Pierce A-Z

A is for Art

 Daniel Malgren

Editor in Chief

 Located in the Arts and Allied Health Building, Pierce Colleges Art department  offers a wide variety of classes for those students wishing to peruse a career in the  fine arts whether it is in drawing, painting or design.

Students wishing to pursue a major in art or design will benefit from the variety of  studio courses that build on the essentials of drawing, design, photograph and  painting.  There are also a number of lecture courses available to give students a  wide background in the creative arts. These courses will often transfer seamlessly to  other colleges allowing students to jump right into the higher level art classes  offered at four year universities.

Students, who participate in the art courses here at Pierce, have the opportunity to have their work recognized in various exhibits and competitions located here on campus. Some of these events include the art gallery located on the bottom floor of the AAH as well as the Student Art Exhibit where students can receive recognition for their work.


B is for Backpacks

Amber Gilliland
Special Assignments Reporter

Pierce College student Edwin Piedra carries many things in his backpack  to help him survive the day. One of these items is his sketchbook.

Piedra says he enjoys sketching for fun. One of his favorite things to sketch is facial expressions, since they are always different. Piedra also enjoys sketching trees and uses the trees around campus as examples. The leaves changing with the seasons is something that gives him inspiration and he appreciates the beauty of it.

One of the best things about art according to Piedra is that it doesn’t have to be perfect. This concept is something he wants to apply to life, especially because he is pursuing a degree in education. He wants to encourage students to do their best and not worry about perfection.

Among the textbooks in Piedra’s backpack are English and Spanish versions of the book The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros.

Piedra grew up learning Spanish but doesn’t consider himself completely fluent in the language. He’s taken a few Spanish classes on campus to practice and build his knowledge of the language. Piedra likes to have the Spanish and English versions of books to compare the two and keep up with his knowledge of Spanish.

“With most languages, when they get translated (they) sometimes lose their original meanings,” Piedra said.

Piedra likes to read the original version of the book to see how it’s been changed and what has been lost in translation.

“It helps me explore how other cultures speak the language and refreshes my own (language) by reading it, rather than just speaking it,” Piedra said.

Another essential in Piedra’s backpack is his iPhone. His parents bought it for him so he could stay connected with them when he’s out of the house. Piedra uses it to let his parents know when he will be running late or if he needs to take the bus somewhere. Piedra says he’s never been a fan of smartphones and has always used a phone with a full keyboard or a flip phone instead.

Basic college student essentials also line the bottom of Piedra’s backpack including pens and a bottle of water.


C is for Criminal Justice

Mel Brisendine

Fighting crime, protecting people and patrolling cops are what comes to mind when thinking about criminal justice.

Pierce College Puyallup has one class devoted to teaching criminal justice, which is about constitutional rights.

This five-credit class is taught by Phillip Clingan, an adjunct professor on the Puyallup campus. The class takes place Mondays and Wednesdays from 5:30-7:40 p.m.

More classes, such as this one, are offered online if students don’t have time to go to school in the evening. Varying types of law enforcement classes are also taught by Bobi Foster-Grahler.

In Constitutional Rights, students learn to analyze certain amendments by applying them to social issues.

Along with understanding the amendments, Clingan teaches the theoretical foundation of constitutional law and restorative justice.

Although Pierce College Fort Steilacoom is the foundation and main source of the criminal justice program, the Puyallup campus offers this class to encourage students to become involved in the program.

D is for Digital Design

Michael Free Jr.

“Explore your creativity in the exciting, high-tech world of graphic design and dynamic media production.” This is what students see when they click on the digital design department homepage on the Pierce College website.

Creativity can be expressed in many avenues, such as photo manipulation, advertising creation and marketing strategies. Brian Martin, director of the digital design program for Pierce College feels that digital design is always changing.

“The digital design program is a combination of traditional graphic design and modern media design. We stay as much on the bleeding edge of technology as possible but still stay grounded in traditional techniques.” Martin said.

To stay up to date with the bleeding edge of technology, the digital design program introduced a new course last year, 3-D Game Design. With a successful pilot last year, the course has launched and is offered in the summer as an online class.

The digital design program hopes to introduce similar classes at the Puyallup campus. Art Professor, Scott Aigner is planning to teach these graphic arts classes.

“The only pre-requisite that a student needs is the ability to use a computer,” Martin said.

E is for Economics

Kevin Boatz

Students pursuing an associate degree in business or who simply are in need of social science credits will likely find their way into one of the economics classes that Pierce College offers.

Pierce College has a supply of economics classes that include not only microeconomics and macroeconomics courses but also the survey of economics and economic geography.

The Survey of Economics course is an overview of both microeconomics and macroeconomics that covers topics like market structures, income distribution and unemployment. Geography of Economics looks into the allocation of resources and how the geography of a region affects its economy.

The textbooks for ECON 201 and ECON 202 classes were updated to a more recent edition fall quarter 2014. The economics textbooks cost over $200 new and the Pierce College bookstore has no used copies in stock, but this is about to change.

Now that the books have been out for a while and enough new copies have been sold, the bookstore has plans to source used copies while still stocking new copies of the study guide bundled with the book.

“The instructor uses the study guide and has the students write in them so the study guide can’t be used. We are going to break the bundle apart and bring in a used copy (of the textbook) to drop the price,” bookstore employee Midoli Cram said.

Cram believes that economic textbooks are expensive and should be cheaper, but explains that some higher level textbooks are going to be more expensive than others.

“The 200-level classes like Economics 201 and 202 historically have always had expensive books because they’re higher level courses,” Cram said.

Starting spring quarter 2015, copies of the new ECON 201 and 202 textbooks should not only be available used but also available to rent through the Pierce college bookstore, making the economics courses more affordable.

