PUC Hears the Story of Stuff

By Eirene-Gin Nakamura on April 4, 2011

The Pacific Union College campus was enlightened on the effects of American consumerist behavior at colloquy on Thursday morning. In the annual “PUC Reads” edition of the campus-wide assembly, students, faculty, and staff had the chance to view a short documentary entitled The Story of Stuff by Annie Leonard. The film, which has quickly become the go-to guide in the sustainability movement, explains the lifecycle of material goods in a “material economy,” addressing the detriment to people of third world countries and the Earth caused by wasteful habits of American culture. Leonard breaks down the process into five segments: extraction, production, distribution, consumption, and disposal. Her work is both critical of excessive consumerism and the power of corporations over the American government, and advocates environmental and social justice. Leonard’s original book with the same name was assigned to first-year students in their English 101 classes by a committee called PUC Reads that, according to English professor Cynthia Westerbeck, “discussed the concept of having the entire freshman class read a single book as a way to expand the concept of PUC as a learning community.” While the student response to the book have been mixed, with some individuals inspired to make...

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Senior Recognition Honors Class of 2011

By Eirene-Gin Nakamura on February 14, 2011

Seniors proudly donning caps and gowns marched down the aisles of the Pacific Union College Church February 10 to be honored at the annual Senior Recognition colloquy. Featured speaker Tammy McGuire, an associate professor of communication, addressed the senior class anxiously awaiting graduation in June. McGuire gave a light-hearted yet moving message entitled “The In Betweens”—referring to the times between the major events in life like senior recognition and graduation, during which we grow the most. Blending humor and wisdom, McGuire referenced Saturday Night Live and quoted a song called “Senioritis,” by the American rock band Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, to illustrate that “The goal is what we strive for, but the journey is what we live.” “Though our lives are punctuated by these momentous occasions, we must not forget that our lives are made of the the spaces in between, which are oftentimes the toughest to get through,” said McGuire. Using Eccelsiastes 3:13 as encouragement for the seniors to get through the possibility of a difficult final few months of their college career, McGuire concluded, “What we must do is fight to live joyfully…and find satisfaction in all this toil—this is the gift of God.”...

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Third Annual REVO

By Eirene-Gin Nakamura on April 22, 2010

Pacific Union College students host this year’s REVO humanitarian fundraising and awareness event on April 25 in an outdoor area at the center of the school’s campus. From 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. that Sunday, students will hold a benefit rummage sale, host a fashion show, play a concert, and sell corn dogs and t-shirts to aid the Tropical Health Alliance Foundation (THAF) in its efforts to combat podoconiosis, and a KidzReach program that supports local children. The event on the 25th will be the second REVO event this year; the first was a very successful 5K race on the college's trails on April 18. REVO plans to donate half of the raised funds to support THAF-sponsored clinics in Ethiopia that treat podoconiosis, a form of elephantitis caused by exposure of feet to red clay soil. Santa Monica-based non-profit TOMS Shoes agreed to collaborate with REVO and THAF, and will provide shoes for family members of each person who receives treatment as a result of this endeavor. The rest of the funds raised by this event will go to KidzReach, a campus-based program whose members volunteer to spend Saturdays with children from underprivileged families or unstable homes in nearby counties....

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Alum Performs to Standing Ovation

By Eirene-Gin Nakamura on March 8, 2010

A tall, handsome young man in a blue velvet blazer and a thin black tie walks onto the stage. In a single moment, the silence of the crowd disappears as though Justin Timberlake had come to Pacific Union College. Girls scream; boys applaud. The 400 students packed into Dauphinee Chapel give PUC alum Tad Worku the warmest welcome back home. “Being here, being around you guys, this feels more like a jam session,” Worku tells the crowd. “It just feels like home.” The highly anticipated performance by the former business major and his band of four full-time musicians (whom he calls "psychotically gifted") was undoubtedly the event of the weekend. Worku’s band, consisting of Marcus Phillips on the bass, Nate Mercereau on the guitar, Q Jackson on the drums, and gospel keyboardist Dave Jackson, left the stage with the audience on their feet. “The musicians were…indescribable!” said Student Association social vice president Chris Madrid. “Everyone was just amazed at how incredible they were.” The group played a set of 10 songs, ranging from pieces Worku wrote for other artists in the time he worked for production companies to his very first composition “Stormy Weather,” which he wrote as an 18-year-old...

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Students Mentor Local Children

By Eirene-Gin Nakamura on March 4, 2010

Sporting a bright yellow t-shirt and a magnetic smile, sophomore biochemistry major Anthony Yeo sits at a table in the Pacific Union College library to take a break from studying for a cell-molecular biology exam. Seventeen units and three science classes is a lot to take on for a 19 year-old student, but Yeo discovered a secret weapon to combat stress while generating altruism in the town of Angwin: mentoring. “It’s a great opportunity to help someone,” says Yeo. “And for that hour each week, I don’t have to study anymore!” A self-proclaimed infectious happiness virus, Yeo was ironically matched up with a fifth grader named Patrick who Yeo considers to be “pretty mellow.” “It’s almost like a game trying to get him to open up,” Yeo laughs. “But I really enjoy spending time helping him; it’s very rewarding.” Dr. Margo Haskins, associate professor of education, started the mentoring program last winter after she spoke to the campus about “the importance of showing God’s love in tangible and real ways,” she says. “I got to thinking, ‘Okay, I’m throwing this out there, so I need to bring something to this campus that will be meaningful to everyone involved.” Haskins first...

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Fall Revival Brings Bobby Bovell to PUC

By Eirene-Gin Nakamura on October 13, 2009

A refreshing change of pace swept over campus this week as PUC welcomed the arrival of Fall Revival. This year, Fall Revival brought international flavor, featuring young British pastor Bobby Bovell. Bovell leads a contemporary church in Copenhagen, whose members meet at a local café on Sabbath afternoons. He spoke to PUC students about the freedom God gives them to choose to follow Him. "You are free because you are not forced to see Him," he said. "He respects us so much, He'll never force us." Bovell went from re-enacting scenes from his childhood to acting out awkward social encounters, incorporating some British humor, to illustrate the beauty of God's love. Breaking down the core of the revival, Bovell passionately explained, "Jesus comes into our reality to make sense of what doesn't make sense. He comes to say, 'Listen, I've got a plan for you.'" The annual event offers the student body an opportunity for spiritual awakening in the midst of busy schedules at the beginning of the school year. The meetings ran from Wednesday through Saturday, with the class schedule on Friday being shortened to dedicate to an extra gathering in the morning....

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