A Day in the Life
The CNR Peer Advisor Experience
Level 3
Visit the PAL Program Website!
Irene Liao
Genetics and Plant Biology major
Samantha Bell
Microbial Biology major
Jena Riggert
Forestry and Natural Resources major
Dale Dualan
Conservation Resource Studies major
Stephen Kwan
Molecular Environmental Biology major
Kay Jiaqi Yang
Nutritional Sciences - Dietetics major
Tiet Nguyen
Microbial Biology major
Selina Chou
Nutritional Science - Dietetics major
Jenn Jehnsen
Environmental Sciences major
Wendy Chen
Environmental Sciences major
Jessica LeBeau
Environmental Sciences major

April 4, 2007

Why CNR? Why Dietetics?

Thinking back of why I chose to transfer to the Dietetics program in College of Natural Resources (CNR), it has been the right decision in my life. This semester, I can feel much stronger that I am moving on to another stage of my life to pursue my career goal as a dietitian. After these years of upper division courses in the Dietetics program, it has really prepared me to be a well-rounded person. Not only to be a student studying nutrition, but the program has also exposed me to the real world learning how a company is structured, the official statements being used, working with people at different age groups, diverse backgrounds, research experience with wonderful professors, etc. Joining the Peer Advisor Leadership program (PAL) has been another important highlight in my college years!

The wonderful personal attention that I can from my advisors and the Student Resource Center have helped me a lot during all these semesters at Cal. Especially as a transfer student, I have fewer semesters compared to other students entering as a freshman. The resources that I could get from CNR has been a huge contribution to my success at college and a wonderful stepping stone to prepare me entering the real world outside. Being a Lead PAL is a way that I can give back to the college with all the experience that I earned throughout the years. The growing of the PAL program has enriched students’ experience in CNR and finishing their degrees here. It is always good to have a peer to talk to and share what they have gone through. There are also computer labs and study space available at the Student Resource Center.

With all the wonderful faculties, peers, and resources available in CNR, our staffs are still seeking to improve the quality of our services. With all these wonderful qualities in the college, what can I ask for more? Are you also interested in CNR or to learn more about our programs? Please visit our college website http://nature.berkeley.edu/site/index.php or come to 260 Mulford for more information.

March 26, 2007

Spring Break

As a graduating senior, I really treasure my last Spring break! After graduation, I would not know if I will have any more Spring break in the future. I will be going home in San Francisco and get ready for my Dietetic Internship phone interview for Napa State Hospital.

This semester has been a really busy semester for me. In this last semester, I have been working for internship applications, citizenship application, my friend’s wedding, graduation plan, etc. It has been a very efficient semester! The Spring break will be wonderful to take some time off and spend some quality time with my family and friends in San Francisco.

I am going to be prepared for my first phone interview, having some gathering time with my church friends, going out to the beach with my family, and planning for project with my classmate. Even though it is not going to be a month long vacation, it would recharge me for the remaining weeks before I move on to my graduation. I look forward to this break and wish yours will be wonderful!

March 8, 2007

Music & Lyrics—cherish your lyrics and sing your beautiful songs!

Having watched the movie Music and Lyrics lately, I found it relaxing and meaningful. During this stressful time of the semester, it eased my mind and allowed me some time to reflect. The movie is a love story about writing lyrics and songs. It mentioned an idea that every person you meet in life is like a melody and the interaction or the experience is the lyrics of the song. A song would need both to become a song. Even though it was describing love in the movie, it reminded me a lot when I think of every person who I met in my life. Everyone in your life is precious, no matter if that person has given you happiness or pain. I am thankful for each of them.

When I experience joy, I am thankful that the people gave me a wonderful memory and made my day happy. When I got hurt by a person, I learned how to be strong and not giving up. After years and years, there are wonderful songs in my life I can share. These are the things that molded me and shaped me. I am thankful for every person and everything in my life, both good and bad.

I love my music and lyrics in my songs. How about you?

