Jenna Peña, a Pioneer On and Off the Court

Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams at PUC made serious impacts on and off the court this past year. One player, Jenna Peña, has dedicated her summer to helping out with NBA point guard, Stephen Curry’s summer youth camps.

Jenna was kind enough to answer a few short questions about her incredible experience.

PUC Pioneer Jenna Pena with the NBA MVP and Champion Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors during the Stephen Curry Overnight Camp.

PUC Pioneer Jenna Peña with the NBA MVP and Champion Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors during the Stephen Curry Overnight Camp.

How long have you been working the camp?

I have been working with the Warriors for a year now, and I work with the youth basketball camps to teach the fundamentals of basketball.

Where are the camps held?

They are held all over the Bay Area. It’s really a great experience to work with the kids on their game, but also teach other values off the court.

What are some of the values that are taught to the kids involved in the camp?

We are there to provide the campers with both a positive and competitive atmosphere on and off the court. We emphasize the importance of hard work and a team-oriented mindset. We want the campers to bring out the best in themselves, which translates into everyone encouraging each other.

How is Stephen with the campers?

Steph is amazing! He is great with the campers he plays basketball with them, has meals with them and is genuinely a man of God. It truly is a blessing to see a NBA superstar so humble and with a strong connection with Christ.

For a look inside the camp, check out the video below.

Alumni Profile: Andy Bishop

There are over 26,000 PUC alumni spread throughout the world, and we’re proud of each and every one of them and their accomplishments. Andy Bishop is a 2010 PUC graduate living in San Diego and working with various sports media outlets and organizations.

I asked Andy to share with us his experiences and advice for anyone looking into media-related careers.

You have two jobs; being a real-time correspondent for Major League Baseball (MLB) and a production assistant for Fox Sports San Diego. Tell us a little bit about both.

For my job with MLB, I work a majority of Padres games at Petco Park in San Diego. My main objective is to gather content for MLB and the two respective ball clubs, mostly pictures for their Twitter and Instagram accounts. I have the freedom to go around the ballpark and report on anything interesting or unique at any given game.

With Fox Sports San Diego, I work on a show on which I primarily help produce a weekly feature. This involves everything from coordinating a shoot to working as a second cameraman to assisting with editing on the backend. Additionally, I do miscellaneous projects for the crews producing the Padres games on a daily basis.

Andy (left), in action.

Andy (left), in action.

Describe to me what it took for you to get to where you are.

In a word, persistence. A ton of people want to work in the sports industry; there just aren’t that many jobs. I didn’t exactly help my pursuit by moving to San Diego right after attending PUC, without establishing much of a connection base beforehand. It’s taken me five good years of work experience to get a solid network and to get my foot in the door with some big companies.

Something else I can’t stress enough is support. It would have been easy for me at times to just give up and settle for a job in another industry. I can’t tell you how many amazing friends and family members have encouraged me throughout the process. They have believed in me when most others haven’t, and that’s been essential in my growth as an on-air personality.

How did your major at PUC prepare you for both of your jobs?

The importance of preparation is one of the biggest things I took away from my business and communication majors. I had to do a lot of speeches and presentations in college, and like most people, I would feel the nerves a bit. But the times when I really knew my material and took it to heart were the times I performed better. The same goes for when I’m doing something on camera now. While I have certainly gotten a lot more comfortable talking when the pressure is on, I am far more articulate and confident when I’ve done my homework.

One other component that my studies in communication taught me was to smile. Not enough people do it. Most of us naturally don’t smile and are fairly monotone when talking in front of people. So it’s something you definitely have to work on. You really have to critique yourself and make it point to think about smiling. It becomes a lot more natural over time.

Describe your typical work day.

I have lot of variety in my work days, which is good because I’m not the greatest at sitting in an office cubicle all day. I’m definitely at my best when I’m on the move in some form or fashion.

Most days on the job I do a decent chunk of work from the office: phone calls, emails, editing, meetings, etc. Normally a day or two a week I’m able to head out into the beautiful city of San Diego and help with shooting a feature for Fox Sports. About every other week I’m going to Padres games and roaming around the ballpark at night. In time, I definitely want to do more work out of the office.

Andy Bishop 2

What have you done so far in your professional career that you are most proud of?

I think I’m most proud of the fact that I have stayed true to myself. It is so easy to get caught up in trying to prove yourself to people and/or trying to please people. I have certainly gone through stages where that took more of my focus than it should have. But thankfully, there has been a good maturation process for me in knowing who I am and what I can offer.

