Faculty & Staff

Progress | March 2010

March 2010

By Eirene-gin Nakamura

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Forty-five years have passed since his days as a young college student, and Dr. Jim Chase is literally right back where he started. Sitting in his office in Irwin Hall, Chase excitedly explains that the desk where he worked as a secretary for a professor of communication as a freshman sits fifteen feet away. With delightful reminiscence, he smiles and says, “You could say Jim Chase has not moved very far from his roots!”

Never has boomeranging made a person so exciting. In between his time here as a student and his homecoming as a professor, Jim has compiled quite a list of things that most people would never even dream of accomplishing in their lifetimes:

He’s been hugged by Katie Couric, sang onstage with Kenny Rogers, and is the proud winner of a chandelier on the Price is Right. He finished two doctorate programs paid for in full by Andrews University, pastored four churches, and despite graduating from PUC in 1969 with a degree in theology and a minor in history, became a professor of communication. He was an announcer on multiple radio series that have been broadcast on over 1500 stations across the nation, fell in love with Europe, and caught a rattlesnake with his bare hands. He won an amateur golf competition, shot a hole in one, and created a masterpiece portrait that is the focal point of the Arnold Palmer Center for Golf History at the United States Golf Association’s museum in New York.

Having lived a life full of experiences beyond those of any ordinary person, Jim has, until now, been perfectly content with having come full circle. With plans of retiring after the end of this academic year, more golf, art, and travel are highly anticipated. What is he looking forward to the most? “I really want to play a round of golf at a pasture course in Auckland, New Zealand,” says Jim. With his luck, he will get to play a round with Frodo Baggins.

Colleagues & Departments

Michelle Rai just received the fourth edition (2011) of "The Marketing Plan Handbook" by Marian Burk Wood — Michelle is listed in the acknowledgements section as one of 10 faculty reviewers for the new edition.

Maria Rankin-Brown presented papers entitled "Writing Teacher Burnout" and "Making Literary Terms more Relevant and Memorable through the Use of Popular Culture" at the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) 2010 Convention on February 12-14 at the LAX Marriott Hotel. CATE is a Western affiliate of the National Council of Teachers of English. Mei Ann Teo directed "Sunspots," a Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig play for the Bay Area Playwrights Foundation "In The Rough" series at Stanford and the Cutting Ball Theatre in San Francisco.

Fun Stuff: Doug's Blue Ribbon
Doug Ermshar had a hand in the blue-ribbon garden display at the 118th annual Cloverdale Citrus Fair this February. The garden was a promotional for Doug's grandsons' school. His son-in-law did the design and construction; Doug chose, purchased, and planted all the flowering plants; and a friend took care of the garden plants.

Fun Stuff: The Cow Patty
Greg Schneider (psychology), Tammy McGuire (communication), and Dale Withers (plant services) and his wife Pat joined 40 or 50 other paddlecraft in the annual "Cow Patty Pageant" sponsored by the Bay Area Sea Kayakers on January 31. Greg explains that the race is held on the American Estero, starting in the middle of cow pasture—hence the name—just outside Valley Ford. The race monitors and officials wore plush toy hats shaped like horned Holstein cows, giving many the appearance of Wagnerian opera divas who had lost their way. It's a 12-mile round trip paddle, and Greg, Tammy, Dale, and Pat were in the Novice class, in which Greg finished first. "It was a nice challenge, and a satisfaction to learn that we could paddle that hard for that long," says Greg.

Lynn Wheeler, chair, just returned from an accreditation visit for the National Association of Schools of Music at Alma College in Michigan. "It was really nice to get back to the Napa Valley even though it is beautiful back there when everything is covered with snow," he reports. Rachelle Davis took the PUC orchestra on tour last month to Oregon and Washington, playing at churches and schools in Portland, Chehalis, and Vancouver.