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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! 

 

Tips For A Great Move-In Day!

Move-in day is exciting! You arrive at your new home-away-from-home, you get to meet your new room and lots of new people, and you get to move into your new room! As exciting as it is, it can also be a little overwhelming so here are some tips to help you prepare for move-in day. We can’t wait to see you! 

Arrive On Time 

Keep note of what time check-in starts. It’s smart to move-in as soon as you can because it is a process. From checking-in with the front desk to fill out papers, to finally moving into your room, it can take longer than you think. Also the earlier you move-in, the more of a chance you will get a good parking spot.

Label Your Boxes and Containers 

If you are using boxes or containers to pack your things, label them. It’ll be helpful to remind yourself which of your items are in each box or container. It also makes unpacked MUCH faster. 

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Wash Sheets & Towels Beforehand 

It’s good to wash your bedsheets and towels before moving-in so it’s fresh and clean in your dorm room. Also, who wants to spend their first few days of college doing laundry?  

Clean Your Room Before Moving-In

Before you move your things in, make sure you do a quick clean. Disinfect your shelves, dressers, and desks. Vacuum or sweep the floor and clean your windows. Having large trash bags will also be helpful to you. After a hot summer, your room might be dusty so it’s smart to do a quick clean of your room before you bring your stuff in and unpack. 

Use A Dolly 

The dorm does provide dollies, but they are limited. If you don’t have a dolly and need one, ask your front desk. If you own a dolly, bring it with you. Having a dolly will make things easier for you to bring your things from your car to your room, especially big appliances like a fridge.  

Bring Tools & Supplies 

Tools and supplies such as scissors and command strips will come in handy when you move into your dorm room. Scissors are a tool you’ll need whether you’re opening up boxes or plastic packages. Command strips will help you decorate your room, like hanging up string lights or picture frames. You can’t put nails in your walls, so command strips are an easy way to hang things on your walls. 

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Have Water & Snacks 

Moving in takes a lot of time and work. It’s important to have cold water and snacks to keep you hydrated and energized during the process. You don’t want to get hangry while moving-in! (Once you’re all moved-in, reward yourself to a delicious meal!) 

Have Bathroom Essentials 

Don’t pack your toiletries at the bottom of the bag or box. Make sure you have easy access to the things you might need right away. Don’t forget to put toilet paper and soap in the bathroom right away!

Keep Receipts & Packaging

Once you move-in, you might realize you won’t actually use some of the things you bought. Keep your receipts and try not to damage the packaging boxes so you can return those items. We can all use some extra cash. 

Make a Shopping List 

You may realize there are things you forgot. You’re not alone, it happens to the best of us. Start a list with your roommate. A trip to Napa Target might be in your future.

Hopefully, these tips will help make your move-in day go a little smoother. Once you get to your designated residence hall, do not hesitate to ask the dean, RA, or dorm staff any questions or concerns you have. We can’t wait to see you around campus! 

Note: Be sure you carefully read your communications from Student Life to understand what COVID-19 safety precautions will be in place for move-in day this year and how that might alter your plans!

Decorate Your Dorm Room Like A Pro 

One of the best things about moving into your dorm is that you get the chance to decorate it! Since this will be your home-away-from-home, it’s important to make it your own. It’s never too early to start planning, here are a few suggestions to help you get started. 

Cozy Bedding 

Your bedding is what will really make your room feel like home. Invest in a bedding set that fits your style and comfort needs. Remember, you can never have too many pillows!

Table Lamp

Table lamps are great additions to every dorm room. Not only will they add extra lighting, but softer lighting as well. Target and Amazon have great selections allowing you to find the right one to fit your style. 

Rugs 

From a neutral rug to a patterned rug, buying one will add character to your room. If you’re not sure what your roommate’s style will be, play it safe and buy a more neutral one. 

Comfy Chair 

Whether you need a great desk chair, or you prefer something cozy and cute in the corner, it can’t hurt to have additional seating. 

String Lights 

Many college students buy string lights to decorate their room adding some much-needed ambiance. They obviously come in tons of shapes and colors and can literally go anywhere. It’s a no-brainer. 

Photos 

You can never go wrong with using photos to decorate your room. Stick them on your wall in a cool grid, frame some, there’s really no limit. Having photos of your friends and family is a great way to make the place feel like home. 

