Led by Faith: Tad Worku and the Love is All Concert and Clinic

By Cambria Wheeler on February 19, 2015

Tad Worku’s dream was a familiar one for aspiring musicians: fame, fortune, success. The talented vocalist and composer was on verge of his big break when he truly felt the power of the words of Mark 8:36. “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (King James Version) Worku’s song “Me” tells the story of that realization, with a chorus that builds on the refrain, “When I lost the world what I found was me.” (Watch the video.) Worku has found new purpose by using his talents as a musician and a nurse to organize a concert and a clinic that are the beginning of an exciting journey that he hopes will help answer a question that’s deeply important to him, “What would it look like if we could truly live out the Gospel?” On February 28, the Love is All Concert and Clinic will answer this question through a medical and dental clinic for the clients of several local homeless shelters. The proceeds from the evening’s concert, which will feature with the Oakland East Bay Symphony Strings under the direction of conductor Michael Morgan, will support the clinic...
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Take 6 Delights PUC Audience with A Capella Sound

By Staff Writer on February 18, 2015

Grammy-award-winning a cappella group Take 6 performed at the Pacific Union College Church on February 15 at 6 p.m. President Heather J. Knight introduced the musicians, mentioning the group’s beginnings at Oakwood University and their longtime ties to Adventism. Knight also included a brief overview of the group’s greatest moments; the sextet has won 10 Grammy Awards, 10 Dove Awards, a Soul Train Award, and performed for several U.S. presidents, including current president Barack Obama. The concert was well attended by an audience of students, faculty, staff, and community members. During the performance, Take 6 frequently encouraged “call and response” from the audience, and invited the audience members to clap, snap, and “make a joyful noise” in any way that felt right. After the concert, fans had the opportunity to meet the performers and get copies of their latest CD, One, signed. Take 6, heralded by Quincy Jones as the “baddest vocal cats on the planet,” is a quintessential a cappella group and model for vocal genius. The six virtuosic voices unite in crystal clear harmony, against a backdrop of syncopated rhythms, innovative arrangements, and funky grooves that bubble into an intoxicating brew of gospel, jazz, R&B, and pop are...
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Future Educators and Employers Connect

By Amanda Navarrete and Cambria Wheeler on February 18, 2015

Education Days, an annual networking event for graduating education majors, took place at Pacific Union College’s campus on February 2-3. Organized by PUC’s department of education, the two-day event brought principals and administrators from schools and conferences within the Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists to PUC’s Angwin campus. The employers met and interacted with this year’s group of graduating early childhood, elementary, and secondary teachers. The first evening began with a dinner banquet, where students and potential employers interacted with one another in a less formal setting. During the banquet, the seniors each presented their own personal reasons for teaching, and the area that they are credentialed to teach. The next day, graduating seniors had the opportunity to interview with potential employers in a more formal setting. The department of education has seen incredible growth in recent years, as more students choose to pursue a career as a teacher. PUC offers Master of Arts in Teaching and Master of Education degrees, bachelor’s degrees in early childhood education and liberal studies, and an associates degree in early childhood education. In addition, the department offers training for multiple subject credentials, single subject credentials, and the Clear Credential program for California, as...
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Sigamoney Helps Bring "Old Fashioned" to the Big Screen

By Cambria Wheeler on February 13, 2015

On Valentine’s weekend, the film Old Fashioned opens in theaters nationwide. The independent film is an inspiring look at dating and relationships, focusing on developing grace-filled, lifetime love. Viewers can choose to see Old Fashioned instead of the Fifty Shades of Grey adaptation opening the same weekend in part thanks to the creative collaboration of PUC film professor Rajeev Sigamoney. Sigamoney has been a member of the PUC faculty since 2012, but his friendship with Old Fashioned director, writer, and lead actor Rik Swartzwelder goes back much longer. “The first film set I ever visited back in Maryland was a short film Rick was shooting,” explains Sigamoney. The two grew closer after Sigamoney, who started his career as an engineer, moved to Los Angeles in 2002. They began meeting each week to discuss films, faith, and the challenges of working in the film industry as artists and as Christians. Sigamoney is listed as a co-producer on Old Fashioned because of the core role he played in the creative development of the script and edit of the film. “I first read a draft of Old Fashioned in 2003,” Sigamoney describes. Over the next decade, Sigamoney gave notes on multiple revisions script...
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World Missions Week Inspires Future Missionaries

