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PUC Signs Trail Agreement with Open Spaces District

Posted by Peter Lecourt & Becky St. Clair on August 30, 2019

For years, the trails of Pacific Union College’s forested lands have been known mostly by word of mouth; even locals are sometimes unaware of the college’s 35 miles of recreational trails through more than 850 acres of rich biodiversity and striking beauty.Now, thanks to a new trail license agreement between PUC and the Napa County Regional Parks and Open Spaces District, PUC’s forest is now open for those who wish to enjoy hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding through PUC’s coastal redwoods, Douglas firs, ponderosa pines, oaks, bay laurels, and Madrones. They may even see a rare Napa False Indigo or hear the calls of the threatened Northern Spotted Owl.This agreement means PUC’s forest will be incorporated into the district’s set of open spaces parks in Napa County.“Growing into the future, PUC is excited to partner with the Parks and Open Spaces District to the mutual benefit of our organizations,” says Peter Lecourt, forest manager for PUC, “and to the local community who cherish the PUC forest.”While this license will not change the essential character and unequalled ecological value of PUC’s forest, it does represent a major milestone in both the history and future of the PUC forest.Last year PUC...

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Summer Service: Health Education at the Farmer’s Market

Posted by Lauren VandenHoven on August 28, 2019

Sandy Sargent, PUC’s director of Health Services, has spent her summer engaging with community members by starting conversations about health at farmer’s markets in Napa and St. Helena. Twice each week, she and her team tackle different seasonal concerns, some of which include stress, sun protection and water safety, allergic reactions, hydration, and diabetes awareness. They presented the issues through evidence-based visual aids from well-known sources like the Center for Disease Control (CDC), along with hands-on teaching tools: a pool with rubber ducks for the kids and using a mannequin to teach learners of all ages how to practice CPR.“The most important thing for me is to dialogue with people and educate them about basic health concerns that are surprisingly overlooked,” Sargent says. “We have something to offer—a way to be a part of the community, an opportunity that would not only bring exposure to PUC, but also give something back.”The work isn’t just about raising awareness on a variety of health issues; it’s about connecting with a wide array of people and ages.“It’s a chance to be visible,” says Sargent. “It’s rewarding, and it creates relationships at a community level.”She shares stories about teaching a little boy how to...

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Pacific Union College Ranks #2 on PayScale's 2019-20 College Salary Report

Posted by Staff Writer on August 26, 2019

Pacific Union College announced today that they rank second on PayScale’s 2019-20 ranking of associate degree schools which provide the best return on investment after graduation.“The majority of the highest earning two-year programs are schools with strong reputations and a specific focus in nursing and healthcare professions,” PayScale stated in its release of this year’s rankings. This includes PUC, which trails the #1 school by a mere $200 in average mid-career annual pay.“Our A.S. graduates are receiving a well-deserved return on their investment with an excellent Adventist education at Pacific Union College,” says Milbert Mariano, academic dean at PUC. “We are proud of our them as well as our professors who are clearly preparing them for meaningful and rewarding service.”PayScale, Inc., is the world’s leading provider of on-demand compensation data and software. Their 2019 annual College Salary Report included alumni salary data of 3.5 million respondents, representing more than 4,000 colleges and universities across the U.S.“Higher education is a major financial decision, both in terms of the cost of attending the institution as well as the potential for future earnings,” notes Sudarshan Sampath, PayScale’s director of research, in the company’s release of the rankings. “Our College Salary Report can be...

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From Pioneer to River Cat: PUC alum announces for Sacramento’s MiLB team

Posted by Sarah Tanner on August 13, 2019

PUC alum Justin Smith graduated in 2006 with a degree in business and a passion for sportscasting. The voice of the Pioneers during his college years, Smith developed a love of announcing that recently helped land him a position with the Sacramento River Cats as a regular announcer for their minor league baseball games.“I’ve been interested in announcing since my senior year of high school,” Smith explains. “My experiences at PUC taught me the basics of speaking loud and clear to a large crowd, and having an Adventist education is something that helps you wherever you go.”Each River Cats game requires five or six hours of intense focus, including time before and after the game to run through scripts, become familiar with the batting line-ups, and prepare for the first pitches, national anthem, and interactions with other announcers.When asked what his favorite aspect of announcing is, Smith said it was the fact that he could share his skills with his local high school, and contribute to their basketball and volleyball games.“I get the most joy from announcing at Sacramento Adventist Academy’s games. My primary focus is on that school. The River Cats position is a great opportunity, but I find...

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PQ Rise: PUC Hosts Inaugural STEM Event for High Schoolers

Posted by Becky St. Clair on August 8, 2019

For 24 years, PUC has hosted PacificQuest annually during the summer, inviting high-achieving middle school students to campus to participate in various STEM activities to enhance their knowledge and interest. The program was an instant success with both participating teachers and students, and has remained hugely popular over the years. The only downside? Once a student graduates 8th grade, they can no longer attend PacificQuest.“The PacificQuest students and parents have been asking for years for a similar program for academy and high school students,” says Aimee Wyrick, chair of the department of biology and event coordinator. “With the support of PacificQuest alumni and union schools, we finally had the resources to make it happen this year.”And so, in July, for the first time ever, PUC hosted PQ Rise, a similar program to PacificQuest, but for high school students.“I loved the three years of Pacific Quest I did so much, that when I saw an opportunity to do it for another summer, I was ecstatic,” enthuses Sofia Rasi, sophomore at Monterey Bay Academy.Though she wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, Rasi suspected the classes would be slightly more challenging and the curriculum enriched. She wasn’t disappointed.“I must say, our activities felt...

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