Tag Archives: College Tips

Faces of PUC: Christianne Andrianarijaona

This week’s Faces of PUC is Angwin local, Christianne Andrianarijaona. She is a third year biochemistry major who wants to pursue dentistry and is passionate about singing. We are blessed to have a sweet student like Christianne a part of our Pioneers family. 

What is your dream job? 

My dream would be something challenging, but one that still gives me peace in mind because of the good hours and organized schedule. That’s why I would want to go into dentistry. I know the patients and colleagues I’d meet along the way would be life-changing.

How does that compare to what you wanted to be when you were young? 

Haha, when I was younger, I wanted to be a professional singer, something very close to Tori Kelly or Beyonce. I have pretty bad stage fright and nerves, so I’ve gone against pursuing that.  But I must say that compared to now, I had a much more creative and open mindset. As a college student, I overthink often and I tend to go overboard with my creative thoughts, which ends up being overwhelming.

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

PUC is a very close-knit, small family meaning that you’ll find long-lasting friends and be able to see God through people. That’s what I like most about the Pioneers family. Everybody knows everybody.

Where is your favorite place in the world? 

My favorite place in the world would either be anywhere quiet and spacious, whether it be outdoors, a museum, library, Chan Shun, or wherever my family is.

If you had to be trapped in a movie for a day, what movie would you choose?

If I had to be trapped in a movie for a day, one of the movies I would choose would be Mrs. Doubtfire. Just watching the plotting, setting, and revealing unfold would be so entertaining. 

What is something you’re passionate about? 

I am passionate about singing, though I haven’t been pursuing as much as I wish. But it’s something that I love doing and am decently confident with.

Recommend a place to go in the Bay Area on a weekend.

Hmm, I would say Round One in San Jose. It’s a cute little arcade with bowling allies and karaoke rooms. The only thing that’s not very affordable is the ride there and back, but that’s Bay Area for you.

Q&A With Nursing Professor Jenna Park

PUC’s nursing program is our largest department. Offering a two-step program in A.S. and B.S.N., and a B.S.N. program for registered nurses, students come from all over the country to gain real-life experience, receive hands-on training, and be mentored by caring, dedicated professors. 

Jenna Park is one of PUC’s nursing instructors who teach first-quarter nursing students. As a PUC nursing alum, she enjoyed her college experience so much that she decided to come back and teach the future generation. 

What is your favorite thing about teaching in your department? 

I’m relatively new at PUC as a professor, and I love all the support I get from my department. I also love the class I’m teaching, as I see tremendous growth in the students.

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

Each quarter is one cohort together, and as they advance in the program, they advance together. The comradery within the cohorts is pretty neat to see.

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

There is freedom for me to start my classes with a word of prayer and a verse of the day. I can also share spiritual experiences I’ve had with my patients in my personal clinical stories.

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

PUC grad nurses, including myself, have been working on the frontlines to fight COVID-19, whether it’s in the ICU, ER, or vaccine clinics. But we honestly can’t wait for all this to end.

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

When I was a student at PUC years ago (not sure if it’s still relevant now) nursing students were known to disappear after getting into the program. We’re always studying and going to clinicals!

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

New students can look forward to an intense amount of work and reading! But mostly, students can look forward to putting everything they’ve learned and will learn into practice to provide care for patients not only physically but also spiritually and mentally. 

Advice From Professor Park: 

“I would ask them to seek what motivates them to be a nurse and let that be a true drive-in pushing through with the program. Students are always surprised by how intensive the program is, so being efficient with time management and knowing the best study and learning habits beforehand may be helpful. And lastly, it’s okay to struggle, and it’s okay to ask for help, whether you seek help from the TLC, the counseling center, your professors, or your classmates. Nursing is really hard! We’re all here to help our students.”

Visit our website to learn more about the department of nursing. Our admissions team can answer any questions you have. Call (800) 862-7080, option 2, or email admissions@puc.edu to speak with one of our admissions counselors to start learning about what PUC’s nursing department can offer you. 

