Seeing the East Coast with the PUC Department of History

By Marielle Gutierrez

As a recently graduated history major from Pacific Union College, I can say I spent a lot of time in Irwin Hall. As a student, I sat through many interesting class periods where professors not only gave thought-provoking lectures, but also encouraged students to use critical thinking and problem solving skills. Learning history in a classroom setting is great, but it is even better when you are able to visit the many different places you read about in an assigned reading, or researched for your next paper. Visiting historical locations makes the past more real and accessible. Thankfully, the department of history at PUC offers students the chance to experience history through travel.

This past summer the history tour went to the East Coast. All who participated on the tour had the opportunity to visit Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. Each location showcased an obvious mix between the past and present. Despite this common factor, each location managed to offer something unique to me. Boston provided a clear visual of our nation’s beginnings with all of its historical sites. New York offered us the opportunity to see the roots of our country’s diversity, while Philadelphia proudly displayed themes of our country’s foundational beliefs—liberty and freedom. Last but not least, Washington, D.C., was a memorial of thanks to the many brave people who sacrificed everything so their country could flourish.

I enjoyed the history tour so much because I was able to fulfill my dream of visiting these famous cities that played an important role in founding the United States. I also enjoyed the tour because I was able to form friendships with other PUC students who I previously never had the chance to meet, or initially did not know very well. By the end of the tour numerous inside jokes were formed during evening homework sessions and various means of keeping in contact were created. They honestly became family.

I will always remember this trip as one of my best college memories, and for that, I am so thankful for the PUC department of history because they provided me with this once-in-a-lifetime experience. If you ever have the opportunity go on this tour; take it! You will not regret it.

Five Academic Departments at PUC You Should Know

There are over 70 different majors at PUC, which offers students plenty of options to choose from. Some of our more popular and unique departments include nursing & health sciences, biology, visual arts, aviation and education, which is a nice mix making PUC a true liberal arts college. Read on for a few fast facts about these departments!

Nursing & Health Sciences

The department of nursing and health sciences is home to the emergency services program, as well as our AS and BSN nursing degrees, which are some of the most popular at PUC.

  • We talked with PUC’s pre-nursing advisor to cover some frequently asked questions about the program. Curious if a BSN is necessary in today’s workforce? Give this blog post a read.
  • PUC offers a two year degree in health sciences for students planning on continuing on to Loma Linda University for programs such as pre-clinical laboratory science, pre-dental hygiene, pre-radiation science, and several others.

Biology

Interested in gaining some real world research experience? Look no further than the department of biology, where students conduct experiments for research projects and internships on an almost daily basis. Browse through these blog posts about student research opportunities at PUC.

  • PUC biology students have uniquely high acceptance rates to top-notch medical and dental schools like Loma Linda University.
  • There’s more than one way and one place to learn. The department teaches classes on the Mendocino Coast at the college’s Albion Retreat & Learning Center, and students have traveled as far away as Brazil for tropical biology courses.

Visual Arts

For a behind the scenes look at one of PUC’s most exciting departments, check out the department of visual arts’ Instagram.

  • PUC film students have completed internships at DreamWorks Animation, Sofia and Francis Ford Coppola’s American Zoetrope film studio, Pixar and HBO.
  • With San Francisco just an hour a 20 minutes away, visual arts students often visit museums in the city, including the SF Museum of Modern Art, the de Young Museum, & the Palace of Legion of Honor.

Aviation

The sky’s the limit in PUC’s department of aviation!

  • PUC is one of only two liberal arts colleges in California to offer a degree in aviation.
  • There are many different career paths aviation students can pursue, including aerial photography, airline pilot, air traffic controller, fire fighting, and more. Read one PUC graduate’s story of how an aviation degree took him to new heights in this blog post.

Education

PUC’s $3,000 renewable Adventist Mission Scholarship is available to students actively pursuing a teaching credential for elementary or secondary education.