Wall Art 

Add more charm into your room by decorating it with wall art, like posters and picture prints. Just make sure that you use tape or damage free hooks to place them on your wall. 

It can be tough figuring out what style you want your room to be, but the process is fun. Hopefully, these decorating ideas give you some inspiration for what you want in your dorm room. 

Note: Be sure you carefully read your communications from Student Life and regularly check the Fall Campus Plan webpage to stay up-to-date with the COVID-19 safety precautions PUC will be enforcing.

Dorm Room Additions

You may think you will only use your dorm room to sleep but sometimes your college dorm room becomes … everything: your bedroom, kitchen, study area, sometimes even your gym. So you’ll want to come prepared. Here are a few dorm room ‘must-haves’ to add to your packing list! 

Blankets

Blankets are the best and if you ask me, you can never have enough. Not only will they keep you warm but they’ll help make your room cozier and give it a more homey feeling, plus, they look nice! Feeling a little anxious? Give a weighted blanket a try. 

Check out Target and Amazon for comfy and affordable blankets. 

A Fridge & Microwave 

Investing in a fridge and microwave will save your life. It’s better to have your own fridge in your room instead of always having to go to the dorm kitchen to store your food. You won’t have to worry about someone stealing your food or drinks because it will be right in your room. You will also have a place to store water and microwavable meals. Owning your own microwave comes in handy when you have those late-night craves of noodles. 

Check out Target to find good quality fridges and microwaves

A Coffee & Tea Maker 

If you are a huge coffee or tea drinker, you should definitely invest in buying a coffee or tea maker. It will save you time and money. 

Check out Target for coffee or tea makers. 

An Electric Water Kettle 

An electric water kettle is a convenient addition to college life. It quickly heats your water so you can sip on your hot cocoa or enjoy a cup of noodles. 

Check out Target or Amazon for affordable electric water kettles.   

Dinnerware & Flatware  

Having your own dinnerware and flatware in your room is useful for when you cook for yourself or with your friends. Instead of buying plastic plates, bowls and utensils, buy reusable ones so you never run out. Don’t forget dish soap! 

Target has affordable dinnerware and flatware for your dorm room. 

Cleaning Supplies 

Cleaning supplies are always a must. It’s good to keep your room nice and tidy, and having cleaning supplies will help you out with that. Buy disinfecting wipes or sprays to keep your desk, sink, and drawers clean. A dishwashing wand is also very useful when you have to wash your dishes. 

If you can’t stand your floor being dirty, you should invest in a vacuum. Amazon has a great one that’s easy to store and it’s affordable!  

Storage Containers 

Dorm rooms are small so it’s super useful to buy storage containers. Baskets, bins, and utility carts are a great way to keep all your things organized while saving space. You’ll have a place to put your food, personal items, cleaning supplies, and even clothes.

Check out Target, TJ Maxx, and Marshalls to find storage containers that will fit all your things and go with your room aesthetic or just order from Amazon. 

A Laundry Hamper

Getting a laundry hamper shouldn’t even be a question. This is a need (no matter how much you don’t like doing laundry). Where else do you expect to put your dirty clothes? Don’t forget detergent and fabric softener!

Target obviously has these too. 

Power Strip/extension cord

Sometimes the outlets in your room are either too far or in an odd spot for you. Buying an extension cord will help keep all your things charged near you and in places that work for you. 

Reusable Bags

You will thank yourself for getting reusable bags. Especially in California, places charge you for buying a bag so having a reusable bag will save you money and help you carry all your things. Besides shopping, they are useful for moving your things into the dorm. If you forgot to bring some with you the College Market has some for sale! 

A First-Aid Kit 

It’s smart to have a first aid kit packed and ready in your room. Having bandages and alcohol wipes will come in handy in the times you need them. It’s also good to have medicine in your room in case you get sick or have a headache.

Mattress Pad

If you’re a sensitive sleeper or just want extra comfort, get a mattress pad. It’ll help make your bed firmer and less lumpy. 

Target has lots to choose from. 

Shower Essentials 

Besides your hair products and body wash, always have an extra towel in case your other one is in the laundry. Also, don’t forget your shower shoes! 

A Fan 

Whether you like a breeze or some ambient noise, a fan is always a good addition to your room. 

Trash Can 

You’re going to need a trash can in your room. Try to find one that doesn’t take up a lot of space and don’t forget trash bags.

