2012

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PUC Named "Healthiest Company"

By Lainey S. Cronk on December 20, 2012

In recognition of excellence in "supporting mind, body and spirit" and being a trendsetter in employee wellness, PUC was named one of the "Healthiest Companies in the North Bay" this year. The Healthiest Company awards, announced by the North Bay Business Journal at its annual Health Care Conference in November and in the November 12 issue of its publication, recognize "outstanding efforts of organizations and businesses across the North Bay in the critical movement toward wellness." The award nominations are gathered through the summer and companies are surveyed about their health practices. The Business Journal then selects companies to honor at their Health Care Conference. PUC was cited as earning its award for a thorough and accessible wellness program that includes onsite health screenings, health risk assessments with progress reports, and health education opportunities. Such wellness programs as the "Inertia Initiative" and "Lunch and Learn Series," the Wellness Studio and Health Services Clinic, and classes ranging from the Archibald Fitness Boot Camp to martial arts and Zumba were also mentioned. PUC employees are listed as having 27 percent fewer health risks than the national average. "We work in a faith community that acknowledges our Creator's wisdom in weaving each person...

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Charles White: Prioritizing People at the 2012 Adventist Heritage Colloquy

By Midori Yoshimura on December 14, 2012

With the warmth of a family member, Charles White, a pastor and great-grandson of Ellen G. White, drew students closer to their Adventist inheritance at Pacific Union College’s annual Adventist Heritage Colloquy. White is the senior pastor of Camelback Seventh-day Adventist Church in Phoenix, Ariz., and a PUC alum. In “Faith of Our Fathers,” the opening hymn, the audience sang the praises of a Christian inheritance, and the Heritage Singers performed a toe-tapping rendition of “Satisfied.” Afterward, PUC President Dr. Heather Knight introduced White and the accomplishments of his great-grandmother, Adventism’s co-founder and the world’s most translated female author. “Our priority should and always must be on people,” White said, as he shared family stories to create a “sense of connectedness.” “Did you ever meet your great-grandmother?” Charles White is often asked. With a laugh, he said he called upon the reasoning skills of “math majors and nonmajors” to do the calculations: Ellen White passed away in 1915. However, through his stories students had the chance to become better acquainted with members of the White family, such as “Sleeping Willy,” Ellen White’s somnambulance-prone son. “I thought it was very interesting to hear about E.G. White from a family member. Even...

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Six Students Take Two-Week Trip to Oak Ridge National Laboratory

By Lauren Armstrong on December 11, 2012

Several times each year, select students from PUC’s math and science departments visit the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Oak Ridge, Tenn. for research and hands-on application of what they’ve learned in the classroom. Between Nov. 15 and 30, a group of six PUC students took a two-week long trip to ORNL. The National Science Foundation, a government organization that promotes the study of science, presented this opportunity and PUC physics professor Vola Andrianarijaona chose each student that attended. April Vassantachart, Kieffer Bacani, Sarah Heczko, Josue Tobar, Richard Strom, and Robert Chi attended this particular trip, reprenting areas of study from biophysics to pre-med to computer engineering. The students were given the chance to participate in different phases of particle research, with assistance from both Andrianarijaona and ORNL scientist Charlie Havener. “The purpose of our trip was to set-up our apparatus, calibrate it, and start making measurements,” said Bacani. This gave students the opportunity to not only learn how these things are done, but to put them into practice. “The trip gave me real lab experience, and put my education to the test,” said Chi. ORNL, founded in the 1940s, has been facilitating scientific discoveries and groundbreaking research for...

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PUC Students Take Top Honors at National Communication Convention

By Giovanni Hashimoto on December 5, 2012

Two of the top four awards, including the top group award, in the Lambda Pi Eta division of the National Communication Association convention were awarded to Pacific Union College students this year at the NCA annual event. Three of the students and PUC Communication Professor Tammy McGuire traveled to present their research at the convention.The NCA convention is the single largest annual gathering of communication teachers, researchers, students and other professionals in the nation. Over 5,000 attendees from every state and around the world were present at the convention, held Nov. 15-18 in Orlando, Fla. PUC’s papers were submitted to the division limited to members of the National Communication Association’s official honor society, Lambda Pi Eta.A paper by five PUC students, “Conflict Resolution Patterns in Intercultural Couples,” won the Stephen A. Smith award for the top group paper in the Lambda Pi Eta division following its presentation by PUC Senior Shanna Crumley. The other members of her team, Abraham Baldenegro, Jennifer Cotto, Sean Grainger and Divya Joseph, had already graduated and were unable to attend. The other paper at the convention, was presented by 2012 graduates, Janna Vassantachart and Jordan Thornburg, was titled “Birth Order and Communication Styles in Romantic...

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PUC Partners with Brazil Adventist University

By Lauren Armstrong on November 6, 2012

This year Pacific Union College launched a partnership with Brazil Adventist University (UNASP). Discussion began last spring, when UNASP president José Martini suggested the partnership to PUC president Heather Knight, initially with the main objective of UNASP students learning English. “Having more international students on our campuses helps to foster global understanding,” commented Knight. “Being part of the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist global church, we want to help other institutions as well, by partnering with them.” With the residence halls open in the summer, PUC offers UNASP students the opportunity to study here at PUC for a five-week program. Students will also take field trips to places like the Bay Area, including San Francisco. “This idea is that they come for a short term, [and gain] language and culture experience, where they have an opportunity to be exposed to American culture and to have some formal language instruction at the same time,” said Assistant Academic Dean Ed Moore. But the partnership is an opportunity for both schools—UNASP will send students to study at PUC while PUC students will have the chance to learn Portuguese and study in Brazil. Knight noted Brazil’s emerging economy, and the especially great opportunities it presents for...

