PacificQuest Inspires Middle School Students to Pursue Higher Education

By Larissa Church on July 24, 2017

Pacific Union College held its annual PacificQuest program July 9-14, welcoming 16 high-achieving middle school students to campus. The program is designed to provide gifted students with the opportunity to explore college-level courses and encourage them to pursue a college education. This summer, PacificQuest students discovered the marvels of the awe-inspiring human body through three hands-on classes: Anatomy, taught by Dr. Scott Herbert, and Microbiology, taught by Dr. Aimee Wyrick and Dr. Backil Sung. These classes explored the different parts of the body, what they do, and how they work, along with different body systems, with a strong focus on the immune system. Students also learned about microbes, and how to classify them based on their various characteristics, and practiced using a compound light microscope to describe and identify bacteria. Students received one college credit for completing these classes. “The 2017 group was fantastic! Not only were they able to keep up with the rigor of classes, they were engaged and interacted well with each other and PacificQuest faculty and staff. By the end of the week, new lifelong friendships had formed,” said Dr. Wyrick, who also served as the PacificQuest academic director. “We can’t wait to see many of...
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PUC Announces New Degree Programs in Biotechnology, Global Development Studies, and Religion

By Larissa Church on July 7, 2017

Pacific Union College is excited to announce several new degree programs offered this coming school year: a bachelor’s in biotechnology; a bachelor’s in religion with an emphasis in mission; and lastly, a bachelor’s in global development studies. Building upon the foundation of the college’s well-established undergraduate biology program, the biotechnology major prepares students interested in working professionally in biomedical, pharmaceutical, criminal investigative, agricultural, and other related industries. Students can expect to gain a solid foundation in basic and advanced biochemical techniques, along with developing personal ethics that consider the ramifications of biotechnology-related decisions. The program also fully prepares students who wish to pursue more advanced degrees in biotechnology to obtain more illustrious positions as administrators, primary investigators, and other professional positions. The global development studies major offers a flexible approach to students interested in working in various capacities around the world, with career opportunities in administration, research, fundraising, training, advocacy, and relief work. Students will develop critical thinking and analytical skills regarding complex world issues while considering social, economic, political, and cultural factors, all within a faith perspective. Taken in conjunction with another major, students will fulfill a foreign language requirement and participate in a study abroad program or international...
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PUC at Soquel and Redwood Camp Meetings This Summer

By Staff Writer on June 30, 2017

This summer, representatives from Pacific Union College will travel to Soquel Camp Meeting and Redwood Camp Meeting to fellowship and worship together with college alumni and friends. At Soquel Camp Meeting, which runs from July 13-22, is the Central California Conference’s annual gathering near Santa Cruz, Calif., at the Soquel Conference Center. PUC representatives will be helping in the youth tent as well as answering questions and sharing information about the college at the PUC booth. On Sabbath, July 22, the PUC alumni team will host a luncheon in the Earliteen tent following the church service. Held by the Northern California Conference, Redwood Camp Meeting is located in the beautiful forest of Redcrest, Calif., and runs from July 20-29. As in previous years, PUC representatives will be helping all week in the youth tent as well as staff the PUC booth to talk with alumni, friends, and potential students, with information about the college and special giveaways on hand. On Sabbath, July 29, the college’s alumni team will host a special luncheon immediately following the church service in the Picnic Pavilion. Additionally, the college will be hosting the Ignite Camp Meeting and the annual West Coast Korean Camp Meeting on...
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PUC Commencement Celebrates 392 Graduates

By Larissa Church on June 21, 2017

To the sound of enthusiastic cheers of thousands in attendance, for the 115th time on its campus, Pacific Union College celebrated its annual commencement exercises on Sunday, June 18, with 392 students graduating. For the first time, the ceremony was held at Maxwell Commons, located in the heart of the college’s campus between the PUC Church and Paulin Hall. The new commencement site was named in memory of Dr. Malcolm Maxwell, the 19th president of PUC. He was the first PUC alumnus to serve as president, and he had the longest tenure—18 years—of any president of the college. Maxwell passed away in 2007, but his legacy and the impact he had on PUC continues to live on. He is remembered for his energy, passion, and commitment to higher education, and it is in this spirit Maxwell Commons was named. The college proudly awarded 418 associate, bachelor, and master’s degrees to the 392 graduates. The largest departmental groups were nursing and health sciences (223), business administration (36), communication (31), biology (19), and psychology and social work (18). One hundred and twenty-two students received academic distinctions and honors, with 12 summa cum laude graduates, 27 magna cum laude graduates, and 76 cum...
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Paralympian Scout Bassett Encourages PUC Students to Let God Lead

By Larissa Church on May 31, 2017

Pacific Union College welcomed Paralympian Scout Bassett to speak for the Colloquy Speaker Series on Thursday, May 25. Bassett shared her incredible and inspirational story, from an abandoned infant in Nanjing, China, to competing in last summer’s 2016 Rio Paralympic Games. She believes she owes her success to determination, hard work, and most of all, God’s leading in her life. Bassett lost her right leg in a fire when she was only an infant, and shortly after she was found abandoned on the streets and brought to a government-run orphanage, where she would live for several years in harsh conditions, unable to walk because of her disability. When she was seven, she was adopted by an American family and moved to a small town in Michigan. She was the only minority as well as the only disabled person in the entire county. Bassett struggled in school and desperately searched for a way to fit in. It wasn't until the age 14 when she was introduced to the Challenged Athletes Foundation and was given her first running prosthetic she felt she found where she belonged and could achieve anything she wanted with her life. “It changed the course of my entire...
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Pacific Union College Announces Robert Cushman as 23rd President

