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Parent Newsletter

One of the services New Student and Family Programs offers is a monthly newsletter for the Pacific Parents. If you are not already signed up to receive the Parent Newsletter, then you can click here to fill out the form, and you will be added to the mailing list. 

Matt Tran Currently the Parent and Family Manager for New Student & Family Programs is Matt Tran, and he puts together the monthly newsletter for Pacific parents and families. Matt also writes a monthly column, which can be found below. Matt is a senior Business Administration student at Pacific involved in Greek life, SALT, and Pacific Ambassadors. 

Matt's Memo: A Jump Start to Summer Summer
November 2016
By: Matt Tran

As a senior this year, the end of this school year is a lot more significant than the past 3 years. It will be the start of my life as an independent adult, without the crutch of being a college student. Whether my plans are to find a job or an internship, take a gap year, start graduate school, or something else, graduating college is a scary thought. The best thing I have learned to ease my nerves is to begin preparing my plans early. This can apply to not only graduating seniors, but to all your students. Whether it is securing a summer internship or job, starting the graduate school search, or studying abroad, there are many things non-graduating students can be preparing for. 
Securing a summer internship or job starts now. Students should be making sure to update their resumes and practice their networking and interview skills.The career resource is a great department on campus that can not only help with student's resumes, but also with interview skills, and networking. Pacific has a site called TigerJobs, that students can access through their InsidePacific, that hosts internship and job opportunities. Our Career Resource Center will be hosting a couple of career fairs in March, which are perfect times to find a summer internship!
As a senior who is looking to attend graduate school in the fall, I started my graduate school search during the spring semester of my junior year. Things that I kept in mind during my graduate school search were location, financing options, why I wanted to go to graduate school, and how a master's degree would help me in my career. There are many ways to organize graduate school research, whether it is an excel document, post it notes, a notebook, or even a different word document for each school. During my graduate school research, I relied heavily on my campus mentors in the higher education field, as well as my faculty adviser. They are great resource for your student to reach out to with assistance would be their faculty advisor or campus mentor.
For students who are interested in seeing the world, studying abroad over the summer is a great experience. Pacific has 3 different summer abroad programs: Italy, China, and Guatemala. The application for all 3 programs are March 1st, and students can find the application here. The experience includes excursions, receiving academic units, and more.
I know that the semester has only begun, but spring semester usually flies by quickly!

Matthew Tran


Matt's Memo: Home for the Holidays
November 2016
By: Matt Tran

October was quite the month for students here at Pacific. Typically, many students have midterms, group projects, presentations, events like Homecoming, registration for classes, and more. It can all be a bit overwhelming, but we have the holidays to look forward to as a nice break from school. There are some things to consider to make the holidays go smoothly, such as transportation, whether your student is going home or not.
Transportation can be a stressful part of the holidays. Trying to figure out how you are getting home and back to campus, and when you should leave and return for the break. Currently we have Thanksgiving break coming up this month, as well as our winter break in December and January. The campus will be open throughout Thanksgiving break. Some students do stay on campus during this break since it is short and close to winter break. Sometimes, students who stay on campus spend Thanksgiving with friends and/ or their friends' families who live nearby. We also have a Thanksgiving dinner on campus for students to spend time with some of our staff and other students. We will also be having a women's basketball Tiger Turkey Tip-Off Tournament during the break for students to cheer on and support our basketball team. For winter break, students will have to make travel plans. The residence halls will be closed after finals week and will not be open until Saturday, January 14th.
If your student from out of state or without a car is leaving for break, there are some different ways they can get home. Stockton is conveniently located by an Amtrak station that can get your student to Southern California, a BART station, and many other places. We are also approximately 1 hour away from the Sacramento Airport (SMF) and, 1.5 hours away from the San Francisco Airport. (SFO), Oakland Airport (OAK), and San Jose Airport (SJC). There are a few shuttle services that can get your student from campus to the airport. Another option students have is to carpool home with friends that are from the same city, or live near the airport. Many students also post on their "Class of" Facebook group to find other students to carpool with to their destination. I know I have had friends give me a ride home and back to school from Sacramento a handful of times when I did not have a car. When I had a car, I often drove friends to the Sacramento Airport. There are plenty of different options for your student to find their way home.
I hope there were some useful tips and reminders for you this month. Traveling can sometimes be stressful, especially on top of everything we are doing in school. Having our family reach out to us, either reminding us about making travel plans or aiding us in creating them can really help us. I hope all your students' travel plans go smoothly, and that you get to spend some quality time with your students!
Matthew Tran


