Get to Know PUC’s Teaching & Learning Center

By Becky St. Clair

What do you think when you hear the acronym “TLC”? Back in the day (and today in the real estate business) it meant “Tender Loving Care.” Those of you old enough to remember the 90s (or who know a lot about music) may recall a 1990s girl band out of Atlanta called TLC, and there’s also a cable television channel by that name—The Learning Channel.

Here at PUC, we have our own TLC, and while we can’t promise any 90s hip-hop (and we promise, no cheesy reality shows!), we can promise some super useful services there. Here on campus, TLC is short for the Teaching & Learning Center. As we get ready to begin another school year, we thought it might be handy for you to know what kinds of services the TLC can provide for you.

Mentoring

Starting college can be challenging for some students. For many, it’s their first time away from home for an extended period of time, and the realities of #adulting are starting to hit home (and dorm!). The TLC has a great team of professionals who will help you keep up with the demands of classes combining with the rest of your life without feeling overwhelmed. To get started with your personalized support, fill out the “Contact an Academic Mentor” form.

Study Groups

We’re not gonna lie, some of your classes will be hard. That’s part of the “blessing and curse” situation of attending a school known for its academic rigor: You’re going to be challenged, but we promise, it’s for your own good, and you will survive. Still doubtful? Join one of the many free study groups in the TLC! They meet twice each week for a lot of those tough classes you’ll encounter because trust us—you’re not the only one finding them hard!

Disabilities Services

If you’re facing additional challenges, such as learning disabilities, injuries or illness, or psychological needs, you won’t be left behind! The TLC has an office specifically for working with students who need special support due to temporary or long-term/permanent disabilities. Reach out to our disabilities coordinator to get the help you need to ensure your academic success here at PUC.

College Skills Workshops

Let’s face it, whether you found your high school classes a breeze or barely muddled through to graduation, in many ways, college is harder. In order to make the cut for whatever your career goals may be, you’ll need solid tools in-hand to make it happen. That’s why the TLC offers dynamic and fun-filled seminars on study skills and time management. These workshops will teach you to capitalize on your personal passions, using the learning and organizational strengths you already possess. Email Michelle Kendrick, who oversees tutoring, at mkendrick@puc.edu for more information.

Academic Advising

One of the biggest stressors on a college student is deciding on a major. Did you know the average college student changes their major six times between freshman year and graduation? And yet they still do graduate, and they still embark on a career. So there is hope, and the TLC, once again, is here to save the day. If you aren’t sure about what you want your major to be, don’t worry! Talk to the TLC’s academic advisor, who can offer a strengths inventory, a personality assessment, and walk you through the results to determine what kinds of jobs might be right for you. Then, they can help you figure out what classes to take and how to get started. All of this—for free*! Make an appointment with the academic advisor and start your future today.

If you have other concerns about your academic success at PUC, the TLC can help. Call (707-965-7688), email (tlc@puc.edu), or stop by any time; the TLC is located between the Dining Commons and Chan Shun/Davidian Halls. Let’s talk!

*Fees may be incurred for some tests; counselors will advise you prior to taking the test whether or not it will incur a fee.

16 Questions with Floyd Hayes

Are you thinking about studying biology in college? Meet Dr. Floyd Hayes, professor of biology at PUC, and get the inside scoop to life in Clark Hall, home of PUC’s department of biology.

One of the largest departments on campus, the department of biology is home to several other exciting programs, including the Biology Club, one of the most active student-run clubs at PUC. For a behind-the-scenes look at biology at PUC, you can follow the department on Instagram at @pucbiology.

10 Tips for Your First Quarter at PUC

Help make sure this is you graduating in four years! (And yes, those are tortillas!)

If you’re getting ready for your first quarter at PUC, here are 10 suggestions to help make the transition from high school to college as smooth as possible.

Don’t stay in your dorm room

Try your best not to be a hermit and spend all your time in your dorm room. It can be intimidating to go to Student Association events or a Pioneers Athletics game, or just hang out in the Campus Center, but try to get out of your comfort zone a few times and put yourself in places where you might make new friends.

Find your ideal place to study

Research shows studying in different locations can help with your retention of what you’ve studied, so it’s a good idea to find several places you feel you can focus.

Need some ideas of where you can go? Check out our “Great Places to Study on PUC’s Campus” blog post!

Meet with your professors

Make a point of stopping by to visit with your professors during their office hours. Don’t feel as though you’re imposing on them—they’re literally required to have them! Talking with your professors regularly can help them get to know you too, which will also be helpful in a few years when you need a recommendation from them!

