Honors Students Experience Italy on Summer Tour

By Giovanni Hashimoto on August 29, 2012

Juniors in PUC’s Honors Program hada stunning start to their summer when they spent three and a half weeks inFlorence, Italy as part of the annual “Beauty” seminar, June 28-July 24. Studentsin the seminar focussed on the definition of beauty, primarily within thecontext of Renaissance art, centered in Florence, along with other artisticperiods.The tour was led by CynthiaWesterbeck, chair of the department of English, along with Sylvia RasiGregorutti, professor of modern languages, and Roy Benton, professor ofmathematics. This is the second time this group of faculty has led the tour;they led it with a different group of students four years ago.According to Westerbeck, the tripgave students time to become intimately familiar with the city of Florence andits culture. “You really feel like you own Florence, you know the city—it’syours,” she says. “More than any of the other type of class, you are gettingout of the classroom and actually experiencing learning.”In addition to Florence, the groupalso visited Rome for its plethora of baroque art; the stunning ancient town ofAssisi; Venice and its acclaimed museum of modern art, the Guggenheim; andother locations. In addition to the many museums and sights, the students alsokept up an extensive reading schedule during the trip ranging...
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New Faculty Boost Film and Television Program

By Giovanni Hashimoto on August 7, 2012

The department of visual arts welcomes two new faculty members with extensive industry experience, providing a boost to Pacific Union College’s film and television program. The department is also welcoming a new instructor of photography. Rajeev Sigamoney comes to Pacific Union College following a career as both screenwriter and producer in Southern California. He earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland and pursued additional training in filmography in Southern California with the Act One program and through the University of California, Los Angeles. He also regularly participates in a number of film festivals including SONscreen, a festival created by the Adventist Church for young Christian filmmakers. “Rajeev is very credible as both a writer and producer,” says Milbert Mariano, chair of the department of visual arts, noting Sigamoney’s considerable involvement in the film industry and Christian media. “He brings a very strong, incredible screenwriting background to the program that’s very useful for television and film.” Many students are already familiar with John ‘Tag’ Tagamolila, who is officially joining the department full-time this fall as resident artist after spending the 2011-2012 school year as an adjunct member of the faculty. A graduate of Cornell University,...
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PUC Ranked "Most Beautiful College"

By Larry Peña on August 6, 2012

In a new list unveiled over the weekend, Newsweek and the news commentary site thedailybeast.com named Pacific Union College the most beautiful college in the nation. The ranking aggregates survey data on the attractiveness of both the campus and the students, as well as data assessing the pleasantness of the weather. "I am absolutely thrilled by this new designation for PUC from Newsweek as the most beautiful college campus in America," says President Heather J. Knight. "In many ways, this is early recognition for our collective goal to make the campus sparkle and for the hard work done by 'Team Sparkle,' which includes our landscape and facilities management teams in particular. This recognition inspires all of us in every area of our campus community to keep working even harder to make PUC a twenty-first century state of the art learning environment characterized by a God-given gorgeous and pristine setting. We are truly moving from good to great.” See the full list at thedailybeast.com....
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High-Achieving Middle Schoolers Experience College at Pacific Quest

By Giovanni Hashimoto on August 2, 2012

Middle school students visited Pacific Union College to experience a preview of higher education at PacificQuest 2012, July 22 through 27. The annual program gives academically outstanding seventh- through ninth-graders a chance to earn college credit in an intensive five-day program. This year’s PacificQuest featured an introductory course in mathematics taught by Richard Rockwell, a professor emeritus of mathematics at PUC. Students selected an additional class, either in computer science or communication. “I’ve loved math all my life,” says Emma Duge, a rising freshman at Justin-Siena High School in Napa. “PacificQuest is cool this year in the way that the math course is really complex and complicated... Dr. Rockwell is such a great teacher that he makes it all easier to understand.” “I never thought I'd be doing modular arithmetic before high school,” she adds. “It's by far the highlighted week of my summer, as it was last year too.” This year, PacificQuest hosted 18 students representing eight different schools from across the Western United States and as far away as Colorado. This is the 16th year since PUC began hosting PacificQuest to give academically-minded middle school students a chance to get a head start on college. Students who want...
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South Pacific Exploration for History Majors

By Giovanni Hashimoto on July 24, 2012

Most students would jump at the chance to travel to Australia and New Zealand and call it academic credit. PUC students had just that opportunity when the department of history offered its biannual summer study tour June 25 to July 7. The group spent four days in New Zealand and seven touring Australia, and logged over two days of travel on eight separate flights. “It’s sort of like one long field trip—you can go to museums and historical sites—but at the same time we had readings to do and we would connect them to what we saw and we would write journal articles about them,” says Max Morphis, a sophomore history major. “We had readings that covered all kinds of topics... It was definitely a class but it was more than just a class.” “The various museums we went to are not something that you’re going to find here [in the United States],” notes Paul McGraw, chair of the department of history. “History is something that takes a different perspective when you actually experience the stuff rather than just reading about it.” The trip provides credit for “HIST 450 - History Study Tour,” a graduation requirement for history students at...
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PUC Freezes Tuition and Fees for 2012-2013

