The online voice of cambridge campus students
by Rachel Kempen

Contributing writer

Since 2006, Jennifer Liberty-Clark, a proud member of Cambridge’s Anoka-Ramsey Community College (ARCC) psychology department, has been connecting with students on more than just an intellectual level. 

To her, college is more than just shuffling students around, and memorizing certain facts. It is about a time in a student’s life to reinvent, and discover their true selves.

“We are all like onions, with many layers. Peeling them back is finding our true self. I feel like it’s a life process, for sure, but as far as my career goes the onion has been peeled. I have found the inner core, the thing that was written for me to be, and to do long before I was born,” said Liberty-Clark.

However, Liberty-Clark didn’t always know that she’d end up with her career path as an educator. It took her years of peeling back the layers, and a twist in the road to find her purpose in life.

Psychology wasn’t anything new to Liberty-Clark growing up. Her uncle, George Petrangelo, was a psychology professor at St. Cloud University. Although, it wasn’t so much his two master’s degrees and doctorate that impressed her, but his knowledge for people, and how he interacted with them, mentioned Liberty-Clark.

It wasn’t until college as a freshman that Liberty-Clark truly got hooked on psychology, she said. The final push was a general psychology course. By 1991, Liberty-Clark received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stout in psychology with an emphasis in human resource management.

While working at a bank Liberty-Clark went on to earn her master’s degree in 1995 at St. Cloud University with two focal areas in counseling psychology and vocational rehabilitation. However, has life would have it, by the time she graduated with her degree the State of Minnesota had changed their licensing laws. “Basically, counselors were made obsolete with only a master’s degree, because insurance companies wouldn’t pay for them,” said Liberty-Clark.

“I was very disappointed and so went back to the bank to work while I figured out my route. I ended up working for Dale Carnegie Training in their Minnesota branch selling training/consulting services to fortune 100 and 500 companies. I also began actually training our customers. I did that for 10 years when I took an adjunct position at Century Community College teaching lifespan psychology,” said Liberty-Clark.

Slowly after that she eased her way out of the training and development field and into teaching at ARCC, Liberty-Clark explained.

Since then she has been teaching students about more than just theories of psychology, and the theorists that created them; she has been teaching them to believe in themselves, and embrace education, and how they can be the voice of change in the world. If nothing else, Liberty-Clark hopes to teach students that they are worthy of a college education, of being successful and grabbing happiness as their own. “If they leave my classes seeing ‘the cup half full rather than half empty’, I’ve done my job,” added Liberty-Clark.

4/29/2012 07:32:18 pm

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