Monthly Archives: April 2019

Academic Spotlight: Communication

An increasingly popular option at PUC is communication. The program includes three emphases to choose between, as well as a handful of minors.

The department of communication at PUC offers instruction in a variety of communication skills and principles that apply to mass media, public speaking, small group, and interpersonal settings. Students are taught how to apply their knowledge to real-life situations, giving them the tools and experience necessary to succeed in life.

Programs offered:

  • B.A., B.S. in Communication
  • B.S. in Marketing Communication
  • B.S. in Multimedia Communication
  • B.S. in Health Communication

A Student’s Perspective

“My favorite aspect of being part of the department of communication are the professors. I strongly believe my department has some of the most dedicated, smart, and passionate faculty at PUC. My department is run by strong, intelligent women, and their life experiences and candor really speaks to me and motivates me to pursue this degree. Likewise, I appreciate the in-depth knowledge my degree encompasses. There are so many aspects of communication; its applications are everywhere. Communication is a crucial facet of the human existence and is an integral part of every field. I am of the opinion the opportunities for a communications major are endless. It is for these reasons I love my department as well as my major.” — Hailey Johanson, sophomore, honors student

Fast Facts

  1. Communication is one of the top five departments at PUC in terms of the number of yearly graduates.
  2. A senior seminar course prepares soon-to-be graduates for the job market by walking them through the process of building a resume, creating a professional portfolio, and preparation for professional interviews.
  3. An internship is required as part of the coursework for all communication programs to provide real-world experience, with an internship coordinator who assists students throughout the process.
  4. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for media and communication occupations is projected to grow six percent from 2016 to 2026, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations, and will result in approximately 43,200 new jobs. Demand for these types of jobs is expected to increase as there will be a higher need for workers who can create, edit, translate, and share information through a variety of platforms. The median annual wage for media and communication occupations was $56,340 in May 2017, which was higher than the median annual wage for all occupations of $37,690.

What You Can Do With This Major

There are so many different careers students can go into with a degree in communication. Here are just some ideas to help get you thinking about your options!

  • Advertising
  • Ghostwriting
  • International service & relief
  • Journalism
  • Law
  • Marketing
  • Medicine
  • Newswriting & reporting
  • Public relations specialist
  • Social media specialist

Learn more about the department of communication at puc.edu/academics. Our team of admissions counselors can answer any questions you have about PUC’s communication programs, or the other majors the college offers. Call (800) 862-7080, option 2 or email admissions@puc.edu to get connected with a counselor now and start learning about all the options available to you!

Learn About PUC’s Special Summer Scholarships!

While spring has just started, but it’s not too early to start thinking about your summer plans, and how a summer job can help you earn money to pay for college in the fall.

If you aren’t already aware, PUC has two matching programs in place to recognize students who have made certain contributions to the Adventist church:

  • Summer Ministries Leadership Match. PUC matches 100 percent of certified earnings that are applied to tuition by students who work at an Adventist youth camp or in a youth ministry program in the summer prior to fall quarter enrollment, up to $2,000. The Association of Adventist Camping Professionals has a camp directory list of all the Adventist summer camps in the country.
  • Summer Literature Evangelism Match. PUC matches 100 percent of certified earnings that are applied to tuition by students who work as SDA literature evangelists in the summer prior to fall quarter enrollment, up to $3,000. Contact your local conference office for more information about programs in your area.

Of course, you can work at other places in the summer as well and put a percentage of your earnings towards your college expenses. Even if you aren’t working full time, try to make sure at least part of what you’re making is saved to help reduce your payments towards your school bill in the fall. If you can, save just $10 of your earnings per workday between June 3  and September 18 (when New Student Orientation starts), and assuming you work five days per week, it would give you roughly $800 to put towards your bill. Every little bit counts!

