PUC in Pictures: Spring 2019 Edition

Now that the dust has settled on Maxwell Commons after another graduation, we’re taking a moment to look back at some of the special moments over the past few months that made this spring quarter unforgettable. We also wish all of our graduates a huge congratulations and God’s richest blessings—we can’t wait to see what you do next!

View this post on Instagram

💖the heart of campus💖

A post shared by Pacific Union College (@pucnow) on

View this post on Instagram

Gorgeous spring days ☀️

A post shared by Pacific Union College (@pucnow) on

Remember—You can follow PUC on Instagram and browse through some of our hashtags for a closer look at student life at PUC. #PUCNow and #PUCAdventures are good places to start!

We hope you have a great summer break and we can’t wait to see all of you back on campus in September!

Nature Photography Day is for the Trees!

Nature Photography Day was this past weekend, June 15th! The North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA) created this day in 2006 as a way to encourage people to learn and enjoy capturing the beauty of nature through their cameras. One of the best things about attending PUC is being surrounded by incredible natural beauty. From the coast to the mountains, there’s so much to see and photograph while you’re here. So let’s take a look at some of our favorite #PUCAdventures.

View this post on Instagram

Gonna miss foggy mornings in the valley 🌫

A post shared by Cameron Mitchell (@camnmitch) on

View this post on Instagram

#SecondFavoriteTree

A post shared by Dana Negro (@imdanacorinne) on

To see more beautiful photos of life at the College on the Mountain, follow us on Instagram at @PUCNow.

A Conversation with Bethany, PUC’s Campus Chronicle Editor

By Becky St. Clair

Bethany greets everyone who enters her office with a warm smile and an enthusiastic handshake, immediately establishing herself as a confident, approachable professional. You may never guess she was only a freshman when she was elected to the position.

Many characteristics set Bethany apart from other students, not the least of which are her thoughtful eloquence, competent leadership, and gracious demeanor. One of the few non-seniors to serve as the editor-in-chief for the Campus Chronicle, Bethany filled her role with gusto and poise, framing a vision and skillfully guiding her team as they made that vision reality. Here, Bethany reflects with us on her year serving PUC as its lead student communicator.

What inspired you to pursue being the CC editor?

Since 2015, I’ve intentionally taken a yearly risk or challenge to learn a new skill, travel somewhere new, or understand a subject. So, selfishly, I had so many ideas and plans for what the CC could become it was impossible to resist the challenge.

What did you find most rewarding about your CC work?

It is incredibly rewarding to see writers hone their craft, learn to edit and critique their work, and publish articles with which the campus resonates. It’s a really special thing for the CC to be the platform from which to affirm students’ hard work and accomplishments. As a campus, we’re stronger when we support each other, I believe, and I love that the CC can be a part of that process.

You’ve talked about growing your team and your vision for building the CC; tell us about your own personal growth as editor.

I’m a very evidence-based person and I like to know something is certain. Being editor is very uncertain. Last-minute things happen, budget changes, writers drop out, deadlines are missed. Having faith that things are possible even through uncertainty makes it possible to achieve a desirable outcome.

I have also gained a sense of self-assurance in this job. Being pushed to do something foreign and difficult shows me what I’m capable of doing, and I see my team members experiencing this as well.

Who is someone who has had a major impact on your leadership?

Professor Lynne Thew, as the CC faculty advisor, is a stickler for details and holds herself and our editorial team to a very high standard. Through example and mentoring, she’s taught me that a leader sets vision but also steps into the nitty-gritty process of seeing that vision through. I’m deeply indebted to her, both as a friend and role model.

What are some things you’d list under “accomplishments” as editor?

  • Growth of editorial team: from 5-10 members to 20-25 members
  • Consistent schedule this year: 12 issues
  • Competitive in the David L. Apple Awards
  • Transitioned to traditional newspaper format
  • The majority of stories published are on-campus news
  • Recognized by faculty in Letters to the Editor
  • Increased social media recognition on campus
  • Increase in both alumni and on-campus donor support

In what ways would you say this position gave you confidence and strength as a person and a leader?

