Opening Vespers Program Unites PUC Family

By Lauren Armstrong on October 8, 2012

At the opening Vespers program of the school year on Sept. 28, the Pacific Union College family remembered a student who passed away during the summer. The program also featured Joe Castillo, a Christian artist who recently performed on the television show America’s Got Talent. To open the program, Campus Chaplain Laffit Cortes invited up the parents of Josh Highness, the former PUC student who passed away over summer. Highness’ best friend and girlfriend were also invited on stage. Cortes read Romans 12:15, which instructs Christians to “rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep” (KJV). Student Association President Samantha Angeles and Student Association Executive Vice President Danielle Hagood presented the family with a bouquet of flowers as a small reminder that they are in the hearts and prayers of many on campus. Angeles also reminded them that PUC is the place to find comfort and prayer in this time of need, and that the campus community is always ready with open arms. Rick Highness, Josh’s father, shared his analogy of what God’s role is like in our lives. He said that God is like our coach but we are not all meant to be star...
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"WOW" Kicks Off School Year

By Giovanni Hashimoto on October 4, 2012

The 2012-2013 school year began at Pacific Union College with a week of special events to kick off the new academic year and welcome new and returning students to life at PUC.Week of Welcome, or "WOW," was planned to jump start the school year and "get new and returning students excited about PUC and all that it offers, right from the start," explains senior theology major Samantha Angeles, president of the Student Association."President Knight was instrumental in making this happen," notes Angeles. "The support and presence of President Knight, our administrators, and various faculty and staff at the different events was wonderful for us as students."The event series began on Monday afternoon with the welcome back celebration on the campus mall. The carnival-themed event featured information tables from campus organizations and departments as well as local organizations and businesses, face-painting stations, a dunk tank, and free food.At 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, the school came together in the Pacific Auditorium to support student athletes at Midnight Madness—a pep rally held to cheer on Pioneers Athletics at the beginning of every school year. Hundreds of students packed the stands to cheer the teams and then joined in a special prayer to bless the...
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Freshmen Look Forward to a New Journey at Fusion

By Lauren Armstrong on October 4, 2012

Incoming freshmen bonded together over the weekend before the start of the school year at Pacific Union College’s annual Fusion retreat. The weekend’s activities included rock climbing, zip lining, line dancing, swimming and a talent show. Students worshipped together, both on Sabbath as one group and separately in smaller “family” groups. “I really liked all the worships. When we were singing and everybody went in the front, we all felt like a family,” said Laura Helms, an English and education major from Placerville, Calif. “I liked getting to hang out with my Fusion group and getting to know them better, since they all live around me.” The weekend provided the students with a chance to discuss their goals at the start of their college careers. “I look forward to getting fully adjusted to my new college lifestyle,” said nursing major Justin Springfield of Montrose, Calif. Like many of his peers, his goal is to succeed academically while managing his time to enjoy PUC’s lively social scene. Helms said a goal of hers for this first year is “to reach out to people that don’t have as many friends and try to be friends with everybody I meet.” Spiritually, students are...
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Pre-Law Society Starts Year with Law Forum

By Lauren Armstrong on October 3, 2012

The Pacific Union College Pre-Law Society hit the ground running in the new school year, hosting a forum featuring law professor Bruce Cameron and Alan Reinach, a prominent religious liberty attorney. The September 25 event was attended by over 20 students interested in a legal career. “When you get the opportunity to ask questions of attorneys who are active, it’s just a great opportunity,” said Cynthia Westerbeck, professor of English and department chair. “When you ask, ‘What do I do to prepare for law school?’ and you get a law professor giving you the answer, that’s great.” Reinach is the executive director of the Church-State Council, the religious liberty ministry of the Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, while Bruce Cameron serves as the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. The two discussed the importance of integrity in the field of law, the state of the law market, religion in the field and law school application tips. They also took questions from students, sometimes giving varying answers to student questions. “The two did not always agree on their answers,” notes Westerbeck. “It was really great to see different perspectives.” “I enjoyed being able to...
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Wintley Phipps to PUC Students: "Glimpse God’s Destiny for You"

By Larry Peña on October 1, 2012

At Thursday morning’s Convocation ceremony, education advocate and vocal recording artist Wintley Phipps called PUC students to live out God’s rich destiny for each of their lives. Phipps is an Adventist minister, a Grammy-nominated gospel singer, and the founder and president of the U.S. Dream Academy, a foundation that promotes educational opportunities for children of convicts. “God is the ultimate dreamer—when He dreams planets are born…stars twinkle in the skies,” Phipps said. “But when He dreams, He also dreams about you and your destiny, and the most incredible thing you can experience is to get a glimpse of the destiny He has dreamed for you.” After opening the program with two songs in his rumbling baritone voice, Phipps shared his life story, emphasizing what he called “moments of destiny.” From stories of his humble childhood in Trinidad, he went on to show clips of his first appearances on the television programs Soul Train and Saturday Night Live—where he performed spiritual songs far different from both shows’ usual fare. “God showed me that you don’t have to compromise to be recognized,” he said. “These ‘moments of destiny’ are the moments for which you are created,” said Phipps. “But they are not...
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Freshman Parents Blessed at Orientation Program