Visit puc.edu/scholarships to see all of PUC’s available scholarships. If you have questions about what you might qualify for, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team of financial aid counselors, who can give you a financial aid estimate that shows what it might cost for you to attend PUC. It’s really helpful! Call (800) 862-7080, option 1 or email studentfinance@puc.edu to talk with a counselor now.

Students Just Love Our Professors!

Students hang out with Professor Michelle Rai at a local coffee shop.

Hilarious. Caring. Inspirational. Helpful. These are just a few of the many kind words used to describe our faculty on RateMyProfessor.com. We know we’re biased, but we think we have some of the greatest faculty around, and it’s great to see students share our opinions too! We thought we would take a moment to share some of what students are saying about our amazing faculty.

Dr. Robert Wilson, associate professor of chemistry
“Dr. Wilson is not the Michael Jordan of chemistry. Michael Jordan is the Dr. Wilson of basketball. Dr. Wilson is the epitome of greatness.”

Dr. Peter Katz, assistant professor of English
“Dr. Katz is a literal genius. He’s very young so he relates to you on another level. He’s extremely compassionate, funny, and patient. You talk about a lot of deep philosophical and controversial topics. He more so grades progress/effort, rather than content. Super laid back, understanding, and accommodating. … He’s a favorite!”

Professor Amy Cronk, assistant professor of fine art
“Professor Cronk is an amazing teacher, I would recommend her for any class. The material she selected was engaging, lectures well done, and projects where both insightful and inspirational. This is a class I would recommend for anyone. Be prepared to get personal though! Luckily, she creates a very supportive and accepting environment to share in.”

Professor Michael Milmine, assistant professor of psychology
“Professor Milmine is an amazing, inspirational, and caring professor. He is dedicated to his students, probably puts in more work than he will ask of you, and is a fair grader. His office is almost always open and he is helpful and receptive to questions and feedback. I would recommend any of his classes.”

Dr. Linda Gill, professor of English
“Linda has a very bubbly personality. She loves relating to her students and instills in you a significant amount of confidence that you may not have realized you had. She has high expectations and pushes you out of your comfort zone but stands by you every step of the way. She is extremely understanding and compassionate. Great teacher!”

Professor Asher Raboy, resident artist of music
“This teacher is seriously one the best I’ve ever had. Very nice and his passion for his subject makes it very easy to become engaged in the subject. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!”

Professor Cliff Rusch, professor of graphic design
“Professor Rusch is awesome and so helpful! He comes up with creative and fun assignments and he gets excited about his class. He also gives clear constructive advice during critiques, which is very important in improving your designs.”

Dr. Marie Pak, professor of chemistry
“Her classes are challenging but it’s a good challenge. She’s excited to teach you and help you during her office hours. Very accommodating and compassionate. She is able to explain things in many different ways if you’re having a hard time understanding. Lectures are packed with information so make sure you’re always there and ready to focus.”

Dr. Ross Winkle, professor of New Testament
“Dr. Winkle is awesome! He’s really good at making sure the class understands the material being taught. He was always willing to help with any questions we had and was good about updating on grades and keeping us informed on upcoming assignments. 5 stars!”

Professor Jon Carstens, associate professor of art history
“He’s super sweet, caring, patient, understanding, accommodating, and encouraging. You won’t find a more kind and tenderhearted soul on PUC campus. He loves being with his students, as a great teacher should.”

Dr. Jean Sheldon, professor of Old Testament
“Dr. Sheldon is by far one of my favorite teachers on campus for several reasons: 1) she is almost scary brilliant 2) she is extremely understanding 3) she understands and is willing to go out of her way to help students and even with personal issues 4) her expertise in Hebrew Bible has influenced me to have an interest in studying HB/OT.”

Professor Rajeev Sigamoney, associate professor of film & television
“Rajeev is great. He’s very clear with his assignments but gives you the freedom to explore your own creativity. He’s also great at knowing exactly what you want to learn and what you’re good at and will put you in contact with people or projects that will further your learning experience, which shows just how much he cares about his students.”

