PUC President Addresses Campus at Opening Convocation

By Sarah Tanner on October 11, 2018

Clad in academic regalia, PUC president Bob Cushman addressed students and faculty alike on October 4 during the first convocation of the school year.

The opening ceremony featured a processional of representatives from each of PUC’s academic departments, and they took to the stage with banners depicting the fields of study available on campus. Following the departmental display, Jennifer Tyner, vice president for student life, enrollment, and marketing, gave a short welcome address, mentioning that the day’s colloquy, “symbolizes the start of an amazing journey we are about to start together.”

The convocation continued with a congregational singing of the hymn, “All creatures of our God and King,” led by Lila Cervantes of financial services, and her powerful rendition was followed by a scripture reading of Ephesians 3:14-21 by student association president Kenzie Hardy. The church was then treated to special music by facilities management staff member James Ball, who sang the classic, “How Deep the Father’s Love.”

A brief presentation by PUC’s forest manager, Peter Lecourt, preceded President Cushman’s service. Lecourt informed students of the fantastic opportunities for recreation in the PUC forest, affectionately known as the Back 40. With new trail maps available and an

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A Conversation with Fall Revival Speaker Josue Hernandez

By Becky St. Clair on October 4, 2018

Josue Hernandez is in the middle of his third year of ministry as associate pastor at the Modesto Central Seventh-day Adventist Church. He graduated from Pacific Union College in 2015 with a degree in theology, and will begin MDiv classes in January. “I wanted to be a pastor to ensure the voices of young people are heard in the life of the church,” Josue says.

Beginning Oct. 8, Pastor Josue will be sharing some spiritual insights and food for thought during Fall Revival at PUC. Join us every evening Oct. 8-12 at 8:00 in Dauphinee Chapel in Winning Hall, and at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 11, in the PUC sanctuary for Colloquy, to hear him speak on PUC’s Student Association’s theme of “Beyond.” Pastor Josue adds, “This theme really resonates with what I believe to be part of life’s most rewarding elements: Our ability to grow, step out of our comfort zone, and embrace the stress and tension that growth thrives on.”

We chatted a bit with Josue to get an idea of the kind of guy he is, and the verdict is he’s pretty great. We look forward to hearing what he has to say for Fall Revival.


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Social Work Study Tour to Estonia

By Becky St. Clair on October 2, 2018

In 2012, Helo Oidjärv, associate professor of social work, went home to Estonia to visit her parents. While there, she had a few preliminary meetings with social workers at the Tartu city government, and worked with them to develop a 3-4-week program to learn about the social welfare system in Estonia, based on that in Tartu.

“Estonia has a totally different kind of social welfare system than the U.S.,” Oidjärv points out. “I thought it could be helpful for my students to experience and learn about the various agencies there, to get a broad overview of what different aspects of social policy look like in Estonia and compare it to what they’re used to experiencing in the U.S.”

At the time, Oidjärv was teaching social work at Walla Walla University (College Place, Washington), and implemented the program as part of the university’s graduate social work field practicum. Now that she is teaching social work at Pacific Union College, the program has been slightly adapted and has become part of PUC’s social work program as their Global Social Work study tour.

The previous teacher of Global Social Work at PUC had taken students to visit an organization in India that helped women transition

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PUC Ranked #2 for Salary Potential

By Becky St. Clair on September 27, 2018

Pacific Union College announced today that they rank second on PayScale’s 2018-19 ranking of associate degree schools which provide the best return on investment after graduation.

"We are proud of our A.S. students, who are attaining a well-deserved return on their investment with Pacific Union College,” says Nancy Lecourt, academic dean at PUC. “Our professors are clearly preparing them well for meaningful and rewarding service.”

PayScale, Inc., is the world’s leading provider of on-demand compensation data and software. This year’s annual College Salary Report included over 200 additional schools from previous years. PayScale’s 2018 report provides estimates of early and mid-career pay for nearly 2,700 associate and bachelor’s degree-granting institutions throughout the U.S., including 1,655 schools providing only bachelor’s degrees—the category in which PUC falls.

“For associate degrees, nursing and healthcare provide the biggest payoff for graduates at half the cost of a four-year institution,” PayScale indicates in their release of the report. “For four-year institutions, it pays to attend a private school, as seven out of ten of the top ten schools are private institutions.”

For more information about PayScale’s rankings, or to view the complete list, visit their website. For more information about two-year programs at PUC, visit puc.edu/academics/degrees-programs.

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Languages & Cultures professor consults for ACA in Brazil

By Becky St. Clair on September 26, 2018

Adventist Colleges Abroad (ACA) currently maintains 11 campuses around the world, in Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Last spring, Sylvia Rasi Gregorutti, chair of the department of world languages and cultures, ACA board member and ACA representative at PUC, received an invitation from the organization to serve as a consultant for their new campus in Brazil.

“In an effort to provide a better environment for students in the ACA-Brazil program,” explains Gregorutti, “the organization voted to transfer the campus from the large Universidade Adventista de São Paolo (UNASP) in Southern Brazil to the Faculdade Adventista de Bahia (FADBA), a smaller school in northern Brazil, about two hours from Salvador in the state of Bahia. That’s like moving it from Chicago to New Orleans. Culturally and weather-wise, it’s a major change.” The shift to Bahia will offer ACA students greater engagement with not only their classmates and professors, but also with the local culture and people.

