2005

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Spotlight on the End of the World

By Lainey S. Cronk on December 6, 2005

Live piano music floats over the audience’s heads. The spotlight floods the stage, and a redheaded maid in chic black and white appears to exclaim, “Here it is the middle of August and the coldest day of the year. It’s simply freezing; the dogs are sticking to the sidewalks; can anybody explain that?” Thornton Wilder’s “The Skin of Our Teeth” is PUC’s latest stage production; and though it is showing on a small, somewhat unremarkable stage, its array of comic wit and incisively thought-provoking questions transcends the venue to move and delight audiences. “The Skin of Our Teeth” sports some of the same cast and directing team that produced last spring’s “Fiddler on the Roof” at Lincoln Theater. Students Cammie Wheeler, Tim Wolcott, and Rachel Reeves capably take on the leading roles, while other students and faculty play characters that range from a mammoth to a bingo parlor manager. The production is under the expert direction of San Francisco-based director and PUC Resident Artist Mei Ann Teo and dancer and choreographer Casey Delaney. While this production of Wilder’s play keeps viewers laughing and engaged, it also delivers a bundle of powerful and timely messages about humanity and hope; it sends...

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The Holiday Halls

By Lainey S. Cronk on December 4, 2005

Sunday evening, December 3, brought an influx of cookies, guests, and music to the women’s residence halls at the annual Christmas open house. Swags and baubles were rampant throughout the dorms, as girls opened their spiffed-up abodes for friends and strangers to survey. The women’s dorm open house is traditionally one of the most festive occasions of the season on the PUC campus, with resplendent parlors and foyers and many girls banding together to decorate their halls. Hot drinks and decadent treats are provided by each dorm, and all visitors are welcome to mingle and ramble through the halls. The gentlemen of the campus are particularly appreciative of the opportunity to observe the ladies’ excellent decorating techniques, and to enjoy their company in such a cheery holiday setting....

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Keeping In Touch

By Lainey S. Cronk on November 25, 2005

PUC President Richard Osborn has been elected to serve as the vice chair of the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities (AICCU), a Sacramento-based association that represents non-profit, independent higher education in the state. Osborn’s vice chair position will eventually progress to the role of chair of the association, which represents 77 institutions with the state and federal government. Members of the AICCU range in size from Stanford and USC to smaller institutions like PUC. Osborn has experienced the positive networking opportunities that a willingness to be involved can bring to the Adventist educational system, and believes in cultivating these opportunities. "From the time I first began teaching elementary school,” explains Osborn, “I have felt an obligation to give back to my profession and to learn from others by being active in professional organizations. This helps break down barriers we create and helps others understand our church better.”...

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Memorial Scholarship for Local Nurse Gives Young Mom Hope

By Lynn McDowell on November 14, 2005

At a luncheon on Friday, November 11, Pacific Union College nursing student Jennie Oldenkamp received a $2,000 award as the first recipient of the Hilary Blount RN Scholarship. Hilary Blount Gregory was a registered nurse who lived in the Napa Valley, worked at St. Helena Hospital, and graduated from PUC in 2000. Blount Gregory passed away in a car crash on Silverado Trail on July 4. The scholarship was established by United Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota, where Gary Blount (Hilary’s father) is a physician. Colleagues and administration of the hospital established the scholarship at PUC in recognition of the loss suffered by the family. “I thought it was a wonderful selection,” said Milli Stelling, mother of Blount Gregory. “Hilary was such a dedicated and outstanding nurse, and I think Jennie has so many of her qualities. All of us [Hilary’s father Gary and his wife Lee, and Stelling’s husband, Rob] were very impressed with Jennie.” In an emotional ceremony, Oldenkamp, a cancer survivor, told the assembled family and United Hospital representative Mike Inserra that though the money was really important, even more important to her is the fact that someone believes in her—a single mother of two daughters, aged...

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New Folks

By Lainey S. Cronk on October 31, 2005

There are some new faculty members inhabiting campus offices these days. We’re delighted to welcome them to the campus and to PUC life. Margo Haskins, professor of early childhood education, has a Ph.D. in education with a major emphasis in child development. She has also lived in four different countries and is writing a book about cross-cultural early childhood education. Bruce Rasmussen, who has a doctorate in music and has taught music since 1981, is our new director of choral and vocal studies. His wife Rosalie, who has a master’s in music, is the director of Paulin Center for the Creative Arts and a professor of music education. Jeni Guth, who graduated from PUC in 2003, now teaches in the nursing department. She completed a pediatric nurse residency at LLU's Children's Hospital and has begun work on her master's in nursing degree. Jimmy Ha and Ross Winkle are both new to the religion department, with Ha (who is also a PUC alumnus) focusing on ethics, philosophy and theology while Winkle teaches Old and New Testament classes. Both Ha and Winkle are doctoral candidates at Andrews University. Stephen Eyer, another PUC alumnus, comes from San Francisco to join the visual arts...