By Giovanni Hashimoto on July 5, 2012

The Pacific Union College Board of Trustees has approved a freeze in the cost of tuition, room, and board for the 2012-2013 academic year — holding prices at the 2011-2012 rate. It is the first time since 1984 that the college has not posted an increase in cost of attendance. “While students at private and public colleges across the country are facing significant increases in tuition and fees, Pacific Union College is continuing its commitment to making higher education affordable for our families through initiatives like the tuition freeze,” said Dave Lawrence, PUC vice president for financial administration. “This freeze is just one of many ways we seek to make attending PUC a reality for students.” The announcement contrasts with across-the-board tuition increases in the private nonprofit sector of colleges nationwide. According to the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), tuition increased an average of 4.5 percent for the 2011-2012 academic year at its member institutions. The freeze marks a renewal of PUC’s efforts to make tuition more affordable, most recently with the Four-Year Guarantee Scholarship, which began last academic year. Under that program, nearly all students at the college are assured of a set amount of tuition...
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Pioneers Basketball Signs Vincent, Noguiera

By Larry Peña on July 3, 2012

Pioneers men’s basketball coach Kirt Brower is pleased to announce the signing of two new players to the team’s 2012-2013 roster. Ben Vincent is a 6’ 5” wing transferring from California State University, Monterey Bay, where he spent last season as a non-starting freshman. He previously played for Modesto Christian School, consistently one of California’s top-performing private school athletic programs. Vincent is pursuing a degree in biology, pre-med, and plans to become a cardiologist. He says the decision to come to PUC was influenced by a lot of prayer, and that the opportunity on the basketball team helped make the choice easier. “The team as a whole has a good attitude and love for the game, which to me is very important,” he says. “I've talked personally with a few of the guys on the team, and after last year’s season they are really looking forward to working hard and improving to ensure that this year’s team is a legitimate contender in the Cal-Pac. I personally am ready for the challenge, and I am going to work hard this summer to improve my game even more so that I can be a key asset to the program.” Trevor Noguiera is...
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Fund Supports Student Research

By Giovanni Hashimoto on July 3, 2012

A new program, started last year by the Student Association and the academic dean, is helping students prepare and present original academic research at scholarly conventions across the country. The undergraduate research fund was created this past school year using an allocation from the Student Association president’s budget, with additional funding provided through a student senate bill introduced by Holly Batchelder, a junior psychology major. “The undergraduate research fund encourages students to produce undergraduate research which will, most importantly, prepare students for graduate studies and future research while showcasing PUC’s academic success,” Batchelder explains. “It’s much more exciting to do research if you know you might be able to present it publicly when you’re done,” says Nancy Lecourt, vice president for academic administration and academic dean. “It makes you feel like you’re actually in the world of academic research. Its active learning; it’s a high impact learning practice.” The program has already issued twenty-five grants since its creation, including nine for the department of physics, 14 for the department of psychology, and two for the department of social work. Student recipients have presented research at the conventions of the Western Psychological Association, the Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors,...
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Father's Day Graduation at Pacific Union College

By Larry Peña and Giovanni Hashimoto on June 26, 2012

Hundreds of dads received a very special Father’s Day gift in Angwin Sunday, April 17—the gift of watching their children successfully complete their undergraduate educations. Pacific Union College graduated its 124th class on June 17 in the Angwin campus’s beautiful Commencement Grove. “It’s the best Father’s Day present I could ever have,” said Geoff Brummett of Redlands, Calif., whose son, also Geoff, graduated as a senior class officer with a double major in graphic design and photography. The class of 2012 comprised 286 graduates representing fourteen states and eight countries. Over 75 academic distinctions and honors were presented, with 14 summa cum laude graduates, nine magna cum laude, 43 cum laude and 10 graduates from the honors program. The class most notably included 119 graduates from the department of nursing, 40 from department of business and 22 in the visual arts. PUC board member and Adventist Health regional CEO Terry Newmyer presented the commencement address on Sunday morning. A veteran healthcare administrator, Newmyer’s leadership has been instrumental in a dramatic fiscal turnaround at St. Helena Hospital over the last several years. He is also the proud father of Michael, a cum laude business major and member of the graduating class....
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PUC Grad Takes Science Expertise to Prestigious UC Davis Vet Program

By Lauren Armstrong on June 7, 2012

PUC senior Mindy Nelson is eager to take on a new challenge she faces this fall after she graduates. This outstanding student will take the knowledge she’s gained in her biology studies and her in-field experience to the prestigious veterinary program at the University of California Davis. When asked if PUC has prepared her for this step, her response is immediate. “Absolutely,” Mindy says. “I think that my science background here will make the transition to vet school much easier.” The classes she’s taken have, although focused on human medicine, prepared her as they “cross the border into animals as well.” The Major Field Test for biology, a comprehensive exam required of all graduating biology majors and consisting of 150 multiple choice questions, tests both laboratory and field knowledge, diagrams, and experimental skills. While PUC ranked in the 99th percentile, Mindy’s individual score was in the 99.9th percentile of students nationwide. Her extensive experience in veterinary clinics also gave her the edge she needed to make it into the competitive program. “At UC Davis, their average accepted student has about three thousand hours of shadowing a vet,” Mindy says. With 2,600 hours when she applied, Mindy’s advantage came from the...
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