contributions to academic and professional practice knowledge in sport and exercise psychology.

Leadership Excellence – 5 Star Leader, 2020

Awarded by the Midwest Region of American Counseling Association for excellence in leadership during the pandemic.

Wendell S. Dysinger Award for Outstanding Professional Counseling Publication, 2020

Illinois Counseling Association

Dr. Kerulis was recognized for contributing outstanding publications to the field of counseling. Her Mind Over Marathon™ workbook for the Chicago Psyching Team and her chapter in the Neuroeducation Toolbox: Happy Body, Happy Brain: Physical Exercise for Mental Health and Wellness were both cited innovative and important pieces.

Top Counseling Blog, 2017

2U, Inc.

Counseling@Northwestern’s blog, edited by Dr. Michele Kerulis, was named one of the Top Counseling blogs of 2017. Blogs were selected based on strength and creativity of content, resources, activity level and engagement, and social media presence.

IMHCA Distinguished Service Award, 2016

Illinois Mental Health Counselors Association (IMHCA)

Presented for outstanding service to counseling as a profession in Illinois. My advocacy and service at the state, regional, and national levels were recognized.

Past President Award, 2014

Illinois Counseling Association

Presented for outstanding service as Illinois Counseling Association President and excellence in leadership in the field of professional counseling.

Professor of the Year Nominee, 2014

Adler School of Professional Psychology

Nominated by the student body as a candidate for Professor of the Year.

Innovative Counselor Educator of the Year, 2013

Illinois Counselor Educators & Supervisors

Presented by the Illinois Counselor Educators and Supervisors for work to create an outstanding Illinois-based counseling program that emphasizes sport & health psychology.

Northern Illinois University Outstanding Woman Award, 2012

Northern Illinois University

Presented by the NIU Presidential Commission on the Status of Women for significant contributions to NIU through scholarship, service, community involvement, and leadership in university activities.

Recent Presentations and Publications:


Kerulis, M. (2022, February).Crisis communication. Disaster Management and Community Emergency Preparedness Initiative. Feinburg School of Medicine, Northwestern University. Chicago, IL.

Kerulis, M. (2021, November). Self, strength, success. Tenesee Counsleing Association.

Kerulis, M. (2021, November). Awakening your wellness philosophy. Arkansas Counseling Association, Little Rock, Arkansas.

Kerulis, M. & Montgomery, B. (2021, August). Psyching runners up. The Chicago Psyching Team’s response to pandemic-era virtual marathons. International Society for Quality of Life Studies. Gilbert, AZ.

Kerulis, M., Shinitzky, H., & Eddington, S. (2021, August). Mental health in the Media: A how-to guide for clinicians. Presented at American Psychological Association.

Kerulis, M. (2021, May). Farman Fellows leadership training, Project Koru, Hood River, OR.


Kerulis, M. (2018). Sport & exercise in families. In J. Lebow, A. Chambers, & D. Breunlin (Eds.), Encyclopedia of couple and family therapy. New York, NY: Springer.

Kerulis, M. (2012). Aiding student-athletes with identity development. Journal of Counseling in Illinois, 2(1), 39–51.

Kerulis, M., & Wilsea, D. (2020). Happy body happy brain: Physical exercise for mental health and wellness. In E. T. Miller, & E. Beeson (Eds.), The neuroeducation toolbox: Collaborative approaches to infusing neuroscience principles in counseling and psychotherapy. Cognella Academic Publishing. (Winner of the 2020 Wendell S. Dysinger Award for Outstanding Professional Counseling Publication.)

Kerulis, M. (2019). Experiment in sport. In J. Taylor (Ed.), Comprehensive applied sport psychology: From attitude to athletic success and everything in between and beyond. Routledge.

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