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Revo PUC to Go Local

By Lainey S. Cronk on April 9, 2009

Last year, a student movement called Revo swept the Pacific Union College campus and raised over $10,000 for a shelter and vocational center for trafficked and abused children in Lima, Peru. This year, Revo is back - but students have decided to raise money for a Napa Valley cause. "After a few weeks of researching, asking social work professors, and praying about it, we decided to support the Napa Valley Food Bank," says student Revo leader Grace Jung. The reasons for the choice were numerous, including a timely response to the economic downturn, emphasis on the fact that you don't have to travel oversees to help those in need, and the hope of involving the wider community in the Revo movement. But the foremost motivation for supporting the Food Bank is hunger. "There are people in our own backyard that desperately could use our help," Jung says. "The issue of hunger is becoming very real to more and more Americans. It is not a poverty issue anymore; it is creeping its way into the middle-class, forcing children, single mothers, businessmen, senior citizens, and many more to go to bed hungry at night." As Jung reports, the number of individuals experiencing...
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"Clay Feet/Wire Wings" Transforms Holst Theater

By Lainey S. Cronk on March 12, 2009

In an unusual and unusually rich theatre production in March (with 15 additional showings scheduled for April), Pacific Union College's Dramatic Arts Society pushed into some new theatrical territory. Clay Feet/Wire Wings: The Space Between was another original DAS work inspired by two series of poems by a PUC English professor and Honors Program director, John McDowell. McDowell's "God Poems" are written as narrative, based on the common (and biblical) things we say about "seeing God in others" or "God understanding every experience," and making that experience literal. Thus we have "God Surfs" and "God in the Kitchen." His "Angel Poems" series are more mysterious and ambiguous as they explore the mysterious and ambiguous roles of angels, who must, McDowell says, represent God to man and man to God, who are in-between. Clay Feet/Wire Wings: The Space Between is a play that is, in director Mei Ann Teo's words, "collage, ensemble, and experimental theatre." With layer on layer of art, meaning, and experience, the play demands that the audience think hard, feel deeply, and even interact. Teo led a team of DAS members in personally exploring McDowell's two series of poems, contributing their own thoughts and experiences to create the...
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Barry Black Speaks to Full House at PUC

By Lainey S. Cronk on March 11, 2009

In three March 7 programs at Pacific Union College, U.S. Senate Chaplain Barry C. Black spoke for the Heubach Lecture and two church services. Faculty and staff, students, and visitors from far and wide packed the building for all three services and the book-signing that followed the lecture. In his presentations and interactions, Black impressed people from a wide range of ages and backgrounds with his energy, sincerity, and message. At the first church service, Black presented "Gather the Fragments," a call to gather and put to use the leftovers, fragments, or things that seem not to matter to us - including fragments of blessings, time, and compassion. All these pieces, he said, still count. They all add up. "We've got to not waste the leftovers of our faith," he said. We have to believe that God can use his people "above all that we can ask or imagine." In the second service, titled "Comfort in Tough Times," Black shared ways to have courage in these times, including learning how to wait on the Lord, permitting God to dispel the shadows in one's life, and developing an unshakable confidence in Jesus. At the Heubach Lecture, a biennial lecture provided by...
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Inauguration - From Up Close and Afar

By Lainey S. Cronk on January 29, 2009

From in front of the Capitol to a big-screen TV in the Campus Center, people from PUC watched with interest as the United States welcomed its 44th president. Of course, most of the students, faculty and staff had to watch the events from afar. Some spent the morning at the Cameo Cinema in St. Helena, which broadcast the event live, free to the community. Others watched on the big screen in the cafeteria or in the Campus Center. But several individuals from campus traveled across the country for the event. Aubyn Fulton, professor of psychology, was in D.C. in person with his family. Student Chelse Chavez was there as well by last-minute luck, with former student Adrianne McNaughton; and student Desiree Quijano was present as well. Fulton and his wife and three children arrived in D.C. Sunday afternoon and caught (from a bit of a distance) the second half of the concert and speakers at the Lincoln Memorial. "The highlight for me was Pete Seeger and Bruce Springsteen singing 'This Land is Your Land' which literally took my breath way." On Monday, they participated in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day service projects. Tuesday morning the family got up at...
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Mandarin Students Celebrate Chinese New Year

By Lainey S. Cronk on January 28, 2009

In the fall of 2008, Pacific Union College brought back the language course in beginning Mandarin Chinese, now taught by native Mandarin speaker Jun Liu, who is originally from Beijing. The class is now in its second quarter, and the group studying the language enjoyed a special celebration in honor of Chinese New Year's Eve, the most widely-celebrated of the traditional Chinese holidays. Liu hosted the class and some friends, including biology professor Brian Wong and modern languages department chair Sylvia Rasi-Gregorruti, at her home on Sunday, January 25. After some delicious home-cooked Chinese food and sweets, the students learned how to play mah jong, a game that originated in China and is played with tiles.This celebration was one aspect of the class's goal to explore elements of Chinese culture, in addition to learning practical usage of everyday Mandarin. The third section of this year's Mandarin course will be offered in the spring quarter....
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A Long Line of PUC Doctors