  • The department of education assists graduates with job placement through events like the Education Days banquet and interviews, where prospective employers from the local conference and throughout the Pacific Union meet with students.
  • Learn how you can tailor an education degree to fit your future career aspirations by reading about this recent graduate’s experience in this blog post.

For more information about all of PUC’s degree programs and how they can help you reach your educational and professional goals, we invite you to talk with an enrollment counselor in the enrollment services office. Email enroll@puc.edu or call (800) 862-7080, option 2 today.

Why You Should Study Math and Why You Should Do It At PUC

Dr. Steve Waters has taught at PUC for 35 years, many of which he served as chair for the department of mathematics. We asked Dr. Waters to share some of his thoughts about studying mathematics, and the advantages of studying it at PUC. This is what he had to say.

Should you study mathematics in college?

The answer is a definite “yes!” if any of the following descriptions apply to you. 

  • You are fascinated by patterns—seeing how things fit together and discovering connections between seemingly very different things.
  • You love knowing why, not just how.
  • You see beauty in carefully crafted and refined ideas.
  • You enjoy finding new perspectives that change apparently hard problems into easy ones.
  • You find satisfaction in sticking with a hard problem until the thrill of a solution presents itself.

But what can you do with a mathematics degree?

The first thing that comes to mind for many people when asked this question is working as a teacher in elementary schools, high schools, and colleges. While it is true that there is a great demand for qualified mathematics teachers at all levels, and that these can be very rewarding careers, only a small fraction of people with mathematical training actually work in the teaching profession. Qualified mathematical thinkers are sought throughout government and industry to help teams make sense of data, design new products, create forecasts—work on anything involving pattern recognition and analysis. These teams often involve a fusion of computer science, engineering, psychology, marketing, communication, and many other areas, so mathematicians are always learning new things and exploring new ideas.

So what do mathematicians actually do?

I’ll let Keith Devlin (NPR’s “Math Guy”) answer this:

“What the mathematician does is examine abstract “patterns”—numerical patterns, patterns of shape, patterns of motion, patterns of behavior, voting patterns in a population, patterns of repeating chance events, and so on. Those patterns can be either real or imagined, visual or mental, static or dynamic, qualitative or quantitative, purely utilitarian or of little more than recreational interest. They can arise from the world around us, from the depths of space and time, or from the workings of the human mind. Different kinds of patterns give rise to different branches of mathematics.”

It’s worth noting very little in the description has to do with “arithmetic.” Mathematical studies open up a whole world of critical and creative thought far beyond the ideas of elementary-school number manipulation.

Knowing that mathematics provides a way to work with fascinating ideas and people, make a real difference in the world, and get paid for it!, why should you study the subject at Pacific Union College?

The short answer is PUC is a Seventh-day Adventist college with mathematics teachers who are dedicated to your success. Your classes will not be taught by graduate students, but by professors whose primary focus is on teaching. In addition to excellent classes, you will also have opportunities to do research with your professors—many of our students have presented work at national and international conferences, and had papers published in prestigious journals.

The department of mathematics, along with physics & engineering, works hard to create a family feel that welcomes all students, regardless of their backgrounds. Your teachers will quickly become your friends and mentors as you work and talk with them in their offices, as well as in the classrooms, across campus, and in their homes. Perhaps best of all, PUC gives you the opportunity to commune with God’s nature, with hundreds of acres of forest preserve filled with hiking and biking trails. It is truly a place “where nature and revelation unite in education.” We’re ready to welcome you into the family.

To learn more about studying math at PUC, visit our Admissions website or call (800) 862-7080 to talk with an enrollment counselor today!

My Experience Applying to Law School

By Andrew Mahinay

Editor’s note: This fall, Andrew is headed to the University of the Pacific to study law. We asked him to share how applying to law school was for him to provide insight for any student considering attending law school or another graduate school.

The application process starts the day you step foot, as a student, on your college campus. Obtaining a high GPA and participating in activities differentiating you from other applicants is the first step to a successful application.

