Nursing Professor Hannah Saravanakumar is Pacific Union College’s 2024 Educator of the Year

By Ally Romanes on May 31, 2024

Pacific Union College honored Nursing Professor Hannah Saravanakumar as the 2023-2024 Educator of the Year during Community on Thursday, May 23. With over 20 years of nursing education experience, she is a highly respected nursing professor who combines expertise in leadership, didactics, clinical and simulation experiences, curriculum development, and faculty mentorship. By creating a rigorous learning environment, Saravanakumar—fondly called “Professor SK” by her students—meets their academic needs through creative teaching techniques and hands-on experience that her students find engaging and enjoyable. She teaches with passion, with her class earning one of the highest scores of all nursing standardized testing—the ATI assessments.Saravanakumar’s interests include faculty training, pedagogy, social reconstructionism, and redemptive education. Throughout her career, she has remained an active member of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses, Sigma Theta Tau International, and the American Nurses Association, mentoring nurses and educators nationally.She earned her bachelor's degree in nursing from a prestigious university in India. After completing her master’s from Washington Adventist University, she discovered her passion for teaching. Saravanakumar is currently an advanced doctoral candidate at Capella University, specializing her research in nursing education. Milbert Mariano, dean of the school of arts, humanities, and professional studies, gave a...

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Angwin to Angwish Sells Out for the Second Year in a Row

By Ally Romanes on May 29, 2024

On May 7, over 130 participants aged 9 to 71 ran Pacific Union College’s annual Angwin to Angwish 26K, 10K, and 1 mile kids run. The trails traversed through scenic areas around the Angwin forest, offering participants a mix of challenging terrains and beautiful views of the Napa Valley.Abraham Garrido has been Director of Angwin to Angwish for the last two years. The planning process involved establishing registration, coordinating with local authorities, organizing course routes, ensuring safety measures, securing sponsors, and promoting through different channels.Garrido secured sponsorships from Healdsburg Running Company, Mindful Movement Pilates Coach Naya, Heart and Soul Sports, Sportago, and Topo Athletic. Event funds help support various projects at PUC, such as athletic lockers, the cross-country team, and other needs within the college.“The response was overwhelmingly positive,” said Garrido. “We sold out for the second year in a row, and participants noted significant improvements from previous years. It was a fantastic event, and we believe the race is progressing well and growing in popularity.”To begin the run, the 26K began at 8 a.m., with the 10K following at 8:30 a.m., then the 1 mile kids run. For the 26K, Nathan Blosser from Santa Rosa, CA, won first place...

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PUC’s Nursing Program Scores High NCLEX Rankings

By Kimberly Dunker & Ally Romanes on May 28, 2024

The nursing program at Pacific Union College achieved a 100% NCLEX pass rate for the December 2023 graduates, demonstrating how PUC adequately prepares students for NCLEX and their career beyond. “As a leader of a nursing program it is the best feeling to know that you are providing your students with quality education that prepares them for success,” said Dean of Nursing and Health Sciences Kimberly Dunker. “The PUC nursing team is so excited about the students' accomplishment.” The department currently has an overall pass rate of 94% for the year and anticipates a 100% pass rate from the Winter and Spring quarter students' results. Dunker, and her team have worked hard with their students, making changes in their curriculum that best support graduates.They use readiness resources through books and products, which have been incorporated into the curriculum and mapped to ensure that students are prepared for NCLEX. In the last two quarters, the sixth quarter students' NCLEX readiness exam was 90% or higher. This demonstrates to the nursing instructors that their program adequately prepares the students for NCLEX with a 90% or higher predictability that they will pass their licensure exam.The lead professors for quarter six include Professor Nicolette...