February 10, 2007

My favorite courses

There are a lot of classes that I enjoyed at Cal. For my upper division classes, I would recommend NST 107 and NST 301. The reason I choose to talk about these two classes on my blog is the uniqueness and fun experiences I had from the courses.

NST 107 is a food science class, which is a food lab class. We studied the science of food. We cooked and baked, using different ingredients or cooking method to study the science of how different factors would affect the end product. The most important thing is you got to taste both the good and bad products. It is one of the interesting labs I have ever taken in my college years studying science!

NST 301 is a Nutrition Education class, I got the chance to plan and deliver seven lessons in Nutrition to elementary school in Berkeley School District. It was a really fun experience to have in a dietetics study. It was very memorable and building my confidence in a big group of people and being evaluated by the class teacher.

If you are interested to know more about my favorite courses I have taken at Cal or get to know more about classes in the Dietetics curriculum, you are welcome to talk with me during my office hours at 11-12pm and 3-4pm on Mondays!

January 29, 2007

New Semester!!

Happy Spring 2007! After the count down at Lake Tahoe, I am here excited for Spring semester! I hope everyone is doing well so far! Since I am graduating and this will be my last semester in the PAL program, I hope to meet more of you and get to know you more! I will try my very best to share with you what I know and have experienced!

On the other hand, I am preparing myself to graduate and to apply for dietetic internships. There are a lot of preparation for the application. Different programs require different information. It will keep my Spring semester quite busy. I am sure you all are doing your best for the semester! If there are any concerns, questions, or things you want to talk about; you can come to my office hours on Mon 11-12 and 3-4pm or email me at pal@berkeley.edu! Look forward to talking with you!

Wish you a wonderful Spring!

December 12, 2006

Few more days, keep it on!!

Two more days! Then I am free! I can’t wait until my break starts. Fall semester is ending very soon! I believe everyone studies very hard for the finals. People are planning on what to do after the exams are over. I am going to have a white Christmas this year!

I am going to have a white Christmas at Tahoe this year. My fellowship is going to Lake Tahoe for a four-day-retreat. Around sixty to seventy college students are going. It would be fun! We are going to stay next to the lake. The view will be very beautiful!

I wish everyone has a wonderful Christmas and good luck to all your finals!
See you next semester!

November 29, 2006

When I was just a Little Girl...

When I was young, I did not know what I really want to be when I grow up. I saw people dance, I went to learn Ballet. When I saw people draw, I went to learn painting. When I saw people play the piano, I went to learn the piano. I couldn’t settle down with one thing that I really enjoy doing. But I am glad that I have found my life long interest that I want to have it as my career.

Years later, I was in high school studying science. I loved human physiology. I was always thinking about the relationship between food and human body and what affects weight and body images. I knew I want to work in a hospital. I wanted to share my interest with others and hope to learn more about Nutrition.
Then I worked my way to be Dietetics major at Cal. I cannot imagine time flies really quickly from my first thought of Nutrition to my graduation in coming May. I will move on to a Dietetic Internship to continue to equip myself as a Registered Dietitian.

I am so happy to find what I love to study and there have been so many wonderful memories in pursuing my goal. After getting my Bachelor degree in Dietetics, I will be applying for a year long Dietetic Internship and sit for the Registered Dietitian Exam. I look forward to help myself and others for any nutritional help or counseling as a RD. It will be very meaningful to do what you like! I wish you find the field interests you for a life time. Feel free to talk with me about your interest or more about how I chose my career!

November 13, 2006

There for Me

There for Me

“If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up……Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” a verse from the Bible, Ecclesiastes 4:10-12. I think it is very true when I read it. No matter how strong and independent I am, my friends have given a huge support and they are there for me!

I am thankful for all of my friends in life. My family, my band, my church friends, and friends who I have met on campus very important to me! Every one of them counts! They are like the angels that walking with me together with support and care! We share our joy and tears! We share and celebrate each other’s differences. Whenever I am stressed about school work, worry about things, or in need of support and encouragement. They are there to listen and help me up! Life would be completely different if my friends were not there!