The most important time for me was the summer of my junior year. I had to study for the LSAT, the admissions test for law school. After hours of preparation for months, I took the test, and to my excitement, received the score I needed. With the biggest component of the application out of the way, I began working on other parts of the application that took a lot of time and persistence.

Prospective law school students are typically required to obtain two recommendation letters from professors or employers. Thank God I went to PUC because the professors are easily accessible. I had the privilege of asking one of my English professors, from whom I had taken several classes, as well as my current boss at Newton Hall, to write my letters of recommendation. Whether you are applying to a grad program or a future job, make sure you ask your recommenders early on in the application process because they are busy working individuals with responsibilities of their own, and it may take some time for them to write their letter, and you don’t want to cut it too close or miss the deadline.

Other then studying for the LSAT, writing my personal statement for my application took up most of my time. Writing a response to each different law school prompt was tedious. However, I stayed focused and completed this task with the help of fellow students, professors, and the staff at PUC’s Teaching Learning Center, who helped me by peer reviewing grammatical errors and made my personal statement more compelling.

Creating a resume was another requirement I needed to fulfill. In college, get involved early on so you have activities to put on your resume. Keep in mind, your high school experiences are irrelevant. Graduate schools want to see your college experiences, not your high school ones. My resume was composed of years of activities from my first job, to managing and leading out in my first campus club.

The last item on the list I needed to obtain was my most recent transcript. PUC makes this process simple. Simply go on the Record’s Office page of the PUC website and fill out the Transcript Request Form. The process is straightforward and the college does all the work for you, sending your transcript straight to the graduate program you are applying for. PUC doesn’t charge any transcript fees for the first 25 copies of your transcript.

Once I had all the requirements completed (LSAT score, personal statement, resume, letters of recommendation, transcripts), I began to submit online applications to each school I was considering attending. After that, the real fun beganwaiting. Waiting can be stressful, but take it easy. At this point, you have done everything in your power. Patience is key! After a month of waiting, I received notification I had been accepted into one of my top law school choices.

During a special visitation day for admitted students to UoP, I had the opportunity to experience a day in the life of a law student at the school I decided to attend. I had the privilege of sitting in on a mock class taught by the honorable dean of the law school, which gave me firsthand experience of what to expect for law school. The feelings were so real as I sat and listened while taking notes. I left that day even more excited to begin!

The application process for law school, or any graduate program, is no joke. It takes time, persistence, and planning to get it done. However, the rewards are well worth it. It’s your future! Getting an acceptance letter from one of your top schools is one of the best feelings you will ever experience in your life. It’s also important to remember you aren’t alone through this process. Professors, your family, and friends will be there along the way to support you. For those of you who will be applying to law school or other graduate schools in the future, best of luck to you!

My Internship at PUC’s Nelson Memorial Library

Ryan and PUC’s archivist Katy at the “Visions of the Holy” exhibit.

By Ryan Chang

My time at Pacific Union College has been one of the most challenging yet informative stages of my life. The funny thing is, I actually started as a biology major when I entered freshman year in 2013, but a year later I made the decision to switch to the history, political studies and ethics major while keeping my pre-medicine program (it is doable, by the way!). One of the main components of my major, also known as a capstone, is an internship for a minimum of 90 hours. Yearning for a worthy place of work, I looked through a variety of options to choose from, such as libraries or museums in Napa Valley. After mulling over my choices, I ultimately chose to intern at PUC’s own Nelson Memorial Library, specifically in the archives. With this decision, I wanted to be able to give back to the campus, and I figured this was a great way to do so. Accomplishing this internship has been one of the highlights of my student career. Yet, it is important to mention just how this can positively benefit prospective students as well.