In order to fill her consultant role, Gregorutti was told she would need to complete the full six-week ACA -Brazil student program on the new Bahia campus. She agreed with the condition that her 13-year-old daughter come along. “I was student and consultant at

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BIOneers: PUC’s Department of Biology Establishes Unique Mentorship Program

By Becky St. Clair on August 14, 2018

It started as a conversation between senior biology majors one day during class. Aimee Wyrick, chair of the department of biology and the class’ professor, put down her lecture notes and looked each student in the eye.

“Forget today’s lecture,” Wyrick told the class. “Today I want to hear from you and learn from your experiences. What can we do to make the biology program better?”

As the laptops closed and notebooks dropped into backpacks, the students began to share. It became clear after a few students spoke that a common thread was the struggle as freshmen to navigate classes and post-college plans.

“College can be complicated, even for the smartest student,” says Sabrina Mostoufi, 2018 biology graduate, who was part of the brainstorming class. “We all realized we’d had similar struggles navigating classes and post-college plans, even into our second and third years. This led us to the idea that it would be helpful if older students could act as mentors to freshmen to help point them in the right direction as they’re starting out in college.”

The hour-long brainstorm session was eye-opening, revelatory, and productive. At the end of the day, Wyrick was convinced a biology major mentorship program was both

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PUC Announces Another Eight Years of Accreditation from WASC

By Staff Writer on August 10, 2018

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) has reaffirmed another eight years of accreditation for Pacific Union College, affirming that PUC has met the Commission’s high standards of quality and effectiveness.

“We are very pleased at the outcome of the reaffirmation of our accreditation,” President Robert Cushman said. “Maintaining accreditation is incredibly important, as it validates that we are creatingthe bestpossiblelearning environmentforourstudentstoachievetheireducationalgoals.”

The announcement comes after the Commission evaluated the College’s institutional report and conducted a three-day on-site review in April 2018.

“Our long relationship with WASC—we were first accredited in 1951—continues to strengthen the academic program and reaffirm our commitment to student success,” adds Vice President for Academic Administration, Nancy Lecourt.

In its official action letter, the Commission noted it was particularly impressed with the College’s commitment to its mission and purpose. Commissioners acknowledged the collaborative process in the development of the College’s new strategic plan, which will be launched this Fall.

"We are quite pleased with the affirmation of our mission and ongoing support for the future of PUC,” said Cushman. “The reaccreditation honors the hard work and exceptional efforts of our PUC faculty and staff.”

“We have more work to do in in the

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Pacific Union College Announces Commitment to Expansion of Transfer Pathway for California Community College Students

By Staff Writer on August 2, 2018

On August 2, Pacific Union College (PUC) announced its commitment and support of a transfer pathway between the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities (AICCU) and the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office.

The pathway is designed for college students graduating with an Associate in Arts for Transfer (AA-T) or an Associate in Science for Transfer (AS-T) from a California community college and wishing to transfer to a four-year independent, nonprofit institution like PUC. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the AICCU President Kristen Soares and California Community College’s Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley to further strengthen the commitment of California’s independent nonprofit higher education sector toward the access and success of students, and affordability of quality education across the state.

This pathway is the AICCU sector’s adoption of the Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) pathway between the California Community Colleges and the California State University (CSU) system. Much like the current CSU ADT pathway, PUC will commit to guaranteeing admission for ADT students who apply, as well as accepting a minimum of 60 units transferred, and assure these students start at PUC with a junior standing.

“As an institution, PUC has a history of welcoming transfer students to our learning community,” says

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Image Refresh: Angwin Chevron Receives Remodel Award

By Becky St. Clair on August 2, 2018

From August 6-10, the Angwin Chevron station will be undergoing an upgrade remodel. During this week, services will be limited, as certain parts of the station will need to be closed for refurbishment. Fuel will still be available 24 hours a day, though some dispensers will be unavailable off and on.

Chevron recently held a contest for all of its stations, asking for plans which the station would follow if awarded a sum of money with which to improve their physical image. Pat Withers, manager of Angwin’s Chevron, decided to participate.

“It was a very nice surprise,” she says. “Earlier this year Chevron gave us $500 to repair the curbs around the station that have been broken and damaged, so this has been a good year for improvements.”

The Perennial Image Refresh Award came to the Angwin station in a lump sum of $13,000. This money will help pay for painting, new LED signs on the canopy, and brand new center curbs, poles, and trash cans between the fuel dispensers.

The station plans to reopen with full services and a clean new look on Monday, August 13.

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High-Impact Learning: PUC Seniors Pull it all Together

By Becky St. Clair on July 31, 2018

In 2008, George Kuh, founding director of the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment, developed a collection of “High-Impact Practices” (HIPs) based on many years of data from the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). These experiential learning practices promote student learning through active engagement. Since then, most colleges and universities across the country have begun moving toward incorporating many of these HIPs into their curriculum.

The curriculum at PUC already included several of the HIPs, such as collaborative learning, internships, undergraduate research, study abroad, writing-intensive courses, and service-learning. While the college was already providing capstone opportunities, in 2010, it intensified efforts to make “culminating experiences” available to all bachelor’s students. This included experiences such as a capstone course, internship, senior project or thesis, comprehensive exam, or portfolio.

“Students are more likely to be engaged with their education when the High-Impact Practices are included as part of that experience,” says Nancy Lecourt, academic dean and vice president for academic administration at PUC. “This translates into improved learning, as well as higher retention and graduation rates.”

Though many departments were already requiring a senior project for each of their seniors, the 2010 change in curriculum at PUC meant that 100 percent of all bachelor’s

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