Monthly Archives: May 2018

My Year as Editor-in-Chief of the Campus Chronicle

By Daniel Grigore

I never expected to join the Student Association at PUC, never expected to learn “inverted pyramid” writing and never expected to become as experienced at apology emails as I am now. However, all those “never thoughts” became a reality when, last winter quarter at PUC, my best friend persuaded me to run for a then-empty position: Editor-in-chief of the Campus Chronicle.

Now, three quarters into the year—and about three and a half weeks away from graduation—I have finally worked out a smoothly functioning system of production (sort of). Although I am proud of what I and my staff have accomplished, if I had been more aware of the steep learning curve that accompanies the adage “fake it till you make it,” I may have been more hesitant to run for office.

Nevertheless, I do not regret my time spent as editor-in-chief. In fact, I have had the opportunity to learn a great many things. I discovered em dashes, en dashes and hyphens are three distinct types of punctuation. Additionally, notice how the previous sentence is missing, a serial/Oxford comma—the comma that comes before “and” (also, note the hyphen and em dash in this sentence). The convoluted AP Style is really quite simple—if merely ignored and placed on the shelf next to APA, Chicago and Turabian (I am a full-blooded English major: “if it ain’t in MLA, then I don’t wanna play”).

A completely different approach to writing is not my only takeaway. I have learned interviews take planning weeks in advance and just one email is, contrary to my own preconceived notions, not the most effective way to obtain a timely response. Administration can be the biggest help or hindrance (thank you, President Cushman, you make life a breeze!) and faculty and staff are a goldmine when it comes to content.

Above all else, I think this leadership role has taught me communication is a major key to success—along with an enthusiastic and dedicated staff. If I cannot communicate my goals, ideas or expectations, how can my staff expect to produce a quality paper? How can my adviser trust I will be successful? How can I lead without a clear destination? I am very lucky my adviser and Chronicle crew were able to piece together a some sort of vision from my oftentimes questionable instructions. They deserve all my gratitude.

In retrospect, in the first issue compiled under my leadership almost one year ago, the section designated as the “Letter From the Editor” held the characteristic I wanted the Chronicle to most exemplify: honesty. In a world filled with “fake news” and fluctuating morals, the Chronicle was to be a solid and steadfast representation of life on campus as it is. I am proud to say I believe this standard of truthfulness has been met. To be just a little piece of PUC’s long and impressive legacy is an honor, and I am grateful for all the unforeseen schooling I received outside a classroom as editor-in-chief of the Campus Chronicle.

Interested in learning more about PUC’s Student Association? Check out our recent blog post about the 2018-2019 SA officers and start getting excited about next year!

#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.

Half-Price Tuition and Housing: PUC Offers Summer Classes

By Becky St. Clair

Half-price tuition.

Half-price housing.

Over two dozen areas of study to choose from.

Hours and hours of NorCal sun.

If even one of those things sounds good, you need to register for summer classes at PUC, stat! Headed home for the summer? Good news–we’ve got 17 online courses for you to choose from, too. Of course, online means no “hours and hours of NorCal sun,” but no matter what floats your boat this summer, we’ve got you covered!

Summer classes last only 2-3 weeks, including full-year sequences for pre-med and pre-dent courses such as Biological Foundations and General Chemistry. Pre-nursing courses such as Human Anatomy and General Microbiology are also available during the summer.

PUC already offers smaller class sizes, even during the regular school year, but during the summer, those class sizes shrink even more, offering students even better access to their teachers and more room for open dialogue and class discussions.

“Rigorous” is definitely the name of the game in summer classes, but there are rewards to be had (besides getting course credits out of the way). Student Activities provides recreation options throughout the summer, such as weekly free food, Six Flags tickets, a San Francisco Giants game, and a pool party. Not to mention other local events such as the weekly farmer’s market in St. Helena, concerts in the park, sunrise fitness classes, Independence Day fireworks, the fair in Calistoga, artist and author meet-n-greets, the Flynn Creek Circus, Napa Porchfest, and more. Or, create your own adventure in the Back 40, San Francisco, the coast, or anywhere in-between.