I interned under Katy Van Arsdale, who is probably the most understanding supervisor I have ever had. The main components of my internship concerned the honored classes that were celebrated during this school year’s Homecoming Weekend and the special “Visions of the Holy” exhibit in the Rasmussen Art Gallery. Putting together slideshows, gathering images of students all the way back to the 1940s, and researching famous artists who taught at PUC are all just a few examples of the work I did for my internship, and it imbued in me a sense of awe at all the accomplished people who have attended Pacific Union College.

A woodcut from a 1519 Latin Bible in PUC’s archival collection.

The “Visions of the Holy” exhibit was a source of immense satisfaction, as being a part of an extremely well-done exhibit is quite exhilarating. Seeing your name as one of the contributors and knowing your thoughts and ideas went into the making of an exhibit seen by hundreds of people is not easily replicated in life, and so I highly recommend all future and current students take a break from their studies and try to be a part of something bigger. Of course, being able to list an internship along with a concrete exhibit will look great on any student’s resume, but the experience that came along with it is, in my opinion, even more important.

As I graduate from PUC this year, my time at this institution has given me many memories and experiences I would not trade for the world. Without a doubt, the internship was a learning experience that was not only educational, but also provided a great work environment. There were some challenging moments, along with some unexpected ones, but overall it has given me a new perspective on how to better myself, and I know for a fact it will be a positive experience to anyone wishing to learn.

Editor’s Note: Many majors at PUC require an internship. Even if your program doesn’t require an internship, it still may be recommended for you to complete one. You can learn more about the benefits of an internship by reading our “What an Internship Can Do For You” blog post, and by browsing through the Internship category on the blog, which features several experiences from biology students who recently completed internships.

My Journey Through PUC’s Nursing Program, Part 3

By Rachel Dunbar

As a PUC nursing graduate, one question I often get about the program is, “Will I have time for myself?” The answer is 100 percent yes! Of course you will have days where you spend every waking minute doing homework, but not every day is like that. The easiest way to not get overwhelmed is good time management. If you don’t manage your time well, start practicing now. If you can’t manage your time the program can overwhelm you. I took it one day at a time and got as much done as possible, and that’s really all you can do. I played intramurals for the first year, but once second year came I didn’t have enough time with two clinical days; I ran 4 times a week, and I kept the Sabbath. You definitely have enough time if you use it wisely.

Keeping the Sabbath was a huge blessing for me. I would feel completely overwhelmed during the week and then Sabbath would arrive. It helped keep my anxiety down, and I never missed an assignment or got a lower grade because I didn’t do homework on the Sabbath. Sleep in, spend time with God, your friends and family, and let yourself de-stress for a day. It’s important.

A big part of my life is exercise. I did wonder if I could keep up with it during the program. For me; I wasn’t willing to compromise my own health for any program. I would sit down and look at my schedule and figure out when I could run. It was literally one hour four times a week and it was totally doable. Running has always been a huge de-stressor for me. It gave me an hour to think and have time to myself. It kept me from worrying as much and I was happier because of it.

Another thing I wouldn’t compromise on was my sleep. I honestly never went to bed after midnight because I didn’t procrastinate. If you get everything done, then do something that isn’t due until next week! You never know when something could come up and you suddenly are out of time. If you have spare time; use it to get ahead instead of scrambling to get things in on time. In all seriousness; I managed my time very well and it truly saved me. There are plenty of hours in the day to complete everything and have time for yourself. Certain quarters are going to be harder in different ways, but take it one day and one assignment at a time and you will get through it.

The greatest thing I gained from the nursing program at PUC was my relationship with God. I took for granted the fact my teacher’s prayed before every test, and reminded us God had a plan for us. When I felt so overwhelmed I wanted to quit, God reminded me His plan was the best plan. I grew in my relationship with God, and began to rely on Him when I felt I couldn’t make it. In many a sleepless night I would talk with God and pray I would pass. Every time (to this day) I lie awake with the knot twisting in my stomach on the night before a test I whisper to myself, “God has a plan.” I tell myself this over and over and over because it’s the greatest truth and gives me the most peace. I always say I think God laughs at me because of how much I worry.