I met a lot of my friends at lecture, and extracurricular activities, such as PAL. I am glad to have met my friends at Cal and in CNR. We understand each other and become close friends after holding meetings, brainstorming ideas, experiencing midterms, presentations, and projects together. We are like soldiers fighting battles together. My dear friends thank you for walking with me and being there for me unconditionally!

I wish every one of you enjoy your friendship and we PAL welcome you to be one of us to help each other grow!

November 2, 2006

My origin

Guess where am I from? I can tell you what other people guesses are: Jimmy thought I am Japanese. Some say I am Korean or Taiwanese. Some say I am mixed. Actually, I do not think it would be that difficult to guess where I am from.

I am from a small city in South East Asia, which is a very well-known city. It is very fast paced, every thing is very concentrated. The city had been an English colony for a hundred years. Students good at history may guess it right. I am from Hong Kong!

Hong Kong is small, but very cosmopolitan. There is a diversity of people in Hong Kong even though the majority of them are Chinese. There are a lot of different cuisines available in Hong Kong. Besides numerous Chinese restaurants, it has restaurants from all over the world. There are a lot of dessert stores, herbal tea stores, etc.

The temples in Hong Kong are one of the characteristics of its own culture. During Lunar New Year, people would usually wish to go and line up at the temple to get in for a better fortune for the year. Tourists from other countries usually go and visit the temples to get the sense of the cultural tradition.

In terms of competition, Hong Kong is a city that keeps every thing very updated, such as computer hardware, cell phones, fashion, and hair styles. When you go to the shopping malls, the trend of fashion, shoes, bags change every month. There are also a lot of local fashion designers showing their production of the season. The vendors of the boutiques go to different whole sale factories to shop every day! People change their cell phones every few months when a new model is available on the market. Supermarkets, grocery stores, and shops are nearly. The public transportation system is so well that you do not really need a car living in Hong Kong. You can easily get from here to there by MTR (rail train), or buses.

Education in Hong Kong is also very competitive; students need to go through a lot of public examination for high school and colleges. There are nearly 10 universities in the city, they offer variety of majors. One of my high school classmates is now studying Chinese Medicine.

For entertainment, movie theaters, Karaoke, indoors activities, beaches, and concert halls are nearly every where. Also, the new Disney Land has just opened last summer.

Hong Kong is a very beautiful city with a lot of wonderful views. There are a lot to explore in this small city. It would be a wonderful option for a study aboard program! If you like to know more about the city, feel free to come and talk with me.

October 31, 2006

My favorite place at Cal

Have been studying at the university for nearly three years, I have passed the well known landmarks of our university every day. However, I have never checked them out. This semester, I finally got the chance to go up to the top of the Campanile! I had a great time up there and I am highly recommend you all should go and visit before you graduate!

The Campanile (“Camp-a-knee-ly”), “bell tower” in Italian, is the most well known building at Berkeley. The tower was completed in 1914 by campus architect John Galen Howard. It is the tallest building on campus soaring 307 feet. The bells ring hourly from 8pm to 10pm. There is music by the University carillonist and other bell ringers at 7:50am, noon, and 6pm everyday, and a longer concert at 2pm every Sunday. The campanile also contains many Paleontology museum’s fossils.

If you are a student, faculty or staff, you can go up the Campanile free with you Cal 1 Card, or a small fee ($2) during open hours. (M-F, 10-5pm; Sat 10-5pm; Su 10-1:30pm and 3-5pm) This semester, it was my first time to ascend the tower with my friend. It is very beautiful up there and all the Bay Area is under your feet! I could see students walking on campus underneath while enjoying the view of the Golden Gate Bridge. The first ring of the bells was slightly loud, and then you would get used to the following bells. Remember to bring your camera with you! I took a lot of pictures and I wish you will enjoy it, too!

