#FacultyFriday: Meet Michelle Rai

Professor Michelle Konn Rai specializes in public relations and integrated marketing communications. Prior to teaching, she worked in several different positions at PUC; as an enrollment counselor, assistant director of enrollment services, and director of public relations. She enjoys spending quality time with her two children, Sophie and Joshua, and husband, David; Instagramming the antics of her dog, Snowball; surfing when back in Hawaii; playing tennis, and experimenting with exotic cuisine.

Name: Michelle Rai    
Title: Assistant Professor of Communication and Department Chair
Email: mrai@puc.edu
Faculty since: 2006

Classes taught: Intro to Communication, Intro to Public Relations, Crisis Communications, Marketing Communications, Fundraising for Nonprofits, Junior Seminar, Senior Seminar

Education: B.A. in Communication & B.S. in Journalism from Pacific Union College; M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications from Golden Gate University

What made you decide to be a teacher?

Teaching found me and I’m so grateful. I was busy working as the PR director for PUC when I heard of an opening for a public relations professor. The academic dean and department chair at the time talked me into trying it, and it has been such a rewarding and fulfilling career.

What are some of your hobbies?

USTA league tennis, pet Instagramming, being a short order cook for my kids, attempting to practice yoga, online bargain shopping, and trying new foods any chance I get.

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

I really don’t enjoy public speaking.

What’s your favorite thing about PUC?

The people, hands down. There is something so special about this place. It attracts incredibly talented and engaging faculty, staff, and students to create a wonderful learning space and community.   

What’s your favorite spot on campus?

I realize I should say something nostalgic such as the Back 40 forest but it’s really the Howell Mountain Deli in the College Market. I am slightly addicted to their Cobb salad and homemade garlic chips.

What’s your favorite song?

“Take On Me” by A-ha. Their lead singer Morten Harkett was my preteen crush and I would scream every time it played on the radio.

What advice would you give to an incoming freshman?  

I’d say the best thing you can do is get off your device. Experience college and get to know people face to face. You don’t need to document every minute of your day—keep people guessing about what makes you tick!

#FacultyFriday: Meet Tammy McGuire

Dr. Tammy McGuire has been teaching for over 30 years and has made a profound impact on the lives of hundreds during that time. Those who have taken Organization Communication from her think back fondly to analyzing the organizational structure of countless episodes of “The Office.” Like most employees at PUC, McGuire loves spending time in nature but what sets her apart from the crowd is what an avid backpacker and outdoorsy-woman she is. Join us as we get to know a little more about Dr. McGuire!

Name: Tammy McGuire
Title: Professor of Communication
Email: tmcguire@puc.edu
Faculty since: 2006

Classes taught: Interpersonal Communication, Small Group Communication, Organizational Communication, Communication Research, Nonverbal Communication, Visual Communication and Semiotics, Argumentation, Persuasion, Introduction to Health Communication, Health Communication Seminar

Education:

B.S. in Language Arts Education from Union College, M.A. in English from Eastern Washington University, Ph.D. in Communication from University of Missouri

What made you decide to be a teacher?  

I wanted to be a teacher because of the profound influence some of my high school teachers had on me (Mrs. Kittrell, I’m looking at you). I wanted a job that was interesting, varied, and carried with it the possibility of making a difference. Teaching fit that bill. I love my job.

What are some of your hobbies?  

Anything outdoors. In over 30 years of teaching, I’ve only bought one piece of new furniture but I own three bikes (mountain, road, bikepacking), four pair of telemark skis, five backpacks of various sizes, six tents of various sizes, seven different types of backpacking stoves, two hammocks, three tennis rackets, a bin full of rock climbing gear, three ice axes, two pairs of crampons, at least eight pairs of hiking boots/shoes, two kayak paddles, at least three pairs of trail running shoes, three down sleeping bags, innumerable jackets and vests for the outdoors, etc., etc.

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

I occasionally play The Elder Scrolls Online. My character name is Kraaken-Ta. She is a force to be reckoned with (rather unlike my real life)!

What’s your favorite thing about PUC?  

No other college has the Back 40. What an immeasurable treasure.

What’s your favorite spot on campus?

