A Church for the Mission: Department of Theology Offers New Missional Leadership Class

By Becky St. Clair on July 25, 2018

Like every department on campus, Pacific Union College's department of theology is always seeking ways to improve and increase what it offers for students. As demographics, society, and culture shifts, education must adjust to ensure the most current and relevant training for today's young leaders and tomorrow's experienced ones. Ministry is no exception."Our world is rapidly changing," says Jim Wibberding, associate professor of applied theology and biblical studies, "more rapidly than our church does in its approach to mission. We want to train leaders to interact with that reality productively and think from theory to practice and learn in the field, organic to the mission."The department has recently been given the green light by academic administration to offer a new course, starting Fall 2018: Missional Leadership. While "missions" and "missional" are trendy buzzwords in many circles today, Wibberding says the idea behind this 400-level course is to help students understand the idea that instead of the church having a mission, the mission might happen to have a church."Really, it's an attempt to go back to the apostles' experience in Acts," he says. "Jesus gave them a shockingly short to-do list. He gave them no strategy, no church organization explanation, but...
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Blazing a New Trail: Biology faculty and biochem student partner on original research

By Becky St. Clair on July 18, 2018

For three months of the year, two small fields in the popular Napa Valley resort town of Calistoga blossom with tiny white flowers known as the Calistoga Popcorn Flower. These two fields are the only known location of this flower in the world, which explains its presence on the list of endangered plants.“There’s a PUC alumnus in Calistoga doing a housing project, and he asked me to come take a look at this flower,” says Aimee Wyrick, chair of the department of biology at Pacific Union College. “I did, and I’ve been looking for six years now.”During those years, Wyrick has worked determinedly during blossom season, collecting soil and water samples for examination in a lab. “What’s clear is where this flower is found has a lot to do with what’s in the soil,” Wyrick says. “But we haven’t really been able to dig into this idea until recently.”What changed was the arrival of Kirpa Batth, a biochem major from Sacramento, who enrolled in PUC’s honors program with an interest in hands-on research. When offered the opportunity to partner with Wyrick and Robert Wilson, chemistry professor, Batth jumped at the chance.“Though we’re still in the early stages of our research,...
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Legislative Assembly: History & Political Studies Majors Intern with State Representative

By Becky St. Clair on June 26, 2018

As history and political studies majors at Pacific Union College, brothers and Maxwell Scholar finalists Mark and Michael Cebert were required to complete an internship as their capstone project as part of their degree. To this end, they worked together for state representative Anthony Daniels (D) in their home state of Alabama. Despite the project only requiring one month of interning, the Ceberts ended up working for three, since they were well-liked and tackled some large projects.In February 2017, Daniels made history when he became the first black person and, at 34, the youngest individual ever to hold his legislative position. Mark and Michael’s interactions with him, however, began several months earlier, in the summer of 2016.“We expected the typical intern stuff; you know—getting coffee, making copies, carrying stacks of files,” Mark admits. “It wasn’t that way at all.”The brothers spent their first few weeks building a donor database for the Democratic party in the state. Despite its advanced age, the Alabama democratic party has historically never tracked who their biggest and longest-term supporters were.“Most parties have a record of who has donated in the past 20 years,” explains Michael. “This allows them to determine who they need to stay...
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An Interview with Our Commencement Speaker: Jarrod McNaughton, MBA

By Becky St. Clair on June 15, 2018

Jarrod McNaughton received his bachelor’s degree in public relations from Pacific Union College and his Master of Business Administration from the University of La Verne (California). He will present the Commencement address for the Class of 2018 on Sunday, June 17. The service will stream live at puc.edu.When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?I wanted to be a pastor, believe it or not!Instead of theology, you got a bachelor’s degree in public relations, but continued on to get a Master of Business Administration. How do you think the two have worked together in your career? The masters in business was a perfect connector for my undergrad degree and really helped to round me out, bringing the best of both worlds together.What were some of your first impressions of PUC as a student? I honestly didn’t want to attend PUC at first because of a perception I had that turned out to be completely wrong. Attending PUC was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and I wouldn’t change it for the world. From being one of the most beautiful college campuses in the U.S. to its incredible focus on students, PUC...
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Pacific Union College Graduation Weekend 2018

By Becky St. Clair on June 12, 2018

Pacific Union College, Napa Valley’s only four-year college, will host its annual commencement exercises Friday, June 15, through Sunday, June 17.The college will proudly award 369 associate, bachelor, and master’s degrees to 343 graduates, 49 of whom are from Napa County. The largest departmental groups are the nursing and health sciences (181 graduates from the Associate of Science and Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs), business administration (37), biology (23), communication (21), and visual arts (21).In addition, three graduating students are Maxwell Scholars: JJ Reynolds, marketing communication major; John Jung, biology major and pre-med student; and Dominique Townsend, English literature major. Maxwell Scholars are recognized as incoming freshmen for their outstanding academic achievement, and are awarded a renewable scholarship based on their unweighted cumulative GPA and test scores.“We are excited to honor and celebrate our graduates and the future that lies ahead,” says Robert Cushman Jr., PUC president. “I look forward to meeting graduates, families, and friends here on beautiful Howell Mountain, where nature and revelation unite in education.”In the class of 2018, 15 students will graduate summa cum laude; 29 magna cum laude; 58 cum laude; 10 with honors. After California, which is home to 290 graduating seniors, Hawai’i...
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This Place Is Your Home: Student Association officers host final Colloquy of the year