F is for Fathers

Grace Amsden
Managing Editor

The halls and classrooms of Pierce College don’t just house students who have the agenda of simply focusing on schooling. There are also students and professors who come to school while raising a child or multiple children back at home.

One such father is Rob Stevens, business and social science professor at Pierce College Puyallup. He has two children: an 11-year-old boy in seventh grade and 6-year-old girl. His wife is Elizabeth Stevens, English professor at Pierce College.

Eight years ago, he was a student at Pierce and father to his son at the time.

Stevens has experienced the double reality of being a student with a child and now a professor and father. He claims that it can be challenging, but also gratifying.

“I know it can be difficult, but it’s possible to do,” Stevens said. “There’s so many resources available at the college, first of all. Once people understand what the resources are, they will be more successful.”

Both of Stevens’ children have been cared for at the Garnero Child Care Center. When Stevens was a student, his son went to the child care center. His daughter has also come to the child care center last year.

“It’s just a great nurturing environment and we (my wife and I) loved having them close and being able to be on the same campus as them,” Stevens said.

Stevens has taken advantage of the activities the college offers, such as attending family movie nights and engaging in events at Garnero like eating lunch with his children since parents are allowed to interact with their children inside.

“One of the wonderful parts of it is to have them immersed in a college atmosphere and know that this community college exists so that they have the ideas in the future that this is something available to them,” Stevens said.

At the child care center, 56 children from 46 families are currently enrolled.

Greg Orr is another father at Pierce College Puyallup and full time student. He has a son who is five and a daughter who is four months old. Orr’s wife is a stay-at-home mom while he goes to school.

After Orr drops his son off at kindergarten in the morning, he comes to Pierce where his classes last the remainder of the day.

When he returns home, he assists his son with his homework and spends time playing with his children. After dinner, he plays with his children some more and finally gets to his homework after 8:30 p.m. when his children go to bed.

Though Orr doesn’t use the Garnero Child Care Center, he takes advantage of other availabilities.

“The Tutoring Center works really well with different time frames for help. I’ve used that resource last quarter,” Orr said. “It did help a lot last quarter.”

Patience is the biggest advice Orr would give to full time student fathers at Pierce College.

“You just have to spend time with your kids, because they need it, but be patient with them. Once you do that, it makes it easier on you stress wise,” Orr said.

What’s certain is that compared to an ordinary full-time student, fathers in college have extra sets of tasks besides the daily loads of homework.

“You have to really learn how to balance priorities, balance your time, work on time management and be able to separate your studies from your family,” Stevens said.

Student parents interested in child care opportunities can visit the child care center on campus for more information located across from the College Center tucked in the corner nearest to the woods.

G is for Geology

Anna Ingram

Eighteen thousand years ago, 3,000 feet of ice covered the land extending south from Canada where the Pierce College campus currently sits.

Tom Bush has been a professor of geology at Pierce College since the fall of 1992.  He started at a temporary position at the Fort Steilacoom campus before moving to a permanent position at Puyallup.

“Pierce College sits on what’s called glacial till,” Bush said.  “Glacial till is basically a deposit of gravel and sand left behind by glaciers.”

The presence of glacial till and glacial meltwater streams serve as the primary pieces of evidence for the existence of glaciers in the area.

“It’s (glacial till) a deposit made of big rock pieces mixed with sand, really fine pieces of clay and pieces of mineral and rock fragments.  That kind of deposit doesn’t have any layering to it,” Bush said.

These are distinguishable from similar stream deposits, which tend to wash away smaller sediment and leave large rock chunks.

To find the age of the glacial till, organic materials such as wood pieces that were left below and above the till layer can be carbon dated, giving a time frame for the glacier’s presence.  Wood pieces are not characteristic of glacial till, but rocks in the mixture can be dated using similar methods.

“Rocks can be dated using radioactive materials in the rocks. The general term for that is radiometric dating.  Carbon dating is really only useful for very young material, up to about 70,000 years.  There’s other things like uranium that are used for dating rocks,” Bush said.

The glacier was called a continental glacier. In other words, it’s a glacier that covers the entire landscape. It extended between the Olympic and Cascade mountains as far south as Tumwater.

The earth around Pierce College, however, makes use of the glacial till left behind.

“Around here, a lot of these glacial deposits are mined for what’s called aggregate, or sand and gravel used in a variety of construction and road-building applications,” Bush said.

Pierce College has a fascinating geological history that’s significant today for many reasons.  Understanding its history allows us to make use of the resources, protect the land and tell the area’s story.

“Knowing about geology is important because it helps us mitigate and avoid geologic hazards,” Bush said.  “Another aspect that’s really important is mineral and rock resources.  Anything that we have is somehow related to some sort of geological extraction from the earth.  even your phone has a variety of metals and nonmetals, all of which have to be mined.”

H is for History

Daniel Malgren

History is the study and focus of human experience.  It delves into the scope and range of the ever evolving economic, militaristic, social, philosophical, geographical, intellectual and cultural aspects humans have built for themselves over the years.

Students planning on pursuing a history major or taking classes for sheer entertainment can develop knowledge in specialized regional history including, but not limited to, Western, Asian and Middle Eastern history.

Students may also choose to specialize in topical history which touches on aspects such as political, social and economical aspects.

“History is a door that leads onto a wide open world of opportunity for those who want to pursue it,” History professor John Simpson said.

Some students may find that sitting through a fifty minute lecture on history is grueling. Simpson, however, believes that the level of student involvement is dependent on how the subject is taught.

“History has appeal to everyone; it is not exclusive.  How the professor presents it is vital to making that appeal widespread,” Simpson said. “Part of my job is to do that.”

Students pursuing a history major can begin developing skills now before transferring to a four-year university by using their knowledge in teaching fields or everyday jobs.