Take advantage of on-campus resources

There are some awesome resources available to students at PUC. The Teaching & Learning Center offers free tutoring for most General Education classes and also has a writing lab. The Counseling Center provides students with career counseling, personal counseling, and testing services. Our gymnasium, known officially as Pacific Auditorium but more endearingly called “The Covered Wagon,” also houses a fitness center, weight room, and pool, all of which are free for students to use.

Learn more by reading our “Five Departments Every Student Should Know” blog post!

Talk to people in your classes

It can be scary to walk into a classroom full of people you don’t know, so make an effort to talk to students seated near you. This can have two benefits: you can potentially make more friends, and you can have a buddy to rely on in case one of you misses class and share notes with.

Find ways to get involved

This isn’t to say you should force yourself to do something you aren’t truly interested in, but find your own way of getting involved on-campus. Participate in your weekly dorm worship. Join a small Bible study group. Start a praise band. Think about running for Student Association office or for Student Senate. Join one of the 25 student clubs!

Interested in joining a student club? Learn more by reading our “So Many Clubs, So Little Time!” blog post!

Balance your life

While it’s obviously very important, there’s more to college life than school and homework. A lot of being successful in college is learning how to manage your time and finding the right balance between studying, your social life, and activities to help you relax and destress.

Which leads to the next point …

Develop a routine

Try to develop a routine that works for you, and then do your best to stick to it. Start your morning by studying your Bible or reading a quick worship thought. If you have a break between classes, go for a walk at the track (and bring flashcards if you still need to cram for a quiz!). Make a deal with your friends to have dinner together at the Dining Commons every evening, or at least once a week.

Plan your class schedule wisely

Keep your past history in mind when planning your class schedule with your enrollment counselor. If you’re not a morning person, avoid 8 a.m. classes, if possible. If you struggle with staying focused for long periods of time, maybe don’t sign up for those four credit classes that meet twice a week for two hours! Being aware of what works for you and planning accordingly can only help set you up for future success.

Editor’s note: If you still need to register for classes, or have questions about your schedule, get in touch with your enrollment counselor! Call (800) 862-7080, option 2 or email enroll@puc.edu to get connected with a counselor.

Try something new

Lastly, don’t be afraid to try something new. Take an art class. Take a language class. Play an intramurals sport you’ve never played before. By stepping outside of your comfort zone, you’re giving yourself an opportunity to grow and perhaps discover something new that you enjoy.

Your first quarter of college is going to be full of new people and new experiences, but try not to worry or feel overwhelmed as New Student Orientation approaches. You will find your place here at PUC, and develop your own network of friends and support. Get ready for your best year yet!

Great Places to Study on PUC’s Campus

When I was in college here at PUC, my favorite place to study was at the Campus Center coffee shop, The Grind. I enjoyed having background sound and people milling around. (For more about how much I love the college’s Campus Center, read my blog post “PUC’s Campus Center Will Be There For You”!) But not everyone is like me, which is what is so great about being at PUC. The campus offers a variety of study spaces for both group and solo studying. From the library to individual department study spaces, you’ll never have far to go to find a great spot to crack open your books.

Below are photos of just a few places here on campus that are ideal for studying. There are also plenty of other spaces available to students, including lounges in the departments of music, English, and visual arts.

The student lounge for the department of history in Irwin Hall.

The student lounge for the department of world languages & cultures in Irwin Hall.

The library has a lot of study spaces for students.

More study spaces in the library.

Outside the library is a great place to hang out too!

The Campus Center is always packed full of students studying or enjoying a coffee break.

It’s a good idea to bring your headphones to the Campus Center if you’re trying to study!

There are plenty of places in Fisher Hall, home to the department of visual arts, for students to study, including the art studios, shown here.

Department of Visual Arts Senior Thesis Projects

By Celeste Wong

This year’s Senior Thesis Exhibition for visual arts students was held on Thursday, May 19th, in the Rasmussen Art Gallery, located between the Nelson Memorial Library and Paulin Hall.  The exhibition included the theses of 12 graduating visual arts majors ranging from fine art, graphic design, and photography.

For the film and television majors, they premiered their thesis films at the annual Diogenes Film Festival at the Cameo Cinema in St. Helena on Thursday, May 31. Three graduating film and television majors premiered their thesis films, along with other short films by other film students.

These graduating seniors began their year-long project starting at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year. At the beginning of the year, they have had to pitch their thesis ideas to the entire department of visual arts faculty for approval and have consistently worked from then until now. Students who are BFA students are expected to work on their projects for at least a whopping 300 hours, to give some perspective.