Professor Lynne Thew, instructor of communication
“I took Introduction to New Writing from Professor Thew during spring quarter. The class was definitely one of the most challenging I have taken but I also learned the most and the expectation are very clear and fair. Couldn’t recommend her more to studious students.”

Dr. Paul McGraw, professor of history
“Great professor. Always has time after class if you need help. Terrific clarity of thought and really encourages discussion. Always take a class from him if you have the opportunity.”

Professor Lloyd Best, professor emeritus of mathematics
“This was by far the best math class that I have ever taken! Professor Best genuinely cared about each one of us and made sure that we understood what he was teaching us. He actually taught us the reasons behind formulas and broke everything down step by step instead of just telling us answers. Every day I felt like I learned something new.”

Professor Michelle Rai, assistant professor of communication
“She is very talkative and easy to relate to. She makes class fun and not just about learning facts. She really wants to make sure you understand.”

Dr. Kent Davis, professor of chemistry
“Dr. Davis is one of my favorite professors at PUC, super smart but really humble and always willing to help you out regardless of the subject, he’s really a super genius who knows it all. He’s awesome but I feel like he’s underappreciated because he’s shy, you need to be assertive and get to know him.”

Dr. Robin Vance, professor of biology
“Dr. Vance is the most adorable person in the entire world. He explains things really well and makes them easy to understand. If something is really complicated, he stops and makes sure the class is ‘okay’ before he moves on to another topic. He’s really sweet and is totally willing to help you if you need it.”

Visit puc.edu/admissionsblog for complete faculty profiles to get to know some of our faculty a little bit more. We can’t wait for you to meet them!

Academic Spotlight: Biology

Whether you’re interested in research, education, medicine, dentistry, or ecology, a biology degree can be the foundation for a successful career. One of PUC’s most popular programs, biology is also one of our most academically rigorous. The result? PUC biology seniors consistently score in the top percentile on Major Field Tests (MFTs), with high acceptance rates to many prestigious graduate schools.

Programs offered:

  • B.A., B.S. in Biology
  • B.S. in Biotechnology
  • B.S. in Environmental Studies

A Student’s Perspective

“I was convinced to change majors from biochemistry to biology at the end of my freshman year after I realized how many classes from the department of biology would prepare me for medical school. As a biology major, I have the opportunity to take immunology, histology, and advanced human anatomy courses before I even attend medical school. Having a background with the material from these courses will prepare me well for the field of medicine. My favorite thing about the department of biology is all of the unique opportunities I receive. Learning biology can take place outside of a classroom. For instance, this spring break I am going to Kenya with my tropical biology class to do a mission trip while also taking time to learn biology. There are a lot of biology classes that involve going on hikes in nature or going to the beach to study marine science. I also love how elegant biology is. It can encompass something as small as a single protein in an organelle to something as large as rainforest ecosystems. It connects life from all levels of organization.” — Victoria Gabardi, sophomore, honors student

Fast Facts

  1. The BIOneers Mentorship Program is a new initiative to help first-year biology students at PUC successfully navigate their major and their time in college. Incoming students will be paired with passionate and friendly upperclassmen within their specific field of study, who will help guide them throughout their first year.
  2. Biology students take many courses which take them outside the classroom. The department teaches classes at the college’s Albion Retreat & Learning Center on the Mendocino Coast and has traveled as far as Brazil for tropical biology courses.
  3. Modern laboratory equipment allows students to perform their own experiments in current fields such as immunology, molecular genetics, and cancer biology.
  4. The Hansen Collection, housed in Clark Hall, is a special collection of over 40 species of stuffed game animals from around the world. Visitors can view Kodiak and polar bears, as well as a leopard, tiger, mountain lion, and jaguar. The museum also boasts a prized “grand slam” of the four North American mountain sheep: the Rocky Mountain bighorn, the desert bighorn, the Dall sheep, and the stone sheep.

What You Can Do With This Major

Biology is a popular choice among students looking to go into the medical field but it also offers career paths in research, environmental studies, and many other areas.

