#FacultyFriday: Meet Sandra Ringer

Some people aren’t sure what they want to do with their lives, even while they’re studying in college. But Sandra Ringer, the newest member of the department of nursing, has known virtually all her life what her career would be. We sat down with Professor Ringer to learn more about her and her passion for what she does. Welcome to the team, professor!

Name: Sandra Ringer
Title: Assistant Professor of Nursing
Email: sringer@puc.edu
Faculty since: 2018

Fall Quarter Class: Theory & Clinical for Nursing III (NURS 125)

Education: A.S. in nursing, Southern Adventist University; B.S. in nursing, Grand Canyon State University; M.S. in nursing with an emphasis in leadership in health care, Grand Canyon University

Where was home before now?

Prior to coming to PUC, I lived in Alberta, Canada, where my husband, David, was the administrative residence hall dean at Burman University. The licensing and visa laws for out-of-country schooled nurses were complicated so I could not get my nursing licenses immediately. The situation prompted me to go back to school. I worked in the IT department at Burman University while going to school full time.

Why did you choose to teach at PUC?

Short answer: God’s leading. Here’s a longer answer! It became evident to my husband and I that becoming licensed as a nurse in Canada was not going to happen for a long time and I was very concerned about being out of clinical practice. We began to earnestly pray for God’s leading. I considered moving back to the U.S. while my husband was in Canada, but neither of us liked that very much! There were several viable job options we found, but either they fell through or we felt strongly that we needed to wait. This past spring, staff members at PUC began talking to us about job possibilities. We felt God leading us toward this fantastic school. It’s also a bonus we are now only seven hours from our oldest son!

You obviously really love what you do; what originally drew you into nursing?

At the age of 10, I found an old book on our bookshelves called “Whispering Halls.” It was about a nurse and her journey at Washington Adventist Hospital in the 1940s. There was something in this book that lit a spark regarding the nursing profession, and I knew that when I grew up, I wanted to be a nurse.

What about when you’re not in the classroom or your office? What are some of your hobbies?

Traveling and exploring new areas, cooking, baking, singing, reading, and spending time with my awesome family.

One last thing: What’s something people may be surprised to learn about you?

I am a certified scuba diver! I love to snorkel or scuba dive in warm-water climates.

Resonance: Artist Carla Crawford to Exhibit Work at Rasmussen Art Gallery

By Becky St. Clair

The Rasmussen Art Gallery on the campus of Pacific Union College in Angwin welcomes Carla Crawford as the first visiting artist in the Rasmussen’s 2018-19 season. Crawford holds a double major in art studio and Italian from UC Davis and a teaching degree in art education from San Francisco State University. Her medium of choice being oil paints, visitors to her exhibition in the Rasmussen can expect to enjoy 23 paintings and drawings including portraits, landscapes, interiors, and still lifes.

The community is invited to join Crawford for an opening reception of her show, “Resonance,” at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13. There will be an artist talk and opportunity to chat with Crawford while enjoying her work.

We had the opportunity to speak with Crawford about her experience as an artist, her inspiration, and her aspirations.

Tell us about your experience with art education.

Well, I completed my undergraduate studies at UC Davis where I studied under the painter Wayne Thiebaud. While I had been painting for years, Dr. Thiebaud introduced me to color theory and composition design for the first time and encouraged me to study abroad through the UC program at the Academy of Art in Bologna, Italy, where I ended up spending two years in exchange, the most formative years of my life. There I was pushed with brutal critiques to work harder than I ever had as a painter.

While the Academy in Bologna is a postmodern-leaning school, in Italy I was surrounded by the rich history of Italian painting, something that completely captivated me. I stayed in Italy after graduating, teaching art and art history, but my love of traditional European painting eventually led me to realize I needed to go back to the States to get the classical training I so wanted as a painter.

