Jan Kruper is a psychology instructor and is the Social Sciences Division chair. She has been at Walla Walla Community College since 2003.
Most important part of the job
I share my passion for psychology with students, and inspire them to use psychology in everyday life. I tell them that psychology is all about us, so if they are interested in how they, and other people, are in the world, they will enjoy studying it. I think students are always interested in what other people are thinking and feeling and doing. They like to understand why people do what they do.
The biggest challenge for me in my almost 40 years of teaching is learning to deal with technology. I was taught to teach with a piece of chalk in my hand, and the world is very different today, with all the technology that’s available. It’s been great, but it’s a challenge to teach in a different way than I learned myself, and in a different way than I was taught to teach.
People should know
We provide a first-rate education. All three of our full-time psychology instructors are doctoral-level psychologists. The three of us, plus our adjunct instructors, do a super job of preparing our students for any kind of life that they want to go into. And I’m very proud about that.
I’m a crier. I cry at movies, at commercials, and occasionally I even cry when I read my students’ homework assignments. I have a very, very tender heart. And I am not embarrassed about that at all.
I’m involved with animal rescue, through the Blue Mountain Humane Society, and with camelid rescue organizations. And I’ve given three Big Idea talks at the Walla Walla Public Library. The talks have really stretched me. I did about three months of research to prepare for each one-hour talk.
I have a farm out near Whitman Mission, so it’s fun spending time with my animals. I have alpacas, llamas, chickens, goats, a turkey and four dogs. Nobody gets eaten on my farm; the animals just die of old age.
We moved to Walla Walla from Seattle 15 years ago and we couldn’t be happier with our choice to be here. Before my mother died we had a farm store called Wheatland Alpacas, where we sold fleece and fiber for about 12 years.