A big part of why I’ve been able to stay true to myself is that I’ve been continually humbled and grounded. This is not to say that I’m a complete failure (only a partial one), but I’ve lived long enough to know I’m not the greatest thing since fish tacos. I lot of awesome experiences and individuals have helped me keep a pretty good head on my shoulders.

In the sports industry there is SO MUCH arrogance, ego, and individualism. As a man of faith, I’m very driven to be the opposite of that. I certainly have to be confident and persistent in what I’m trying to do, but man, there is a bigger picture. So along the way I am very committed to sharing others’ awesome stories, creating and sustaining good relationships, and appreciating the journey.

If you could go back in time and tell your freshman self one thing, what would it be?

I would tell my freshman self to be more active in pursuing jobs and internships while in school. I just didn’t realize how hard it was going to be after college to 1) find work and 2) establish myself. There are zero Adventist connections in the sports media world, and about 99.9% of the people have never heard of Pacific Union College. That was a bit of a barrier. I would have been better off getting connected in San Diego earlier, or at the very least doing some sort of summer internship or job in a bigger sports market.

With that said, I’m not much of a woulda, coulda, shoulda guy. So I’m thankful for the solid education I got while at PUC. I’m better off because of the process that it has taken to get here. I’m doing a lot of fun things in the city that I love and feel called to be in. While I still have a long way to go, I’m confident that some really good things are to come in the near future.

What advice do you have for students considering getting into sports broadcasting/reporting?

Only do it if you love it. I started at PUC thinking I was going to pursue medicine, but then in spring quarter my freshman year I found what drove me. Thanks to Rosemary Collins’ Intro to Speech Communication class I realized I felt a certain ease when speaking in front of others. Everything that went into it – the research, the memorization, talking to myself in front of the mirror, sharing stories/speeches to the class – got me excited. Nearly a decade later it is similar types of opportunities with reporting and broadcasting that drive me professionally.

I would also encourage people to keep an open mind about what their career calling is. I think it’s best to keep some options open and try different things. Thankfully, what I dreamed up my freshman year has proven to be what’s best suited for me. As you get more experience during and after college, you have to find your niche and form a personal brand of sorts. But ultimately, I feel you should just be who you are and work your tail off to get what you want. Don’t forget that the most satisfaction professionally will come from the relationships you create and the moments you share with others. Don’t be so concerned about the fast track to success.

A Farewell to PUC

After four years of living in one of America’s most beautiful locations, I am leaving with a college degree, great memories, and lifelong friends. PUC has done wonders to my life. From the scrawny, neon-color wearing freshman that showed up in late 2011, I now finish up my time as a scrawnier student leader and pleased PUC student.

There are four areas regarding PUC that I want to attribute my enjoyable undergraduate career towards:

1) Location
If being able to jog from your dorm room to a lush forest in less than five minutes is ideal, then PUC is the place for you. Whenever academic stress peaked, I could always grab a friend and go for a quick trail run, mountain bike ride or an afternoon of reading in a field. PUC’s famous “Back 40” provided me with countless hours of thinking-filled solitude and helped solidify who I am today.

David O'Hair 1

2)  Opportunities
The only factor that limits your opportunities at PUC is there only being 24-hours in a day. PUC is the place for proactive people. Over the past two years, PUC has allowed me to serve on the following teams and roles: Student Senate, Student Association, multiple department teaching assistants, pre-law club president and TLC tutor. That is just me; you can do much more. The amount that PUC enables involvement, you will be graduating with only one problem — how do I fit all of this on my résumé?

3)  Professors
Being away from family and trusted council is tough. However, the professors at PUC showed me countless times they care about you as a person, not just a student. When I tell my friends from other universities I go to breakfast with my professors on weekends or that professors host dinner and movie nights, I am always met with a blank stare. That is what the stare of envy looks like. The professors care, plain and simple. They care about you, your ambitions and even your personal life, as “Mama Douglas” reminds me she is a required guest at my future wedding.

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Lynne Thew, David O’Hair, Brittnie Sigamoney, Mark Soderblom, and Milbert Mariano celebrate the College Media Association awards in New York City.

4)  The “Fail Factor”
Most importantly, PUC allows for self-exploration. The supportive environment lets you try things, fail at them and then move on with your life. Don’t believe me? Remember my month as an art major? Neither does the history department faculty. It’s that simple, PUC lets you take chances and then helps you recover from the less fortunate ones. The support network I have found at PUC through faculty, friends and mentors is absolutely unprecedented.

Those are four aspects of PUC I will cherish my entire life. While the college experience is different for everyone, I can promise if you give PUC a shot, you will not regret it.

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It’s PUC tradition to ring the Healdsburg Bell after your last final. It’s been great to hear seniors like David ring the bell all week long!

Have a good summer!