By Lainey S. Cronk on January 8, 2009

Most of the Pacific Union College students who go on to medical and dental school attend Loma Linda University. In the spring of 2008, 19 of the 168 students graduating from the LLU School of Medicine were from PUC - more than from any other single school (Andrews and Walla Walla came in second at 16 each). Also, 19 of the 92 DDS graduates from the LLU School of Dentistry were PUC alumni. Alum Jennifer Clark was the 6,000th LLU dentistry graduate. No doctors march from PUC, since the school's focus is undergraduate degrees. But for a long time PUC has taken pride in giving pre-medical and pre-dental students a strong preparatory education. The statistics indicate this is turning out well. PUC graduates have high rates of acceptance to pre-professional programs, and our medical school acceptance rates are in the top ten percent in the nation. PUC senior biology students have also averaged in the 93rd percentile over the past 10 years on the national Major Field Test....
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Taking Some Sparkle to Churches in Egypt

By Lainey S. Cronk on January 7, 2009

Christmas vacation found several Pacific Union College staff members headed to Egypt with a group of PUC Preparatory School students. The group's goal was to bring some sparkle and service to the Adventist churches in Egypt - where the conference is small and faces a challenging existence. The group spent time at various churches, leading out in the preaching, music, and Vacation Bible School style programs for the kids. The students were a part of it all - even the preaching - supported by sponsors, including youth pastor Jon Thornton, vice president for advancement Pam Sadler, marketing and enrollment counselor Scott Callender and his wife Jenn, and Prep teacher Heather Denton. Sponsors were impressed with the work the students put in. "They have a spirit of service that all ... can be very proud of," Thornton said. "The students were great," Callender recalled. "I was especially proud of them [when they preached] because had to work with a translator, and they did really well." The churches in Egypt are tiny and few. To go to church on Sabbath, the members basically have to take a work day off; Egypt's "holy day" that everybody has off is Friday. "They really have...
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Heubach's Legacy Brings Barry C. Black to PUC

By Lainey S. Cronk on December 18, 2008

United States Senate Chaplain Barry C. Black is speaking at Pacific Union College on March 7, 2009 for the Heubach Lectureship series. The lecture is in the PUC Church sanctuary and starts at 5 p.m. A book signing will follow. Admission is free of charge. Black was elected the 62nd Chaplain to the Senate in June 2003. He is the first African-American, the first Seventh-day Adventist, and the first from a military background to hold this position, and he has also gained a reputation as one of the nation's foremost speakers. Prior to his appointment, Black had a long career in the U.S. Navy, starting as Navy Chaplain for the Fleet Religious Support Activity in Norfolk, Virginia, in 1976. He rose to the rank of rear admiral and ended his 27-year career in the military as Chief of Navy Chaplains. Black's 2006 autobiography, From the Hood to the Hill: A Story of Overcoming, follows Black's beginnings in the Baltimore ghetto to the halls of Congress. Black has also received awards such as the NAACP Renowned Service Award and the Benjamin Elijah Mays Distinguished Leadership Award, in addition to the personal decorations, unit awards, and service medals he earned as a...
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Angwin Community Supports the Martinez Family

By Lainey S. Cronk on December 4, 2008

In the midst of their sorrow over the loss of four students in a tragic automobile accident, the Pacific Union College campus and Angwin community banded together to help another struggling family. The truck driven by Julio Martinez struck the four young men's car after it had turned sideways across the oncoming traffic lane. Martinez was in critical condition and in the ICU for some time with facial fractures, loss of teeth, hand injury and two broken legs. After several days, Martinez was out of ICU but still in the hospital. Meanwhile, Martinez's wife, Carolina, stayed at the hospital and only went home for short periods. Their 7-year-old daughter was cared for by Martinez's brother and his wife. In addition to the trauma, the accident posed financial challenges for the Martinez family, especially since he is self-employed. So the PUC Church members, the TLC Sabbath School class at the PUC Church, and Angwin Community Services collected money for the family, totaling $3,478.On November 25, PUC deans Bev Helmer and Kristi Horn and residence hall staff member Elaine Hoffman went to visit the Martinez family. Hoffman took the check, and Helmer and Horn brought some food for the family. The day...
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The Chauncey Bailey Project

By Lainey S. Cronk on December 1, 2008

When Thomas Peele recounted the Chauncey Bailey story to a full lecture hall at Pacific Union College, he detailed the story carefully and then explained how people had come together to make sure the story didn't die after Bailey's murder. Peele is an award-winning investigative journalist for the Bay Area News Group and is part of a team working on the "Chauncey Bailey Project." Bailey, a community journalist working for the Oakland Post, was murdered while working on a story about an Oakland organization called Your Black Muslim Bakery. "The killing is not about him," Peele told the group. "It's about the First Amendment." The Chauncey Bailey Project takes inspiration from the Arizona Project, a collaborative effort of journalists in the '70s to finish the work of Don Bolles, a reporter killed by a car bomb while investigating the Mafia. As Peele told the group at PUC, however, the Chauncey Bailey Project took on an additional — and unexpected — dimension when the group encountered information that created questions about the Oakland Police Department's handling of the case. Peele gave a thorough account both of the story about Bailey and the Bakery, and about the ensuing work of the Chauncey...
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