Returning home, I moved to New York City to undertake a course of study at the Grand Central Atelier under the direction of Jacob Collins. For four years I spent 8-11 hours a day in front of the figure and the portrait studying drawing, anatomy, and classical painting techniques. I delved into the work. There was and is so much to learn about painting and in the Atelier I was able to immerse myself in rigorous visual training in tradition of mindful observation I so wanted. This is something I continue to explore in my painting practice in the studio today.

Going back even further, when did you first feel the spark of inspiration as an artist?

I have loved drawing and painting since I was little. I have always enjoyed working with my hands, and painting is such a physical and tactile activity. The ability of value, color, and texture to create a three-dimensional illusion on a two-dimensional surface has always been interesting to me.

What are some of your regular artistic inspirations?

I draw my inspiration from the natural world with all of its nuances and variations. As Edouard Manet said, “A painter can say all he wants to with fruits and flowers.” In a culture where we are constantly bombarded with images, I am interested in slowing down and mindfully observing my subject material with all its subtleties until I can really see it. As a painter, my interest is primarily in small scenes of daily intimacy and in the studio I find myself drawn to subjects that capture introspective moments: times of rest, naps, half-eaten food, or the face of a friend absorbed in thought. I work primarily from life which gives me the opportunity to connect in a personal and direct way with my models and subject material.

How does your personal history relate to the art you create?

I always paint subjects I have a connection to and resonate with me on an emotional level. Often this is my family and friends but also objects and places I find meaningful. My work often centers around themes of intimism and memory.

Who are some other artists do you admire, and why?

I am inspired by the work of many great naturalists painters but Vermeer continues to be someone I turn to again and again in the studio to understand light, color, and atmosphere in paint. The emotional connection and the empathy he conveys with his models is also something I deeply respect and aspire to in my own work.

Tell us about an artistic skill you’d like to learn or improve.

Painting is such a complex skill that the painter is never finished studying, the learning is never done, and you never “arrive.” This is one of the reasons why I love it. For me, it is a lifelong pursuit. After years of studying, painting, and teaching I still keep a long list of things I want to understand better and painters with whom I want to study. Currently, I am researching composition design in the studio, something that I believe the painter can devote years of study to.

Meet Dean Kristi Horn

When you arrive at PUC and begin exploring your new home away from home, you’ll likely want to know just who is in charge of your living space. We’ve made that easy for you! Over the next few weeks, we’ll be featuring all of our residence hall deans here on the blog so you can get to know them. And if you need to contact them, feel free to reach out!

Name: Kristi Horn
Dean of: McReynolds Hall
Phone: (707) 965-7478
Email: khorn@puc.edu
Dean since: 2003

So what were you doing when you decided to accept this job?

I lived and worked in Temecula and San Diego, working for a non-profit residential/foster care facility as a therapist for abused and neglected children and adolescents.

Tell me about a typical day for you in McReynolds.                      

I try to enjoy leisurely mornings because once I step out the door, I will hit the ground running to committee meetings, lunch with my awesome coworkers, driving my mom here and there, appointments with my students and deans staff, making time for exercise and fun time, all with the goal of leaving my office by 11 p.m. Once I’m home for the night, I spend some time with God, and then curl up with my cat and a good book.

What you love the most about your job?

The long-term relationships with students and coworkers, watching students grow and mature from year to year, and looking back and seeing growth within myself.

So in that rare free moment, what do you enjoy doing?

Reading, hiking, trips to the coast, going on random drives with no destination in mind.

What do you love most about PUC?                                        

Location, location, location!                        

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?        

Veterinarian

What did you study in college, and where did you go?   

I earned a B.A. in psychology from Southern Adventist University, and then an M.S. in marriage and family therapy from Loma Linda University.

What are some things on your bucket list?          

I want to be a contestant on The Price is Right, I would love to do a driving/hiking tour around Ireland, and I want to own my own home.

Fair warning: We’re gonna get personal here. Name something you obsessively collect and tell me why.       

