Category Archives: Academics

Conquer Your First Month ON Campus 

Your first quarter of college was probably VERY different than you imagined, and for the record, we HATED not having everyone on campus and are thrilled to welcome everyone. Your first month on PUC’s physical campus will likely be a bit of a whirlwind. You’ll be meeting new people, learning new things, and having a new schedule. Here are some tips to help you get on the right track.  

Attend Class

You’re in college to go to classes and learn. Please do yourself a solid and attend class. If you’re not a morning person, don’t schedule early morning classes. If you rather have your evenings free, take classes in the afternoon. Make a schedule that you can work with that won’t make you skip class. 

Stay Organized 

By staying organized in college, you will have a better time conquering your assignments, tests, and other things. The first month of school may be overwhelming for you, so get a planner, use your calendar, just find a way that works for you to stay organized. 

Don’t Forget To Eat 

Please don’t forget to eat! Your health is important and if you don’t eat well, you might have a hard time concentrating. Fight the temptation to snack on junk food and instead indulge in healthier options. It’s a good idea to have water with you at all times. You must stay hydrated! 

Meet With Your Academic Advisor 

You’re going to have a lot of questions regarding your classes and major. Having meetings with your academic advisor will be very helpful to you. They are there to guide you in the right direction and help you out in any way they can. 

Put Yourself Out There 

One of the best things about college is that you get the chance to meet people from all over the world. It’s not always easy putting yourself out there, but during the first month, most students will feel the same way as you. Join clubs, study groups, intramurals, etc. Even if you’re scared, put yourself out there. 

Find Your Quiet Place 

From going to class, eating at the cafeteria, and living in the dorms, you’ll be surrounded by people most of the time. If you need your space and some quiet time, find a spot on campus that lets you have time to yourself. 

Get A Good Night’s Sleep 

Lack of sleep is what causes the most stress, so please make sure you’re getting good sleep every night. There will be nights where you and your friends stay up late studying and getting to know each other, but if you don’t get enough hours of sleep you won’t feel so great the next morning. 

Be True To Yourself 

College is a chance to have a fresh start, but don’t lose sight of your values and beliefs. You’ll be figuring out new things about yourself, but don’t feel that you have to act a certain way or be someone different just to fit in. Be true to yourself and let your light shine to others. 

Take in every moment during your first month on campus. Be open to change, new opportunities, and keep an open mind. Enjoy the beautiful Napa Valley and remember that your PUC family is here for you! 

 

PUC’s Department of Visual Arts Shares the Wealth

Many classes in the department of visual arts require the use of specific, expensive equipment. While PUC is blessed to allow students access to the very best, virtual learning posed a bit of a problem. How would students complete their projects while so far away from the resources they’ve grown accustomed to using? Instructor of film & television production Tim de la Torre and assistant professor of photography Brian Kyle decided to carefully pack-up and ship super-8 film cameras to their students so they were able to complete their projects remotely. 

de la Torre has also personally sent students iMacs from the school’s computer labs, cameras, and filmmaking gear and knows his fellow professors have sent students from photography and printmaking classes packages of tools and equipment to complete their assignments. He says he knows at least one student went so far as to take an entire ceramics wheel home back in March! 

de la Torre speaks for everyone at PUC when he says everything is going to be better once all students are back on campus but for the time being, he and the rest of the department are committed to providing their students with the same level of care and attention they receive in the physical classroom. “We are making this online thing work!” says de la Torre. 

Learn more about the department of visual arts at puc.edu/academics. Our team of admissions counselors can answer any questions you have about these programs, or the other majors the college offers. Call (800) 862-7080, option 2, or email admissions@puc.eduto get connected with a counselor now and start learning about all the options available to you!

PUC’s Department of Nursing Redefines the Clinical Experience for Students

The nursing profession as a whole is fundamentally about patient care so when teaching nursing students, interacting with patients is of the utmost importance. In the spring, when Napa County received shelter-in-place orders, the typical clinical experiences for PUC nursing students needed to be reimagined. 