Benefits of Taking Summer Classes 

PUC offers a variety of summer classes, workshops, and seminars. Many high schoolers and undergraduates take summer classes because it gives them a head start on checking off their credits and ensures they graduate on time. Taking summer courses at PUC also cuts half the price on classes and boarding. Here are six other benefits of taking summer classes. 

Finish Gen Eds Sooner 

A great way to finish your general education courses sooner is by taking summer classes. This allows you to take up more mandatory classes your major requires from you during the regular school year.  

No Overloading 

Taking summer classes will knock out other courses you have to take during the regular school year, which can give you a lighter course load so you won’t have to worry about overloading on credits. 

You Can Graduate Early 

If you want to begin your college career sooner or want to finish undergrad faster, enrolling in summer classes can help you graduate sooner. Taking summer classes will help you check off your courses and lead you one step closer to graduating early. 

Fewer Classes

Since you’re required to take a number of credits each quarter, summer classes allow you to focus on just one or two classes at a time. No need to worry about juggling too many classes at once.

Explore Your Passions 

During the regular school year, you’re focusing more on core classes. Summer classes are an opportunity for you to explore your passions and take fun electives. You won’t only be earning credits, but getting the chance to see if you want to major or minor in your passions. 

Bump Up Your GPA 

Summer classes can help bump up your GPA and accelerate your academic career. Increasing your GPA will look great on college applications and can help you earn scholarships.

Check out PUC’s summer classes. To speak with someone from our admissions team, call (800) 862-7080, option 2, or email admissions@puc.edu

The Value of Spanish Studies at PUC

Terah Ramos is a senior studying for a BA in Spanish Studies and a BBA in Marketing. When she first came to PUC as a freshman, she was a biology major, but that all changed when she found out about the study abroad program Adventist College Abroad (ACA). On a whim, Terah decided to study a year abroad in Spain and take that opportunity to learn Spanish Studies and found it practical because everything she’d learn could apply to her chosen career path later on. 

Terah generously answered some questions for us to learn more about PUC’s World Languages program. 

What do you like about the program?

I love my professors. They are extremely dedicated and profoundly knowledgeable. Not only are they good at what they do, but they are also very helpful and caring. I know people who just visit the professors in the World Languages and Cultures department just to have a chat. It’s easy to tell that the professors are passionate about their jobs and want you to succeed.

What are some important things you’ve learned from your program?

(1) Learning a language is one of the most rewarding things you can do – the idea that you are able to communicate with an entire group of people you would not be able to understand/converse with otherwise. I love speaking to people in Spanish and seeing their faces light up because it means that I’ve taken extra effort to understand them.

(2) Language is closely tied with culture – it’s impossible to learn a language without understanding the cultures that speak it. As with every language, Spanish is full of colloquialisms. For example, “Aguas!” is a slang phrase commonly used in Mexico – essentially meaning “look out!” in English. The term stems from the time period before modern sewage treatments in Mexico when people would shout a warning (“Aguas!”) before throwing their dirty water out the window. Mexico has a ton of cool slang phrases like these, which kind of give you an understanding of the history and humor of the culture that make it into a widely used modern language. This is just an example from Mexico, but there are unique sayings that differ with each Spanish-speaking country!

What class have you enjoyed the most, and why?

My favorite class was definitely Advanced Language Studies taught by Professor Gregorutti. I’m really interested in Linguistics, so this class constantly blew my mind. We learned about language acquisition – how humans are able to become aware of and understand language. It was so insightful and philosophical!

Can you give any advice to high school students who are interested in pursuing a major in World Languages? What should they expect or prepare for?

If you’re planning to pursue a Spanish Studies or another World Languages major, you’re likely going to spend a year abroad. It’s very important to stay open-minded, embrace mistakes, and become accustomed to discomfort. It is more than worth it!

Why would you recommend this program?

I would recommend this program because of its practicality. When paired with another major (which is doable and even encouraged!), a language major not only prepares students for communicating in the workforce but everyday life as well. I feel that other majors may not be as applicable or usable in the real world as instantly as a language major.

