Faculty & Staff

Progress | July/August 2010

July/August 2010

By Katelynn Christensen & Lainey S. Cronk

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If you walk into the academic administration offices, one of the first faces you'll see is Tanya Healy, executive assistant to the academic dean. A friendly, young, Caucasian woman working diligently at her desk might not instantly bring the word multicultural to mind, but that's exactly what Tanya is, both in background and interests.

Okinawa, Japan: Tanya is born to missionary parents and begins to learn English and Japanese simultaneously.

Lakeport, California: When she is only three, the family moves to the U.S. for two years — and Tanya forgets Japanese.

Nairobi, Kenya: At the 'Meharry family's next home, Tanya's family adopts a Kenyan son, Richard. Tanya’s dad works as a dentist and her mom makes friends with the local Maasai women, eventually founding the Maasai Development Project (MDP) to help protect young girls from circumcision and early marriage, provide adult literacy classes, and sponsor lay pastors. Later, while in college, Tanya will return to MDP as an intern.

North Dakota: After living in Nairobi for six years, the family moves back to the U.S. again (but still spend quite a bit of time each year in Kenya) and Tanya starts high school. But it's so very different that she actually decides to go back to Kenya for her junior and senior years.

Lincoln, Nebraska: Tanya attends Union College for her freshman year as a voice major and performs extensively, even  soloing on local TV in a production of “The Messiah.”

Angwin, California: Tanya enrolls at PUC and, not surprisingly, studies international communication and French.

England: Between academic years, Tanya spends the summer of 2003 studying in England.

Ireland: While she's studying in England, Tanya does some sight-seeing and visits Ireland, where she meets a nice lad named Alan.

France: Tanya studies abroad for the 2004 academic year and officially begins dating Alan—long-distance (they'll later get married a year after Tanya's 2006 PUC graduation).

Back in Angwin: Now Tanya works in the academic administration office, and her focus on cultures and communication is alive and well, with a passion for diversity. "That stems out of how I grew up," she says. "How people relate to each other from different  backgrounds has always been interesting to me." To Tanya, diversity is also a broad topic. "When I think of diversity," she says, "I think of not just cultural diversity, I think of religious diversity, I think of the diversity between the genders, and the diversity within cultural, religious, or gender groups." Lately she's been thinking about questions of labels and how they affect our feelings and communications about diversity: "How do we move forward together when people are so afraid of being labeled a 'racist' they don't actually verbalize their true feelings?  I believe we don't see deeper issues as much as we have in the past because of that fear of being labeled — I think especially within the Caucasian group. It's something I'd like to look into." That interest in looking into such topics is what motivates Tanya's goal to earn a master’s degree in intercultural relations — and one day teach intercultural communication, a culmination of life experiences of many kinds of diversity around the world.

Colleagues & Departments

The biology department is gearing up to sponsor a nine-day tropical biology tour in Costa Rica this year! It will be during Christmas break, from December 27, 2010, to January 4, 2011, and students and non-students are welcome to join the tour (for credit if desired). The tour is currently priced at $2,362 (subject to change). If you would like to learn more about the tour or register, go to www.efcollegestudytours.com and select "Enroll Today." In the new screen, enter the tour number 451499 in the "Check Out Your Professor's Tour" or "Enroll Today" field. Questions can go to Floyd Hayes. Floyd also recently learned that he is the recipient of a $52,000 grant (over four years) for monitoring the grebe population in some of the local area lakes.

John McDowell is participating in a Madaba Plains Project archeological dig at Tall al-'Umayri on the outskirts of Amman, Jordan. PUC is a consortium member of institutions that support the MPP and John and his son are representing PUC at the dig this summer. John, who's the photographer for the dig, writes, We arrive before sunup and the first, most pressing task is to photograph each dig field before the sun arrives to cast shadows. I rush to set up camera and tripod, while square supervisors sweep the dirt. The purpose here is to document—and archaeology works only because of careful and consistent documentation—each day’s progress."

Ileana Douglas and Hilary Elmendorf, with Aimee Wyrick from the biology department along as well, took 15 students on a 10-day trip to Japan in June as part of two classes (Asian Seminar class and U.S. Foreign Relations). In Japan, they visited sites of cultural and political interest, stayed in a ryokan (traditional Japanese inn), saw Mt. Fuji, and experienced a blend of modern and traditional Japan.

At the request of the United Nations, Herbert Ford, director of the Pitcairn Islands Study Center, traveled in May to Noumea, New Caledonia, where he presented a paper about Pitcairn to some 100 delegates from 50 countries at a Pacific Regional Seminar of the UN’s Committee of 24. Purpose of the seminar was to assess progress of the UN’s plan for decolonization of the 16 presently colonized territories of the world, one of which is Pitcairn. Joel Lutes and Patrick Benner attended the Association of Seventh-day Adventist Librarians (ASDAL) conference June 16-21 hosted at Oakwood University. Joel gave a presentation titled, "When most things are digital OR the end of libraries as we know them." Patrick led a poster session on "Cool tools for 21st century librarians." At the conclusion of the meetings, the ASDAL president stepped aside and Joel, as president-elect, was formally instated as the new president of the organization for the next year. Next Year's ASDAL conference will be hosted here at PUC.

The nursing department said goodbye to two faculty members, Nancy Tucker and Liss Leal, at a dinner in Compadres the week after graduation. "Lest anyone be concerned that the department faculty are having too much fun," they report, "we then spent the rest of the week immersed in a curriculum revision workshop, and that work is continuing throughout the summer."