Whether you choose to stay home or join us on campus, we look forward to spending our summer with you.

For details and to register, visit or email

What Exactly is Allied Health? Professor Saunders Tells It All.

The single-handed most critical, yet annoying question any college student may be asked is the following: “What are you majoring in?” While many individuals may be fortunate enough to have this question figured out, others struggle to even wrap their minds around committing to one of the many majors Pacific Union College has to offer. Although PUC is especially known for its pre-med, pre-dent, and nursing programs, there are also plenty of options offered in allied health.

So, what careers do allied health studies lead to? Fear not, here are just a few occupations one can have with a background in allied health: physical therapy, occupational therapy, respiratory therapy, x-ray technician, radiology technician, nutrition/dietetics, speech-language pathology, and more, including a new program in diagnostic medical sonography. There are close to 20 different allied health options for students to choose from! See a full list of PUC’s majors, including all of the allied health programs, at

Yet, many incoming college students are unaware of the boundless possibilities—aside from pre-med, pre-dent, and nursing—that healthcare has to offer. So, the question remains, how does one go about pursuing a career in allied health? In light of these questions, PUC’s very own allied health adviser, Vicki Saunders, offers insight on how to become an allied health professional.

What is your role at PUC?

I am an assistant professor of nutrition and I also coordinate the two-year health sciences degree program.

What is your favorite part about being an adviser?

My favorite part about being an adviser is the one-on-one conversations with students. What can I say? For the most part, it is very rewarding.

Can you explain what pre-professional programs are?

Pre-professional programs are tracks in undergraduate programs that prepare you to continue on to another institution to earn a professional degree after completing a series of prerequisite classes, which generally are 1-2 years (though a few programs now require a four-year degree). The term “pre-professional” is a bit confusing, as it applies to a much broader group than just pre-allied health programs; it can include pre-allied health programs as well as pre-medicine, pre-dentistry, etc. I specifically work with students who have chosen to study pre-allied health programs. (See a full list of PUC’s majors, including all of the allied health programs, at

What is a piece of advice you can give to incoming students interested in pursuing a career in allied health?

Well, if they are not here yet, I suggest they start shadowing. If they are shadowing, they can get a form on Loma Linda University’s website (or other prospective schools) for tracking shadowing hours. Many schools now require individuals applying to allied health programs to complete a certain number of shadowing hours. For example, physical therapy requires 80 hours of shadowing versus occupational therapy requires only 40 hours. Some therapies don’t require a lot of hours, but it is good to shadow and observe what these professionals do to see if it’s a fit for you. Different personalities click with different professions. Some professions are behind the scenes, while others require contact with people regularly.

Given how competitive some pre-professional and allied health programs are, what are some tips on how to succeed?

One tip is to take all the sciences you can in high school to give yourself a foundation. It’s probably not a good idea to try to skip chemistry and physics in high school if you want to get into a physical therapy program in college. There are some schools that are really academically challenging, but a large number of schools are not as rigorous. However, incoming students can’t doodle around their freshman year—they may miss out on what they want to get into. One of the biggest errors students make is looking at a schedule of 16 class credits plotted on their calendars and say, “look at all that free time!” Sixteen hours represents approximately a 40-hour week. They need to consider more than just time in classes; there’s studying, prepping for class and projects, writing research papers, etc. College students end up knowing how to balance time usually around their second year, although freshmen sometimes have a harder time doing that.

How do PUC’s pre-professional programs set themselves apart from programs offered by other schools?

It depends on which school one is looking at. Not all schools offer the A.S. degree in health sciences that we do. This is a way for students who are just attending college to complete prerequisites to also leave with a diploma. PUC is known for its high academic standards. When I was at LLU for an advisers’ conference, there were some PUC alumni who mentioned they had found that some of their college courses were more difficult at PUC than what they had found at LLU. Although we have not transitioned to a being a university, we are a very established college.

