PUC Welcomes Arturo Lopez As Campus Chaplain

By Ally Romanes on July 11, 2023

Pacific Union College is happy to announce that Arturo Lopez will be the new campus chaplain. Pastor Lopez is a young and seasoned pastor with amazing experience. He is energetic, enthusiastic, and thrives on making friends. You won’t find a more outgoing person.He received his B.A. in Theology from PUC in 2014 and went on to La Sierra University for his master of theology studies. From Andrews University, he obtained his M.A. in pastoral ministry and is currently earning his Doctor of Ministry.Over the past nine years, Pastor Lopez has served within the Seventh-day Adventist Central California Conference. He began as the associate/youth Pastor in Fresno and San Jose. Later, he transitioned into the role of district pastor, serving communities in Bakersfield, Taft, Salinas, and Seaside. Most recently, he was the pastor at the Monterey Bay Academy Church while also serving as the school chaplain.“During our evaluation process, it became evident to the committee that Pastor Arturo possesses the ideal combination of academic achievements and practical experience,” said Ryan Smith, PUC’s vice president of student life. “His deep-rooted passion for engaging with and mentoring youth and young adults is palpable and aligns perfectly with the role of an outstanding chaplain....

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Mariano Looks Ahead To Leading Honors Program for a New Generation

By Laura Gang on July 9, 2023

For Milbert Mariano, starting a new role at Pacific Union College in July is like a homecoming.Mariano is set to become the dean of the new School of Arts, Humanities, and Professions at PUC. As part of those new duties, he is also taking over leadership of the Honors Program, which he was closely involved in early in his PUC career.Earlier this year, PUC announced a new three-school model. As leadership discussed the path ahead, Mariano became intrigued by the idea of transitioning from vice president of academic administration and academic dean to lead one of the new schools—especially because of the Honors Program. “I knew the Honors director was part of that,” he said. “It’s one of the things that really excited me since I had been a part of the Honors Program years ago.”PUC’s Honors Program is for high-achieving students who seek a more robust understanding of a complex world. Courses are based on primary text and discussion—an alternative to the traditional general education format. Students are encouraged to develop critical thinking skills, aesthetic appreciation, and spiritual growth. As he looks forward to the new role, Mariano said he wants to build upon the successes of his predecessors—Allison...

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PUC Sees Strong Gains in New Students for Spring

By Laura Gang on June 19, 2023

Editor’s Note: We are reposting this story with an updated headline that more clearly reflects its content.This year’s theme at Pacific Union College is “Revival”; certainly, there’s no better metaphor for renewal than spring. It’s a time when we witness the glorious rebirth of nature all around us. The sun finally casts its warm light after a long cold winter. Spring brings a revitalized sense of optimism.Likewise, there’s optimism on the horizon for PUC. This spring has seen the highest number of new students enrolling in the last ten years. Additionally, Economic Full-Time Equivalent (EFTE) enrollment has increased each quarter this year—something which has never happened before in the modern history of the college. Many factors have contributed to these successes. Kharolynn Pascual Smith, director of orientation, transitions, and retention, said the return to pre-pandemic conditions has made it possible for many students to move forward with their college plans. Pascual Smith, who focuses primarily on re-enrollment, regularly checks in with her students and helps them through difficult obstacles. That kind of personal care is another reason students are more likely to stay. Pascual Smith also cited the enrollment team’s “intentional approach in seeking out and cultivating potential students for...

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Pacific Union College Graduation Weekend Events 2023

By Laura Gang on June 14, 2023

Pacific Union College will host its 2023 commencement ceremonies from Friday, June 16, through Sunday, June 18.The college is proud to recognize the accomplishments of 219 students and will award 241 associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. The largest group is comprised of 145 nursing and health science students, followed by biology (21), visual arts (15), business administration (14), and psychology and social work (12).“We are proud of our high-achieving senior students, who give warmth and add friendliness to our campus, which builds a friend network for life,” President Ralph Trecartin said. “This diverse class is exceptionally dedicated to strengthening spiritual life throughout the community and being leaders to others in all services through worship, Bible study, and outreach. It is a joyous sight to see them learn with purpose, rise in faith, and serve with love.”In the class of 2023, 15 students will graduate summa cum laude, 17 magna cum laude, 45 cum laude, and 8 with honors. Four graduates are Maxwell Scholars, who were recognized as incoming freshmen for their outstanding academics and awarded full tuition scholarships based on their exemplary academic achievements and test scores. This year’s Maxwell Scholars are Melody Chana Park, fine arts major; Brenna Fillmore,...

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Winners Announced in PUC’s First High School Essay Contest

By Ally Romanes on June 9, 2023

The department of English at Pacific Union College held its first annual Emerging Voices of the Pacific Union essay contest. The contest began on March 12 to high school students from Seventh-day Adventist academies or junior academies in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, and Utah.Students had until April 21 to submit a personal essay about a time they found beauty in an everyday or unexpected place. Approximately 80 entries were received and judged by PUC English professors to choose three winners.PUC is happy to congratulate and share the winners of the Emerging Voices essay contest: 1st place is Joshua Nielson, a senior from Rio Linda Academy, who wrote an essay titled Whispers of a Ghost Town about a town called Bodie and finding true beauty within the legacy of towns. Judges were greatly impressed with Nielson’s strong sense of description and place and the unusual approach he took to thinking about beauty and discovery. His work is a fantastic representation of the beauty of California, and his voice as a writer shines through. Nielsen will receive a $1000 scholarship and a $500 prize. 2nd place is Yieby Shade, a junior from San Gabriel Academy, whose essay Layered In Between is about...