Books! You can find so much diversity in books. They’re fun and challenging and take me to places I can only dream about. They teach me and stretch my imagination and encourage me to be a better person. They give me the courage to stand up for my relationship with God and for what I believe to be right. (I have at least 500 actual books and probably another 200+ on my phone. I’ve read about 90 percent of them.)

Wow! Okay, out of all the books you’ve read, tell me about one that changed your life and/or your worldview.         

Saint Ben, by John Fischer.

#FacultyFriday: Meet Kiwon Kwak

We’d like to introduce you to Kiwon Kwak, PUC’s newest faculty member in the department of exercise science. He brings to the position his experience in personal training and a passion for physical health that spills over into everything he does. As a graduate of PUC, he’s familiar with our campus and our hill, and we are happy to welcome him back as an instructor. Welcome home, Kiwon!

Name: Kiwon Kwak
Title: Instructor of Exercise Science
Email: kikwak@puc.edu
Faculty since: 2018

Fall Quarter Classes: Elementary Weight Training, Physical Fitness, Fitness for Life, Physiology of Exercise, Intro to Kinesiology

Education: B.S. in exercise science, Pacific Union College; M.S. in kinesiology—exercise science, California Baptist University

What drew you into your current profession?

To be completely honest, I didn’t know I wanted to become a professor until fairly recently. During my time at PUC, I worked as a tutor for the Teaching & Learning Center and loved helping students learn and building relationships with students. I wanted to not only help my tutees (yes that is a real word) academically, but also mentor them through life with relationships, jobs, passions, hobbies, etc. After I graduated from PUC, I went straight into personal training and coaching, and really enjoyed educating and teaching people about fitness and health, but got frustrated with the business side of training. I still continue to train individuals in my free time, but my true passion lies in teaching future generations about strength and conditioning, exercise physiology, and health/fitness.

Why did you choose to teach at PUC?

During my senior year here, I remember my professors telling me they could see me going to grad school to do research or possibly even teach. At this point I hadn’t even thought about applying or going to school and was focused solely on training. I remember on graduation day I was talking to my exercise science professors, telling them had I applied for graduate school and wanted to go into teaching, and they had nothing but words of encouragement for me. They even jokingly said they might see me back at PUC one day—and here I am! I’m glad to be back and I hope to educate and inspire my students to pursue their passions, just as my professors at PUC did for me.

So you’re not new to the area, but what are some things that have changed between when you were a student and now?

Nothing major has changed since I’ve been here, and I appreciate that. The one thing that did surprise me was they serve real meat in the market. I never thought I’d see the day!

When you’re not in the classroom or your office, what do you enjoy doing?

I have a bunch of different hobbies. The biggest one is definitely working out. If I’m not in my office or teaching a class, I’m most likely in the weight room. I’m also a bit of a nerd, so anything related to tech, computers, gaming, and movies I really enjoy. I also love the outdoors, so as many weekends as I can, I try to go camping, white water rafting, fishing, boating, recreational shooting, and exploring nature.

So what were you doing prior to coming here to teach?

For the past three years I’ve been living in Loma Linda, running my own personal training/strength and conditioning business while attending grad school full time.

Tell us something we may be surprised to learn about you.

I was actually born in Seoul, South Korea, and moved to the U.S. when I was about five years old. I started kindergarten here so I basically grew up here, but during my childhood I grew up speaking both Korean and English. Nowadays, I mostly speak English and consider that my primary language, but I do speak Korean somewhat fluently. Unlike many Korean Americans I know, I’m not very big into Korean culture such as KPOP and Korean dramas, but I do enjoy Korean food, including Korean BBQ!

A Conversation with Fall Revival Speaker Josue Hernandez

By Becky St. Clair

Josue Hernandez is in the middle of his third year of ministry as associate pastor at the Modesto Central Seventh-day Adventist Church. He graduated from Pacific Union College in 2015 with a degree in theology and will begin MDiv classes in January. “I wanted to be a pastor to ensure the voices of young people are heard in the life of the church,” Josue says.

