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Professor's Artwork Installed in United States Golf Association Museum

By Christopher Togami on June 29, 2007

For the first time in the 23 years he’s taught at Pacific Union College, communication professor James Chase skipped this year’s graduation. It wasn’t so he could spend Father’s Day at home watching golf on TV, though PUC’s graduation usually falls on the final day of the U.S. Open—no, he was away in Pennsylvania, attending the U.S. Open in person to film a special segment with golf legend Arnold Palmer. The event was a result of Chase’s work on a portrait of Palmer, which has been selected as the centerpiece and focal point of the Arnold Palmer Center for Golf History at the USGA’s museum in New York. Hundreds of portraits of Palmer have been created during the golfer’s celebrated career, but none have taken on the magnitude or unique composition of Chase’s “Gratitude,” a portrait created entirely out of words. Ranging from the hundreds of awards and accomplishments that Palmer has received during his career to Palmer’s wife’s name, the 22,719 words, which vary in size from 1/10th to 1/16th of an inch, represent story lines drawn from Palmer’s gracious and compassionate life. Chase explains, “I wanted the content to become the form—to turn Arnie’s story lines into Arnie’s...
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The Class of 2007 Marches Out

By Christopher Togami on June 18, 2007

The 325 graduates of the Pacific Union College Class of 2007 celebrated the conclusion of their undergraduate education during the weekend of June 15-17. The full schedule of programs and ceremonies included addresses from Roy Ice, PUC chaplain; Don Schneider, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America; Kristie Brandt, director of the Parent-Infant & Child Institute; and Julius Nam, assistant professor at the Loma Linda University School of Religion. Sunday morning’s commencement ceremonies found Commencement Grove lined with chairs and festive with leis, balloons, billowing black or white robes, and the traditional corn tortillas that graduates toss as an expression of their ebullience. Nam, a former member of PUC’s religion department, spoke to the graduates about dreams. “PUC has taught you to have dreams that are bigger than yourselves,” he said. He challenged them to choose a cause, a mission to serve their communities, citing several alumni who have made significant contributions through their vision and creativity. “The God who holds the universe asks you to partner with him in dreaming,” he said. “You PUC graduates have to be champions, have to be leaders.” Academic Dean Nancy Lecourt and President Richard Osborn then conferred 339 degrees, with the...
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Senior Film Festival a Success

By Christopher Togami on June 7, 2007

For the first time, PUC held its annual Senior Film Festival at the Cameo Cinema in St. Helena. Both of the June 3 screenings, which featured five short films written and produced by seniors in the film and television program of the visual arts department, were filled to capacity. Use of the local movie theater as this year’s venue allowed the students to showcase their work to a broader audience. Stephen Eyer, instructor in film and television, was excited about the festival’s turnout. “There is something magical about experiencing movies together as a community,” said Eyer. “It was great to see students, faculty, and staff from the college, as well as many local community members coming together to enjoy these stories.” Also on display was the program’s new 20-foot mobile production trailer, the brainchild of festival producer and senior film and television major J.R. Rogers. The trailer, outfitted with all the equipment necessary to perform multi-camera and off-campus shoots, was open to the public for tours. “People were amazed and astounded at what PUC has done with the film program and with the trailer,” said Rogers referring to the trailer as well as the numerous awards that student films have...
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Film & Television Major Follows his Vision

By Christopher Togami on March 15, 2007

When film and television major J.R. Rogers graduates from Pacific Union College this June, he will leave behind a mark that anyone in the 125-year history of the college would be proud of. In addition to his senior project of producing the video version of the three weeks of prayer this year, which he anticipates will soon be broadcast to millions via the Loma Linda Broadcasting Network, Rogers has begun developing several projects that will allow the growing visual arts department to continue offering top-level opportunities to its students. Rogers has been both in and around the field of broadcast production for nearly 13 years. He is responsible for obtaining program information for each week-of-prayer, transferring that information into an appropriate film script, organizing the crew and making sure that the film aspect of each program runs smoothly and on time. “I decided to make my senior project work around my abilities,” says the Southern California native. “Most seniors shoot a film or a documentary. That’s not something that I’m good at, so I decided to make my project something that I could do and do well.” Something else that Rogers does well is follow his visions. With the help...
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Heubach Lecture Tackles Age-Old Question

