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A Moment in Time: Artist Davis Perkins exhibits at PUC

By Becky St. Clair on November 5, 2019

On Nov. 9, painter Davis Perkins will host an opening reception and artist talk at 7 p.m. in the Rasmussen Art Gallery on the campus of Pacific Union College. Admission is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Always drawing as a kid, Davis Perkins doesn’t remember a time when art wasn’t a part of his life. Perkins attended University of Oregon, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts, and he has now made art a career. He has original artwork in a permanent collection at the Smithsonian as well as in the Pentagon, and has done one-man shows at the Alaska State Museum and the Smithsonian’s Air & Space Museum.

“I consider myself a traditional landscape painter,” Perkins says. “Much of my life has been spent outdoors, and the wonders of nature inspire me.”

His exhibit, Landscapes: A Moment in Time, will be on display through December 8 (the gallery will be closed Nov. 23-Dec. 1 for Thanksgiving break). Gallery hours are 2-6:30 p.m., Thursday through Sunday.

To enjoy a Q&A with the artist, visit puc.edu/blog.

For more information regarding the arts on the PUC campus, contact the department of visual arts at 707-965-6604 or the department of

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Sensibilities: Douglas Sandquist at the Rasmussen Art Gallery

By Becky St. Clair on October 11, 2019

The department of visual arts at Pacific Union College invites the community to an art exhibit opening reception for photographer Douglas Sandquist on Saturday, Oct. 12, at 7 p.m. The event will take place in the Rasmussen Art Gallery on the college campus, and will feature an artist talk and refreshments. This reception is free and open to the public.

Sandquist attended PUC as a bio-chem major in the early 90s, but was accepted into dental school after his junior year, so he never completed his degree at PUC. He went on to become a dentist back in his hometown of Las Vegas, Nevada, where today he curates the unexpected combination of his dental career and photography.

“Most dental photography is macro photography, but it’s also portrait photography,” Sandquist explains. “I originally wanted to learn how to take better clinical photos, so I delved into learning how to better use a camera, how to compose a shot, and how to work with different lighting. One thing led to another, and I started to enjoy photography outside the office just as much as in it.”

In 2016, a photo Sandquist took in Iceland with his iPhone and shared via Instagram was requested by Apple

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A Wild(life) Ride: Bio Grad Nails Vet Rotations at San Diego, Phoenix Zoos

By Becky St. Clair on October 2, 2019

Amanda Schaff, 2014 biology graduate, has been fascinated by science for as long as she can remember. She has also always known she wanted to be a veterinarian. So, when the time came to head to college, she chose PUC, and enrolled as a biology major.

“I love cats and dogs, but I’ve always wanted something a little different than regular veterinary medicine,” she says. While a student at PUC, Schaff took a trip to South Africa, working with wildlife veterinarians treating African wildlife.

“That was one of the coolest experiences of my life,” she says. “That trip was what cemented my future as a wildlife or zoo veterinarian.”

Following graduation, Schaff was accepted into a fellowship at the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) on Sanibel Island off the southwestern coast of Florida. It was a rare paid fellowship at one of the few wildlife hospitals in the U.S.

“There are many wildlife rehabilitation clinics, but they don’t always have vets; usually they operate with certified wildlife rehab specialists,” Schaff explains. “At CROW, they have several veterinarians on staff.”

During her six-month fellowship, Schaff assisted with surgeries, treatment of rehabilitating animals, neonatal care, feeding, medicating, and exams. It wasn’t as glamorous as it

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Encuentro: Student Helps Establish National Association

By Becky St. Clair on September 30, 2019

“Right after high school graduation, I was accepted into a young ambassador program with the Smithsonian museums. This opened the door for me to later attend a leadership event for young Puerto Ricans in New York City.”

Samantha Rodriguez, sophomore engineering and math major, spent several days this summer at National Youth Leadership Encuentro, a student-driven leadership experience which offered young Puerto Ricans the opportunity to “explore the socioeconomic crises Puerto Ricans in the United States and Puerto Rico face, and gain the skills necessary to analyze, frame, and develop solutions that would impact Puerto Ricans throughout the nation.”

Through discussions, activities, presentations of research, and meals together, the two dozen attendees got to know each other and dove more deeply into their shared heritage.

Rodriguez was the only participant from the west coast.

“There are so few Puerto Ricans and Dominicans on this side of the country that it wasn’t until my college years I saw a Dominican man outside of my family,” she explains. “This event was an opportunity to get a better idea of what my Puerto Rican self is like.”

