Meet PUC’s Transfer Student Counselor

Please join us in welcoming Kharolynn Pascual Smith to our admissions team! Kharolynn has many years of experience in Adventist education and has worked as a teacher, registrar, and academic advisor. Most recently, she worked at the Napa Christian Campus of Education and the Office of Education at the Northern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

To help introduce her to our PUC family, let’s get to know Kharolynn!

You have a lot of experience in the education field. How do you think that will translate into being a great transfer student counselor?

There are obvious parallels to the skillset I used as a teacher and registrar, such as knowing how to create and execute plans and analyze a transcript. Beyond that, I have a heart for students and believe cultivating relationships is key in helping them succeed. Taking the time to know about a student’s history and goals was critical for me to be able to facilitate learning opportunities and understand what resources were needed. I see this as a valuable component to working with transfer students. There’s a story behind why they’re not coming to PUC straight out of high school, and whatever it is, I want to be a helpful resource as they transition to this step in their educational journey.

You’ve lived in the Napa area for a while. What is your favorite place to eat in the area? Favorite place to shop? Favorite place to relax?

There is so much great food across the valley, it’s hard to pick only one! My go-to in Napa is Il Posto Trattoriatasty food, friendly and professional service, and I don’t have to save up for months to eat there.

I enjoy the adventure of discovering fun stuff I didn’t know I “needed” at HomeGoods, as well as the convenience of online shopping from home.

Getting a facial at Glow Skin & Body Care is quite lovely and relaxing.

What advice would you give to someone questioning whether a college education is worth it?

I would talk to them about their passion and purpose, then encourage them to pursue the education that would put them on the path to fulfilling those. I think education of any kind is an investment in yourself, so whatever type is necessary to cultivate the knowledge, skills, and experience to prepare you for whatever you are called to do is worth it.

What are you looking forward to the most working at PUC?

I find it both personally and professionally gratifying to contribute to a person’s success story, even in a small way. I have witnessed as many types of success as there are students, and I love seeing their satisfaction and pride when they accomplish what they set out to do. I’m excited to be part of the network of support that helps students live their dreams.

What inspires you to work in the field of Adventist education?

I’m biased, but I believe Adventist education is the most important and impactful ministry of the SDA Church. In her book Education, Ellen White wrote, “Love, the basis of creation and of redemption, is the basis of true education.” (16) I’m inspired by the Gospel of Grace and feel privileged to participate in a global learning community that values the importance of “true education.” Ideally, Adventist education fosters whole person development within the framework of redemptionthe restoration of humanity to what God created us to be: in a love relationship with Him that motivates us to share His love with others. That relationship informs every aspect of the life we choose to leadvalues, relationships, beliefs, career because of the way God calls us to live: to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. Adventist education at its best helps prepare students for this life of discipleship.

What was the last book you read?

I often have a few books going at the same time, but recently finished The Coddling of the American Mind by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt, and End-Time Events and The Last Generation by George R. Knight. Both of them have ideas I’m still pondering.

What book would you recommend to a college student? It can be educational or just a good read.

The teacher in me wants to recommend something edifying, but for an escapist brain break, I like fiction that ranges from David Baldacci’s thrillers to Jodi Picoult’s novels exploring contemporary ethical issues. Perhaps the compromise is biographies and memoirs because I’ve usually gleaned something valuable from the life experiences of others, whether or not they are people I admire.   

What was your favorite class in college?

College was more than a few years ago for me, so I primarily remember favorite professors even though I wouldn’t count some of their classes among my favorites. Religion and Society from Charles Teel (a PUC alum!) made a lasting impression on me in terms of my understanding of what Christians are called to be and do in the world.

What’s something people may be surprised to learn about you?

I’m a procrastinator by nature, but I’ve learned the necessary disciplines of effective time management and organization. I used to tell my students those were among the most valuable life skills they could learn and I was living proof it is possible.

What are some of your hobbies?

I appreciate hobbies that involve creativity of some kind, like music, theatre, baking, and fiber crafts. It’s a bonus if they can be combined in some way. I also occasionally binge-watch Netflix.

If you’re interested in transferring to PUC, Kharolynn is ready to assist you! Call (800) 862-7080, option 2 or email admissions@puc.edu to get connected with her now, or to learn more about the transfer admissions process.