Monthly Archives: March 2017

My Favorite Classes at PUC

By Andrew Mahinay

PUC offers a broad spectrum of classes to help prepare students for their future careers upon graduation. Reading charts and bar graphs is the specialty of a business major. Reading “Le Morte d’Arthur” by Thomas Malory kindles a warm discussion amongst English majors. Throwing a Frisbee one hundred feet through the air is a class for all majors.

As my time at PUC comes to an end, I am content and happy with the many classes I took at PUC. Like me, your favorite classes might end up being a subject that has nothing to do with your major. In this post, I write about three of my favorite classes.

  1. The most energizing and thrilling class I took was Ultimate Frisbee taught by Elaine Neudeck, M.A. For each class period, Professor Neudeck brought along with her energizing commentary for each game. The way she encouraged students to push their bodies to the limits and try their very best in each Ultimate Frisbee game was memorable. She was funny, witty, and most of all, she made sure students were having a great time, but also having a great workout at the same time.
  2. Second on the list is Linguistics, taught by Dr. Maria Rankin-Brown. This class is fascinating. There is a process to learning a new language and I was lucky enough to learn that process at an early age. In Linguistics, you learn how the pronunciation of each word came to be. It was a class that covered the genesis of language and I am glad I took the class because language is an significant part of society.
  3. Taught by Dr. Keith Neergaard, Microeconomics is a class that greatly challenged me academically. Although I am an English major, I chose to take Microeconomics as an elective. An elective is a class you choose to take for fun (Learn more about PUC’s General Education requirements). The class was exhilarating and Microeconomics challenged me as I worked to understand the many business terms. The open in-class discussions were also very helpful and I really appreciated the way Dr. Neergaard applied each term to real life scenarios, which made the class a bit more intriguing.

As a senior, I look back on these classes and am so grateful I had the chance to participate in each of them. Classes that allowed me to have a great time while breaking a sweat was pure awesomeness. My core English classes taught me the genesis of language, and how each word came to represent what they do in our current age. Challenging myself with unfamiliar material was a great way to get out of my comfort zone and learn something new.

If there is one piece of advice I can offer you, whether you are a prospective student or already attending PUC, it would be to step out of your comfort zone and take a class that not only interests you but challenges you as well. Enroll in a subject that peaks your interest and choose a class that allows your heart to beat for joy. This is all I have for you today, best of luck as you choose your next classes!  

Learn More About the Adventist Colleges Abroad Program

By Andrea James


Adventist Colleges Abroad (ACA) is a study abroad program with affiliates in countries around the world. There are many advantages to studying abroad. You of course get to travel and see great historical and cultural sites, but you also learn about other countries, cultures, peoples, and languages. Learning another language makes you more desirable in the job market and can be very useful in your everyday interactions with other people.

While abroad, you also earn credits that fulfill general education requirements. A large number of those credits can count towards PUC’s new language and culture studies major from the department of world languages and cultures. There are six emphases available for the language and culture studies major, as well as a Spanish studies major and minors in most languages. However, you don’t have to major or minor in languages to participate in ACA; all majors are welcome.

The main requirement for acceptance to the ACA program is a GPA of at least 2.5. For the academic year programs in Spain and Argentina, you also need to have either two years of high school Spanish or one year of college-level Spanish. No previous knowledge or experience is required for any other program. You can come as a total beginner to any summer program and to all non-Spanish academic year programs. The most important thing, in ACA Director Sandra Esteves’ words, is having the “ambition to learn and experience adventure.”

With ACA, you get a lot of bang for your buck. Tuition, room and board, meals, bedding, all required books, touring costs, and medical insurance are all included in the price. You can also use federal or state financial aid (but not any from PUC) towards your bill.

As ACA is an Adventist program, you can participate in missions-type work during the academic year (e.g., you can work with refugees in Lebanon). Wherever you go, there are opportunities to help people and give back some of the joy and knowledge you will be receiving.

Some perks depend upon the country or program you choose. In some countries, you don’t need to apply for a visa ahead of time; you will get it after you arrive on campus or you may only need a passport valid for six months past your stay. For some programs, you will receive money for extra travelling like weekend trips. In most academic year programs, you can apply for local internships in various fields. They’re unpaid, but great work experience and great for your resume. They also give you experience using a foreign language in a professional setting.

The number one tip I heard over and over again was to submit your ACA application early. PUC has earlier deadlines than listed in the spiral-bound ACA booklets, so make sure you are meeting the correct deadlines—April 1 for summer programs and May 1 for academic year programs. Plan things out ahead of time, whether that be before you leave or while you’re abroad and decide to go on a trip on the weekend.

For 2017-2018, the academic year programs (which you can attend for just the first one or two quarters, or the full nine months) are in Argentina, Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, England, and Lebanon. Summer programs are in Austria (six weeks), Brazil (five weeks), Taiwan (10 weeks), France (six weeks), Israel (six weeks), Italy (six weeks), and Spain (six weeks).

You can find more information on the ACA website, by contacting ACA Director Sandra Esteves (, and/or by contacting Dr. Sylvia Rasi Gregorutti ( Dr. Gregorutti is PUC’s ACA representative and the department chair for world languages and cultures. There are also many pamphlets, brochures, and a “How to Apply” guide available in Irwin Hall about the ACA program. The thicker, spiral-bound handbooks include information about each school such as their address, what courses they offer, pictures of the campus, etc. If you do apply, make sure you attend the ACA orientation session on May 17 from 6-8 p.m. for important information before you leave for adventures overseas or across the continent. Keep an eye out for an Announce email about the session and its location.

Student Internship Profile: Alicia Bedolla

Alicia worked with injured and sick waterfowl. In this picture she is holding a domestic duck who is a pet. Wild birds are not handled like this at the rescue center.

Alicia worked with injured and sick waterfowl. In this picture she is holding a domestic duck who is a pet. Wild birds are not handled like this at the rescue center.

Meet Alicia Bedolla, a senior environmental studies major at PUC, and has worked at International Bird Rescue in Fairfield, Calif., for her internship during the last two quarters.

Tell us about your internship.

For my internship I worked at a bird center rehabilitating injured and sick waterfowl and pelagic birds. We performed regular examinations for each bird “patient,” administered medications, and did common chores to keep the facility up and running. On a daily basis, we would also have to clean a variety of fish to feed the birds.

What did you learn during your internship?

While working at International Bird Rescue, I learned so much about pelagic birds by having hands-on experience. I learned how to properly handle birds for examinations and about different illnesses/conditions certain birds are more prone to. I also learned about specific fish each bird preferred. From this experience, I learned proper techniques of administering medications and also how to hand feed sick birds.

How did PUC help prepare you for this experience?

Prior to this internship, I took courses such as Vertebrate Biology, Ecology, and Marine Science, which provided me with background knowledge on common pelagic birds and waterfowl.

To learn more about biology at PUC, visit the department of biology website.