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PUC Hosts Valentine's Day Blood Drive

By Larry Pena on February 15, 2011

Pacific Union College hosted a blood drive February 14, encouraging the campus community to give the ultimate gift of love this Valentine’s Day. A steady stream of students, staff and faculty flowed through a mobile blood bank set up in a side room of the Dining Commons. PUC’s office of health services coordinates the quarterly event in conjunction with Blood Centres of the Pacific, a Bay Area blood bank. According to Sandra Sargent, PUC’s health services director, the college has often been among the blood bank’s most productive collection sites. This quarter’s drive yielded 55 pints in one afternoon. To help encourage blood donation, Blood Centres of the Pacific a offered donors a variety Valentine’s Day-themed prizes ranging from T-shirts emblazoned with hearts to discounts on dinner cruises on the San Francisco Bay. Furthermore, health and exercise science professor Elaine Neudeck offered extra credit points in her health class to students who donated blood. But for many on campus, the extra incentives were not necessary. “It’s a nice thing to do on Valentine’s Day,” says senior Natalie Vigil, a veteran blood donor. Senior Victor Henriquez, a nursing major, made his sixth donation, citing the influence of his mother, a frequent...
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Jacques Doukhan to Present Heubach Lecture

By Larry Pena on January 24, 2011

International Biblical scholar Jacques Doukhan will present this year’s Heubach Lecture Saturday, February 19 at 5:00 P.M. at Pacific Union College’s Scales Chapel. The topic of Doukahn’s presentation will be “Affirming Creation: More than ‘not Evolution.’” Doukhan is a professor of Hebrew and Old Testament exegesis at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary and director of the Institute for Jewish-Christian Studies at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Mich. He holds an M.A. in Hebrew language and literature from the Adventist Seminary in Collonges; a Ph.D. in the same field from the University of Strasbourg; a Th.D. in Biblical studies and systematic theology from Andrews University; and an M.A. in Egyptology from the University of Montpellier. He has published ten books, including Genesis Creation Story: Its Literary Structure; Drinking at the Sources; Daniel, The Vision of the End; Hebrew for Theologians; Secrets of Daniel: A Jewish Prince in Exile; Secrets of Revelation: The Apocalypse Through Hebrew Eyes; Israel and the Church: Two Voices for the Same God; Mystery of Israel; and Ecclesiastes: All Is Vanity. The Heubach Lectureship Series was founded in 1998 to honor PUC religion professor Paul C. Heubach. The lectureship, which is funded by friends of the professor, aims...
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Grise Named All-Conference Runner

By Larry Pena on November 12, 2010

Pioneer cross-country team member Sophie Grise was named an All-Conference representative of the California Pacific (CalPac) Conference of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). The honor was bestowed at the CalPac Conference Championship in Oakland on November 5. This is the second consecutive All-Conference award and fourth top ten conference ranking for Grise, a senior exercise science major from Welches, Ore. Normally this recognition qualifies a runner to race in the NAIA Cross Country Championship, to be held this year in Vancouver, Wash. On November 20. However, the national championship match is scheduled for a Saturday—a fact that has kept Grise home every year she has been invited. Seventh-day Adventists, including Grise and most of the student body at PUC, observe Saturday as a sacred day of rest, and typically do not compete in sports on the day. It seems like it would be disappointing turn of events, but Grise’s speed is only matched by her unstoppable brightness and positivity. “It’s okay!” she chirps. “When you sign up to go to a Christian, Seventh-day Adventist school, you can’t really get upset.” That unstoppable attitude is what has driven her to such high achievement as a runner—even though she’s much...
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Middle School Students Preview College—PacificQuest 2010

By Katelynn Christensen and Larry Pena on August 5, 2010

Academically outstanding 7th-9th-graders got their first taste of college life July 25-30 at PUC’s PacificQuest, an annual program designed to expose middle school students to college-level coursework and encourage them to aspire to higher education. Students participated in two courses, a core class and an elective. This year’s core class was Telling Tales, which abandoned written documents to explore history through oral tales, photographs and artistic images, and everyday objects. Students also chose between Pushing Boundaries, an art course that explored non-traditional techniques using graphite, ink brush, charcoal and pastel, and Chemistry, in which students learned a fun way to understand the periodic table and engaged in lab experiments. Both electives challenged students. The goal of Pushing Boundaries was to inspire visual creativity. This was accomplished through unusual activities, such as drawing standing up with ink brushes attached to the end of long sticks and paper on the floor, copying an image that begins blurry and becomes progressively clearer, and drawing expressive lines. Deangela Samonte a ninth-grader from San Francisco Adventist School, recalls drawing expressive lines with her feet. “It’s not as easy as it looks,” she says. Instructor Thomas Morphis, a fine art professor at PUC, comments, “[The students]...
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Alum Called to Service in Haiti

By Larry Pena on February 4, 2010

When a massive earthquake devastated Haiti this January, one PUC alumnus was especially touched. Nicole Wilson, class of 2006, had just returned from the impoverished island nation, where she and a group of Christian missionaries had been ministering to the medical, social, and spiritual needs of the people there in the wake of several hurricanes last year. This most recent disaster has served as a call to this missionary, who is now in the process of developing an international organization devoted to providing care to people living in underdeveloped countries. Wilson plans to open the organization’s first center—which will contain a clinic, orphanage, and learning center—in Haiti, a place that has grown very close to her heart. “Unfortunately it took a natural disaster, but I think it shed light on Haiti,” says Wilson. “I’m hoping God’s plan is for it to be rebuilt, and maybe we’ll obtain the resources they need to be able to do so.” Wilson got her start in missions at PUC when she joined a group ministering in Thailand in 2003. That trip, along with opportunities like PUC’s Homeless Ministries, ignited her passion for service. “PUC is very service-oriented, and the encouragement of missions I received...
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Meet the Women's Basketball Team