A Piece Of Home

Whether you bring a bunch of photographs, your favorite mug, or a special pillow, it’s always nice to bring a piece of home with you to school to provide a little extra comfort for the days you feel homesick. 

It’s no secret buying things for your dorm room can get expensive, so always check for deals online or in-store and lookout for student discounts. Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed with all the things that come with moving into the dorms, remember to have some fun!

Note: Be sure you carefully read your communications from Student Life and regularly check the Fall Campus Plan webpage to stay up-to-date with the COVID-19 safety precautions PUC will be enforcing.

Organizing Your Dorm Room

We hope you’re super excited to finally have the REAL college experience. That means moving into your new dorm room! It’s important to save as much space as you can, especially if you are living with a roommate. Space will always be limited. What’s great is places like Target and Amazon sell awesome items to help you save space and stay organized. Here are four simple items to help keep your dorm room looking and functioning great. 

Storage Ottomans 

You can never have enough seating in your room for lounging, chatting with friends, or study groups. While storage ottomans give you an extra seat, they also help maximize your space. They are a great spot to store movies or extra supplies that might not fit in your cupboards. 

Under Bed Storage Bins 

You truly cannot have enough of these. With a variety of sizes, storage bins or boxes fit great under your bed and save space in your room. From plastic bins to fabric boxes, you’ll have many options on how to store your shoes, clothes, or items rarely used. If you want to make things easier for yourself, buy clear plastic bins to see which of your items are in each box. 

Foldable Storage Cubes 

Foldable storage cubes can help organize your snacks, toiletries, and school supplies. They’re easy to store and fit perfectly on shelves, inside your closet, or under your bed. 

Command Hooks 

Command hooks are useful for many reasons. They won’t just help hang frames or string lights around your room, but they can also be used as a place to hang your keys, bags, or towels. The best part is that they won’t damage your walls! 

These are just a few of the MANY ways to organize your room so look around,  plan ahead, and get some great items before you arrive on campus. 

Note: Be sure you carefully read your communications from Student Life and regularly check the Fall Campus Plan webpage to stay up-to-date with the COVID-19 safety precautions PUC will be enforcing.

Roommate 101

Whether you’re used to sharing your space or this will be your first experience, moving into your college dorm room and meeting your roommate is likely to be a nervewracking experience, even if you’re moving in with a friend! Here are a few tips to help you be the best roommate you can be. 

Be Friendly

First things first, be friendly. Even if you’re shy it’s important for you to make an effort. If you’re rooming with someone you’ve never met, try reaching out to them before you arrive on campus. Become social media friends, plan what things you can each bring for the room, and get acquainted. Not only will it make sharing space more comfortable but it will help to have someone to wander campus with!

Now that you’re friends, here are some things to keep in mind to allow for peaceful cohabitation!

Communicate 

Communication is key. Try to keep each other in the loop about all sorts of things. Share your schedules, check-in with each other before letting other people in your shared space, give fair warning about pulling all-nighters.  As you get more comfortable with each other, try to let them know if you’re having a tough day or aren’t feeling well. Even the tiny details about yourself can make a big difference in your living situation. 

Address Any Issues 

If you are having issues or feeling uncomfortable about something, speak up. Usually simply addressing a concern leads to a quick solution as long as you treat each other respectfully. If you need extra help or advice, talk to your RA or dean. 

Compromise 

In case you have a disagreement, compromise with each other! We can’t always get our own way so be sure to come to a solution that works well for both of you.

Set Boundaries 

Make sure you give yourselves some boundaries. Whether it’s wanting your own space, needing quiet after a certain time, sharing food or clothes, or any number of things, it’s important to set some ground rules so everyone is comfortable. 

Pick Your Battles 

There are bound to be times where you will get annoyed or disagree with your roommate. Before you get mad and get in a fight, think about the situation and ask yourself if it’s worth arguing over. There will definitely be times where you will need to talk the situation out but if you can, take a step back, take the high road, and learn how to let the little things go. 

Be Aware Of Your Bad Habits 

The older we get the more self-awareness we gather. Becoming aware of some of your less positive habits can be a real benefit when sharing living space. If you know you have a tendency to be messy or leave all the lights on you can try and be more mindful of those things. 

