Tag Archives: Spanish degree

Talking with Ralph Edward Valdez, Volunteer at Napa Covid Testing Site

Having completed Spanish for Health Care Professionals last quarter, nursing student Ralph Edward Valdez from American Canyon is putting it to good use! Last week he reached out to share his recent experience.

 “I applied for the Medical Reserve Corps since my nursing class doesn’t have clinicals this quarter and was assigned to work as a Nurse at a COVID testing site (they provided appropriate training to all students from the MRC) in Napa. And started work a couple of weeks ago. This past Saturday, none of the staff could speak Spanish, so upon arrival, I immediately told them I would handle all translations. I was able to successfully explain the process to the Spanish speaking patients! More importantly, I was able to keep in particular, one of the patients, from panicking and feeling overwhelmed with their situation. Up until now, I hadn’t really fully understood the importance of being multilingual, especially in a setting such as this.”

We wanted to learn more about Ralph’s experiences at PUC and volunteering and he was kind enough to chat with us!  

First of all, you’re a nursing major so I assume you want to be a nurse! Have you always wanted to be one?

Once upon a time, I wanted to go to med school to be a pediatric oncologist. It wasn’t until the end of my senior year in high school that my senior project mentor told me about one of her own son’s battle with cancer. She said that undoubtedly, despite the negativity of the situation, the nurses never ceased to be beacons of hope for not just her son, but their whole family. She said it was the nurses who were at her son’s side every day that kept them with a positive outlook. 

What has been your favorite class you’ve taken at PUC so far? 

I’ll preface with that I haven’t had many classes at PUC, what with being a transfer student, and all that. My favorite class would be a toss-up between Spanish for SPAN 105 with Profe (Doctora) Gregorutti and BIOL 102  with Dr. Vance. I had them during different quarters.

You volunteer at a COVID testing site in Napa, what made you decide to do that?

Truthfully, I did not expect to be working on the frontlines. I happened to be watching the local news when the reporters were talking about the opportunity to work with the Health Corps in California. I immediately expressed my interest and fill out the necessary forms. I thought I would get called into work at a local hospital or a clinic working with ‘non-COVID’ patients, doing simple tasks like taking general vitals and working with RNs and CNAs. The next thing I knew, I was offered an assignment to work at the then soon-to-open drive-thru COVID-19 testing site. It definitely took me by surprise, but I took the offer. Of course, I was a little bit apprehensive at first, but during our first meeting, it was great to see all of us on the medical staff establishing the process for testing, crossing our T’s and dotting our I’s.

 Can you describe your typical work shift? 

My typical shift begins with me signing in and checking/logging my temperature. Then myself and the rest of the “swabbing” team washes our hands and get donned in full PPE. We then head on to the designated “hot zone,” prep our station for swabbing, and begin. We work in two-person teams with one person performing the swab and the other prepping and safely packaging the samples. Most of the time I’m the one assisting, but I occasionally perform swabs myself. The testing site tests on average, about 350-400 people a day, with my shift typically completing 200+ of the tests. Afterward, we clean up our station, gather the tests, and head over to the decontamination zone where we take a mini chemical bath, doff our PPE, and wash our hands again before checking/logging our temperatures and signing out. 

In (almost) Full PPE

What has been the most valuable thing you’ve learned during your time there? 

The most valuable thing I learned was how, especially in our community, the importance of being bilingual. It’s one thing to ease people’s potential fears with illnesses, but it really put things into perspective for me when I encountered my first patient who could only speak Spanish. They were evidently fearful, having not heard much from the news. Everything they’d heard was pretty much secondhand from people who could translate for them, but none of the medical professionals. I worked with the RN to explain the whole situation to them, all the way to how to interpret their results, what to expect, and more, making sure to note how their culture would be impacted by COVID-19. Once I explained everything, of course, there was a little apprehension, but overall they were happy they could finally understand what was actually going on around them, and what to do/how to interpret their test results.

You said you just completed Spanish for Health Care Professionals, was that required for your degree or did you decide to take it for another reason?

SPAN 105 is not required for my degree, but I thank professor Lorie Johns for making it known to me that it was an option. I took Spanish classes in elementary and high school, so I was versed in textbook phrases and whatnot, but not with regards to health care. Given that a big part of the demographic in Napa is Spanish-speaking, I figured that it would be best that I learn healthcare-related lingo.

Being bilingual clearly came in handy during the past few months at the testing site. Can you tell us about that experience? 

I kind of explained it above already. I’ll add, however, that I’m the only Spanish speaker available to work on Saturdays. I can only imagine what it would be like to go and have an invasive test done, all the while with no one being able to explain the process to me. It’d definitely be a scary experience 

What advice would you like to give other students?

