New Faces Arrive at PUC

By Landon Bennett on December 18, 2007

Share this

Placeholder Image because this article has no image
As renovations change the face of many areas on campus, another change occurs behind the scenes, one that makes an institution like Pacific Union College really great: new faces. The new “arrivees” bring with them a wide array of personalities, talents, and experiences. Here’s the scoop:

Tim Mitchell has filled the long-awaited senior pastor position for the PUC Church. Pastor Mitchell is no stranger to Angwin, having graduated from PUC in 1976 with a B.A. in theology. He went on to Andrews University to get his master of divinity in 1979. Coming to PUC from the Sunnyvale Adventist Church, where he pastored for 15 years, his warmth and enthusiasm are truly appreciated by the students and college community. Tim was born in Fresno and pastored in Sonora, Turlock and Orosi. Tim’s family includes his wife, Carleen, and two sons, Brent and Tyler. Carleen works as a medical administrator. Brent is a sophomore at PUC, while younger brother Tyler attends high school at PUC Preparatory School.

Truly part of an international family, reference librarian Gilbert Abella, has attended 16 schools on four continents and is fluent in three languages, thanks to his Portuguese family who served as missionaries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the United States. He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in history from Loma Linda University. In 1983 he earned a second master’s degree in library science from the University of Southern California. He has a very wide background in librarianship, has made numerous presentations at professional meetings, and has been widely published. While Gilbert was attending Middle East College in Lebanon, he met his wife, Hana, who is from Syria. Gilbert and his wife have a 22-year-old daughter, Lena, who is attending Loma Linda University.

Bringing a woman’s touch to the art department is Jody Sears-Barbuta, assistant professor. Her double major in fine arts and biology prepared her for her previous position with the U.S. Department of Water Resources as a fish and wildlife lecturer and scientific aid. She also holds a master of fine art in sculpture and has taught in the art departments at CSU Stanislaus and UC Berkeley. Jody became a newly-wed in June to Cornel Barbuta, a cardiac ICU nurse, whom Jody describes as “a dashing fella from Romania.”

Kent Davis joins the chemistry team at PUC as an assistant professor. He comes from Trinity College in Washington, D.C. Kent completed his doctorate in physical chemistry at Indiana University and has subsequently been involved in teaching, doing research, publishing, and presenting material at various symposia. Kent is married to Rachelle, who graduated from PUC in ’94 with a bachelor’s degree in music. She completed her master’s degree in violin performance at Indiana University and is currently completing her dissertation in violin performance at the University of Texas in Austin. Rachelle will be teaching violin part-time in PUC’s Paulin Center for the Creative Arts. She has been an assistant professor of music at Columbia Union College and assistant director of the New England Youth Ensemble. The Davis’ have a newborn son, Ethan.

Floyd Hayes, associate professor, comes as the newest addition to the biology department. He previously worked as a wildlife biologist for the Division of Fish and Wildlife in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. Traveling is second nature to Floyd, having visited 28 foreign countries and having lived 13 years abroad. He has taught at the University of the West Indies and Caribbean Union College. Bound to be PUC’s resident bird expert, Floyd wrote his doctoral dissertation on the birds of Paraguay and has published a book and several articles on ornithology. Floyd has been married for 15 years to his wife, Marta; they have an 11-year-old son, Brett.Enthusiastic about sharing her love for languages and culture, Carolyn Snipes-Hoyt, assistant professor, returns to her birth state to share her fervor with the students and faculty of PUC’s modern languages department. Carolyn holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in French and German and a doctorate in French. She has taught at Canadian University College, University of Lethbridge, Middle Georgia College and the University of Alberta, all in Canada. She has published several journal articles and presented numerous conference papers in Canada, the United States and Britain. Carolyn and her husband, John, worked as missionaries in Rwanda for six and a half years, during which they both taught in French. John is the brother of Nancy Hoyt Lecourt, chair of PUC’s English department. John is a recognized artist, holds a doctorate degree in education, and has taught as a professor of art and education at Canadian University College.

Life at PUC should present no surprises to Julius Nam, who has already lived 30 of his 35 years on Adventist college campuses. Having served as a pastor, editor, teacher, and ministry group director, Julius will now be teaching as an assistant professor in the religion department at PUC. Julius is a Ph.D. candidate at Andrews University. He has been published in several journals, both in English and Korean, and has presented papers at various meetings. Julius has lived in Korea, the Philippines, the United States, and Europe. His wife Iris is an elementary school teacher and according to Julius, “one mean iron chef.” Their two children, Sherwin, 9, and Ansel, 8, both hold black belts in Taekwondo.

Coming back to her alma mater to join the history department as an assistant professor is Amy Rebok Rosenthal. Amy returns from Indiana University where she completed her master’s in history and is currently working on her doctoral dissertation. She also taught in the history department at IU. Amy and her husband Greg celebrated their one year wedding anniversary in July.