President's Biography

Dr. Terri L. Winfree, President of Prairie State College

Dr. Terri L. Winfree is the 14th President of Prairie State College (PSC) and began her presidency on May 19, 2013.

President Winfree

Dr. Winfree is uniquely suited to serving as president of PSC since she began her career at the college first as a student, then as a part-time employee, and then moved through a succession of positions at the college, culminating as president. This long association with both PSC and the community it serves means she brings to the post a wealth of experience and extensive knowledge of the area.

Dr. Winfree’s presidency also is unique because she celebrates a number of firsts: she is the first woman president of the college, the first PSC graduate to be named president, and the first person in her immediate family to attend college.

Dr. Winfree has demonstrated strong communication and leadership skills during her career at PSC, which started in 1995 as a part-time employee teaching non-credit computer classes and serving as the coordinator of career training programs. Next, she was named manager of the Matteson Area Center from 1998 to 2000; she served as associate dean, continuing professional education from 2000-2004; and then was named dean continuing professional education from 2004 to 2007. She was named vice president of community and economic development in 2007, and served in that capacity until she was selected as president in 2013. Dr. Winfree also has been an adjunct faculty member at Governors State University and St. Francis University. She is a John Maxwell Certified Speaker, Coach, and Trainer.

Dr. Winfree’s story resonates with many PSC students because it is similar to theirs – starting her college education at PSC as a part-time, adult student, and as a first generation college student.

On behalf of the college, Dr. Winfree has served in leadership positions with numerous organizations including the Illinois Council of Community College Administrators, The Chicago Southland Chamber of Commerce, The Chicago Southland Convention and Visitors Bureau, and has served as a member of The Chicago Southland Economic Development Committee. She also is an active member of the Professional Women's Network and has served on several educational foundation scholarship committees.

In 2015, she received the Women in Leadership award from the Link & Option Center, Inc. Dr. Winfree received the 2016 Giving Back Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. The award is based on an outstanding demonstration of social responsibility, a commitment to charitable services, and involvement with students, faculty and staff to serve underrepresented populations. Each honoree is recognized for his or her passion, dedication and philanthropic achievements. In 2018, Dr. Winfree was named to the Bloom Trail High School Hall of Fame. 

After graduating from PSC with an Associate Degree in General Studies in 1996, she received her Bachelor of Arts in 1998 and Master of Arts in Communication Studies/Human Performance and Training in 2000 from Governors State University. In 2012, she obtained her Ph.D. in Education and Human Resources from Colorado State University.

Dr. Winfree is the proud mother of two sons.