Professor of nursing Tamara Tirado found an alternative to the norm: virtual clinical experiences that focus on real-life nursing issues and experiences. “It has been both exciting and challenging for students to learn how to navigate their critical thinking skills in the online environment,” Tirado explains. “Being able to integrate virtual experiences in our courses has helped us to overcome the obstacles brought on during this challenging time and still meet the learning needs of our students.”

Learn more about the department of nursing at puc.edu/academics. Our team of admissions counselors can answer any questions you have about the programs, or other majors the college offers. Call (800) 862-7080, option 2, or email admissions@puc.eduto get connected with a counselor now and start learning about all the options available to you!

Faces of PUC: Introducing PUC’s Newest Nursing Professor, Jenna Park

Jenna Park is a PUC nursing alum and enjoyed her college experience so much she’s back! Jenna is an assistant professor in the department of nursing. She started her position in July but is no stranger to the community. Jenna’s happy to be back in the Napa Valley, not just for the great restaurants, but being a part of the Pioneers family again. 

What brought you to PUC? Why did you decide to work here?

I decided to come back to PUC because I saw how close and supportive the faculty was even when I was a nursing student. I enjoyed my time at PUC and loved the community, so I knew I had to come back. Nursing school was the most challenging two years of my life, but it was also the most fun and exciting.

What is the best thing about being a part of the Pioneers family?

The best thing about being a part of the Pioneers family is I have the best nursing faculty team. Everyone has been so supportive and welcoming, and I feel like I adjusted fairly quickly to this new position. I also love how close I am to all my favorite places to eat!

Where is your favorite place to eat in the Valley and why?

Whenever I am away from the Valley, I always crave and miss Giugnis Deli. I don’t know what it is about them. There is so much nostalgia and that goodness just makes me want to come back for more all the time.

What is something you can do/want to do that might be surprising for people to learn?

I’m not sure if it would be surprising, but I am obsessed with Disneyland, and I usually go at least once or twice a year. So it’s been tough to be away from Disneyland for so long due to COVID-19, but I am happy that they are staying closed for the safety of our community.

What is one song you’re listening to on repeat lately?

I’ve been so busy I haven’t listened to a lot of songs recently, especially since I find it difficult to work or study with music playing in the background.

Who is someone you admire and why? 

I admire my mother because she came to the United States and provided for the family, even though she barely spoke any English. She was a nurse in Korea before I was born, and she came back to the career almost fifteen years later in a whole new country with different rules, cultures, and languages. She is now a veteran nurse, and she has gained respect from all her coworkers, and many nurses come to her for advice. She is the definition of perseverance and hard work, and I aspire to be like her.

Favorite movie to watch? 

It depends on my mood. If I want something adventurous or fun, I’d watch something on Disney Plus. Maybe it’s Moana or maybe it’s The Avengers. But if I want something classic, I love to watch Pride and Prejudice.

Finish this sentence: On Sunday mornings you can find me… 

Sleeping in or grabbing brunch at Gillwoods or Grace’s Table in Napa!

Faces of PUC: Introducing PUC’s Newest Professor of Mathematics & Data Science, Nathaniel Adu

Give a warm welcome to Nathaniel Adu. He has only been teaching at PUC for three months, but has already experienced the warmth of our beautiful community and is happy to be a part of our Pioneers family. Being at PUC has given Nathaniel a feeling of how heaven is going to be like with the welcome and belonging he feels here. 

 What brought you to PUC? How/Why did you decide to work here?

I have heard about PUC through a friend whose brother attended PUC. He always spoke highly of the school. I decided to work here mostly because of the sense of community living. The PUC family is extremely welcoming and I have experienced the warmness from day one. I also wanted to work in a place where I can grow not only physically but spiritually. PUC is one of those few places and I am glad to be part of that community. 

What is the best thing about being a part of the Pioneers family?

I feel welcomed and belonging. I love the diversity. It gives me a feeling of how heaven is going to be like. People of all ethnicities living together in harmony.

What is something you can do/want to do that might be surprising for people to learn?

I love to cook and play soccer.

What is one song you’re listening to on repeat lately?

Day by Day SDAH 532

Favorite movie to watch? 

Coming to America by Eddie Murphy

Who is someone you admire and why? 