  • Dentistry
  • Environmental policy
  • Medicine
  • Optometry
  • Pharmacy
  • Physical therapy
  • Public health
  • Teaching
  • Veterinary science
  • Water management
  • Wildlife management

Learn more about the department of biology at puc.edu/academics. Our team of admissions counselors can answer any questions you have about PUC’s biology programs, or the other majors the college offers. Call (800) 862-7080, option 2 or email admissions@puc.edu to get connected with a counselor now and start learning about all the options available to you!

15 Things to Do in the Napa Valley as a PUC Student

There’s a lot to do during your first year at PUC. While you’re settling into your program and making new friends, there’s also plenty of sights in the Napa Valley to see! You may think Napa is stuffy and only for rich people looking to go wine tasting, but there’s so much more to Napa than you know. There’s plenty to do that doesn’t involve wine, or requires a lot of money. So whether you’ve visited PUC every year you’ve been in academy or you’re on campus for the first time, it’s time to get out of your dorm room to explore everything Napa has to offer, and have a lot of fun too!

Eat a macaron from Bouchon Bakery
Photo from thomaskeller.com

There’s are many reasons why this bakery is world famous, and one of them is their absolutely delicious macaron. The first of several, Bouchon Bakery in Yountville makes about 300,000 of them every year, with the most popular one being pistachio, and has been churning out delicious treats since 2003. Stop in to pick up one of their seasonal flavors or find out which one will be your tried-and-true go-to.  

Catch a movie at the historic Cameo Cinema
Photo from afar.com

In operation since 1913, the Cameo Cinema is a charming single-screen theater in the heart of downtown St. Helena which features state-of-the-art technology in sound and projection, including Dolby 3D and Dolby Atmos Sound (it is one of just a few theaters in the country to have this). The Cameo is the perfect place to take a date or go with a group of friends, with ticket prices clocking in at just $8.

Be amazed by Castello di Amorosa
Photo from napavalley.com

Did you know the Napa Valley has the only authentic medieval 13th-century castle in the U.S.? It’s true! The impressive Castello di Amorosa is over 136,000 square feet and has 107 rooms. There’s the Great Hall with 2-story replica Tuscan frescoes painted by Italian artists, a drawbridge, a dungeon, and a medieval church; spread across eight levels—four above ground and four below. Even if you only drive up to take an Instagram photo, it’s a sight worth seeing! There are also chickens, goats, sheep, and even peacocks that wander the grounds.  

Wander the Sculpture Meadow at the di Rosa
Photo from dirosaart.org

The di Rosa Center for Contemporary Arts houses a significant collection of notable works, exclusively by Northern California artists. There’s also a 1/3-mile Sculpture Meadow trail that winds its way past dozens of outdoor sculptures. It’s a beautiful place to visit on Sabbath afternoon!

Stuff your face at Giugni’s Deli
Photo from winnie.com

A PUC favorite for decades, stop by Giugni’s in downtown St. Helena and eat the sandwich of your dreams. Choose from a variety of delicious bread options and customize it with avocado, horseradish, chipotle mayo, and too many cheeses to even list. Make sure you get your sandwich with Giugni juice, a top secret family recipe that will take your sandwich to the next level.

Eat an English muffin from Model Bakery
Photo from yelp.com

For almost 100 years, Model Bakery has been a Napa Valley staple. Specializing in breads, pastries, and desserts, there’s plenty of things to make your mouth water. Their English muffins are literally world famous, with Oprah and chef Michael Chiarello counted as huge fans. Stop by in the morning when they’re fresh from the oven!

Enjoy the vistas at the top of Mount St. Helena
Photo from sacbee.com

The hike up the majestic Mount St. Helena in nearby Calistoga is a 2,068-foot climb over 5.1 miles to the summit. Once you’re at the top though, your hard work is rewarded with breathtaking views of the valley terrain below. On clear days, Mt. Tamalpais in Marin and Mt. Diablo near Walnut Creek can be seen, and some have even claimed to see Mt. Shasta, 192 miles away. Put the second-highest peak in the Bay Area on your list of Sabbath afternoon hikes!

