Teacher Studies at La Mama

By Lainey S. Cronk on October 20, 2009

For two weeks, Mei Ann Teo lived in an old stone mansion in Umbria, the Green Heart of Italy. On a huge stage overlooking the Umbrian countryside, she learned things that "pretty much completely exploded everything I thought I knew about theatre." With the help of a Herber Grant, Mei Ann Teo, PUC's drama program director, attended the La Mama International Directors Symposium. La Mama, the nation's oldest and most established avante garde theatre, bought land and an old mansion and farm area in Umbria 10 years ago, making it into "the most beautiful place for an international theatre community to come together and learn from each other," says Mei Ann. She studied under four teachers, two each week. One who teaches hip-hop theatre at NYU, one who's famous for her work in documentary theatre, a very famous Japanese director, and Mei Ann's favorite, Romeo Castellucci - who, in addition to exploding what she thought she knew, " reinvigorated my belief and faith in the multitude of ways that it as an art form can reach and transform a human being who is sitting in the community of the audience." Castellucci started one lecture by saying, "Theatre is the domain...
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PUC Enrollment Up for Fall Quarter

By Julie Z. Lee on October 15, 2009

Pacific Union College opened a new school year in September with increased enrollment and high student enthusiasm. Official headcount for fall quarter is 1,511-an 11.1 percent increase from last year. Retention numbers are also up from 71 percent to 79 percent. "We're off to a great start with increased enrollment numbers this fall, and there is such a positive spirit and a spirit of hope on the campus," said Dr. Heather Knight, PUC president. "Everyone is excited about creating a really exciting and dynamic learning community characterized by the intentional integration of faith and learning. Truly, PUC is becoming a real destination campus." While the numbers are encouraging, what's also inspiring to is the energy exuded by this year's student body. At a packed weekend retreat for freshmen, leaders observed students not only getting acquainted but starting a trend of connection, conversation, and involvement that carried over when the new students returned to campus. "There was just a buzz of conversation a new comfort level amongst their peers. People who came not knowing anyone … now have a sense of belonging," reported Lisa Bissell Paulson, vice president for student services, after the opening weekend. "The vibe that the new freshman...
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PUC Students Honored by Red Cross for Water Rescue

By Larry Pena on October 15, 2009

The American Red Cross honored three Pacific Union College students this week for their heroic actions in an aquatic rescue this summer at Leoni Meadows, a Seventh-day Adventist campground in Northern California. Matt Freedman and brothers Robert and Nolan Negrete, who worked as counselors at the Adventist campground this summer, saved another counselor from drowning at the nearby Cosumnes River. The three, along with other counselors who were involved, were given awards at a ceremony in Sacramento, California, on October 13. The incident occurred the first week of the summer, when several of the counselors had the afternoon off and decided to go for a swim at the local river. Finding what appeared to be a good natural rock slide, they soon discovered that a strong current at the base was sucking the water down under a nearby rock. One counselor tried to avoid the current but was pulled under, and despite being a trained lifeguard, was unable to fight his way back to the surface. "We were just kind of awestruck at first," says Matt. "The rest of us were crying out to God and praying." Robert and several others tried unsuccessfully to reach down to the drowning counselor...
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Seven Performers Take the Stage for Piano Fantasia

By Lainey S. Cronk on October 14, 2009

The second annual Piano Fantasia concert, hosted at Pacific Union College on October 11, honored noted philanthropist and Napa Valley arts patron Margrit Mondavi. It brought to the stage world-renowned pianists Daniel Glover and Thomas Hansen, internationally-recognized music prodigy Nathan Chan, dancer Jeraldine Mendoza from City Ballet School-San Francisco (who has been invited to finish her studies at the Bolshoi academy in Moscow), and violinist and PUC music professor Rachelle Berthelsen-Davis. "I'm delighted to be back," said Glover, who also played at last year's inaugural event. "It's been a fantastic experience." Several pieces brought the audience to their feet, including the 15-year-old Chan's performance of a "classical crossover" piece by contemporary composer Mark Summer, "Julie-O," a cello solo that includes the use of the instrument as percussion as well as being played with and without the bow. The event is a tribute to the music arts in the Napa Valley and the people who make it so rich. As PUC president Heather Knight said at the beginning of the program, this is an area celebrated for its arts culture, and as a Christian liberal arts college, PUC's role is "to add intellectual capital, spiritual capital, but certainly also cultural capital."...
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Fall Revival Brings Bobby Bovell to PUC

By Eirene-Gin Nakamura on October 13, 2009

A refreshing change of pace swept over campus this week as PUC welcomed the arrival of Fall Revival. This year, Fall Revival brought international flavor, featuring young British pastor Bobby Bovell. Bovell leads a contemporary church in Copenhagen, whose members meet at a local café on Sabbath afternoons. He spoke to PUC students about the freedom God gives them to choose to follow Him. "You are free because you are not forced to see Him," he said. "He respects us so much, He'll never force us." Bovell went from re-enacting scenes from his childhood to acting out awkward social encounters, incorporating some British humor, to illustrate the beauty of God's love. Breaking down the core of the revival, Bovell passionately explained, "Jesus comes into our reality to make sense of what doesn't make sense. He comes to say, 'Listen, I've got a plan for you.'" The annual event offers the student body an opportunity for spiritual awakening in the midst of busy schedules at the beginning of the school year. The meetings ran from Wednesday through Saturday, with the class schedule on Friday being shortened to dedicate to an extra gathering in the morning....
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A Spirit of Rejuvenation: The Religion Department Retreat

