Psychology professor makes subject worthwhile

By Benjamin Kwiecien

By Benjamin Kwiecien

For many students, psychology is a required course-perhaps not their subject of choice.

To those who choose to major in it, it can be deeply interesting, and Amy Clegg Haerich has something to offer both general students and majors.

To those interested in psychology, she presents a level of expertise that a more inquiring student can enjoy; her degree, received from Loma Linda University, is in experimental psychology, and she is active in her field, attending research conferences in countries like Spain, France and Germany.

“She’s a really fun teacher and is educated in her field,” said Kristey Sanders, who is taking her physiological psychology class Monday and Wednesday mornings.

The friendly and open environment she provides in the classroom helps even the otherwise less enthusiastic students to learn about psychology.

“It’s not as boring as everyone thinks,” said Clegg- Haerich, emphasizing the importance of her field of study. “Psychology applies to everyone’s lives…I have a genuine hope that my students come out of the classroom with something they can use in their daily lives.”

Born in Santa Ana, Clegg-Haerich later moved to Riverside when she married. Originally she had studied clinical psychology, an interest that had began while she was in high school, but after doing research as an undergraduate, she changed her emphasis to experimental psychology.Just like her students, Clegg- Haerich started her higher education at community college.

“It is one of the best ways a person can get their education,” she said. “You can explore different possibilities, and it’s also a bargain. Even though class sizes have grown, we do have an advantage of more interaction-it’s more personal.”

She has been here at Riverside Community College since 1998, teaching such courses as general psychology, physiological psychology, and developmental psychology.

In addition to RCC, she also teaches alternate semesters at Chaffey College and Santa Ana College.

Having to teach at multiple colleges at once can be hard work, but full- time positions are scarce.

“It’s a challenge being a part time instructor,” said Clegg- Haerich, referring to the necessity of having to go from one place to another. “My car is my office,” she said.

While part- time instruction can be inconvenient in that it disallows involvement with her students, she also points out that it offers her more flexibility, leaving more time to devote to her family.

She admits teaching is hard work, but she loves to interact with her students.

“I love my job-I hope that comes through to people. The day it doesn’t, I should stop (teaching),” she said.