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From Pioneer to River Cat: PUC alum announces for Sacramento’s MiLB team

By Sarah Tanner on August 13, 2019

PUC alum Justin Smith graduated in 2006 with a degree in business and a passion for sportscasting. The voice of the Pioneers during his college years, Smith developed a love of announcing that recently helped land him a position with the Sacramento River Cats as a regular announcer for their minor league baseball games.

“I’ve been interested in announcing since my senior year of high school,” Smith explains. “My experiences at PUC taught me the basics of speaking loud and clear to a large crowd, and having an Adventist education is something that helps you wherever you go.”

Each River Cats game requires five or six hours of intense focus, including time before and after the game to run through scripts, become familiar with the batting line-ups, and prepare for the first pitches, national anthem, and interactions with other announcers.

When asked what his favorite aspect of announcing is, Smith said it was the fact that he could share his skills with his local high school, and contribute to their basketball and volleyball games.

“I get the most joy from announcing at Sacramento Adventist Academy’s games. My primary focus is on that school. The River Cats position is a great opportunity, but I find

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Alumni Spotlight: Danielle Nelson, Ph.D.

By Sarah Tanner on August 6, 2019

Danielle Nelson, a psychology student from PUC’s graduating class of 2014, just received her Ph.D. from Palo Alto University after extensive hands-on training at Stanford University and the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital.

Reflecting on her time at PUC, Nelson recalled the training she received in the fields of statistics, clinical work, and research as being on-par with the instruction her peers from Ivy League institutions received.

“I worked closely with Dr. Bruce Bainum on a research project that examined social eating behaviors in women,” she says. “We went on to present the project at the Western Psychological Association Conference in 2014 and won the Psi-Chi regional award for the research. Many undergraduate students do not have the opportunity to helm research in such a substantial way, but PUC provided that opportunity, which helped me monumentally in my doctoral training.”

In regards to her time at Stanford and the Children’s Hospital, Nelson quickly climbed the ranks to work as a neuropsychological assessor for children with learning disabilities in mathematics, and worked in the pediatrics department at the L.A. hospital in the Assessment, Consultation, and Evaluation track.

Nelson’s choice to pursue a Ph.D. was also largely influenced by her experiences at PUC.

“After working with my professors

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PUC Alum Lands Residency at Harvard

By Sarah Tanner on July 31, 2019

Biochemistry major and member of PUC’s graduating class of 2015, Daniel Amponsah has become the first Loma Linda University graduate to accept a residency at Harvard Medical School after completing his courses in medical school this year.

Amponsah credits professors such as Aimee Wyrick in biology and Marie Pak in chemistry for preparing him for the challenges medical school presented. While at PUC, he also participated in a variety of non-academic activities that helped take his transcripts to the next level--extracurriculars such as participating in student government, being a chemistry TA, and working with the Gospel Sabbath School on campus.

As he reflected on his time at PUC, Amponsah encouraged current medical school hopefuls to “always study hard and do well, as cliche as that sounds. Challenge yourself while in college, participate in events, and remember to have fun.”

He continued, “Work hard, study hard, pray hard and everything will work itself out.”

As he looks towards the future, Amponsah plans to complete his residency at Massachusetts General Hospital with the title of Harvard Clinical Fellow. He is currently focusing on internal medicine and hopes to specialize in interventional and structural cardiology.

“I am looking forward to amazing learning opportunities from some of the top

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Education and Inspiration: A Conversation with PUC Alum, Alex Dunbar

By Sarah Tanner on June 25, 2019

A self-titled “people person” with the singular goal of making a positive impact, PUC alumna Alex Dunbar has done just that since her graduation in 2014. After majoring in exercise science and completing an A.S. in health sciences, Dunbar then attended Loma Linda University School of Public Health, where she received her master’s degree in health education and promotion in 2017.

Dunbar now works as a community education specialist in the public health branch of Shasta County’s Health and Human Services Agency, where her talents are directed primarily toward community education regarding the long-term effects of adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs. As the Strengthening Families Collaborative coordinator, Dunbar tackles issues such as neglect, abuse, and household dysfunction on a daily basis, and works to inform the public about the health risks associated with ACEs.

Her involvement in this field is the culmination of a years-long process of education and inspiration.

“My career actually took off before I even started working in the health field,” Dunbar explains. “PUC was not only where I received an education, but also where I received the opportunity to be an enrollment counselor. That experience trained me to be successful in my field when it comes to working with

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The Next Generation: PUC Students Attend Women in Science Conference

By Sarah Tanner on May 21, 2019

Recently, a handful of PUC students attended a science-based conference for women. Its focus was on fostering young women interested in the STEM field and its various career options. Female students across PUC’s science departments were encouraged to attend the event and learn more about opportunities for growth in their area of interest.

Junior chemistry major, Vola-Masoandro Andrianarijaona left the conference with a bolstered sense of potential.

“With the help of mentors, and as long as I am willing to work hard, I can become a scientist,” she asserts. “Successful people overcome adversities and do not let those adversities get in the way of their aspirations.”

Andrianarijaona also enjoyed the opportunity to meet other undergraduate women with goals similar to her own.

“I think it is important to get as many people involved in science and research as possible,” she says. “In the past, women were not encouraged to enter the fields of science.”

Andrianarijaona feels the long history of criticism and discouragement has undoubtedly prevented many intelligent individuals from making significant scientific discoveries.