By Lauren Armstrong on September 28, 2012

At Pacific Union College’s annual Parent Orientation on September 19, parents of incoming freshmen received a special blessing in preparation for the start of the school year. College officials also shared information on how the parents can help their students make the most of their time at PUC. Campus chaplain Laffit Cortes commended the parents and offered a blessing over all new students and their families. “Father,” Cortes prayed, “I want You to embrace these parents and give them the peace that surpasses all understanding, that they may know that You are watching over their children, that, Father, You will not abandon them.” For Marsha Horton, there were a number of reasons she and her son Byron felt that PUC was the right choice. Coming from Michigan, they were looking for a school in California and one with a Christian foundation. PUC not only offers his exercise science major, but is also his grandmother’s alma mater. “I loved [the blessing]. I think it’s a good idea to have everybody in the room and just bless this campus and the students and the parents as they start this new journey,” said Horton. “I thought that was a very important and moving...
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PUC Group Provides Medical Aid in Brazil

By Giovanni Hashimoto on September 20, 2012

A group of Pacific Union College students and staff spent a week providing medical care and health information to villagers along the Amazon River—part of a medical service trip in conjunction with Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Brazil, August 21-29. The trip continued a recent increase in focus on humanitarian service at the college. The group traveled along the Amazon River aboard a boat, the Luzeiro 26, stopping in the remote villages which line the river. The Luzeiro 26 is one of ADRA’s river boats dedicated to reaching the villagers in the interior Amazon Basin in Brazil. With the help of local professionals, the group set up medical clinics for villagers to consult with a physician or receive dental care. They also conducted medical screenings, health presentations, workshops, and expos to aid the communities in preventing future medical issues. The educational programs make a notable impact in the locals’ lives, explains Fabio Maia, service and missions coordinator at Pacific Union College. “The problems you see in these communities are the same,” says Maia. “A lot of the people are dehydrated because they don’t drink enough water and they sweat like crazy—it’s 100 degrees and 100 percent humid, so people...
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PUC Student Named Top Presenter at Physics Conference

By Larry Peña on September 19, 2012

PUC physics student Shalynn Romano received the top student presenter award for outstanding research at the International Conference on the Application of Accelerators in Research and Industry (CAARI) this summer in Fort Worth, Texas. The conference included professional research physicists, and Romano’s award was in a category typically reserved for graduate students. “To be recognized for research at a professional level while being an undergrad student was a great accomplishment,” says Romano. “It made me feel like anything was possible with hard work and confidence.” Romano conducted her award-winning research at her summer internship at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, one of the premiere experimental research facilities in the world. The subject was the energy exchange of charged particles. Although her research team included several other students and physicists from educational and scientific institutions around the world, Romano was named first author on the presentation of their findings due to her extensive work and commitment in the lab. “She is very motivated and focused, which has helped her as a researcher,” says PUC physics professor Vola Andrianarijaona, one of Romano’s collaborators on the project. “This is very important, because in research you are the teacher of yourself.” Although CAARI...
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U.S. News Ranks PUC #2 for Diversity

By Larry Peña on September 18, 2012

U.S. News & World Report ranked PUC the second most ethnically diverse liberal arts college in the nation, in the magazine’s annual list of the best colleges and universities released last week. The ranking calculates the proportion of minority students among the student body, excluding international students. Hispanic students make up the largest single minority group, according to the report. PUC administrators celebrated the distinction as an unique educational advantage. "Living, working, and studying collaboratively with people who come from a variety of backgrounds gives students an opportunity to learn about people, ideas, and cultures, and to think critically about new ideas," says academic dean Nancy Lecourt. “It also helps prepare them for the current working world, where they often find themselves working on teams with people who are quite different from themselves.” View the official ranking online at U.S. News & World Report....
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Academy Students Learn, LLA Tops Award List at Publication Workshop

By Larry Peña on September 13, 2012

One-hundred eighty students from 23 Adventist academies visited PUC for the 2012 Publication Workshop on Wednesday and Thursday, learning writing, photography, and design techniques from college professors and working publication professionals. “The classes have really opened my mind, and just what we’ve learned today has helped us come up with a great theme for our yearbook this year,” said Brandie Scott from Mother Lode Adventist Junior Academy, a first-time attendee at Publication Workshop. “I love it so far—it has been amazing!” High school yearbook and newspaper staffers chose from courses including photojournalism, layout, brainstorming, Photoshop, editor’s forum, and feature writing. Teachers lead the eager students in many hands-on learning activities, from spreading out across campus to develop their eye for photo opportunities, to creating scrapbook-like mood boards to help refine yearbook themes. “It’s exciting to see the potential in these students and see their excitement in learning the subject,” said Brian Kyle, a photographer and graphic designer in PUC’s public relations office, who taught several photography classes at this year’s program. “When you see them catch on it’s a very fulfilling experience.” The event also included a contest that awarded the attending schools for outstanding work on their latest newspapers...
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