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Coronavirus Update

Posted by Staff Writer on February 19, 2020

Napa County has confirmed that two quarantined patients are now under isolation at a county medical facility after being transported back to the United States. PUC is taking this development seriously, but it is not a cause for alarm.One of the affected patients has tested positive for nCoV2019, commonly known as novel coronavirus, while the second is still being monitored while in isolation. Both were transported to the Queen of the Valley Medical Center on Monday directly from Travis Air Force Base after arriving in the United States from Japan where they were under quarantine on the Diamond Princess cruise ship.There is minimal risk for the PUC campus and surrounding area at this time."Out of caution, the patients are being monitored in special isolation rooms that have negative pressure to minimize the risk of exposure," Amy Herold, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at Queen of the Valley, said. "We are following established infection control protocols and working closely with our partners at CDC and Napa County Public Health to ensure the safety and well-being of our caregivers, patients, and visitors."Preventative measures for the viral outbreak are no different than precautions already recommended in cold and flu season, including the following:- Washing...

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Maranatha at PUC: Coming Together to Build Up Our Campus

Posted by Lauren Vandenhoven on December 27, 2019

For three weeks this summer community members, students, active and retired PUC faculty, and Maranatha volunteers worked together to renovate 31 student dorm rooms in Newton Hall, one of PUC's four residence halls.Each person had a specific job to do, including building and installing cabinets, replacing dressers and countertops, putting in new ceiling lights, wall patching, repainting, and prepping for and laying down new flooring. Eighty-one total volunteers contributed to the project with an average of 35 to 45 per day, and nearly half were first-time volunteers.Project coordinator Ed Jensen started doing volunteer work about 40 years ago, but became much more involved when he retired. For this project, he helped to register and provide information for volunteers."When a volunteer comes to the job, their housing and food is provided. They just need to come," he says. "And when these people work, they really put their heart into it."Heidi Lukowicz, graphic designer for the college and first-time Maranatha volunteer, decided to help with this project because she wanted to give her young sons the experience of volunteering and connect them to Maranatha and the larger PUC community."It's amazing how fast you can get something done with many hands," says Lukowicz....

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Conservation and Technological Innovation: Dr. Scott Butterfield’s Lecture Series on the Future of Conservation Biology

Posted by Sarah Tanner on December 13, 2019

Scott Butterfield, a senior scientist with The Nature Conservancy, conducted a series of four lectures throughout the quarter at Pacific Union College, sharing his passion for conservation with the college's department of biology. His last lecture, titled, "Training the Conservation Scientist for the Next Generation," included a distillation of new technologies and avenues of inquiry in the field of conservation.Dr. Aimee Wyrick's Conservation Biology students absorbed every word of Butterfield's final presentation. He emphasized the importance of incorporating data science across different disciplines, especially as it has the potential to involve students, such as the ones in this class, in important research."Data science is a huge topic in conservation right now," he explained. "It is essentially a conceptualization of what it would mean to train the future generations in this field."His talk centered on the fact that we live in an "anthropocene" era, meaning that in our current time, humans have a disproportionate impact on the climate and environment. We also are in the midst of a third industrial revolution, one that centers on technology.Butterfield then explained the endless ties between technological developments and conservation efforts, noting, "Virtually every project we carry out in The Nature Conservancy involves a combination...

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PUC Accredited by National Association for Schools of Art & Design

Posted by Becky St. Clair on December 11, 2019

Pacific Union College's department of visual arts has been accredited by the National Association for Schools of Art & Design (NASAD), the primary accrediting body for all top art and design schools in the country."We felt like being aligned officially with an accrediting body was an important step to validate the quality of art education at PUC," explains Rajeev Sigamoney, chair of the department.Accreditation through NASAD puts PUC in association with over 360 other accredited schools, of which PUC is the only one affiliated with the Adventist Church."From this relationship, we will gain an even greater understanding of best practices in all disciplines we teach, and organizational processes to make sure the department handles every aspect of art education at the highest possible level," Sigamoney says.The accreditation process began nearly four years ago, and included reviewing requirements, meeting with NASAD representatives, and a college self-study of over 200 pages to ensure every aspect of PUC meets the highest standards possible."We were able to look at ourselves in the mirror and continue to push for improvements," Sigamoney says. The self-study and feedback from NASAD led to changes to the department's programs and facilities, bringing PUC in line with NASAD's high standards.The...

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Leaving the Driver’s Seat: Music Grad Shares on Hearing His Own Compositions

Posted by Becky St. Clair on December 9, 2019

Brennan Stokes (’13) started piano lessons when he was in Kindergarten. He was following in his parent’s footsteps; they themselves were in their church choir, his dad played trumpet through high school and college, and his mom plays piano.“Music has just always been around me, and piano was a match right from the start,” Stokes says. “I just took it and ran with it.”When he arrived at Pacific Union College, Stokes enrolled as a chemistry major, but changed to music with an emphasis in piano performance in his sophomore year. He took lessons, theory, and history, but when he got to the required composition class, he hesitated.“For as long as I can remember I’ve been on one side of the page,” he says. “I always knew I’d learn music, research it, and analyze it, but I’d never considered creating it myself.”Despite his misgivings, it didn’t take Stokes long to recognize the magic in the composition process. He quickly fell in love with creating music, and continued to study the subject beyond the required course.“I loved performing, but this idea of creating new music was even more exciting to me,” he recalls. “There are far superior pianists to me out there,...

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