Julia M. Cohen

Photo by: Lisa Richardson
Photo by: Lisa Richardson

Written by: Connor Cook

The 5-foot-tall woman with dark hair contrasted by light green eyes scavenges around her small office, picking up papers and folders as she prepares for a meeting at Pierce College.

Soft-spoken and reserved, Julia M. Cohen attended University of California, Los Angeles several decades ago, and is now a psychology professor at Pierce.

Her toughest challenge was discovering her position as a student and being content with it.

“You really have to find your own way and remain diligent,” Cohen said.

Cohen’s children, however, did not follow along those same footsteps. Each of her four children dropped out of high school in their freshman year. Not knowing what to do, she put forth her best effort to find a solution for her kids.

“Pierce Community College seemed like the most wonderful place for them to transition for a better education,” said Cohen. “It jumpstarted them to really get going.”

Years later, she is teaching multiple psychology courses at the school.

Elizabeth Meras, 19, is one of the many students Cohen has.

Meras thinks Cohen has a good method to help students avoid feeling confused or estranged.

“She seems really nice, soft-spoken, but very intelligent as well,” said Meras. “She explains things very well and breaks it down so that it is perfectly clear to create a better understanding from the individual student.”