5 Things You Might Not Know About the PUC Cafeteria

By Sarah Tanner

Run by Bon Appetit, PUC’s Dining Commons features a wide array of sustainably sourced products. While most students are aware it serves 100 percent vegetarian meals, there remain a number of less well-known, but still exciting factors that truly make the PUC cafeteria shine. In a conversation with Allen Plouffe, the Dining Commons’ general manager, we learned a little more about those things that set PUC’s cafeteria apart from the rest.

In addition to showcasing an entirely vegetarian menu, the Dining Commons at PUC also features daily vegan and gluten-free options. In order to best serve students with dietary needs, restrictions, or simple health preferences, the cafeteria features a rotating variety of meals designed specifically with student wellness in mind. They also promise sustainably sourced and local products on each plate.

Plouffe explained Bon Appetit’s strategy, saying, “The company goal is to purchase at least 20 percent of all our food within 150 miles of our location.”

Utilizing local farmers and producers is vital to achieving this aim, and Plouffe notes, “We also directly purchase from several local companies. One of these is F.E.E.D. Sonoma right here locally, and NextGen Foods, which supplies all of our rice, which is grown locally and based out of West Sacramento. We also recently partnered with The Fruit Tree which is an Adventist company based in Alameda. They produce green smoothies that are sold in the Grind.”

Sustainability is also a major concern for the dining commons, and Bon Appetit is currently working toward providing all starch-based utensils, and is in the midst of becoming Food Recovery Certified, meaning the Dining Commons will be able to donate leftover foods instead of simply throwing them away. Currently, all straws and cups available in the cafeteria are biodegradable.

Another unique aspect of the PUC cafeteria is its dedication to providing several options for each meal. A daily taqueria cart offers classics including tacos, burritos, and haystacks. Likewise, “global” options feature a variety of cultural specialties, and the daily “exhibition” spotlights different student favorites each night of the week. Likewise, a full salad bar, two soups, as well as regular baked and sweet potatoes are offered every day. All meals are available as “to-go” options, allowing students on the run to still eat whole and healthy meals.

In addition to the daily specials, this year the Dining Commons is offering a Wednesday night “80 at 8” which offers favorites including Impossible burgers, street tacos, quesadillas, and southwest grilled cheese. This event sells up to 80 tickets for each meal, which can then be picked up at 8 p.m. outside the Grind. Another exciting plan available this year is the “Love From Home” project, which allows parents to call the cafeteria and order a special treat for their student.

This year has also introduced meal tier options, allowing students to choose how much they wish to spend each quarter. In addition to the typical meal plan, Plouffe mentioned students have the option to choose a flex plan.

“It includes dollars that can be used at Howell Mountain Deli inside the Market or used as additional dollars on campus,” he says. “We are also allowing up to $100 to be rolled over to the next quarter if unused, so students do not lose money anymore.”

One final initiative students should be aware of is the Food Service Advisory Committee. Last February, the FSAC was created to incorporate student questions and concerns as part of the Bon Appetit general mission. The committee is student-run in order to ensure students are satisfied with their meal options.

Plouffe explained, “This committee allows us to communicate why those decisions were made so, in the end, it makes sense. As a result, the taqueria is now open every day with rotating meal options. New meal plan payments, more events during the evening hours, and the cafeteria being open later during finals week are all a result of the FSAC.”

In all, PUC’s Dining Commons is much more than just a vegetarian cafeteria. From tiered meal plans to Wednesday night specials to a commitment to sustainable sources, the Dining Commons has much to offer. Students looking for health and wellness need look no further than the cafeteria’s daily options, and with a number of exciting new initiatives this year, the dining commons promises something for everyone.

#FacultyFriday: Meet Sylvia Rasi Gregorutti

When you have a professor like Sylvia Rasi Gregorutti on your class schedule, you’re in for a treat. She’s an ideal person to be teaching classes on language and culture, seeing as how she speaks five languages and has explored three additional. She has also traveled to many countries and thoroughly understands the study abroad program, as she spent a year in Argentina in college and is now deeply involved with Adventist Colleges Abroad, even spending some time consulting with ACA Brazil this past summer.