Wear Headphones 

One of the best things you can do to keep a positive roommate relationship is to invest in a quality pair of headphones. Be considerate and wear them when you’re listening to music or watching a movie whether it’s late at night or not. We even recommend wearing them while you study so your roommate won’t feel like they’re bothering you.

You Don’t Always Have To Hangout

Just because you’re roommates doesn’t mean you always have to be together. You already live together, so it’s okay to have space from each other. If you love hanging out, that’s great! But if you want to have dinner without each other or have a different group of friends, that’s totally ok. In fact, it can create an even healthier friendship if you have some time apart. 

There are millions of ways to have a positive and healthy roommate relationship, these are just some of our suggestions we hope you find helpful. Keep these tips in mind throughout the year and remember to treat your roommate the way you would want to be treated. Having a roommate is a great experience. Who knows, your roommate could end up being a lifelong friend!

Note: Be sure you carefully read your communications from Student Life and regularly check the Fall Campus Plan webpage to stay up-to-date with the COVID-19 safety precautions PUC will be enforcing. 

 

Making Friends In College

Movies, tv shows, books, social media, even college marketing materials all tell you the same thing; in college, you’ll make friends for a lifetime. But making friends isn’t always easy for people, especially in a new environment. Here are some easy ways to make friends!

Befriend Your Roommate

Let’s be a bit lazy and start with the closest person to you, shall we? Your roommate is the perfect person to become friends with since you’ll be spending a lot of time with them. Once you receive your room assignment (if you haven’t yet, you should soon), reach out! Follow each other on social media, discuss plans for your room, figure out some common interests, and jump into college life together. 

Meet Your Neighbors 

Living in a residence hall gives you a bit of a headstart in the friend-making quest. You’ll be seeing the same faces over and over so you might as well introduce yourself. Get to know your neighbors and other people on your floor. Your deans and RA’s he deans and RA’s will invite you to various social and spiritual events each week, go to them!

Talk To Your Classmates 

Classes are a great place to meet new people and you’ll immediately have something in common, course work. Some of your classes even require lab or group work giving you another great excuse to strike up a conversation. Making friends in your classes will also give you people to study with, which is always a plus. 

Join Intramurals 

If you enjoy playing sports, join intramurals! PUC has intramurals throughout the year. From basketball to badminton, you’ll get to meet so many students. Plus, you already have a common interest in the sport that will help you start conversations and if your team wins, you get the coveted championship t-shirt. 

Be Part of A Club

PUC has roughly 30 social, cultural, and academic student-run clubs with frequent activities including weekend outings, overnight trips to Albion, and the student-favorite Fall Fest event. Clubs are a fantastic way to meet people who share your interests. 

Get A Campus Job 

Working on campus gives you a chance to meet lots of people while lining your pockets! The PUC Cafe and Grind employ lots of students each quarter, the dorms hire students to work the front desk, and most faculty employ a few students to help with grading. These are just a few of the on-campus job opportunities that will allow you to get to know some new people while working. 

Attend SA Events

Student Association events are literally designed to help you meet other students and make friends. Even if you’re unsure you want to attend, do it anyway. Even if you go for a few minutes or just stand around and watch, get out of your room and make an effort. 

There will be tons of opportunities to make friends even if it doesn’t come easy to you, you’ll make them! Just keep an open mind and make a little effort! 

Note: Be sure you carefully read your communications from Student Life and regularly check the Fall Campus Plan webpage to stay up-to-date with the COVID-19 safety precautions PUC will be enforcing.

 

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!

Get To Know PUC Church Pastor Chanda Nunes

By: Ashley Eisele

In the midst of the pandemic, the PUC Church welcomed new lead pastor Chanda Nunes after more than a year-long search to find the right candidate. 

Pastor Nunes was born and raised in Toronto, Canada, and is a graduate of Burman University (formerly Canadian University College) and Andrews University, where she received her Master of Divinity degree. She also holds associate degrees in private investigation & paralegal studies and is a certified life coach practitioner.

She began her pastoral ministry in August 2003, serving the Alberta Conference at the College Heights Seventh-day Adventist Church, on the campus of Burman. From 2008-2015, Pastor Nunes served the Kansas-Nebraska Conference at the New Haven Seventh-day Adventist Church and was the first Black pastor ever to serve in the Conference, as well as the first Black woman pastor to serve in the Mid-American Union. She was commissioned while there in 2011.

