“I like living life!” says Amy Prochaska.
She has a long list of life experiences and interests to prove it including skydiving, snorkeling, roller coasters, and getting a tattoo that matches her daughter’s. She recently became an ordained minister, able to officiate at funerals and marriages. Those who know her best are not surprised by the way her life has unfolded and its serendipitous nature.
Curiosity about life drove her to switch from majoring in journalism to English in college. “I didn’t know enough about the world to write about it,” she said. Curiosity also propelled her to pull a U-Haul trailer from Des Moines to Reno, Nevada, a place she had never been. There, she pursued various interests including working at a sales job that paid 100% commission and teaching a WordPerfect class at night at a community college. There, she discovered her passion for classroom teaching.
“I just love it,” she says. “It’s never boring. I hate boring!”
Prochaska works hard to make her courses effective and enjoyable. “Life is way too challenging not to have fun while learning.”
In her speech classes, the students do the “teaching” and present course material in front of the class. Not only do students learn content, they begin to master the craft of public speaking. They learn they can to it.
In her writing classes, she sweeps aside the moniker – “I’m not a good writer” – that many students give themselves and helps them discover they, in fact, can.
“Those students just haven’t discovered a writing process that works for them,” she says. “We practice the craft of writing together. I help them figure out what strategies work for them. I am always amazed at how fast students gain confidence.”
She believes DMACC is the gold standard of community colleges. “It’s such a cliché, but DMACC really does offer the best value for the dollar,” she said. “The instructors are down to earth and so willing to help their students.”
An Iowa native, Prochaska spent 10 years a technical writer and trainer in the corporate world. She has spent the last 20 years teaching at the college level, first at Metropolitan Community College in Kansas City and then DMACC.
Prochaska has an AA degree from Marshalltown Community College, BA in English from Iowa State University, MA from the University of Nevada-Reno, a certificate in Dispute and Conflict Resolution, and additional coursework in speech communications.
Contact Amy Prochaska at firstname.lastname@example.org