Broaden your horizons! Understand that, especially in the healthcare field, it’s not just about the Golden Rule (Treat others the way you want to be treated). There’s also the Platinum Rule: “Treat others the way they want to be treated.” This is a big difference between cultural competence and cultural humility. This doesn’t just apply to healthcare as well. Live it in your day to lives. Be mindful of others. 

Ok, now a couple fun questions.

Tell us your favorite movie, book, song. 

Favorite movie(s) since it depends on the genre

  • Call Me By Your Name (the film adaptation of Andre Aciman’s book)
  • Koe no Katachi (A Silent Voice in English): A Japanese anime film that discusses the difficult topics of depression, bullying, suicide, and love.

What are you binge-watching right now?

As an avid fan of anime, I usually am binge-watching most shows that are being simulcasted each season.

 The first place you’d like to eat out at once it’s safe to do so?

Anywhere I can get Korean BBQ! Right before the pandemic, I was actually planning to go with some friends of mine.

 

4 Tips To Strengthen Your Relationship With God

One of Pastor Kent Rufo’s goals for PUC is to find ways to strengthen spiritual life on campus and encourage students to become closer to God. 

We asked Pastor Rufo to share some suggestions on ways students can build a stronger relationship with God. Here they are! 

Start A Bible Reading Group

This doesn’t need to be a big group. It can just be two people that find time to read the Bible together. The reading doesn’t need to take long either. You can read ten minutes before a class, after a class, or just a couple of minutes during the day. 

Have A Prayer Group

Start by praying with your friends, then invite more friends to see if they want to join. There is power in prayer. The more people, the better. Some people may not be comfortable, but reaching out shows that you care. Check out Prayer In Numbers for a great example! 

Have Bible Studies 

Some of the best Bible studies are student-led. If you want to start one, reach out to your friends, and see if they would be interested. If you don’t know how to start a Bible study, talk to the student chaplains or Pastor Rufo. 

Serve 

“Serve in some kind of mission, whether local or international,” says Pastor Rufo. PUC offers mission trips, outreach programs, and volunteer services for students. There are opportunities on campus to bring you out into the world and serve. You don’t need to go far to help others. There are people in our neighborhood who need a lot of help and support. 

Pastor Rufo loves hearing from students. If you have ideas you want to share with Pastor Rufo about spiritual life, don’t hesitate to talk to him. He is always open to new ideas and speaking with students. You can reach out to him via email at krufo@puc.eduFor more information about the Missions & and Chaplains team, visit their webpage

“If faculty, staff, and students are spiritually whole, then we’re working together.” -Pastor Rufo

 

10 Questions with PUC’s New Modern Languages Professor

Professor Cristian Pancorbo began teaching at PUC this past winter, and already has had an impact on our community. I was able to spend a day with Cristian and got to hear how passionate he is about language and the PUC student body. To help introduce him to the rest of campus as well as prospective students, I asked him 10 questions about his experience here so far and his vision for PUC.

1. As a new member of the PUC family, tell us a little bit about yourself.

I really don’t know how to answer these kinds of questions, and most of the time I just talk about my hobbies, but I guess that’s not who I am. Right? So let me tell you about the things I love.

I love traveling and discovering places and people – I like to think there’s a unique kind of knowledge and growth to this. I like serving others on my trips, but just getting lost is excuse enough to fly for me. I love my niece, who lives in Montreal, but I try to see her every time I have a chance. She is just the best. I enjoy sports, but mainly it is a reason to be with people, doing something fun. I used to think I was good at basketball until I moved here and realized I’m not even good enough for intramurals. I almost forgot! Teaching is something I love, it gives me a rush nothing else does, and I truly believe it makes real big changes, or it should.

Cristian 2

Professor Pancorbo (bottom row, left) and his soccer intramurals team at PUC.

2. What made you decide to up and move to a new country?

I have been attached to the U.S. in many different ways since I was 16-years-old. I have been invited by some of my U.S. friends since 18. I also have been teaching students from here since I started working. I wasn’t looking for a job opportunity or a way to move to a different country, but I want to think God opened this path in for me, and I’m committed to go where he takes me. I have to say, although I have loved ones in Spain, I have always felt comfortable with the idea of moving around wherever I should go. Nobody was too surprised when I said I was moving to the U.S. Nonetheless, It wasn’t an easy decision, since I had a job and colleagues I simply loved. ACA Spain (ESDES), where I was working, has the most loving teachers one could find.