Matt's Memo: Managing Student Stress and Communication
October 2016
By: Matt Tran

We are now a 1/3 of the way done with our fall semester here at Pacific. Time goes by quickly. Many of our students are right in the middle of midterm season, working on group projects, have papers due, and more with their extra-curricular activities.
October can be a stressful time for students. For myself, I often forget to contact my family when I have a lot to do and get stressed. Having long phone calls with them made me more stressed at times, especially when I am running around doing a million things at once. Communicating with them was difficult, but it was nice to know they were thinking about me. My family and I have learned to schedule our phone calls if they lasted more than 15 minutes, such as once a week at a certain time. I also occasionally receive SnapChat videos or text message videos of my baby nieces from my sister which help to brighten up my day. Small things, whether it be a video or small message that shows us that our family is thinking of us, can really help when we have a lot to do and might not be able to have a proper conversation.
At Pacific, we also have many resources for your students to utilize. If your student is feeling stressed, they can make an appointment with our Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) department. As a Pacific student, we receive 10 free counseling sessions a semester. Whether it's about roommate conflicts or about managing their time and stress, CAPS is a great resource to utilize.
We also have our Multicultural Center, which houses our African, Latinx, Asian, and Native American (ALANA) center, Women's Resource Center, and Pride Resource Center. It is located on the first floor of the McCaffrey Center. It is a great space to study, hold meetings, make new friends, and learn new things in the company of inclusive and diverse people.
If your student is struggling in their classes, they can stop by the General Academic Tutoring Center. It is a free tutoring service for Pacific students. They hire Pacific students who have taken the course and received a B+ or higher to tutor students that come to them for academic assistance. 
We have so many different resources here at Pacific to support you and your students. Communication is an integral part of relationships in college, whether it is you and your student, your student and their advisors, or even you with the university. Remember that if you ever have any concerns about your student, you can reach out to New Student & Family Programs. 
Matthew Tran

Matt's Memo: Get Involved!
September 2016
By: Matt Tran

My name is Matthew Tran, and I am your student Parent and Family Manager for the 2016-2017 school year. I am entering into my senior year here at Pacific as a Business Administration major with a concentration in Human Resources and Management. Some of my favorite experiences working as a Pacific Ambassador have been when I helped and interacted with families during orientation. I am truly ecstatic to have the opportunity to work even more closely with parents and families this school year!
The start of school is an exciting time of the year. Whether it was your first time or last time that you sent your student to college, each school year is filled with an abundance of new experiences and opportunities. College is an opportune time for students and parents to get out of their comfort zone and try new things.
As a student, one thing that makes Pacific so great is how easy it is to get involved. We have a multitude of opportunities for students to be an active member of the Pacific community, whether it is through an on-campus job, club, organization, or doing research. Last week, we had our On-Campus Job Fair hosted by the Career Resource Center (CRC). If your student missed the job fair, they can still check TigerJobs for on-campus job openings and visit the CRC for assistance with Career Wellness
We also have over 130 clubs and organizations for your student to join as well! Our Student Involvement Fair, on September 14th, is a great time for your student to meet all the clubs we have. If your student happens to not find a club that captures their interest, they can always start up their own club through ASuop, our student government. Our Meet & GrΣΣk event is on September 7th if your student is interested in professional or social Greek Life.
New and exciting experiences during the school year are not only for students though. There are plenty of opportunities for parents and families to get involved with the Pacific community as well! One way is by attendingParent and Family Weekend at Homecoming, on October 14th - 16th.  Take a look at our schedule of events to see what parts of Parent and Family Weekend at Homecoming you would like to attend! This is a great time for you all to visit your students and see what they have been getting involved with on campus. It is also a perfect way to get more acquainted with the university and to meet other Pacific parents and families. Register for Parent and Family Weekend now while there is still the early bird registration price!
As a Pacific parent or family, you can also get involved in our Pacific Parent Association Board (PPA). The PPA assists the university by sponsoring activities that will provide parents and families with an opportunity to become more familiar with Pacific's administrators, faculty, students, alumni, and other parents and families. They also volunteer at events such as parent orientations, preview & profile days, and Parent and Family Weekend at Homecoming, where they are able to provide a parent/ family perspective. If you are interested in being involved with the Pacific Parent Association Board, please e-mail 
This is a wonderful time of the year. I hope that both you and your student take advantage of the opportunities to make the most of your student's Pacific experience. So make sure to get involved!
Matthew Tran

Matt Tran Teryn Stewart was the Parent and Family Manager for New Student & Family Programs during the 2015-2016 school year, and she put together the monthly newsletter for Pacific parents and families. Teryn was a junior Speech Language Pathology student at Pacific involved in Greek life and Pacific Ambassadors. 