Can you share any advice with students interested in your major?

Practice what you’ve learned as often as you can – find someone you can talk to in your target language/share the information you’ve learned in class. It doesn’t hurt to supplement this major with a minor or perhaps even another major, and most importantly – keep an open mind!

Visit our website to learn more about the Department of World Languages. Our admissions counselors can answer any questions you have. Call (800) 862-7080, option 2, or email admissions@puc.edu to speak with one of our team members to see what the world languages program can offer you. 

Biology Program Experience from Isaac Joo

PUC’s biology department has an extensive number of courses that allow students to build their knowledge of biology in and out of the classroom, which prepares them for medical school. With our high acceptance rates to medical and dental schools, our students have been accepted into Loma Linda University, Duke University, Midwestern University, and other leading institutions around the country. 

Isaac Joo is a junior biology pre-medicine student from Portland, Oregon. He chose PUC because of the rich history it has within his family. He always heard great academic success by attending PUC and felt that it was a right fit for him. Isaac loved the campus and had a great first impression with the teachers and staff here. Now being a PUC student himself, he’s been enjoying his time at PUC and finds the biology program amazing because of the professors, just as he heard. Isaac answered some questions for us to learn more about the biology program. 

Why did you choose this program? 

Biology is the study of life, and I selected this program because I felt that it could be very integrative to my profession. 

What do you like about the program?

The biology program is truly amazing because of the professors. They are great at really connecting with the students and are always willing to help. One example that stuck out to me was during COVID. My biology professor wanted us to write a weekly check-in because she was worried about us. This really helped me during the pandemic, and she would always write back with a friendly comment. 

What class have you enjoyed the most, and why? 

I really enjoyed Systems and Physiology because I was able to learn more in-depth about the human body.  

What are some important things you’ve learned from your program? 

I learned to find a good balance between studying and relaxing. Burn-outs are real in college and I had to learn that it is okay to take breaks. 

Why would you recommend this program?

I recommend this program to those who are interested in going in-depth in the study of life and how everything works. 

Can you give any advice to high school students who are interested In pursuing your major? What should they expect or prepare for?

Although this major is very exciting, I would say that you definitely need to put in your hours for studying. Most classes go through extensive information, and some parts can be challenging. However, nothing is impossible, and all the professors want their students to succeed. I would say to never be afraid to ask questions and always go to office hours if you don’t understand something.

Outside of classes, are there any activities or events your program throws during the school year? 

Yes, there are a lot of fun and thrilling activities. The biology club plays movies, throws water balloon fights, and goes on hikes in the back-40! Freshman biology majors also have a personal mentor who can help them settle in. Lastly, the biology club throws a trip to Albion, and that is where you can meet fellow biology classmates and bond with them. 

What is your favorite thing about attending PUC? 

My favorite thing about attending PUC would be my friends and the campus. I made some incredible friends here, and I can see why this place was originally a resort. Whether it be hiking the back-40 or going for a swim in the pool, I found myself really enjoying the moments here. 

PUC’s English Department Re-Establishes Honors Society Sigma Tau Delta

Sigma Tau Delta is an international English Honors Society for English majors and minors. Our PUC English honors society provides English-related enrichment within the community, provides opportunities for English students to pursue their interests and talents, and hosts events throughout the year for anyone to attend.

Lauren VandenHoven is one of Sigma Tau Delta’s board members and graciously shared what it’s been like re-establishing the honors society this year and being a part of Sigma Tau Delta. 

Tell us about Sigma Tau Delta. 

Sigma Tau Delta is an international English Honors Society across many colleges, so our club is just one chapter. Officially, membership in Sigma Tau is limited to English majors and minors who are at least a sophomore. Members get to be officially inducted into the club, participate in chapter meetings, and receive cords at graduation. However, when it comes to events, which are the main thing Sigma Tau exists for, anyone is welcome and encouraged to attend! The way that we see it is that we host the events, but they are for everyone.

The club was re-established this year. How did everything come together for this to happen?