Anywhere along Mossy Rock trail after the rains start. It reminds me of Middle Earth. (My office has a pretty good view of the fountain as well!)

What’s your favorite song?

I could listen to Cory Asbury’s song “Reckless Love” a thousand times and still be moved.

What advice would you give to an incoming freshman?  

Reframe academic challenges, difficulties, things that are uncomfortable or hard as a POSITIVE. We never grow, change, or become better human beings until our boundaries are pushed. The usefulness of education is pushing those boundaries with supportive mentors at your size. But don’t hesitate to ask for help if you feel overwhelmed. Seeking help is a strength, not a weakness.

Professional activities (Note: Only the recent in each category are listed.)

Publications

Dougherty, D., Baiocchi-Wagner, E., & McGuire, T. (2011). Managing Sexual Harassment through Enacted Stereotypes: An Intergroup Perspective.  Western Journal of Communication, 75, 259-281.

Lair, D., Shenoy, S., McClellan, J., & McGuire, T. (2008). The Politics of Meaning/ful Work: Navigating the Tensions of Narcissism and Condescension While Finding Meaning in Work.Management Communication Quarterly, 22, 172-180.

McGuire, T.  (2009). From Emotions to Spirituality: “Spiritual Labor” as the Commodification, Codification, and Regulation of Organizational Members’ Spirituality.  Management Communication Quarterly, 24, 74-103.

Conference Papers/Presentations

Coffelt, T., & McGuire, T. (2014). Emerging adults who talk about delaying or abstaining from sexual activity: The influence of religion and religiosity. Paper presented at the Religious Communication Association convention in Chicago.

McGuire, T. (2012). Nonverbal Communication and Small Groups: The Elephant in the Room. Presented at the G.I.F.T.S. (Great Ideas for Teaching Speech) session at the National Communication Association Convention, Washington, D.C.

McGuire, T. (2011, November). An exploration of students’ reluctance to ask clarifying questions on tests.  Paper presented at the National Communication Association convention in Orlando.

#FacultyFriday: Meet Tara Hargrove

The holy hill called Tara Hargrove, and she answered! Okay, so maybe the voice she heard was God and not the mountain, but we are so happy, either way, that Professor Hargrove has joined the faculty in the department of communication. Read on to learn a bit more about her, and stop by her office in Irwin Hall to say hello.

Name: Tara Hargrove
Title: Associate Professor of Communication & Basic Course Director
Email: thargrove@puc.edu
Faculty since: 2018

Fall Quarter Classes: Three sections of Intro to Communication (COMM 105)

Education: M.A. in communication studies, Colorado State University

What brought you here to PUC?

I grew up in Colorado so I love mountains but I’ve always been drawn to the beach, as well. So the location of PUC—being on a mountain and so close to the ocean—was a big draw. But mostly I prayed and prayed for God’s leading, and He brought me here.

Before God called you to these California mountains, where were you and what were you doing?

I was actually most recently at Southern Adventist University, where I taught for the past nine years. This past year I taught strictly online for them, and I currently adjunct teach online for them a film evaluation class and a course on communication and public speaking. I was also the basic course director and the executive director for Studio 4109 which is a live comedy sketch program students put on.

Tell us how you got into teaching.

I tell a story my first day of speech class about how I was so terrified of public speaking when I first was contemplating college that I actually decided not to go to college just because of that class. I had a friend who took me skydiving and reminded me there are a lot of things in life we fear at first but if we push ourselves it can be fun and rewarding. I loved the feeling of overcoming my fear, so I took public speaking and found it was actually exciting to get up and share my opinions and ideas and people actually listened. Now I love helping others overcome their fears, and watching them face something challenging and succeed.

What has surprised you about your new home?

Not that we didn’t expect this, but everyone has been so very welcoming. We have been so blessed by this community.

So, when you’re not managing classes and teaching and meeting with students, where will you be?

I, of course, enjoy spending time with my husband and kids. We love going to the beach, tide-pooling, camping, and hiking. We are also Broncos and Rockies fans so we enjoy going to games when we can.

Okay, one last thing: What’s something people may be surprised to learn about you?

I’d love to live on a boat or in a van. Really!