David O’Hair
Editor-in-chief
Campus Chronicle

PUC’s Campus Center Will Be There For You

“So no one told you life was gonna be this way? Your job’s a joke, you’re broke, your love life’s DOA…”

I’m pretty sure there were times my freshman year when the beginning of the “Friends” theme song felt like my life. You don’t necessarily come to college knowing a lot of people and if you’re a little shy like me, it can be hard to not only meet new people but feel like you’ve found some really great, lifelong friends.

You and probably every other person on the planet have likely watched “Friends” (if you haven’t, it’s on Netflix, go binge watch it right now, I’ll wait) and you have dreamt of sitting on the infamous couch in Central Perk with your five very best friends, discussing things like shopping, dating, sports, food, etc. Now PUC may not have Central Perk but we do have our Campus Center. I know it’s not the quite same but hear me out!

Located in the heart of campus, the Campus Center is constantly full of students, faculty and staff members. Aside from having TVs playing the news and big sports games, pool tables and couches to hang out on, it is also the college’s source for a quick beverage and snacks.

Campus Center

When I started college, I thought I would have a difficult time meeting new people and getting involved, so I made a point to spend time in the Campus Center. I will admit, I was shy and felt awkward at first but people are generally very friendly at PUC and soon I felt like I belonged here. I can honestly say to this day some of my closest friends were made at PUC and we spent countless hours watching sports, studying, playing games and just hanging out in the Campus Center. A good 75% of my favorite memories took place there.

While I can’t guarantee this epic level of friendship, you never know…

Friends

I sure found mine (couch not included)!

Friends 2

To the Pioneers, With Love

A sincere love letter to the students of PUC from a guest lecturer
By Patrick Vogelpohl

In 2009, I drove a dying Honda Civic up Howell Mountain Road to teach my first class at Pacific Union College. I was a former real estate marketing manager and a freelance writer. I lived in a demanding marketplace filled with unforgiving bottom lines and deadlines.

But my first son was about to be born. My wife and I needed the money. Michelle Rai, the chair of the communication department and now a dear friend, needed someone to teach newswriting at the last minute. She took me to a classroom on the first floor of Irwin Hall, introduced me to about 25 young adults, and then left the room. The students and I smiled at each other for a few seconds until I began to lecture.

Strange things began to happen right away.

As I talked, the students paid attention. They took notes. They smiled at me some more. If they talked to classmates, it was about newswriting. At the end of class, some asked me questions about my lecture. Others simply welcomed me to the college. I thought I was being punk’d, but I wasn’t. These students were friendly and sincere. It was, for lack of a better word, weird.

I drove down Howell Mountain Road and thought, “That was the most pleasant work experience I have ever had.” So I kept going back. I eventually served as an assistant professor of communication. I even taught in the English Department. I became co-director of Publication Workshop and was an advisor for the Campus Chronicle. I got to introduce Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tracy Kidder at Colloquy. Currently, I’m serving as a guest lecturer in a public relations course.

Vogelpohl, center, surrounded by four of his most attractive students. Note their dewy skin.

Vogelpohl, center, surrounded by four of his most attractive students. Note their dewy skin.

In my time on the hill, I’ve learned a few things about PUC’s exceptional students. If you are an incoming freshman, here’s what you should know about your peers:

1. PUC students are active members of the Adventist church. Some are conservative Adventists. Some are liberal. Most students, however, regularly tend to their relationships with God. They go to (and enjoy) church on Saturday, as well as residence hall worship or other prayer groups. When a PUC student wrestles with her or his faith, their friends still accept them as a fellow child of God.

2. PUC students have fantastic skin. It’s not even fair! Maybe it’s because of the plant-rich diet. Maybe it’s all the rest on the Sabbath. Every PUC graduate could earn a modeling contract based on their skin alone. Could your skin be healthier? Then get up here. By the time you leave, your skin will be best described as “supple” or “visually delicious.”

3. PUC students are serious about learning. The vast majority of students actually attend class. The vast majority does homework. Group work gets done. Are there some slackers on campus? Sure. Do students work harder in some classes than in others? Of course. This a college filled with young adults, not study-bots. But I would argue that slackers don’t last too long at PUC. Why? See #4.

4. PUC students are ridiculously active. They study. Then they play on intramural sports teams. They play instruments. They double-major. They have jobs. They have internships. They learn to play instruments while at their internships. They have terrific conversations in the Dining Commons. They feed the homeless. They take day trips to San Francisco and the beach. If these kids weren’t so friendly and attractive, they would be annoying.

5. PUC students are very good at dating. First, they are friends. Then they attend vespers together. Nine years later, they have two law degrees, three kids, a cocker spaniel named Gary, and a nice house near the beach.

