Category Archives: Uncategorized

It’s Time for FAFSA!

It’s October 1 and do you know what that means? If you said to yourself, “They are obviously about to talk to me about FAFSA.” you would be correct! That’s right everyone, starting today, you can file your FAFSA and have your information sent to up to 10 colleges! 

One of the most important things you can do to prepare for college is to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is an online form you will submit each year that determines your eligibility for student financial aid. 

Be sure to file FAFSA as soon as possible since some aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. To have your FAFSA information sent to PUC, include PUC’s school code—it’s 001258

FAFSA takes most people less than an hour to complete, which includes taking time to gather the necessary documents, completing and reviewing the application, and reading the important information on the “Confirmation” page you’ll receive after signing and submitting the FAFSA. You can even complete it on your phone! The U.S. Department of Education has created a mobile-friendly version on its website or it can be filled out using its myStudentAid app. Nothing should stop you from taking one hour to do this incredibly important step in the college financial aid process! 

Filing the FAFSA also potentially qualifies you for a Pell Grant, which is a subsidy from the U.S. federal government, and is something you don’t have to pay back. Amounts can change each year, but for the 2019-2020 award year, the maximum Pell Grant award is $6,195!

According to a study by NerdWallet, in 2014 U.S. high school graduates left a whopping $2.9 billion in free federal grant money on the table just by not completing the FAFSA, which made them ineligible for a Pell Grant. In our great state of California, over 100,000 seniors would have qualified for Pell Grants if they had filed their FAFSA, but as a result, they lost $396,401,205. See how critical it can be for you to take the time to do the FAFSA? 

Based on your FAFSA information, our team of financial counselors can determine how much financial aid you are eligible for and create a personalized financial aid estimate for you where you can see how much per month it would cost to attend PUC. It’s an incredibly helpful and absolutely essential thing for you to have when making a decision about where to attend college. 

What are you waiting for? Start your FAFSA now at!


#FacultyFriday: Meet Floyd Hayes

“Here in the Hansen Museum we have a grizzly bear, lions, and a polar bear. But they won’t eat you—do you know why? Because they’re stuffed!” Pretty much any visitor to the department of biology’s big game museum will hear this gem from Dad Joke King Floyd Hayes. And there are many more where that came from. Hayes himself hails from Southern California, Michigan, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Trinidad & Tobago, and Paraguay, where he has studied, conducted research, and taught. What else is there to discover about Dr. Hayes? Let’s find out! Hope you enjoy today’s #FacultyFriday.

Name: Floyd Hayes
Title: Professor of Biology
Faculty since: 2003

Classes taught: Ecology, Energy and Climate Change, Field Biology, Introduction to Research Methods I, Marine Science, Natural History of California, Pollution and Environmental Quality, Vertebrate Biology

Education: B.S., Loma Linda University in 1985; M.S., University of Michigan in 1986; PhD, Loma Linda University in 1993

What made you decide to be a teacher?

I admired my professors, who were outstanding role models for me.

What are some of your hobbies?

Birding, canoeing, mountaineering, photography, research, rock climbing, scuba diving, snorkeling, travel.

What’s something people might be surprised to know about you?

I used to work at the Central Intelligence Agency. But I wasn’t a very good spy. Instead, I mowed lawns and pulled weeds.

What’s your favorite thing about PUC?

Its rural location with vast fields and forests.

What’s your favorite spot on campus?

Inspiration Point.

What’s your favorite song?

“Annie’s Song” by John Denver

What advice would you give to an incoming freshman?

Focus on studying; don’t get distracted.

Professional activities:

Publications (Note: Only the most recent three are listed)

Hayes, F. E., D. G. Turner, N. D. Zimmerly, M. B. Peralta. 2018. Nocturnal courtship, copulation, and egg laying in the Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis) and Clark’s Grebe (Aechmophorus clarkii). Journal of Ethology 36(1):65-75.

Hayes, F. E. 2017. The avifauna of Serranía de Tobatí, Departamento Cordillera, Paraguay. Paraquaria Natural 5(1):18-23.

Hayes, F. E., and B. J. Painter. 2017. First record of the Spinner Dolphin Stenella longirostris longirostris (Cetacea: Delphinidae) for Kosrae, Micronesia. Check List 13(4):31-34.