Interested in learning more about PUC’s degree in health sciences, or another allied health program? Talk with one of our enrollment counselors today! They can give you more information about each program’s requirements and advise you on what classes you should take to be prepared for PUC. Email or call (800) 862-7080, option 2 to talk with a counselor.


Student Research Profile: Charidan Jackson and Zoe Morphis

Zoe and Charidan (pictured) used a piece of flannel to collect ticks from the outdoors to determine their distribution patterns.

Meet Charidan Jackson and Zoe Morphis, who conducted a research project at PUC last year studying ticks in Albion and at the college’s Albion Field Station. Charidan graduated from PUC last year and is now getting her master’s at California State University, Long Beach, while Zoe is studying biology at PUC and intends to go to veterinary school after graduation.

Who are you?
I’m Charidan Jackson, and I’m a first-year master student at California State University, Long Beach. I plan to obtain a degree in biology and work as a forensic scientist.

I’m Zoe Morphis and I’m a biology major. I plan to go to vet school to become a licensed veterinarian.

What did you do?
We worked with Dr. Ness to survey the population density of ticks in Angwin and the Albion Field Station. We were responsible for taking collections, logging GPS locations, and recording other physical and biological information about each site. This was the beginning stages of a research project to study the prevalence of Lyme disease in the local tick populations and involved development of research methods as well as collecting preliminary samples.

When and where did you do this work?
The research was done during spring and fall quarters of 2017. We focused on collecting in areas of Angwin and Albion frequented by humans such as the back 40 and trails with plant growth on either side.

What did you learn?
Charidan: From our data collection, we learned Angwin is prime habitat for ticks. We saw differences in species, developmental stage, and sex. Collecting ticks was not difficult because they come toward humans and other warm-blooded animals. Ticks are especially active in warmer and slightly moist environments. Although we did not initially aim to collect data specifically on the plant matter ticks were found on, we noticed that more ticks were found on invasive species such as French broom and Himalayan blackberry

Zoe: The most valuable thing I learned during this research project was simply the amount of effort that goes into even a simple research project. Even simply getting approval for obtaining the necessary supplies was a challenge, not to mention the hard work of trying to collect ticks. It really helped me to appreciate complicated research studies scientists have done to help us learn about the world.

How did your experience at PUC help prepare you for this experience?
Charidan: Classes such as Conservation Biology and Ecology emphasized the importance of detailed and specific data collection. We applied the quadrat method we learned from those classes to organize data collection before we started. PUC also offered a one-day seminar on Geographic Information Systems. GIS gave us the tools to map Angwin’s trails and plot our points along the trail. Flowering Plants opened my eyes to the different types of plants in on habitat. Without the expertise of that class, I doubt we would have noticed any correlation between invasive species and ticks.

Zoe: PUC prepared me for this experience by providing me with the basic knowledge necessary to understand the research process. Specifically, taking Intro to Research Methods provided me with a solid background to be able to read and comprehend scientific research articles in order to prepare a feasible plan for our study. I also was grateful for the knowledge I had from Genetics, as it allowed me to understand how sequencing the ticks’ DNA to detect Lyme disease would work.

#FacultyFriday: Meet Steve Waters

Dr. Steve Waters has taught here at PUC for 36 years and he has enjoyed every second of it. His specialization is in pure mathematics, especially abstract and linear algebras. What may be surprising about Dr. Waters is his thespian interests, a hobby that draws him to the stage whenever time allows. One place he is for sure never acting, however, is when he is at the front of the classroom—one of his favorite places to be. Join us as we get to know a little more about Dr. Waters.

Name: Steve Waters
Title: Professor of Mathematics
Faculty since: 1983

Classes taught: Nearly every mathematics course, plus a variety of honors courses.