“I like to think that any job you want can be had from the study of history,” Simpson said. “The critical thinking skills, the awareness of different cultures and ideas and religions all go into making a prospective employee more agile in their thinking; more adaptable to learning what a specific job may require.”

Students working towards a transfer degree with the intent of a history major can  work towards fulfilling the general requirements for their desired four-year universities while utilizing resources available at Pierce. College advisors, professors and the tutoring center are available to assist students on their way to a four-year university.

“History is a fascinating record of what we as a species have done – both good and bad – that is instructive to our own lives,” Simpson said. “I try to introduce students to the majesty of history and a lifelong appreciation of the history.”

I is for Internships

Hannah Baldwin

Unpaid internships can be seen negatively in society; however, certain colleges and programs require a form of internship, something that can be a beneficial experience.

The Business Information Technology program is one department at Pierce that requires students to spend time doing an internship in order to graduate, either gaining a two-year associates or a one year certificate.

The internships related to this program involve students using the skills they’ve learned through course work by working in offices, answering phones, keyboarding and other business related activities.

According to Tiffanie Maule, an instructor in the BTECH department, students receive benefits from these internships, such as experience in the workplace and having connections with businesses.

“After they’ve done it, they can put that experience on their resume, they can use names of people that they’ve worked with,” Maule said. “Multicare, Madigan, Devida, the corporate office in Tacoma, take our students. Those are just a few of the connections.”

Maule explained that different companies will call, looking for interns from Pierce College. This gives the students the opportunity to put their learning into practice.

“The idea is that they get an internship and then they get to practice all of the skills that they’ve learned,” Maule said.

On top of the experience gained, Maule also said that the internships open up job opportunities for students.

“Some students get hired from the internships,” Maule said. “If there’s job openings and they’ve done a good job then they can apply for a job. The internship is a requirement for our program, but the idea behind it is to get a job from it. It’s kind of like an on the job interview.”

If a student already has a job related to the BTECH program, they can continue in that job and use it in place of their internship.

“Some people are already working in medical offices or general offices, and they can use the job that they’re doing already as their internship,” Maule said.

Though these internships have benefits, they’re also work and can require patience before getting into the actual hands on job experience.

“Some are front office, so they may be answering phones and filing and keyboarding,” Maule said. “It depends on the internship that they’re doing and on what skills they’re going to be asked to do. A lot of times, they may not get to practice. Maybe they’re in it for a medical billing certificate. They may not get to practice the actual medical billing but they get exposure to the medical office.”

For the BTECH program, students are required to do either one or both of two different internship courses; 245, a 90-hour internship, and 246, a 150-hour internship.

“Depending on their degree or certificate, they do one or both of the internships,” Maule said.

The 90-hour internship requires students to do paperwork, journal questions, their work with the internship and discussion questions. The 150 hour internship is simply the paperwork and hours of the internship. There’s also mandatory meetings at the beginning and end of the quarter.

Though students typically get internships from outside of the college, departments at Pierce also offer internships for students.

“The college has been very beneficial in providing internships for our general office,” Maule said. “Many of our students have gotten employed here at the college after doing an internship.”

Maule says she enjoys being a part of the program.

“Our students are successful,” Maule said. “Many students get employed and it’s a great program. I’m excited to be a part of it.”

J is for Java

Amber Gilliland

Whether preferred as sugar free, extra hot, iced or black, coffee is a must have for many students and faculty at Pierce College. It’s not uncommon to see students on campus with large cups of it.

Some students use a cup of joe to get a waking jolt in the morning. Others use coffee as a way to stay up all night to cram for tests and finals or as a way to stay awake during a two hour math class in the evening.

Whatever the reason for consumption, caffeine flows through the veins of many people at Pierce College on a daily basis.

A survey was given out randomly on campus to find out the coffee drinking habits of people at Pierce College.

Almost 75 percent of coffee drinkers said they prefer specialty coffees like mochas instead of home brewed coffee.

According to the survey, the two most popular coffee houses that students frequently visit are Starbucks and Big Foot Java. Some of the most consumed specialty beverages by those at Pierce are white chocolate mochas, skinny vanilla lattes and Caramel Frappuccinos.

Many Pierce faculty members have coffee habits similar to students.

Program Support Supervisor Laura Bagley, who oversees the operations of the computer centers on campus, says she drinks about five to six lattes from Lancer each workday. Her drink of choice is a grande, sugar-free, vanilla soy latte, extra sweet but not too hot.

English professor Barbara Parsons says she prefers Starbucks to any other coffee house.

“I never go through small drive thru coffee places because the quality is so variable,” Parsons said. “If I am going to pay almost $4 for a cup of coffee, I want to be sure I get consistent flavor and temperature.”

Those who aren’t coffee drinkers gave a variety of reasons for not partaking in coffee. Some said they don’t like to consume too much caffeine. Others don’t drink it because of the high amount of sugar and calories in most specialty coffee beverages. A venti Green Tea Frappuccino with nonfat milk and no whipped cream from Starbucks, for example, contains 390 calories and 87 grams of sugar.

The most common reason given was that it doesn’t taste good.

“It tastes like drinking dirt,” Pierce College student Mark Loveless said.

According to the survey, students and faculty who like the taste of coffee drink an average of one and a half cups of java per day and spend anywhere between $5-$200 a month on their habit.

K is for Kang

Mel Brisendine

Emily Kang is a mother, fighter of depression, children’s book author and adjunct English professor at Pierce College.

Kang teaches English 101 on the Puyallup campus this quarter.

In 2002, Kang earned a degree in teaching and has a masters degree in fine arts and creative writing.

“It’s always been my passion,” Kang said.

Kang pursues this passion by writing children’s literature. Although she wrote adult fiction first, she decided to switch genres because she found herself writing for children, anyway. She’s written three short stories, but it’s been a difficult process to get her work published.

“I’ve gotten some nice rejection letters,” Kang said.