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PUC’s Social Work Students Spring Into Action at The NASW Lobby Days

By Ally Romanes on May 24, 2024

The National Association of Social Workers Lobby Days is a two-day event that educates students and professionals about important legislation affecting clients and the social work profession. From April 21-22 in Sacramento, this annual event provided a tremendous opportunity for Pacific Union College’s social work students to learn more about the legislative process and speak with state legislators and their staff about important policy issues. PUC’s Psychology and Social Work Chair Damaris Perez and Social Work Assistant Professor Tuwan Ussery White took five of their senior social work students who have taken the Social Welfare Policy and Issues class. Coming together at the state capital, they joined more than 1,000 social work students from across the state. One issue they learned about was the legislative bills affecting the populations they work with. Perez shared that one example of the bills they support is providing menstrual products to incarcerated individuals. She continued by saying these products are not always available to people in jail or given enough, which can lead to other ailments. PUC students met with a regional state representative, legislators and staffers, including those of the office of Rep. Mike Thompson. They advocated for their team’s support on behalf...

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Justin Vital Receives Defensive Player of the Year in Cal Pac Conference

By Ally Romanes on May 22, 2024

Captain of Pacific Union College’s men’s volleyball team, Justin Vital, received the 2023-2024 Defensive Player of the Year in the California Pacific Conference. This season, he was named First Team All-Conference, averaged 3.49 digs per set (#1 in conference), and totaled 181 digs in 15 season games. Vital was also Nationally Ranked #3 in digs per set in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). “This recognition is an absolute honor,” said Vital. “I receive this award with gratitude and see it as the fruits of the work, grit, and relentlessness I strived to exemplify throughout my college career. The standard of consistency and discipline I set for myself preparing for this season helped me reach this honor. Being recognized as the top libero and defensive player in Cal Pac truly feels surreal.”Growing up in Miami, Florida, Vital started playing volleyball as a highschool freshman at Greater Miami Adventist Academy and continued on to attend PUC, where he is finishing up his degree in business administration with a healthcare emphasis. “I chose PUC because of the values the college upholds, as well as the academic programs and the ability for me to play volleyball at one of the highest levels,”...

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Renovations Across Campus Bring New Life to PUC

By Joli Weber on May 17, 2024

Renovations to Paulin Recital Hall, West Hall and the Hanson Pool undertaken at the beginning of the calendar year are nearing completion. Funded by anonymous donations and gifts from alumni, these projects improved campus facilities that are widely used by students, faculty and community members alike.Paulin Recital HallBuilt in 1967, Paulin Hall has served as the venue for many concerts, plays, lectures, Homecoming weekends, PUC Prep senior nights and PUC Elementary end-of-semester concerts. The last renovation — which involved replacing the ’60s-era blue carpet — occurred in the ’90s. Faculty and staff members of the music department felt it was time for another update, replacing worn seating and embracing advancements in performing arts technology.PUC alumnus Quentin White donated to PUC’s music department for the renovations and upgrades after selling his share in the Angwin Community Ambulance Project. A former music major, White supported the remodel of the recital hall to extend its reach as a gathering place beyond PUC.“I would love to see us hopefully become another venue for the broader community,” echoed Rachelle Davis, chair of the music department. “I’m hoping [the recital hall] will become a place that is inviting to the campus and not just for music...

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PUC Continues Its Mission To Serve With Love

By Ally Romanes on May 8, 2024

For years, PUC has dedicated time during the school year and summer break to serve communities in other countries. Faculty and students have previously traveled to Kenya, Fiji, and Brazil while also taking medical mission trips to Indonesia, Cambodia, Tanzania, China, Bangladesh, the Philippines, and the Dominican Republic. Most recently, PUC's nursing and health science department sponsored an annual mission trip to Mana Island, Fiji. From March 21-April 2, 17 students joined Nursing Professor Sandy Ringer to earn public health hours and provide non-acute care to locals in Fiji. With five hundred people living on the remote island, many lack healthcare. This year, Ringer and her team also brought along dentists to provide oral care and support for physical health needs. In 2023, PUC took two mission trips—the first to Fiji from March 24-April 4 and the second to Kenya from June 19-28. Under the leadership of former PUC Missions Director Fabio Maia and co-directors Biology Professor Floyd Hayes and Ringer, they took a group of students and Nicolette Piaubert, a PUC nursing professor, to provide health care services in Fiji. In Kenya, PUC students and faculty provided education and care to Masai girls who were forced into child marriages...