The late Nelson Mandela. He didn’t let what happened to him in the past affect him as a leader of his country. He was able to forgive the people who put him in jail and also put measures in place to reconcile his country when they needed it most. He was a symbol for peace and a great leader. His humility is what I like about him most.

Finish this sentence: On Sunday mornings you can find me…

Playing soccer with my friends. 

Highlighting Biology With Aimee Wyrick

PUC’s department of biology is well known for a rigorous lineup of classes. While the majority of biology students continue on to medical, dental, and veterinary schools there are other focuses as well. The department often ventures out of the classrooms utilizing our great location giving students the opportunity to learn in a variety of ways, while also allowing the professors to get to know their students better.

To give you more insight into the great community within this department, Aimee Wyrick, Chair and Associate Professor of Biology, gladly answered some questions for us. 

What is your favorite thing about teaching in your department?

My students and colleagues! I am blessed to work with a great team and I get to teach really interesting and fun classes. 

What makes your department unique compared to other departments at PUC?

Biology is part of an amazing network on our campus and so, at our core, we are all #onePUC. However, our department is unique (beyond the obvious) in that the curriculum we teach has tangible real-world applications. We also have a lot of hands-on opportunities that range from activities in Clark Hall labs to local and distant field trips. 

What makes your department at PUC unique compared to the same program at other colleges and universities?  

As a small college, the professors have a genuine interest in student success. Biology classes aren’t easy but the faculty are here to provide support, guidance, and mentorship. Faculty support of our students builds their confidence and helps them to develop the ever-important “soft skills” alongside the critical knowledge for whatever career a student pursues. We also have a very successful peer mentorship program – the BIOneers – that partners new students with returning students.  

What are some cool things your department is doing? 

Of course, much of our “normal” operations are on hold right now but we look forward to having students back on campus soon and continuing with the following: Most Biology faculty have active research programs and provide opportunities for any student that is interested and eligible to participate in undergraduate research experiences. Our department sponsors frequent domestic and international field biology courses and research trips (Alaska, Brazilian Amazon, Honduras, Fiji, Micronesia, Mexico, and Kenya). Many of our classes utilize the PUC forest, Howell Mountain Farm, and Albion Field Station for field biology opportunities (and research) 

Can you share a few examples of exciting things alumni from your department are doing?  

Where do I start? Most recently we learned one of our graduates (class of 2009) was just named an Assistant Professor of Pathology at LLU School of Medicine. Another graduate (2012) is working on a Ph.D. at UCSB in the areas of Spatial Ecology, Remote Sensing, Land-use Change, and Deforestation. Yet another graduate (2015) is an entomologist earning a Ph.D. at Utah State University. And a recent graduate (2020) starts her first year at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University. We have so many accomplished alumni and it’s too bad I can’t tell you what they’re all doing! They make us proud and we cherish the memories of their time in Clark Hall. 

What’s something your department is well known for? Why do you think that is?  

We are well known for our pre-professional program preparation. A majority of our majors continue to medical, dental, or veterinary school. Though our graduates are blessed to have a variety of excellent teachers across campus, the science faculty prepare students for the rigors of medical and dental school. We have a number of classes that are specifically tailored to the pre-professional student (e.g., histology and advanced human anatomy) that our graduate’s report is professional-school level. 

What’s something a new student can look forward to about joining your department?  

We have a focus on building community in the department of biology and being part of the BIOneer Mentorship Program is a must-do for new students. New students can look forward to meeting and getting to know a bunch of cool people (including the Bio professors) and getting to know the nooks and crannies of Clark Hall. A new student shouldn’t be surprised to meet (and learn) the names of our reptile menagerie, like Fred the Burmese python. 

This is Fred!

For more information about the department of biology or any of our other academic programs visit our website

Remote Learning Etiquette

By: Ally Romanes

We’ve all learned a lot about remote learning the past few months which is great since many of us will continue with it this fall. Here are some great tips for proper online learning etiquette from a PUC student!

