PNC Alumni’s Favorite Memories at PNC

Favorite PNC Stories

Thank you to all alumni who sent us your favorite memories while you attended PNC.  Here are some of the stories submitted:

Laura Kent Miller:  I have so many great memories from my time at PNC, it’s tough to pick just one! Here goes….I was a non traditional student sitting in a geometry class, my first one since deciding to go back to school (with Dr. Feikes). I was so scared, had no idea it was going to be geometry. And then Dr. Feikes starts the class with a reference from one of my favorite films- Shawshank Redemption. Next the very young gal in front of me took the time to say hello….and I knew I had made a great choice in PNC.

Mark Zimmerman:  Listening to great lectures from my business instructor, Ray Bobillo, as he sat perched on top of his desk with his legs crossed!

Virginia Jones:  Being a part of SEA was great. I have many fond memories of going to school at PNC.

Rachael Sarson:  I have many fond memories at PNC. PNC gave me a great education, however PNC also gave me three best friends. My first day on campus, freshman year – I was in the School of Business Learning Community. That day, I met my three best friends. I didn’t know it then, but now almost 5 years after graduation (ek! Where does time go!) these three people are still in my life and have made it better for 5 years. We starting as young, scared freshman, studied together, laughed together, grew up together. We all made it graduation, together. Now we  have been for each other, through careers, marriages and babies! I am so lucky to have had a wonderful education and a place to foster three life-long friendships.

Katie Eaton:  My most memorable experience at PNC would have to be when I was asked to be a tutor in the Writing Center. It was the first time that I felt someone else pinpointed a strength I had and thought I was valuable enough to share that strength with others. Later, I became the Student Director of the Writing Center and I believe that experience helped mold me into the leader I am today. Being a tutor was very rewarding and one of my favorite things about my time at PNC.

Deb Nielsen:  During my time as a student at PNC, I took several courses from Professor John Stanfield of the English Department. You might say I was a “Stanfield Groupie!”

At that time, we had only the Education Building (now Schwarz Hall) and the vending room was room 40 (now Enrollment Management). There was no food service available to students so you either ate from the machines or you brought your lunch. In December of 1974, several of the “groupies” were graduating and were taking their last English course in American Lit taught by Professor Stanfield. Throughout the semester Stanfield complained bitterly about the lack of dining facilities on campus, so the “Stanfield Groupies” decided to do something about it.

We brought in tablecloths, napkins, candelabras and candles, good china and flatware, stemmed goblets, etc. We held a lavish feast in front everyone in the room. One of the gals in our class was an accomplished cook and made a Spanish dish called Paella. We served soft drinks and iced tea in the goblets, had a salad and a fancy dessert. Everyone that was in the vending room was envious of our elegant feast complete with lighted candelabras!

To top it off, we gave Stanfield a caftan that we had made. Now Professor Stanfield was short and wide and so was his caftan. I wish I had a picture of him in it to share. He modeled it in front of everyone in the room. We all had a wonderful time and Stanfield talked about that for years afterward.  

If you would like to share a story, please email it to Marie Foster at

Tiffany Bley ’09

Tiffany Bley

Purdue University North Central alumna Tiffany Bley earned her Bachelor’s degree in Communication degree in 2009. Since the day she graduated, she’s worked hard to build a successful career.

Today she is the downtown director for the city of LaPorte and is responsible for the promotion and revitalization of downtown LaPorte. She serves as the main contact for the downtown businesses and property owners for needs such as grant acquisition, promotion and event coordination.

This is part of a partnership between the LaPorte Chamber of Commerce, the city of LaPorte, the Urban Enterprise Zone, the Greater LaPorte Economic Development Corporation, LaPorte Economic Advancement Foundation and the LaPorte County Convention & Visitors Bureau.

At the same time, she’s taken on the responsibility of executive director of Michigan City Mainstreet Association as an independent contractor. In that capacity, she’s busy with fund raising, working with various committees and promoting the Uptown Arts District.

Back when Bley, a Chesterton native, was still a PNC student, she began laying the foundation for her career. She carefully selected classes that she knew would expose her to the essentials she needed for her career and sought internships and opportunities for hands-on experience. She was selected as an intern for the Indiana State Senate and served an internship with the Northwest Indiana Forum.

She believes that her internships and her Purdue North Central education with prepare her well for her career.

“I feel my PNC courses in the Communication Department did help me,” she said. “I thank my professor Carrie Higgins for introducing me to the “PR Guide” which I use almost every day.”

As a PNC student she aided in the development of a 30-minute presentation for a group of Michigan City first graders to explain the concept of Patience as part of her Advanced Presentational Speaking class.

She was part of a group project in an Introduction to Public Relations class that worked on a project that benefited the Christian Community Action group, which aids Porter County residents in ending homelessness.

She was involved in French Club too.

Her current jobs give her ample opportunity to purse her passions, “I also enjoy working with our area’s professionals – we have the best around – and I like helping to create and build programs I feel are such a crucial part of an organization.”

Her skills, knowledge and enthusiasm for her profession have been key to helping her accomplish so much in the few years since her commencement.

“I’ve managed my career by being true to myself and understanding where I want to be,” she said. “My biggest thing in working in the communication field is writing and communicating a message that you love. I love the economic development field and what it hopes to accomplish, so I really enjoy working with these professionals.”

In the meantime away from the office, she donates her time in the community and is a long-time volunteer with Rebuilding Together Duneland.

Someday, she may return to school to pursue her master’s degree. And she may also get involved with an active advocacy nonprofit like PETA.

When asked, she is willing to share her advice and insights with current students and others who are beginning to plan their career path.

Without hesitation she advises, “Internships, paid or not, are the most valuable thing you can do in, before and after school.”

“Be patient,” she adds. “If it’s meant to be and you know your abilities, it will come. Also, network and stay connected to those who inspire you.”