Casual Kindness at PUC

By Andrea James

One of the first things I noticed as a freshman at PUC was the casual everyday kindness students showed toward each other. Everywhere I went, people held open doors for each other and picked up papers others had dropped. I’ve experienced acts of varying magnitude from buying a stranger lunch to letting someone know their tag is sticking out of their shirt collar. Regardless of how big or small, these random acts of kindness can make a big difference in someone’s day or even life. The casual kindness I witness every day is one of my favorite things about PUC. In these small acts and fleeting moments, I see true Christian behavior and the expression of true Christian love toward one’s neighbor.

In this time when we are bombarded everyday with how horribly human beings can treat each other and how selfishly they can act, watching someone be kind to a stranger for no reason and with no expectation of reward is like cool aloe vera on a severe sunburn. This campus is by no means perfect, but it has often seemed to me an oasis in a harsh, biting desert.

There are other places, I’m sure, where random acts of kindness are as common if not more so, and certainly people everywhere occasionally do nice things for each other. I don’t mean to claim PUC is solely unique in this regard, I merely wish to acknowledge and celebrate this aspect of our community in the hopes this behavior will become yet more prevalent and widespread both at PUC and wherever our students go throughout their lives.

If you want to start being kind in your everyday life but don’t know how, here are some suggestions:

  • Compliment someone (though only if the sentiment is genuine).
  • Do something simple such as basic origami when you’re bored in class and give the results to whoever’s sitting nearby.
  • Buy an extra cookie when you go to the caf and give it away.
  • Hold the door open for the person behind you.
  • If there’s a class you’ve particularly enjoyed or learned a lot from, tell the teacher.
  • If you have the money to spare, buy a drink at the Grind for your roommate, teacher, or friend.
  • Pray for God to bring people into your life or opportunities for kindness to your attention.
  • Just look around, keep an eye out as you go about your day. Maybe someone dropped a pen or has a leaf caught in their hair—there are opportunities all around you.

Every little thing truly does count. Putting just a bit more love and kindness into the world is so easy and takes so little time, but can turn someone’s day around or give them some small bit of comfort or emotional boost. So PUC community, thank you for the kindness you have shown me and please continue to be kind every day to whomever you may meet.

Come to the PMPD Health Fair This Weekend

By Abigail Daniliuc

The pre-medicine/pre-dentistry (PMPD) Club are teaming up with the Office of Service, Justice, and Missions at PUC and the St. Helena Hospital to put on the 1st Annual Health Fair to offer many free services to students and community members. As leaders in our community and pre-professional students, we hope this event will create an opportunity for students to get firsthand experience in their field of interest while bettering the campus and local community.

What services are provided at the PMPD Health Fair?

We are offering a variety of services, including dental screenings, medical testing, therapy dogs, a smoothie bike, vision screenings, outdoor yoga, massage therapy, healthy food demonstrations, and more. We are so thankful and thrilled to say all services are free!

When is the PMPD Health Fair?

This coming Sunday, May 21, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The fair will take place at the same time as the Angwin Flea Market and is open to PUC students as well as the surrounding communities of St. Helena, Yountville, and Calistoga.

Why should I volunteer or attend?

Why shouldn’t you volunteer? Think about it—when was the last time you saw your doctor or dentist? As a student myself, I know it is always easy to put off those maintenance appointments which are so essential to our long term health and well-being. How can we take care of others if we don’t make time to take care of ourselves first? Volunteer to help make a positive change in someone’s life and attend the fair to get some of your basic medical, dental, vision exams (and more) done for FREE.

As an incentive, all volunteers will be given free lunch from 12-1 p.m. All PUC students participating in the fair will be given attendance credit for visiting four booths and obtaining stamps from each one. Students who submit their stamp sheets to us at the end of the fair will be eligible to potentially win two $25 Amazon gift cards.

To learn more about this event or sign up to volunteer, please visit puchealthfair.org or check out the event’s Facebook page.

Pioneers Profile: Alexis Lyers

Meet Alexis Lyers, a senior who hails from Upper Marlboro, Md., and plays on the Pioneers women’s basketball team as a guard. We asked her to share about her experiences at PUC this past year, on and off the court.

What’s your major?

I am a communication major.

What’s your favorite class at PUC?

My favorite class at PUC is interpersonal communication. You get to learn so many interesting things about relationship and how people interact with each other on a daily basis. It’s super interesting!

