Neil was born in Chicago, Illinois, and raised in the suburbs (that's him at the top left).  He lost the capacity to take himself seriously, and developed the compulsion to refer to himself in the third person during middle school.  At this point, thanks to many years of therapy and judiciously applied prescription medications, he has learned to control the compulsion most of the time.  This still reoccurs occasionally, in this case as 'web bio depersonalization syndrome', a rare disorder which Neil actually named. Thank you for bearing with him.*
Neil was a mediocre student in high school.  He blames his parents for this shortcoming. They moved him and his brothers half way across the country twice during these formative years. This, and 'new math' were quite disruptive to his psyche.  He attended Carthage College in Wisconsin for two years, switching his major from chemistry to engineering and eventually to philosophy.  At this point he went through his 'hippy' phase, and was attending college mostly to avoid being drafted and forced to fight in the Vietnam War. 
As Neil began to run short of funds, he transferred to Western Illinois University, where he discovered Psychology and changed his major for the last time.  He graduated with his Bachelor of Arts degree, and promptly determined that there was no way to practice Psychology without a more advanced degree.  He subsequently completed his Masters of Science degree in Psychology, and was immediately thereafter awarded his first teaching job at WIU.
He has since worked as a professor or instructor at various 2 and 4 year colleges, and has also had an assortment of clinical jobs.  He worked in a residential facility for developmentally and intellectually challenged children and adults, as well as in inpatient and outpatient psychiatric hospitals and programs.  He also worked as a consultant to a local school district, and even earned a living doing private practice psychotherapy on a couple of occasions.
 Neil has enjoyed teaching at COC for the last few years, having moved to this area with his favorite wife in 2012.
* Everything in the first paragraph except for the first sentence is completely contrived.