Robert Terry Sack, Ph.D.



Dr. Richard D. Howe, “Robert Terry Sack, Ph.D.,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed April 24, 2024,

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Robert Terry Sack, Ph.D.


Appalachian State University
Universities and colleges--Faculty


Dr. Richard D. Howe




Biographical sketches


Boone (N.C.)

Spatial Coverage

Temporal Coverage



Professor Emeritus

Biographical Text

Professor Emeritus of Human Development & Psychological Counseling Robert Terry Sack (November 16, 1941-) was born in Big Rapids, Michigan, and grew up primarily in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His father, Robert (1911-) resides in Grand Rapids, and an older sister, Carole Ann, lives in Henrietta, New York. His mother Doris (b. 1912) and younger sister Mary Jane (b. 1943), passed away in 2004. Sack graduated from Godwin Heights High School in 1959. He earned a B.A. degree in psychology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 1963. This was followed by two years of service as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Bolivia. In 1967, he received a M.A. degree in international and area studies from Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo. This led to a position with the Peace Corps in Washington, District of Columbia, where Sack was a Latin American Liaison Officer in the Office of Volunteer Support from 1968 until 1969. He left Washington to enter a doctoral program at Purdue University and received his Ph.D. degree in counselor education and counseling psychology in 1972. On June 25, 1988, Sack married Donna Louise Doughty (May 29, 1962-) in Columbia, South Carolina. Donna earned an undergraduate degree in psychology from Presbyterian College in 1983. She also holds two M.A. degrees from Appalachian State University-the first in clinical psychology (1986), and the second in school counseling (2002). She is a school counselor at South Caldwell High School. Dr. Sack has two children from a previous marriage. A son, Steven T. (1973-), earned his degree in industrial and organizational psychology from Appalachian State University in 1998. Steven works as a project manager for the Bank of America in Charlotte, North Carolina. A daughter, Susan E. Sutter (1975-), earned a B.A. degree in interdisciplinary studies from Appalachian State University in 1997 and an M.A. degree in public and international affairs from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. She and her husband, Rob, currently reside in Asuncion, Paraguay, where Susan is a Foreign Service Officer at the United States Embassy. Dr. Sack's career at Appalachian State University began in 1972, when he was appointed to a faculty position in the Department of Human Development and Psychological Counseling. His academic appointment also included released time to provide counseling services to the university community. For the first twenty years of his tenure, Sack was a counselor to Appalachian State University students in the university counseling center, and he more recently counseled faculty, staff, and their family members as part of the Hubbard Center's Faculty and Staff Counseling Program. Through these programs he provided individual, family, and group counseling services to hundreds of members of the Appalachian State University community. Dr. Sack taught more than twelve different graduate courses; he also developed and taught two courses new to the curriculum: Introduction to Community Counseling and Sexual Abuse Counseling. He was, as well, the coordinator of the Community Counselor Program from its inception in 1985 until he left full-time teaching in 2001. Sack served on numerous departmental, college, and university committees and was active in state and professional organizations as the American Mental Health Counselors Association, where he was a charter member and first state president of the association. He served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Mental Health Counseling (1991-1994) and the Journal of Counseling and Development (1995-2001). Dr. Sack held credentials as a certified clinical mental health counselor and as a national certified counselor, and his publications often dealt with many of the realities of being a practicing counselor. Included among Sack's published works are the following titles: • "A Counseling Counselor." North Carolina Personnel and Guidance Journal (1976). • "On Giving Advise." American Mental Health Counselors Association Journal (1988). • "Counseling Responses When Clients Say, 'I don't know'." Journal of Mental Health Counseling (1988). • "Finding the Right Counselor For You." Hubbard Center Happenings (1994). Beginning in 1988, Dr. Sack renewed his long-time interest in and commitment to working in the international arena. He and his colleague of many years, Professor Emeritus A1 Greene, made the first of what were to be many trips to Cochabamba, Bolivia. During their almost yearly trips to Bolivia, they taught university courses and consulted with and assisted a variety of local Bolivian human service agencies and institutions. All Greene's and Sack's work was, by necessity, conducted in Spanish, and Sack dedicated much time and effort to perfecting his language skills. The professors also took Human Development and Psychological Counseling graduate students to Bolivia for advanced multicultural classes to give them an "immersion experience" in Latin culture. In 2002, Dr. Sack was recognized by the Office of International Programs at Appalachian State for these sustained efforts, when he was the recipient of the "Unsung Hero" award. Sack was also involved with several North Carolina institutions and their international programs. He was on the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Partners of the Americas from 1991 until 1993. He also served on the Board of Directors of North Carolina Citizens for International Understanding (NCCIU) from 1997 until 2000. During this tenure, he served as the board's treasurer in 1998 and was president from 1999 until 2000. Dr. Sack and his wife Donna enjoy international travel and, through the NCCIU program, have participated in home-stays in Costa Rica, Spain, New Zealand and Norway. Dr. Sack also enjoys athletic activities and has played softball, racquetball, tennis, and basketball for many years. At the age of fifty he took up golf, and plans to continue with it throughout his retirement years. His plans also include interpreting and translating for local human service agencies that work with Spanish-speaking families. Sources: Appalachian State University files, personal correspondence, and long association. -Dr. Richard D. Howe

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