Faculty & Staff

Progress | March 2011

March 2011

By Gayle Grove

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My son Paul is an E-4 machinist mate on the USS Cheyenne, a 361-foot long U.S. Navy nuclear fast attack submarine stationed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Paul’s responsibilities include the mechanical systems on the sub, with a specialty in the hydraulic systems and the helm.

Occasionally the Navy allows civilians to participate in dependant cruises. Recently I was able to meet up with Paul in Maui for a two day-one night cruise aboard his submarine.

Since there is no docking facility at our meeting place, I and other relatives of the crew were shuttled by a water taxi to the sub at anchor. We used a rope ladder to climb up the side of the hull to an open hatch just behind the 20-inch tall conning tower, through which we were ushered into the cafeteria, or galley. While we waited in the galley for the crew to prepare the sub to get underway, an officer greeted us and explained what we would be doing. Then we were shown around the control room and allowed to use the periscope, which has incredible resolving power and is very stable.

We sailed on the surface for a couple of hours, taking turns climbing up to the top of the conning tower. My turn came just before sunset. Nothing beats a view of the Hawaiian Islands at sunset from the conning tower.

Not long after I left the tower the crew began preparing to dive.  The only sensation I had of being underwater was the complete lack of motion. I was given a tour of the torpedo room, including the 16-foot long Mk 48 torpedo.  When I asked how fast and far they could go, I was told that they could go a long distance and travel very fast.  That was Navy-speak for “don’t ask those kind of questions.”

Later that night the sub’s crew did a series of maneuvers called angles and dangles.  These maneuvers test the ability of the crew to work as a team to control depth and heading while making abrupt changes to heading and depth.  The most extreme maneuver began at 350 feet of depth with a 30 degree down angle.  Our target depth was 700 feet. I knew things were going to be interesting when Paul put his feet on the control panel and pushed the controls forward.  As we passed 20 degrees I wondered how well those Mk 48 torpedoes were bolted down.

But it was great seeing my son in action.

Colleagues & Departments

Alumni and Advancement
This year’s Homecoming program will feature a Departmental Exhibition on Sabbath afternoon, April 17. Each academic department on campus is invited to man a display booth, showcasing recent achievements and engaging in dialogue between current faculty and students and past graduates. To register for a booth for your department, contact the Alumni and Advancement office at ext. 7500.

Copy Center
Four photographs by Bob Wilson were selected for publication in the new Angwin, Pope Valley, and Howell Mountain area map and brochure, produced by the Angwin Community Council. These brochures will be placed in hotels, information centers, and tourism spots across the Napa Valley.

Exercise Science, Health, and Nutrition
As a component of Vicki Saunders’ new class on complementary and alternative medicine, the library has subscribed to a valuable online resource on the subject. The web database Natural Standard uses scientific evidence to evaluate the pros and cons of a wide variety of alternative or complementary supplements and therapies. Vicki recommends this site as a resource for anyone considering alternative treatments and remedies.

Human Resources
The HR department recently hosted two special events. The first was a meeting of the Napa Valley Human Resources Network, January 26, which brought HR directors from large companies across the Napa Valley to discuss recent changes in employment law. The second was PUC’s first ever Management Orientation Training meeting. The all-day seminar provided an opportunity for directors and administrators on campus to improve their leadership and management skills.

The Religion department is excited to announce its new Facebook page. Visit the page to get updates and announcements from the department or to see photos of recent events.