There is not too much to say about this because there was really only a couple of years where we weren’t a club. This year, Professor Tetz took on the role of sponsor and we held elections for our executive board. Then we started to plan what events we’d like to do, and it’s been going well since then! To be honest, I don’t know a lot about the answer to this question besides what I’ve written because every single person in the club is a first-time member, and we are in some ways deciding what it will look like as we go along.

What are your responsibilities as an executive board member?

We decided to have an executive board because we didn’t want all the responsibility for club activities to fall on one person, or for one person to be in charge of all the club decisions. So we get ideas from club members about what they’d like to do, and then the three of us on the executive board (and Professor Tetz) meet most weeks to work on scheduling and organizing those activities. It’s also really good because we are all very busy with academics and other activities, so having three people working together makes it really easy to plan fun things without too much strain on anyone individually. For example, one of us will take notes in meetings for future planning, one of us will advertise, one of us will buy food for the events, and we all share the set-up and clean-up.

What is the mission of Sigma Tau Delta?

 The official mission of Sigma Tau Delta as a whole, according to their website, is to:

  • Confer distinction for high achievement in English language and literature in undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies;
  • Provide, through its local chapters, cultural stimulation on college campuses and promote interest in literature and the English language in surrounding communities;
  • Foster all aspects of the discipline of English, including literature, language, and writing;
  • Promote exemplary character and good fellowship among its members;
  • Exhibit high standards of academic excellence; and
  • Serve society by fostering literacy.

I think the PUC club definitely supports all of those things, but I think we focus mainly on the second one, providing English-related enrichment for our surrounding community, because the majority of what we do is providing opportunities for majors to connect with each other, and for other students to be part of our department and enjoy literary activities even if they aren’t a major. All of our activities are literary or literary-adjacent pursuits, but the main point of it all (in my opinion) is getting to pursue our interests and enjoy each other’s talents and company.

Can you share any activities or events the club has planned this year? Who can attend?

So far, we have had just two events because a lot of fall quarter was spent deciding what the club was even going to be and how we were going to run it. Our first event was a Christmas party during dead week, where we mostly just wanted to provide a spot for people to take a break and relax, so we had lots of cookies and showed a movie, and just chatted with each other. Our second event was Bad Poetry Afternoon, which is an annual tradition that we co-sponsored with the English department this year. At this event, anyone can sign up to read their badly-written verse and it is an afternoon full of laughter and enjoying poetry but not taking ourselves too seriously. We also had donuts. Both of these events were open to anyone who wanted to come, and we got lots of majors and non-majors attending.

Why should future English students join Sigma Tau Delta?

I think future English students should join our club because it’s a great way to make friends and “find your people.” We see each other in classes, but we might be too bogged down with homework to get to pursue our literary hobbies just for fun. It’s often said that the best way to make friends and find a good community is by seeking out people with your same interests, and I think our club is a great opportunity for that. All you need to do is show up, and you will probably find people who share your passions or, at the very least, are fun to be around. Plus, membership is not very expensive, and all of our events are free.

What is your favorite thing about being a part of Sigma Tau Delta?

My favorite thing about Sigma Tau Delta so far is getting to hang out with other majors who aren’t in my year. Because of how the structure of the major works, I have been in a cohort with a lot of the same people for most of my classes. I love that, but it does mean that I have very little interaction with freshmen and sophomores because they aren’t to their upper-division classes yet (also because of the pandemic and online school preventing us from ever getting introduced in the first place). So Sigma Tau has helped me to make friends with so many people I might not have been around much otherwise, and I think it has helped everyone in our department to interact with each other a little more even if they don’t necessarily meet in classes.

A Balance Between Passions: An Interview With A Social Work & Spanish Studies Major, Sarah West 

Sarah West is a double-major student from Beaumont, CA., who will be graduating with a Bachelor in Social Work and a BA emphasis in Spanish Studies. She didn’t plan on taking two majors, but after studying abroad and taking Spanish classes, she was able to be a Spanish major, and she’s glad she did. With her desire to help people, knowing another language will be very beneficial to her future. Sarah generously answered some questions for us to learn more about her programs and how her love for helping people and traveling comes hand-in-hand.