Admire the artwork at the Fine Art Photography Gallery at Mumm Napa
Photo from napavalleynow.com

Take a stroll through this small but impressive fine art photography gallery. Currently on display is the “Poetry of Light” collection by famed photographer Ansel Adams, comprised of 27 gelatin silver prints, including several of his most famous photographs from Yosemite National Park.

Explore the Napa Art Walk
Photo from napaartwalk.org

The Napa Art Walk is a rotating exhibit of public art sculptures displayed throughout downtown Napa featuring artists from the western U.S. The featured sculptures change on a bi-annual basis, so keep a lookout for different pieces of art to pop up during your years at PUC. See if you can Instagram them all!

SONY DSC

Learn about Napa’s history at the Napa Valley Museum
Photo from napavalleymuseum.org

This small, cozy, educational museum always has a rotating schedule of exciting exhibitions, which typically focuses on local and regional artists and student showcases. On permanent display is a collection of approximately 15,000 items on the story of Napa Valley’s history, including geological specimens, Native American artifacts, and other items of cultural significance from the mid-1800s to the present. Currently on display in the main gallery is “Walt Disney’s Trains,” a family-friendly exhibition presented in partnership with San Francisco’s Walt Disney Family Museum that explores the influence railroad trains had on Disney‘s life. Watch their calendar for other exciting upcoming exhibitions!

Paddle down the Napa River
Photo from yelp.com

Spend an afternoon kayaking or paddle boarding down the Napa River. Grab some friends and see things from a different perspective as you paddle by river flora, fauna, and wildlife. You might even see a dolphin or two, which are occasionally spotted in the river!    

See our very own Old Faithful Geyser
Photo from calistogaspa.com

Yes, it’s cheesy, but put visiting the Old Faithful Geyser in Calistoga on your to-do list! While it’s not quite as prestigious as Yellowstone’s geyser, you can still enjoy this natural wonder nevertheless. Besides watching the geyser erupt, you can also visit the on-site petting zoo, home to mountain goats, sheep, and llamas. Use your PUC ID card for a discount.

Wander the stalls at Oxbow Public Market
Photo from oxbowpublicmarket.com

Oxbow Public Market just might be the go-to place for locals and visitors alike. There’s so much to see and do; from browsing local gifts and products, sampling artisanal goods, plenty of restaurants, and even a market for fresh produce. Everyone has something to choose from! Our personal recommendation? Stop by Kara’s Cupcakes for a mini cupcake to go along with a latte from Ritual Coffee. If your sweet tooth is still craving something, get a scoop of ice cream from Three Twins Ice Cream.

Eat a piadine from Pizzeria Tra Vigne
Photo from yelp.com

On any given night, if you walk into Pizzeria Tra Vigne you’re bound to see someone you know from PUC. A favorite spot for both students and faculty alike, you have to make sure you try their infamous piadine, which is essentially a giant Italian version of a taco. It’s delicious!

Catch a show at the Napa Uptown Theatre
Photo from sfgate.com

A beautifully restored historic landmark from 1937, the Uptown brings in a wide variety of music and comedy acts. Besides admiring the luxurious art deco decor, you can also appreciate that no matter where you sit, it will be a great seat, since the distance from the last row to the stage is just 98 feet. Keep an eye on their calendar for upcoming events.

Well, what are you waiting for? Get out there and start exploring!

Student Research Profile: Jessica Edens

Here at PUC, biology students have countless opportunities to get involved with research, oftentimes working alongside professors on projects. Programs are specially curated to not only prepare students academically but also to equip them with real-world experience for success in future endeavors.

Here’s one student’s experience and how they feel PUC helped prepare them.

Who are you?

