Pacific Union College Announces Commitment to Expansion of Transfer Pathway for California Community College Students

By Staff Writer on August 2, 2018

On August 2, Pacific Union College (PUC) announced its commitment and support of a transfer pathway between the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities (AICCU) and the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office.The pathway is designed for college students graduating with an Associate in Arts for Transfer (AA-T) or an Associate in Science for Transfer (AS-T) from a California community college and wishing to transfer to a four-year independent, nonprofit institution like PUC. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the AICCU President Kristen Soares and California Community College’s Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley to further strengthen the commitment of California’s independent nonprofit higher education sector toward the access and success of students, and affordability of quality education across the state.This pathway is the AICCU sector’s adoption of the Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) pathway between the California Community Colleges and the California State University (CSU) system. Much like the current CSU ADT pathway, PUC will commit to guaranteeing admission for ADT students who apply, as well as accepting a minimum of 60 units transferred, and assure these students start at PUC with a junior standing.“As an institution, PUC has a history of welcoming transfer students to our learning community,” says...

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Image Refresh: Angwin Chevron Receives Remodel Award

By Becky St. Clair on August 2, 2018

From August 6-10, the Angwin Chevron station will be undergoing an upgrade remodel. During this week, services will be limited, as certain parts of the station will need to be closed for refurbishment. Fuel will still be available 24 hours a day, though some dispensers will be unavailable off and on.Chevron recently held a contest for all of its stations, asking for plans which the station would follow if awarded a sum of money with which to improve their physical image. Pat Withers, manager of Angwin’s Chevron, decided to participate.“It was a very nice surprise,” she says. “Earlier this year Chevron gave us $500 to repair the curbs around the station that have been broken and damaged, so this has been a good year for improvements.”The Perennial Image Refresh Award came to the Angwin station in a lump sum of $13,000. This money will help pay for painting, new LED signs on the canopy, and brand new center curbs, poles, and trash cans between the fuel dispensers.The station plans to reopen with full services and a clean new look on Monday, August 13....

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High-Impact Learning: PUC Seniors Pull it all Together

By Becky St. Clair on July 31, 2018

In 2008, George Kuh, founding director of the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment, developed a collection of “High-Impact Practices” (HIPs) based on many years of data from the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). These experiential learning practices promote student learning through active engagement. Since then, most colleges and universities across the country have begun moving toward incorporating many of these HIPs into their curriculum.The curriculum at PUC already included several of the HIPs, such as collaborative learning, internships, undergraduate research, study abroad, writing-intensive courses, and service-learning. While the college was already providing capstone opportunities, in 2010, it intensified efforts to make “culminating experiences” available to all bachelor’s students. This included experiences such as a capstone course, internship, senior project or thesis, comprehensive exam, or portfolio.“Students are more likely to be engaged with their education when the High-Impact Practices are included as part of that experience,” says Nancy Lecourt, academic dean and vice president for academic administration at PUC. “This translates into improved learning, as well as higher retention and graduation rates.”Though many departments were already requiring a senior project for each of their seniors, the 2010 change in curriculum at PUC meant that 100 percent of all bachelor’s...

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A Church for the Mission: Department of Theology Offers New Missional Leadership Class

By Becky St. Clair on July 25, 2018

Like every department on campus, Pacific Union College's department of theology is always seeking ways to improve and increase what it offers for students. As demographics, society, and culture shifts, education must adjust to ensure the most current and relevant training for today's young leaders and tomorrow's experienced ones. Ministry is no exception."Our world is rapidly changing," says Jim Wibberding, associate professor of applied theology and biblical studies, "more rapidly than our church does in its approach to mission. We want to train leaders to interact with that reality productively and think from theory to practice and learn in the field, organic to the mission."The department has recently been given the green light by academic administration to offer a new course, starting Fall 2018: Missional Leadership. While "missions" and "missional" are trendy buzzwords in many circles today, Wibberding says the idea behind this 400-level course is to help students understand the idea that instead of the church having a mission, the mission might happen to have a church."Really, it's an attempt to go back to the apostles' experience in Acts," he says. "Jesus gave them a shockingly short to-do list. He gave them no strategy, no church organization explanation, but...

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Blazing a New Trail: Biology faculty and biochem student partner on original research

By Becky St. Clair on July 18, 2018

For three months of the year, two small fields in the popular Napa Valley resort town of Calistoga blossom with tiny white flowers known as the Calistoga Popcorn Flower. These two fields are the only known location of this flower in the world, which explains its presence on the list of endangered plants.“There’s a PUC alumnus in Calistoga doing a housing project, and he asked me to come take a look at this flower,” says Aimee Wyrick, chair of the department of biology at Pacific Union College. “I did, and I’ve been looking for six years now.”During those years, Wyrick has worked determinedly during blossom season, collecting soil and water samples for examination in a lab. “What’s clear is where this flower is found has a lot to do with what’s in the soil,” Wyrick says. “But we haven’t really been able to dig into this idea until recently.”What changed was the arrival of Kirpa Batth, a biochem major from Sacramento, who enrolled in PUC’s honors program with an interest in hands-on research. When offered the opportunity to partner with Wyrick and Robert Wilson, chemistry professor, Batth jumped at the chance.“Though we’re still in the early stages of our research,...