Fine Art

Sierra Driver
Graphic novel

Lexi Haylock
Found objects installation

“My thesis is titled ‘Homegrown.’ I wanted to capture my most intimate and cherished memories of growing up in the beautiful nature of Angwin. I was inspired by changes that will be occurring in my life as I graduate from PUC and move away from my childhood town. I’ve always been fascinated by the connection between emotion and memory. This project is my attempt at visually showing how the most prominent memories of my home have changed as I continue to grow.”

Chanel Lee
Diptych of large-scale watercolor paintings

Drew Macomber
Series of watercolor paintings

Laurel Williams
Assemblage installation

“My project is about technology, social media, and information, how these things are connected to education and about some of their negative effects on the development of children and youth today. I was inspired to do this because I’ve noticed there are higher levels of anxiety, depression, and stress amongst successive generations in America and I wondered if there might possibly be a common factor. It looks like that factor is how we tie the gathering of information or even education to success and put pressure on our students to ‘be successful.’ Increasingly over the decades, it has led to something called ‘play deprivation’ which can inhibit the development of youth in ways that counteract their preparation for a successful life. Hopefully, those who see my project will be inspired to rethink what success means to them and make better choices for themselves and their futures.”

Celeste Wong
Ceramics installation

“My project confronts and brings insight into what it means to be biracial or multiracial. I myself am multiracial and usually identify as just ‘American;’ however, this response is an answer that people find too vague. By blood I am half Filipino, quarter Chinese, and quarter Euro-American mix, to put it simply. Do I relate to any of these cultures? No, I do not; my parents were born and raised in America just like me. I started to open up about my frustration of finding my own ‘identity’ and in return, I found many bi/multiracial students on campus whom I’ve shared stories with. Included in my installation, I have quotes from more than 15 PUC students, sharing both the positive and negatives of being bi/multiracial, accompanied by expressive ceramic vessels.”

Graphic Design

Jenae Benson
Educational poster series, photographs, and handouts

“My thesis project is about raising awareness about the harms drugs have on a fetus of a pregnant mother. I was inspired by my mom because throughout her career as a school nurse she has told me heartbreaking stories about children who live a difficult life because they were drug exposed. My hope for this project is to make an impression on at least one person—that could be one baby’s life changed forever.”

Joshua Davis
Graphic novel

Giang Pham
Illustrated storybook

“My project is a storybook, loosely based on my own story revolving around the theme of relational struggles. I enjoy graphic novel, manga, and animation illustrations, so I wanted to make my own.”

Jackie Rivera
Hand-painted and designed signage installation

“As a letterer and designer, I’m really inspired by the letterforms and signage of the 20th century. For my thesis, I wanted to create a series of signs inspired by vintage signage I grew up seeing around small, historic Northern California towns. I wanted to learn about old sign making processes such as sign painting and woodworking. As a designer, learning about the history of graphic design is very important to me, and learning these old techniques has given me a much deeper appreciation and love for the career path I’ve chosen.”

Chad Smith
Series of digital paintings and parallax paintings

Photography

Alexis Howard
Photography series of vintage memorabilia

“My project is called ‘The Things She Left Behind’ and it is about photographing the things that belong to my great-grandmother. I was inspired by my great-grandmother and the impact she made in my life. So I wanted to do something to honor her.”

Film & Television

Rachel Ermshar

“My thesis is an exploration of growth, how we react and grow to different situations we end up in.”

Sarah Martinez

Gabriela Talevera

“My thesis is a documentary about the civil war in El Salvador. I was inspired by all the stories my mom would tell me about her childhood.”

After reading the highlights of some of the year-long projects these seniors have been working on, hopefully, you are inspired by these artists and filmmakers!

 

Half-Price Tuition and Housing: PUC Offers Summer Classes

By Becky St. Clair

Half-price tuition.

Half-price housing.

Over two dozen areas of study to choose from.

Hours and hours of NorCal sun.

If even one of those things sounds good, you need to register for summer classes at PUC, stat! Headed home for the summer? Good news–we’ve got 17 online courses for you to choose from, too. Of course, online means no “hours and hours of NorCal sun,” but no matter what floats your boat this summer, we’ve got you covered!

Summer classes last only 2-3 weeks, including full-year sequences for pre-med and pre-dent courses such as Biological Foundations and General Chemistry. Pre-nursing courses such as Human Anatomy and General Microbiology are also available during the summer.

PUC already offers smaller class sizes, even during the regular school year, but during the summer, those class sizes shrink even more, offering students even better access to their teachers and more room for open dialogue and class discussions.

