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PUC Film Students Win at the 2023 Sonscreen Film Festival

By Ally Romanes on May 19, 2023

Sonscreen Film Festival is an event hosted by the North American Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church for over the past 20 years. It brings together Adventist filmmakers to celebrate excellence in film, encourage new work, and has always had a strong focus on student filmmakers, with our Adventist college students being involved from the very beginning. Over the years, Rajeev Sigamoney, chair of the visual arts department, has attended the film festival and helped run the event. Now, he proudly takes Pacific Union College students to Sonscreen every year. “The connections and community have been deeply valuable to my artistic journey and career and I hope that it might be the same for the students,” said Sigamoney. “Not to mention, as a department, we love the time away from the campus spending time together and going deeper in our relationships.”More than 20 PUC film students represented the college, along with professors Sigamoney and Tim de la Torre. During the festival, they attended film screenings, professional showcases, participated in a pitch competition, and attended the awards banquet. On Friday evening, PUC showcased two projects worked on by faculty and students in front of a packed house, along with the NAD. These...
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World Languages Department Redesigns Language & Culture Studies BA

By Ally Romanes on May 10, 2023

Pacific Union College is excited about the new interdisciplinary, customizable Language & Culture Studies BA. In the new program, students select a language emphasis plus a second area selected from a large list – or they can propose their own second emphasis. “We have very creative students out there who see the connection between Italian and music, but maybe also between Spanish and environmental science, for example,” says Chair and Professor of World Languages Sylvia Rasi Gregorutti. “We all love to have an individualized, ‘curated,’ experience—so this is the equivalent in a B.A. degree!”The Language & Culture Studies B.A. includes an academic year of study abroad at a host campus, amazing trips in the tuition itself, and the degree is structured so as to be easily combined with a second major. “I would have been so excited to have an option like this as a student—so at least now I’m able to create and offer it!” shares Gregorutti. Since PUC is a member of the Adventist Colleges Abroad (ACA) consortium, the department offers a degree encompassing experiences at host campuses abroad where coursework is offered in Arabic, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. (ACA also offers Biblical Hebrew during a summer course...
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PUC Recognizes Student-Athletes at Awards Banquet

By Ally Romanes on May 10, 2023

Student-athletes are the penultimate students on campus in part because they have so much to juggle. If you ask Pioneers at Pacific Union College what the hardest part about being a student-athlete is, they will say balancing time between school and sports. During a regular sports season, they must balance homework, class, labs, and extracurriculars—all while honing their athletic craft with all their practices, conditioning, weightlifting, games, and travels. They are also leaders and are often the public face of the college more than other students. While at PUC, they’ve experienced a lot of pressure to achieve, and these students have done so at very high levels. Many of PUC’s student-athletes are in the 3.5+ and 4.0 range. A fantastic 85% of student-athletes were awarded at the Pioneers Athlete Awards Banquet April 30 at the Angwin Fire Station. This annual awards banquet recognizes the Pioneers athletes for all their hard work throughout the year. Student-athletes receive sports-related and academic-based awards. The academic awards are for juniors and seniors; it shows that they have been able to achieve a high standing in academics, while still competing at the collegiate level.Joonsuh “Ben” Huh was named Presidential Scholar Athlete of the Year. As a junior...
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A Restored Supply Wagon Brings Back a Lifetime of Memories to PUC Alum

By Ally Romanes on April 25, 2023

Paul Damazo visited Pacific Union College in February to meet with President Ralph Trecartin and Vice President for Financial Administration Joy Hirdler. Much to his surprise, Dale Withers, PUC facilities director, kindly brought out the old supply wagon, which used to carry produce and milk from PUC’s garden and dairy farm. Damazzo used to sit on the seat with his father when he was a PUC student. Mr. Damazo drove the delivery wagon with a team of horses down to St. Helena to deliver goods.Damazo, now in his late 90s, told stories of how he had helped PUC’s church and college through the years. He founded a food service company that supplied organizations, businesses, and schools. Some of the Adventist schools employed student workers who wouldn’t have been able to attend otherwise.The wagon brought supplies up the hill from St. Helena beginning 1909, and Damazo’s father drove it up the hill and back each weekday. PUC was strapped for funds then and would not have had the money for a new wagon."I suspect the wagon either came with the property, which I know a lot of stuff did, or PUC bought it used," shared Withers. It was the college's main...
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PUC Names Hernan Granados as New Athletic Director

By Ally Romanes on April 25, 2023

No one was more surprised than Hernan Granados, when he was offered the opportunity to become Pacific Union College's new athletic director.Granados has been working at Pacific Union College for 17 years. He was hired in 2006 to be the residence hall dean at Newton Hall, and taught religion classes. During the last two years he has been the assistant soccer coach for the men's and women’s teams.With Granados in mind, Vice President for Student Life Ryan Smith reviewed three things when deciding who would be best suited to continue moving the athletics program forward. First, Hernan's training and experience as a residence hall dean give him the ability to connect and develop students. Second, his educational background is in theology; he holds a Master of Divinity degree. This training and experience as an athlete make Granados a promising athletic director.Even though he loves sports, he also loves being a dean. After discussing the role with his family, mentors, and praying a lot, Granados made the decision to accept the position of athletic director. "I look forward to working with him to make Pioneer Athletics a premiere program,” says Dr. Smith.Having a deep love for sports, Granados is most looking...
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PUC’s Chemistry Department Receives Equipment Donations

