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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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Remembering the Life of Allison Fox

By Laura Gang, Ally Romanes, and Herbert Ford on June 8, 2023

Pacific Union College and the Angwin community are deeply saddened by the loss of Allison Fox, PUC alum, access services librarian, and Honors program director, who passed away surrounded by her family on May 9 in Angwin, California.“Allison did a fantastic job taking care of our Honors students and making sure they had a great academic experience at PUC,” said Milbert Mariano, PUC vice president for academic administration and academic dean. “She did an excellent job preparing each of our students for the life of a Christian scholar. I am proud of the work she did and know many will miss her zest for life greatly.” Fox was born at St. Helena Hospital to Cheryl and Chuck Fox. She grew up in Angwin, along with sisters Heidi and Lizzie. She attended both PUC Elementary and PUC Preparatory Academy and was a lifelong member of the PUC Church. When she started college at PUC, Fox was a student worker for two years in the campus bookstore. She then worked for two more years at the Nelson Memorial Library, often in the archives with the Walter Utt collection. In 2001, she graduated from PUC with a B.A. in English. Fox moved away from her...
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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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