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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 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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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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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 Theology Relocates to PUC Church to Foster Collaboration & Relationships

By Ally Romanes on October 24, 2023

After over 40 years, the theology department at Pacific Union College moved this summer from the basement of Graf Hall to the church offices. The change intends to highlight the central role of PUC’s faith, be more present with the students, and collaborate better with the pastors and chaplain. In 1982, the department moved to the basement of the oldest dorm on campus as “a temporary measure” when the front half of Irwin Hall was torn down. Irwin Hall had been the center of campus, so a basement hallway was quite a demotion. Over the years, PUC has explored ways to put the department back at the center of campus life for practical and symbolic reasons, but nothing panned out. Theology faculty recognized that a larger building project could be years away, and in the meantime, they wanted to seize every moment to serve students. When Lead Pastor Nate Furness invited them to share the church office complex with the pastoral team, the move made sense. “We are excited to have the college theology department sharing office space with the church pastoral team,” said Furness. “We believe that working in close proximity will enhance collaboration, church ministries, and student involvement. The Holy Spirit...
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PUC is “All In” for The 2023-2024 School Year

By Ally Romanes on October 3, 2023

Another school year has started at Pacific Union College. “All In” is the theme for this year that the Student Association has chosen. The theme reminds everyone that there is support in this PUC community and that working together can accomplish anything. New students were given a warm welcome on Wednesday, September 20, with coffee and pastries as they moved into their residence halls and family sessions to know what resources are available to them and their students. Pastors, faculty, staff, and the Student Association dedicated students and prayed for families at the PUC Church in the afternoon, followed by the president's welcome dinner to end an eventful day. Niq Ruud, director of student involvement, was in charge of running Fusion. Everything went smoothly as this was his first year running the program with the help of the Fusion leaders, who spoke highly of the incoming class. The Student Association organized events, such as facilitating an Olympics-style tournament between the 16 Fusion groups. Events included a tower building with uncooked spaghetti and marshmallows, a dodgeball, and a fruit-balancing race.Fusion orientation week continued with a Pioneers pancake breakfast thrown by Director of Athletics Hernan Granados, athletic coaches, and student-athletes before new students had a filled...
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Vivian Geow's Mission Trip

By Ally Romanes on September 27, 2023

Transformative, gratifying, and sweaty.That’s how Vivian Geow, PUC accreditation specialist & MBA program advisor, described the mission trip with ShareHim ministries to Columbia from July 26 to August 8. Geow's group consisted of 12 people- five from Yountville SDA church and seven from North Carolina. Within the two subgroups were about five young adults led by their respective home church pastors. Mission trips by ShareHim have participants speak at a church– something Geow said she would never do. Yet, she was to deliver 11 sermons to a Spanish-speaking audience in Neiva, a bustling city of 365,000 people, 200 miles south of the capital city of Bogota.ShareHim prepared sermons for participants with an average of 65 slides in Spanish. The decision to go on this mission trip was easy for Geow. She’d never been before, and since she lives in rural South Dakota, she was excited about traveling to a new country. Once they arrived in Neiva, they were paired with interpreters and assigned to churches at the South Andean Mission of the Seventh-day Adventist church. They settled into a routine of sermon preparation, gathering for mealtimes, and preaching in the evenings. As each day passed, Geow understood what it meant to trust God....
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Chris Vance Named PUC’s 2022-23 Staff Member of the Year

By Ally Romanes on August 2, 2023

In May, Pacific Union College announced that Chris Vance, information technology support services operations manager, was named Staff Member of the Year. Vance was honored during an award ceremony for his tremendous work overseeing and handling the campus’ information technology systems. One of Vance’s strengths is his amazing communication skills– all while juggling responsibilities with different departments and offices. There is no doubt this award is well-deserved.This past school year was the first time human resources recognized a staff member of the year. They planned to start this award in 2020 but got off track when COVID hit. “Chris is the perfect person to be recognized for our inaugural staff member of the year award,” says Stacy Nelson, chief human resources officer. “He has made such an impact at the College. He’s a true PUC Pioneer!” "The IT team at PUC is small but mighty. We’re deeply blessed to have Chris on our team,” Nelson continues. “Whether it was COVID challenges in years past or the cyber-attacks that took place this year, Chris really stepped up and made an impact. Jim Collins, author of several leadership books says, ‘Great vision without great people is irrelevant.’ Chris embodies this; he’s one of...
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PUC Welcomes Arturo Lopez As Campus Chaplain

By Ally Romanes on July 11, 2023

Pacific Union College is happy to announce that Arturo Lopez will be the new campus chaplain. Pastor Lopez is a young and seasoned pastor with amazing experience. He is energetic, enthusiastic, and thrives on making friends. You won’t find a more outgoing person.He received his B.A. in Theology from PUC in 2014 and went on to La Sierra University for his master of theology studies. From Andrews University, he obtained his M.A. in pastoral ministry and is currently earning his Doctor of Ministry.Over the past nine years, Pastor Lopez has served within the Seventh-day Adventist Central California Conference. He began as the associate/youth Pastor in Fresno and San Jose. Later, he transitioned into the role of district pastor, serving communities in Bakersfield, Taft, Salinas, and Seaside. Most recently, he was the pastor at the Monterey Bay Academy Church while also serving as the school chaplain.“During our evaluation process, it became evident to the committee that Pastor Arturo possesses the ideal combination of academic achievements and practical experience,” said Ryan Smith, PUC’s vice president of student life. “His deep-rooted passion for engaging with and mentoring youth and young adults is palpable and aligns perfectly with the role of an outstanding chaplain....
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Winners Announced in PUC’s First High School Essay Contest

By Ally Romanes on June 9, 2023

The department of English at Pacific Union College held its first annual Emerging Voices of the Pacific Union essay contest. The contest began on March 12 to high school students from Seventh-day Adventist academies or junior academies in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, and Utah.Students had until April 21 to submit a personal essay about a time they found beauty in an everyday or unexpected place. Approximately 80 entries were received and judged by PUC English professors to choose three winners.PUC is happy to congratulate and share the winners of the Emerging Voices essay contest: 1st place is Joshua Nielson, a senior from Rio Linda Academy, who wrote an essay titled Whispers of a Ghost Town about a town called Bodie and finding true beauty within the legacy of towns. Judges were greatly impressed with Nielson’s strong sense of description and place and the unusual approach he took to thinking about beauty and discovery. His work is a fantastic representation of the beauty of California, and his voice as a writer shines through. Nielsen will receive a $1000 scholarship and a $500 prize. 2nd place is Yieby Shade, a junior from San Gabriel Academy, whose essay Layered In Between is about...
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