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Window in Alaska

By Lainey S. Cronk on October 30, 2005

Despite a full teaching schedule, PUC visual arts Professor Thomas Morphis keeps up an impressive level of personal involvement in the art world. His collages and mixed media works are often accepted and displayed in exhibitions both in and out of California. This year, Morphis discovered an opportunity through Alaska’s Percent for Art program, which mandates that one percent of the budget for all new government buildings is designated for art to be integrated into the building. The Kachemak Bay Campus of Kanai Peninsula College (a community campus of the University of Alaska Anchorage) was looking for an artistic project to be installed on one of eight possible sites on their campus. Artists from across the U.S. were eligible to submit proposals. After a process of designing, sending in a proposal, and refining the design, the campus contracted Morphis to create a vast stained glass window. He constructed the window in six panels, transported and installed it himself at the campus, and participated in a special unveiling and reception. So now there’s Alaskan sunlight streaming through the abstract design, which expands on the arched window shape to suggest the curvature of the earth and the transition of land/sea/sky....

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Cogeneration Kick-off

By Lainey S. Cronk on October 25, 2005

The sound rising smoothly into a low roar, Pacific Union College’s new cogeneration plant made its official debut as college President Richard Osborn, Financial Vice President John Collins, and Napa County Supervisor Diane Dillon “flipped the switch” on October 21. A massive project for the college, and representing the cutting edge of forward-thinking energy production, the cogeneration plant has garnered its fair share of local and not-so-local attention. The grand opening was attended by officials from Trane, Kawasaki, Titan, and Patch Services, all companies involved in various ways in the construction and powering of the new plant. Members of the local community, media, and Napa Valley Advisory Council also joined college faculty, staff and students in the opening ceremonies and plant tours. In addition to PUC’s administration, Kelly Bock of the Pacific Union Conference spoke briefly at the opening, and Diane Dillon gave the keynote address. The cogeneration plant is, as Dillon summed it up, “Clean, clever, and climate smart.” It uses a 1,400 kilowatt Kawasaki turbine generator, unparalleled for its low emissions levels, to supply the majority of the college’s electrical needs. Recovered waste heat will also be used to supply the campus with heating and air conditioning. In...

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A Job for Everybody: Local Heroes Make a Difference

By Lainey S. Cronk on October 18, 2005

From nurses to music professors, volunteers of every skill and background are welcomed into disaster relief teams. So as aid continues for thousands of hurricane victims, an assortment of Angwin residents have found ways to get involved. As a campus and community, Angwin and Pacific Union College responded to the disaster by raising funds, coordinating a drive for personal kits, and offering tuition assistance to affected PUC students and free tuition to students of colleges that were closed as a result of Hurricane Katrina. But there were also faculty, staff, students and alumni who got directly involved in the relief work. David Krussow, a PUC nursing alumnus, was deployed in New Orleans with the Texas Taskforce Team One (TxTFT-1). Krussow, who works as a flight nurse with STARFlight in Austin, was part of a six-helicopter unit that rescued over 6,800 victims and delivered over 2000 cases of food and 2000 cases of water in nine days. “[The relief work] was an operation of unimaginable magnitude,” he says. “While the looters and shooters garner all of the attention, let me reassure you that heroes do still exist. I could tell story after story of ordinary people performing extra-ordinary acts at high...

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Falling into the Year

By Lainey S. Cronk on October 12, 2005

It’s autumn in Angwin, which means the vineyards are turning deep maroon-red, the blue sky is becoming crisp and cool, and the school year is kicking off with all sorts of events, festivities, and a few challenges. The days just before school were marked by the second annual FUSION retreat for new students, green-shirted volunteers providing Porter Power to move tons of stuff up endless flights of dorm stairs, and shockingly bright leis at the Hawaiian-themed all-school get-acquainted party. Then, just as students were beginning to get the hang of their new schedules, the revised schedule for Week of Prayer hit. The blessings seemed to outweigh the confusion, however; speaker Michael Knecht provided such solid, captivating messages that students flocked to the daily morning and evening meetings. Knecht, who pastors the CrossWalk Church in Redlands, spoke on “Mastering the Art of Living.” A brand-new development this year is the PUC radio podcast, with weekly shows hosted by students Dustin Comm and Jaymes Cheney, and by new campus chaplain Roy Ice. So far, the podcasts have featured guests such as SA president Juliana Gisele Dalotto, Week of Prayer speaker Michael Knecht, and worship and outreach pastor Jessica Shine. Finally, there have...

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A Presidential Departure

By Lainey S. Cronk on August 31, 2005

For 30 years, Eric Anderson has been propounding historical discussion in Irwin Hall. That’s plenty of time to get thoroughly involved in campus life, make a lasting impression on countless students, and build rapport and memories with colleagues. Which is exactly what Anderson has done. “Anderson has been part of the academic soul of PUC,” says President Richard Osborn. Anderson has been the chair of the history department, director of the Honors Program, presiding officer of Academic Senate and Educator of the Year—to name a few. “He’s done remarkable things on our campus,” adds Academic Dean Ileana Douglas. In spite of his involvement in so many aspects of PUC, Anderson’s main role has been in the classroom, where his teaching interests included African American history, the American South, and American political thought. These interests spilled over into three published books, plenty of shorter writings and a stint as Fulbright Professor at Ionian University in Greece. Midsummer, Anderson received and accepted the offer to become president of Southwestern Adventist University in Keene, Texas. With mixed feelings of pride and regret, Anderson’s colleagues gathered for a farewell that took place on the deck of the presidential house. As a glorious sunset lingered...

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