Faculty & Staff

Progress | January 2009

January 2009

By Lainey S. Cronk, Public Relations

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When Eneida Dena moved with her husband and two children to La Paz, Bolivia, the 12,000-foot elevation made her nauseated. It wasn't so bad during the day (and didn't bother the rest of her family), but it bothered her almost every night -- except when she got pregnant. Then she wasn't nauseated!

Keeping warm was another challenge: "There was no heat in the church, in the car, in the house. We always had to look for ways to keep warm." But, she recalls, "We got used to it." And after all, they loved the people. "You just learn to love people... They need so much, their lives are so hard and complicated, that you just learn to love them and see what you can do to help them."

After five years in Bolivia (and now with three children), the Denas spent seven years in Peru, where her husband taught at what was then Inca Union College. There, Eneda had their fourth child, was in charge of getting guests settled, and worked in the little store. She loves cooking, so she started making gluten hamburgers in the store. Eventually she got permission to turn an available space into a little restaurant. They served all three meals, got a pizza oven, and had a cook come in to make lunch items. "We went on a mission trip not long ago to Peru," Aneida says, "and the restaurant has been fixed and it's an actual restaurant now!"

Less enjoyable was having armed guards around. The Shining Path was a group terrorizing Peru, and they would target electricity towers on the mountains above the campus. Every afternoon about an hour and a half before sundown, government troops would come in to protect those towers from being blown up. Often towers in other areas would be blown up, leaving the campus without water and electricity.

After the Denas moved back to the U.S., they learned from friends that one of their students in Peru had belonged to the Shining Path. "He was one of my husband's theology students and he lived close to us, so he was close to our family. It was told to someone that it was his job to abduct children and ask for ransom. And our oldest daughter, they said, was on his list."

But they didn't know this until later. "We weren't in fear," Eneida says, but admits, "by the time we came home it was kinda nice to not worry about whether you were going to have water or electricity!"

Eneida still loves cooking and does some catering. One of her dishes that's a favorite is "arroz con gandules," or rice with chickpeas, a Puerto Rican dish. And a couple years ago, she was asked to cook for 1,200 people at a convention! "That," she says, "was an adventure!"

Eneida is a student loans and collection officer. She has worked at PUC for 18 years (17 at the bookstore). Her husband, Richard, is the Hispanic Ministries coordinator for the Central California Conference.

Department Happenings

Youth pastor Jon Thornton took a group to Egypt during Christmas break to do Vacation Bible Schools and visit some cool sites. Jonny Halversen, Grainger dean, and Scott Callender, enrollment & marketing, went with the group as well. Also, worship and outreach pastor Jessica Shine has been called to serve as pastor of the Tracy Adventist Church. She'll transition March 1.

Over Thanksgiving break, Tom Lee made two presentations at the 11th Triennial California Association of Private Schools and Organizations convention in Long Beach. His presentations were about living your alter ego through research experiences for K-12 teachers. "We then made models of hydrothermal vent organisms and practiced other marine science-related teaching activities developed by teachers who had participated in oceanographic research. Fun!!"

On December 5, Mei Ann Teo taught a directing workshop for Berkeley Repertory Theatre's education program.

In October and November, Rachelle Davis and the rest of the Claret Quartet performed at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts, PUC, Mills College (Oakland), and the Crowden Music Center (Berkeley). In December, she played with the Napa Valley Symphony Orchestra as part of the string section for Chuck Mangione's concert at Lincoln Theater.

Vola Andrianarijaona spent Thanksgiving Break at the Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL) in Tennessee. This first trip in his two-year research with ORNL was mainly to establish collaboration. Also, a PUC physics student will become the co-author of a peer-reviewed journal as part of this collaboration.

Visual Arts
In November, Ross Winkle gave a presentation entitled "Creation and Tabernacle, Sabbath and Glory" for the "Sabbath in Text, Tradition, and Theology" consultation at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in Boston. Dr. Baruch Schwartz from Hebrew University, Israel, presented a formal response to Ross's paper.