Dramatic Arts Society's New Take on Tragedy

By Jackson Boren on May 29, 2008

On May 25 the Pacific Union College Dramatic Arts Society brought its annual full-length production to the stage after nearly two months of rigorous preparation and rehearsal. This year, directors Mei Ann Teo and Heather Denton brought their interpretation of Charles Mee’s Iphigenia 2.0 to life with a cast of 25 actors, including student, faculty and alumni. Mee, a survivor of polio, wrote Iphigenia 2.0 from his wheelchair and gave it his trademark of intense physical demands on the actors and a thematic pulse that always rests at the edge of chaos.The play was inspired by Euripides’ Iphigenia at Aulis, but has been reinterpreted to dress the ancient tale in the context of a modern wartime reality. Teo says, “The story of Iphigenia at Aulisis one of the most brutal of the Greeks. This brutality comes from the reality we know today of the deaths of innocents ordered by bureaucrats — but takes it to the ultimate sacrifice of one's daughter.”As the story unfolds, the audience sees King Agamemnon (Zach Dunn) forced to make a decision, which holds the fate of his nation’s army and the life of his own daughter, Iphigenia, in the balance. The play depicts what follows...
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Students Lead a Revolution of Giving

By Jackson Boren on May 22, 2008

After months of preparation and promotion, the Pacific Union College campus mall was alive and packed with people on the night of May 18 as the twilight hours welcomed the first REVO PUC. The event was the brainchild of graphic design major Rachel Thompson and inspired by a campus visit from activist David Batstone, encouraging awareness about human trafficking. The awareness of this cause encouraged Thompson to take it up as her own and encourage her peers to do the same. With hundreds of students in attendance, REVO (short for “revolution”) provided a variety of entertainment and features to draw attention to its cause. There was a spoken word poetry slam, a fashion show, several student organization booths and a concert by Hawaii-based indie band, Goodbye Elliott. Corn dogs and lemonade were on sale and the Amnesty International booth was right at home in the awareness-raising event. The marquee feature of the event was the student-run benefit sale. Hundreds of items that were donated by students, faculty and community members were resold and auctioned off. All proceeds went to a project of Batstone’s “Not For Sale” campaign, building a shelter and vocational center for trafficked and abused children in Lima,...
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A Mission in Focus: Alumnus Serves Through Photography

By Jackson Boren on May 21, 2008

Before graduating from Pacific Union College in 2007 with a double major in photography and graphic design, Michael Murtaugh had a passion for service and a desire for mission work but no idea how those components would fit into his career path. While a student, Michael made a name for himself on campus as both a talented photographer and an active fighter for world issues with his involvement in Amnesty International. Although these were significant aspects of Murtaugh’s life, he didn’t know how they would carry over after he received his diploma. Then in June he made a connection with Maranatha and was asked to be a part of small media team stationed in India. “I had always dreamed of going outside the country when I graduated,” said Murtaugh. “I had originally thought of going to Latin America but when I found out about the job with Maranatha I knew it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.” The opportunity proved to be worth waiting for as Michael’s duties took him from the congested streets of New Delhi to Mother Teresa’s home for the destitute and dying. Located in the town of Gurgaon, right outside of New Delhi, Michael was...
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Spring Fest 2008 a Success

By Jackson Boren on May 15, 2008

For the first time, Pacific Union College’s annual Spring Fest found a new home this year: the Napa County Fairgrounds in Calistoga. As a collaboration with the Napa Valley Cinco de Mayo festival, the May 4 event came as a result of careful planning on the part of student activities director Juliana Dalotto and the 14 clubs that took part in the festivities. Spring Fest has traditionally been held in the PUC gymnasium, but when the Cinco de Mayo festival was reported to be happening the same day, the organizers decided that this would be a great opportunity not only to give PUC some visibility within the Valley but also a great way to get connected with the local communities. Dalotto stated, “I always thought it would be wonderful if PUC could play a bigger role in the community at large. This was a perfect venue to set that precedent because the committee members were very supportive about helping PUC get involved and they helped me make it happen.” The day began with a Cinco de Mayo parade that ran down Calistoga’s main street. In the midst of the rancheros on horseback, the cultural dancers and the sounds of Latin...
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REVO to Touch Down at PUC

By Jackson Boren on May 12, 2008

On May 18, 2008, at 7 p.m., REVO PUC, a student-organized fundraiser for social justice, will be held on the Pacific Union College campus. It will feature a fashion show, a poetry slam, a flea market and a live concert. REVO (short for revolution) started in Hilo, Hawaii, in 2007 and has since become a chain of awareness-rasing events geared towards different causes of injustice around the globe. REVO PUC is directed towards increasing awareness and funds to stop human trafficking. Event organizer Rachael Thompson says that the inspiration for the event came to her after activist and entrepreneur David Batstone visited the campus and talked about the “Not for Sale” campaign to stop human trafficking. Thompson said, “Our hope for REVO, as it relates to the community, is that people will understand PUC to be a place where people are stirred to action in place of apathy. I've seen people's lives transformed as they learn about the truths of modern day slavery, and the idea that they can do something practical to abolish it.” The flea market will sell items collected from PUC faculty, students, and staff. Donors were asked to give careful consideration to their gifts. “[This is]...
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PUC Student Honored by Sheriff's Department

