I was born in San Antonio, Texas. The family moved to Central Texas between Abbott and Hillsboro. This was near my father’s birthplace and hometown.  My dad built railroad bridges; so it was natural for him, with the help of two uncles, to personally build our new home.

Our country home allowed for limited livestock activities.  Initially two sows and a calf were added. These were followed by 4 litters with 7-8 piglets each.  Then an egg laying barn was added with housing for 400 laying hens.  Following football and athletic practice, the packaged eggs were prepared for delivery the following morning before school.  Customers included two local grocery stores, two nursing homes, three restaurants and others were sold to the food service at the school as well as directly to the public.  In 1957, I was elected president of the FFA chapter.  I participated in chapter livestock judging activities and leadership contests in local, area and state events. 

In order to manage the animals and attend college, I enrolled in a nearby college 40 miles east of my home.  Attendance required daily commuting for 90 miles.  The A.A. degree was awarded in 1961.  Membership in the honor society Delta Tau Alpha was accepted.  In May 1963, I received a Bachelor's degree in Animal Science and a Master’s degree followed in 1964 from Sam Houston State University.  Actually, three degrees were conferred in three years.

Following graduation, I applied to a large Texas metropolitan school district and was assigned to teach in the sciences (biology, zoology and physics). Later I was invited to teach geology in the district’s new academic program.  The district's science coordinator, Richard J. Wilson (for whom an elementary school was named), encouraged district science teachers to seek and participate in an exemplary geology program sponsored by the National Science Foundation.  Subsequently I applied and was awarded a full tuition scholarship (tuition, books, lodging, travel and expenses) to increase expertise and to study in Colorado.

Plans were made to pursue the doctoral degree. Teaching in public school would not provide coverage for the fragmented day as a full time
student.  With this in mind, in 1966 I applied to enter the police academy of a large Texas city, graduated and was subsequently assigned to the patrol division. It was an interesting time as many supervisors were frequently traveling to the legislature as a new state agency was in metamorphosis to become TCLEOSE.

I enrolled in a two-year pre-doctoral internship in Clinical/Educational Psychology in which many school students were referred, tested and treated for educational issues at the University Psychological Services Division at NTSU HSC.

At this time, my job as dorm director of the athletic dorm allowed enough time to add a second doctoral major (Educational Leadership) to my doctoral degree plan.  Later I completed the post-doctoral internship in Psychology in individual, family and group therapy under supervision of Dr. Walter Dezelle from May 1971 to December 1974.  Dr. Dezelle was an advocate of Jean Piaget's advocacy of cognitive development.

I was licensed to practice psychology by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists (TSBEP) in March 1975. Practice was concentrated in the areas of Forensic, Counseling and Educational Psychology.    Later, I qualified for designation as a Health Service Provider (HSP) in Psychology by the board, the United States Department of Health and Human Services, and the Texas Department of Health.  I became a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP) in July 1998. 

Governor Clements appointed me to serve as a member of original board of the TSBEPC. I was issued license number 12 in 1983.

The director of the regional police academy at Lamar University was Ed Parker.  He was a former teacher, a career law enforcement officer and a professional rodeo cowboy---calf roping. Subsequently he served as Sheriff in Orange County Texas.  In 1973, Director Parker sought to incorporate my law enforcement experience into the instruction and curriculum at the academy to produce a better product (new cadets).

I subsequently taught a TCLEOSE approved class by integrating personal law enforcement experience with the psychology material.  That activity has continued for over 30 years. The ultimate goal in the course was to teach cadets how to handle abnormally behaving subjects.

It was about this time, I started teaching at the Lamar University Regional Fire Academy.  I was able to incorporate my physics background and expertise to teach the principles of fire science.

Applying personal experience in law enforcement with the relevant task of screening and teaching related subjects.  For over thirty-five years, I have consulted with and taught law enforcement officers.  Much of this time was focused upon the selection process of officers.  I have interviewed and screened over 2,000 law enforcement applicants and an equal number of private industry employees.  I developed an employee selection program for a major refining company that is still in use today after 25 years.

This was an added component in my law enforcement experience which has added another dynamic to the examination.

In 1974, I served as consultant to several school districts to evaluate and counsel public school students.  This consultation activity continued for over 30 years.  This was an outgrowth of the doctoral training at Pupil Appraisal Center at UNT.

In 1978, I made my first appearance as a forensic psychologist in a criminal case.  I have participated as an expert in a wide array of legal cases from criminal, including capital, domestic and sex abuse cases, civil, with an occasional military court martial.  Frequent consultation and testimony included issues of future dangerousness, competency and memory.  Consulting forensic psychology has been the focus of my practice. 

For over 30 years, my focus was to provide psychological consultation and testimony about issues concerning memory, recall and interviewing in a wide array of legal cases from criminal (including capital and sex abuse) and a variety of civil cases including Court Martial cases.

Personal satisfaction has come from practicing in this adversarial arena (courtroom).  This is a highly challenging environment much like a graduate school thesis defense.  In this environment, every statement has the potential for challenge.

Compared to a traditional therapeutic office practice, the forensic environment requires constant attention toward exemplary conduct. This dynamic, as validated by the increased malpractice premium, reflects a high level of exposure.

In the courtroom, typically only one party will prevail.  This dynamic increases exposure for the professional, at a minimum, and motivation for the complainant to file an action by the losing party to the Board of Examiners.  Upon reflection, complaints and allegations are inherent with the forensic domain. 

I have practiced this specialty for 44 years in the profession and additional insight became apparent when I received a gubernatorial appointment to the Board of Examiners.

I hold licenses as a Psychologist, a Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP) and a Professional Counselor (LPC) all licensed to practice in the State of Texas.

Curt and Carolyn Wills


My Essays

1    Being a Texan

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