2014

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Student Bradon Schwarz Serves with Extreme Mobility Camps

By Cambria Wheeler on December 23, 2014

Bradon Schwarz, a PUC business administration sophomore, didn’t choose to get involved with Extreme Mobility Camps, Inc. Instead, he was born into the organization. And from day one of his involvement, he’s seen God leading him step by step. Extreme Mobility Camps, also known as XMO, was founded by Bradon’s parents, Bryan and Mindy Schwarz. Since the ministry’s earliest days when the Schwarzs were young Union College graduates working with Christian Record Services, XMO has provided exciting, adventure packed experiences to the blind and visually impaired. In the fun-filled environment of skiing, snowboarding, waterskiing, and surfing, the camps also provide a great opportunity to share God’s love. From childhood, Bradon participated in the life changing work his parents began. (His sister Marleigh, who attended PUC before transferring to Loma Linda University to study dental hygiene, is also involved with the ministry.) “I grew up with blind people around—it was just normal,” Bradon shares. As a kid spending time with the blind at XMO’s wintertime camps, Bradon was a “little buddy” to many of the blind campers. While he admits to being a bit of a pest, Bradon was able to look beyond the camper’s impairments and to find the many...

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National Communication Association Awards PUC Research for Third Year

By Michelle Rai on December 19, 2014

For some seniors, a group research project is a means to an end — graduation. But for Webbo Chen, Jessica Lee, Linda Lumintaintang and James Shim, it became something more. The group submitted their senior communication research paper, “Gendered Communication Differences in Emoticon Use,” to the 100th annual National Communication Association convention held in Chicago from Nov. 19-21. In addition to being accepted to present at the convention, the group also received the Stephen A. Smith Top Group-Authored Undergraduate Research Paper award in the Lambda Pi Eta Division. This is the third straight year that Pacific Union College students have won this award. The award was created by Lambda Pi Eta, the national communication honor society, to recognize and encourage outstanding undergraduate research. The award was named after Smith to recognize his role in founding the honor society in 1985. “I am so pleased with all [Lambda Pi Eta] has done to nurture our exceptional undergraduates,” said Smith, a communication professor at the University of Arkansas. “I am most gratified that it has supported and recognized the research contributions of distinguished students such as Webbo Chen.” In addition to the Stephen A. Smith award, the group also received the Top...

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PUC Receives “Healthiest Company” Award for Third Time

By Staff Writer on December 18, 2014

Pacific Union College has been named a “Healthiest Company” by the North Bay Business Journal for the third time. The college received the award for its commitment to promoting wellness and an active lifestyle among its employees. PUC first received the “Healthiest Company” award in 2012, and continues to encourage employees to focus on health and happiness while expanding wellness program opportunities. The Business Journal gathered nominations over months, finally settling on 19 companies and organizations that were honored at the Journal’s 2014 Health Care Conference and in a special report in the weekly publication. The companies selected for the award ranged from construction, education, banking, and technology; the healthiest companies were selected after a nomination and company survey process. The conference and special issue of the Journal drew attention to the outstanding efforts of businesses across the North Bay in the critical movement toward wellness, according to the Journal. The number of PUC’s employees involved in the college’s wellness program raised 6% from 2013, for a total of 96%. The wellness program provides educational classes and a yearly health assessment. The program encourages a healthy lifestyle through diet, exercise, and stress-reduction techniques while emphasizing the importance of spiritual wellness....

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PUC Hosts Basketball Tournament for High School Student-Athletes

By Amanda Navarrete on December 10, 2014

Pacific Union College welcomed men’s and women’s high school teams from visiting Adventist academies for the Pioneers Invitational Academy Basketball Tournament on December 3-6. Over the course of four days, student athletes played basketball, attended worship, and had the opportunity to grow stronger as team. “"The PUC tournament is a great opportunity for schools to grow as a team and to get to know players from other schools,” shared tournament coordinator and interim athletic director Brittany Brown. Aside from playing basketball, the athletes were encouraged to study in their free time and get better acquainted with PUC. They even had the opportunity to take a campus tour or visit a class if they chose. The tournament began at noon on Wednesday, starting with Paradise v. Pleasant Hill for the men’s teams, and Paradise v. Napa on the women’s side. After a full three days of tournament play, students took a break after Friday afternoon’s games and enjoyed some free time from their busy schedules. Later in the evening, the athletes had a chance to attend the special Christmas Concert program for Vespers. After a closing Sabbath worship, the final games began as the teams vied to claim the 2014 Championship...

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Season of Joy: PUC Celebrates Christmas

By Emily Mathe on December 10, 2014

The annual lighting of the PUC Christmas tree took place on the Monday of dead week, December 1. The campus mall was aglow with candlelight, and Christmas melodies wafted over the people in the crowd as they waited for the festivities to commence in front of the massive landmark tree. At 6:30 sharp, Student Association (SA)president Daniel DeCaires welcomed everyone to the tree lighting, especially thanking the rest of the SA officers for their hard work at the beginning of the holiday season. Josue Hernandez, SA religious vice president, gave a short prayer then turned the stage over to PUC President Heather J. Knight. President Knight provided the encouraging message that in a few short days, the quarter will be over and winter break will begin; until then, we have to keep up the momentum and power through finals. She then began the countdown to the light-up. After a momentous few seconds to take in the radiant tree, most of the crowd headed to the mall in front of the campus center for cookies and hot chocolate. As a surprise finishing touch to the evening, a snow machine blanketed the ground of the mall with fluffy white flakes to the...