As Told By Teryn: Coming to a Close

April 2016

by Teryn Stewart

At this point in the school year, midterm exams are over and we, as students, are eagerly awaiting the end of the semester. We have gotten through most of the year without a problem, and probably had a lot of fun over spring break too! Currently, we are excited and stressed about the rapidly approaching finals week and the plans we have (yet to make) for this summer, but parents are most likely experiencing the same emotions for different reasons, such as us students coming home and how we will navigate the parent-student relationship for three whole months. I know I have talked about the parent-student relationship before, and key talking points, but the factor I really want to drive home is conversation at the adult level. We all have probably noticed that technology has taken over in the past few years; however, when we are home, we want to communicate on your level. Most of us do not want 'selfies' in front of important landmarks, or even at home, but we do want to have meaningful and insightful conversations about how our world is changing as we mature.
   ·      DO: Schedule a time to spend with us, your students, and become friends with the independent adults we are becoming.
·      DON'T: Assume we have not changed in the past year.   
We as young adults are in a state of constant change. Our taste in music, our plans for the future, even our friends are never set in stone. Though it can be happy to have us home, be prepared that this summer may be vastly different from any other summer break, even for upperclassmen! The most important piece of advice I can give is to not expect our attendance at events you have planned, without asking us first. If you are anything like my mom, your summer is already packed with family vacations and events that you are so excited to attend, but we as students may have a schedule of our own that we are equally as excited about.            
Do not get me wrong, we are very thankful that you do include us in your plans and that you love us enough to consider us, but sometimes our plans are simply more important.  As a student, I can assure you that my need to get an internship this summer, which will help me get into graduate school, is necessary. Students are reminded daily by professors and mentors that graduate school and applying for jobs is extremely competitive, and that we need to be proactive. Summer break is often the only time we can do field work or research during the year, as that is the only time we are not actively studying for a class. It is nothing against our parents, but school, even during summer, comes first.            
However, what if your student does not get a job and still does not want to join in the plans you have made? I am not one to judge in that situation as I usually do hang out with my parents when nothing else is going on, but I am willing to bet that your student has done a fairly good job taking care of him or herself for the past nine months, and can do so for three more. Just because your student does not want to attend a seemingly overwhelming family event, does not mean that they do not want to spend meaningful time with you! Remember, we appreciate the home cooked meals and quality time, but we will not be home much longer, and trust me that thought scares us more than it scares you.
Love us, cherish us and let us try to become independent adults before we truly have to be, and have a relaxing summer! 

As Told By Teryn: Talking Points
February 2016
by Teryn Stewart

It still surprises me how quickly a semester flies by. Freshman year seems like yesterday, but I have learned so much since then! I understand I am only a Junior and still l have a lifetime of knowledge to collect, but I feel the need to share and emphasize what has helped me be more successful in my short college years, and the talking points to go along with those crucial learning experiences.
For parents of freshmen, after the first semester of college, many students have a much better idea of what they want to do professionally. Either your student loved the classes for their major, or they loved that one random General Education requirement and now want to switch majors! First semester brings so many "Ah-ha!" moments, so be sure to talk to your student about the future and what his or her options are in the coming months. If your student needs a few more semesters to decide what his or her major should be, that is also normal and ok! It is a huge decision to make, and one they do not want to regret, so give your student time to reflect on classes and possible career paths.
Returning students and upperclassmen are also now taking mostly major-based classes, which I will say is very overwhelming and stressful. At this point in college, juniors and seniors have reached the point of no return when it comes to graduating on time with our chosen major, so parents, ask your students if they are still happy with their intended career path. I know I am constantly stressed out about Graduate School and finding a job, so I am sure other students are too. Offer personal advice and stories, but be sure not to lecture your students, they already have received more than a semesters worth of those!
Asking about school is a good initial talking point, but from there what are other helpful conversation starters? Well, with college come many opportunities. One in five students at Pacific are involved in Greek Life, which include the Panhellenic Council, Interfraternity Council, Multicultural Greek Council and Professional Fraternities. Students are able to join one Professional and Social Greek organization, so if your student is not currently involved in both, ask if they have considered it. Pacific is a small school, so getting involved on campus helps students feel even more at home and connected with other students on a deeper level! Personally, I can tell you that going greek was one of my best decisions of college!
Another great way to get involved at pacific is to get an on-campus job! Ask your student if they are interested in making money, and expect yes to be the answer. Then talk to your student about the benefits of having an on campus job. I can tell you that I would much rather be employed by Pacific than any off campus facility, because Pacific understands that we are students first and that our education is our top priority. Students can also be employed with work-study if they qualify!
Has your student looked into any internships or jobs for the summer? Spring semester will fly by even faster than fall semester did, so ask your student if they want to get a summer internship or job. It is much easier to research companies and start applying for jobs before the semester picks up. If your student is considering graduate school, volunteer work and internships are great ways to get much needed work experience, which schools expect students to have. Pacific has an amazing Career Resource Center that can helps students with finding internships, as well resume help and interview practice!
To top it off, my most influential months of college were those that I was not in the country. Has your student considered studying abroad? Study abroad opportunities are available in most countries around the world, and there is no better way to learn about culture and history than from first hand experience. Encourage your student to travel and see the world while it is paid through tuition!
If you have other great conversation points, be sure to share those with other parents in the University of the Pacific Parents Facebook page! Let us make this semester a great one, and encourage your students to get involved!

