The Cougar Chronicle

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Psychology professor defies odds and inspires students to succeed

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Ask Sara Yerushalmian to pick a favorite word from one of the three languages she speaks and she would (and did) reply: “‘Sweetie’…” “… Because, I think that everybody is sweet and kind,” the psychology professor, who teaches Statistics for Behavioral Sciences and Introductory Psychology, said with a smile that warmed the room.

This positive energy radiates from her and is an inspiration for the thousands of lives that she has touched as an educator and mother. Dr. Yerushalmian moved to America by herself when she was 20. She put herself through school, despite knowing little English and having no financial support. In 2010, she obtained her P.h.D. in Clinical Psychology from Alliant International University, San Diego.

She has been a professor for more than four years, teaching at CSUSM, MiraCosta College, Palomar College and UC San Diego. “Coming from a minority background, I feel like I can relate to many of my students,” Dr. Yerushalmian said.

This connection shows in her classroom as she ensures that each student is given a chance to succeed and to enjoy learning.

When asked about her favorite teaching moment, the professor paused and smiled. “You know me, I always have fun. I’m always laughing in my classes.”

She displays an infectious positivity and offers unwavering support for her students. Dr. Yerushalmian practices her passion for helping others through her teaching, in her psychology practice and in raising her daughter.

“I love to take care of people. I do it in the classroom and I do it at home.”

When asked if she could give the world one piece of advice, she said: “You have to live  your life one day at a time. No matter what happened in the past, or what is going to happen in the future, this is what matters. Today matters.”

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