Beginning Oct. 8, Pastor Josue will be sharing some spiritual insights and food for thought during Fall Revival at PUC. Join us every evening Oct. 8-12 at 8:00 in Dauphinee Chapel in Winning Hall, and at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 11, in the PUC sanctuary for Colloquy, to hear him speak on PUC’s Student Association’s theme of “Beyond.” Pastor Josue adds, “This theme really resonates with what I believe to be part of life’s most rewarding elements: Our ability to grow, step out of our comfort zone, and embrace the stress and tension that growth thrives on.”

We chatted a bit with Josue to get an idea of the kind of guy he is, and the verdict is he’s pretty great. We look forward to hearing what he has to say for Fall Revival.

You’re still experiencing the “new” of your career; what has surprised you about being a pastor?

In my experience, churches can be very open to new ideas when they line up with a fresh, well-communicated vision of what the church could be. For example, instead of having an extended evangelistic series we offered a one-weekend presentation on the power of hope to our community, wrapped up by a Sunday morning project where we partnered with Rise Against Hunger to package thousands of meals for families who needed them in the Philippines. Seeing the full spectrum of ages, including a few non-Adventist community members, working together toward the same goal was inspiring.

I’ve also led out in a 2-month sermon series called “Messy Church” while preaching in jeans and a t-shirt, purchased a drum set for our church, redesigned our youth room, and launched a teen leadership program. All new projects our church has fully embraced as part of our new identity. This has been a refreshing revelation because it shows churches are willing to step out of their comfort zone to share the Good News.

Tell us about your college years. What was your experience as a PUC student?

I thoroughly enjoyed the three years I spent at PUC. I was involved with SOL Club, joined the soccer team my senior year, and loved being a part of intramurals. My favorite class was beginning Greek (shoutout to Dr. Winkle for making that class such a positive learning experience) because I’ve always been drawn to different languages. I changed my major once from mechanical engineering to theology when I transferred to PUC, but If I had spent a little more time at PUC I would’ve picked up a second major in communications or business.

I had several roommates at PUC. Each one of them very different. I never really had any issue getting used to having a roommate but for some reason, they never stayed the whole year, not sure if it was them or me, except for Timmy Baze who I roomed with my first year—what a brave soul. PUC embraced me as family, so being away from home was probably tougher on my parents than on me. I missed the homemade food the most. My favorite meal in the cafeteria is still Friday morning bliss—biscuits and gravy! To get away from campus, I’d take trips down the hill to In-N-Out, Giugni’s, Sherpa … my mouth waters just thinking about those places! And of course, the back 40! Great place for a hike or a run to Inspiration Point with friends to burn off the calories from the cafeteria food.

What job did you have in college?

My first and only job at PUC (aside from Religious VP for the Student Association) was working for the alumni and advancement office as a student caller to our alumni, keeping them in touch with the latest on life at PUC and assisting with any other projects the office had, including the Maxwell Golf Tournament and Homecoming events.

Life didn’t start in college, though. Where did you grow up, and what were you like as a kid?

I was born and raised in Los Angeles. I played a lot of sports; soccer and basketball were my favorites. I also took a couple of years of piano lessons and began playing guitar.

How many siblings do you have?

Many people are surprised when I mention I have a sister, Dalia, who was at PUC during my last two years there. She graduated from PUC with a degree in biology this summer and I’m super proud of her!

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I honestly don’t really remember! But I enjoyed playing with fire trucks and legos, so maybe a firefighter or architect.

What was your experience with church and worship as a kid?

I rarely missed a weekend at church growing up. My parents were intentional about ensuring we had a positive experience getting involved with a variety of church activities such as camping trips, family events, social gatherings, etc. Church is actually where I began to develop a joy for service and fellowship. Worship has been a source of great inspiration for me through all these years and has helped me tap into a clearer picture of God’s vision for my life.