Before moving back to her hometown, Puyallup, she attended graduate school in Virginia where she began writing. She taught in North Virginia and at the American University in Washington D.C.

After meeting her husband and having their first child, Kang developed postpartum depression. Being that this was her first child and she had no family in Virginia, she felt isolated and alone. She decided to move back to her hometown where her family was when her son was five months old.

Kang began teaching at the Fort Steilacoom campus until a position opened in Puyallup, and she was able to teach closer to home.

She’s found Pierce College to be balanced, positive and allowing of student freedom while portraying clear guidelines for classes.

Kang’s teaching style gets students engaged with the topic by focusing on leading discussions. According to Kang, it’s often difficult for her to get students involved, but realizes the more active students are, the less likely they’ll space out in class, compared to other schools she’s taught at.

Her time away from college and writing children’s books is spent outdoors, hiking and being with her husband and two children, ages 10 and six.

Kang will be taking fall quarter 2015 off because she’s due to have a baby in September, but she will be back for winter quarter 2016. Kang says being an adjunct professor gives her flexibility.

She will continue teaching two classes per quarter upon returning.

L is for Landscaping

Michael Free Jr.

Many Pierce students pass by the grass and trees that inhabit the spaces between each of the buildings on the Puyallup campus on a daily basis. Many of them don’t know who takes care of the landscaping maintenance. The truth may surprise students, but part of the responsibility goes to local inmates on parole.

These inmates come from Cedar Creek Correctional Facility in Littlerock, Wash. CCCF has a strict policy pertaining to inmates who qualify for the Department of Corrections Work Crew Program. William Schrock is an offsite sergeant with CCCF and corresponds with Building and Grounds Manager Daniel Timmons to oversee the work crews at Pierce.

“All the offenders that come to Cedar Creek are minimum custody with four or less years left on the incarceration,” Schrock said. “They are screened before they arrive at Cedar Creek to see if they meet the requirements to work in the community. There are no sex offenders assigned to the work crews.”

Schrock noticed that this program helps out many of the inmates and that a majority of them enjoy the opportunity.

“At this time, the majority of the offenders assigned to the crews have 10 – 12 months left before being released.  For the most part, all of these offenders enjoy working on the crews and they do their best,” Schrock said. “Many of them have not held a regular job and our program helps to instill the idea of working and being responsible.”

Timmons, who’s been working in the position for approximately three years, finds the program to be helpful. He said that it gives them more numbers and more people on-site. This allows them to get work done faster and allows them to take on more ambitious tasks.

“The Facilities department uses the services of the DOC Work Crew Program to assist our Grounds Maintenance teams,” Timmons said. “Our ability to utilize the DOC Work Crew Program allows for us to undertake large scale landscaping projects.”

Timmons usually has the DOC Work Crew working on weeding planter boxes, raking leaves and pruning trees and shrubs. He’s been pleased with his work with them so far.

“All of my experiences working with the DOC Work Crew have been positive,” Timmons said.

Due to the cooperation and teamwork provided by these Work Crew members, the campus stays in its best shape with clean sidewalks, pruned trees and trimmed bushes.

M is for Mother

Kevin Boatz

Going to college can sometimes feel like a juggling act. Between work, school and relationships, it can be difficult to even find time to sleep. Some at college, however, have an additional proverbial ball to juggle, that ball is children.

Nekelle Smith is a student mother who has been attending Pierce College for two quarters. Smith is married and has one boy age 9. Scheduling classes around her family has been hard, but Smith has worked with instructors to get into the classes that she needs.

“Luckily the instructors here seem really lenient, they understand that you have a family,” Smith said.

Pierce instructor, Beth Stevens, has been employed by the college for the last 13 years. Stevens teaches pre-college and college level courses including the studies of specific literature like ENG 264 Literature of U.S. Slavery and Abolition, broader classes like American Literature and English 101; she is also a mother of two children: a son and daughter.

Stevens got engaged, married and had a baby boy all within her first few years of teaching at Pierce. When Stevens first was employed at Pierce, the Garnero Child Development Center had yet to be built. During her pregnancy, Stevens was involved with the fundraising committee and had a hand in screening the first employees of the childcare center.

“Watching the building come up, being on the screening committee for employees and just being a part of (the childcare center) from the beginning has been beneficial in the sense that I know what it is like for that service not to be there,” Stevens said.

For the initial years of her first child’s birth, the childcare center was still under construction. During this time, Stevens’ husband Rob stayed home and watched their child. Elizabeth and Rob Stevens had to structure their life around having a newborn baby and survive on a single salary.

“We really knew what that was like financially to not have a place we felt comfortable taking a baby,” Stevens said.

Once the childcare center opened, Stevens felt great about having her children at the same campus. Steven’s daughter most recently was enrolled at the childcare center and stayed until just before she turned 5. The childcare center offers care for children ages one to five and is open from 6:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. weekdays. Stevens no longer has any children in the center, but highly recommends it to parents.

“The whole building is just alive with positivity. It’s a great place,” Stevens said.

N is for Noll

Grace Amsden

 English as a Second Language teacher, Teresa Noll, came to teach at Pierce College in 2008. Currently, she teaches one class in the morning for level one, two and three ESL students.

At first, she didn’t know she wanted to teach ESL until volunteering in a level one ESL class at Pierce. While volunteering, Noll met a Korean woman who didn’t know how to read nor write in English. The women attended church with her husband, who was American, but couldn’t read the Bible. After being in class, the woman began to comprehend some of the words.

“As she shared this story with me, she got tears in her eyes. It had been many years since she’d been able to read a Bible,” Noll said. “It still gives me goosebumps when I think about her story.”

According to Noll, working with her students is her favorite part of teaching ESL.

“They all are so dedicated and they realize the importance of education in a way that many Americans students don’t,” Noll said.