Being close to God changed my worrying and anxiety throughout the program. Worry will always be something I struggle with, but I have begun to learn how to keep it at bay. I’ve learned God has a plan and I don’t need to put so much pressure on myself to make all the right decisions. I chose to give Him control, and that gives me peace. Trust in the Lord always; He has written the greatest life story for you. Trust His plan is the best plan; even if things don’t go as you thought they should. Take every week of every quarter, one day at a time. You can do this!

Interested in learning more about the nursing program at PUC? If you visit the Admissions website, you can find more information about the program, curriculum guidesheets, and a live chat where you can ask an enrollment counselor anything you need. You can also call (800) 862-7080, option 2 or email enroll@puc.edu for more help.

My Journey Through PUC’s Nursing Program, Part 2

By Rachel Dunbar

One of the things about PUC’s nursing program that gives students anxiety are clinicals. I remember how awkward and out of place I felt at first. As time passes, you learn a lot and begin to feel more useful and less in the way. Basically from the start of the program you are in the hospital. For the first day they have you paired up with someone to give a bed bath. It’s so funny thinking back to how awkward I felt, wondering, “What supplies do I need? Where do I get them? How do I bathe a complete stranger?” my only task was to give a bed bath and it felt like such a huge task. Having a partner made all the difference though. After each clinical day, I felt more comfortable and confident.

I enjoyed clinicals because they allowed me to see what I was studying. I felt I could actually apply what I was learning and use it when I went to the hospital. Each clinical taught me something different, seeing different floors with each rotation. I always had an idea of where I wanted to work as a nurse but I didn’t realize how many different units there were so it was great to experience all of them.  

Knowing what I know now, I offer you four simple tips to take through your clinicals:

  1. Be safe. In every task you’re about to do, be safe. You will learn the different safety precautions throughout the program; use them!! You might see a nurse who takes shortcuts to save time; but never compromise your safety precautions. They’re there to help you, not hinder you.
  2. Ask questions. Never be afraid to ask when you are unsure about something. If your nurse asks you to do something and you don’t know how; ask! It seems like an easy concept but sometimes people just want to do what their nurse asks, and come off more competent than they actually are. When you have nurses who have practiced for a long time they forget you might not know how to start an IV pump because it’s something they do every single day. It is your job as a student to let your nurse know what you feel comfortable doing.
  3. Speak up! If you’re unsure about something say so! It will get easier to speak up when you’re in second year because your knowledge base and clinical experience is bigger, and you will begin to actually trust your gut. I started to feel like a real nurse when my nurses would ask me questions about our patients and I could actually give them the right answer. You will also have many “ah ha” moments as you connect what your studying to the clinical setting.
  4. Take every opportunity you can. As you pass different skills tests, you then have the right to be able to do those things in the hospital (scary I know!). If a nurse asks if you want to put in a foley catheter and you’ve passed the skills test; say yes! When you’re a student you get to have another nurse with you to walk you through the steps if you need it. Once you become a nurse you are expected know be able to perform all the tasks within your scope of practice without help. Take advantage of being a student and learn everything you can!
  5. Try to see everything you can. One time a patient of mine was going to have an angiogram done and I had never seen one so I asked my nurse if I could go with him. She said the Cath lab doesn’t usually like to have students but she would ask, and they said yes! I got to go simply because I asked if I could. Take every opportunity to see things you haven’t seen, simply for gaining knowledge. Because I saw an angiogram I will never forget what it is and how it works; and I can better explain it to my patients in the future.

Clinicals can be nerve-racking, but trust your knowledge as you gain it, ask questions if you’re not sure, and know every nurse you’re with was once a student.

Interested in learning more about the nursing program at PUC? If you visit the Admissions website, you can find more information about the program, curriculum guidesheets, and a live chat where you can ask an enrollment counselor anything you need. You can also call (800) 862-7080, option 2 or email enroll@puc.edu for more help.