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PUC Receives Million Dollar Grant to Expand Nursing Student Access

By Sheann Brandon on May 6, 2024

For the second year in a row, Pacific Union College was awarded a grant from California’s Department of Healthcare Access and Information (HCAI). This year totalling $1,050,000, the funding will support expanded training opportunities for nurses at both the Angwin campus and the expansion campuses, and ultimately combat the statewide nursing shortage while improving access to equitable health care."The PUC School of Nursing expresses its deep gratitude for the generous support received from HCAI and title VIII funding,” said Dean of Nursing and Health Sciences Kimberly Dunker. “Given the high cost and expenses involved in running nursing programs, we consider ourselves extremely fortunate to have been granted this additional funding. It enables us to ensure the availability of necessary resources for expanding our program, including faculty, skills and lab materials, simulation resources, and faculty development. This grant will cover the direct costs associated with expanding our nursing program, thereby providing more opportunities for training."In March, HCAI awarded $27.4 million in grants to more than 30 registered nurse training programs, including PUC.PUC’s nursing department received the grant after a competitive evaluation process, with the grant program’s criteria prioritizing funding to residency programs that demonstrate success in graduation and NCLEX pass rates,...

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SERVE Team at PUC Aims to Promote Student Awareness and Education

By SERVE on May 3, 2024

Thanks to a $300,000 grant from the US Department of Justice, PUC created a team called SERVE to promote education, awareness, and prevention around unsafe relationship dynamics. Applied for in 2020, only half of all grant applicants received the award that year—PUC being one of them. The Survivor Empowerment, Response to Violence, and Education team has accomplished a lot since its inception in 2022, including sponsoring student-focused activities centered on relevant awareness months and providing education on personal and relational safety and prevention."Applying for this grant and subsequently creating the SERVE team was optional for PUC," said SERVE Project Director Alexis Haylock. "Taking a more active approach to preventing unsafe relationship dynamics was a choice that leaders on campus made, and I'm certainly glad they did."Haylock and Project Supervisor Michael Jefferson lead SERVE with their team of 16 members: 13 individuals who work at PUC, a student member, and two representatives from community agencies—NEWS Domestic Violence & Sexual Abuse Services, and the Napa County Sheriff’s Office.Each member of SERVE is assigned to a smaller group within the team specific to their area of expertise or job description: victim services, student conduct, campus security, and prevention. They meet quarterly to discuss...

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PUC’s Spring Week of Worship Uplifts and Encourages Students

By Ally Romanes on May 2, 2024

Pacific Union College held Week of Worship in the PUC Church from April 15-19. This school year’s theme, “All In,” continued to be the focus.Pastor Roger Hernandez spoke for this spring’s Week of Worship. He is one of seven pastors in his family, the Ministerial and Evangelism Director for the SDA Southern Union Conference, and has served in ministry for over 30 years. Before focusing on the message, Hernandez thanked the college for inviting him to speak and complimented the praise team. Sharing how honored he felt to be on campus, Hernandez mentioned he was already getting the full PUC experience by going to the gym, eating at the dining commons, and basking in the Angwin heat. Hernandez opened the week by discussing failures we go through in life—bringing up questions such as why we fail and how pridefulness can lead to downfall. Although life brings us failure, it’s about how we react to those obstacles. Hernandez brought up Philippians 3:12, which talks about being imperfect, not reaching our goals yet, but winning the prize of being called to Heaven. Throughout the week, Hernandez preached stories of Jacob, having a relationship with God, and how Jesus is the star and...

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