3. What was your first impression of PUC?

I came for the job interview around Christmas (2013) and that was my first time at PUC. I knew the west coast more or less and I had been to the south of California many times, but I never drove further north of Yosemite; I instantly liked it. It’s the most beautiful campus I have ever been to, but nothing new about that, right? This place is wonderful and the lifestyle you can have here is just great – full of knowledge, beauty, sports, arts, nature, great weather, great people and so much more.

4. So far, what is your favorite thing about PUC?

The best thing about PUC is the student body. You guys [students] are great and make me enjoy this place so much. I think I talk on behalf of all the teachers when I say you are the reason why we do this and love it. I also like other things we have here like the spiritual life, the idea of serving others visible almost everywhere.

5. Tell us your goals for the Modern Language Department.

I want students to open their minds to new horizons and perspectives – if possible by traveling overseas. I want the students to really engage in their challenge with a new language. I want my students to learn about making a big effort, loving it, or at least enjoying it. I want to find new ways for the students to practice Spanish in a fun way outside of formal classes. The goal has to be helping the students develop their skills with communication in a new language, critical thinking and serving others using Jesus as an example.

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Professor Pancorbo and students on a recent trip to PUC’s Albion Retreat and Learning Center.

6. Out of all your classes, which is your favorite to teach and why?

This is like asking a parent who his favorite child is – it’s not fair. But I’ll be open to you; I love my Medical Spanish class. It’s very practical and I see a lot of motivation in my students. They realize it is something really important for their careers. It is really fun to role-play with them and use the knowledge they already have in their field of study for the class.

7. What are some benefits to taking Spanish classes?

You can communicate with the huge amount of Spanish speakers you will find in the U.S. Not only that, you will increase your number of friends, your future “clients” and your opportunities. You will understand your neighbors a lot better and you will be able to travel and discover with bigger empathy for what you encounter. It is like having another “self” with all the opportunities that come with it. In the world we live in, there needs to be more understanding and real communication among individuals and nations. But seriously, it does. Don’t just agree with me. Go learn a language and travel, go overseas through Adventist Colleges Abroad (ACA) for a year, or became a missionary. Do it. You can’t go wrong by learning Spanish, traveling or serving if you are holding to God.

8. How has knowing a second language benefited you personally?

Sometimes, I think learning English has impacted me wider and deeper in my life than having my degree or my master’s. I was blessed with the best friends who invited me to come visit them and thanks to that, I actually started to speak the language. You can study a language your whole life, but if you don’t practice, it is like reading books about basketball expecting to get good at it, just by that. After I learned, I started to be blessed with scholarships and opportunities to live and travel in different places all around the world. I lived a great positive experience after another and I can see now they were coming from God.

I lived and studied in Krakow (Poland) with a full scholarship. I also went to Sydney (Australia) with another scholarship to perfect my English and I had some of the most amazing working and serving experiences in developing countries like Morocco, Honduras, Ethiopia… I’m now learning French here at PUC and it’s a experience you all should try. Professor Jehanno is a great, experienced teacher from Paris and her classes are so much fun.

9. What are some interesting or less thought of careers students can get with a Modern Language degree?

A minor or a major in Spanish is a great match for any future career you might be looking at. It would be hard to think of a career that couldn’t have a good use of a second language. I think every social worker, lawyer, doctor, psychologist, physical therapist, speech pathology… or any other professional who needs to understand their client/patient and their reality as an essential part of their job needs to know their language as a basic tool. Remember you are preparing yourself to be useful with the knowledge and skills you are developing during your college years. Make sure you are getting ready for what’s coming – don’t just get a degree, try to get the tools you will use.

Professor Pancorbo and Modern Languages Department friends.

10. What fun and interesting things are happening within the Modern Language Department students might like to know about?

The most exciting thing is we’ll be offering Beginning Portuguese for the first time in Winter 2016. The Brazil mission trip to the Amazon and Manaus during Spring Break is part of the class, which will count for GE credit(s). We also have a new Japanese professor, John Inada. He has developed his career in the video game industry successfully, also finding the time to teach with us. We are planning on showing movies (original versions) at our beautiful student lounge, and also share resources and updates through our Modern Languages Facebook page. Finally, we want to develop our service learning implication as a department and continue to grow our language for specific purpose classes, like Spanish for medical personnel, which is a high-demand class.

There are other interesting things happening with Adventist Colleges Abroad. They are always trying to improve and challenge themselves with their awesome work. One of their newest features are the internships you can do overseas in places like the United Nations, architecture firms, schools, music and art and so many more. With these internships you improve your abroad experience, your language skills, and your résumé. This adds another huge reason why you have to go to ACA (and they will transfer all your credits back to PUC, including the internship ones).

Editor’s note: If you would like more information about studying a language at PUC, you can talk with an Enrollment Counselor by calling 800.862.7080 option 2 or emailing enroll@puc.edu.