It’s not easy to take on opportunities that look too enormous to manage, but as a result, I have a greater dignity in and understanding of my capabilities, as well as a greater measure of self-respect. So, as a female leader, I’ve also felt more empowered to inhabit a space of leadership without feeling like an imposter.

This experience also taught me the power of a hard-working team. We have incredibly talented students from many departments working on the CC, and as a leader I recognize now that our strength lies in unity and common vision.

Why do you think it is important to allow student voices to be heard—even when those voices may be challenging the status quo and making some people uncomfortable?

Freedom of speech is an incredible privilege Western journalism has had a right to for some time. In the age of “fake news” and constant ideological propaganda, I think it is important for students to develop an ability to think critically, compose an evidence-based argument, and approach an issue from a valid angle. Proverbs says, “in a multitude of counselors lies wisdom.” I like to think that a variety of opinions, albeit sometimes uncomfortable ones, helps us collectively to arrive at a measure of truth.

What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time?

Stay humble. Leadership is not a status symbol but a call to serve. You’re there to make your team shine and call out their potential to accomplish a worthy goal. Admit your mistakes, seek advice from trusted mentors, and don’t recklessly dismiss their wisdom for the sake of novel theory. Also, be kind and love your team. If you care about your team members beyond what they can do for the team, that’s the definition of love.

We’ve come a long way in the last couple of decades toward gender equality in the workplace, but there are still some challenges women in leadership positions face. Which challenges do you think are the most crucial to address?

It is crucial to address the imposter syndrome many women feel in positions of leadership—myself included. Especially if women come from a religio-social conservative background, they feel their position of leadership is not valid, is not recognized by their spiritual community, or is tangential to their expected social role. It will be a continuous challenge for women to boldly inhabit their space of leadership, and serve their team with poise.

Create a Bond with Nature

By Kelly Dixon

Every morning I wake up in bright sunlight and refreshing air. I can feel the wind blowing through the window into my room. I take a deep breath to start my day. Wow! What a nice feeling, so refreshing. When you take a look outside, you can see many trees standing high above the ground, and their leaves still wet from the morning dew. You walk outside the building, sun shining onto your face and body, surrounded by reams of flowers as you walk through.

There are tons of activities available for students at PUC who want to be productive for the day. For example, taking a hike to the Back 40s or taking a walk to Linda Falls with friends is a significant activity to enjoy. There are plenty of flowers, trees, and animals to view in the Back 40s. It is a fantastic place to have alone time with God, especially in the morning. It is one of my favorite places to go when having a bad day or wanting to spend time with friends.

Linda Falls to me is considered one of my favorite places to be. There is a waterfall and in front of the waterfall sits a huge rock where you can lay on to relax. While relaxing on the rock, you can hear many different animals around you, especially hearing birds calling to their friends or family. Don’t feel like hiking? Well, there are plenty of grassy areas for you to sit, which can be a great place to sit and talk to friends. While talking to friends, you can still enjoy the sun shining on you and your friends; tall trees give a little shade so you won’t be too heated. Nature here is satisfying to be around and a great place to worship God.

Thinking of Transferring? Apply to PUC Today!

We’re glad you’re interested in transferring to Pacific Union College! PUC is a vibrant and Christ-centered community where you will discover and prepare for your calling. No matter your interests, there is assuredly a place for you on our beautiful campus. We accept transfer students at any point in their program, so don’t worry about completing a certain number of credits before transferring. We would be thrilled to have you join our Pioneer family!

Apply to PUC now!

Why should you consider transferring to PUC?

PUC has over 70 degrees & programs

With so many options to choose from, whatever your passion, we have something for you, from aviation to film to environmental studies. PUC’s largest programs are nursing, business administration, biology, exercise science, and visual arts. Our graduates are primed for success and are working in many exciting areas, including Stanford University, Google, Buzzfeed, Apple, Lucasfilm, Airbnb, Loma Linda University, LinkedIn, and more.

Browse the Academics category on the blog to read more about PUC’s programs!

