Alex Heldrich, Reporter
Michael Peluso has been working at Pierce College Puyallup for almost 15 years but some students may not even know his name. Peluso works in the advising department as an educational adviser and also teaches COLLG110. His job as an educational adviser is to help students who didn’t finish high school get a diploma through Pierce.
“This is my retirement job,” Peluso said. “I was a vice principal at Kent-Meridian High School. I started advising in January 2001, and I’ve been here ever since doing whatever they’ve asked me to do.”
Peluso has worked in regular advising, business advising, evaluations and as admissions director for the nursing program.
Peluso’s job at the Puyallup campus is part-time.
“Basically fall and winter is when I’m here,” Peluso said, “and then in spring and summer, I primarily work at golf tournaments nationwide as a rules referee.”
Peluso has refereed at tournaments such as the National Collegiate Athletic Association National Championships, the U.S. Senior Open, the U.S. Junior Amature Championships and the U.S. Four-Ball Championships as well as other collegiate and local junior events. His goal is to referee at the U.S. Open.
“It’s really, really fun,” Peluso said. “I get to travel all over the United States and see a lot of beautiful golf courses and work with a lot of really cool people.”
About five years ago on a golf trip to the southern United States, he had a run-in with a group of alligators.
“I was surprised at all of the alligators that were all over the golf courses and I was surprised at how I wasn’t afraid of them,” Peluso said. “I had no problem going right up alongside them and taking pictures.”
Peluso’s traveled all over the world through both golf tournaments and his own personal desire, but he’s never refereed outside America. He said there’s nowhere he’s gone that he didn’t like.
“I really like far-out, remote places,” Peluso said. “I’m not a great big fan of traveling to big cities. I’d much rather view the little out-of-the-way towns and freeways that have been left behind.”
Whenever he has the opportunity, Peluso said he’ll drive to his destination, staying off freeways and taking time driving on back roads.
On the way back to Washington from a golf tournament in Houston, Texas, instead of driving on the freeways, he drove on the back roads, making the trip last six days.
“I love back roading and seeing what’s there,” Peluso said. “With freeways nowadays, we’ve missed a lot of that.”
According to Peluso, some of his favorite places are the Isle of Skye in Scotland, the British Isles, northern Canada, the southwest United States and the Alps in Switzerland, where he and his wife got married.
Places on his bucket list to visit are Iceland, Norway, and New Zealand, where he plans to travel with his wife in two years.
“I just love experiencing other places and other cultures and something different than where we are,” Peluso said. “I just enjoy going anywhere and experiencing the people, the food and the landscape.”
Not only is Peluso an avid traveler and referee for golf tournaments nationwide. He also creates crossword puzzles.
“I love sitting at Starbucks and drinking my tea while creating or solving crossword puzzles,” Peluso said.
Peluso has 60 crossword puzzles published, some of which have been featured in the Los Angeles Times, U.S.A. Today, Games Magazine and the Chronicle of Higher Education. One of his crossword puzzles is about to be published in the Wall Street Journal. His goal is to one day have a crossword puzzle of his published in the New York Times.
At his church, Peluso is the coordinator of music. His job is to ensure that the musicians have their music and that they’re in place. Sometimes he gets to fill in for the bass player at his church.
“I can enjoy anything in life. There’s not much that bores me,” Peluso said. “In fact, I don’t even know what it means to be bored.”
Peluso said he enjoys working at Pierce and plans to continue teaching COLLG110 as long as he can until he goes senile.
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