Prior to Pierce, Noll attended Pacific Lutheran University to earn a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and was a substitute teacher. She also earned a masters degree in literacy education with an emphasis in ESL.

Noll taught the traditional style of ESL  including the skills needed for surviving in American culture, such as how to go to the doctors office or grocery store. In September 2014, the class changed and now Noll teaches an I-DEA that’s funded through a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It’s computer based and quite different than the traditional class. At the moment, Noll finds that the transition keeps her busy.

“My students have learned a lot, especially just computer wise,” Noll said. “Some of my students have never used a computer.”

Noll also teaches a three hour class two nights a week at Green River Community College.

Aside from school, Noll has a son in 6th grade and daughter in college who desires to be a zookeeper. Noll is also very involved in church, likes knitting blanket patterns and hopes to eventually spin her own yarn, as she’s been inspired by watching others.

Besides her love for her students, Noll appreciates the teachers she works with.

“ESL teachers generally are just good people and so I’ve always enjoyed who I work with. We’re all a very caring bunch. It takes a certain kind of person to teach ESL; you have to have the heart for it,” Noll said.

Noll says that she feels the whole ESL program often goes unnoticed by others.

“We do really good work here,” Noll said, “and I think it goes unnoticed a lot of the time cause we are kind of just at the end of the hallway (in the Gaspard Administration Building) and we’ve only got a few classes.”

O is for Oceanography

Daniel Malgren

Intro to Oceanography is a lab science class offered at Pierce College Puyallup that provides the scientific approach to the study of the biological, chemical, geological and physical aspects of the Earth’s oceans. Students may choose from two areas of emphasis: general or biological.

The general emphasis revolves around classes such as geology, chemistry and weather, while the biologic emphasis focuses on plants and animals.

The topics covered in oceanography include coastal processes and erosion, ocean currents, marine resources, marine pollution, recreation and aesthetic value, shipping mode and many more topics.

Oceanography is a study that applies greatly to our daily lives as society depends on Earth’s oceans for resources (oil, food, recreation), its effect on the weather patterns in the air, and use for recreational purposes.

“(Oceanography) appeals to non-science majors because it’s a great way to earn a lab science credit while learning about an extremely relevant part of our world,” Tom Bush, oceanography professor, said. “However, it’s extremely applicable to someone wishing to major in oceanography, geology, environmental science or atmospheric science.”

Students interested in taking the class will require a textbook, as it’s essential to learning the material.

“I require students to read the textbook and use it as a supplement to my lectures. I don’t cover all the topics I require students to grasp in class, so the textbook is an important source of learning,” Bush said.

Aspects students may find more challenging include the physical and chemical properties of water.

“(It’s) challenging because it gets a little technical, but the principles are an important foundation for later concepts in the course,” Bush said. “With some diligence, most students can master these concepts and do fine.”

Toward the end of the quarter, students will take a trip to the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium as part of a lab study, taking aspects they’ve learned in the course and applying it to what they see at Point Defiance.  This lab includes observing animals such as sharks, walruses, polar bears and various aquatic species.

“Sign up early since it’s a very popular class,” Bush said. “If taking from me, be prepared to do ‘the wave’ in class at least once, maybe more.”

P is for Popcorn

Daniel Malgren

Students who regularly traverse the halls of Pierce Colleges College Center will notice the predominate smell of freshly made popcorn wafting through the building.

The Office of Student Life has utilized popcorn as a means to attract student attention and thus, advertise their events.  While the frequency of the popcorn machine usage varies, it’s been utilized more frequently following its recent success to attract student awareness to various events.

“The reason I chose popcorn for advertising was mainly because how easy it is to set up and take down, as well as, being able to operate the machine with limited people,” Michael Schwartz, legislative senator for OSL, said. “I feel like popcorn seems to work as an attention grabber since you can smell it throughout the entire building, and it draws people in who might not be out in the common areas where we usually hand out flyers.”

Schwartz used the popcorn machine to promote the Legislative Rally event back in February. Following the success Schwartz had with getting support for the rally, the OSL has since increased the usage of popcorn to promote events.

“I do think that other leaders saw how successful it can be if done right and wanted to follow suit to promote their events,” Schwartz said.

The OSL makes use of the different varieties of flavorings that can be added to the popcorn to spice up the variety for students.

“From working popcorn, I know that certain people don’t like traditional popcorn, but can’t get enough of some of the different flavored ones,” Schwartz said. “In the OSL, we are always looking for new ways to cater to students, and are open to suggestions from the student body as to what they would like to see.”

The flavors used most frequently in the popcorn include caramel and chocolate as a mixture/glaze.

As of now, the OSL have no plans to change the nature of the popcorn machines.  Positive feedback and student participation consistently reinforces time put into watching the machine and handing out popcorn.

“I think one advantage of being at a two year college is that by the time people get tired of popcorn they usually have graduated, or moved on from Pierce,” Schwartz said. “The OSL is open to, and constantly looking for, feedback from the student body on what we can do to better serve their needs on campus.”

Q is for Quesidilla

Hannah Baldwin

The Lancer Catering Co. at Pierce College offers many choices for food. Two of these items are either a cheese or chicken quesadilla. The American adopted traditional Mexican food is a frequent favorite and is typically thought, if someone has tasted one cheese quesadilla, they’ve tasted them all; however, Lancer’s quesadillas have a flavor of their own.

The cheese quesadilla, which can be bought for $3.75, comes with four slices and a small container of salsa. The crust and tortilla has a strong buttery flavor and is cooked to a light brown. The tortilla is soft while the crust is a bit crunchy.

The salsa that comes with it isn’t particularly gourmet. The salsa is sour, similar to Safeway salsa, and is extremely spicy. To someone with a particularly sensitive palate, the salsa could be considerably unpleasant.