PUC offers the academic support you need to succeed

There are several invaluable academic resources at your disposal when you’re a PUC student. If you’re struggling with something, it’s important to remember you aren’t alone. There are people in place who are available to answer your questions or provide you with information — you only need to ask for help. The Teaching & Learning Center (TLC) offers free group tutoring Sunday through Thursday for more than 25 different courses, ranging from business to languages to science. There’s even a writing lab available to students who would like input and direction on writing papers, which is awesome! PUC also has a disabilities support coordinator who can work with students who need certain accommodations. Our Career & Counseling Center has a career counselor who loves talking with students about career options as well as helping with resume preparation, interview skills, and more.

You will also find your professors to be an invaluable resource as you progress on your academic journey. With a 12:1 student-teacher ratio, your professors will know you. The one-on-one attention you receive in and out of the classroom will help make you a much more successful student. You will also be assigned an advisor in the area you’re studying. For example, if you’re planning to study business, your advisor will be a professor in the department of business (helpful, right?). Your advisor knows the ins and outs of their department’s programs and will be a great source for any questions you have about what classes you should take, what major you should consider for your career path, and more. Every quarter your advisor will need to approve your schedule, which is a great safety net for making sure you stay on track to complete your degree.

Learn more about academic support services at PUC!

PUC is small enough to get involved yet large enough to have opportunities

One of the advantages of attending a liberal arts college like PUC is it’s large enough to have countless leadership opportunities and special events, yet it’s small enough where you can get involved with as much as you want. You can serve as a Student Association officer, on the Student Senate, or as a resident assistant in one of the residence halls. You can also start a praise team or join a campus ministry group, or you can make an impact in places like Fiji, Nicaragua, Brazil, and more by going on a short or long term mission trip. Whatever you’re interested in, there’s something for you at PUC.

See photos from PUC’s spring break mission trip to Kenya!

PUC is a spiritual community

Fostering your relationship with God is a priceless reason to choose PUC. You will find yourself studying, living, and serving with Adventist professors and peers who share your faith and values. Not only will you receive a Christian education, but you will also develop relationships that will last for eternity. Every member of the Pioneers family cares about each student’s individual spiritual journey, and campus leaders are committed to meeting students where they are on their walk with Christ. Whether or not you live in one of the college’s residence halls, you will find PUC to have a very close-knit community atmosphere.

Learn more about PUC’s special community of faith and learning!

PUC is possible

Since 1882, Pacific Union College has been charged with an important mission: providing an excellent Seventh-day Adventist education that prepares students for successful careers and service to both God and others. We are committed to working together with you and your family to make a high-quality Adventist college experience possible. Each year, PUC awards over $30 million in financial aid to our students. This year, we are proud to announce a new scholarship, just for transfer students, called the Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) Scholarship, worth $1,500, in recognition of community college students who wish to earn a baccalaureate degree from a four-year institution. It is awarded to transfer students who are graduating from a California community college with an Associate in Arts for Transfer (AA-T) or an Associate in Science for Transfer (AS-T).

Check out all the scholarships PUC offers to see what you may qualify for!

Well, what are you waiting for? Apply to PUC now!

Questions about the application process for transfer students? Call (800) 862-7080, option 2 or email admissions@puc.edu to get connected with an admissions counselor to learn more. We’re ready to help you discover your calling and God’s plan for your life, every step of the way.

Give Intramurals a Go

By Samantha Yee

“I won’t run if you don’t run,” says the girl guarding me. I look at her, look down the field, look back at her and take off sprinting toward the end zone. “Aww man!” I hear her sigh as she gives her last burst of energy to chase me. I look down the field as my teammate hucks the disk around his defender straight down the sideline. I jump, feel the frisbee graze my fingertips and snatch it out of the air. My chest is heaving and I’m bent over in exhaustion as the girl guarding me comes to give me a high-five.

Never in my life would I have envisioned myself playing ultimate frisbee. Never in my life had the prospect of chasing a disk in itch-inducing grass seemed appealing. Never in my life did I think I would play a sport that involved this much running. I. HATE. RUNNING. Yet, there’s something exhilarating in pushing beyond your limits. Not just the limits of your lung capacity, but the limits of your comfort zone. Granted, I know that seems trite, but, in all seriousness, get yourself out there!