By Emily Mathe on February 13, 2015

Pacific Union College’s emphasis on world missions has a longand distinguished history. Over 1,300 student missionaries have served incountries as diverse as Chile, the Czech Republic, Kazakhstan, Kenya, theMarshall Islands, and South Korea. Inrecent years, PUC has continued to send dozens of student missionaries tocountries around the globe, providing much needed medical aid, constructionassistance, education, and of course the messages of the Gospel. During thecollege’s recent World Missions Week, the focus is all on helping futuremissionaries understand why they should serve and how they can make it happen.World Missions Week, January 26-30, gave students a look atwhat is entailed by mission work abroad—the rewards, as well as the toil.During the week, there was a table at the front of the Dining Commons manned bythe staff of the PUC World Missions office, ready to answer questions and sharetheir student missionary experience. Elden Ramirez, director of the NorthAmerican Division of Seventh-day Adventists’ office of volunteer ministries,visited campus to connect with future ministries. In addition, the worldmissions staff held a workshop on financing student missionary work, animportant step for hopeful students ready to give of their time. To finish theweek of spiritual missions emphasis, Jose Rojas continued his tradition of speakingto PUC students...
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Take 6 to Perform at Pacific Union College

By Staff Writer on February 11, 2015

Grammy award-winning a capella group, Take 6, will perform in concert at Pacific Union College on Sunday, February 15. Claude McKnight, Mark Kibble, Joel Kibble, Dave Thomas, Alvin Chea, and Khristian Dentley, will bring their quintessential a capella sound to the Napa Valley as part of Pacific Union College’s Black History Month celebrations, for a free concert which will take place in the PUC Church sanctuary at 6 p.m. Take 6, heralded by Quincy Jones as the “baddest vocal cats on the planet,” is a quintessential a cappella group and model for vocal genius. The six virtuosic voices unite in crystal clear harmony, against a backdrop of syncopated rhythms, innovative arrangements, and funky grooves that bubble into an intoxicating brew of gospel, jazz, R&B, and pop are the most awarded vocal group in history. With praise from such luminaries as Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Brian Wilson, Ella Fitzgerald and Whitney Houston, the multi-platinum selling sextet has toured across the globe, collaborated across genres, and is recognized as the pre-eminent a capella group in the world. Take 6 has come a long way from their days at Huntsville, Alabama’s Oakwood College (now Oakwood University) where Claude McKnight formed the group as...
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Pioneers Basketball Teams Play and Serve

By Amanda Navarrete on January 16, 2015

On and off the court, the PUC Pioneers basketball teams are demonstrating dedication to excellence as students and athletes—and community servants. Though they have had a busy schedule with games and practices, the teams have found time to reach out to the community and give back. This season, the men’s team visited the San Quentin State Prison, while the women’s basketball team stayed local to help out the Calistoga Community Center. The visits were a learning experience the student-athletes will never forget.PUC’s six varsity teams (men’s basketball, cross country, and soccer and women’s basketball, cross country, and volleyball) play in the California Pacific Conference of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). PUC student-athletes are committed to the NAIA Champion of Character program, which was developed in response to the growing problem of deteriorating standards and integrity in sports and society. PUC’s adoption of the NAIA Champions of Character program raises the standards for positive student-athlete development in athletics and academics.In October, the men’s basketball team traveled to the San Quentin State Prison not only to play basketball with the inmates, but also exchange share life experiences. The players went away with a greater appreciation of their own opportunities. The...
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David Anthony Johnson Brings Martin Luther King Jr.’s Speeches to Life

By Emily Mathe on January 9, 2015

PUC’s Martin Luther King Jr. Remembrance Colloquy on January 8 featured musician and orator David Anthony Johnson. His presentation was entitled “Let Freedom Ring: The Speeches of Martin Luther King Jr.” Johnson intertwined narratives from his own childhood and anecdotes about King’s life with performances of iconic speeches from the civil rights leader. Johnson not only recited the words of King’s speeches, but emulated his tone, delivery, inflection, and rhythm, recreating a little bit of history from the platform of the PUC Church.Johnson recounted how his great-grandmother urged him to learn King’s speeches by heart; he grew up surrounded by King’s voice and words through his family members and developed his own desire to learn more about the prominent civil rights activist. At the Colloquy program, Johnson orated three of King’s speeches, including King’s own “eulogy,” which was a sermon he preached just two months before his assassination. Johnson concluded with “I’ve Been to the Mountain,” King’s last delivery, which was given the day before his life ended in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, 1968. Johnson himself is not only known for his oratory, but for his musical ability as well. He began singing at the age of four, and...
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