We all have defining moments in our lives—moments we can’t forget and have shaped in a significant way the person we are today. What are two of your defining moments?

The first was definitely transferring to PUC from UC Davis. A lot was happening during my freshman year at UC Davis I had to deal with personally. I was beginning to grapple with who I really wanted to be in life, questioning whether or not I belonged at UC Davis, and dealing with high school relationship baggage. There were times where I felt I didn’t have what it would take to be a successful person on such a competitive campus. If you’ve heard of Impostor Syndrome you understand there are times when we second-guess our accomplishments. We feel if we accomplished something it was because the bar was set lower for us or for any other reason other than our own effort, especially as a Latino.

Transferring to PUC was a breath of fresh air. It reminded me I did belong. My achievements were meaningful and the community on this campus helped cement my identity. I ran for and served as RVP from 2014-15 which turned out to be one of the most positive learning experiences I’ve had in life. I am the first in my family to graduate with a college degree here in the United States and PUC will always have a special place in my heart for helping me get there.

And the second: Accepting the call to be a pastor in Modesto. Taking the next step after college is never an easy thing to do. After spending three years at PUC I fell in love with Northern California. I really wanted to stay close to campus because of all the friends that still remained there. It was a Friday evening before Vespers that I accepted the offer to serve as the associate pastor at Modesto Central. I thought I’d be at peace but I wasn’t. A couple weeks later the leadership team of the Southeastern California Conference reached out to me for a second round of interviews to meet the rest of the team. I began to wonder if I had made the right decision. Fast-forward three years, and looking back I am glad I made the choice to come to Modesto.

The fall after I graduated from PUC was the toughest because I missed the PUC community, friends, Vespers, classes—everything but the homework, ha!—and everyone seemed to be posting about moving back in for the start of the new year while I was in a new place with only a couple of people I knew well, I was thankful to be doing meaningful work with lots of potential. I spent one year out of the three I’ve worked here serving as the interim lead pastor when our senior pastor at the time took a call to a different church. I’ve been challenged to grow in so many areas and the people in this community have been so supportive and generous with me. I’ve made many meaningful relationships with the young people here including several who are now PUC students. I’ve discovered God works out all things for good. Learning to trust the process has given me a new awareness about my own boundaries God wants me to go beyond.

Being a pastor is a 24/7 job, essentially, but when you do find a few moments of free time, what do you enjoy doing?

I put a team together to play in a community co-ed soccer league that plays all year ‘round, and it’s been a blast! I also enjoy a good workout in the gym while listening to podcasts ranging from Revisionist History to the Bible Project, and reading anything by Malcolm Gladwell. And let’s be honest: Netflix after a long day is just icing on the cake.

Where is your favorite place in the world and why?

Anywhere with friends. This year I’ve spent some time in Spain, France, Bolivia, Israel, and Mexico. On all these trips, I’ve gone with different groups of friends and family. Each of these trips has had their challenges but the time spent being present and savoring the moment in front of us while sharing it with people we care about has been priceless. No matter where you go, you are surrounded by extraordinary people. Sometimes it just takes a readjusting of our attitude toward the world to see the opportunities to make meaningful memories around us. Then we pause to realize we are only just scratching the surface and dive deeper into the present.

If you could dream up the best possible outcome of this year’s Fall Revival at PUC, what would it be?

My goal is to remind the students of truths they know deep inside, truths they may have lost sight of along the way, and to challenge us all to go beyond surface level living into the depths of life that await us. The best possible outcome, from my perspective, would be for students to walk away with a better understanding of what it means to be human.

Why do you think events like this are important for college campuses?

I think they really help to recalibrate our purpose and vision in life. They inspire us to be the best version of ourselves and remind us of truths about ourselves and our relationship with the Divine we often forget with all the things vying for our attention.

