Tag Archives: Academics

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

Don’t Worry If You’re Undecided

If you’re one of those students who has known what they wanted to be when they grew up since they were young, this blog is not for you! Please move on and enjoy a few minutes scrolling through social media. For the rest of you, we completely understand that choosing a major can be really difficult. Not everyone has their futures all figured out. Declaring a major is a really important step on your academic journey so for that reason alone, don’t rush! 

People Switch Majors All The Time

Did you know the National Center for Education Statistics says about 80 percent of students in the U.S. end up changing their major at least once and on average, college students change their major at least three times over the course of their college career? This shows you’re in great company!

It’s Ok To Be Picky 

College is a time for personal growth which means you might change your mind. As seen above, that’s totally normal. Changing your mind or being picky about what path you want to take doesn’t make you flighty or indecisive, it means you want to make the best choice for yourself. The great thing about attending a liberal arts college like PUC is you have plenty of options to choose from. And while you dabble in various programs, you’ll earn your general education credits!

If you find yourself struggling, reach out to your advisor, a professor, or make an appointment with the Career & Counseling Center


You Have Time 

Don’t let other people or even your own expectations pressure you into making a decision you’ll regret. You don’t have to rush and you do have time. Be patient with yourself and trust you’ll figure out which career path is for you. And remember, have a great time because college is also supposed to be fun! 

If you don’t know where to start, check out our blog on how to choose a major. 

 

PUC Launches Three New Academic Programs

By: Ashley Eisele

Pacific Union College has launched three new academic programs available for the 2020-2021 school year. The Global Health, Data Science, and Paramedic programs are especially timely for students looking for ways to serve their communities in meaningful ways.

PUC’s Bachelor of Science in Global Health is designed for those interested in improving the health and wellness of communities worldwide. The study of global health stems from the need to educate and keep large groups of people healthy in a way that individualized medicine cannot. A student who is fascinated by health and well-being, driven to help others, and enjoys research and education makes an excellent candidate for this degree.

The B.S. in Emergency Services, Paramedic is a unique hybrid program that allows students to complete three years at PUC in the Emergency Services Program and then take their paramedic training at any accredited (CAAHEP) program. Upon completion, they will be awarded their degree from PUC.

The Data Science major will prepare students to be employed to work with data and analyze it in a variety of industries, including healthcare, technology, entertainment, and political and social science. The B.S. degree also provides a background for further graduate study in data science or related fields. Introduction to Data Science will be available in fall 2020 for any students interested in wanting to see if the major is right for them.

Why The Student-Faculty Ratio Is Important 

By: Ally Romanes 

Having a good or low student-faculty ratio is a statistic college marketers love to plaster all over their websites and marketing pieces. It’s a stat PUC is known to brag about, (12:1!). But what does it actually mean and why should you care about it?

PUC is a small family community campus with a 12:1 student-faculty ratio, which means there is one faculty for every 12 students. This allows students and faculty an actual opportunity to get to know each other on a one-on-one basis which is something you miss when attending state schools with large lecture classes. Here are just a few of the benefits attending a smaller school like PUC affords you.

Get The Help You Need 

It’s great to be able to get one-on-one instruction from your professors. A huge benefit of attending PUC is the professors actually teach their classes. All classes are taught by professors, not by teaching assistants. Small class sizes also allow professors the ability to experiment with different learning styles, which benefit those who don’t always learn in conventional ways. 

Make Connections 

PUC’s 12:1 ratio is great for your faculty relationships as well as your peer relationships. In smaller classes, it’s easier to get to know your classmates, find a study partner, and work in groups. It also makes getting to know each student a lot easier for the professors. Making connections is a big deal as you get older! Imagine how easy it will be to get a recommendation letter when each professor knows you by name and can truthfully say they know how hard you work!

Participate!

Smaller classes mean you will have way more of a chance to share your opinions, ask questions, and stand-out in your classes. That might seem terrible to some of you right now but it’s a huge benefit. And for those of you who are shy, remember, smaller classes mean you’ll know your classmates and professors a lot better so you’re likely to feel much more comfortable with them.

Compete Where It Counts

At PUC you only need to compete where it counts, in Intramurals! PUC doesn’t want students having to compete for their professor’s time or educational opportunities and having small classes makes that possible. 

Join A Family

PUC is a family. The moment you step foot on campus, you’re a Pioneer for life. When you attend PUC, the faculty and staff not only know your name, they really care about you as a person and as you work towards your educational goals, you will find your professors become more than just teachers—they become your mentors, friends, and guides for the journey ahead. 

