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New Beginnings Aren’t Just for Students

Professor Christine Lazor during a class lecture

Adjunct Professor of Humanities and Social Sciences Christine Lazor’s story is not much

different from that of many Northampton Community College students.

After divorcing her first husband of almost 20 years, Lazor’s attorney suggested she go back to school for a fresh start. Lazor took divorce on as a new beginning rather than an ending.

“My divorce disrupted everything,” she said. “It doesn’t technically fit the definition, but it was a cataclysmic event in my life.”

Lazor began teaching at NCC in 2007 after receiving a master’s degree in Psychology

from Kutztown University. She also works for a non-profit organization in conjunction with Children and Youth Services in Schuylkill County.

Her job outside the college involves counseling families that have had children taken by authorities because the parents lack the resources to care for them.

Although Lazor decided to pursue Psychology in her post-grad career, her bachelor’s degree is in Radio and TV production.

She attended Ithaca College and worked in the publishing industry in New York for eight years while married to her first husband. Her decision to go into Psychology stemmed from wanting to help people in situations similar to her own.

“I went into counseling because of what I was going though. Basically, wanting to help other people.”

Lazor said she believes that sharing her struggles is the way to help people.

“Secrets, that’s how you help people get through stuff, when you find out you’re not alone. That your situation, really, as horrible as it is. Somebody else went through something similar, or something worse, and they survived. And I went to therapy – I’m all about taking my

own medicine too; I can be resistant but I come around,” she said, laughing.

This fall will mark Lazor’s 10-year anniversary teaching classes at NCC.

She said the main reason she loves teaching so much is the relationships she forms with her students.

“Once you’re in my class you’re like my kids, it’s a warm and fuzzy feeling for me.”

Lazor typically teaches three Introduction to Psychology classes per semester. One of her

fondest teaching memories centers around a student who was seen as troublesome for most of the

semester.

“I had a student once and he probably had all three of what I call ‘A diagnosis;’ he

probably had Asperger’s, ADHD, and autism, he had it all,” she said. “And he sat in the front

row, and he was the kid who would raise his hand before I had finished the question, you know.

He had his hand up for every question, and the whole class would collectively roll their eyes at

him.

“When it came time for presentation, he says ‘Can I do my own presentation on the

diagnosis I have?’ I said ‘Sure, I think that’s great if you want.’ He got up the last week

of class and presented,” Lazor said.

“He had a video of people with autism, ADHD, and Asperger’s. He showed two people with autism who found each other and fell in love and got married. He wrapped up his presentation saying, ‘I don’t know that this will ever happen for me, but I hope to have this someday.’ All the girls were crying and the whole class fell in love with him then. It was adorable.”

She said she also likes the feeling of being a leader that teaching gives her and uses her

background in Radio and TV to help bring classes to life.

“I also like [teaching] because it’s my show and I’m in charge for those 50 minutes. I feel like it’s my own stage, like I’m my own little celebrity in my own small little world,” she said.

While many would give up if put through the struggles Lazor faced, she now sees the disruptions as positive and continues to work on taking positive steps toward her future.