By Christopher Togami on February 26, 2007

Lisa M. Beardsley spoke about the question, “Why did God Create Satan” for this year’s biennial Heubach Lecture. Beardsley, the associate director of education and executive secretary of the Adventist Accrediting Association for the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, explored the intriguing realm of human choice and numerous related issues. Beardsley’s topic, a question that both children and adults have pondered throughout history, focused heavily on the connection between free choice, love and happiness, a relationship that she summed up in the statement, “Happiness is love freely given and freely received.” Beardsley’s travels throughout the world have allowed her to witness atrocities in places like Rwanda, where choice is the privilege of a few, exercised on the lives of many. Beardsley is the first female lecturer in the history of the Heubach Lectureship Series, which began in 1998 when PUC established an endowment in honor of Paul C. Heubach. The lectureship, which is funded by friends of Heubach, hopes to examine the great central truths of Christianity in light of the character of God by using simple language—“in terms understood where people live.” The goal for each lecture is to leave the listener with a clearer comprehension of God, and...
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Faculty Member Pursues Cancer Research

By Christopher Togami on February 9, 2007

Husbands, sisters, mothers, fathers, friends. These are only some of the people lost to cancer on a daily basis. By the time you have finished reading this paragraph, another person in the United States will have died from cancer, the most common forms of which are prostate and breast. Statistically speaking, everyone has been or will be touched by the destructive and prevalent disease, a disease that invades our lives and our bodies yet remains without a cure. While the world continues its search for a cure, a great deal of research has moved towards the preventative aspect. Dr. Brian Wong, a biology professor new to PUC this academic year, has been researching and testing various methods of cancer prevention during the past sixteen years. Since his doctoral dissertation in 1990, Wong has researched the effectiveness of Chinese herbs in combating, or at least slowing, the growth of cancer cells. Two of these herbs, which have shown promising lab results, are found commonly throughout China in roadside ditches. Testing performed on mice has yielded delayed cancer cell growth of up to five or six weeks when taking certain levels and combinations of the herbs, which is the equivalent of about...
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2006 Arizona Teacher of the Year

By Christopher Togami on June 15, 2006

When the 2006 Arizona Teacher of the Year, Lucy Popson met President George W. Bush at the White House in March, she greeted him with the same enthusiasm and excitement that she shows to her third graders each day at Walter Douglas Elementary in Tucson, Arizona. Not one to miss an opportunity, Popson informed the president in a characteristically bubbly tone that her mom was his biggest fan, prompting President Bush to present Popson with a presidential pin for her mother. Popson, part of a 51 member contingent of teachers representing the 50 states and Washington D.C., was being honored at the nation’s capital for her excellence in education. Popson’s journey to the White House began twelve years ago when she graduated from Pacific Union College with a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies and a master’s degree in education. She remembers her days in class and says, “They were tough! As a student I was expected to meet high academic standards. I believe that everybody who has ever graduated from PUC deserves a medal!” The third grade classroom at Walter Douglas Elementary has been Popson’s home for the past eleven years. Her energy-packed style of teaching has endeared her to...
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Students & Staff Serve in Mississippi, Louisiana and Peru

By Christopher Togami on April 14, 2006

Imagine living in a 25-foot trailer, with knowledge that at the end of the year, you’ll have to move out and somehow find a job. Citizens of Waveland, Mississippi have been surviving like this for the past seven months. Since Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc on the Gulf Coast last year, 75 percent of the businesses in Waveland, which is located about 30 minutes from New Orleans, have remained closed, and the lingering residents possess little hope for the future. Youth pastor Jon Cicle from the Pacific Union College Church and a group of 16 volunteers journeyed to New Orleans and Waveland during spring break to take part in continued efforts to get the Gulf states back on track. PUC student Jaylene Chung and her parents provided the crew with a nice surprise by unexpectedly joining up with them in Waveland. While most experts are estimating that clearing the devastation and rebuilding will take at least three to five years, the group of PUC students, high school students, and sponsors did their best to make a difference in the lives of some grateful families. From removing broken toilets and appliances to clearing debris washed in from massive flooding, the group worked...
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