Interested in joining our Pioneers family? The online application is quick, easy to complete, and always free. Reach out to the Admissions office with any questions you might have by calling (800) 862-7080, option 2, or emailing admissions@puc.edu. 

Don’t wait—apply to PUC now!

 

Use The Nelson Memorial Library … Online!

While we are apart, the team at the Nelson Memorial Library is doing everything they can to bring as many of the resources you’re accustomed to, straight to your home!  

Here are some of the resources you can access from your computer!

Virtual Spaces 

We are available online! We can answer questions and assist with research frequently throughout the day. 

        CHAT:   look for the “Ask a Librarian” chat button on the library home page

        EMAIL:  reference@puc.edu

        TEXT:   (707) 948-6639

        VOICE: (707) 965-6241

Information Literacy Instruction (research) 

Each of the Library staff is available by appointment (or even spontaneously sometimes) for joining any online class to answer questions, assist with assignments, or to lead out in the best use of the library resources. They consider themselves fairly interchangeable but here are their specialties:

Patrick Benner (pbenner@puc.edu) 

– Aviation, Chemistry, Data Science, EMS, Math, Nursing, Health Sciences, Physics

Allison Fox (adfox@puc.edu) 

– Biology, Education, English & Literature, Kinesiology

Jason St Clair (jstclair@puc.edu) 

– Business, Music Psychology & Social Work

Katy Van Arsdale (kvanarsdale@puc.edu) 

– Communication, History, Honors, Theology, Visual Arts, World Languages

Streaming Video Collections 

https://puc.libguides.com/az.php?a=all&t=34235

Ebook Collections 

https://puc.libguides.com/az.php?a=all&t=34254 

Online Newspapers

 – https://puc.libguides.com/az.php?a=all&t=41202

Interlibrary Loan

 Link+ is shut down at least until July 1 but the team is actively processing ILL requests for books every day. Fill out the form:  http://library.puc.edu/ill

Guide for Accessing Off-Campus Library Resources 

https://puc.libguides.com/off-campus   

For those of you on campus, the physical library will now be staffed for assisting faculty, staff, and students. Hour hours are 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Mon. – Thurs. and 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Fri.  

An Inside Look at PUC’s Emergency Services Programs

The emergency services programs at PUC prepare students to be highly skilled professionals in the emergency and fire responder fields. If you’re considering a career in the fire service, law enforcement, disaster relief, or emergency medical services, a degree in emergency services from PUC may be for you. 

You might have some questions about the EMS programs at PUC. Well, we have answers!

Jeff Joiner has been working at PUC as an associate professor of nursing & emergency services for five years now and he was gracious enough to answer a few of our burning questions. 

You’ve now taught at PUC for a few years. What’s been your favorite thing about teaching here? 

I think my favorite thing as a teacher is seeing what my graduates are doing after graduation. Whether it’s working as an EMT in a big city or small rural area, getting that first paid position as a firefighter or heading back to school to advance their career as a paramedic or a graduate degree.

The EMS program at PUC has been around for over 10 years now. What exciting things are in store for the program in the future?

We’ve got lots of ideas on new courses to add to our program to keep it up to date with current standards of Emergency Management education (and make our graduates better prepared). We’ve recently added a new course in Search & Rescue and are taking advantage of the new Geographic Information Systems (GIS) course being offered (now a contextual requirement). We have proposed a new degree track that would allow students to complete their paramedic training within four years and receive a B.S. in Emergency Management. We have just had a new course approved for next year that will allow students to complete an internship in Emergency Management with various, county, state and federal agencies. We have new courses in Business Continuity, Technology in Emergency Management (think drones), and a Wilderness (Medicine) First Responder (WFR) courses in the planning stages. All of these courses will keep PUC Emergency Services graduates on the cutting edge.

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What distinguishes PUC’s program from other EMS type programs, such as Union College’s international rescue and relief program?

While there are definitely similarities with Union’s IRR program, our program at PUC is more focused on domestic Emergency Management positions/careers. Both programs have an EMT component that leads to National Registry and identical courses in Technical Rope and Swiftwater Rescue. IRR has an international component that we do not. We have courses in Emergency Vehicle Operations (EVOC) that lead to a Department of Transportation (DOT) certificate (how to drive an ambulance); a course in how to manage an EMS agency. Approximately half of our students in Emergency Services are members of the Angwin Volunteer Fire Department and are able to gain valuable experience as a firefighter and EMT while they are still in school. This experience is invaluable when applying for positions upon graduation. This is a very unique opportunity for Emergency Management students.