Here is a link if you would like to view some of the movies of the tower:

October 17, 2006

Getting Your Midterms Back

"How did you do in your midterm?", "......".

Are you familiar with this situation? Are you the person not knowing how to answer the question? Or you just want to avoid the question? You are not alone. Nearly everyone have this experience in his life. The first round of the midterms is coming back to you. How do you feel towards it? If you did well, congratulations! If not, how do you cope with it?

Evaluate and never give up. Being in a top university is not easy. It does not mean you are not going to success at Cal. In stead, you need to find out what and why you did not do well in the midterm. A reason may be you are not familiar with how the professor tests you the material. May be you were too stressful with work and study at the same time, you did not have enough sleep before the test, or you did not spare enough time preparing for the exam. Do evaluate how you prepared the test and find out the possible factors that affect your performance on your midterms. Never give up and move on to the next step! There are more midterms coming up and try your best to improve your study strategies for the next test.

When you revise your study strategies, are there ways you can improve your studying style to become more effective? You need to think about what methods fit your learning style the best. Studying in groups and having discussion are good for some students, but not all of them. You may want to find a quiet place for your own study without any television or friends distracting you.

If you have work, or a busy schedule, try to arrange your time best for your studying. Best study time also varies depending on the individual. Some people prefer day time while others prefer night time. If you work and do not have enough time to study, you may want to consider reducing either your work load or study load. At CNR, you can reduce your study load (number of units) if you work for 15 hours a week or more. (Note: starting this semester, Fall 2006, 12 units is the unit requirement for classifying a student as a full time financial aid recipient)

Look for resources and help. Besides working on yourself, you may want to utilize more of your GSI, professor’s office hours, your classmates forming study groups. The more you use the material, higher the chance you would understand and remember it. Make the learning fun and interactive through discussions.
Good luck in preparing your next midterm, and wish you will feel confident answering the “How did you do?” question!

October 10, 2006

Coping with Stress

The college life at Cal can be super stressful. Probably we all have gone through our first round of midterms this semester. How stressful was it to you? You might have 3 midterms in a week, which two was on the same day! After that week, some of you might catch a cold.

Second midterms may be coming in a month. It is important to know how we can cope with the stress from school, family, and your social life. To strike a balance among all of these and having a balanced life style, the following points below may help you in addition to the time management.

Having breaks between studying and do not wait until the last minute to study! It is better to plan ahead for studying a bit everyday and not piling up the night before the exam. While you are studying for your class, having breaks would help to relax and memorization. Having a break can also allow your eyes to relax from reading a close distance from the book or your computer screen.

Going for a jog or exercise for 30 minutes a day can help you to clear your mind and stretch your muscle. During exercise, you can relieve your negative energy and better manage your emotions. It can also give your brain a rest and reduce your muscle tension from your studying position! Having physical activity for more than 20 minute a day would help increase the secretion of the hormones, Endorphins, which provides an analgesic (pain relieving) effect and promote a sense of euphoria. Playing badminton and going to the gym are the great ways for me to relieve my stress. I find myself to relax more after exercise!

Forming study groups and sharing the questions and concerns is a great way to reduce your stress! While studying together, you would not feel like you are the only person having the same questions. Also, you can find each other helpful in explaining the material you are dealing with. It makes studying fun at the same time.

I hope these ways would help you to cope with your stress. Start studying regularly and having time for relaxation, and forming your social support can to reduce your stress at Cal!

September 26, 2006

Managing time at Cal

I understand most of us have a busy schedule at Cal. You feel like not having enough rest? not enough time to study? I felt the same way! It is not easy to handle a lot of things, at the same time having a life! I feel the same way when people are saying "You can't have a life at Berkeley!". After years being at Cal, I found it is not impossible to enjoy your college years. If you can well manage your time, you will get the best out of it!

