CIIS alum Frank DeLuca, PhD (ICP '93, EWP '01), is a counselor, enneagram teacher and consultant, and retreat facilitator in the historic town of Jacksonville, Oregon, his home since 2012.
What drew you to CIIS?
I decided to get a graduate degree when I was 39 years old. I had been working in the field of personal growth for the previous 15 years, and though I had professional experience in transformational work, I did not have a clinical degree or license. In my search for graduate schools, CIIS stood out because it offered a top-notch program in counseling psychology and it provided the more expansive context of integral psychology, which includes the spiritual dimensions of life. When I got there, I realized it was the people that mattered: I felt I had found my tribe.
Why is CIIS important to the world?
I think because it brings together innovative and leading-edge thinkers from all over the world—both faculty and students—to study and research more inclusive approaches to human development and understanding. The academic rigor combined with a respect for individual contributions creates a very rich learning environment.
How has CIIS inspired and supported your personal and professional development?
It was very clear from the start that CIIS was supporting me both professionally and personally. The two were and continue to be intertwined. Completing both the Integral Counseling (MA) and East-West Psychology (PhD) programs stretched me mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, as well as prepared me for clinical work. The foundation in integralism continues to inform and guide me in my practice and in my life.
How have you seen CIIS grow?
I have watched CIIS grow from a relatively unknown alternative graduate institute to a respected university of higher learning. The type of scholarship, the expansion of programs, partnerships with other institutions, travel programs, and public programs that bring world-renowned speakers and artists to San Francisco are far beyond what the Institute was 25 years ago. The school's leadership and board do an amazing job of expanding the reach of CIIS and ensuring that it has the financial stability necessary to keep going.
What do you believe is its future?
CIIS has always been unique. While it has grown and evolved, it has stayed true to its founders' vision of integral education and has expanded that vision to meet contemporary culture. The world has begun to catch up with CIIS, and I see the University continuing to be the go-to place for pioneering research in important areas like environmental sustainability, LGBTQ social justice issues, and psychedelic medicine for end of life anxiety.
Why have you remembered CIIS in your will?
I have a connection to CIIS that I never had with my high school or undergraduate school. CIIS resides in my heart. It has given me professional and personal gifts for which I am deeply grateful. I want to see that opportunity continue to be available for others.