Who is your favorite teacher at PUC?

I would have to say just about all the professors in the department of communication. I can’t choose one but they are all so great and so helpful not only in the classroom but also outside of it.

What made you decide to play for the Pioneers?

I’ve been playing basketball since I was 5-years-old. I’m originally from Maryland and one day I just decided I wanted to travel to the west coast and play basketball. At the time I wasn’t sure where, but after some research and lots of prayers I found PUC and loved the environment and my teammates.

What’s the best thing about being on the team?

I think the best thing about being on the team are my teammates and building relationships while playing a sport you love. I have so much fun with my teammates; we absolutely love each other on and off the court. It’s really amazing to connect with people on a personal level from all different parts of the country and all different walks of life.

Is it hard to balance being a student and an athlete?

Balancing school and being an athlete is extremely hard. You have a commitment to both to do well in school and perform well on the court and that’s not including practices, missing classes due to games, and homework.

What’s something you learned about yourself while playing this year?

This year I learned I can be a really good leader and role model on and off the court. I’m usually a person who runs away from the leader role and just hangs in the background, but I found out how good of a leader I am through my teammates. I also learned leading transpires off the court, when my teammates come to me for life advice or just someone to talk to.

What’s your favorite memory from this season?

My favorite memory from this year was coming back from being down 12 points to beat La Sierra University on senior night in front of my family and friends. I just remember my teammates all rushing to me after the game because we were all so happy.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I see myself working for an NFL or NBA team doing public relations or marketing work.

Alexis with her Cal Pac award.

Playing Intramurals at PUC

By Andrew Mahinay

Being active is an integral part of PUC. Most notably is the intramurals program, coordinated by Dr. Robert Paulson, which has over 800 games per school year.

The sports range from co-ed to date night in sports such as volleyball, basketball, frisbee, and many others. I myself have had the opportunity to participate in intramurals for three sports, making new friends and long lasting memories. Intramurals is a place you can push yourself to the physical limits, or if you are like most people, intramurals can be a place to get exercise while having fun.

PUC’s exercise science majors referee each intramural game, which means you are bound to see a familiar face. Hernan Granados, the head dean of Newton Hall, continuously helps ref games, ensuring fairness is exhibited on the playing grounds.

The entire gym is reserved for intramural games like basketball or volleyball, which means gameplay will not be interrupted or cut short. Each intramural game lasts an average of one hour and is a great way to take a break from studying.

In order to make a team, one must sign up on RecRadio’s page on Facebook. Sign up by finding other students and friends to compose a team. Once you recruit the required amount of players, create a team name on RecRadio, and you are now ready to participate in intramurals. A schedule of the teams you will be playing will be posted on RecRadio Facebook page so keep an eye out for that.

To differentiate teams, PUC’s intramural program provides free jerseys. If you want to get involved in an intramural team, there is a required fee of $5, which goes to pay the referees. If you know you will be even more active in intramurals, RecRadio offers a special deal where you can pay $30 to buy your own special jerseys, which showcases you are eligible to play in all sports without having to pay the $5 initiation fee. In other words, you will not have to pay to play in an intramural game again.

Intramurals tends to start in the evening, around 6-8 p.m., depending on the sport. Each night, Dr. Paulson makes it his goal to snap silly and amazing photos of live intramural game play. These photos can be found on the RecRadio’s Facebook page and to some people, like myself, these photos are the true highlights of participating.

The teams with the highest win-to-lose ratio move on to what is known as playoffs. During playoffs, teams compete with each other to get to the number one spot. Because of this aspect, Intramurals can get competitive. The team that wins first place lands a group picture on the RecRadio Facebook page, along with a game-winning shirt, which represents they defied all odds in beating all teams. With the competitive aspect aside, intramurals is all about having fun.

Intramurals is designed for all students whether you’re agile and quick or determined and committed, or just out there to have fun. There are no requirements. I highly recommend you join intramurals when you’re at PUC to create long lasting memories alongside your friends.

This years’ women’s soccer champions.

My Internship at PUC’s Nelson Memorial Library

Ryan and PUC’s archivist Katy at the “Visions of the Holy” exhibit.