Why did you choose these programs? 

I knew that I wanted to help people, so when I came to PUC, I was one of many Bio-premed majors. However, after a quarter of taking both biology and chemistry at the same time, I knew this wasn’t the path for me. I knew I wanted to help people, and after a quarter of being undeclared and taking Intro to the Family, I knew social work was for me. 

I did not come to PUC thinking that I would be able to graduate with 2 majors. I did come to PUC knowing that I wanted to spend a year abroad in a Spanish-speaking country, and I did. Because of the time I spent abroad, all I had to do was take a handful of classes here to get a Spanish major. So the degree kind of happened, and I am glad it did. 

What do you like about these programs? 

One of the things I like about the social work program is that the courses required will be very useful and applicable in the field. They cover a lot of topics but give you a good foundation to build on during your internship, and eventual job. The professors are also amazing in the social work/psych department. They all have unique experiences and give the best advice. 

I like this Spanish studies program because it really pushes me to use my Spanish. Being a TA in the department has also helped me improve my Spanish a lot. 

Which classes have you enjoyed the most, and why? 

The class I have most enjoyed in social work was Research Design with professor Milmine. This class didn’t feel like work and was just fun to learn. It taught how to create and conduct research, and how impactful research-based practices are. 

I think that the linguistic class I took for Spanish studies was the class I most enjoyed. It was fun to learn about languages, and how what we learned could apply to the language we learned abroad. 

What are some important things you’ve learned from these programs?

The social work program has helped me by opening my eyes to the needs of the world, and how you should never make assumptions. You never really know what someone is going through or what their past consists of.  

The important thing I learned from the Spanish studies program was how beneficial studying abroad is. Most people who end up getting a language major studied abroad, and we all agree that it was the best thing to do. The program that we go abroad with is Adventists Colleges Abroad (ACA), and it is so easy to apply to and to travel with. 

Why would you recommend this program?

I would recommend the social work program if you have the desire to help people, but don’t know how. A BSW is also a degree that you can get a job with right away or do a one-year program to get your master’s. Social work is also a very diverse field, so you can never get bored. 

I would recommend the Spanish studies program if you are interested in learning a new language, or if you are interested in studying abroad. 

Can you give any advice to high school students interested in pursuing one of your majors, or even both? What should they expect or prepare for? 

For social work, I would recommend to a high school student to try and learn something from every class you take. That is because it will help you in class, in internships, and your future. You are going to work with people from all walks of life, who have their own experiences and passions, and if you know a little about it, it will help you. You also never know where you are going to end up, what population you will be working with, or what organization you will work at. So knowing a little bit about a variety of topics will be helpful. 

I would 1000000% recommend going abroad. The ACA program is amazing and makes everything abroad so easy. You learn so much about yourself, about the culture, and the language. There is a lot of culture shock and quirks about the country you go to, but you learn to live with the changes. I always say no one ever regrets going abroad, but people always regret not going. 

Outside of classes, are there any activities or events your program throws during the school year? 

The social work department is small but mighty. There is a booth for the social work club during fall fest that you can help with, Christmas parties, and outreach to the community. 

The World language/communications department does host prevespers, provides snacks during dead week, and really helps push you to practice your language. 

What is your favorite thing about attending PUC? 

One thing I love about PUC is how close you can get with your professors. I went to a public high school, where the student-to-teacher ratio had a huge gap. So, coming here to PUC and being in the social work program, you can really get to know your professors. This is great because it makes me comfortable to go to them for advice if it is academic, professional, or personal. There are also a lot of clubs, and as the president of the Jujitsu club here on campus, there is something for everyone. What I also love about PUC is how much nature is around us. It is beautiful here, and as someone from southern California, I love the change in atmosphere on this holy hill. 

Activites To Do When You Need A Break

We know Finals week can take it’s toll on everyone, so here are some helpful and fun ways to treat yourself!