By Lainey S. Cronk on May 8, 2008

At a May 5 meeting at the Angwin Fire Department, Napa County Sheriff deputy Jon Thompson awarded PUC student Scott Roberts and Angwin resident Mike Real with a Sheriff’s medallion in honor of emergency service they provided. Late on April 19, Roberts and Real, who had met just the day before, were headed back from Safeway when they saw an orange glow in the road near Beringer Vineyards. They were the first car to happen on a collision involving two patrol cars, one of which was burning. Roberts, a firefighter with the Angwin Fire Department and an EMT, had his EMT pack. Real, who had emergency training from the Navy, joined Roberts in doing an initial assessment of the situation and of injured Napa County Sheriff deputy Steve Paris. When ammunition rounds started going off from the burning patrol car, Roberts and Real moved Paris away from the car and continued medical attention. With a nurse who also stopped, and blankets from people at the nearby apartments, the two kept charge of the medical situation for around 20 minutes until emergency personnel showed up in force. As they talked with Paris to make sure he was conscious, he amazed them...
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Maxwell Reading Room Opens in Library

By Lainey S. Cronk on May 5, 2008

During the 2008 Homecoming Weekend, PUC celebrated the opening of a room in the library that’s rich with history, heritage, and childhood memories. The Maxwell Reading Room is the result of a gift from the Maxwell family, including material given by the late Malcolm Maxwell, a beloved former president of PUC. The collection of material celebrates the legacy of Malcolm’s father, Arthur S. Maxwell, and especially his contribution to Adventist children’s literature. Arthur Maxwell — or “Uncle Arthur” — served as editor of the Signs of the Times for 34 years and wrote over 100 volumes. His work is well known in the worldwide Adventist community, especially his books for children. Generations of Adventists have childhood memories of Uncle Arthur’s Bedtime Stories and The Bible Story. These books, and others from Arthur Maxwell’s collection, became popular across countries and denominations and continue to sell today. The collection in the Maxwell Reading Room gives people an opportunity for nostalgia with first editions of Uncle Arthur’s volumes, as well as the original hand-written and typed manuscripts. The collection is not yet complete, and more material will still be added to the room over time. At Homecoming, the Reading Room was packed full...
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Faculty Honored

By Lainey S. Cronk on May 1, 2008

“Our job as teachers is to make ourselves obsolete — to point you in the right direction and get out of the way.” The words of Cynthia Westerbeck, English professor and 2007-2008 Educator of the Year, opened the annual faculty awards program at Pacific Union College on April 24. At this program, faculty were honored for achievements and service that made them part of what Westerbeck described as “all simultaneously engaged in the quest for knowledge.” She told students, “The greatest reward we can receive as teachers is to be replaced by you.” Faculty members received awards for original work, grants for upcoming research, and Meritorious Service Awards. Awards for original work are given each year to professors who, in addition to maintaining their focus on undergraduate students, have also published, presented, or researched work, outside of Angwin, in their discipline. Twenty-four faculty members received awards for work ranging from solo art shows to poster sessions at professional conventions. Seven faculty members received Herber Grants, which are funded by the Herber Family Endowment, established in 2006 to facilitate teachers in their quest to achieve and sustain innovative, quality instruction. Herber Grants were awarded to biology professor Floyd Hayes for a...
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PUC Goes for Green

By Elizabeth Rivera on April 28, 2008

April 17-22 marked Pacific Union College’s first Green Week. For six days PUC students and community members enjoyed activities that informed, entertained and provided opportunities to care for our local and global community. The week started with a special colloquy on April 17, including the PUC elementary choir and praise band’s boisterous performance of “With my Own Two Hands” and “The Three R’s.” Things got serious when Dr. Matthew Sleeth, a full-time minister in environmental conservation, shared his journey towards Christianity and environmental awareness. Once an ER doctor and secular humanist, he now devotes himself exclusively to promoting ecological awareness and serving Christ. His book title sums up his philosophy: Serve God, Save the Planet. Throughout Green Week, the campus continued to host events geared to educate and inspire students and the community to care for the earth. Events included an art contest for PUC elementary student and the films A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash, FernGully, and Who Killed the Electric Car? Freshman Tyler Mccullch took a break to watch A Crude Awakening. “It made me aware of what is actually happening with our current energy sources,” he said. Environmentalists new and old put their knowledge to practical use...
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Students attend 2008 SONscreen Festival

By Jackson Boren on April 28, 2008

The sixth annual SONscreen Film Festival was kicked off on April 10 and ran through April 12 to an audience of young filmmakers from all over the country. The festival was once again held at its host location, the Adventist Media Center in Simi Valley, Calif. The three-day event provided attendees with an eclectic showcase of quality independent Christian filmmaking and a variety of workshops led by industry professionals highlighting screenwriting, cinematography and animation. PUC film instructor and one of the festival organizers, Stephen Eyer, said, “The mission of the SONscreen Film Festival is to nurture Christian filmmakers in their craft, career development and spiritual lives. Although the festival screens films from working professionals, the focus of the festival is on student filmmakers.” Several entries from PUC students were screened at this year’s festival, and Uly Mostrales’ short film “The Green Light” took home an award. Mostrales’ film, about finding inner strength when overcoming loss, received “Best Drama” and was the second award-winning short he’s taken to SONscreen. He won “Best Music Video” at the 2007 ceremony for his visual take of Emery’s “So Cold I Could See My Breath.” The ceremonies also provided a group of PUC students with...
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