By Lainey S. Cronk on June 1, 2006
The early birds are still singing across campus on a Sabbath morning when a group of college students forsake their cherished slumber and head down the hill. They know there’s a group of kids counting on them—a group of kids with rough lives, underprivileged backgrounds, and a distinct need for love.
It all started last year, when a request came in for volunteers to attend church with some children from unstable families or challenging backgrounds. A few PUC students started driving down to the Yountville Seventh-day Adventist Church to help out with the kids that Harley Roth and other members of Jail Prison Program Ministries (JPPM) brought to the church.
Before long, the interaction had extended to include a few more activities such as hiking or taking the kids to the beach. “We dreamed of becoming a campus ministry,” says senior chemistry major Karen Ong.
With some dedication and planning—and plenty of support from other students and college and community resources—their dream reached fulfillment at the end of last year and is now a full-fledged ministry called KidzReach.
Under the direction of Luke and Maria Hamilton (this year’s
By Lainey S. Cronk on May 22, 2006
At the spring concert of the PUC Symphonic Wind Ensemble, band director and music professor Kenneth Narducci gave his farewells to a packed Paulin Hall Auditorium.
After 24 years of contributing leadership, excellent teaching, and some of the campus’ most charismatic music, Narducci and his wife, Julie, are heading to Southern California. Narducci will be the director of wind and percussion studies at La Sierra University. “It’s just time on a couple different levels to try something somewhere else,” said Narducci, who has been teaching at the college since shortly after graduating from PUC. “But the heart will always be here.”
Midway through the May 20 program, band members showed several minutes of video clips with messages of thanks and farewell from students, faculty and friends of Narducci. It was really no surprise to hear students say, “I’m who I am today because of you,” “You are the teacher who has had the most impact on my life,” and “Doc, you are my hero.” Faculty and community members thanked Narducci for his commitment to excellence, his initiative in starting the PUC Jazz Band, and his ability to bring students to a level of musical
By Lainey S. Cronk on May 18, 2006
The annual Educator of the Year colloquy is a celebration of real-life teaching. It’s an acknowledgement of a campus where teachers’ offices are frequented by students stopping by to talk about class topics as well as their own dreams and plans. It’s a commemoration of so many lives utterly dedicated to broadening views and bringing true learning. “It’s a celebration of the diversity in our faculty and the different ways teachers reach students,” said last year’s Educator of the Year Aubyn Fulton. “All of us are recognized as teachers when one of us is held up.”
This year's Educator of the Year colloquy especially emphasized inter-disciplinary scholarship with the award going to Victoria Mukerji, an associate professor of visual arts who teaches classes for the psychology and social work, communication, and visual arts departments as well as the Honors Program. Mukerji, who graduated from Mills College and received her Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley, will also be spending a portion of the next school year in India as a Fulbright Scholar.
Several of Mukerji’s colleagues presented remarks of appreciation (combined with a little “roasting”). James Chase of the communication department
By Daneen Akers on May 17, 2006
Besides fun in the sun for 18 holes of golf, participants in the 14th annual Malcolm Maxwell Golf Classic raised over $50,000 for PUC student scholarships.
Teams of four, including a team of PUC students, spent a full day at the Napa Valley Country Club enjoying a round of golf and dinner with friends with all proceeds from the event going to help support quality Christian education in the Napa Valley.
The involvement from the local community this year was unprecedented. Besides entry fees, local businesses provided significant financial support for the tournament. Union Bank of California gave $5,000 towards the event and many other local companies and business people donated not only money, but prizes for a raffle and auction (including a vacation to Cabo San Lucas and a yacht trip).
Pam Sadler, vice president for advancement at PUC, feels the participation from the local community speaks volumes. “More than anything, the involvement made it evident to me that this community believes in what we are doing,” Sadler said. “They do believe that PUC is making a difference.”
In addition to raising money to assist students at
By Lainey S. Cronk on May 16, 2006
The latest stage performance at Pacific Union College has broken out of the typical stage arrangement with a unique production of Shakespeare’s comic Twelfth Night in the outdoor Angwin Amphitheatre. Director and PUC resident artist Mei Ann Teo has utilized the entire amphitheatre, with actors dialoging, shipwrecking, dancing, and fighting all up and down the wooden bleachers, the stone terrace, the main stage area, and a long blue walkway stretching across the center of the lawn.
“This journey started with the desire to put on a play for the community in this beautiful, underused amphitheatre,” said Teo. “It felt like the perfect fit to do Twelfth Night, combining its carnival associations and romantic nature with the fresh spring air.”
Though the “fresh spring air” was replaced by a spell of hot summer air on the May 14 opening performance and audiences (and actors) were required to protect themselves with sunscreen and parasols, the dedication and talent of the cast and directing team has survived the heat. Freshman Melissa Chrowl said, “I can’t wait until I can see it again. I’ll be more than happy to do it over again—the sun included—because it was definitely
By Lainey S. Cronk on May 15, 2006
During an April 27 faculty awards program at Pacific Union College, the Herber Family Endowment announced $10,000 in grants to college faculty members.