#FacultyFriday: Meet James Robertson

It’s the end of the week (hooray!) and time for another edition of #Faculty Friday. Today’s featured faculty member is James Robertson, associate professor of physics here at PUC. As an undergraduate, Robertson conducted research at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in high-energy physics for their D-zero experiment (if you don’t know what that means, just ask him!). When he’s not in the classroom, Robertson hosts sessions at the College’s Young Observatory, and volunteers with the local fire and ambulance companies, putting his 9+ years of fire/EMS experience to good use. He has also led a strike team of Type 3 engines from Napa County that responded to the wildland fires in San Diego in 2007. Without further ado, here’s Professor Robertson!

Name: James F. Robertson, IV.  (Yes, it’s the 4th and my son is the 5th. My family calls me Chip.)
Title: Associate Professor of Physics
Faculty since: 2003

Classes taughtGeneral Physics, Astronomy, Classical Dynamics, Quantum Physics, and some Emergency Services classes as needed.

EducationB.S. Physics (mathematics minor) from Southern Adventist University; M.S. Physics (High-energy Physics) from Florida State University; Currently pursuing a M.S. Emergency Management degree from Jacksonville State University.

What made you decide to be a teacher?
They say the three reasons to become a teacher are: June, July, and August. Seriously though, I have many teachers in my family, but the person that first influenced me to become a teacher was my first-grade teacher. Mr. Luntz became a powerful role-model in my life. I knew I wanted to be like him when I grew up.

What are some of your hobbies?
Amateur (ham) radio, especially building wire antennas. My callsign is K4JFR. I also enjoy tinkering with cars/trucks. I drive a Ford, so I tinker frequently.

What’s something people might be surprised to know about you?
I taught at Fletcher Academy in North Carolina for nine years prior to coming to PUC. Three of those years I served as the principal.

What’s your favorite thing about PUC?
My favorite thing about PUC is the diversity of the students’ backgrounds. Those differences bring a multitude of individual points of view that is refreshing in an academic environment.

What’s your favorite spot on campus?
Redwood Flats. I used to be the Howell Mountaineers Pathfinder director and loved camping out there. Despite being on campus, it feels like you are many miles away from civilization.

What’s your favorite movie?
“The Great Escape” (1963).

What advice would you give to an incoming freshman?
Get to know your academic advisor and meet with them often. Managing your schedule can be difficult and if not planned well, could delay your graduation date.

Professional activities:

Cavanaugh, R., R. Marsa, J. Robertson, and R. Hefferlin, Adjacent-DIM-isoelectronic

molecules and chemical similarity among triatomics. J. Mol. Structure, 382, 137-145 (1996).

Learn More About GNRL-296, Intro to Geographic Information Systems

This year, a new class is being offered at PUC, GNRL-296, Intro to Geographic Information Systems (GIS for short), taught by Peter Lecourt, the college’s new forest manager. Peter recently received his master’s in geographic information systems from the University of Redlands and has a passion for the environment. He is eager to share his knowledge with students at PUC. We asked Peter to tell us more about the class and why students should be interested in taking it.

Tell us about the class and why it’s significant that it’s being taught at PUC.
GIS is the use of computers to analyze and portray geographic information. Maps are key tools in many fields, and the vast majority of modern maps are made using GIS. PUC is one of just four Adventist institutions offering an undergraduate class in GIS, which is significant as GIS is a growing field important to many industries and disciplines.

What type of student should take the class?
Anyone interested in maps will enjoy this class. Specifically, the knowledge gained in this class will help students in the disciplines of environmental studies, business, emergency services, social work, and history.

Why should students take the class?
Aside from being a useful skill in many industries, digital map making is fun. Students in the fall 2017 class really enjoyed the hands-on experience playing with GIS in the lab period. At a light two credits, and offered in the evening, even the most demanding schedule can fit this class.

What can students hope to gain from taking this class?
The ability to create maps, as well as an appreciation and better understanding of cartography, and knowledge of a cutting-edge field.

What is your favorite thing about teaching this class?
Sharing knowledge of a discipline that many enjoy, yet didn’t even know existed. There are a lot of “light bulb” moments in this class as students see behind the scenes of how maps they have seen before are created.

Interested in taking GNRL-296? The two credit class is available this coming spring quarter on Mondays from 6-6:50 p.m., with a lab on Wednesdays from 6-9 p.m.

Peter Lecourt, who also works as the college’s forest manager, will be teaching GNRL-296.