Tag Archives: PUC faculty

Peek Into PUC’s English Department with Catherine Tetz

PUC’s English Department is an extraordinary place where students dive into the world of literature, language, and writing. English professor, Catherine Tetz, has the honor of witnessing students’ imagination come to life and challenge them to be better students every day. Catherine finished her third year teaching English at PUC and has enjoyed being a part of this tight-knit community. 

She kindly answered some questions for us to get a peek into PUC’s English Department. 

What is your favorite thing about teaching in your department? 

My favorite thing about teaching in the English department is our students. In addition to having majors and minors who are thoughtful, compassionate, intelligent readers and writers, we get to teach courses that are offered across the college. It’s fantastic to see how students in other fields approach writing, research, and critical reading.

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

The English Department at PUC is great because it has a little bit of everything. You might think that English majors do nothing but read books, and we certainly do a lot of reading in our department! But we also have creative writing classes in multiple genres, we spend a lot of time talking about history and philosophy in our literary theory classes, and we look at texts through the lens of gender, race, and the environment, among other pressing contemporary social questions. There’s really something for everyone. 

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

The really great thing about the English department here at PUC is that each student gets a lot of individual attention on their work and interests. Especially for upper-division courses, which are based in lots of writing and research, it’s great to be able to spend time one on one with students to discuss their research and the work they’re doing.

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

Many of our alumni continue on to graduate programs, getting Masters degrees or PhDs in literature or rhetoric. Many of our graduates also become high school and middle school English teachers. We just found out that two of our most recent graduates, Katie Williams and Hannah Beachboard, are teaching at the same school this year, so we’re very excited about that! But an English degree opens up a lot of avenues for job opportunities – the world always needs good writers. 

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

On the whole, English classes are often known for helping to develop that all-important skill of critical thinking. This might be because an English degree gives you so many ways to approach a problem, whether writing an essay or analyzing a difficult text. There’s always multiple ways to understand and interpret an issue within literary studies, and writing studies is incredibly concerned with understanding the social, cultural, and historical histories of any rhetorical situation. So being able to think critically and complexly about any given problem is necessary for an English degree. 

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

If you have a love of words, of stories, of language, of bad puns, or of the Oxford comma, you will find fellow nerds here at Stauffer Hall. We take our work seriously, but we also take a lot of joy in the love of great novels and beautiful poetry, and no one loves words more than a PUC English major. 

To learn more about PUC’s English Department, visit our website. Our admissions counselors can assist you with any questions you have about the English program. Call (800) 862-7080, option 2, or email admissions@puc.edu to connect with an admissions counselor. 

Meet Amanda Garcia: PUC’s Executive Assistant for Marketing & Communication

Amanda Garcia graduated from PUC in 2017 with a degree in environmental studies. After receiving her degree, she spent two years in our biology department as a lab coordinator. Since December 2020, Amanda has taken on the role of executive assistant for marketing and communication. She loves PUC, which shows by the amazing work she does for our college.

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

I have lived in Angwin for 15 years. I heard PUC had a great biology program. I want to help the college in any way I can because PUC has helped me with my career journey, and I am soooo thankful! I feel God has guided me to this position, especially this year because I lost my previous job due to Covid-19. I am so thankful to PUC for this opportunity! 

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

The best thing is that we are all taught by God. I really enjoyed my teachers praying before classes. I really felt comfortable, and it was nice to see my teachers doing that! There is a lot of outreach PUC provides from the church, chaplain’s office, and clubs, which helped balance school, social, and spiritual growth for myself.  

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

Filippi’s Pizza Grotto

645 1st St, Napa, CA 94559

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

I knit and crochet! This summer, I completed a 5ft crochet blanket! With God’s guidance, I want to work with tigers someday for wildlife conversation.   

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

Rascal Flatts – Bless the Broken Road. I love Country Music. 

Who is someone you admire and why? 

My Mother! She is the kindest person with such a big heart and such a strong woman! She gives of herself entirely to her family. She loves the Lord and has shown me how to be a responsible, respectful, honorable, kind, and strong person for Christ’s Glory! 

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

Eating an Omelet and watching Call the Midwife! 

Students Just Love Our Professors!

Students hang out with Professor Michelle Rai at a local coffee shop.

Hilarious. Caring. Inspirational. Helpful. These are just a few of the many kind words used to describe our faculty on RateMyProfessor.com. We know we’re biased, but we think we have some of the greatest faculty around, and it’s great to see students share our opinions too! We thought we would take a moment to share some of what students are saying about our amazing faculty.

Dr. Robert Wilson, associate professor of chemistry
“Dr. Wilson is not the Michael Jordan of chemistry. Michael Jordan is the Dr. Wilson of basketball. Dr. Wilson is the epitome of greatness.”