Established by St. Helena physician Steve Herber, his sisters Sandra and Susan Herber, and his father Ray Herber, this endowment will annually provide faculty with professional development grants to facilitate teachers in their quest to achieve and sustain innovative, quality instruction.
Steve Herber, medical director of the St. Helena Institute for Plastic Surgery and a 1982 graduate of Pacific Union College, explains that he and his sisters, who also attended PUC, wanted to establish a special endowment to express their appreciation for the commitment and dedication of the faculty. “It’s our way of saying thank you,” he said.
Grants funded by the Herber Family Endowment were presented to seven PUC faculty members. The grants finance such development opportunities as religion professor Ross Winkle presenting a research paper at the Society of Biblical Literature in Edinburgh, Scotland, and visual arts instructor Cheryl Daley attending the ceramics workshop at Anderson Ranch in Colorado this summer.
Herber’s commitment to service and the support of worthy causes has been
By Brittany Fredeen on May 9, 2006
The SonScreen Film Festival, a screening and showcase event for filmmakers, took place at the end of April. Created by the North American Division of the Seventh-day Adventist church, this annual event highlights Adventist and Christian young people and adult professionals in media and film. This project began in 2002 with the goal of nurturing Christian filmmakers in their craft, career development and their spiritual life.
For the first time the film festival took place in Simi Valley, California home of the Adventist Media Center. Stephen Eyer, visual arts instructor at PUC and a member of the executive planning committee for SonScreen, attended the festival with six PUC students and three other visual arts professors. Eyer felt that exposing students to the materials already in place was a good idea. “It is good for students to see what the church has and realize there is a place where they can make powerful stories,” he said.
Attendees had the opportunity to meet filmmakers and people in the professional world. When participants were not watching film screenings they could attend workshops for directing, editing, producing, and screenwriting. Film student Tim de la Torre thought the weekend
By Julie Z. Lee on April 27, 2006
During President George W. Bush’s four-day visit to California, Angwin unexpectedly became the center of the media's attention. After days of press speculation as to where Bush would land for his brief visit to the Napa Valley, military helicopters touched down at the Angwin Airport on Friday—contrary to numerous presidential advance team reports. As of Friday, Pacific Union College officials had received confirmation that the president would not be arriving in Angwin, despite practice landings earlier in the week. With Angwin out of the picture, the valley swirled with rumors that the entourage would be arriving at a St. Helena elementary school, where practice runs had also been held, or at a private resort.
But around 6 p.m. Friday, a train of law enforcement vehicles began zipping up Howell Mountain Road and towards the airport. Close to 8 p.m., helicopters could be heard roaring through the dark sky. Ten minutes later, a motorcade sped past a modest gathering of citizens who had caught on that the president of the United States would be driving through their quiet little town.
The excitement continued early Saturday morning when residents noticed a number of cars making their
By Brittany Fredeen on April 27, 2006
PUC students brought their life experiences before peers during student week of prayer. The third week of spring quarter featured nine students who spoke about the six different spiritual disciplines, inspired by Richard Foster’s book, Streams of Living Water: Celebrating the Great Traditions of Christian Faith. Student speakers related stories from their own lives to the book and challenged their friends to use their gifts and talents for God.
Students Jordin Montgomery and Martin Surridge started the week out strong. They reminded students that others struggle for freedom and then told students how they can make a difference. Jordin and Martin’s conviction extended into Nicole Wilson and Krita Brieno’s talks on Tuesday. Both Nicole and Krista encouraged students to accept their talents. Nicole said, “Embrace those gifts God has put in your heart and do something about them—take action.”
On Wednesday morning, Solomon Mendoza enthusiastically shared with students how important it is to give your heart to Christ. He said, “I was excited about this topic because it is the most profound study—God becoming a man.” He talked with students about letting go of their preconceived ideas about their lives and not to settle
By Daneen Akers on April 27, 2006
Dr. Victoria Mukerji, associate professor of visual arts at Pacific Union College, has been awarded a prestigious Fulbright scholarship to teach at Goa University in India for six months.
Mukerji applied for the highly competitive scholarship over nine months ago, but hardly told a soul—she was so sure she didn’t stand a chance of winning that she didn’t even tell her parents that she had applied. She says she has dreamed of getting a Fulbright scholarship since she was a little girl (her parents had friends who were Fulbright scholars), and the news that she had been chosen cheerfully took her by surprise. “I’m very, very happy,” she said.
The Fulbright Scholar Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and aims to foster understanding between countries through scholarly exchanges. Each year about 800 scholars from the United States are awarded lectureships to schools in more than 150 participating countries. In return, about 800 international scholars are sponsored through the program to teach or conduct research in American universities.
Mukerji will be returning to her first love in India. Although she was raised in the United States, her father is