Lady Pioneers Volleyball Extends Winning Streak

By Staff Writer on October 15, 2013

Pacific Union College’s women’s volleyball team has won three straight league matches and seven matches in a row. On Saturday, October 12, the Pioneers closed out the visiting Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Univeristy Eagles in three sets: 25-14, 25-22, and 26-24. The team is 13-6 overall and 3-2 in California Pacific Conference (Cal Pac) play. The Pioneers started off set one dominating behind tough serving and multiple unforced errors by the visiting Eagles. They jumped out to an early 13-5 lead and continued on that path to 19-9. The Eagles ended the game going on a 4-0 run, but it wasn't enough to come back as the Pioneers took the set 25-14. The Eagles turned things around in set two and took the Pioneers off balance with a dominating 18-8 lead. After a timeout by head coach Brittany Brown, the Pioneers went on two service runs by Kailey Faust and Sarah Cusick who served 3 aces, bringing the Pioneers back within one point at 19-20. The Eagles and Pioneers exchanged points to 22-22, but the Pioneers put three balls away to take set two 25-22. In the final set, the Pioneers and Eagles battled back and forth 14-14, 21-21, and 24-24. With...
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PUC History Major Wins International Essay Contest

By Emily Mathe on October 15, 2013

Senior history major Erika Weidemann grew up listening to her grandmother’s stories of her childhood as a German refugee in Europe. During her junior year at PUC, Weidemann, a dedicated scholarship-hunter, ran across an essay contest sponsored by the Germans from Russia Heritage Society. The winning essay would be printed in the society’s publication, and the author would receive a $1000 scholarship. During Christmas break, Weidemann submitted an essay to the international contest. While the academic paper included historical facts about the life of German refugees after World War II, it also became a way for Weidemann to share her grandmother’s experiences with the rest of the world. Her essay snagged first place in the contest, to the delight of Weidemann, her peers, and her professors in the department of history. Weidemann’s essay, formatted in the style of a journal, includes entries comprised of her grandmother’s experiences. Although her grandmother didn’t keep a personal diary, Weidemann adapted the stories her grandmother told her into short entries. Born in the Ukraine, Weidemann’s grandmother and her family were evacuated from their home when the German army retreated during World War II. They were put on trains and sent to different resettlement camps...
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Department of Business Receives IACBE Re-Accreditation

By Emily Mathe on October 9, 2013

Pacific Union College business and economics students returned in September to find their department newly recognized as a dedicated provider of scholastic excellence. The International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE) Board of Commissioners reaffirmed the accreditation of the business programs offered by Pacific Union College in April 2013. The department of business and economics, which has been accredited by the IACBE since 2002, will maintain its member status through its next review in 2018. The mission of the IACBE is to recognize and promote excellence in business education, and the organization sets high standards for reaffirmation of accreditation. To achieve reaffirmation, the PUC department of business and economics underwent a thorough test of quality and dedication: self-evaluation, a peer review process, and a demonstration of compliance with the IACBE accreditation principles. In its report, the IACBE noted the department’s commitment to improvement, education excellence, and the continuing advancement of academic quality. “Before selecting a college, every business student should check the accreditation status of the school’s business program,” says Rodney Hardcastle, chair of the PUC department of business administration and economics. “Accreditation by a reputable agency helps to ensure that the school’s business majors will be receiving a first...
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PUC Installs New Lead Pastor During ONE Church Service

By Emily Mathe on October 3, 2013

The first Sabbath of the PUC school year was highlighted by two significant events: the first meeting of ONE Church and the installation of new lead pastor, Mark Witas. Although Pastor Witas has been preaching at PUC since June, the September 28 installation service was a ceremonial occasion, memorializing the beginning of a new school year and solidifying Witas’ position as part of the PUC church staff. A warm, inviting presence filled the sanctuary as the peals of the Healdsburg Bell vibrated in the air. Community members, side-by-side with college students and professors, listened as President Heather J. Knight welcomed the congregation to ONE Church. The college chorale, conducted by Bruce Rasmussen, provided worship in music alongside the praise team. Wendy Witas, new family ministries pastor, presented the children’s story, after which Jim Pederson, president of the Northern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, introduced the new pastor. Pederson, who served as the interim head pastor during the 2012-2013 school year, sincerely welcomed Witas to the PUC church staff. For his first sermon as the newly installed lead pastor, Witas chose to kick off a three-part message entitled “What Saves Us.” The first segment of this message centered around the importance...
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Pioneers Women’s Volleyball Starts Season Strong

By Staff Writer on October 3, 2013

Eight weeks into their 2013 season, PUC’s Pioneers Women’s Volleyball team has more than doubled their win total from the previous best season record; a significant factor in this winning streak has been the play of senior Lauren Secchitano. Secchitano was awarded the California Pacific Conference Player of the Week for the week of September 30. The Pioneers have won three straight matches, improving their overall record 10-6, with Secchitano totaling 44 digs and 8 service aces. Secchitano, the team’s libero (defensive specialist), currently leads the CalPac Conference in digs with 265. “I am extremely proud of Lauren and she is very deserving of this award. She has been working hard since spring of last year and is always the first one in the weight room and in the gym getting extra reps,” states Head Coach Brittany Brown. “There is a lot of hard work behind the award.” Secchitano is the second Pioneers player to receive the Player of the Week recognition this season; Jenna Glantz, a junior outside hitter, received the award the week of August 25 after her outstanding performance in the lady Pioneers’ four-game win streak at the Mustang Invitational in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. “It is always...
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PUC Sends Thirty Student Missionaries Abroad