Pastor Nunes has served the Northern California Conference since 2015, most recently at the Capitol City Seventh-day Adventist Church in Sacramento, Calif. She is the first Black woman pastor to serve within the Conference where she was ordained in June 2018.

“My biggest hope for right now,” Nunes says. “Is that this pandemic will cease, and that we have an opportunity to come back together as a church family to experience the love and fellowship that we have been missing all these months.”

While Pastor Nunes is very excited for the unique experience of pastoring in a college town, the pandemic has not allowed her congregation to get to know her as well as she would like so she jumped at the chance to sit down (virtually) and answer some questions. 

What is pastoring like during a pandemic? 

Pastoring during a pandemic is a unique position to be in. This is something we’ve never been through or have seen modeled for us, so we’re literally starting at ground zero. This is the time for pastors to unleash their creativity like never before, in order that the Message of the Gospel can continue moving forward. 

How do you connect with a new community when our congregation is virtual?

This part is a challenge. I’m an extrovert and love to meet new people, so with the social distancing that we are expected to adhere to, it will now take (more) time to get to know members individually. Every week, I try to work my way through our church family directory, and make a number of phone calls, send emails/texts messages.

What makes pastoring a campus church special? 

Pastoring a campus church is an exciting and unique experience! You have great resources at hand, the opportunity to meet people from all over the world, energy and insight from all age-ranges, and the desire to come together to learn, and to lift up Jesus!

What hopes do you have for the PUC Church and community in the coming months and years? 

My biggest hopes for right now is that this pandemic will cease, and that we have an opportunity to come back together as a church family to experience the love and fellowship that we have been missing all these months.  

The PUC Church welcomes you to join their weekly worship service each Sabbath morning at 11 a.m. Join at livestream.com/pucchurch

Alumni Profile: Robert Quiroz, Born For Service

By: Dana Negro

Robert Quiroz’s grandfather, Robert Moreno, served in the U.S. Army for 20 years; executing combat jumps in Korea with the infamous 187th Rakkasans, two tours in Vietnam, and was a purple heart recipient. Quiroz was named after him and knew at an early age he wanted to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps and serve his country. Just months after his grandfather passed away, Quiroz lost a close childhood friend to an IED in Afghanistan. As he grieved the loss of these two important people, he realized now was the time for him to take action. After a lot of prayer, Quiroz joined the California Army National Guard on March 29, 2011. 

Quiroz knew of PUC but it was only while reading Fearless, by Eric Blehm, the biography of Adam Brown, a Navy SEAL who died in Afghanistan, that an idea began to form. The book mentions a young man from Angwin, Calif., and that caught Quiroz’s eye. The thought of completing a college degree was very appealing and it seemed like he was meant to be at PUC. Once he returned from military training, he and his wife moved to Angwin and began attending PUC.  

Quiroz graduated from PUC with an associate’s degree in health sciences, ’16, and a bachelor’s degree in health communication, ’19, and spent this past year working as a staff member in the public relations office at PUC. Towards the beginning of the pandemic, Quiroz received a call from the National Guard informing him he would need to report for duty immediately. He left his wife and baby daughter and headed out to help serve his country and community during some of the greatest times of uncertainty. We talked with Quiroz to learn more about his experience serving on the front lines. 

What kind of regular training do you have to do to be ready to serve at any time?

The National Guard is unique. We are dual purpose, meaning; we train for our units’ federal mission and our states mission in case we called in for a state emergency. Different units have different responsibilities and roles in case of an emergency, and it depends on your MOS or Military Occupation Specialty. My first is 88M or Motor Transportation. I joined a unit that was being deployed to do route clearance in Afghanistan. A job where you find IEDs and save lives. I transferred to that unit and became a 12 Bravo or Combat Engineer. That deployment didn’t end up happening so I switched my focus to our state mission and trained CERF-P which stands for Chemical, Biological Radiological, and High-Yield Explosive Emergency Response Force Package. It is a homeland response to a disaster, natural or man-made. The unit I was a part of was Search and Extraction. We trained to enter collapsed structures and rescue people. It was hard work, but we were able to train with Urban Search and Rescuer Task-4 firefighters from the Bay Area. It’s very important for the National Guard to work with other agencies because we augment their abilities. In the end, we are citizen soldiers and are a part of the community we serve. 