“This is quite unfortunate,” she says. “Bright minds, male and female alike, can contribute to scientific exploration and progress. By focusing events on women, we can work to reverse the idea that

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PUC Student Recognized at Sony Photo Competition in London

By Sarah Tanner on May 16, 2019

Senior photography major Sam Delaware is making waves in the visual arts world after a successful second showing at the Sony Photo Competition in London this year. Passionate, talented, and on the verge of a blossoming career in photography, Delaware shared some details about his experience in England as well as his goals as he looks towards graduation this quarter.

When asked how he first became interested in visual arts and photography, Delaware joked about stumbling upon some of Ansel Adams’ old equipment.

“In reality, the story’s less of a story and more of a slow burn,” he explained. “In high school I started to notice and consume work being made from photographers that were working in the long-term documentary format on projects that took shape over many years.”

Delaware decided to work toward doing the same at the end of high school and continued with it over the course of the last couple years in college. As his hobby turned into a potential career, Delaware began to actively participate in photography competitions and quickly garnered acclaim in the field. Three years ago marked his first experience with the Sony Photo Competition, where he won an award and began learning how to market

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PUC and Andrews University Collaborate on Massive Minesweeper Game

By Sarah Tanner on May 15, 2019

A quintessential 1990s computer game, Minesweeper is making a comeback in a big way during this year’s PacificQuest at PUC, a program designed for middle school students interested in STEM fields. It includes a number of interactive workshops, including, this year for the first time, the Minesweeper project. A life-sized version of the popular game is in the works as a collaborative project from the departments of engineering and mathematics at PUC and Andrews University.

Professors Chantel Blackburn of PUC and Wayne Buckhanan of Andrews have put the best and brightest of their respective departments on the job, and are working on perfecting the game board. Those playing the game will find a grid of identical squares, a number of which secretly contain “mines.” The player is then directed to choose a square; if it contains a mine, the game ends, whereas if it does not hold a mine, a number will appear in the square displaying the amount of nearby squares containing mines. This information is then applied by the player as they attempt to uncover more safe squares. To win the game, the player must select all the safe squares without mistakenly choosing a mine.

Creating a life-sized version of

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PUC Students Host Leadership Symposium

By Sarah Tanner on April 29, 2019

March 8 marked PUC’s first-ever student-led leadership symposium at Howell Mountain Elementary School in Angwin. Honors students taking an interactive class in leadership theory were given the opportunity to work with fifth- through eighth-grade students in an effort to put the principles they studied into practice. Marlo Waters, associate academic dean & registrar at PUC, guided her honors students in developing a handful of interactive modules which were then modified to best serve the middle school students.

PUC’s student participants devoted a good deal of time over the course of a handful of weeks to developing the best approach in guiding the Howell Mountain students toward a deeper understanding of leadership.

“The ultimate goal of the symposium was to cultivate a sense of leadership and capability in each of the elementary students though the modules the honors class designed,” Waters explains.

The event’s activity stations focused on trust building, ethical decision-making, and building self-confidence. The tagline for the event was, “Leaders build trust. Leaders make good decisions. Leaders have confidence. I am a leader!”

The idea behind this workshop came about as Waters discussed various hands-on projects for the class. The idea of service-oriented leadership resonated strongly with her honors students, and working with

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Sparking Connections, Building Community: PUC’s Student Week of Prayer

By Sarah Tanner on April 25, 2019

For five days each quarter, PUC hosts Week of Prayer, a time when students, faculty, and staff gather for daily worship services. Spring quarter marks the annual student-led Week of Prayer in which two student speakers share their testimonies each day. With 10 speakers featured in total, all of the messages shared during Student Week of Prayer speak to the campus’ vibrant spiritual life in their own unique ways.

Biochemistry major and sophomore honors student Emma Tyner reflected, “Student Week of Prayer is such an important event. Not only are we given the opportunity to take time each day to worship, but we also get to do it surrounded by our closest friends.”

Each 50-minute meeting opened with a handful of praise songs followed by an introduction to the speaker. A wide variety of students across departments, years, and academic interests joined to lay hands on each speaker as they were prayed over before they shared their messages.

Each sermon featured a personal testimony interwoven with a discussion of a corresponding Bible character. Monday opened with Amber Sanchez in the morning and Joseph Santos in the evening, both seniors and majors in theology. On Tuesday, Carlos Piedra and Jamie Nelson shared their stories.

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PUC Celebrates 110 Years in Angwin for Homecoming Weekend

By Sarah Tanner on April 15, 2019

April 19-21 marks PUC’s 110th Homecoming Weekend, a time when alumni across the years are invited to gather and celebrate their shared time on the hill. Homecoming Weekend often features special presentations, campus tours, and activities to spark memories of years gone by. Previous years have featured popular “PUC Talks,” a campus version of TED Talks, among other informative activities.

Homecoming 2019 promises a number of interactive and exciting festivities. After registration on Friday afternoon, alumni are invited to take part in a guided driving tour of the PUC forest. For those service-minded alumni, a presentation on PUC’s thriving missions programs will also take place on Friday evening in the Fireside Room. Visiting alumni are invited to join students for vespers in Dauphinee Chapel at 8 p.m. as well.

Following a Sabbath morning breakfast, a special feature presentation entitled, “A Mountain, a Pickax…a Health Resort? Stories from the Making of PUC,” will be offered in the church sanctuary. Alumni interested in the life and letters of Ellen G. White should stop by the Maxwell Reading Room Exhibit in the Nelson Memorial Library and peruse White’s recently uncovered letter to J.O. Corliss from May of 1882.

Sabbath afternoon features honored class

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