Name: Sylvia Rasi Gregorutti
Title: Professor and chair, department of world languages & cultures
Email: srasi@puc.edu
Faculty since: 1993

Current Classes Taught: ITAL 111-112-113: Beginning Italian I-II-III; SPAN 105: Spanish for Health Care Professionals; LANG 450: Advanced Language Study; SPAN 480: Spanish & Latin American Film; SPAN 470: Readings in Spanish & Latin American Literature; SPAN 490: Senior Seminar I.

Education: B.A. in French and English, emphasis in English as a second language (ESL), Andrews University; M.S. in applied linguistics and Ph.D. in sociolinguistics, both at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

When and how did you know you were going to be a professor?

My second-grade teacher at Ruth Murdoch Elementary School in Berrien Springs, Michigan, asked me to be an ESL tutor because I had finished my spelling book in record time. My first students were two classmates, a German boy and a Swedish boy. I felt useful and had a lot of fun! So that was my first experience. But it wasn’t really clear on this path until maybe my junior year of college. It was more the subject matter that attracted me—I wasn’t totally sure whether I’d be a researcher, educator, or something else.

How did you become interested in languages and culture?

I was born to immigrant parents who, when I was a child, were professors. Where I grew up, it was fairly common to speak another language and have another home culture. I always had fun learning about the home languages and cultures of my friends. My family wasn’t wealthy by any means, but travel was an important part of our general education.

Which languages do you speak?

I grew up with Spanish and English, in that order. I’ve since learned French, Italian, and Portuguese (in progress), and have made attempts at Russian, Japanese, and Chinese. The only “strictly classroom” languages have been Russian and Chinese. The others involved a degree of immersion in addition to instruction. That’s always the best combination: Some explanation coupled with extensive contact.

What are some of your favorite movies?

I have to include Arrival (2016). I’m not a huge SciFi fan, but the protagonist is a linguist, and the concepts that are presented are fascinating. Il Postino (The Postman, 1994) and The Mission (1986).

What are some of your hobbies?

Travel is at the top of the list—domestic and especially international. I love gardening; it’s good therapy and there are delicious and healthy byproducts. I also like food preserving—I make my own tomato sauce and jams, some from foraged fruit. This year was my second attempt at grape juice from our backyard grapes—moscato, malbec, and cabernet sauvignon.

If you could have lunch with a celebrity, who would it be and why?

I’m honestly not at all into celebrities. But I’d probably choose someone who’s a creative or a thinker, maybe an activist or philanthropist so we could have an interesting conversation.

Name a book or author you would recommend and why?

I’ve enjoyed books by neurologist Oliver Sacks (for example, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat). He has a great writing style and discusses a variety of topics about the human brain/mind. Also travel writer Pico Iyer (for example, Video Night in Kathmandu) and Christian writer and thinker C. S. Lewis—I’ve been re-reading some of his classics with my 13-year-old daughter.

What is something people might be surprised to learn about you?

I met my husband when I was 16 and he was 15 years old—he was a good friend, but I was actually hoping he’d like my younger cousin! We were friends for 11 years and across three continents before we got married.

What advice would you give someone who wants to learn more about different cultures, but is nervous and doesn’t know where/how to begin?

First of all, there’s no need to be nervous. Find a comfortable place to start—a culture or language that is attractive to you or an aspect of the traditions that fascinates you, a friend or personal ancestry. Most people are very receptive to respectful, curious inquiry. You can start with a language class, a set of movies, a traditional craft, sport, dish, or dance to learn, a local celebration—there are so many in the Bay Area—a trip that highlights a special festival or outstanding architecture. It’s important to be open, receptive, and non-judgmental. In finding out more about how things are done and thought about elsewhere else, you might be surprised and overjoyed to find a new way of being yourself!

Current Professional Activities:

Translation and editing of a new biography of Argentine-German missionary Pedro Kalbermatter (Twenty Years as a Missionary among the Natives of Peru), which was commissioned by his son, Alfredo.