By Larry Pena on February 3, 2010

The midpoint of an athletic team’s building season is a kind of like looking at half a glass of water—you have to decide how you want to look at it. Fortunately, PUC’s Pioneers women’s basketball is a team full of hard-working optimists. “We don’t have a winning record,” admits forward Vanessa Felder. “But we’re getting to the point where we know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and we’re pushing forward.” Felder, a junior, is one of only two upperclassmen on this year’s squad. The rest are sophomores who have only been playing together since last season. It’s been the team’s biggest challenge this year as they face more experienced opponents in the California Pacific conference of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. “Everybody that we recruit knows that we’re very young; we’re building toward the future,” says assistant coach Doug Wilson. “But this year we’ve won as many games as they have in the past four years. So the morale really is good.” This goal of continual improvement is what keeps the women motivated on the court. But during this building year, the coaches and the players are also working on another critical value off the court: building a team...
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2009 Christmas Tree Lighting

By Larry Pena on December 3, 2009

Pacific Union College officially welcomed the Christmas season November 30 with a short ceremony to light the campus Christmas tree. At 7 pm, students flocked to the center of campus to sip cider and hot chocolate, while Student Association president Scott Brizendine gave a short welcome and college president Heather Knight led a countdown to the lighting of the tree. “It was fun getting back together with everyone I hadn’t seen over the break to celebrate the season,” says graphic design senior Kerry Chambers. The lighting of the Christmas tree is a long-standing tradition at PUC. Formerly, a massive tree beside the church complex was strung with lights and "lit" after vespers on a Friday evening. In recent years, a smaller tree near the library has become the campus's Christmas icon. The tree lighting will be followed by other seasonal celebrations on campus, including the annual music department Christmas program and various open houses until Christmas vacation begins on December 11....
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PUC Students Honored by Red Cross for Water Rescue

By Larry Pena on October 15, 2009

The American Red Cross honored three Pacific Union College students this week for their heroic actions in an aquatic rescue this summer at Leoni Meadows, a Seventh-day Adventist campground in Northern California. Matt Freedman and brothers Robert and Nolan Negrete, who worked as counselors at the Adventist campground this summer, saved another counselor from drowning at the nearby Cosumnes River. The three, along with other counselors who were involved, were given awards at a ceremony in Sacramento, California, on October 13. The incident occurred the first week of the summer, when several of the counselors had the afternoon off and decided to go for a swim at the local river. Finding what appeared to be a good natural rock slide, they soon discovered that a strong current at the base was sucking the water down under a nearby rock. One counselor tried to avoid the current but was pulled under, and despite being a trained lifeguard, was unable to fight his way back to the surface. "We were just kind of awestruck at first," says Matt. "The rest of us were crying out to God and praying." Robert and several others tried unsuccessfully to reach down to the drowning counselor...
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Student Missionary Heeds Her Own Altar Call

By Larry Pena on September 22, 2009

If you've ever talked to a young person just back from the mission field, you know the story they're going to tell. There's the initial expectation that they're going to be a blessing to others, and then the inevitable sense that God is leading throughout the experience. And then by the end of the trip they realize that they themselves ended up being the ones that were blessed. But you don't often hear a story like the one of the Pacific Union College student missionary who accepted her own altar call. Every year for the past seven years, PUC has participated in an international evangelistic trip with ShareHim, an organization that empowers Adventist lay people in ministry through exposure to evangelism. When senior Jaymee Leamer signed up for this year's excursion to El Salvador, she thought she knew what to expect. "I didn't really think about what affect it could have on me," she says. "I only was thinking about how the Lord could use each of us to change the lives of those around us." But soon after the preaching got underway, she began to feel inadequate. Her Catholic family had converted to Adventism when she was 12 years...
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Young Students Enjoy PacificQuest 2009

By Larry Pena on August 12, 2009

A group of 30 young scholars got a head start on their college experience at Pacific Union College's PacificQuest 2009 on July 26 through 31. The annual program, aimed at exceptional 7th through 9th graders interested in planning for college early, exposes the students to a sampling of collegiate curricula. This year's program, "Dimensions of Enlightenment," was directed by PUC professors Lindsay Petersen and Aimee Wyrick and offered a core class in "Experiencing Psychology" taught by professors Aubyn Fulton and Charlene Bainum. Topics for this session included social psychology, developmental psychology, memory, and personality. The students were encouraged to get involved with field research, such as staging small accidents at the campus market to gauge different levels of bystander apathy and observing the play behavior of small children at the preschool. "The students were a great group, very motivated," says Bainum. "They asked lots of questions and took initiative on their projects." Students also had two electives to choose from. The first was an option in "Exploring Physics." In this elective, students took instruction from PUC physics professor Vola Andrianarijaona, especially focusing on the experiments and equations of Christian mathematician physicist James Clerk Maxwell and how the laws of nature...
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