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Remembering the Life of Allison Fox

By Laura Gang, Ally Romanes, and Herbert Ford on June 8, 2023

Pacific Union College and the Angwin community are deeply saddened by the loss of Allison Fox, PUC alum, access services librarian, and Honors program director, who passed away surrounded by her family on May 9 in Angwin, California.“Allison did a fantastic job taking care of our Honors students and making sure they had a great academic experience at PUC,” said Milbert Mariano, PUC vice president for academic administration and academic dean. “She did an excellent job preparing each of our students for the life of a Christian scholar. I am proud of the work she did and know many will miss her zest for life greatly.” Fox was born at St. Helena Hospital to Cheryl and Chuck Fox. She grew up in Angwin, along with sisters Heidi and Lizzie. She attended both PUC Elementary and PUC Preparatory Academy and was a lifelong member of the PUC Church. When she started college at PUC, Fox was a student worker for two years in the campus bookstore. She then worked for two more years at the Nelson Memorial Library, often in the archives with the Walter Utt collection. In 2001, she graduated from PUC with a B.A. in English. Fox moved away from her...

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PUC Film Students Win at the 2023 Sonscreen Film Festival

By Ally Romanes on May 19, 2023

Sonscreen Film Festival is an event hosted by the North American Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church for over the past 20 years. It brings together Adventist filmmakers to celebrate excellence in film, encourage new work, and has always had a strong focus on student filmmakers, with our Adventist college students being involved from the very beginning. Over the years, Rajeev Sigamoney, chair of the visual arts department, has attended the film festival and helped run the event. Now, he proudly takes Pacific Union College students to Sonscreen every year. “The connections and community have been deeply valuable to my artistic journey and career and I hope that it might be the same for the students,” said Sigamoney. “Not to mention, as a department, we love the time away from the campus spending time together and going deeper in our relationships.”More than 20 PUC film students represented the college, along with professors Sigamoney and Tim de la Torre. During the festival, they attended film screenings, professional showcases, participated in a pitch competition, and attended the awards banquet. On Friday evening, PUC showcased two projects worked on by faculty and students in front of a packed house, along with the NAD. These...

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Susan Bussell is Pacific Union College’s 2023 Educator of the Year

By Laura Gang on May 18, 2023

Professor of Nursing Susan Bussell was honored as Pacific Union College Educator of the Year at a special Community program in the PUC Church on May 18.Milbert Mariano, vice president for academic administration and academic dean, said Bussell demonstrates the highest level of professionalism and expertise in her field. “She's a true advocate for nursing education, and her enthusiasm for the profession is evident in her work with students,” he said. “She has a gift for inspiring and motivating her students and has been a mentor to many young nurses throughout her career as an educator.” This year marks the second time in the college’s history that a professor of nursing has been selected as the Educator of the Year. Last year’s honoree, Professor of Nursing Serah Choi, spoke about her journey from being a nurse to becoming an educator and looking to Jesus as her mentor. She reminded students that a little progress every day can eventually yield significant results.Mariano and Choi presented Bussell with a framed certificate, balloons, and a bouquet of sunflowers and red roses. She was also honored with a superhero cape and a lightsaber—all traditional gifts bestowed on the college’s previous honorees. Bussell’s husband, Ty,...

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Angwin to Angwish Trail Run

By Laura Gang on May 18, 2023

After a four-year hiatus, the annual Angwin to Angwish trail run made a triumphant return to Pacific Union College. Due to wildfire threats and the COVID-19 pandemic, 2018 was the last time this event was held.But early on a sunshine-filled Sunday, May 7, 100 runners of all ages from the college and in the greater community gathered atop the mountain to run and have fun. All funds from the race went to support the PUC department of athletics.Race director Abraham Garrido, also PUC’s head coach for both men’s and women’s cross-country teams, said he was surprised and excited about the number of participants. “They all had a great time, and that's something that stood out,” he said.Angwin to Angwish, which began in 1974, is a beautiful forested trail run through PUC’s backwoods property. This year’s event offered four races of varied difficulty and terrain. A 10k, half marathon, and 30k took runners up and over the aptly named “Angwish Hill.” There was also a 1-mile fun run for kids.“PUC has managed the forest well, opened it up to the surrounding area; it’s a huge community asset,” said Napa County Supervisor Anne Cottrell. “It’s great to feature it as part of...

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PUC and Adventist Health Expand Nursing Program to Lake and Mendocino Counties

By Laura Gang on May 17, 2023

Pacific Union College and Adventist Health have announced a new partnership to better serve rural communities in Central and Northern California, including in Lake and Mendocino counties. This collaboration will further the college's goals of growing its nursing program and help meet the rising need for highly qualified healthcare professionals in these areas. “Partnering with nursing schools is the best way for hospitals to ensure there is a pipeline for recruitment of nurses,” said PUC Department of Nursing Chair Kimberly Dunker. “Because of the long-standing history between our Adventist organizations, we are able to not only partner but share the same values and beliefs for nursing education and talent acquisition.” The Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) program will be open to Adventist Health employees and community members in the local areas of Lake and Mendocino counties looking to move into the nursing field. Classes will begin in September. Judson Howe, president of the North Coast Network for Adventist Health, said creating a local nursing workforce is one of the organization’s top priorities. “The nursing program at Pacific Union College creates an additional avenue for our community members to receive a world-class registered nursing education,” Howe said. “Adventist Health North...

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