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Rep. Mike Thompson Featured at Election 2012 Colloquy

By Giovanni Hashimoto on November 1, 2012

Pacific Union College hosted Rep. Mike Thompson for the Election 2012 installment of the Colloquy Speaker Series Thursday morning, continuing a focus on civic engagement on the campus in the run up to the 2012 General Election.Quoting Dwight Eisenhower who stated that “politics should be the part-time profession of every man,” Thompson urged students to involve themselves in the civic process and the upcoming election. “What happens in politics influences your day-to-day life,” he noted.Thompson noted the many issues at stake in this election that affects students particularly access to affordable, quality education and federal college aid.“I happen to believe education is one of the most important things for the future of our country,” he said. “What you’re learning today, you’re gonna put in practice tomorrow. The future of our country—our economic well-being, our national security, the health of our environment, the sustainability of our country, our principles and our values in part are going to be formed by what you and your colleagues across the country are learning today in schools, and it is so incredibly important.”Following his talk, Thompson fielded a variety of questions from students on a wide range of topics including the Patient Protection and Affordable...

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High Retention Brings Another Year of Enrollment Growth at PUC

By Giovanni Hashimoto on October 26, 2012

Pacific Union College’s student body grew for the fourth consecutive year, fueled largely by a rise in retention--the number of students who return to PUC. This year’s enrollment increased to 1,605 from 1,567 at this time last year. The school-wide retention rate now stands at 78 percent, up from 70 percent last year. Enrollment in PUC’s new allied health program, introduced last year, played the biggest role in fueling the increase in retention. PUC administrators discovered the need for such a program after the Western Association of Schools and College, the school’s accrediting agency, recommended an institutional assessment, President Heather J. Knight explained. The assessment revealed a gap in degree options for students overflowing the limits of PUC’s popular nursing program, and for students taking pre-allied health classes. The new program fills that gap, giving students a degree offering providing a strong foundation for a broad range of careers in the health sciences. “In fall of this year, we had 158 students declared for pre-allied health profession,” noted Shana Ruggenberg, chair of the department of nursing and health sciences, saying the degree helps the department meet its mission of training healthcare professionals in allied health fields. In addition to new...

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Rojas Returns to Pacific Union College, Promotes Service

By Giovanni Hashimoto on October 24, 2012

Popular Seventh-day Adventist preacher and PUC alumnus José Rojas encouraged students to spend a year of their lives in service abroad when he returned to Pacific Union College to speak at a special event, Tuesday, October 23. An internationally sought-after speaker and bestselling author, Rojas is the director of the office of volunteer ministry for the Adventist Church in North America. The office promotes volunteerism through community projects, missions, and other activities. Citing the biblical call for Christians to be salt in the earth, Rojas drew an analogy between service to others and salt role’s as a catalyst in melting ice. Saying today’s students are part of the most advanced generation in history, he appealed for them to use their abilities to become catalysts for change. “If your mind is that of a catalyst, if you’re out to make this world a better place no matter how many people make fun of you for being an idealist—if you really have a vision for your life—then you can turn this world upside down,” he said. “Go off and be a catalyst around the world for one year of your life.” He urged students to participate in service and mission opportunities while...

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Assemblymember Yamada Speaks to College Democrats

By Giovanni Hashimoto on October 19, 2012

Assemblymember Mariko Yamada spoke about her public service and answered students’ questions at an event sponsored by the College Democrats student organization at Pacific Union College on Friday, September 12, 2012. Over 50 students attended the event and accompanying voter registration drive. Yamada spoke about her experience growing up attending inner-city schools as the daughter of parents held in Japanese Internment Camps during World War II. She later became the first member of her family to complete college and graduate school. Her experience shaped her perspective, she said, as she compiled a consistent record of supporting education in elected office. She also noted her background as a professional social worker which she said allows her to understand the importance of upholding the highest ethics as an elected official, something she believes is often lacking. Yamada also urged students to register and participate in the upcoming election, noting the various items on the ballot including Governor Jerry Brown’s Prop 30 which she supports. “I was thrilled to hear Assemblymember Mariko Yamada speak,” said Holly Batchelder, a junior psychology major and vice president of College Democrats. “Yamada’s story of how her family fought and faced oppression, yet persevered to greatness is moving...

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PUC Students Begin Year with Service

By Giovanni Hashimoto on October 15, 2012

Over 40 Pacific Union College students helped Napa Valley senior citizens with home repairs and other needs in the first volunteer service project of the year on Friday, Sept. 28. The event, known as Rebuilding Calistoga, is a partnership between PUC’s Office of Justice, Service and Missions and Calistoga Affordable Housing. “We have a lot of people that live here by themselves or just a couple of elderly [people],” said Fabio Maia, director of service at PUC. “Calistoga Affordable Housing assesses what the needs are and we bring the workforce, the tools, the expertise and we help them.” Several residents who received assistance from the project voiced their appreciation for the essential service. “I’ve always done it myself,” explains one resident who identified himself as Greg, and who received help maintaining his yard. “But here lately, I’m 76 years old, and I just can’t do it anymore.” The tasks accomplished by PUC students at Rebuilding Calistoga vary from simply cleaning houses to more complex tasks like rebuilding decks, painting exteriors and landscaping tasks. “Principally, serving others is just the best thing in the world,” explains Issac Lee, a freshman from Salem, Ore. “In the first week taking the first step...

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