Larissa Church

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What did you study and what did you enjoy most about it?

I was a double major; I studied English with an emphasis in writing, and history with an emphasis in American history. So, lots of reading and writing! I mostly enjoyed being able to spend an afternoon reading, even if it was reading required books.

What have you been up to since graduating from PUC?

After graduating from PUC, I went to San Francisco State University, where I earned a certificate in technical writing. I’ve worked as a blogger for a marketing company in Los Angeles, as a recruiter for PUC, and now I’m the director of public relations here. I spend a lot of my time volunteering at several animal rescue organizations in the Bay Area, including Cat Town, the East Bay SPCA, and House Rabbit Society.

I also married Craig, another PUC alum, and together we have two fur children, Tuna and Margaux. (Yes, they have their own Instagram, and you can find them at @tunamargauxbunny if your feed needs some cuteness!)

What fond memories do you have about being a student at PUC?

I was heavily involved in the Campus Chronicle and served as a copyeditor, assistant editor, and eventually editor. I can trace a lot of my friendships and even my marriage to working on the paper! Some of my favorite memories are of working into the early morning hours to get an issue done, agonizing over headlines and worrying about typos.

One of my favorite classes was a seminar class on C.S. Lewis taught by Dr. Nancy Lecourt. There was always great conversation about the book we had all just read, and we would sit around with a hot cup of tea and nibble on treats Dr. Lecourt had brought in. I also had an amazing time on the history tour to Washington, D.C., I took at the end of my last year at PUC. We spent our days visiting historical sites and museums. I met one of my best friends on that trip.

Outside of school, my friends and I spent a lot of time in San Francisco, going to concerts and searching for good food.

Tell us about your job now and what you find most challenging and rewarding?

I get to be in charge of a lot of fun things, including overseeing the college’s marketing campaigns to high school students, which consists of well over 400 emails and 10-20 print pieces; managing the admissions blog, which has 10-15 posts per month, many I write myself; and being editor of ViewPoint, the college’s alumni magazine, which is published twice a year.

One of the most challenging parts of my job is figuring out how to write differently about something I’ve written about many times before, like financial aid or visiting PUC. Also, email subject lines are the bane of my existence!

The most rewarding part of my job is anytime I hear something I’ve written has made a difference to someone. A few years ago, I was attending a graduation at one of our academies, and it was announced one of the graduating seniors won a scholarship I had written about. The school’s librarian told me it was directly as a result of her sharing a blog post I had written, which was a really nice feeling!

What book(s) for fun are at the top of your recommendation list and why?

Does anyone else have a problem keeping up with their Goodreads to-read shelf? I could easily recommend 10 different books, but I’ll choose just three I’ve read within the last year and have really stuck with me:

  • Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham, which tells a fictionalized account of the Tulsa race riots of 1921 and is woven together with the story of a modern-day teen. It will linger in your mind for days afterwards.
  • Dry by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman, a story set in the near future that imagines if California is suddenly without water. It will leave your heart racing until the very last page and give you a new appreciation for your water tap.
  • Girl Squads: 20 Female Friendships That Changed History by Sam Maggs, a fun read about some awesome ladies throughout history, and a book I wish had existed when I was in high school!

What advice do you wish someone would have given you when you were a freshman in college?

My answer would be to try to relax, not to put too much pressure on yourself to have every little thing planned out, and to step outside of your comfort zone every once in a while. I was a pretty anxious freshman, unsure of what I wanted to study, and I didn’t know many people at PUC. Thankfully I had a few friends who forced me out of my dorm room and made me play intramurals and the Campus Chronicle staff, and I’m so grateful they did. So take a risk—join a club, take a class that sounds interesting but maybe scary, invite the nice guy from your English class to go to the Cameo with your friends. You don’t know where it might lead!