PUC’s Social Work Program Shines in Recent Accreditation Achievement

By Laura Gang on December 7, 2023

Pacific Union College’s social work program recently received approval from the Council of Social Work Education Board of Accreditation, recognizing the program’s commitment to high standards and continuous improvement. Every eight years, the social work program undergoes a thorough accreditation process involving a comprehensive self-study, strategic planning, and collaboration with various stakeholders.“The accreditation decision underscores the program's commitment to excellence,” said Damaris Perez, psychology and social work department chair. “It serves as a testament to the program's commitment to maintaining and enhancing quality standards in education, ensuring that it aligns with the best practices in the field of social work.”The process to prepare for the assessment is a significant undertaking, Perez said. The rigorous self-study must be prepared two years in advance, forming the foundation for an onsite evaluation by an accreditation site visitor. In response, CSWE’s Board of Accreditation formulates clarifying questions that guide the visitor during their evaluation. The preparatory work, including strategic planning and meetings with stakeholders, is a collaborative effort that highlights the dedication of the PUC administration, faculty, and involved consultants. Perez said delivering a high-quality educational experience for students is a priority for the social work program. “Our dedication is evident in the relationships...
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PUC Represents at the Society of Adventist Communicators Conference

By Ally Romanes on November 30, 2023

The Society of Adventist Communicators Conference (SAC) is three days of engaging keynotes, workshops, performances, and networking sessions. They also have local media tours, Sabbath afternoon activities, and amazing food. This year, SAC was from Oct. 19-21 in Springfield, Massachusetts. It has been several years since PUC has been able to attend this conference, outside of attending virtually during COVID.General sessions consisted of a TechTalk with Bryant Taylor, a keynote address by industry professional Erin Byrne, and an evening with filmmaker Martin Doblmeier (documentary on the Sabbath). There is an awards ceremony for students and professionals, but PUC unfortunately had to miss the event. Some of the workshop offerings included: PR and Social MediaMastering Public SpeakingTips for Student Job SeekersIntegrated Communication, Podcasting, and PhotographyHow Personal Connections Make a Difference (A Hollywood Story)Participants attended the main sessions and the workshops. Students also had a lot of time to connect with industry professionals and companies for potential internships and jobs after graduation. PUC's communication department hopes to submit student and faculty work for the awards next year. Communication professionals (students, faculty, and staff from marketing departments) are welcome to submit to journalists, marketing professionals, podcasters, etc. It is a great way to connect...
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PUC’s Herb Ford Honored for His Military Service with Honor Flight to Washington, D.C.

By Laura Gang on November 29, 2023

Herb Ford was enjoying lunch at Panera Bread when a stranger noticed his veteran’s hat and reached for his arm. “You’ve got to go on the next Honor Flight!” the man urged. Ford admitted he hadn’t heard of the honor flights before, but once the man explained, he responded, “I’ll think about it.” In September, Ford and 67 other veterans flew on the 26th Central Valley Honor Flight from Fresno, California, to Washington, D.C., to visit memorials honoring their military service. The Central Valley Honor Flight is a nonprofit organization that holds fundraisers to pay for veterans to be honored on a memorable trip–including round-trip airfare, a two-night stay at a first-class hotel, all meals, and charter bus transportation to every site on the trip.Ford, 96, is a veteran of the U.S. Merchant Marine, the U.S. Army Air Corps, and the U.S. Air Force. He was one of just three World War II veterans on the trip. The others, including two women, served in the Korean War, Vietnam War, and other conflicts. Although he didn’t know any other veterans on the trip, Ford said he forged new friendships—especially as people learned of his connections to Iwo Jima. Ford attended Valley...
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PUC Students Give Back to Community for Service Day

By Ally Romanes on November 17, 2023

On October 19, students at Pacific Union College had the opportunity to partner with community agencies to give back to the local neighborhoods. During Service Day, students volunteer at service locations to assist residents with various community needs. Service Day began last year to raise awareness about PUC and encourage student engagement in the community. This campus program implements service learning, where students can get involved in the food pantry, homeless and hospital ministries, and other service-learning activities at the college. Service Day is just one dimension of PUC’s commitment to community involvement.Since last school year and throughout the summer, Director of Student Involvement Niq Ruud and Service Learning Director Tuwan Ussery White have been planning this event. With many elements that Service Day entails, Ruud facilitated the internal aspects while White dealt with the external elements of the program. One of White’s responsibilities was connecting with community partners to inform them about Service Day and express students’ eagerness to perform service duties at their agencies. White and his team anticipated having many students involved—which they did with an incredible turnout.PUC collaborates with several agencies, such as UpValley, Providence Health, St. Helena Hospital, Napa Resource Conservation District, Tug McGraw Veterans...
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PacificQuest and PQ Rise Programs Inspire Next Generation to Soar in STEM

By Laura Gang on November 13, 2023

Students set things on fire. They studied cadavers. They explored marine life on the Pacific Coast. And they came away with an experience and friends that will last a lifetime. Pacific Union College continues to host its annual PacificQuest and PQ Rise summer camp series, which offers pre-collegiate students a hands-on introduction to the sciences.PacficQuest and PQ Rise are one-week summer sessions for curious and dedicated students who have a passion for STEM subjects and seek academic challenges while earning college credit. Participants engage in daily educational activities, enjoy recreational opportunities, and partake in team-building activities and evening events. This year, PUC hosted 30 students representing 19 schools from across the U.S., including Monterey Bay Academy, La Sierra Academy, Pine Hills Adventist Academy, and Calistoga Jr./Sr. High School. Aimee Wyrick, dean of PUC’s School of Sciences, said these programs are centered on the students—challenging them academically and allowing them to meet like-minded students and build social and team skills.“We offer students an immersive experience, propelling students far beyond the encounters in the typical elementary or secondary classrooms,” Wyrick said. “They learn to collaborate with one another, interact directly with college faculty, and get to know current PUC students who serve...
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Week of Worship Brings PUC Closer To God