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Why should someone consider studying EMS?

We currently offer two degrees in Emergency Services – an A.S in Emergency Services which is ideal for the student who is looking for a position as an EMT, Emergency Dispatcher, or EMS manager/supervisor. The B.S. in Emergency Management opens up the world of Emergency Management which includes careers in law enforcement, firefighting, Emergency or Disaster Management, international relief, social services, public health, or medicine. Positions as Emergency Managers can be found at the city, county, state, or federal government level; with domestic or international relief agencies (Red Cross, ADRA, USAID, Samaritan’s Purse, Team Rubicon, World Vision, etc.). In the future, up to ninety percent of EM positions will be in private industry leading the business continuity programs. We now offer a pre-med option for students that wish to pursue a career in medicine. We have had several complete dual degrees in Emergency Services and Nursing.

Can anyone take an EMS class, or are they only for EMS majors? 

There are several Emergency Services classes that are open to all students – EMT I & II, and Technical Rescue I & II. Some even meet general education requirements!

What are graduates of PUC’s EMS program doing? 

Currently, we have graduates of our B.S. in Emergency Management working as Emergency Managers for the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office, the San Bernardino County Health Department, and the city of Beacon Hill. One of our graduates is the Emergency Manager for Facebook. We have some working in Law Enforcement, some as firefighters for CalFire. One is currently pursuing her paramedic certification. Another graduate is completing her MPH in Disaster Management (and doing her last internship at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta. One of our graduates is now a Disaster Specialist with FEMA in Washington D.C. Another is a youth crisis worker in L.A.

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

My favorite is probably the EMT I & II courses. These are the foundation courses in our 2 & 4-year degrees. I’m introducing these students to the field of emergency care. From these first two classes, they will use these skills for the rest of their professional career, be it as an EMT, Paramedic, Registered Nurse, or physician the ER. These students are probably the only students on campus who must be prepared to take a National Registry exam after only two-quarters of college. Many are freshmen. And yet, after only two quarters they are able to go out and get a paying job saving people’s lives. Some of our students do this each year before the end of their first year of college!

If you’re interested in learning more about our emergency services programs visit puc.edu/academics. If you have questions, our team of admissions counselors will be happy to answer them! Call (800) 862-7080, option 2 or email admissions@puc.edu to get connected with a counselor and start learning about all the options available to you. 

 

Academic Spotlight: Health Communication 

The health communication degree at PUC is offered to pre-professional students who want to pursue a career in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, and other healthcare-related fields, but are also interested in studying communication.

If you want to work in the medical field, communication skills are ranked as one of the top skills employers look for in their recruits. Whether you are working with patients and their families or with other staff, communication is key. Students who study communication are often better problem solvers, collaborators, negotiators, and critical thinkers. 

Fast Facts

  1. 100 percent of our health communication graduates are either employed or in graduate programs for medical school, dental school, pharmacy school, physical therapy school, occupational therapy school, or other graduate programs. 
  2. Strong interpersonal, intercultural, written, and verbal communication skills are in high demand, especially in healthcare, because communication errors are often reported to be the leading cause of mistakes in healthcare. 
  3. PUC’s program is one of the very few undergraduate health communication programs available in the entire country. We are the only Seventh-day Adventist school who offers this degree. 
  4. A health C=communication degree is not an easier way to prepare for pre-professional programs since performance in science courses and MCAT/DAT/GRE, etc. scores are still the key markers for being competitive applicants. But it is one path that provides a broad overview of all types of communication skills healthcare providers will use in their careers. 

A Student’s Perspective

I really like how I can take communication classes on top of science classes. Communication classes break down everyday concepts I feel we normally never really acknowledge. I felt like comm classes really gave me an edge when it came to interpersonal or small group interaction and the professors are the best professors on campus. Communication classes really helped me be more aware of how I speak. I believe anyone entering healthcare should be aware of how they speak and how they can improve. The biggest take away from comm classes at PUC was how it inspired me to become a better communicator for a stronger patient-provider relationship. Taking comm classes helped me realize being a health provider is more than just helping patients but creating a relationship can offer the best patient outcome.” – Myro Castillo, senior 

If you would like to see more information about health communication, check out the course catalog. Speak to your academic counselor or an admissions counselor if you have any questions about PUC’s health communication program. Call (800) 862-7080, option 2 or email admissions@puc.edu to get connected with a counselor.