My name is Jessica Edens, and I’m a senior environmental studies major. After graduation from PUC, I plan to pursue law school and get my J.D.

What did you do?

My internship is with the Bureau of Reclamation within the Department of Interior as a park ranger. While there are many duties, one is working with local non-profits and other organizations to educate youth groups or perform community outreach programs. There are a lot of natural resource activities involved, like trail building and maintenance, invasive species prevention program for quagga and zebra mussels, re-planting of native trees, conservation, and water management.

When and where did you do this work?

My internship is at Lake Berryessa, California. I have worked there since July 2018.

What did you learn?

A big part of being a park ranger is working with the environment while educating people in the hopes of creating or maintaining good conservation practices. It’s trying to spread the idea we only have one earth and we should be preserving what we have.

How did your experience at PUC help prepare you for this experience?

Being an environmental studies major, I took a lot of classes about biology and the environment. There were many classes I took at PUC I am able to use in this internship. So much of the material and topics I learned in the classroom have proven invaluable in aiding my ability to speak knowledgeably on a subject.

Academic Spotlight: Visual Arts

As one of our most interactive departments, visual arts is known for producing student work of the highest quality. This artistic and collaborative community strives to provide real-world experiences, preparing students for their future careers. Learn more about PUC’s department of visual arts at puc.edu/visual-arts and discover the creative pathways available to you in a career in the arts.

Programs offered:

  • A.S., B.A. in Art, Photography Emphasis
    • B.F.A. in Photography
  • A.S., B.A. in Design, Graphic Design Emphasis
    • B.F.A. in Graphic Design
  • A.S., B.A., B.F.A. in Film
  • B.A. in Art, Fine Art Emphasis
    • B.F.A. in Fine Art

A Student’s Perspective

“I picked visual arts because it is something I have been passionate about since seventh grade. Originally, I thought photography was simply a hobby, but as time progressed, I realized it is something I want to gain a deeper education in. One thing I really appreciate about the department of visual arts at PUC is its flexibility. Everyone is open to new ideas and the overall mindset of the department fosters individual creativity. Someday, I definitely want to start a business and have my own studio. I think it is something I will be able to do after graduating from PUC.” — Keren Castro, freshman, photography

Fast Facts

  1. Career Preparation. Visual arts programs provide an intensive approach to studying and creating art in multiple mediums and prepares students for success. Students have interned at Obey, Disney, Airbnb, Buzzfeed, the Napa Valley Film Festival, and Francis Ford Coppola’s American Zoetrope.
  2. Artistic Excursions. The department of visual arts takes students on quarterly trips to museums in the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as tours of companies like Apple, YouTube, and Pinterest; field trips to historic design spots such as the Eames Ranch and M&H Type; and longer trips to events such as the Sundance Film Festival.
  3. On-Campus Culture. The Rasmussen Art Gallery at PUC presents a variety of art exhibitions each year, where students, faculty, and guest artists showcase their latest work. Additionally, film students premiere their projects at the historic Cameo Cinema in St. Helena every year at the annual Diogenes Film Festival.
  4. Accomplished Graduates. Recent grads have gone on to work with many prestigious companies, such as Pixar, DreamWorks Animation, Legendary Films, Facebook, Apple, Netflix, Lucasfilm, LinkedIn, RipCurl, Williams Sonoma, and Martha Stewart Living. There are also many alumni working for large ministries like 3ABN, Amazing Facts, and Maranatha Volunteers International.

What You Can Do With This Major

You’re only limited by your imagination for what you can do with a visual arts degree! Here are just a few ideas to help get you thinking about your options.

  • Art professor
  • Artist
  • Film editor
  • Filmmaker
  • Graphic designer
  • Illustrator
  • Photographer
  • Photojournalist
  • UX/UI designer

Our team of admissions counselors can answer any questions you have about the department of visual arts or any of PUC’s other programs. Call (800) 862-7080, option 2 or email admissions@puc.edu to get connected with a counselor now and start learning about all the options available to you!