Look Presentable 

Even though you’re at home, you should still consider how you present yourself to your professors and classmates. If your video is on, run a brush through your hair, wear appropriate clothing, and pay attention. If you will just be using auido, it’s still a good idea to get ready and dressed every morning to help keep you in a routine.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings 

Make sure there is nothing behind you that will be distracting to others and yourself. This could be other people, pets, or things in your room like a pile of messy clothes. Find a quiet, well lit place that will keep you focused in class and far away from distractions. 

Mute Yourself!

Once you log in to the virtual classroom, make sure to mute yourself. Most of the professors ask students ahead of time to mute, but there will still be some people who forget and end up having noise in the background that disrupts the class. 

Don’t Interrupt 

If you have a question during a lecture, don’t talk over your professor. Either type it in the chatbox or wait until the professor is ready for questions. Some professors don’t mind students asking questions during the lecture, but it’s best if you wait until they are finished. 

Respond Back 

When your professors ask you to respond to questions, please do. Whether they want you to speak up, respond in the chatbox, or give a thumbs up/down, make sure you respond to them. 

Remember, taking online classes isn’t just a learning process for you, but also your professors. They are working hard to give you the best remote learning experience. If you have any questions, concerns, or difficulties with your classes, do not hesitate to email your professor. These are challenging times but we are all in this together. 

A Letter From PUC’s SA President

Hello PUC,

Hi everyone! My name is Lewis Govea, this years’ PUC Student Association President. I am a senior music major looking to attend pharmacy school in the future. My PUC journey started fall of 2017 when I came to PUC as an aspiring biochemistry major. My efforts to power through my chosen major were thwarted by passion and the desire to be as well rounded as possible, so I switched my major to music with voice being my primary instrument.

My passion for music began very early. I have been in choirs and plays my entire academic life and have continued to grow as a musician. My musical experience ingrained within me the value of teamwork, so I continue to seek out groups that work together for a common goal. This desire, to be a part of something larger than myself, is what drew me to student government. I joined PUC’s Student Association fall of 2019 as the Social Vice President, where I took my skills as a team player and refined them into being the skills of a team leader. I found leadership to be one of my core characteristics. I planned fun events, like Bob Ross Paint Night and a concert where I invited The Voice alum Jej Vinson to sing. I felt like I was making an impact on campus, but I also felt limited to the social lives of PUC students rather than being someone who could affect actual changes to campus life and culture. This is what made me run for president.

School is starting and it might feel like there is no end in sight to this pandemic. I can already sense the walls of my bedroom pressing inwards, but I still don’t give up hope. Hope for better days and for when I can see the kind and loving faces of my friends again. If I begin to feel stagnate, I will push myself to fight for a cause. That cause will be to do everything in my power to make everyone connect to a community that loves them and will support them through these difficult times. This quarantine has been tough, and nobody expects you to just pick up where you left off. Heal. Rest. PUC SA is doing the work to make those dreams a reality. 

Until we meet again,

Lewis Govea

SA President

Tips For A Successful First Year

Today is the first day of classes and if you’re a freshman, EVERYTHING is new. We hope you’re excited but in case things feel a little overwhelming, here are some simple tips to help make this year a successful one. 

Go To Class 

This isn’t high school, no one is going to make you attend your classes, and skipping your early morning lectures for some much-needed sleep might sound like a great idea but you know what? Go to your classes. You’re here for a reason, to learn! 

Meet Your Professors

Your professors want to get to know you so introduce yourself. You will make a good first impression and if you need help in the class, they’ll already know who you are. A great thing about PUC is most of your classes are small so you’ll have lots of opportunities to get to know your professors better. We know taking classes remotely can make this a bit difficult but definitley try anyway! Send emails or schedule some time to video chat. 

Don’t Use Your Phone During Class

It’s as simple as that. It’s a bad look if you’re on your phone while your professor is teaching. Even if your professor doesn’t have rules about phones being out, it’s still good not to be on it during class, EVEN if they can’t tell you’re using it! 

Take Notes 

It’s essential to take notes during class so you remember what you learned. Your professors will be throwing a lot of information at you, so keeping notes will help you stay on track and prepare for tests. Find some classmates to share notes and study with.