The cheese quesadilla has an odd aftertaste, but not enough to make the item undesirable. The same cannot be said for the chicken quesadilla.

The chicken quesadilla, which casts $5.50, comes with four slices and the same salsa; however, it lacks the buttery flavor as the cheese quesadilla. The chicken put in has an odd seasoning with an even stranger aftertaste. Neither seasoning or aftertaste is pleasant. There’s hardly any flavor at all, it seems.

The chicken in the quesadilla is essentially the best part, even with its odd flavor. Unlike typical white meat, this chicken is fairly moist.

Compared to homemade microwaved cheese quesadillas, these could definitely be considered gourmet and are probably more than twice the price of the homemade one. In the long run, the cheese quesadilla is arguably worth the purchase while the chicken quesadilla is not.

R is for Religion

Amber Gilliland

Pierce College Puyallup is a diverse place where students come from many different backgrounds. They are free to express themselves, and one way students do this is through religion.

Pierce has a few clubs on campus that offer students the chance to meet with others who share their faith. One such club is Anchor Club. This group is a Christian based club that tries to create camaraderie among the Christians at Pierce.

Their mission statement, according to the club information sheet in the Office of Student Life, is “To unite students for the purpose of creating relationships with one another and with God, through the format of teaching, singing, and communication.”

Anchor Club meets weekly at 1 p.m. on Fridays in room 203 of the Arts and Allied Health Building.

Another religion club on campus is the Latter Day Saint Student Association. Members of this club come together twice a week in the conference room in CTR 210 to relax and read scripture from the Book of Mormon.

The scripture readings are lead by community member Brother Nils Nelson, who teaches many different Mormon-based classes around the community.

Club president Bryce Sanders says he enjoys the peaceful environment of the club.

“It feels good to be there and just be in a good environment to be able to feel the Spirit and just feel that comfort,” Sanders said.

A survey was given out at random to students at Pierce to find out their views on religion.

Thirty-one percent of the students surveyed that they practice a religion. Christianity was the most popular religion among the students who took the survey.

Forty-six percent of the students said they don’t practice a religion and 23 percent said they were somewhere in the middle, meaning they don’t necessarily practice a religion but they still believe in a higher power.

“I don’t practice a religion, rather I have a relationship with God not based on rules,” student Michaela-Joy Frantz said.

The students who were surveyed had differing opinions on if religion was important or not.

“I believe that for many people, it is because it’s hard for people to deal with the idea that we may be alone with no higher being to watch over (us) and that there’s nothing after death,” student Ali Trejo said. “Being able to pray and have faith in something higher than us makes many people feel comfortable and I believe that’s important.”

S is for Sports

Mel Brisendine

Pierce College Raiders athletics dates back to 1968.

Since then, Raiders teams have won conference championships in tennis, softball and soccer. Although Pierce no longer has an official tennis team, students have a variety of other sports to choose from.

Volleyball, softball, basketball, soccer and baseball are among the available sports to student athletes.

“The best part of coaching at a community college is providing opportunity at this level and beyond,” Mark Edmonston, head coach for the softball team, said.

Softball is a spring sport, despite the extra conditioning the team does before the official season.

Before the official games begin at the end of February, there’s a six week fall season followed by six weeks of weights and conditioning.

Official spring practices begin in the third week of January, allowing six weeks of preparation for the season.

There are usually 15 players on the team, and according to Edmonston over 70 percent of freshmen return their sophomore year.

Doug Carlson, head coach for the volleyball team, enjoys working with the players and seeing them develop their skills and the relationships that are built between teammates.

“I grew up with a coach as my dad, and I like coaching and being a part of a team,” Carlson said. “It is fun to recruit, train and work hard to enjoy the fruit of your labor.”

This fall season, the team missed the playoffs by one match, but Carlson said overall they had a great season.

Despite this, Pierce has had many opportunities to go to post-season playoffs, showing that there’s opportunity for future success.

According the Pierce athletics webpage, four Raiders teams headed to the playoffs in 2009-10 and seven Raiders in the past six years have been selected as the divisional most valuable player in their sport.

For the first time, two student athletes and one team was inducted into the NWAACC Hall of Fame in 2010.

In order to keep up the success, students also must maintain good grades in order to participate in sports.

“Success in the classroom is the cornerstone of the Raider Athletic experience,” Pierce College Raiders Athletics webpage read.

T is for transportation

Tyler McMahan

Students have a couple of ways they can get to campus on time for classes. The one that’s most prominent is cars.

Most students know that parking at Pierce has become so crammed that it’s now known that if they want to get a spot and to class on time they need to be on campus at least a half hour before class so a person can go up and down the aisles to find a spot in the far back.

“Transportation is a pain,” student Russell Larsen said. “Since I live in Buckley, it takes me so long to get here and then I need so much gas. Parking isn’t so bad if I get here early enough as well, but it can take me 10 to 15 minutes to find a spot.”

Along with driving, some students don’t have their own car or can’t drive because of their age. So, the campus has a frequent train of cars coming in and out of lot A dropping off and picking up students throughout the day. This can cause a mass of congestion.

Public transportation is one source of transportation that most students at Pierce don’t take advantage of, due to time and money. With such a big town, it makes sense that students feel it’s easier to travel to and from campus with cars, rather than wait for a bus to take them to the transit station and worry about multiple stops—not to mention the bus fare.

The monthly bus pass for an adult costs $72. With nine months in a school year, that leads up to a heavy bill just to waste so much time waiting for the buses.

That money ends up going into the gas tank for many students, but the students cars aren’t only for going back and forth between school and home for most students. Others use it for their jobs.

Pierce could possibly get a student transit pass at a cheaper rate for students and this can help many local students get to campus quicker, easier and much cheaper than the current rate for the monthly pass.

