Michelle Ireland-Galman, psychology and sociology instructor, sits at her desk reminiscing on her experience when she was a student at PCC when the campus for vastly different than it is today.
“When I was here, the college was really different,” said Ireland-Galman. Besides the campus looking better, Ireland-Galman says that not much has changed since she attended. “You go to your classes, you do your work, try to do as best you can on your tests, and press on.”
Ireland-Galman remembers when she was a student there was a Bob’s Big Boy where the Shatford Library now stands.
She also remembers when she used to attend baseball games when the field was on the corner of Hill and Del Mar.
Today students struggle to find a parking spot, but in the 1970s when Ireland-Galman was attending with her sister, there were no parking structures at all.
Ireland-Galman explained what were some of the best things about college. “I loved to learn,” she said. She also said that making friends was another plus. “[They are] friends for a lifetime that I still have today.”
The worst thing about college was not always doing as well as she would have liked on a project or a test. Also the lack of sleep was hard because she went to school and worked at the same time.
Ireland-Galman says that she wouldn’t change anything from her past. “I’m happy. I have no regrets that way,” she said.
Her favorite memory was graduation day. “My family was very supportive,” she said. “I’m happy that [my parents] saw me do something. They wanted their kids to be better off than they were.”
Now Ireland-Galman is a PCC alum and instructor. “I have the best job in the world,” she said. She has been teaching at PCC since 1976 and loves the students here.
When she started teaching she was an adjunct and taught at several different schools.
“We called ourselves ‘freeway flyers’ back in the day.”
One of her former students was current instructor Vanessa Schulz. “Everything in that class was amazing,” said Schulz of the Marriage and Family class she took with Ireland-Galman.
“What I really enjoyed though was…when she talked about the different kinds of love that one could have,” said Schulz. “And the different types of relationships.”
Schulz believes that the class was really important for when you get older and are thinking about marriage and starting a family.
Garnet Reyes, sociology and criminal justice, is Ireland-Galman’s former student and current teacher’s assistant. “I see her as a mother figure, more like a second mom,” said Reyes.
Reyes says that she sees that Ireland-Galman takes on a lot of responsibilities and it inspires her and gives Reyes the confidence that she can do the same in her life.
Summing Ireland-Galman up as a person and an instructor, Schulz and Reyes each had great things to say.
“She is really, really sweet. Just always there for her students [and] willing to give them the time,” said Schulz. “But as a professor her lectures, she makes her material come alive and I think that’s the most important thing. She gets you to relate the material to your everyday life.”
Reyes summed Ireland-Galman up as an instructor as kind hearted, ambitious, and extremely giving.