Amanda Walzer played different roles to many people. She was a mother,
a colleague, a professor, a mentor and a confidante.
Her passion for teaching coupled with her warm personality made her unexpected death that much more devastating to those who knew her.
Walzer died as a result of a traffic accident on March 29. She left behind two sons.
Amanda Walzer began her career at Fullerton College in 2007 as an English professor. It didn’t take long before she gained a favorable reputation among students and colleagues.
“She was amazing because she always gave 150 percent to her students,” student Katelyn Hall said.
Hall developed a close bond with Walzer, who she credited as her mentor. She recalled how the two first met.
“I walked into the classroom the first day like any other class…not knowing that she would change my life,” Hall recalled.
At the time Hall entered her English class, she was unsure about the direction of her life but soon found a love for literature and creative writing.
A passion that was unearthed thanks in part to Walzer who constantly motivated and pushed for Hall’s success. By the end of the semester, Hall would be asked to become a tutor for the Entering Scholars Program.
“She was the first one who truly valued and listened to what I had to say,” Hall said.
Aside from being a dedicated professor, Walzer is credited with resurrecting LiveWire Journal, an online literary and arts journal. She asked Hall to serve as its editor-in-chief.
In 2013 Walzer envisioned the journal as a space for the creative minds of Fullerton College. Content was not limited to literature but inclusive of artwork and music.
“She believed in creating opportunities for students as well as experiences,” Hall added.
Serving as the editor-in-chief, Hall spent more time with Walzer and recalled one her favorite moments.
“We’re outside having a meeting when all of a sudden a Japanese beetle flies into my hair,” Hall laughingly explained, “I start freaking out but [Amanda] very calmly grabs the beetle from my hair.”
“Then she explains that these beetles are blind and don’t know any better…she eventually let it go,” Hall added.
This funny memory, one of many, perfectly highlights Walzer’s easy-going, lighthearted nature. It is one of her many attributes that many who were close to her will miss.
Kimberly Orlijan is an English professor and was hired the same year as Walzer. The two quickly developed a friendship. She recounted her first of many talks with her friend.
“I confessed that I still helped my son fall asleep at night by lying either in bed with him or on the floor next to him,” Orlijan said.
“She told me I was crazy and I needed to stop like yesterday,” Orlijan added. The humorous and honest response planted the seed of what would become a years-long friendship.
Walzer was known for lending a hand to her students, but that courtesy also extended to those she was close to. Orlijan recounted their last conversation.
“I was so nervous about a new class I’d be teaching in the fall…right away [Amanda] calmed my nerves and gave me a book that was helpful for her,” Orlijan said.
The two even agreed to spend some time over the summer discussing in depth about the class. Unfortunately Orlijan will now have to rely on her memories of Walzer for guidance.
Her unexpected passing left a hole for many at Fullerton College but for those who knew her she left a powerful and lasting impact on students and faculty.
The Humanities Department will be hosting a tribute on May 1. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to attend and celebrate Walzer.
Additionally, a GoFundMe account was created by her family, any interested in donating can visit the link here.