Most major universities, such as Western Washington University located in smaller town or even towns the size of Puyallup, offer a student transit pass for $25 for the entirety of their college careers.

Any signs that the school can afford to do this don’t seem to be happening since this would cause for tuition to increase for the deal of a student pass to be put in place, and Pierce is a school that allows people to afford their education.

“I drive here with my son who also attends classes at Pierce, but since I’m recovering from medical treatments and I can’t find parking except in the back of the B lot,” student Cindy Sage said. “With everything being uphill, by the time I get to class I’m completely exhausted.”

U is for Ukulele

Kevin Boatz

Students who travel through the halls of Pierce College may have heard the familiar sound of ukulele music in their wanderings. Pierce student, Isaac Folitau, publicly plays the ukulele around Pierce College and during Polynesian Culture Club events.

Folitau is an American Sign Language major and member of Polynesian Culture Club. Folitau plays the ukulele as a way to stay connected to the culture and has noticed that other people enjoy hearing him play the ukulele.

The first experience Folitau had with the ukulele was when he was growing up in Hawaii. At his elementary school, learning to play the ukulele was a requirement.

“Learning the ukulele was hard for me because I am not hand coordinated, but once I kept on practicing and practicing, I started getting better. Later on in middle school I learned what it truly meant to play the ukulele,” Folitau said.

Folitau’s first public performance was in a middle school talent show. Although nervous at first, the performance reportedly went well.

Folitau has played all types of ukuleles, ranging from toys to professional instruments that can cost more than $1,000.

One ukulele played by Polynesian Culture Club members was purchased from Ted Brown at the discounted price of $150. The sound that these ukulele make are different compared to toy ukuleles.

“When you strum a toy ukulele the sound is not strong, but when you actually play a real ukulele you can hear the strumming and the tone,” Folitau said.

The ukulele can also be used to play modern hip hop or pop music. Folitau is interested in these styles of ukulele music, but prefers to play more traditional Hawaiian music, which helps him concentrate. The sound of the ukulele can also be beneficial to other students too.

“During finals, just hearing the music really soothes (students) minds,” Folitau said.

Folitau hopes that the ukulele will be more incorporated into Polynesian Culture Club this quarter during the singing and performing of songs and hula.

“It’s mainly getting connected to the culture and learning about the traditional music that we share,” Folitau said.

V is for Veterinarian

Grace Amsden

For students aspiring to provide medical assistance to animals while working under the direction of a veterinarian, the Pierce College Fort Steilacoom campus offers the Veterinary Technology program.

Some of the skills students learn to do in this program include performing tests on the animals, working with anesthesia and assisting with surgeries. According to the Veterinary Technology Program Application found on the official website:

“Our program is designed to prepare you for a career as a licensed veterinary technician by helping you develop skills in many areas including: animal handling and nursing, the diagnostic laboratory, anesthesiology and radiology, practice management, as well as critical thinking and decision making skills.”

Students in this program primarily work with dogs and cats. There’s also a barn on campus, used during winter quarter, for working with farm animals.

Currently, there’s 27 first year students in the program and 25 second year students, according to Veterinary Technology Program Director Salvador Hurtado.

Hurtado says there’s been a steady number of about 60-70 applicants within the past five to six years. Due to a change in requirement in Washington state for licensing of veterinary technologists won’t be granted without this program. Also applicants are  no longer accepted just on the job experience; therefore, there could be a change in the number of applicants. This change takes effect in July.

“I anticipate that we will see a increase in applicants as more and more people realize that they have to go through the program,” veterinary vechnology professor Markiva Contris said.

The veterinary technology program is competitive in terms of admittance.

“We can admit up to as many as 40 students into the program each year,” Hurtado said.

As mandatory toward applying, students must complete five prerequisites classes: Intermediate Algebra, Preparatory Chemistry, Survey of Biology, English Composition I and Medical Terminology I.  A minimum grade required from these courses is a 2.0 GPA.

“Prerequisites can be completed at either the Fort Steilacoom or Puyallup campus or at that any community college or any university for that matter,” Hurtado said.

Besides prerequisites, it’s mandatory that students have experience working a minimum of 20 hours at an animal hospital or clinic. Contris said one of the reasons for this is to be sure this is what someone wants to do before entering.

“It gives them a fairly good opportunity to see what a veterinary technician does,” Contris said.

Throughout the program, each course is linked to the next one, so classes must be completed on time to advance; if a student falls behind or drops out of the program they can return in one year. By the end of the program, after two academic years of classes (the program doesn’t go through the summer but fall through spring quarter for each year), 93 credits total are earned. A full list of the courses for each quarter required can be found in the handbook online.

During spring quarter for second year students, they get to practice the skills they’ve learned by working a clinical externship of 33 hours per week work at a veterinary hospital of their choice.

“We have a list of local veterinary hospitals that provide externship types for our students, so they basically go out to the veterinary hospitals to work alongside the veterinarians,” Hurtado said.

After completion, students graduate with an associates degree in veterinary technology. Then, they must take the Veterinary Technology National Examination before applying for a license.

According to Hurtado, there aren’t many local community colleges offering this program, due to the demand from students.

“We are kind of unique in that there’s not that many veterinary technology programs in the state of Washington,” Hurtado said.

The program’s application for new students was due April 15. Though, students can still be qualified if the prerequisite coursework is complete by Aug. 31. For more details on the program, visit www.pierce.ctc.edu/dept/vettech/.

W is for wraps

Jackie Buckman

Pierce College Puyallup offers the dining option of  Lancer Hospitality, located in the Dining Commons. Students can purchase a cup of coffee or some lunch with choices of burgers, sandwiches and other choices. I decided to participate in the dining at Pierce to test out the tortilla filled wraps sold and provided by Lancer.

It was a hard choice to choose between the grilled chicken caesar wrap or the crispy chicken ranch wrap. Both sounded delicious, so I decided to pick one on one day and come back another day to have the other.

