Faculty & Staff

Progress | February 2011

February 2011

By Katelynn Christensen

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Every January the New Year brings changes. This year one of those changes here on campus is pastor Tyler Kraft, a class of ’05 graduate of Pacific Union College and recently Andrews University seminary, back to Angwin to serve as the college’s well-travelled, vegan interim chaplain. Tyler felt surprised and excited when he learned that he would step in as chaplain for his alma mater.

It is safe to say that the word “busy” accurately describes Tyler’s undergraduate years. In addition to achieving academically, he worked… a lot. At one point, Tyler concurrently worked five jobs. He held a diverse spectrum of jobs, ranging from work in the advancement office to reading for multiple classes in the religion department and being a resident assistant in Nichol Hall.

One of the highlights of Tyler’s PUC experience “was when I took a year off to do student mission work … I went to Hawaii and taught at the elementary school there,” Tyler shares. “It was an awesome year.”

Travel is among Tyler’s favorite things to do. He has visited 48 of the 50 United States and 61 countries. “My parents just liked to travel and I got to tag along on a lot of [their trips],” he explains. Egypt, Israel and Greece top his list of favorite places.

Tyler made the journey to Egypt and Israel as a child, but still has “a ton of memories.” He says, “[I]t was impressive to walk in the Holy Land and see the different sites from Bible stories. [Being there] made it really come alive.” He felt the same way in Greece—history came to life.

Extensive travel exposed Tyler to a range of ethnic foods and instilled in him a general appreciation for good eats. He has an adventurous appetite and considers Indian, Korean, Philippino and Mexican food the best.

As Tyler grew up, meat proved a staple at his family’s dinner table. He claims that steak was once his culinary specialty. However, times have changed. Last year, when Tyler married Crystal—a fellow student at Andrews University—he chose to adopt her vegan habits.

Indeed, one who is accustomed to a carnivorous lifestyle experiences something new when sitting down to a meal devoid of animal products. It is a good thing that Tyler likes to try new recipes and “discover tasty options.” He assures, “I’ve been building up my vegan cooking skills.”

Tyler cites stir-fry as “the easiest and most basic vegan [meal] to make.” Other dishes he likes are Japanese curry and vegan macaroni and cheese—with cheese made of cashews and pimentos.

Tyler’s current post calls for him to remain at PUC until a permanent chaplain is found. In the meantime, you can contact him with words of advice or encouragement at ext. 7190 or tkraft@puc.edu.

Colleagues & Departments

Last month the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing approved PUC’s program to help new Adventist teachers clear their California teaching credentials. In a letter announcing the approved status, Teri Clark, Acting Director of the Professional Services Division, said, "The Commission and its staff are grateful to Pacific Union College for its commitment to the preparation of professional educators." Faculty in the department will teach, advise, and be part of a mentor team for new teachers employed in SDA schools in the Northern and Central California conferences. Over the winter break, Margo Haskins traveled to South Korea at the invitation of Sahmyook University to help establish an English language program for preschool- and elementary-aged children. The program will be a collaborative effort between PUC’s early childhood education program and the University’s English language school. On Tuesday, Jan 4, Jean Buller co-presented a webinar with Dr. Carol Campbell, associate director of education for the North American Division. Three hundred educators across the U.S., Canada and Australia participated in their presentation on Reading Workshop. Reading Workshop is a innovative method of organizing students to self-select literature, read and conference with the teacher, and engage in conversations about the books they are reading. Research indicates that students using this method improve in reading and writing skills, motivation, critical thinking and performance on standardized tests.

Mei Ann Teo made her major European festival directorial debut, opening the 10th Festival De Liege in Belgium with Lyrics From Lockdown. The show received high acclaim there, and also toured to the Netherlands. Her crew also included PUC alumna Elisabeth Reeves as her stage manager.

Modern Languages
On Sabbath, January 8, Sylvia Rasi Gregorutti preached a sermon – “El contentamiento y su enemiga” – at the St. Helena Spanish Church. Her daughter, Nina, provided a sermon illustration and husband Adrián told the children’s story.

President's Office
Dr. Heather Knight was a featured speaker at the annual meeting of the American Association of Colleges and Universities January 27 in San Francisco. At the networking luncheon for faculty and administrators of color, she presented her topic “Race, Gender, and the College Presidency.”

Public Relations
You have probably heard about film and television student Tim Wolfer’s film Adopting Haiti premiering online to a worldwide audience. What you may not know is that Kerry Chambers, a designer in the public relations office and a musician in his spare time, composed the score for the film. See his credit on imdb.com: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1764164/fullcredits#cast