6. PUC students live long lives. I once met an alumnus that was 177 years young.

And finally, PUC students look out for one another. They even look out for their professors. I have had students bring me food and snacks during marathon grading sessions—students that weren’t even in my courses. When my kids have been sick, other students prayed for them without my asking. They just did it. Stuff like this doesn’t happen often in most jobs. But it can absolutely make the worst days seem brighter.

In short, you will go to school with the best people you will ever meet. Get up here. Fast.

Keep Working on College Finances This Summer

With your senior year coming to a close, you may be asking yourself “What more can I do to help pay for college?” If you’re thinking there’s nothing more that can be done, you couldn’t be more wrong. There are still plenty of options you can explore to help reduce the upcoming cost of college this fall.

Get a Job
I’ll start with PUC-related options first, since this is our Admissions blog after all! If you aren’t already aware, we have two matching programs in place to recognize students who have made certain contributions to the Adventist church:

  • Summer Ministries Leadership Match. PUC matches 100 percent of certified earnings that are applied to tuition by students who work at a SDA youth camp or in a youth ministry program in the summer prior to fall quarter enrollment, up to $2,000. The Association of Adventist Camping Professionals has a camp directory list of all the Adventist summer camps in the country.
  • Summer Literature Evangelism Match. PUC matches 100 percent of certified earnings that are applied to tuition by students who work as SDA literature evangelists in the summer prior to fall quarter enrollment, up to $3,000. Contact your local conference office for more information about programs in your area.

Of course, you can work other places in the summer as well and put a percentage of your earnings towards your college expenses. Even if you aren’t working full time, try to make sure at least part of what you’re making is saved to help reduce your family’s payments towards your school bill in the fall. If you can, save just $10 of your earnings per workday between June 1st and September 21st (when classes at PUC start), and assuming you work five days per week, it would give you $800 to put towards your bill. Every little bit counts!

You can also make plans to get a job on campus when you arrive for New Student Orientation and continue to make contributions to your bill throughout the school year. You can learn more about what jobs are available to students and how to apply for them by reading our “Working On-Campus Has Its Perks” post.

Apply for Scholarships
If you’ve given up your scholarship search thinking all deadlines have passed, it’s time to get back in front of your computer and start searching again! There are plenty of scholarships still available, it’s just up to you to find them.

Need More Help?
Our team of Financial Counselors in the Student Finance office can give you more ideas on other places to look for scholarships to help your family afford college. They can be reached at studentfinance@puc.edu or 800.862.7080 option 1.

10 Questions with PUC’s New Modern Languages Professor

Professor Cristian Pancorbo began teaching at PUC this past winter, and already has had an impact on our community. I was able to spend a day with Cristian and got to hear how passionate he is about language and the PUC student body. To help introduce him to the rest of campus as well as prospective students, I asked him 10 questions about his experience here so far and his vision for PUC.

1. As a new member of the PUC family, tell us a little bit about yourself.

I really don’t know how to answer these kinds of questions, and most of the time I just talk about my hobbies, but I guess that’s not who I am. Right? So let me tell you about the things I love.

I love traveling and discovering places and people – I like to think there’s a unique kind of knowledge and growth to this. I like serving others on my trips, but just getting lost is excuse enough to fly for me. I love my niece, who lives in Montreal, but I try to see her every time I have a chance. She is just the best. I enjoy sports, but mainly it is a reason to be with people, doing something fun. I used to think I was good at basketball until I moved here and realized I’m not even good enough for intramurals. I almost forgot! Teaching is something I love, it gives me a rush nothing else does, and I truly believe it makes real big changes, or it should.

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Professor Pancorbo (bottom row, left) and his soccer intramurals team at PUC.

2. What made you decide to up and move to a new country?

I have been attached to the U.S. in many different ways since I was 16-years-old. I have been invited by some of my U.S. friends since 18. I also have been teaching students from here since I started working. I wasn’t looking for a job opportunity or a way to move to a different country, but I want to think God opened this path in for me, and I’m committed to go where he takes me. I have to say, although I have loved ones in Spain, I have always felt comfortable with the idea of moving around wherever I should go. Nobody was too surprised when I said I was moving to the U.S. Nonetheless, It wasn’t an easy decision, since I had a job and colleagues I simply loved. ACA Spain (ESDES), where I was working, has the most loving teachers one could find.

3. What was your first impression of PUC?

I came for the job interview around Christmas (2013) and that was my first time at PUC. I knew the west coast more or less and I had been to the south of California many times, but I never drove further north of Yosemite; I instantly liked it. It’s the most beautiful campus I have ever been to, but nothing new about that, right? This place is wonderful and the lifestyle you can have here is just great – full of knowledge, beauty, sports, arts, nature, great weather, great people and so much more.