Take A Nap 

What better way to treat yourself than by taking a nap. You must allow your body to rest so you can feel energized to attend to your tasks and continue being yourself. 

Make Tea or Coffee 

Indulge in a cup of tea or coffee and take it easy. You’re always doing something, so sip on your drink and relax. 

Hangout With Family or Friends 

Spending time with your family and friends can do so much good for your soul. Stay in by kicking back, playing board games, having a movie marathon, or just enjoying being in the company of your loved ones. If you’re not able to meet in person, hang out through video chat. 

Enjoy The Outdoors 

If weather permits, enjoy the outdoors. Go on a bike ride, cruise around on your skateboard or longboard, or go for a walk. To put yourself in more ease- lay out your hammock or blanket. However, you like to enjoy the outdoors, treat yourself to it. 


Working out may be a treat to some more than others, but even working out for 15-30 minutes can help you feel refreshed. Get a quick workout in your day by going to the gym, doing a workout video in your room, or playing sports. 

Read A Book 

Pick up that book you’ve been meaning to read and treat yourself to a couple of chapters or even finish the whole book. 

Write-In Your Journal 

We can have so many things going on in our minds that it can be hard to get all our thoughts in place and feel calm. Writing in a journal can help organize your thoughts, clear your mind, and bring perspective to light. Have music in the background to help soothe you as you write in your journal. 

Watch A Show or Movie 

It’s a treat when you’re able to chill out to your favorite show or movie. For some, it can be hard to find time to catch up on shows or movies, but when you’re able to, grab your favorite snacks, sit back, and enjoy the show. 

(Yes, it costs to watch a show or movie, but if you already have a subscription to a streaming site you’re good to go.) 


We know cleaning isn’t a treat for everyone, but for some it is. Getting rid of things, organizing belongings, and finding items you lost can feel good and productive at the same time. 

Do Nothing 

Sometimes all we have energy for is to simply do nothing- and that is okay. Don’t feel guilty for not doing anything because you are doing something- you’re giving yourself time to relax and unwind. 

Remember to take care of yourself and understand the importance of it. If you keep going without taking time to treat yourself, you’ll burn out and miss the joys of life. Engage in acts of self-care that also don’t require you to spend money. 

Five Bible Verses For Strength 

With finals beginning today at PUC, we want to share five Bible verses to give students extra encouragement and strength. 

Isaiah 41:10 

“So do not feat, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” 

Joshua 1:9 

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

I Corinthians 16:13

“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.” 

Psalm 18:32

“It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.” 

2 Timothy 1:7 

“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”

Good luck to all our students during exam week. Remember that God is our strength and that your PUC family is always praying for you and are here to pray with you. You got this! 

Faces of PUC: Eloise Tran 

Eloise Tran is a junior nursing student from Maryland and loves being a part of this big family we have here at PUC. With the new people she’s met and the great friends she’s made- Eloise has been able to surround herself with people that share the same values as her. She also loves playing soccer and trying new places to eat. We’re happy to have Eloise at PUC! 

What is your dream job? 

I think it would be super cool to be an astronaut or a professional soccer player. However, I am really looking forward to working in the medical field because I want to help others and hopefully make a difference in the world. 

How does that compare to what you wanted to be when you were young? 

When I was young, I wanted to be a doctor like my mom, but I chose nursing because I wanted to be able to spend more time with the patients and care for them during their time at the hospital. I also like that with nursing there are several avenues to go from there in the field.

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

Definitely the new people and friends I get to meet. Everyone is so welcoming, and it really feels like a big family. It’s also nice to be around people that share the same values as I do.

Where is your favorite place in the world? 

Any nice beach honestly. I don’t really have a specific place that is my favorite, but I absolutely love the beach. 

What show are you bingeing these days? 

I am currently bingeing Criminal Minds, but I have watched Friends, The Office, and New Girl several times.

What is something you’re passionate about? 

I love to play soccer and I am really looking forward to hopefully playing this season 🙂

Recommend a place to go in the Bay Area on a weekend 

I love trying new foods so I’ll recommend this taco place in San Jose called Spartan Taco!