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PUC Awarded $210,000 Distance Learning Grant from USDA

By Ashley Eisele on May 20, 2021

Pacific Union College (PUC) was recently awarded a Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant from the USDA worth $210,392. Only four of these grants were awarded within the entire state of California with the intention of connecting rural communities with services and opportunities through telecommunications.PUC will use these funds to purchase equipment and provide more opportunities for distance learning courses and career counseling in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields in particular. “We are very grateful for the award and its timing,” said David Rai, PUC’s Director of Technology and Innovation. “As we move forward with a new vision for PUC, a substantial investment like this shows that we are moving in the right direction to meet needs that are relevant to students now. This grant is helping us put our technology plans into action so that remote instruction and career counseling is accessible to more students.”The college’s plans for the funds currently include installing cutting-edge video and broadcast technology across PUC’s Angwin campus and providing equipment for a new, state-of-the-art broadcast studio in Fisher Hall, home to the college’s department of visual arts. The studio will be used to record and deliver innovative content for remote classes, workshops, and...
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PUC Students Bring the Love of Butterflies to Local Elementary School

By Ashley Eisele on April 12, 2021

Students from Pacific Union College recently visited Howell Mountain Elementary School (HME), a local public school, to teach second and third grade students all about monarch butterflies and to get them hands-on in the learning process!The students discussed the life cycle of the monarch butterfly, including the importance of milkweed as nutrition and as a habitat crucial for monarch reproduction.“The HME project was a great opportunity for these college students to connect with the elementary kids,” said Professor Aimee Wyrick, chair of PUC’s department of biology. “It reminds them of the amazing curiosity that kids have about the world around them – gives college students an additional excitement or “spark” when they see the schoolkids enjoying the experience. The PUC students were also impressed with the HME elementary students – they were very engaged in asking/answering questions. College students also get a chance to practice their interpersonal and leadership skills – directing the session and interacting with each other and a wide range of students.”The kids were enthusiastic learners and the PUC students on hand were happy to answer question after question. One item that got a lot of attention was the fact that milkweed is poisonous to animals like...
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PUC Sees Enrollment Growth in Fall 2020

By Ashley Eisele on October 13, 2020

Pacific Union College (PUC) began classes this fall quarter with an increase in enrollment, breaking the nationwide trend of enrollment decreases. The college saw a 4% increase in overall headcount, while higher education institutions across the country saw an average 3.8% decrease.The census date headcount for fall 2020 stands at 966, compared to 929 last year, and is the first enrollment increase that PUC has seen in six years. This is especially notable because of the global COVID-19 pandemic that is putting a strain on schools. Although the causes of the increase are due to many factors, some of the more notable contributions to PUC’s increase can be tied to an increase in transfer students, nursing students, students from the local area, and former students who had taken a break but have now re-enrolled."I'm proud of the significant efforts done by our admissions and marketing teams, as well as the support they received from the entire campus to create this increase. During the 2019-2020 school year, Pacific Union College began a well-thought-out, three-year turnaround plan. This plan, supported by the board, employees, and administration, is beginning to yield results. These positive results not only represent the hard work of our...
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Howell Mountain Farms at PUC Receives ASI Grant

By Ashley Eisele on July 21, 2020

Learn Local. Grow Local. Serve Local. Those heartfelt words are the motto for Howell Mountain Farms at Pacific Union College, which was recently awarded a $10,000 grant from Adventist-Laymens Services & Industries (ASI.) The farm was established as an outlet for students at PUC to learn about agriculture and business through hands-on experience, but the inspiration came from Ellen White. “I was reading the Spirit of Prophecy,” said farm manager Doug Helmer. “[Ellen White] talked about how we preach too much and we teach too much, that we need to have our students experiencing things more.”In addition to practical experience, the farm will provide a valuable connection between PUC and its students with the local community through an active produce stand. The college will also feature produce from the farm in their dining commons, and the farm hopes to supply local restaurants as well.The generous ASI grant will allow Howell Mountain Farms to expand with a propagation house where seedlings can start to grow before being moved outside. The new facility will be fully automated with a sprinkler system, rolling tables, building sides that automatically roll up at certain temperatures, and a shade cloth for the summer sun. The farm...
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Pacific Union College Receives CARES Act Funds as Part of COVID-19 Support for Students

By Ashley Eisele on June 3, 2020

Pacific Union College received $569,112 from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to provide emergency financial aid grants directly to PUC students affected by the COVID-19 crisis.The college received the funds on April 28 and by mid-May, close to $300,000 had already been distributed to 394 students. PUC estimates around 400 students are eligible to receive grants from this federal fund, which is intended to support those who are experiencing unforeseen hardship from the COVID-10 global pandemic. This includes students who need additional support for their education.“We are grateful we received the CARES Act funds and that we can reach so many students with the additional assistance,” said J.R. Rogers, PUC’s Associate Vice President of Student Life. “Some students couldn’t do online learning because they didn’t have computers and some have parents who are now out of work and needed to help support their families. Almost anything you can imagine being an issue is the reality for our students right now.”Another avenue of support for PUC students affected by the pandemic has come from the college’s Coronavirus Student Emergency Fund. The fund was started early in the crisis as the needs of PUC students started to become...
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