Going in, Rodriguez expected lectures and lots of sitting and listening. While the conference did involve presentations, she was happily surprised

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PUC’s New Faculty 2019-2020

By Becky St. Clair on September 27, 2019

Desirae Bach

Visual Arts

What inspired you to go into teaching?
I’ve always enjoyed training new employees at my previous jobs and I’ve also enjoyed teaching Sabbath School, so I’m really happy this position became available. I also have a heart for PUC and have always wanted to move back to this area. God opened the doors. I’ve also been attracted to teaching because I know how much my teachers have made a difference in my life and how much I looked up to them, and I want to be able to pay it forward to future students. I also think being a teacher will be more of a well-rounded/fulfilling career that has a higher purpose.

What do you enjoy most about your area of study?
I love how graphic design takes art into a practical level that can be used in any field and business. Graphic design jobs vary so much and can be in so many different fields and specializations.

Name something you’ve done that you’re proud of.
I’m thankful God has given me the opportunities he’s given me that have suited my skills and have been really fulfilling. I feel blessed to have worked at an ad

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From Vineyards to Skydiving: Aviation Grad Climbs to Managing His Own Fleet

By Becky St. Clair on September 23, 2019

As a kid, Rick Harter watched Top Gun for the first time and decided then and there he wanted to fly.

“Without hesitation, my dad told me I absolutely could become a pilot someday,” Harter recalls. “He told me if I worked hard, I could fly around in jets when I grew up and I thought that was so awesome!”

Over the next several years, Harter attended all the air shows he could find, and never lost his love for aviation. He decided being a missionary pilot was the path he wanted to follow, so he headed to Pacific Union College to study.

“I really enjoyed the challenge of flying into that little airport,” Harter says. “That field is a bit more challenging than other airports where some students learn to fly. PUC aviation grads have a bit of an edge when they get their license, because they have experience landing on a short airstrip surrounded by hills.”

He also says he appreciated the mentorship of Nathan Tasker, flight director during Harter’s time as a student.

“He was so positive all the time,” Harter recalls. “He taught me a lot about character, and about being a safe pilot. Lessons I will continue to use throughout

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PUC Ranked in Top Ten by U.S. News & World Report

By Becky St. Clair on September 20, 2019

Pacific Union College has once again found itself ranked in the top ten schools in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges list. Furthermore, the college’s name appears four times in the 2020 rankings, all within the top 15. PUC has been ranked for the following:

#10 in Regional Colleges West
#7 in Best Colleges for Veterans
#4 in Best Value Schools
#14 inTop Performers on Social Mobility

"Our students are well prepared for success,” says Milbert Mariano, academic dean at PUC. “PUC’s high rankings in U.S. News & World Report affirm our quality and excellence as an institution.”

Regional Colleges are split into four regions and are placed in this category based on the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education’s Basic Classification system, the accepted standard in U.S. education. A few of the factors and weights included in the methodology are graduation and retention rates, graduation rate performance, social mobility, faculty and financial resources, student excellence, and alumni giving. PUC is the only Adventist school in the top ten.

Best Colleges for Veterans are selected based on meeting the following criteria: certified for the GI Bill, participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program, for the third consecutive year enrolled a minimum of 20 veterans and active

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PUC Ranked in Top Ten by Washington Monthly

By Becky St. Clair on September 20, 2019

Pacific Union College has been ranked by Washington Monthly in the 2019 top ten for Best Colleges for adult learners in the 2-year degree category. Washington Monthly rates schools based on what they do for the country.

Rolling in at #7, PUC is one of only two colleges in the state of California to rank in the top ten.

“PUC’s high rankings in Washington Monthly affirm our quality and excellence as an institution,” says Milbert Mariano, academic dean for PUC. “I am proud of our campus family for all their achievements, and they deserve to be praised and appreciated for their efforts.”

The criteria used by Washington Monthly for determining its Best Colleges are:

- Ease of transfer/enrollment
- Flexibility of programs - Services available for adult students
- The percent of adult students (age 25+) at the college
- Graduation rates of part-time students
- Mean earnings of adult students ten years after entering college
- Loan repayment rates of adult students five years after entering repayment
- Tuition and fees for in-district students

PUC has also been ranked in the top ten by U.S. News & World Report in their 2020 Best Colleges list; for details, read the article.

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London Streets: Honors Students Explore Ethics, History, and Literature in the UK

By Becky St. Clair on September 17, 2019

Education is most effective when taken from the traditional classroom setting into experiential learning situations. PUC offers many opportunities for study tours around the world, and this summer, Honors students took their learning to the literal streets as they toured London for a class called “London Streets.”

The course took them throughout the city, personalizing literature they’d studied in previous courses and bringing history to life. Together, professor and students considered the ethics and obligations of seeing poverty both in Victorian times and now, interrogated the intersection between scientific regulation of health and governmental power, and traced the geographic and cultural impact of industrialization.

For pictures of their trip, check out their photo blog; for a deeper dive into what they studied during their three weeks in the UK, take a look at their reflections blog.

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PUC Signs Trail Agreement with Open Spaces District

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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