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PUC Commencement Celebrates 382 Graduates

By Midori Yoshimura on June 20, 2014

Beaming graduates and their families, exclamations of “Congratulations!” and the faint scent of airborne corn tortillas filled Commencement Grove at Pacific Union College, as the class of 2014 prepared to graduate on Sunday, June 15. The class is the largest in eight years to graduate from PUC, Napa Valley's only four-year college. “I accomplished it with the support of family, friends and especially God,” said Shayla Huerta, who graduated with an associate’s degree in nursing. She is the first person in her family to graduate from college or enter the medical field, and plans to complete her bachelor’s degree in nursing next year. “It’s very satisfying to set an example for my siblings and cousins to pursue a education our parents never had,” Huerta adds. All told, the 382 graduates received 394 associate, bachelor, and master’s degrees. The largest departmental groups were the department of nursing (129 graduates from the associate of science and bachelor of science in nursing programs), health sciences (41), business administration (37), and psychology and social work (34). The class also included 19 summa cum laude graduates, 20 magna cum laude graduates, and 64 cum laude graduates. Graduation weekend began with a consecration service Friday evening...

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Father’s Day Graduation Celebrates PUC’s Largest Class in Seven Years

By Midori Yoshimura on June 24, 2013

As Pacific Union College’s largest class in seven years prepared to graduate, many dads in the audience celebrated Father’s Day with a unique card: a commencement program listing their child as a 2013 graduate. On Sunday, June 16, 2013, PUC graduated its 125th class in the woodland peace—before the cheers and glad shouts—of the college’s Commencement Grove. “I guess it may be a cliché, but I would have to say, what better gift could a father receive than to see his daughter graduating from college on Father's Day!” said Melville Uechi, father of Colleen Uechi, who left the platform with a bachelor of arts degrees in Spanish and intercultural communication, with an emphasis in Spanish. The cum laude Student Association leader was the 2012-2013 Campus Chronicle editor and also one of the first Maxwell Scholars to graduate from PUC. The 360 members of PUC’s class of 2013 hailed from 19 different states and seven different countries. One hundred and nine students received academic distinctions and honors, with nine summa cum laude graduates, 24 magna cum laude graduates, and 63 cum laude graduates. Nine students from PUC’s Honors Program and four Maxwell Scholars were also among the throng. The greatest number...

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Digital Photography at Albion

By Midori Yoshimura on August 11, 2010

As seagulls squealed and misty veils cooled the nights, shutters snapped—these were the sights and sounds of 2010’s digital art photography class at Pacific Union College’s Albion Field Station. One-week sessions at the college’s remote coastal facility offered students of all ages, abilities, and cameras the chance to begin or advance their photography skills, with the lovely Mendocino coast as a backdrop. Under the tutelage of Gilbert Muth, professor emeritus of biology and the station’s director, the 11 beginner-to-intermediate students enjoyed a scenic tour of the surrounding coastal area, including the communities of Albion and Mendocino and the nearby Albion River. This year, the class emphasized landscape and nature photography, as well as the uniquely quaint architecture of the area. In nearby Fort Bragg, flashes found inspiration at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. Returning to the station’s laboratory, participants learned how to improve their photos via Photoshop, in anticipation of each evening’s critiques. This culminated in Friday morning’s student slide shows, which allowed the presenters to demonstrate their digital works of art and all their hard work for the week. “Typically, the first photos on the first evening of Digital Photography need a lot of improvement,” admitted Muth. “However, by...

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PUC Launches Student Book Club

By Midori Yoshimura on August 9, 2010

This fall quarter, incoming freshmen will enroll at Pacific Union College with a variety of backgrounds, experiences, and new schedules. Yet they will still share at least one thing—all will have received and read sustainability activist Annie Leonard’s book, The Story of Stuff: How Our Obsession with Stuff Is Trashing the Planet, Our Communities, and Our Health—and a Vision for Change. This jumpstart for college is part of PUC Reads, a new program designed to engage the campus in shared discussion of critical issues. Every spring quarter, PUC Reads will invite PUC faculty, staff, and students—including incoming freshmen—to read a chosen book (this year, The Story of Stuff) over the summer (incoming freshmen will be mailed a copy in advance). Throughout the following school year, the book will be featured as part of the ENGL 101 and COMM 105 curricula, as well as integrated where appropriate into other classes, especially freshmen-level courses. All are encouraged to participate in discussion groups and find ways to connect with others, in order to develop a “learning community.” The year’s emphasis will culminate in a spring colloquy meeting featuring the author or another speaker connected with the book of the year. “It’s a lot...

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