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Legislative Assembly: History & Political Studies Majors Intern with State Representative

By Becky St. Clair on June 26, 2018

As history and political studies majors at Pacific Union College, brothers and Maxwell Scholar finalists Mark and Michael Cebert were required to complete an internship as their capstone project as part of their degree. To this end, they worked together for state representative Anthony Daniels (D) in their home state of Alabama. Despite the project only requiring one month of interning, the Ceberts ended up working for three, since they were well-liked and tackled some large projects.In February 2017, Daniels made history when he became the first black person and, at 34, the youngest individual ever to hold his legislative position. Mark and Michael’s interactions with him, however, began several months earlier, in the summer of 2016.“We expected the typical intern stuff; you know—getting coffee, making copies, carrying stacks of files,” Mark admits. “It wasn’t that way at all.”The brothers spent their first few weeks building a donor database for the Democratic party in the state. Despite its advanced age, the Alabama democratic party has historically never tracked who their biggest and longest-term supporters were.“Most parties have a record of who has donated in the past 20 years,” explains Michael. “This allows them to determine who they need to stay...

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An Interview with Our Commencement Speaker: Jarrod McNaughton, MBA

By Becky St. Clair on June 15, 2018

Jarrod McNaughton received his bachelor’s degree in public relations from Pacific Union College and his Master of Business Administration from the University of La Verne (California). He will present the Commencement address for the Class of 2018 on Sunday, June 17. The service will stream live at you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?I wanted to be a pastor, believe it or not!Instead of theology, you got a bachelor’s degree in public relations, but continued on to get a Master of Business Administration. How do you think the two have worked together in your career? The masters in business was a perfect connector for my undergrad degree and really helped to round me out, bringing the best of both worlds together.What were some of your first impressions of PUC as a student? I honestly didn’t want to attend PUC at first because of a perception I had that turned out to be completely wrong. Attending PUC was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and I wouldn’t change it for the world. From being one of the most beautiful college campuses in the U.S. to its incredible focus on students, PUC...

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Pacific Union College Graduation Weekend 2018

By Becky St. Clair on June 12, 2018

Pacific Union College, Napa Valley’s only four-year college, will host its annual commencement exercises Friday, June 15, through Sunday, June 17.The college will proudly award 369 associate, bachelor, and master’s degrees to 343 graduates, 49 of whom are from Napa County. The largest departmental groups are the nursing and health sciences (181 graduates from the Associate of Science and Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs), business administration (37), biology (23), communication (21), and visual arts (21).In addition, three graduating students are Maxwell Scholars: JJ Reynolds, marketing communication major; John Jung, biology major and pre-med student; and Dominique Townsend, English literature major. Maxwell Scholars are recognized as incoming freshmen for their outstanding academic achievement, and are awarded a renewable scholarship based on their unweighted cumulative GPA and test scores.“We are excited to honor and celebrate our graduates and the future that lies ahead,” says Robert Cushman Jr., PUC president. “I look forward to meeting graduates, families, and friends here on beautiful Howell Mountain, where nature and revelation unite in education.”In the class of 2018, 15 students will graduate summa cum laude; 29 magna cum laude; 58 cum laude; 10 with honors. After California, which is home to 290 graduating seniors, Hawai’i...

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This Place Is Your Home: Student Association officers host final Colloquy of the year

By Becky St. Clair on June 7, 2018

“This was a hard year,” said 2017-18 student association president Megan Weems to a packed Dauphinee Chapel. “It was already a transition year with new administration, and then a few weeks into the school year, the valley caught on fire.”Weems was addressing the Pacific Union College student body at the final Colloquy event of the year, focused on the year’s theme, “Family.”“Change takes a while,” she continued. “PUC has a lot of things to improve on, as we all know, but things are going up from here. We’ve laid the foundation and we’re making headway toward something better.”Weems thanked her 2017-18 student association team for loving the campus and demonstrating how a family should behave.“I saw it in their hearts, in the way they interacted with people,” she said. “They just love. And that’s what PUC needed. I was incredibly blessed, and I hope and pray that in something someone did or said at some point this year made you feel a little bit of that heart.”“The SA is you guys, too,” Weems added. “It’s not just the eight or nine people elected; you’re all part of the Student Association. Thank you for this year.”Kenzie Hardy, incoming SA president, addressed...

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Think, Defend, Modify, Repeat: The Difference PUC Honors Makes

By Becky St. Clair on June 1, 2018

The Honors Program at Pacific Union College provides classes which depart from a traditional lecture format, encouraging students to develop their analytical thinking, aesthetic appreciation, and their spiritual lives.“Our program is its own complete general education,” explains Dr. Georgina Hill, professor of English and director of the PUC Honors Program. “Though it is a truncated GE, it is also more challenging. Students are expected to think deeply about ideas, theories, and issues, to analyze primary texts and multiple perspectives.”As Hill points out, post-graduate admissions committees recognize that "Honors" on an application is a mark of the applicant’s willingness to focus on learning, to step beyond the comfort zone, to accept a challenge, and to excel."In Honors, I was forced to think critically, defend my positions, and modify them when I was wrong," says Jefferson Richards, science and pre-med Honors student. "Honors played a huge part in building my confidence in my own intelligence and drove me to succeed in all my classes. It forces us to think critically, develop better reading and writing skills, exposes us to new and challenging ideas, and allows us to grow as human beings.”Charles De Guzman, first-year medical student at Loma Linda University, reports "Because...

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