When I came to PUC as a freshman, I had no friends. Not a single one. I came from a massive public high school and I was surprised and somewhat disheartened to find when I got here, everyone already knew one another from Bible Camp, leadership conferences, College Days, or other Adventist academy-related events. I was determined to get to know people at school, upperclassmen included. Thankfully, my admissions counselor suggested I take ultimate frisbee as a fun aerobic class, which led to me meeting some amazing upperclassmen friends who asked me to join their intramural frisbee team and encouraged me to take part in other intramural sports.

Intramurals is a huge part of campus life at PUC. Whether you’re a master of a sport or you’ve never played, a D1 player or an A for effort player, intramural sports are a great way to make friends, gets active, challenge yourself, and have fun. Currently, PUC offers a variety of intramural sports beyond ultimate frisbee, including volleyball, pickleball, badminton, kickball, futsal, and a handful of others. Whether you decide to play all of the sports or just one, I encourage you to try something new and give intramurals a go. There’s so much to get involved in at  PUC and intramurals are just one part of student life, but give it a go. You just might win a championship t-shirt.

A Look at PUC’s Mission Trip to Kenya

This past spring break, March 22 through April 1, a group of 30 students from PUC went to serve in Kenya on a mission trip, along with several faculty and staff. The group helped with the construction of a secondary school for women and painting a new non-denominational Bible training center, along with teaching Vacation Bible School at a primary school and assisting in a nearby health clinic.

“It was a spectacular trip! I’m pleased PUC provides many opportunities for students to travel to distant destinations, learn about diverse environments and cultures, serve developing communities, and share their love of God with others,” says Dr. Floyd Hayes, professor of biology, and one of the faculty who went on the trip.

What made this mission trip particularly unique was students could also receive academic credit for either Field Biology or Vertebrate Biology, taught by Dr. Hayes, as the African environment offered a wealth of learning opportunities of organisms, species, and ecosystems, quite different from what students were used to studying in Northern California.  

Below, Dr. Hayes shares a few highlights of the trip.

It was a grueling overnight journey by plane, with a brief stop in Istanbul, Turkey. However, we were all excited to be traveling to Africa, which would be a new continent for most of the participants.

After arriving in Nairobi, we traveled on paved and unpaved roads for about eight hours to Mara West Camp, which overlooks the world famous Maasai Mara National Reserve, and enjoyed seeing a lot of wildlife along the way. We stayed in comfortable tents surrounded by wildlife and enjoyed tasty meals in a dining room.

On our first day of mission work, we visited a primary school where the Maasai children cheerfully greeted us with songs. The Maasai people were traditionally semi-nomadic cattle herders, but in the past few decades, they have settled into permanent communities and are still building new schools to properly educate their children for life in a modern world.

We brought along with us some books we donated to the sparsely stocked libraries of a primary school and a new secondary school. They need many more books, which we hope to supply more of during future trips.

During the next four days, we assisted in the construction of a building at a secondary school for women that had just opened in January. The new building would include administrative offices, science labs, and a computer lab. We hope to help them stock their new labs with equipment.

We also assisted with the painting of a new non-denominational Bible training center.

A small crew dug a ditch for water lines. I was proud of how hard the students worked each day while working construction and painting.

Each day a small group of students taught Vacation Bible School to a different group of students in the primary school. Students also assisted in a nearby clinic and a few were especially thrilled to help a woman give birth to a new baby. We all enjoyed making new friends with the Maasai people.

Each evening we enjoyed a campfire and an inspirational worship service led by Pastor Vuong Tran.

We spent two full days on a safari in the Maasai Mara National Reserve, observing Africa’s iconic wildlife including elephants, giraffes, zebras, gazelles, rhinos, hippos, hyenas, jackals, crocodiles, and ostriches. The highlights were a cheetah and a leopard, which are difficult to find.

Interested in getting involved with World Missions at PUC? Stop by the chaplain’s office to talk with Fabio Maia, service and missions coordinator, or you can call (707) 965-7190 or email fmaia@puc.edu to learn more.