By Bradley D. Gienger, religion major on October 7, 2009

On occasion there is a banner hung in the Pacific Union College Church that reads "Where Nature and Revelation Unite." That sentiment was experienced in depth at the 2009 Religion Department Retreat to PUC's Albion Field Station. Each year the faculty and students of the religion department stuff their collective necessities into the old college bus and make the drive to the beautiful Albion campus. This year's retreat was an example of what can happen when breathtaking scenery and a spirit of worship and fellowship combine into one wonderful weekend. Upon arriving at the Field Station, jaws hit the ground over the extensive renovation that has been done on the campus. The cabins are completely redone, finished with fine tile and all the necessary facilities. The lab building has been converted into a very attractive meeting center. What outshines it all is the beautiful flora and fauna that seems to be almost bursting to proclaim the wonders of a marvelous creator. Friday evening, the participants had a great time getting to know the new members of the small department over dinner and a relaxing evening talking around a bonfire. For Sabbath School the next day, the group joined in the...
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President Speaks on the Adventist Advantage

By Lainey S. Cronk on October 5, 2009

In the second all-school colloquy of the year, new Pacific Union College president Heather Knight spoke on the topic of "Integrating Faith and Learning: A Higher Education Imperative." The theme of integrating faith and learning is one that will carry through the year for the weekly colloquies, and Knight addressed the shift, beginning in 2005, that has been pushing higher education to look at this area once again. "2005 was indeed a watershed year in terms of a renewed interest in religion and spirituality in higher education," she told the gathered campus, citing many books, projects and studies addressing students' quest for meaning and purpose, religious literacy, ground rules for civic discourse on matters of religion, and how higher education should respond. After many years of modernization, secularization, emphasis on scientific inquiry and technical approaches, followed by a postmodern trend to "dismantle the values that sustain religious belief," Knight explains that higher education is finally "coming around to affirming its historic roots." But, she asked, what does this mean for PUC? "I believe that this new interest and call to action in regard to the integration of faith and learning provides us with multiple opportunities to showcase what we have...
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Student Missionary Heeds Her Own Altar Call

By Larry Pena on September 22, 2009

If you've ever talked to a young person just back from the mission field, you know the story they're going to tell. There's the initial expectation that they're going to be a blessing to others, and then the inevitable sense that God is leading throughout the experience. And then by the end of the trip they realize that they themselves ended up being the ones that were blessed. But you don't often hear a story like the one of the Pacific Union College student missionary who accepted her own altar call. Every year for the past seven years, PUC has participated in an international evangelistic trip with ShareHim, an organization that empowers Adventist lay people in ministry through exposure to evangelism. When senior Jaymee Leamer signed up for this year's excursion to El Salvador, she thought she knew what to expect. "I didn't really think about what affect it could have on me," she says. "I only was thinking about how the Lord could use each of us to change the lives of those around us." But soon after the preaching got underway, she began to feel inadequate. Her Catholic family had converted to Adventism when she was 12 years...
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19th Publication Workshop

By Lainey S. Cronk on September 14, 2009

The 19th annual Publication Workshop brought 165 academy students and sponsors from 26 schools to the Pacific Union College campus. For these staff and sponsors of school yearbooks, newspapers, and video yearbooks, the September 8-10 Publication Workshop offered hands-on presentations from college educators and industry professionals. In addition to the practical information gleaned in over 50 presentations and labs, schools earned awards, prizes, and scholarships, had the chance to interact with students and sponsors from other schools, and enjoyed the beautiful campus and Christian learning environment of PUC. "Schools who self-publish yearbooks and newspapers have found the workshop to be an invaluable tool for gathering ideas, receiving hands-on training with publication software, and networking with other schools," explains co-director Milbert Mariano, who is also chair of PUC's visual arts department. The presentations are grouped in focused tracks for editors, designers, photographers, writers and video production staff. Students (with input from their school advisor) select the sessions they want to attend based on their staff positions. This year's workshop sported, by popular demand, a new pre-session workshop in Adobe Illustrator. Other courses ranged from "Headlines & Captions" and "Self-Critique" to "Journalistic Layouts."At the conclusion of the workshop, 11 publication awards were...
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Unique Show Exhibits Artists with a Different Perspective

By Lainey S. Cronk on September 11, 2009

A unique and colorful multi-artist show titled "Working Out: Artists With Developmental Differences" will open in the Rasmussen Art Gallery on the Pacific Union College campus in Angwin on October 3. The opening reception from 7 to 9 p.m. will include a talk by Denise Bondy, who has worked for years in the area of art therapy and has worked with the four Napa Valley and Bay Area organizations whose clients will exhibit their work in "Working Out." The show will be on display through October 25. The featured artists will exhibit works in clay, paint, marker, mixed media, and sculpture. All are clients of four organizations who provide art therapy or an art environment for individuals experiencing developmental differences. The Napa Valley Support Services Brown Street Gallery and studio in Napa is dedicated to developing creative expression. Alchemia in Petaluma offers visual arts, performing arts, house band programs and vocational training. The Enterprise Resource Center in San Rafael is a peer-run, self-help organization that offers outreach, a drop-in center, and peer support. The Cedars of Marin - Victory Center for Arts & Communications (in Ross) works with approximately 30 adults to explore creativity and communication through the arts. Special...
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