PUC Students Begin Serving at Home

By Larry Peña on October 17, 2011

On Sunday, October 9, Pacific Union College students volunteered to assist Napa Valley senior citizens with home maintenance with a project called Rebuild Calistoga. The project is a partnership between PUC’s Office of Missions, Service and Justice and the Calistoga Affordable Housing program (CAH). It’s part of new missions and service coordinator Fabio Maia’s campaign to get PUC students involved in community service, both locally and abroad. “We’re young—we have all the energy,” says freshman Arve Lloren, who volunteered on a crew repainting an elderly woman’s home. “I think it’s better to use that energy to help people rather than wasting it, sitting around in front of the laptop.” In addition to repairing and restoring homes, the student volunteers helped CAH distribute subsidized carbon monoxide detectors to senior citizens at ACE Hardware. The detectors are not only important lifesaving devices, but were recently made a requirement for all homes in California. Maia, only two months on the job at PUC, anticipates that Napa Valley residents will come to know PUC by the selfless volunteer service of its students. “It is a way for them to have hands on [experience], going out and serving the community,” he says. Maia has already...
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Religion Department Hosts Annual Retreat

By Samantha Angeles on October 17, 2011

“You’re grounded.” These words may be heartbreaking to a child, but at Pacific Union College’s annual religion department retreat, the term “grounded” was the talk of the weekend. The annual getaway to PUC’s Albion Field Station, located on the Mendocino, Calif., coast is designed for students and faculty to escape the frenetic pace of school and connect with one another and with God. This year, the theme for the retreat was “Grounded in Christ, Grounded in Faith, Grounded in Love,” borrowed from PUC Campus Ministries. The three spiritual programs of the weekend each focused on one aspect of the theme. The first program highlighted the significance of being “Grounded in Christ.” Senior Wally Peralta, student association religious vice president, delivered a compelling sermon about the need to have an authentic relationship with Christ. “Wally set the spiritual tone for this weekend,” said Danny Castanaza, a senior. “His Christ-centered message was, as always, inspiring and uplifting.” Afterwards, students continued the department’s tradition of singing praise songs long into the night, maintaining an atmosphere of worship. The next morning, PUC chaplain Laffit Cortes delivered a powerful homily about the importance of being grounded in faith. “What really stood out to me was...
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Producer of The Adventists to Speak at Pacific Union College

By Midori Yoshimura on October 12, 2011

Martin Doblmeier, award-winning filmmaker and president of Journey Films, will be at Pacific Union College on November 9 and 10 as the speaker for this year's Longo Lecture Series. The Longo events will begin on Wednesday night, November 9, at a screening of Doblmeier's documentary, The Adventists, followed by a question and answer session with the filmmaker. The program will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Scales Chapel.On Thursday morning, November 10, Doblmeier will speak to the campus at the Colloquy Speaker Series in the PUC Church at 10 a.m. At 7:30 p.m., Doblmeier will give the Longo Lecture presentation, titled, "Through the Lens of Faith," in Scales Chapel. The public is invited to attend both events, and admission is free.The president and founder of Journey Films, Doblmeier has produced and directed more than 25 films, including The Adventists, Bonhoeffer, and The Power of Forgiveness. He is passionate about using films to analyze how faith and spirituality can change lives.The Longo Lecture Series began in 1992, thanks to the generosity of Dr. Lawrence Longo, one of the world's most respected specialists in developmental physiology. As part of the lectureship, PUC annually invites a speaker to share his or her views on...
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Tracy Kidder to Present at PUC Colloquy Speaker Series

By Midori Yoshimura on October 11, 2011

Tracy Kidder, renowned author and Pulitzer Prize winner, will speak at Pacific Union College on Thursday, October 27, at 10 a.m in the PUC Church Sanctuary. A special question-and-answer session with Kidder at 11:00 a.m. in Scales Chapel will follow his presentation. The public is invited to attend, and admission for both events is free. Author of eight books, Kidder’s text “Mountains Beyond Mountains” follows the life of Paul Farmer, a physician with a passion for international outreach, notably in Haiti. “Mountains Beyond Mountains” is the 2011-12 selection for PUC Reads, a campus-wide book club that incorporates a chosen text into general education courses. Tracy Kidder has won the National Book Award, the Robert F. Kennedy Award, and many other literary prizes....
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Astronaut Jose Hernandez: “Don’t Ever, Ever, Ever Give Up”

By Larry Peña on September 30, 2011

At a presentation at Pacific Union College yesterday, NASA astronaut Jose Hernandez encouraged students to persevere in their lifelong pursuit of ambitious goals. “Don’t ever, ever, ever give up on yourselves, because you can do it,” he said to an overflow audience in the PUC Church. Hernandez addressed PUC students, faculty, and staff at the morning Opening Convocation, the ceremony that represents the formal start of the school year. Beginning with a clip from his TV interview on Oprah, Hernandez recounted his inspirational journey from the strawberry fields of California’s Central Valley all the way to his 5.7 million mile voyage with the International Space Station in 2009. The astronaut, who has received a flood of media attention because of his inspiring story, also revealed that at the urging of President Barack Obama, he is considering a run for Congress in California. He plans to announce his decision on October 11. The son of migrant farm workers who traveled with the growing seasons from Michoacán, Mexico to the farmlands of California, Hernandez grew up picking produce alongside his brothers and sisters. His parents, despite having only a third-grade education themselves, did their best to keep the children in school as...
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PUC Named a "College of Distinction"

