Psychology instructor will leave more than a psychological impact

John Sanford will be retiring from full-time teaching at the end of this semester after having taught psychology courses at LCCC since 1989. Before becoming a full-time instructor in 2001, Sanford was a local marriage and family therapist for 15 years in addition to being an adjunct instructor here for 12 of those years.

“I hope I’ve changed the program for the better,” Sanford said. “We’ve got a really robust psychology program and I think we do a good job of preparing students for a bachelor’s degree. Yet, we’ve become more distant and fragmented as we’ve (LCCC) grown and that’s not necessarily a good thing.”

His colleague, however, had much more to say about him as a person, a teacher and a student advocate.

“John’s legacy is the psychology program at LCCC,” Jonathan Carrier, Sanford’s co-worker for eight years and Albany County Campus psychology instructor, said. “He built the full-time program on his own and laid the foundation for everything the program is today. Before John, the psych program was made up of part-time teachers and its existence and instructors from year-to-year were uncertain. Now it is one of the most robust programs at LCCC in terms of graduation rates.”

Sanford also made a lot of changes outside the classroom in terms of education policies over the years.

“John Sanford’s fingerprints can be found on many of the wonderful things that happen at LCCC,” Carrier said. “He helps ensure that LCCC gets re-accredited each year, he stepped in as interim dean for the math and science department one year to ensure its continuation and has been a fierce student advocate for all students, regardless of their majors. He’s also taught community courses to improve people’s leadership and integrity.”

Sanford will be missed by his co-workers, his students and all of those who have unknowingly benefitted from his work here at LCCC.

“Luanne (Gearhart, the other remaining psychology instructor at LCCC) and I will still be reaching out to him for advice,” Carrier said.

During his retirement, Sanford said he plans on occasionally teaching as an adjunct and going camping.


  1. John Sanford


    For the record, Dean “Doc” Schroeder was the full-time instructor who preceded me and whose position I filled upon his retirement. His work to move the PSYC program from a personal adjustment focus to addressing the hard science of psychology laid the ground work for much the growth we have enjoyed over the years.

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