Academics Now

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PUC Welcomes New Students

Phaidra Knight’s first class doesn’t start until nine in the morning on Monday, but the new Pacific Union College freshman is already making PUC home. Like the rest of her peers in the PUC Class of 2018, Knight arrived on campus with a car full of boxes on September 17 for new student orientation ready to join the PUC community.

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Puffins and Polar Biology: Students Experience Alaskan Ecosystem

Grizzly bears, Dall sheep, moose, and orcas are unusual college classmates. Pacific Union College students enrolled in this summer’s Polar Biology class encountered these animals and more as the thriving Alaskan ecosystem became their classroom during an 11-day immersion into true field biology.

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Foundations of Biology Class Returns to Albion

For a week in early August, Pacific Union College Professor of Biology Aimee Wyrick-Brownworth took the students in her Biological Foundations summer class to PUC’s Albion Retreat and Learning Center on the Mendocino coast.

Academics

Survivor-Woman

Carissa Smith, February 23, 2009
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Tammy McGuire has been assistant professor of communication at PUC since 2006. Her academic research interests include spirituality in organizations, including the concept of spiritual labor, and the theoretical realm of power, paradoxes, and dialectical tensions in communication studies.

Whether it's skiing, windsurfing, backpacking, caving, rock and mountain climbing, kayaking, telemarking, ice climbing, or sauntering through a quick 10k without breaking a sweat, assistant professor of communication Tammy McGuire doesn't need instructions. She doesn't even need to stretch. This Cliff, Luna and Power Bar "junkie" not only enjoys these activities, but trains four to five times a week in order to excel at them.

"Before my body wastes away I want to complete a triathlon and maybe run one marathon, only to say I did one - a really silly reason now that I think about it." Her ambitions include a wide range of organized sports. "One of these days I also want to learn how to play tennis well enough to beat my colleague Michelle Rai."

The survivor-woman got an early start on her extreme athleticism as a child growing up in Colorado. "Our family would spend a lot of quality time in the mountains - so that love has always been there. As a kid, I remember reading all kinds of outdoor books and magazines under the covers with my flashlight at night, thinking, 'One day that's going to be me backpacking through that beautiful meadow' or 'I'm going to learn to rock climb one of these days like the people in this book' or 'Look at this skier neck deep in powder - I want to do that!'"

After finishing college, Tammy spent "every single penny" of her first tax return on taming her backpacking fever, using the money to buy more equipment. When she moved to Spokane, Wash., to teach at Upper Columbia Academy, Tammy received encouragement in the form of REI and Mountain Gear. The foreign and yet exciting equipment inspired her to take a crack at telemark skiing and kayaking.

There must be some underlying reason why Tammy spends so much of her free time exploring PUC's surrounding wilderness. Tammy says, "To paraphrase Thoreau, I don't want to come to the end of my life and find that I have not lived at all. I've come to realize that my love for these activities and interests are part of the person that God has created, and I think that's one of the inexplicable reasons I seem to unremittingly pursue these types of things - to have life and to have it more abundantly. It's not the only essence of my being, but it certainly is an important one."

Tammy finds she feels the most alive when outside. It is where she feels most connected spiritually and also most at home. "These activities give me a chance to be outdoors, to go to different places, to be adventurous, and to be alive."