Translation and editing of a biography of Argentine Francisco Hermógenes Ramos Mexía (1773-1828), a landowner known for his support of native rights and possibly the first Sabbath-keeper in the Americas.

The Twelve: PUC’s Student-Run Church Service

By Sarah Tanner

For over a year, PUC students have spearheaded a personalized, student-focused Sabbath worship service called The Twelve. Their mission is simple. Summarized by lead coordinator and junior English major, Leah Dopp, “Our goal is to develop an open spirit driven community that reflects the life and teaching of Jesus through discipleship.”

And, after five quarters of student-led worship services, it is clear their mission is a huge success.

Dopp, along with two of The Twelve’s veterans, heads a team of student leaders that meet weekly to create Saturday services for PUC’s student population. In a conversation with Leah over pad thai, she explained what makes The Twelve so special.

To tackle a project of this size, Dopp found it useful to delegate tasks, breaking down The Twelve into nine departments. Her team of student leaders includes coordinators for the various aspects of the service. Welcome and greetings are headed by Valerie Barraza and Hazel Labaco, respectively. Music is organized by Lydia Zebedeus. Nephta Marin heads PowerPoint slides during the service, and sound is coordinated by Nick Borchik. PR and treasury are organized by Stefaan Dick. Emily Castellanos is in charge of prayer, while Jayla Cruse directs stage management. And last, but definitely not least is the ever popular coffee ministry run by Audrey Uyemura, Kelly Kimura, and Jamie Nelson.

“Table meetings are held twice during the quarter to discuss big picture things, like speakers and any changes we want to make to the program,” Leah says. “We organize a list of students, faculty, alumni, and others who we feel would convey interesting messages during the service. Then, each student leader organizes contacts for their corresponding department and teams are formed. For example, music teams choose their songs based on the speaker’s topics so we can create continuity for the whole service.”

A typical Twelve service is fairly simple. Held at noon in Winning Hall’s Dauphinee Chapel every Saturday during the school year, visitors are greeted with coffee at the door and are then welcome to make their way to a seat. The service opens with a song followed by a brief welcome message. The worship team then performs two more songs which lead into a prayer or prayer activity that relates to the sermon. Following the message, welcome coordinators give announcements and the service is concluded.

“Our schedule is always open to changes; we want to keep things moving so we don’t get too sedentary,” says Dopp. “Right now we are playing with the idea of including a discussion time so people can reflect on the message of the service together.”

The Twelve’s name is meant to evoke a spirit of discipleship, as it calls forth the image of Jesus’ original followers. And this spirit of mentorship is present in virtually all facets of the service.

“In addition to the idea of student leaders acting as disciples through their running of the program, we also want to make sure that it is a lasting part of PUC’s legacy,” Dopp explained. “All leaders are constantly mentoring people to fill their position so that there is always someone able to step in and fill that role if needed.” She continues, “We are trying to get lots of people involved to carry on that spirit of mentorship. It doesn’t matter if they don’t have any experience; we’re here to teach.”

As The Twelve is student-run, it is also dependent on student feedback for the program’s growth and development. On this topic, Dopp made it clear, “We are always open to feedback. The Twelve is here to give the students what they want in a worship service, and to do that we need input; we strive to be an event that PUC wants to attend.”

Students looking to share ideas are encouraged to speak to any of the leaders mentioned above and can reach out via email to Leah directly at lmdopp@puc.edu or thetwelvepuc@gmail.com. The Twelve’s team is constantly looking for new speakers, contributors, and students to be involved in all aspects of the service.

“We’re really excited to see where this program will go. Our team’s dedication to creating a meaningful service is incredible.”

Dopp is right; The Twelve is something to be proud of, and it stands as a testament to the ability of students to make a meaningful impact on campus life.

Visit PUC This Winter!

Choosing what college to attend is a very important decision and one you shouldn’t make without doing a lot of research. What better way to research the colleges you’re considering than by visiting them? We would be thrilled to have you and your family come visit PUC! Take a campus tour given by one of our student ambassadors, sit in on a class, chat with a professor, eat in our cafeteria, walk around the charming nearby towns of St. Helena or Calistoga, AND if you plan in advance, join us for any of the following upcoming and exciting events.