Education: B.S., Pacific Union College in 1979; M.S., Idaho State University in 1980; D.A., Idaho State University in 1983

What made you decide to be a teacher?
My freshman year at PUC, I conducted informal tutoring sessions for a bunch of guys on 4th floor Newton. Near the end of the year, several of them suggested to me that I should consider being a teacher since I had been able to clarify things to them so well. The more I thought about it, the more it became clear that was exactly what I wanted to do with my life. It has since become a big part of my identity—being a teacher is not just something I do, it’s who I am.

What are some of your hobbies?
Reading (just about anything), music (listening and playing), hiking, spending time with my cats.

What’s something people might be surprised to know about you?
Hmmm … I was a gymnast in high school? I had an uncle who walked on the moon? (I have been told that) I am the only person to have played a baritone sax in Grace Cathedral? I have a distant relative who headed the group Pink Floyd?

What’s your favorite thing about PUC?
I love the collegiality of my department (and the broader college community). That’s my favorite, but it’s closely followed by my enjoyment of being able to teach a variety of courses, both in and out of mathematics, and being able to participate in musical ensembles. It also helps to be located in God’s vacation home here on Earth.

What’s your favorite spot on campus?
Whichever classroom I happen to be in while people are learning. Working with others as real understanding takes place is one of the best feelings there is. This would also include making music in the band room and concert halls. I also very much enjoy the hiking trails in the Back 40.

What’s your favorite book, movie, or song?
This is impossible to answer since I love so many books and songs (and a few movies). Books by Dickens, Dostoevsky, Adams, Pratchett, Bryson, or Stephenson would rate highly, as would songs by Beethoven, McCartney, Joel, or Scott.

What advice would you give to an incoming freshman?
Expose yourself to as many areas of knowledge as you can (hooray for general education!), get to know the people who love those areas, and then be true to yourself as you find what genuinely interests you. Take advantage of the wonderful area in which PUC is located and become an active part of its vibrant community.

Professional activities: Ten professional speaking invitations, two invited visiting professorships, ten published research papers, heavy involvement in PUC’s governance system.


Student Research Profile: Michelle Tang and Janet Tang

In this picture, Michelle (left) and Janet are running an experiment in which the rattlesnake strikes a solution-filled glove they will later analyze for venom content.

Meet Michelle Tang and Janet Tang, both biology majors at PUC who plan to continue on to medical school after college. Last summer, they conducted research in the college’s very own Clark Hall lab studying rattlesnakes and their venom.

Who are you?
I’m Michelle Tang and I’m a senior here at PUC. I’m also a biology major/pre-medicine student, planning on going to medical school to become a physician.

I’m Janet Tang, a junior biology major hoping to continue on to medical school.

What did you do?
Michelle: I worked with Dr. Herbert to study the habituating acts of rattlesnakes by calculating venom expenditure and observing measures of defensiveness. My partner and I were in charge of filling the rubber hand gloves with saline, warming it up to about 37 degrees C, and scenting it to match the effects of a real hand. I was also responsible for pouring the contents from the glove into a bucket, diluting it, and putting it into individual vials. My partner and I also used the vials of diluted venom to find the concentration of protein in the venom via protein assay.

Janet: I was responsible for recording the interaction between the snakes and the saline-filled rubber gloves. I followed each snake and made sure to film the potential bite at a specific angle that allowed us to determine the time of strike and more.

When and where did you do this work?
The research lasted 10 weeks during the summer of 2017 in Clark Hall.

What did you learn?
Michelle: I learned rattlesnakes are not vicious reptiles that are out there to get you. Each and every rattlesnake had a different character and temperament and reacted very differently to the actions imposed on them. Some rattlesnakes didn’t even strike at the glove when they were seriously provoked. I also learned the importance of teamwork and communication in terms of getting things done correctly and on time.

Janet: Contrary to popular belief, I learned rattlesnakes are kind and gentle creatures. Though they are though to be aggressive, rattlesnakes do not want to bite humans and only do so when they are harassed or scared.

