2011 Distinguished Alumni Recipients
The Honorable Jeffrey Ford received his B.S. degree in psychology from the University of Illinois in 1973 and his J.D. degree from the University of Illinois Law School in 1976. While in law school he spent 1Â½ years as an intern at the Champaign County State’s Attorney office and began working there as an Assistant State’s Attorney in December 1976. On July 1, 1985 after 8Â½ years in the State’s Attorney Office and in private practice, he was sworn in as an Associate Circuit Court Judge. In 2005, Judge Ford was appointed to be a Circuit Court Judge by the Illinois Supreme Court. In 2006 he was elected to that position.
Judge Ford has been an adjunct instructor at the University of Illinois Police Training Institute since 1980. He helped incorporate the Illinois Association of Drug Court Professionals in 2000 and has served on its Board of Directors since January 1, 2001. Currently, he serves as its Vice President. In 1991, while serving as the traffic court judge, Judge Ford started what is now known nationally as a DUI Court. He started the Champaign County Drug Court in 1999 and Mental Health Court in January 2011. In 2010, the Illinois Supreme Court placed him on the Special Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Justice and Mental Health Planning.
In 1994, Judge Ford was awarded the State of Illinois Outstanding Support Person by MADD. Since 2000, Judge Ford has developed, organized and presented assemblies for high schools on the consequences of driving under the influence, failure to use seat belts and texting. He has served on numerous committees thru the Courts, Illinois Secretary of State, Illinois Department of Transportation and the University of Illinois - Springfield in the area of traffic safety. In 2010 the Illinois Traffic Safety Leaders presented Judge Ford with the Joanne Blair Award for exemplary leadership in the area of traffic safety in Illinois.
Dr. James Leonard was raised in Morris, Illinois and received his B.A. in Psychology from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana in 1977. Dr. Leonard was awarded an M.D. degree in 1981 from the University of Illinois in Chicago. He completed his residency training in family medicine at MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn, Illinois. In 1984 he and his family relocated to Champaign-Urbana to join the Carle Clinic Association. Dr. Leonard practiced family medicine and founded Carle's drug and alcohol program. Dr. Leonard was recognized in 1998 with the Illinois Society of Addictive Medicine Career Achievement Award.Dr. Leonard also served as the head of Carle's Sports medicine program and in 1996 was a physician at the Olympic Games in Atlanta. He has served in many clinical leadership roles in the Carle organization including Associate Medical Director and Vice President of Medical Affairs. In July of 2000, Dr. Leonard was selected as CEO and President of the Carle Foundation and continues to serve in that position.
Dr. Elizabeth Pieroth (BS'88) was one of five alumni selected to receive the 2016 LAS Alumni Achievement Award.
The Undergraduate Career Exploration Award was created by the Psychology Alumni Advisory Board. Read about the three recipients in the 2015 Fall issue of Psychology Times: http://www.psychology.illinois.edu/alumni/news/newsletter/