By Staff Writer on May 11, 2017

On May 11, 2017, the Pacific Union College Board of Trustees announced Dr. Robert A. Cushman Jr. has been selected as the new president of Pacific Union College. Cushman currently serves as the vice president for academic administration for Walla Walla University in Walla Walla, Wash., and has spent the last 26 years in Adventist education serving in various capacities. He will begin his role as president July 1, in preparation for the new academic year, and will be the college’s twenty-third president in its 135-year history. Cushman received his Ph.D. in geology from the Colorado School of Mines, his master’s degree in geology at Loma Linda University, and his bachelor’s degree in biology at Walla Walla College (now University). After spending five years as a geologist and paleontologist, Cushman felt God’s calling to educate young minds. In the 12 years he taught at Loma Linda University, he served as assistant professor, associate department chair, and the department chair of the department of earth and biological sciences, where he taught graduate level courses, conducted research in Western Colorado and Wyoming, and advised graduate student research. Additionally, under his administrative duties, he oversaw the department’s budget and coordinated the undergraduate geology...
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Kent Davis Honored as PUC’s 2017 Educator of the Year

By Larissa Church on April 28, 2017

Professor of chemistry Dr. Kent Davis was named 2017 Educator of the Year during PUC’s annual colloquy program, Thursday, April 27. Students, faculty, staff, and administration celebrated with Davis as he was recognized with the award for the first time. Davis has been teaching at Pacific Union College since 2002 and currently serves as the chair of the department of chemistry. Each year, the Educator of the Year award is selected by student vote. The recipient’s identity is a highly-kept secret. President Eric Anderson began the service reminding the audience why the special assembly exists in dedication to an outstanding teacher. “It’s a reminder that PUC has been built upon great teaching. You will get a sense of that if you look around our campus and look at the names of our buildings,” he said, noting most buildings at the college are named after great teachers, instead of dignitaries or donors. “It is recognition of good teaching, spiritual leadership, and service to the college.” As is tradition, assistant professor of communication and department chair Michelle Rai, last year’s titleholder, gave a short speech before revealing the 2017 award recipient, encouraging students who aren’t sure of what they will do after...
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PUC Alumni Reconnect, Share Memories at Homecoming 2017

By Larissa Church on April 26, 2017

Pacific Union College alumni were welcomed back to campus for the college’s annual Homecoming Weekend April 21-23. “The College on the Mountain” holds special memories for all PUC alumni, whether it has been five years or 50 since their graduation, making this the perfect opportunity to reminisce with old friends. The events began with PUC Talks Friday afternoon, featuring presentations from Dr. Jean Sheldon, Dr. Nancy Lecourt and Peter Lecourt, and Dr. Vola Andrianarijaona, followed by the annual Honored Alumni dinner. This year’s honorees were J. Paul Stauffer, ’38, whose long career in education included teaching for many years in PUC’s department of English; Teri Ann Ricchiuti, ’76, who has taught at Fresno Adventist Academy for 30 years; Scott Reiner, ’87, who currently serves as president and CEO of Adventist Health; and Arnold Petersen, ’62, who has traveled extensively around the world as a physician providing much-needed care to underserved areas. Later that evening, the In Memoriam service was held in remembrance of alumni who have passed away during the last year. Vespers featured the dedication of next year’s 25 student missionaries and a special performance of several songs by the PUC vocal octet. Chaplain Jonathan Henderson, ’98, gave the...
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Third Annual PUC Talks Features Distinguished Faculty & Guests

By Larissa Church on April 26, 2017

The festivities of Pacific Union College’s Homecoming Weekend 2017 began with the third annual PUC Talks Friday afternoon, April 21. This recent tradition is a series of mini lectures modeled after the popular TED Talks, in which speakers share exciting new ideas. This year, the featured speakers were Dr. Jean Sheldon, Dr. Nancy Lecourt and Mr. Peter Lecourt, and Dr. Vola Andrianarijaona. “We would like to introduce you to the kinds of things we do in our classrooms,” said President Eric Anderson, in his introduction. The topics sparked lively discussion and engaged both visiting alumni and students in attendance. God’s Will Vs. Human Will Dr. Jean Sheldon, professor of Old Testament, has taught at PUC for over 20 years, and specializes in Hebrew Bible and the ancient Near East. Her talk, titled, “Two Competing Voices: A Canonical Approach to Solving Ethical Issues in the Old Testament,” analyzed violence in the Old Testament from an ethical perspective. Dr. Sheldon explained her topic was inspired by questions she has been asked through the years by students in her interactive, discussion-based classes. She evaluated God’s will versus human will, which often demands a different choice, and found in that conflict God allows that...
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