The first wrap I tried was the grilled chicken caesar. All wrapped up in a tortilla is the gooey goodness of caesar salad dressing with lettuce and grilled chicken. The first bite was mostly tortilla, but once I got further, I finally tasted the rest.

About halfway through, I became full because it was a big wrap. I wasn’t really a fan of the cold grilled chicken. I don’t know how long that wrap had been sitting there because the lettuce was a little soggy. Overall, I’d give this wrap a three out of five.

Then came time to try the next wrap, the crispy chicken ranch. It was around noon after class, so I was definitely hungry and ready to eat something good. I’m a fan of crispy chicken and ranch, so I hoped it’d be pretty amazing. It actually wasn’t that great.

Cold crispy chicken has a weird taste. Again, this wrap was big, so with the first bite all that was tasted is the tortilla. It was hard to eat because the wrap would fall apart with each bite so it ended up being quite a mess. I would give this wrap a two out of five.

Comparing the two wraps, I liked the first one better because it didn’t fall apart and the taste was better. Overall, both wraps weren’t that impressive and were too big. The next time I choose to dine at Pierce, I will most likely stick to a sandwich. The wraps weren’t worth it, in my opinion.

X is for exes

Daniel Malgren

They infest the corners of the darkest cellar, the hallways of Pierce College.  They can be found in shopping malls, subway stations, classrooms and cafeterias. They’re evil mindless monsters, the demons from the pits of Hell and many of us carry the trauma they induce.

Once an ex… always an ex.

While there’s numerous reasons for why couples break up, here are the top ten over the top reasons why individuals have chosen to separate from their significant others.

Reader discretion advised.

Rated E for Ewwww: for vivid details that will induce disturbing images.

“She would always sing Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus. I found it annoying but didn’t expect what was to come next. She tried to swing back and forth on a tether ball. So stupid.”

“It was my freshman year of high school and he wore his underwear on the outside of clothes for some superhero spirit day. He looked so #$%$ing stupid.”

“He pulled that villanelle pudding in a mayonnaise jar prank on me and I literally threw up because I thought he was eating mayonnaise with a spoon. We were done.”

“Frozen is stupid. She thought otherwise.”

“She told me that she was buying me a gaming computer for my birthday and handed me a #$%$ing Macbook!”

“You ain’t had a sh%$y barbecue till you tried her chicken. I am usually not picky on these things, but this $%it was bad. How can you screw up fried chicken when you bought it from KFC? “

“He put mustard on his French fries… but you see, he put the mustard first on his hand, then just spread it around on the fries. I think he was trying to be cute.”

“She wanted to reenact parts of 50 Shades of Grey. I had no experience in that whole BDSM thing. She made that evident to me when she started screaming that her hands and feet were losing circulation.”

“I was a dog person and she was a cat person. The relationship didn’t last long; neither did her cat.”

“We were both hardcore Mortal Kombat fans and so when either of us would constantly beat the other it really got us fired up. We remained close friends, but anything more just wouldn’t do. I was always worried he would pull a fatality in bed.”

Z is for Zoom

Grace Amsden

The Community and Continuing Education program at Pierce College offers classes for personal enrichment; the classes don’t offer college credit but are meant to be enjoyable and meaningful. The program offers different options of photography classes to people of all levels.

“Our photography classes always do really well,” Tracy Clark, community and continuing education program developer, said. “We’ve had up to 20 (students); it usually averages from 15 to about 17.”

This quarter, one of the photography classes available was Beginning and Intermediate Photography, which Clark says is always offered through the program. As part of this eight session course, students learn how to take and work with photos.

At the end of the course, the class goes on a photography field trip. For this quarter, on April 18, students went on the Tacoma Light Rail and took photos in Tacoma including Freighthouse Square and the Tacoma Glass Museum.

Other classes offered this quarter included ones based on the operation of the camera and taking photos with composition and light.

Coming this summer, there’s two new workshops. One of them, “Race Cars!” is where students can take photos at the South Sound Speedway. The other workshop, “Shoot the Works,” for learning how to shoot fireworks and experiment on the 4th of July at the Fort Steilacoom campus.

On May 26, dates for courses in the summer become available on the website. Registration opens May 27. For more information on photography classes, dates or pricing for the Continuing Education Program, visit http://wp.pierce.ctc.edu/blog/ce/.

‘We’re continuing to grow,” Clark said. “Our goal is to offer more Fort steilacoom classes. We started off really small and now we’re just adding more and more classes to our Fort Steilacoom selection.”

     Even if students aren’t taking a photography class, there’s many who enjoy taking photos.

Student Maddison Nieto has been a dancer since she was young and started taking pictures of dancers when she was 14.

“I like taking pictures of breakdancers and people who do ballet and lyrical,” Nieto said.

Nieto likes capturing a photo when a dancer is in the middle of a dance move and  takes pictures when crews meet up and have dance offs.

“I like to take pictures of the different teams and see people doing different moves that I’ve never seen before, and catching them on camera,” Nieto said.

Student Donovan Mann frequently takes photos through Instagram, which he started a few years ago. He mainly likes taking pictures of food and says that when he goes to a restaurant, he’ll takes pictures of the food. He also said he was vegan for a while, so he’d put up recipes and photos of vegan dishes onto Instagram.

“I tried to (spread) awareness (by saying) ‘hey, food can be appetizing and can be healthy at the same time.’ It doesn’t necessarily have to come from a Mcdonald’s or Wendy’s,” Mann said.

Mann says that he wasn’t aiming for followers, but instead posted for self-expression.

“I feel like anybody can capture something through a photo,” Mann said.




The Puyallup Post is the award-winning news media of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2018. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube @thepuyalluppost

Pierce A-Z

by admin time to read: 40 min