By Ally Romanes on April 4, 2023

The Department of Chemistry at Pacific Union College has added high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) to their department and is also getting new balances for their labs.Specifically, the HPLC is an Agilent 1260 with a diode array detector (DAD). This allows their department to analyze non-volatile mixtures of compounds that absorb light in the UV or visible spectrum. The HPLC does this by pumping a solvent at high pressure through a column; that separates the mixture of compounds. Then the compounds are measured by the DAD one at a time. They can use the information from the detector to determine the identity of the compound and its concentration. This is often used for pharmaceuticals, foods and beverages, biological samples, research mixtures of compounds, and many more. Due to the versatility of the instrument, many laboratories use this equipment, thus allowing PUC chemistry students to gain hands-on experience with the technique.Professor of Chemistry Robert Wilson shared that he has already had a student work on a method to separate acetaminophen, caffeine, and aspirin, which are often found in over the counter headache medicine as a mixture. “The method is quick, allowing students to become familiar with the instrumentation and processing data before...
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Bob Paulson Selected for “Service Award”

By Ally Romanes on March 23, 2023

Pacific Union College is proud to share that Bob Paulson, chair and professor of kinesiology, was selected by the SDA-HPERA award selection team for the organization’s “Service Award”. Those considered for this award must have a minimum of 30 years of service in the SDA education in the area of health, physical education, recreation, or related professions; contribute to church and community and their institution through campus leadership activities; and consistent active support of the Seventh-day Adventist Health, Physical Education, Recreation Association. Serving PUC students as a professor has been, and continues to be, an honor for Paulson. “We have fantastic, creative, and intelligent students at PUC,” shares Paulson. “Teaching is much more than the time spent in the classroom. When we care we try to interact in places like the Grind, Cafeteria, and of course Intramurals. I am truly blessed to have the opportunity to serve our students in this community-building environment.” The students are what makes teaching at PUC so enjoyable for Paulson. “Playing a part in their growth and development is not only an honor, but it is clearly a lot of fun.”The SDA-HPERA is hosting an award presentation at their national convention on Monday, March 27,...
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PUC Student and Volunteer Firefighter Teaches Sacramento Preschool About Fire Safety

By Ally Romanes on March 10, 2023

PUC senior Gil Fayard recently spoke to the preschool class at Sacramento Adventist Academy about how to behave in an emergency and his experience as a firefighter and EMT. The students were eager to hear what he had to say as they sat on a mat in the middle of the classroom. In his presentation, Fayard described how to call 911, stop, drop and roll, and escape a burning building. The students asked many questions as they were excited to learn about being a firefighter.Their preschool teacher Natalie, Fayard’s sister, informed him that the kids were interested in the fire trucks he rides, so he showed them pictures of their units stationed in Angwin. At the end of his presentation, he showed the students how he rapidly donned his structured fire gear. They counted each second as he put his pants, suspenders, jacket, helmet, and gloves put on. “I told them that even though we look big and scary in our fire gear, we are here to help!” Fayard shared. “I was grateful for the opportunity to present to the preschoolers at SAA. They were attentive, bright, and excited to learn new things. I am not used to presenting to...
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PUC’s Psi Chi Students Receive Regional Research Awards

By Ally Romanes on March 7, 2023

The psychology students at Pacific Union College, with the support of their faculty mentors, have received 10 Psi Chi Regional Research Awards over the past 10 years. During this time, PUC earned the 2nd highest number of awards of all schools in the western region and the seventh highest number of awards across all regions in the United States!There are about 10 PUC students who are a part of Psi Chi. “These awards are a true testament to the hard work our faculty and students do every day,” said Damaris Perez, chair of psychology and social work. “We are committed to teaching and supporting our students and their pursuit of research endeavors. We take great pride in their accomplishments and hope to continue reaching these milestones.” Psi Chi is an International Honor Society committed to recognizing and promoting excellence in the science and application of psychology. These awards are earned by Psi Chi student members whose empirical research has been evaluated as outstanding by faculty judges and who personally present their research at one of the regional conferences. The awards are highly competitive as the regional conferences draw a large number of the best student researchers each year. The psychology...
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PUC Welcomes New Lead Pastor Nate Furness

By Ally Romanes on February 9, 2023

The Pacific Union College Church is thrilled to announce and welcome their new Lead Pastor, Nate Furness, his wife Jennie, and their sons Alex and Anders. On Saturday, February 4, 2023, the Northern California Conference and local church leadership officially installed Pastor Nate during the sabbath worship service. Growing up in Orange County, CA., as a pastor’s kid, Pastor Nate would watch his father and knew he wanted to be a pastor. Although he knew what it meant to be a pastor, he wasn’t ready to fulfill that obligation during his undergrad years. “I had some growing to do,” shares Pastor Nate. “After I married Jennie in 2005, I knew it was time to become a pastor.” During his college years, Pastor Nate attended PUC for two years, then graduated from Southern Adventist University with a Bachelor of Science in Health, Wellness, and Physical Education, following a Masters of Theological Studies degree from La Sierra University. He started his pastoral ministry at Westminster Good Samaritan SDA Church in Orange County for two years, then became the lead pastor at the Costa Mesa SDA church for nine years.For the last five years, he served as lead pastor of the Napa Community...
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