By Ryan Chang

My time at Pacific Union College has been one of the most challenging yet informative stages of my life. The funny thing is, I actually started as a biology major when I entered freshman year in 2013, but a year later I made the decision to switch to the history, political studies and ethics major while keeping my pre-medicine program (it is doable, by the way!). One of the main components of my major, also known as a capstone, is an internship for a minimum of 90 hours. Yearning for a worthy place of work, I looked through a variety of options to choose from, such as libraries or museums in Napa Valley. After mulling over my choices, I ultimately chose to intern at PUC’s own Nelson Memorial Library, specifically in the archives. With this decision, I wanted to be able to give back to the campus, and I figured this was a great way to do so. Accomplishing this internship has been one of the highlights of my student career. Yet, it is important to mention just how this can positively benefit prospective students as well.

I interned under Katy Van Arsdale, who is probably the most understanding supervisor I have ever had. The main components of my internship concerned the honored classes that were celebrated during this school year’s Homecoming Weekend and the special “Visions of the Holy” exhibit in the Rasmussen Art Gallery. Putting together slideshows, gathering images of students all the way back to the 1940s, and researching famous artists who taught at PUC are all just a few examples of the work I did for my internship, and it imbued in me a sense of awe at all the accomplished people who have attended Pacific Union College.

A woodcut from a 1519 Latin Bible in PUC’s archival collection.

The “Visions of the Holy” exhibit was a source of immense satisfaction, as being a part of an extremely well-done exhibit is quite exhilarating. Seeing your name as one of the contributors and knowing your thoughts and ideas went into the making of an exhibit seen by hundreds of people is not easily replicated in life, and so I highly recommend all future and current students take a break from their studies and try to be a part of something bigger. Of course, being able to list an internship along with a concrete exhibit will look great on any student’s resume, but the experience that came along with it is, in my opinion, even more important.

As I graduate from PUC this year, my time at this institution has given me many memories and experiences I would not trade for the world. Without a doubt, the internship was a learning experience that was not only educational, but also provided a great work environment. There were some challenging moments, along with some unexpected ones, but overall it has given me a new perspective on how to better myself, and I know for a fact it will be a positive experience to anyone wishing to learn.

Editor’s Note: Many majors at PUC require an internship. Even if your program doesn’t require an internship, it still may be recommended for you to complete one. You can learn more about the benefits of an internship by reading our “What an Internship Can Do For You” blog post, and by browsing through the Internship category on the blog, which features several experiences from biology students who recently completed internships.

My Journey Through PUC’s Nursing Program, Part 3

By Rachel Dunbar

As a PUC nursing graduate, one question I often get about the program is, “Will I have time for myself?” The answer is 100 percent yes! Of course you will have days where you spend every waking minute doing homework, but not every day is like that. The easiest way to not get overwhelmed is good time management. If you don’t manage your time well, start practicing now. If you can’t manage your time the program can overwhelm you. I took it one day at a time and got as much done as possible, and that’s really all you can do. I played intramurals for the first year, but once second year came I didn’t have enough time with two clinical days; I ran 4 times a week, and I kept the Sabbath. You definitely have enough time if you use it wisely.

Keeping the Sabbath was a huge blessing for me. I would feel completely overwhelmed during the week and then Sabbath would arrive. It helped keep my anxiety down, and I never missed an assignment or got a lower grade because I didn’t do homework on the Sabbath. Sleep in, spend time with God, your friends and family, and let yourself de-stress for a day. It’s important.

A big part of my life is exercise. I did wonder if I could keep up with it during the program. For me; I wasn’t willing to compromise my own health for any program. I would sit down and look at my schedule and figure out when I could run. It was literally one hour four times a week and it was totally doable. Running has always been a huge de-stressor for me. It gave me an hour to think and have time to myself. It kept me from worrying as much and I was happier because of it.

Another thing I wouldn’t compromise on was my sleep. I honestly never went to bed after midnight because I didn’t procrastinate. If you get everything done, then do something that isn’t due until next week! You never know when something could come up and you suddenly are out of time. If you have spare time; use it to get ahead instead of scrambling to get things in on time. In all seriousness; I managed my time very well and it truly saved me. There are plenty of hours in the day to complete everything and have time for yourself. Certain quarters are going to be harder in different ways, but take it one day and one assignment at a time and you will get through it.