As Told By Teryn: Holiday Transportation
November 2015
By: Teryn Stewart

It is almost Thanksgiving, which means it is time to make plans to head home for the holidays! Planning to go home can be stressful; depending on how far from Pacific you live, so here are a few suggestions on how to make your student's travels a little easier.
First of all, you need to know when our Thanksgiving break is! Classes are not held from Wednesday the 25th through Friday the 27th, but professors occasionally will cancel class for the week knowing that students are excited to go home. The key word there is occasionally, because professors also tend to give a quiz or exam that week before we leave, so be sure the check in with your student regarding their schedule. Also, if you are reserving a seat on a plane, train, or bus, make sure you give your student plenty of time to guarantee he or she will be in that seat. 
There are many ways to travel out of Stockton, but some are definitely easier than others. I have found that the most convenient way is to drive, but I also understand that not everyone has a car on campus; however, at least one person in anybody's friend group probably does have a car. Your student should find a friend heading in the same direction as them and load up! Road trips with friends make some of the best college memories, so encourage your student to take advantage of the open road (well maybe not that open with holiday traffic) and have their playlist ready! Carpooling is both environmentally friendly and can save your student money by splitting the cost of gas. Pacific students use a facebook page to post about finding a roommate or selling textbooks, so also encourage your student to post and offer a seat in their car if they are driving a long distance to help out any other students!
Another great way to travel is by sky. Pacific engineers have not yet figured out the aerodynamics of human flight, so a plane ticket is the best option! The closest airports to Pacific are SMF in Sacramento, OAK in Oakland, SFO in South San Francisco, and SJC in San Jose. Once your student has booked his or her flight, be sure they figure out how to get to that airport. If carpooling is not ideal, another option is Bay Area Public Transit, known as BART, which your student can catch in Pleasanton. Pleasanton is roughly an hour drive from campus, and then it will be at least another hour by BART to get to either OAK or SFO. SJC and SMF are accessible by Lyft or Uber, but the prices for transportation vary and can be found online. A number of airport shuttle options are also available and information regarding those can be found on the Pacific website under "Trasportation." If your student prefers to keep his or her feet on the ground, there is also an Amtrak station in Stockton just 15 minutes from campus! From there your student can go almost anywhere in the US, and if that is not enough we also have a Greyhound bus stop a half hour from campus. The opportunities to travel are endless!            
If none of these transportation options work out, your student can meet the families of his or her college friends and head to someone else's Thanksgiving dinner, which could make for fun memories and stories in the future. And, as we all know, Pacific is an amazing community that understands not all students are able to leave campus every holiday. For your students that are planning to stay on campus, have no fear! Pacific sets up its own thanksgiving dinner that your student can attend. There are many options to consider, and now is the time to ask your student what he or she would like to do and work out all the details. While you are at it, talk about your student's Winter Break travels now too before seats fill up, and have a Happy Thanksgiving! :)

As Told By Teryn: Communication
October 2015 
by Teryn Stewart

As a parent or family member of a RETURNING college student, you probably have already discovered that keeping in touch with your student is not nearly as easy as it was before college. It makes sense, considering your student may not be living at home anymore, but even if they are living at home, they now have an incredibly busy academic and social calendar. Is it still possible to rekindle communication and keep in touch on a regular basis?