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Investing in the Future: Helping Families Afford a PUC Education

By Staff Writer on December 5, 2014

As a Seventh-day Adventist learning community offering an excellent Christ centered education, Pacific Union College is proud to prepare its students for productive lives of useful human service and uncompromising personal integrity. Ranked as a National Liberal Arts College by U.S. News & World Report, a PUC education emphasizes academic excellence, authentic spiritual experience, and service to local and worldwide communities. At PUC, students are taught lasting lessons that they employ as professionals and as Christ’s servants. A Pacific Union College degree is also an investment with lasting value. In September 2013, PUC was ranked in the top 13 percent of colleges nationally for return on investment by PayScale, a provider of compensation data. The ROI (return on investment) ranking demonstrates that students who graduate from PUC enjoy a greater earnings increase than students without a four-year degree. Estimates of lifetime earnings of college degree holders range from $700,000 to $1 million more than those who have only a high school diploma. When the college’s financial aid offerings are taken into account, the PayScale ranking shows that PUC graduates could expect an annual return of 7.9% on their higher education investment. PUC has a long tradition of sending students to...

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Clearlake Homeless Ministry: A Blessing to All

By Amanda Navarrete on November 26, 2014

Pacific Union College students have many opportunities when making weekend plans: Vespers services on Friday, hikes on campus trails, trips to the ocean, and Student Association gatherings on Saturday night. For many students, service to others through Clearlake Homeless Ministry is an essential part of each weekend. After Sabbath church services and lunch, students hop in to vans and make their way to Clearlake, a small town 40 miles from PUC with a large homeless population. This outreach began in the fall of 2012 with a senior theology major, Gresford Thomas, who saw a need in the Clearlake community. “Lives have been changed,” says the ministry’s sponsor, Gilbert Abella, a PUC librarian. Each Friday afternoon, volunteers pack nonperishable food into bags to hand out behind a parking lot and at a park by Redbud Lake. The bags are filled with a variety of supplies, including donations from the school cafeteria and from Gott’s, a local restaurant. Sometimes the group includes specific items that homeless individuals request. The ministry also makes calls for seasonal items, including coats and tarps in winter. The team is led by Cristian and Shelina Villegas, who faithfully visit Clearlake each week and make sure the needs...

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Poets and Friends: Rose and Rosenberg Read at PUC

By Emily Mathe on November 21, 2014

Pacific Union College’s department of English hosted a poetry reading on the evening of November 17 featuring adjunct English professor Judith Rose and her friend, Israeli poet and translator Betsy Rosenberg. The poets are accomplished writers as well as longtime friends, and in their presentation spoke about their shared childhood experiences and current creative collaboration to a full auditorium in McKibben Hall. After an introduction to the poets by Cynthia Westerbeck, chair of the department of English, Rose and Rosenberg alternated reading. Both have recently published books of poetry: Rose published Walking the Minefield in 2012 with Finishing Line Press, and Rosenberg’s A Future More Vivid with Sheep Meadow press this month. “It’s so wonderful to be able to look back on such a long time … and to share the perspectives of over a half century of friendship,” Rosenberg said of her friendship with Rose. As they read, they explored similar themes in their poetry, including descriptions of the Midwest (where they first met), animals, the passing of siblings, and the tensions of war and peace. To read more about Rose and Rosenberg’s longtime friendship and poetry, read the profile in the St. Helena Star....

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Pioneers Volleyball Season Ends with Playoff Appearance and Conference Honors

By Staff Writer on November 19, 2014

The Pacific Union College Pioneers women’s volleyball team ended their season at the National Athletic Intercollegiate Association (NAIA) California Pacific Conference Volleyball Tournament in Riverside, Calif. The Lady Pioneers lost to Menlo College on October 13; Menlo went on to beat UC Merced for the Cal Pac Championship on October 15. At the Championship Awards Banquet, Pioneer players were honored with postseason honors. PUC women’s volleyball ended their season 15-12 overall and 5-6 in Cal Pac play. They entered the Championships as the three seed before falling to Menlo College in the first round. “We are a young team, and a young team with a lot of talent,” shared head coach Brittany Brown. “I am looking forward to building off the success of this program going into next year.” At the Cal Pac Championship Awards Banquet, Lady Pioneer Viridiana Gallardo, a senior, was recognized the Cal Pac Libero of the Year and named to the All Conference First Team. Gallardo led the Cal Pac in digs per set at 6.02 and tallied a total of 602 digs in the season. She was seventh in the NAIA in digs per set. In addition to Gallardo’s award, Amanda Loeffler was named Cal...

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Meet the SA Religious Vice President: Josue Hernandez

By Amanda Navarrete on November 14, 2014

Josue Hernandez would have never imagined being the religious vice president of PUC’s Student Association his freshman year of college at UC Davis. After he transferred to PUC his junior year, Hernandez changed his major from mechanical engineering to theology. “I knew the ministry would be more fulfilling,” Hernandez says. Hernandez describes his role in SA as “a fun experience with no stress and a good team.” Coordinating vespers and ministering to different groups on campus, Hernandez integrates his main goal for students in every event he plans. “I want to see individuals mature spiritually, have an open mind, and be able to look at life and faith from new perspectives,” Hernandez explains. His vision for the campus as a whole is to see a diverse spiritual community come together. Hernandez recently returned from a trip to Silver Spring, Md. for the North American Division Year-End Meetings, where he represented Pacific Union College and the youth of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. For the first time, 15 of voting delegates were young adults from Adventist colleges and universities. Hernandez and his peers shared their voice and voted on issues that ranged from mission projects to women’s ordination. Hernandez saw the experience...

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