How did your experience at PUC help prepare you for this experience?
Michelle: As a biology major student, classes such as Animal Behavior and Intro to Research really prepared for the knowledge that this research entailed. Having taken Animal Behavior, I learned about habituation and the various types of non-associative and associative learning. Taking Intro to Research allowed me to better understand the steps and processes of how researching works. Although I haven’t taken Immunology yet, I will definitely be prepared to do a protein assay when the time comes.

Janet: Because I’m a science major, the science classes I have taken helped prepare me by providing valuable lab experience and knowledge I have utilized during my research. In addition, I have enjoyed getting to learn about various science topics ranging from single-celled organisms to large multicellular creatures.

Finding the Back 40

by Maria Rankin-Brown
Chair, Department of English

I’m mostly known for teaching English, but when I’m not, I’m known for stalking the greenery and flowers in my neighbors’ yards so I can capture photos I share on Instagram (@dooglebuggy and @ria.arby). My favorite place to go wild with my camera is the Back 40. Many locals and students use the Back 40 to stay physically fit. What better place is there on campus to get your uphill run on? While I theoretically appreciate the benefits of hiking or running in the Back 40, I mainly use the space to hide from others. The combination of the many, many trails, the solitude, and the opportunity to slide behind a tree when people approach is irresistible to my introverted self. As much as I enjoy the eight hours of interacting with students and colleagues during the day, I need alone time to recharge. The Back 40 offers the perfect combination of isolation, silent company, and opportunities for photography. The Back 40 calms and centers me and shows me how important it is to simply spend time sorting through my thoughts and feelings.

View this post on Instagram

Featured in @allkindsofnature @amateurs_shot and @all_colorshots 🕸🙏🏼🕸 Alien Dandelions look like they come from somewhere other worldly. Little antennae communicating with the mothership, then getting trampled by the cows grazing in the pasture.🕸✨🕸✨🕸✨🕸✨🕸✨🕸✨🕸✨🕸 ✨🕸✨🕸#ig_discover_nature #nature_spotlight #igersverybest #myheartinshots #eye_for_earth #naturehippys #modmixx #rsa_nature #snapshots_daily #beautiful_world #bestnatureshot #igs_style #naturelovers #nature_wizards #whywelovenature #nature_special_ #arte_of_nature #astounding_shots #Excellent_Snaps #fabulous_shots #impressive_shotz #shotsbyyou #stalking_nature #snapshots_daily #dandelion #moody_tones

A post shared by 幸/Maria R-B 🚫👻 (@dooglebuggy) on

Student Research Profile: Mychal Hellie

Mychal spent hours in a canoe studying grebes during his internship with the Audubon Society.

Meet Mychal Hellie, a junior environmental studies major at PUC who plans to continue on after college to get a master’s in ecology. Last summer, Mychal helped Dr. Floyd Hayes study grebes on nearby Clear Lake as part of his internship with the Audubon Society.

Who are you?
I’m Mychal Hellie and I’m an environmental studies major in my junior year. I plan to get my master’s in ecology.

What did you do?
I helped Dr. Hayes study the grebes on Clear Lake. We studied the distribution of nest locations and the grebes behavior on the nests. My job was to help set up the cameras and survey the nesting locations. I also recorded data from the pictures about how much time each parent spends incubating the eggs.

When and where did you do this work?
My internship was with the Audubon Society, doing research on Clear Lake during the summer of 2017.

What did you learn?
There is a lot of work that goes into field research, especially when it involves canoeing at five in the morning, and if you want good data, you need dedication. Studying the grebes out in wild taught me how interesting the natural world around us can be. Going minute by minute through photos of their lives showed me the vast complexity of wildlife and why they are worth studying and preserving.

How did your experience at PUC help prepare you for this experience?
Classes at PUC like Pollution & Environmental Quality helped me understand conditions like eutrophication that affect the ecosystems on Clear Lake.  Ecology and Conservation Biology taught me many field techniques I used in to study and sample the grebe populations.