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Dr. Theresa A. Thorkildsen


Education and Psychology

University of Illinois Chicago

Curriculum Vitae


In Chicago since 1989, Dr. Theresa (Terri) Thorkildsen is Professor of Education and Psychology at the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC). Additionally, she has taught at the University of Washington, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and Purdue University.

Research Interests

Best known for her research on moral motivation, Dr. Thorkildsen writes for multiple audiences including psychologists, educators, and other practitioners to support healthy forms of social functioning. Her research focuses on how individuals form intentions about their personal well-being, civic engagement, and participation in civil society. She has conducted research on the moral and intellectual development of youth in K-13 educational settings, emphasizing students’ reasoning about schools as institutions of the civil sphere. She is extending this to conduct research with adults who participate in different societal contexts. Dr. Thorkildsen accepts leadership opportunities that facilitate talent development among students and faculty, promote scientific values, and rely on the principles of benevolence, justice, and respect for persons in organizational improvement.

Sample Publications

Active Research Projects

Volunteers are welcome. Please click on the links below.

Balancing Time and Action Readiness

Balancing Time and Civil Identities

Engagement with Society

Deflecting Stereotype-threat

Honors and Awards 

Sport and Wellness

Theoretical Foundations

Research Basics

Human Development

Learning and Instruction