Pioneers Athletics Games

PUC has six varsity sports teams: cross country, basketball, and volleyball for women; and cross country, basketball, and soccer for men. Throughout the year, we invite you to our gymnasium, nicknamed the “Covered Wagon,” or our soccer field to join the Pioneers Posse and cheer on our teams. Here’s a short list of a few upcoming games; for the full schedule, visit pioneersathletics.com.

  • December 15, 2018 – Pioneers Athletics vs. UC Merced, women’s at 6:30 p.m. & men’s at 8:30 p.m.
  • January 12, 2019 – Pioneers Athletics vs. CSU Maritime, women’s at 6:30 p.m. & men’s at 8:30 p.m.
  • January 17, 2019 – Pioneers Athletics vs. Embry-Riddle (AZ), women’s at 5:30 p.m. & men’s at 7:30 p.m.

Rasmussen Art Gallery Openings

If you’re interested in seeing some incredible works of art, you won’t want to miss the Rasmussen Art Gallery. Several times a quarter, a new exhibit opens at the college’s on-campus art gallery, which often features students, faculty, and other local artists. The opening reception is a chance to meet the artists, mingle with other guests, and enjoy some tasty snacks while appreciating the talent on display. If you can’t make it to one of the opening receptions, check with your tour guide to be sure to stop by and spend some time browsing during regular open hours.

  • January 12, 2019 – Opening Reception: Diana Majumdar, Halcyon, Encaustic, 7 p.m.
  • February 16, 2019 Opening Reception: Visual Arts Faculty Exhibition, 7 p.m.

For more information, visit the Rasmussen Art Gallery Facebook page.

Paulin Hall Music Concerts

PUC’s department of music has many concerts throughout the year; all of which are free to the public. The college has several ensembles that frequently perform, and there are usually multiple student recitals each quarter. For the Christmas holiday, there are several concerts we hope you can join us for!

  • December 6, 2018 – PUC String Ensemble Concert, 7 p.m.
  • December 7, 2018 – PUC Music Department Christmas Concert, 8 p.m.
  • December 8, 2018 – PUC Music Department Christmas Concert, 4 p.m.

Contact the department of music for more information; call (707) 965-6201 or email music@puc.edu.

Special Guest Lectures / Colloquies

Each year PUC is honored to host a myriad of interesting and knowledgeable guest lecturers. From our annual Civil Rights Lecture, our bi-annual Heubach lecture, and our bi-weekly colloquy speakers, there’s always something interesting in the lineup.

  • January 17, 2019 – Colloquy: Martin Luther King Jr. Remembrance, 10 a.m.
  • February 21, 2019 – Colloquy: Dr. Scott Nelson, 10 a.m.
  • February 28, 2019 – Heubach Lectureship Series: Dr. Jan Paulsen, 7 p.m.
  • March 7, 2019 – Colloquy: Career Day, 10 a.m. (followed by the annual Career Fair)
  • March 9, 2019 – Annual Lecture of the Percy & John Christian Civil Rights Conference Center, 4 p.m.

For more information about these events, check out the college’s calendar at puc.edu/calendar.

Join Us For February College Days!

Several times a year, we host special visitation events called College Days. College Days is a jam-packed event where you will experience PUC with other visiting students. In addition to campus visit standards like touring the campus, talking with a professor in your major of interest, and eating in our Dining Commons, it’s a great opportunity to get a glimpse into what it’s really like to be a student at PUC as you stay in one of the residence halls and attend social and academic events.

We hope you can make plans to join us for College Days on February 10-12, 2019. Register now!

For more information about College days and other ways to visit, check out puc.edu/visitors.

We can spend hours explaining what we think makes life at PUC so unique but there’s no better way than by experiencing it firsthand, so schedule your visit today! Before you arrive, be sure to apply and send in your admissions documents for a quick acceptance! It will make your visit even more special as you officially become a member of the Pioneers family.