If you’re interested in chatting with Pastor Josue about his talks or just about life in general, feel free to catch him after the Revival meetings or even stop him along the sidewalk. He’s on-campus all week and happy to chat with anyone who’s interested.

Meet Dean Juan Hidalgo

When you arrive at PUC and begin exploring your new home away from home, you’ll likely want to know just who is in charge of your living space. We’ve made that easy for you! Over the next few weeks, we’ll be featuring all of our residence hall deans here on the blog so you can get to know them all. And if you need to contact them, feel free to reach out!

Name: Juan Hidalgo
Dean of: Grainger Hall
Phone: (707) 965-6387
Email: jmhidalgo@puc.edu
Dean since: 2017

What were you doing prior to being hired as dean?

I was finishing my degrees here at PUC in psychology, Spanish, and nursing.

What does a typical day look like for you?

7:30 – wake up
8:00 – workout
9:00 – breakfast
9:30 – house/office work
12:00 – lunch
1:00 – siesta
2:00-5:00 – office/house/errands
6:00 – dinner
7:00 – night workout (basketball/sauna/run in back 40)
8:00-11:30 – Uber driving
Midnight – bedtime

What do you find most challenging about your work?

I think the most challenging part would have to be explaining to other people all the things deans do.

What do you find most rewarding?

When students see we are truly here to help, not to hinder.

What are some of your hobbies?

I have a lot, but most of them are pretty active. I enjoy getting outside and moving, so some of my favorite hobbies are sports (Ultimate Frisbee, basketball, golf, football, disc golf), photography, music (guitar, ukulele, harmonica), exploring, and adrenaline-rich activities. I also really enjoy sleeping.

What do you love most about PUC?

I absolutely love the family dynamic we have. We are a little (okay, very) dysfunctional at times and may not always get along, but there is something special about being up on this hill with everyone that brings us together. We have laughed together, cried together, fought with each other; but at the end of the day, there is something very uniting about knowing someone else has gone to PUC and in turn, is also part of the family.

So, you earned three degrees here at PUC. What was it you wanted to be when you were a kid?

Honestly, I wanted to be a grown-up. Now I regret it all. Haha!

What are some things on your bucket list—some you’ve checked off and some you’re still working toward/hoping for?

On my bucket list can be found a lot of traveling; I have always wanted to explore Africa and China. But some of the specific things I still have to do on my list are as follows:

Deep-sea shark cage diving
Attend an Andrea Bocelli concert
Meet Kobe Bryant
Launch my own photography business
Complete an IronMan
Earn Ph.D.
Visit the Pyramids of Giza
Play my harmonica on Bourbon Street in New Orleans
Climb Half Dome
Visit all of the Disneylands

Some of the specific things from my list I’ve done already:

Graduate college
Skydiving (x4)
Watch “Gladiator” in the Coliseum
Win the TV show Fear Factor Live
View Africa from the rock of Gibraltar
Stand in center field at Chavez Ravine aka Dodgers Stadium

Name something you obsessively collect and tell me why.

I collect instruments; I love to challenge myself to play new ones. I may not be good, but I love to try!

Welcome Back to PUC!

The summer months can be fun, relaxing, productive even; however, once September comes, we really start to miss having students running around campus. New Student Orientation was a blast and we have had so much fun spending the first week of the school year getting to know each other during classes and tons of fun activities.

The #RockDoc PUC president Dr. Bob Cushman and his rock. This is a fun new place to snap a quick pic and keep your eye out for new rock-designs throughout the year.

The Student Association team praying for the new school year during family orientation.

Off to the Alumni dinner!

The class of 2022 playing games and getting to know each other their first night at PUC.

Pancakes with your professors! A fun way to get to know the people who will teach your classes over a yummy breakfast.

PUC’s student-led praise team spreading God’s word through song.

The welcome back party was a great time to get to know each other and to find which clubs you want to be a part of!

We just want to say a huge WELCOME BACK to all our students and wish everyone a fantastic school year.