The greatest thing I gained from the nursing program at PUC was my relationship with God. I took for granted the fact my teacher’s prayed before every test, and reminded us God had a plan for us. When I felt so overwhelmed I wanted to quit, God reminded me His plan was the best plan. I grew in my relationship with God, and began to rely on Him when I felt I couldn’t make it. In many a sleepless night I would talk with God and pray I would pass. Every time (to this day) I lie awake with the knot twisting in my stomach on the night before a test I whisper to myself, “God has a plan.” I tell myself this over and over and over because it’s the greatest truth and gives me the most peace. I always say I think God laughs at me because of how much I worry.

Being close to God changed my worrying and anxiety throughout the program. Worry will always be something I struggle with, but I have begun to learn how to keep it at bay. I’ve learned God has a plan and I don’t need to put so much pressure on myself to make all the right decisions. I chose to give Him control, and that gives me peace. Trust in the Lord always; He has written the greatest life story for you. Trust His plan is the best plan; even if things don’t go as you thought they should. Take every week of every quarter, one day at a time. You can do this!

Interested in learning more about the nursing program at PUC? If you visit the Admissions website, you can find more information about the program, curriculum guidesheets, and a live chat where you can ask an enrollment counselor anything you need. You can also call (800) 862-7080, option 2 or email enroll@puc.edu for more help.

My Journey Through PUC’s Nursing Program, Part 2

By Rachel Dunbar

One of the things about PUC’s nursing program that gives students anxiety are clinicals. I remember how awkward and out of place I felt at first. As time passes, you learn a lot and begin to feel more useful and less in the way. Basically from the start of the program you are in the hospital. For the first day they have you paired up with someone to give a bed bath. It’s so funny thinking back to how awkward I felt, wondering, “What supplies do I need? Where do I get them? How do I bathe a complete stranger?” my only task was to give a bed bath and it felt like such a huge task. Having a partner made all the difference though. After each clinical day, I felt more comfortable and confident.

I enjoyed clinicals because they allowed me to see what I was studying. I felt I could actually apply what I was learning and use it when I went to the hospital. Each clinical taught me something different, seeing different floors with each rotation. I always had an idea of where I wanted to work as a nurse but I didn’t realize how many different units there were so it was great to experience all of them.  

Knowing what I know now, I offer you four simple tips to take through your clinicals:

  1. Be safe. In every task you’re about to do, be safe. You will learn the different safety precautions throughout the program; use them!! You might see a nurse who takes shortcuts to save time; but never compromise your safety precautions. They’re there to help you, not hinder you.
  2. Ask questions. Never be afraid to ask when you are unsure about something. If your nurse asks you to do something and you don’t know how; ask! It seems like an easy concept but sometimes people just want to do what their nurse asks, and come off more competent than they actually are. When you have nurses who have practiced for a long time they forget you might not know how to start an IV pump because it’s something they do every single day. It is your job as a student to let your nurse know what you feel comfortable doing.
  3. Speak up! If you’re unsure about something say so! It will get easier to speak up when you’re in second year because your knowledge base and clinical experience is bigger, and you will begin to actually trust your gut. I started to feel like a real nurse when my nurses would ask me questions about our patients and I could actually give them the right answer. You will also have many “ah ha” moments as you connect what your studying to the clinical setting.
  4. Take every opportunity you can. As you pass different skills tests, you then have the right to be able to do those things in the hospital (scary I know!). If a nurse asks if you want to put in a foley catheter and you’ve passed the skills test; say yes! When you’re a student you get to have another nurse with you to walk you through the steps if you need it. Once you become a nurse you are expected know be able to perform all the tasks within your scope of practice without help. Take advantage of being a student and learn everything you can!
  5. Try to see everything you can. One time a patient of mine was going to have an angiogram done and I had never seen one so I asked my nurse if I could go with him. She said the Cath lab doesn’t usually like to have students but she would ask, and they said yes! I got to go simply because I asked if I could. Take every opportunity to see things you haven’t seen, simply for gaining knowledge. Because I saw an angiogram I will never forget what it is and how it works; and I can better explain it to my patients in the future.

Clinicals can be nerve-racking, but trust your knowledge as you gain it, ask questions if you’re not sure, and know every nurse you’re with was once a student.

Interested in learning more about the nursing program at PUC? If you visit the Admissions website, you can find more information about the program, curriculum guidesheets, and a live chat where you can ask an enrollment counselor anything you need. You can also call (800) 862-7080, option 2 or email enroll@puc.edu for more help.