4. So far, what is your favorite thing about PUC?

The best thing about PUC is the student body. You guys [students] are great and make me enjoy this place so much. I think I talk on behalf of all the teachers when I say you are the reason why we do this and love it. I also like other things we have here like the spiritual life, the idea of serving others visible almost everywhere.

5. Tell us your goals for the Modern Language Department.

I want students to open their minds to new horizons and perspectives – if possible by traveling overseas. I want the students to really engage in their challenge with a new language. I want my students to learn about making a big effort, loving it, or at least enjoying it. I want to find new ways for the students to practice Spanish in a fun way outside of formal classes. The goal has to be helping the students develop their skills with communication in a new language, critical thinking and serving others using Jesus as an example.

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Professor Pancorbo and students on a recent trip to PUC’s Albion Retreat and Learning Center.

6. Out of all your classes, which is your favorite to teach and why?

This is like asking a parent who his favorite child is – it’s not fair. But I’ll be open to you; I love my Medical Spanish class. It’s very practical and I see a lot of motivation in my students. They realize it is something really important for their careers. It is really fun to role-play with them and use the knowledge they already have in their field of study for the class.

7. What are some benefits to taking Spanish classes?

You can communicate with the huge amount of Spanish speakers you will find in the U.S. Not only that, you will increase your number of friends, your future “clients” and your opportunities. You will understand your neighbors a lot better and you will be able to travel and discover with bigger empathy for what you encounter. It is like having another “self” with all the opportunities that come with it. In the world we live in, there needs to be more understanding and real communication among individuals and nations. But seriously, it does. Don’t just agree with me. Go learn a language and travel, go overseas through Adventist Colleges Abroad (ACA) for a year, or became a missionary. Do it. You can’t go wrong by learning Spanish, traveling or serving if you are holding to God.

8. How has knowing a second language benefited you personally?

Sometimes, I think learning English has impacted me wider and deeper in my life than having my degree or my master’s. I was blessed with the best friends who invited me to come visit them and thanks to that, I actually started to speak the language. You can study a language your whole life, but if you don’t practice, it is like reading books about basketball expecting to get good at it, just by that. After I learned, I started to be blessed with scholarships and opportunities to live and travel in different places all around the world. I lived a great positive experience after another and I can see now they were coming from God.

I lived and studied in Krakow (Poland) with a full scholarship. I also went to Sydney (Australia) with another scholarship to perfect my English and I had some of the most amazing working and serving experiences in developing countries like Morocco, Honduras, Ethiopia… I’m now learning French here at PUC and it’s a experience you all should try. Professor Jehanno is a great, experienced teacher from Paris and her classes are so much fun.

9. What are some interesting or less thought of careers students can get with a Modern Language degree?

A minor or a major in Spanish is a great match for any future career you might be looking at. It would be hard to think of a career that couldn’t have a good use of a second language. I think every social worker, lawyer, doctor, psychologist, physical therapist, speech pathology… or any other professional who needs to understand their client/patient and their reality as an essential part of their job needs to know their language as a basic tool. Remember you are preparing yourself to be useful with the knowledge and skills you are developing during your college years. Make sure you are getting ready for what’s coming – don’t just get a degree, try to get the tools you will use.

Professor Pancorbo and Modern Languages Department friends.

10. What fun and interesting things are happening within the Modern Language Department students might like to know about?

The most exciting thing is we’ll be offering Beginning Portuguese for the first time in Winter 2016. The Brazil mission trip to the Amazon and Manaus during Spring Break is part of the class, which will count for GE credit(s). We also have a new Japanese professor, John Inada. He has developed his career in the video game industry successfully, also finding the time to teach with us. We are planning on showing movies (original versions) at our beautiful student lounge, and also share resources and updates through our Modern Languages Facebook page. Finally, we want to develop our service learning implication as a department and continue to grow our language for specific purpose classes, like Spanish for medical personnel, which is a high-demand class.

There are other interesting things happening with Adventist Colleges Abroad. They are always trying to improve and challenge themselves with their awesome work. One of their newest features are the internships you can do overseas in places like the United Nations, architecture firms, schools, music and art and so many more. With these internships you improve your abroad experience, your language skills, and your résumé. This adds another huge reason why you have to go to ACA (and they will transfer all your credits back to PUC, including the internship ones).

Editor’s note: If you would like more information about studying a language at PUC, you can talk with an Enrollment Counselor by calling 800.862.7080 option 2 or emailing enroll@puc.edu.