For choosing classes, I would talk with advisors on my schdeule each semester. I would group heavy loaded class with lighter class. I would try planning my schedule so that I can best utilize my time. Talking with the peers in your major for their opinion and find out how the classes are about. It is easier to figure out what combination of classes is the best for you.

Always being at top of things would never let you down! Try to spare enough time before the due dates for assignments or projects. It is always better than catching up in case of anything happens suddenly. I would mark down the due dates for every homework assignment and make sure I finish it days before the deadline.

Learn to say "No" to unnecessary duties. Never overload yourself. This is the hardest thing for me to learn. I used to say "Yes" to every thing other command me. I thought I would be able to finish all the things at one time. I remember one time I cried because I was just too busy to cope with every thing at the same time. It was not because I cannot do it, but there was not enough time and energy to do it. It also made me feel really bad. I would rather not do it, or I will do the best!

At last, not to forget yourself to take rest. Doing one thing in hours straight is not going to work well. So it is all about striking a balance!

September 18, 2006

Life out of the classroom

You may see me in class or during office hours. Do you know what I do outside the classroom? There are a lot of wonderful experiences on and off campus!

Being a dietetics student, I really enjoy my college life on campus. I am a returning PAL this semester; I can know more PAL in different majors. We can share our experience in the college. Joining the S DA also provides me the chance to know more my peers studying the same major. At the same time, participating in professor's research is wonderful experience to me. For example this summer, I went to a summer hot camp with kids to provide them more nutrition information. It is really meaning to me. It is really eye-opening working as a research assistant! There is so much to learn. I face different challenges every time, but it strengthens my problem-solving skills!

What about off campus? I volunteer at a hospital once a week. In that way, I can explore more in a clinical setting. I got opportunities going to floors and giving my care to different patients, for example, children's floor, the elderly floor, nursing floors. They are so happy to see me over there and it means a lot to me when I see them being helped. They would share with me their lives, the mothers of the newborns would show me their babies, the children would show me their games, etc. It is very meaningful and rewarding. Also, I am an officer at my college fellowship. We have fun and support each other every week. I am also a vocalist in my church band and choir. We participate in band festivals and special events. Music is a relaxing tool for me in my busy life at Berkeley! Going to the gym is also a way for me to relax. Exercise also boosts your immune system and makes your heart healthy!

There are a lot of activities which are fun and meaningful to do. They also help your resume! Come to talk with us to find our more extra-curricular activities available either on or off campus!

September 13, 2006

Happy to be a PAL again!

It is so happy to be in CNR, it is like a second home to me! When there is a question, I am sure my advisors are always here for me. They are very supportive and warm. As I have more and more experience in the college, I feel like it is easier to give help to my peers on classes, resources, etc. PAL is such a great opportunity for me to do it and give back to my “home”!

Being as a PAL last semester, I enjoyed talking with students during office hours on their classes, majors, college policies, concerns and expectations from an area of expertise, etc. It was really rewarding when I saw they got the information they needed. PALs worked as a team on planning events and tabling. We experienced team work at the same time while serving together. It was also pleasurable to represent the college and to speak with parents and incoming students about our college and majors on Cal Day or special events. It enriched my experience at Cal at a different level! My college life would be very different if I have never joined PAL. All of these gave me a lot of training to be a better leader and to help others in my career as a dietitian.

I would like to keep promoting our college through out reaching others students and different activities to make CNR a more diverse and beautiful community! This semester, I would like to continue to give and learn as a PAL!

September 4, 2006

It is Whitney, your peer advisor!

Hello everyone!

Welcome back to Cal! This is my last year at CNR studying Dietetics! I enjoy being one of the Peer Advisors since last semester. I love to meet every one of you and share with you more about my experience in the college!

I was a transfer student from CCSF and now I am finishing up my undergraduate degree. I will apply for dietetic internship which prepares me to be a Registered Dietitan, RD! Feel free to come and talk to me about yourself, your major, dietetics, food, or whatever interest you! I am excited to meet every one of you!

Have a nice start of your Fall semester!!