By Becky St. Clair on June 7, 2018

“This was a hard year,” said 2017-18 student association president Megan Weems to a packed Dauphinee Chapel. “It was already a transition year with new administration, and then a few weeks into the school year, the valley caught on fire.”Weems was addressing the Pacific Union College student body at the final Colloquy event of the year, focused on the year’s theme, “Family.”“Change takes a while,” she continued. “PUC has a lot of things to improve on, as we all know, but things are going up from here. We’ve laid the foundation and we’re making headway toward something better.”Weems thanked her 2017-18 student association team for loving the campus and demonstrating how a family should behave.“I saw it in their hearts, in the way they interacted with people,” she said. “They just love. And that’s what PUC needed. I was incredibly blessed, and I hope and pray that in something someone did or said at some point this year made you feel a little bit of that heart.”“The SA is you guys, too,” Weems added. “It’s not just the eight or nine people elected; you’re all part of the Student Association. Thank you for this year.”Kenzie Hardy, incoming SA president, addressed...
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Think, Defend, Modify, Repeat: The Difference PUC Honors Makes

By Becky St. Clair on June 1, 2018

The Honors Program at Pacific Union College provides classes which depart from a traditional lecture format, encouraging students to develop their analytical thinking, aesthetic appreciation, and their spiritual lives.“Our program is its own complete general education,” explains Dr. Georgina Hill, professor of English and director of the PUC Honors Program. “Though it is a truncated GE, it is also more challenging. Students are expected to think deeply about ideas, theories, and issues, to analyze primary texts and multiple perspectives.”As Hill points out, post-graduate admissions committees recognize that "Honors" on an application is a mark of the applicant’s willingness to focus on learning, to step beyond the comfort zone, to accept a challenge, and to excel."In Honors, I was forced to think critically, defend my positions, and modify them when I was wrong," says Jefferson Richards, science and pre-med Honors student. "Honors played a huge part in building my confidence in my own intelligence and drove me to succeed in all my classes. It forces us to think critically, develop better reading and writing skills, exposes us to new and challenging ideas, and allows us to grow as human beings.”Charles De Guzman, first-year medical student at Loma Linda University, reports "Because...
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Academic Excellence Acknowledged: Annual Awards Colloquy Honors Faculty and Students

By Becky St. Clair on May 25, 2018

On Thursday, May 17, Tammy McGuire, professor of communication, and Asher Raboy, resident artist teaching in the department of music headed to the platform of the PUC Church, taking the steps two at a time.“We’re here to acknowledge faculty who have been working on research,” McGuire announced to listeners in the pews. “Some in areas we don’t understand.”There was a ripple of laughter throughout the audience as Raboy returned, “Mostly in areas we don’t understand.”It was just one portion of the annual Awards Colloquy, honoring faculty and students who have accomplished great things academically during the school year.“I told them to not be boring,” admitted Nancy Lecourt, vice president for academic administration. “I think they followed my instructions.”It was obvious McGuire and Raboy were having fun ribbing their colleagues while also recognizing their accomplishments.“You’ve heard of the birds and the bees, but if you take out the bees, you’ll have what Floyd Hayes, professor of biology, has been studying,” McGuire quipped. “There’s also a dolphin in there somewhere.”Both McGuire and Raboy came across their own names in the list, McGuire for her mixed-methods research of online dating; Raboy for his composition of “The Beatitudes,” a cantata which made its world...
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Familiar, Fun, and Fabulous: An Afternoon of Dramatic Music with PUC Ensembles

By Becky St. Clair on May 24, 2018

On Sunday, June 3, join the choirs and orchestra of Pacific Union College for their spring concert, featuring pieces from musicals and operas. Jenelle Anderson conducts Vox Pro Musica and Chorale, while Rachelle Davis conducts the Orchestra.Vox Pro Musica, along with PUC’s Chorale and Orchestra, will perform choruses from familiar operas and musicals such as The Mikado by Gilbert and Sullivan, The Promise of Living by Copland, Carmen by Bizet, Madame Butterfly by Puccini, and others.Additionally, Vox Pro Musica will sing a set of Elizabethan madrigals, including April Is In My Mistress’ Face and Now Is The Month of Maying, among others.The Orchestra will also be performing two pieces on their own: Concerto No. 2 in D Major for Flute by Mozart, featuring soloist Michele Rafuse, senior music major; and two movements from L’Arlesienne Suite No. 2 by Bizet.The concert begins at 3 p.m. in Paulin Hall Auditorium on the campus of Pacific Union College. Tickets are not required; admission is free and open to the public.For more information about PUC’s music program, including the Paulin Center for the Creative Arts and a calendar of upcoming events, visit puc.edu/music or call (707) 965-6201....
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Half-Price Tuition & Housing: PUC Offers Summer Classes

By Becky St. Clair on May 22, 2018

Half-price tuition. Half-price housing.Over two dozen areas of study to choose from.Hours and hours of NorCal sun.If even one of those things sounds good, you need to register for summer classes at PUC, stat! Headed home for the summer? Good news--we’ve got 17 online courses for you to choose from, too. Of course, online means no “hours and hours of NorCal sun,” but no matter what floats your boat this summer, we’ve got you covered!Summer classes last only 2-3 weeks, including full-year sequences for pre-med and pre-dent courses such as Biological Foundations and General Chemistry. Pre-nursing courses such as Human Anatomy and General Microbiology are also available during the summer.PUC already offers smaller class sizes, even during the regular school year, but during the summer, those class sizes shrink even more, offering students even better access to their teachers and more room for open dialogue and class discussions.“Rigorous” is definitely the name of the game in summer classes, but there are rewards to be had (besides getting course credits out of the way). Student Activities provides recreation options throughout the summer, such as weekly free food, Six Flags tickets, a San Francisco Giants game, and a pool party. Not to...
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