By Cambria Wheeler on October 2, 2013

Thirty Pacific Union College students will be dedicating their time and talents to God by serving as student missionaries during the 2013-2014 school year. From medical clinics in the Amazon to classrooms in South Korea, these students are answering the call to serve God by serving others. The thirty young men and women are an exciting increase from the eight students who served during the 2012-2013 year. The renewed commitment to service demonstrates an exciting revival of long-term mission service as they join the 1,300 student missionaries that have served from PUC during the college’s history. Robert Henry, a theology major from Riverside, Calif., started his service as a teacher at Indonesian Adventist University on August 1, 2013. “The main reason why I decided to become a student missionary is because I saw the need,” Henry shares. “Last fall Pastor Jose Rojas came to PUC for a midweek vespers speaking on the topic of missions. That night I made the commitment to serve for a year overseas; with God's leading and the assistance of the PUC missions office it has become a reality.” The office of service, justice, and missions is excited that Henry and his classmates have answered the...
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Para-athlete Erica Davis, PUC Alum, Speaks for Opening Convocation

By Cambria Wheeler on September 26, 2013

The Pacific Union College church was full to capacity for the college’s Convocation ceremony as PUC alumna and para-athlete Erica Davis encouraged the student body to set high goals for themselves and have determination and faith. Davis, who became paralyzed from the waist down soon after graduation, is an accomplished para-athlete and the first paraplegic woman to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak. She now works with the Challenged Athletes Foundation, encouraging other athletes with disabilities to reach for their full potential. “There is always a way to figure it out and do something,” Davis said, referring to her determination as she tries new sports from rock climbing to open water jet skiing. “That’s why I don’t like the word can’t.” After sharing her lifelong passion with sports with the gathered faculty, staff, and students, Davis told the audience about the only race she has ever quit: a cross country running race she participated in as a PUC student, a decision she regrets to this day. She then recounted her recent experience at the Paratriathalon World Championships in rainy London; though the slick roads made moving her handcycle challenging and caused other racers to give up, Davis finished in the...
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Academies Attend Twenty-third Publication Workshop

By Cambria Wheeler on September 13, 2013

Over 175 students and sponsors from twenty-one academiescame to campus September 3-5, 2013, for PUC’s twenty-third PublicationWorkshop. The annual event is an opportunity for the staff of academyyearbooks, newspapers, and other publications to gain the knowledge andinspiration to plan and execute their best publications.John Osio, a teacher at Pine Hills Adventist Academy inAuburn, Calif., brought a group of yearbook students to the workshop. “Mystudents that attend always walk away with added excitements about elementsthey want to include or improve upon in our yearbook,” Osio explains. “PublicationWorkshop really provides them with those tools.”This year, twenty presenters taught over fifty sessions onvital publication skills. Students learned how to utilize design andphotography software; strengthen writing, design, and photography skills; andedit video yearbooks. Professionals from the publications industry, educators,college student leaders, and recent PUC graduates presented each session.Rajeev Sigamoney, an award-winning filmmaker and screenwriter who recently wona $10,000 prize at the 2013 Sonscreen Film Festival, gave the keynote address. Sigamoneyis the director of PUC’s film and television program in the department ofvisual arts.“It isour hope that the Publication Workshop will provide these students withspiritual insight, leadership skills, and the knowledge they need to enhancetheir school publications,” shared workshop directors Milbert Mariano andPatrick Vogelpohl.The closing...
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PUC Alumni and Advancement Sets New Vision

By Cambria Wheeler on September 11, 2013

Pacific Union College’s department of advancement and alumni relations has welcomed new staff and set forth a new vision for connecting with PUC alumni and friends. Walter Collins, the recently appointed vice president for advancement and alumni relations, and the department have set forth a mission-minded strategic plan meant to serve and minister to the college’s constituents, including PUC’s 25,000-member alumni family. “We really see ourselves as a catalyst for connection, a catalyst for service, and a catalyst for mobilization,” shares Collins. A product of K-12 Adventist education who attended Conejo Adventist Elementary School and Newbury Park Adventist Academy, Collins received his B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley. He most recently worked as executive director of the California Symphony Orchestra, during which time the orchestra received a National Endowment for the Arts award and doubled its number of donors. Previously, Collins was the president and CEO of United Way of the Wine Country, overseeing a three million dollar organization that was distinguished as the leading non-profit organization in Sonoma County, Calif. “I am simply delighted that Walter Collins has accepted our invitation to join the administrative team,” says PUC President Heather J. Knight. “His extensive experience in fundraising,...
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Student Evangelism Team Leaves for Fiji

By Cambria Wheeler on August 21, 2013

On August 21, Service, Justice, and Missions CoordinatorFabio Maia and ten Pacific Union College students left for an eighteen-dayevangelism mission in Fiji with ShareHim and Quiet Hour Ministries. Eachstudent will be placed in a specific community where they will present thestory of Christ’s love and sacrifice each evening. Many of the students areactive in the college’s praise and worship teams and brought their instrumentsso they can share God’s love through music.Before the group departed, the students gathered inPresident Heather J. Knight’s office for a special blessing prayer led byPastor Mark Witas, the lead pastor of the PUC Church. Pastor Witas includedspecial prayer that God lead the group in doing good in His name. The group alsobonded by sharing a meal together before heading to the airport for theirflight to Fiji.For many PUC students, summer is the perfect opportunity todevote time to ministry and service. While some students work at summer campsor serve as literature evangelists, other groups get the experience of alifetime by sharing the gospel and serving local communities in places aroundthe world. The PUC community is invited to join in prayer for the team travellingto Fiji as well as other student groups currently on short-term mission tripsto Nicaragua...
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