You served while you were a student and a staff member at PUC. You are also married and have a young daughter. How do you juggle your responsibilities at home, in the classroom, and work with the potential to be called in to serve with little notice?

It was tough. Especially when I first started school at PUC. My unit was always training and sending me places during the quarter. I really had to make one-on-one connections with the faculty and explain my situation. Most were understanding and really helped me out! My commitments really made me learn to plan things out. I always knew I would be away at least one weekend a month and that was the week I really needed to get all my school word done. There were numerous times I was called away for duty and it interrupted school. Those connections with the professors really saved me. 

It also helps to have a wonderful partner. My wife is amazing. It’s tough on her at times. The military has given so much to my family, but it takes time in return. I’ve missed birthdays, weddings, and special occasions. When I was deployed for a year, I missed everything! Even her graduating from PUC in 2017. That was tough. She is a champ and I am blessed to have her in my life. 

This spring towards the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic you were called in. Tell us about that.

It was chaotic at first. We had warnings that we may be called up. My unit first tapped eight people for a mission to support the Department of Public Health doing what they called “symptom screenings.” Our jobs were to screen the workers for any symptoms of COVID-19. If anyone showed symptoms, they were sent home. It was important because our locations were vital data gathering hubs that tracked resources and numbers relating to COVID-19 in the state of California. These were operating centers that couldn’t afford to be shut down, due to an outbreak, because lives depended on correct numbers to allocate resources according to the most severe areas. It was long days, but I felt like I was contributing to the fight. We were put up in hotels in Sacramento for two months. It was weird being the only people driving around since Sacramento was shut down. It was the longest time I had been separated from my daughter. I saw her twice during my activation. In the end, I was grateful to be home safe and COVID free.

Where were you sent? 

I was sent to Rancho Cordova for a few weeks. Our mission was to conduct symptom screening for the Medical and Health Coordination Center in downtown Sacramento. This center received data concerning COVID-19 from health centers all over California. Eventually, they went remote and we were sent to do the same thing but at the 115th Task Force in Roseville. The 115th were responsible for coordinating California’s National Guard response. They were receiving their information from the California Office of Emergency Response. Again, it was a logistics hub that couldn’t afford an outbreak of COVID-19.

What were you responsible for doing?

I was part of the group of eight that our company activated. I was in charge of the seven. We conducted symptom screenings at three separate locations. My job, in addition to system screener, was Non-Commission Officer in Charge or NCOIC. I handled information flowing in and out of our group. On ESAD (Emergency State Active Duty) orders many things have to be tracked daily. Food, fuel used, gallons of fuel put into the vehicle, miles on vehicles, who has the day off, who is sleeping where, among many other things. All that information had to flow up to a central person (me) and then I had to push that information up the chain of command. 

What was a typical day like?

At first, we would wake up at 4:50 a.m. to be on the road at 5: 25 a.m. Work started at 6 a.m. and went till 6 p.m. This was life for a while with no days off. During that time, we would put on some protective equipment and screen everybody who came in the MHCC. 

Once I moved to Roseville the cycle changed. I worked two days and then had one off but the actual work was the same. I also gave one of my days off to some of my crew at another location who had no days off. 

With degrees in health science and health communication, was there anything you learned in your classes or from professors at PUC that you were able to use while serving in the community?

I would actually like to thank professors Duncan, Vance, and Sung. Because of their classes, I was able to understand the various terms the personnel were using at the MHCC. My communication courses played a role in me better communicating with Army personnel. You really need to know how to approach people to effectively get your concerns understood. I was thrust into a unit where I knew nobody and only had one prior working relationship. In the end, we were part of a team, but it takes time to build that team relationship. The better you understand how to communicate across many levels and personalities the quicker you are absorbed into the team. Thank you to communication professors Rai and McGuire. Your  knowledge helped in many different ways!

What has been the most memorable part of serving during the pandemic?

I would say the people I met. They were from parts of the California National Guard I never would have had the opportunity to meet before. I met many people from San Diego, LA, Bay Area, and Northern California. It was such a diverse group that all jumped at a moment’s notice when our state was in need. It was really cool to see everyone playing a part and contributing to the success of the overall mission of helping the state function. I also got to share a hotel room with one of my buddies from my deployment. We were roomies again!