By PR Staff on September 29, 2011

The college research service Student Horizons has named Pacific Union College one of its “Colleges of Distinction,” with a feature profile of the school posted on the service’s website, collegesofdistinction.com. Student Horizons and Colleges of Distinction provide students, parents, and counselors with information about excellent colleges based on four distinctive factors: engaged students, great teaching, vibrant communities, and successful outcomes. The selection is designed to feature both well-known colleges and smaller, “hidden gems” of which college-bound students may not be aware. View PUC’s profile at collegesofdistinction.com....
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Freshmen Move In, With a Little Help

By Larry Peña on September 23, 2011

The residence halls at Pacific Union College were a storm of activity Wednesday, September 21, as the year’s crop of freshmen arrived on their new campus. Faculty, staff, and many upperclassmen welcomed the new faces to campus, helping the freshmen move into the dorms as a volunteer service known as Porter Power. “This is great! I wish people had done this for me when I started college!” said Student Association Vice President Jessica Kremer, who transferred to PUC as a sophomore. The entire SA government turned out to assist their new classmates into the dorms and welcome them to the student body. “Porter Power is a reflection of our very mission at PUC—to live a life of service!” says Lisa Bissell-Paulson, Vice President for Student Services. “Why not put our mission into action from the moment students set foot on campus? Parents love the assistance, students see faculty, staff, and students joining together to help them, and in turn, new students immediately embrace serving others. One good deed really does lead to another.” Now that they’re settled on campus, the freshmen are headed for a campground in the Mendocino forests for a retreat with Fusion, the freshman orientation program that...
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Record Turnout for Publication Workshop; HMA Sweeps Newspaper Awards

By Larry Peña on September 22, 2011

Academy students from across the western states learned tips from design and editing professionals September 6-8 at PUC’s annual Publication Workshop. This year’s crowd was the largest in the 21-year history of the program, with 26 schools in attendance. Publication Workshop provides invaluable experience for high school yearbook, video yearbook, and newspaper publishers, and for many students is a first step into a lifelong career in publishing or journalism. “PUC does an amazing job at providing support through the workshops and especially the opportunity to network with each other,” said Stanley Matsuda, yearbook sponsor at Redding Adventist Academy in Redding, Calif. This year’s program instructors included professors from PUC’s communication and visual arts departments, working professionals in the public relations and student life offices, and upper division design students—some in their first teaching experiences. The program also tapped resources from off campus, including keynote speaker Donna Rooney, who has been a writer for a variety of TV shows and websites; Jesse Duarte, a reporter for the local newspaper St. Helena Star; and John Tagamolila, an assistant director with credits including The Fighter and Dear John, and an adjunct professor in PUC’s visual arts department. “Publication Workshop was a great mix...
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Rebekah Widmer Makes Missions Her Mission

By Midori Yoshimura on September 13, 2011

Summer break offers welcome gifts of new activities and a change of pace to Pacific Union College students. For junior Rebekah Widmer, summer vacation 2011 brought a new chance to give of herself to others. Whether laying bricks or teaching kids how to brush their teeth, Rebekah Widmer is on a mission—or leading one. This summer, Rebekah led over 20 college-age peers on a unique mission trip to Chiapas, Mexico. For two weeks in July, the Collegiate Project team worked to build a church, offer a dental clinic, and conduct vacation bible school in the rural community of El Retiro. Sponsored by Maranatha Volunteers International, the project is the organization’s newest option for young adults, who are the trip’s leaders and participants. Rebekah was the trip’s first project coordinator. “Being the project coordinator helps you learn how everyone is part of the team; how the pastor impacts the cook,” she says. As a four-time veteran of Maranatha’s Ultimate Workout, a mission trip for high school age teens, Rebekah is very familiar with a mission team’s many roles. This service-driven student may be new to the Collegiate Project, but she’s no stranger to missions. At age 15, Rebekah felt a passion...
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Pioneers Athletics Receives Cal Pac Sportsmanship Award

By Robert Castillo on August 29, 2011

The California Pacific (Cal Pac) Conference of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics named Pacific Union College the winner of the 2010-11 Cal Pac Sportsmanship Award at the annual Cal Pac Convention on Sunday, August 21. The award honors the Pioneers athletic program as the best example of the value of respect in sport. "We are very honored to receive this recognition from our fellow members in the Cal Pac Conference. We are proud to be a member of a conference that strives to make character such a focal point in our competition," said PUC athletic director Robert Castillo. "This is a testament to the quality and character of our student-athletes here at Pacific Union College and throughout the Cal Pac Conference," added Castillo. The Cal Pac Conference recognizes one institution each year with the Sportsmanship Award. At the end of the season for each sport, the coaches of each college submit their top two choices for most sportsmanlike team in their respective sport. The institution with the most points at the conclusion of the sporting season wins the award. This is the eleventh year the Cal Pac Conference has granted a Sportsmanship Award. "Pacific Union College represents all that...
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