“Rigorous” is definitely the name of the game in summer classes, but there are rewards to be had (besides getting course credits out of the way). Student Activities provides recreation options throughout the summer, such as weekly free food, Six Flags tickets, a San Francisco Giants game, and a pool party. Not to mention other local events such as the weekly farmer’s market in St. Helena, concerts in the park, sunrise fitness classes, Independence Day fireworks, the fair in Calistoga, artist and author meet-n-greets, the Flynn Creek Circus, Napa Porchfest, and more. Or, create your own adventure in the Back 40, San Francisco, the coast, or anywhere in-between.

Whether you choose to stay home or join us on campus, we look forward to spending our summer with you.

For details and to register, visit puc.edu/summer-classes or email enroll@puc.edu.

What Exactly is Allied Health? Professor Saunders Tells It All.

The single-handed most critical, yet annoying question any college student may be asked is the following: “What are you majoring in?” While many individuals may be fortunate enough to have this question figured out, others struggle to even wrap their minds around committing to one of the many majors Pacific Union College has to offer. Although PUC is especially known for its pre-med, pre-dent, and nursing programs, there are also plenty of options offered in allied health.

So, what careers do allied health studies lead to? Fear not, here are just a few occupations one can have with a background in allied health: physical therapy, occupational therapy, respiratory therapy, x-ray technician, radiology technician, nutrition/dietetics, speech-language pathology, and more, including a new program in diagnostic medical sonography. There are close to 20 different allied health options for students to choose from! See a full list of PUC’s majors, including all of the allied health programs, at puc.edu/admissions.

Yet, many incoming college students are unaware of the boundless possibilities—aside from pre-med, pre-dent, and nursing—that healthcare has to offer. So, the question remains, how does one go about pursuing a career in allied health? In light of these questions, PUC’s very own allied health adviser, Vicki Saunders, offers insight on how to become an allied health professional.

What is your role at PUC?

I am an assistant professor of nutrition and I also coordinate the two-year health sciences degree program.

What is your favorite part about being an adviser?

My favorite part about being an adviser is the one-on-one conversations with students. What can I say? For the most part, it is very rewarding.

Can you explain what pre-professional programs are?

Pre-professional programs are tracks in undergraduate programs that prepare you to continue on to another institution to earn a professional degree after completing a series of prerequisite classes, which generally are 1-2 years (though a few programs now require a four-year degree). The term “pre-professional” is a bit confusing, as it applies to a much broader group than just pre-allied health programs; it can include pre-allied health programs as well as pre-medicine, pre-dentistry, etc. I specifically work with students who have chosen to study pre-allied health programs. (See a full list of PUC’s majors, including all of the allied health programs, at puc.edu/admissions.)

What is a piece of advice you can give to incoming students interested in pursuing a career in allied health?

Well, if they are not here yet, I suggest they start shadowing. If they are shadowing, they can get a form on Loma Linda University’s website (or other prospective schools) for tracking shadowing hours. Many schools now require individuals applying to allied health programs to complete a certain number of shadowing hours. For example, physical therapy requires 80 hours of shadowing versus occupational therapy requires only 40 hours. Some therapies don’t require a lot of hours, but it is good to shadow and observe what these professionals do to see if it’s a fit for you. Different personalities click with different professions. Some professions are behind the scenes, while others require contact with people regularly.

Given how competitive some pre-professional and allied health programs are, what are some tips on how to succeed?

One tip is to take all the sciences you can in high school to give yourself a foundation. It’s probably not a good idea to try to skip chemistry and physics in high school if you want to get into a physical therapy program in college. There are some schools that are really academically challenging, but a large number of schools are not as rigorous. However, incoming students can’t doodle around their freshman year—they may miss out on what they want to get into. One of the biggest errors students make is looking at a schedule of 16 class credits plotted on their calendars and say, “look at all that free time!” Sixteen hours represents approximately a 40-hour week. They need to consider more than just time in classes; there’s studying, prepping for class and projects, writing research papers, etc. College students end up knowing how to balance time usually around their second year, although freshmen sometimes have a harder time doing that.

How do PUC’s pre-professional programs set themselves apart from programs offered by other schools?

It depends on which school one is looking at. Not all schools offer the A.S. degree in health sciences that we do. This is a way for students who are just attending college to complete prerequisites to also leave with a diploma. PUC is known for its high academic standards. When I was at LLU for an advisers’ conference, there were some PUC alumni who mentioned they had found that some of their college courses were more difficult at PUC than what they had found at LLU. Although we have not transitioned to a being a university, we are a very established college.

Interested in learning more about PUC’s degree in health sciences, or another allied health program? Talk with one of our enrollment counselors today! They can give you more information about each program’s requirements and advise you on what classes you should take to be prepared for PUC. Email enroll@puc.edu or call (800) 862-7080, option 2 to talk with a counselor.