For parents and family members of a NEW college student, you may now be realizing that your student does not answer your phone calls or return texts as quickly as before, if at all. Do not worry! The transition to college is one of the biggest experiences your student has gone though, so it makes sense that your student is trying to navigate how to be independent - independent of his or her parents and families.  

As a junior at Pacific, I have gone through the emotions of that initial separation - when my mom finally left after helping move me in, and my roommate and Ilooked at each other like, "now what?" I will admit I was terrible with communication for the first year; my parents and I had monthly phone calls and the occasional weekly text, but the good news is that it slowly progressed. I know nothing about psychology, but if I had to look back and figure out why I wanted such distance from my parents, I would say it was because I was trying to discover who I really was. The funny thing about that is I have never changed; I was really just trying to like the person I had always been. The first year of college definitely kick started the self-discovery process, but it was not until I moved across the world that I completed the process. 
I did not realize how much I needed and relied on my parents, even in the times we had not talked often, until I moved to Europe. When I decided to study abroad, I went from the weekly conversation to daily conversations overnight. Literally, overnight. I was alone in a new country and busy city, surrounded by a language I did not speak, and all the confidence I had built up went out the door. From 10 hours away (well, roughly 30 if you count layovers and total travel time), my parents helped me get back on my feet and become a world traveler the same way they had sent me to college - by letting me know that everything will work out in the end and that even from a distance, I'll always have them. The point I am trying to make is, the more distance and decision-making responsibility you give your student, the more they will realize that they still need a mentor, and luckily that is you, parents and familes! College friends are great, but having somebody who has been around the block (cough cough, parents or families), is a valuable asset that we sometimes do not realize we still need.  
How I rekindled communication with my parents will not necessarily work for all students, and that is perfectly fine. The important fact is that parents and family members should let their students try to become independent adults before insisting on a loving, long conversation in the middle of a chaotic, college life. Recognizing and accepting that your student is becoming an adult is the first step, but now you are faced with trying to treat them as both a child (which we are at times) and an adult (which we also see ourselves as), which is not easy for either of us! How can you help both their and your transition, specifically regarding communication? Here are a few conversation starter suggestions:  
Step 1: Email them. Students are expected to check their student email every day, so if you send your student a quick note they are probably going to see it! Emails do not need to be formal, as we usually perceive them to be, but can be anything from, "I hope your day is going well. Love you." to "I transferred money into your account." I will say as college students, we prefer the latter email suggestion.   
Step 2: Text them. I do not mean text them every day, maybe not even every week. I know you miss your students and they probably miss you too, but unless you are asking a question, do not get your hopes up for a rapid response back. If I am being honest, you know that we have our phone in our hands 95% of the time; however, as students, we prefer what is tangible and immediately available to us - being at school that includes textbooks, the gym, friends, Netflix or other time passing activities, and sadly not always our family, that is anywhere from an hour to a few days away. Even students that commute from home have college lives, so some physical and emotional separation from them is equally expected. Disclaimer: This is not always the case as some students are significantly better at keeping in touch than others.  
Step 3: Care packages. Speaking of what is tangible, a care package will definitely get you a response. If you have the time and resources to send one, a few suggestions would be their favorite foods, homemade goodies (like brownies - thanks mom), clothes they left at home, an amazon gift card, and maybe even school supplies, since we are full time students here. If a care package is not an option for you, a card will do the trick just as easily. Snail mail shows that you care and miss your students, more than reaching out over electronics ever will.  
Step 4: Call them. In this day and age, phone calls seem to be for emergencies only. If you immediately need to get in contact with your student, send a text first to see if they are available at the moment, and then call. Your student will probably not answer the call (do not take it personally), so leave a voicemail. After your student has listened to your voicemail, they will probably text you back rather than calling you back. I apologize on behalf of our generation, but most of us just do not use phones as an actual phone anymore. 
As a parent or family member of a returning student, you have probably tried a few, if not all of these options, and as a parent or family member of a new student, you have a few years to get creative with your long distance parent/family-child-adult relationship. If none of those four options get you a text back, a singing and dancing telegram will do the trick as a last resort! I am only joking, but hopefully you now have a little more insight into the mind of a college student. Remember, even if communication has digressed slightly during the first year of college, it just means that there is more room for improvement! 

We'd love to hear from you! If you have any questions or would like to provide suggestions on how we can better meet your needs, as a parent and family member, please contact us at: 209-946-7619 or email

Linda Dempsey, Director
New Student & Family Programs