Use Google Drive 

Google Drive is a great way to keep your files backed up. From writing your notes and papers in Google Docs to doing group assignments, Google Drive will help keep all your files safe in one place. Plus, it’s free! 

Eat Well 

Eat well so you can feel well. College requires a lot of energy so make sure to add vegetables and fruits into your meals every day. Drink lots of water to stay hydrated and stray away from energy drinks. 

Have Good Communication With Your Roommate (if you’re on campus)

Whether your roommate is someone you already know or a match your dean made, you need to make sure you have good communication. Living with someone can be tricky so be sure you allow open communication so you can live peacefully. 

Network 

Try to get to know the people in your department, even the faculty. Not only will this make your years at PUC better, but it will also help when you need to find a job or internship. The more people you know, the bigger your network will be. 

Keep Your Social Media Clean

Speaking of networking, you should always think about keeping your social media clean. When you start applying for jobs, employers might examine your social media accounts to get a glimpse of who you are. From Facebook to Instagram, they will see what you post, share, and are tagged in. Make sure your platforms reflect the kind of person you want to be.

Check out our social media tips for more information. 

Take Care of Yourself 

It’s very important that you take care of yourself. Besides eating well, get enough sleep and exercise. To do your very best, you must take care of yourself physically, mentally, and spiritually. Remember, you’re not alone! If you’re struggling, reach out to your RA, a dean, a faculty, or some friends. 

Happy first day of classes! 

 

Get To Know Your Student Association

Welcome to a new year at PUC! We are so excited to get to know each and every Pioneer! This year we have a great group of student leaders who have been working hard to make sure this is the best year yet. Let’s take a minute to meet them and when you see them around campus, don’t hesitate to say hello!

thumbnail_image001Lewis Govea – President 

“There is nothing I want more than to reunite with my PUC family, but I know everything is going to be different when all this is over. The incoming SA Team has the monumental task of rebuilding the PUC Family following this forced separation, but that’s exactly what we signed up for. This pandemic has strained our support systems and left us feeling alone, but I want everyone to know that SA will be waiting for you all with open arms and hearts full of love when we are back together again. We see our reunion as something to be excited for and we are ready to make PUC feel like home again. SA misses everyone and can’t wait to be back home on the hill. We love you all!”

thumbnail_Image-2Aileen Kurts – VP 

“I’m so excited to be a part of SA because I know the potential Student Senate has for making great changes at PUC. I’m ready to lead the Senate to make PUC feel like home for all students. I’m hoping to create a mentorship program at PUC so freshmen have some more guidance in what they’re doing and so they know people who have accomplished what they dream of. Senate is a powerful tool that I’m hoping every student learns about and utilizes so that their experience at PUC is the best they can have because PUC is not just a school but a place to create a family and call home.”

thumbnail_11B82805-844F-4B31-8C46-5B54A7F03BCDSebastian Anderson – PR/Marketing VP

“I’m thrilled to have another opportunity to be a leader and representative of the student body. I hope to use the PR & Marketing position to bring the whole campus closer together while helping campus culture and energy flourish. I want to do everything in my power to make sure everyone feels included, involved, and invited to everything the SA team puts together.”

thumbnail_ImageGrace Jong – Social VP 

“Hey, guys! I can’t wait for all the exciting new adventures that God has planned for PUC. This upcoming year, I have so many events planned in order to connect the students together. Stay tuned always remember to give love and give grace :)”

thumbnail_Image-1Keren Castro – Religious VP 

I’m really excited to be part of SA and bringing new things to PUC. My biggest goal for next year is really to bring more opportunities for the students to seek a more personal and deeper relationship with God while creating a stronger community through it. This past year, I was on Noah’s RVP team and we brought together Afterglow and we’ve seen amazing outcomes from it. So now I only want to expand from that.”

thumbnail_IMG-20190831-WA0008Miriam YU – Financial VP 

“I’m excited to meet everyone, especially the new SA team, real soon and also to bond with the student body. As FVP I look forward to growing in this position and meeting all the accounting goals.”

thumbnail_ADC_0034Adam Adreveno – Video Producer 

“I look forward to making quality videos for everyone to engage with and enjoy!”