Dr. Peter Katz, assistant professor of English
“Dr. Katz is a literal genius. He’s very young so he relates to you on another level. He’s extremely compassionate, funny, and patient. You talk about a lot of deep philosophical and controversial topics. He more so grades progress/effort, rather than content. Super laid back, understanding, and accommodating. … He’s a favorite!”

Professor Amy Cronk, assistant professor of fine art
“Professor Cronk is an amazing teacher, I would recommend her for any class. The material she selected was engaging, lectures well done, and projects where both insightful and inspirational. This is a class I would recommend for anyone. Be prepared to get personal though! Luckily, she creates a very supportive and accepting environment to share in.”

Professor Michael Milmine, assistant professor of psychology
“Professor Milmine is an amazing, inspirational, and caring professor. He is dedicated to his students, probably puts in more work than he will ask of you, and is a fair grader. His office is almost always open and he is helpful and receptive to questions and feedback. I would recommend any of his classes.”

Dr. Linda Gill, professor of English
“Linda has a very bubbly personality. She loves relating to her students and instills in you a significant amount of confidence that you may not have realized you had. She has high expectations and pushes you out of your comfort zone but stands by you every step of the way. She is extremely understanding and compassionate. Great teacher!”

Professor Asher Raboy, resident artist of music
“This teacher is seriously one the best I’ve ever had. Very nice and his passion for his subject makes it very easy to become engaged in the subject. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!”

Professor Cliff Rusch, professor of graphic design
“Professor Rusch is awesome and so helpful! He comes up with creative and fun assignments and he gets excited about his class. He also gives clear constructive advice during critiques, which is very important in improving your designs.”

Dr. Marie Pak, professor of chemistry
“Her classes are challenging but it’s a good challenge. She’s excited to teach you and help you during her office hours. Very accommodating and compassionate. She is able to explain things in many different ways if you’re having a hard time understanding. Lectures are packed with information so make sure you’re always there and ready to focus.”

Dr. Ross Winkle, professor of New Testament
“Dr. Winkle is awesome! He’s really good at making sure the class understands the material being taught. He was always willing to help with any questions we had and was good about updating on grades and keeping us informed on upcoming assignments. 5 stars!”

Professor Jon Carstens, associate professor of art history
“He’s super sweet, caring, patient, understanding, accommodating, and encouraging. You won’t find a more kind and tenderhearted soul on PUC campus. He loves being with his students, as a great teacher should.”

Dr. Jean Sheldon, professor of Old Testament
“Dr. Sheldon is by far one of my favorite teachers on campus for several reasons: 1) she is almost scary brilliant 2) she is extremely understanding 3) she understands and is willing to go out of her way to help students and even with personal issues 4) her expertise in Hebrew Bible has influenced me to have an interest in studying HB/OT.”

Professor Rajeev Sigamoney, associate professor of film & television
“Rajeev is great. He’s very clear with his assignments but gives you the freedom to explore your own creativity. He’s also great at knowing exactly what you want to learn and what you’re good at and will put you in contact with people or projects that will further your learning experience, which shows just how much he cares about his students.”

Professor Lynne Thew, instructor of communication
“I took Introduction to New Writing from Professor Thew during spring quarter. The class was definitely one of the most challenging I have taken but I also learned the most and the expectation are very clear and fair. Couldn’t recommend her more to studious students.”

Dr. Paul McGraw, professor of history
“Great professor. Always has time after class if you need help. Terrific clarity of thought and really encourages discussion. Always take a class from him if you have the opportunity.”

Professor Lloyd Best, professor emeritus of mathematics
“This was by far the best math class that I have ever taken! Professor Best genuinely cared about each one of us and made sure that we understood what he was teaching us. He actually taught us the reasons behind formulas and broke everything down step by step instead of just telling us answers. Every day I felt like I learned something new.”

Professor Michelle Rai, assistant professor of communication
“She is very talkative and easy to relate to. She makes class fun and not just about learning facts. She really wants to make sure you understand.”

Dr. Kent Davis, professor of chemistry
“Dr. Davis is one of my favorite professors at PUC, super smart but really humble and always willing to help you out regardless of the subject, he’s really a super genius who knows it all. He’s awesome but I feel like he’s underappreciated because he’s shy, you need to be assertive and get to know him.”

Dr. Robin Vance, professor of biology
“Dr. Vance is the most adorable person in the entire world. He explains things really well and makes them easy to understand. If something is really complicated, he stops and makes sure the class is ‘okay’ before he moves on to another topic. He’s really sweet and is totally willing to help you if you need it.”

Visit puc.edu/admissionsblog for complete faculty profiles to get to know some of our faculty a little bit more. We can’t wait for you to meet them!