By Ally Romanes on November 7, 2023

Pacific Union College held Week of Worship from October 9-13. Students led out in praise, sharing the theme song “Yet Not I But Christ Through in Me” with PUC Chaplain Arturo Lopez speaking to the campus. He spoke on topics such as commitment, uncertainty, and distractions- and reminded students that PUC is a community and place where they can reach out and ask for help. Lopez received the invitation to preach for Week of Worship right after becoming PUC’s chaplain. With two months to prepare each message, he jumped into it right away. Since the theme for the school year is “All In,” he focused on how Jesus can help break down the barriers that hold people from fully committing themselves to Him. Every day, Lopez took a Bible story that related to these barriers and challenged the students to let Christ be a part of their lives. “My main aim was to help students feel the Spirit touching their hearts and to reassure them that they're not alone in their struggles,” said Lopez. “I wanted them to understand that Christ is right there with them throughout their journey, whether things are going great or when life gets chaotic.”From Monday...
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PUC Hosts Brunch in Support of Treasured Community Recital Hall

By Laura Gang on November 1, 2023

Pacific Union College hosted a brunch to benefit Paulin Recital Hall on Sunday, Oct. 22.Held in a private hangar at the college’s airport, Angwin-Parrett Field, the event featured fine cuisine from Napa Valley chef Chay Blancett and vocal and instrumental music by students, alumni, and faculty from PUC and Paulin Center for the Arts. There was also a silent auction.Kellie Lind, PUC vice president for alumni and advancement, said the event supported one of the jewels of the Napa Valley and was a resounding success. “It exceeded our expectations and brought in a significant amount of support from generous members of our local community.”As the nearly 100 guests from the Upper Napa Valley and surrounding areas dined, they were treated to the music of pianists Elena Casanova and Diego Mariano. Gabrielle Cortez and Adelene Bellah-Ramirez both enchanted listeners on their violins, Delia Bennett played her guitar, and vocalist Kaitlyn Nakanishi also performed.“We are so grateful to our committee, the owners of the beautiful hangar, and others who helped make this event a reality,” Lind said. “Your talents and support have not only contributed to the success of the event but also brought us one step closer to achieving our goals...
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Pacific Union College Sees Third Straight Year of Growth

By Laura Gang on October 31, 2023

At a time when many institutions of higher learning are struggling to maintain their enrollments, Pacific Union College has continued to grow in recent years.This academic year, PUC’s headcount has increased from 884 to 930 students. It’s the third consecutive year of growth. While the trajectory may be modest, PUC is grateful, especially considering demographic challenges and a decade-long downward trend in student numbers. Furthermore, the college has made considerable strides in retaining its students. PUC maintains a nearly 90% retention rate for those who qualify to return for another year. President Ralph Trecartin said the continued growth is a testament to the hard work of the entire PUC campus community. “So many people at PUC have contributed to this effort,” Trecartin said. “We are thankful to God for His faithfulness and guidance as we continue to provide quality education for our students.”Gene Edelbach, vice president for enrollment and marketing, said several factors are responsible for this growth—PUC’s innovative vision, transfer student programs, and new graduate offerings. Among these, the introduction of associate to bachelor’s degree programs in nursing and the online MSN and MBA programs have collectively added nearly 200 students to the college.The associate to bachelor's degree program...
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New PUC Pastoral Team at PUC Church

By Ally Romanes on October 31, 2023

Pacific Union College is thrilled to announce that Nate Furness, Arturo Lopez, Garrison Chaffee, and Lem Garcia are the college’s pastoral team.If you were to ask each pastor what one of their favorite things about PUC is, one word is always said: community. They all love the campus community that makes the college so beautiful. Besides the miles of nature, mountains, and stunning views of Napa Valley- the people make PUC home. PUC Lead Pastor Nate Furness has a passion for Adventist education, which led him to accept this position last school year. “I want to be part of preparing young adults to serve Jesus in their context,” said Furness. “We want to prepare nurses, psychologists, filmmakers, teachers, pastors, and others to share the love of Jesus with everyone they encounter.” His goal is to prepare young people to be missionaries in their professional context, to disciple and mentor young people, and to demonstrate that life is joyful and that we are better in the community. Youth and Associate Pastor Garrison Chaffee graduated from PUC in 1999 with a bachelor's in fitness management and a teaching credential. He joined the pastoral team this summer and is honored to have the opportunity to...
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PUC Completes Additional Renovations to Nursing and Health Sciences Building

By Laura Gang on October 26, 2023

Pacific Union College reached a significant milestone with the completion of the Davidian Hall renovation project. It’s a fresh look for one of the college’s oldest buildings, which hasn’t undergone upgrades for decades.The building project was split into two phases. The first, completed in the fall of 2022, focused on creating adequate space to accommodate the increase in nursing and health science students. During this phase, an OB and Pediatric simulation room was designed and built.  Upgrades to the existing high-fidelity simulation space were also needed.  Phase two of the Davidian Hall refresh was an intensive undertaking over the summer. Additions included a skills lab testing area, two simulation debriefing areas, new desks in one classroom, tables and chairs in another, and new chairs for each lab space. All new flooring and carpeting were installed, and painting was completed—including in all faculty areas. Updated signage was also added throughout the department.  “The addition of these items will allow students to utilize the simulation and laboratory environments to meet programmatic outcomes and utilize experiential learning through quality hands-on experience to ensure the department is self-sufficient in training the next generation of nurses. This is critical if another event like the recent COVID-19 pandemic takes...
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