PUC in Pictures: Winter 2019 Edition

With the close of another great winter quarter here at PUC, we’re taking a moment to reflect back on some of the many great moments over the past few months that made this quarter unforgettable.

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!

Have a great spring break! We’ll see you in April!

All About PUC Life Groups

I’m a fairly shy person so to be placed into a Life Group without knowing anyone was a bit of a nightmare for me—initially. However, I would soon come to meet two ladies who would become some of my favorite people at PUC; and they continue to be many years later. You might be asking yourself, “What actually is a Life Group?” and that’s a great question. I chatted with Emma Tyner and Logan Earles who are two Life Group leaders, and they answered a few Life-Group-related questions to help explain what they are, and why you should care.

What is a Life Group?

Life Groups are a way for incoming freshmen to meet other students in their class and to get to know someone who knows about PUC. These groups serve as a way for new students to start their college experience off on a good note by introducing them to their fellow classmates and help get them involved in school activities from the start of their first quarter here.

Do I pick a Life Group or am I assigned to one?

You and your roommate are assigned to a group together. Normally you don’t know anyone else in your group; this is to help you meet new people outside your regular group of friends.

What are some of the things Life Groups do?

Activities vary; there are planned events all Life Groups will participate in, but for the most part, the things you do with your life group are discussed and decided by the group. Activities can include watching a movie, going out to eat, going for a hike, or playing board games together. If you have an activity you want to do, all you have to do is bring it up to your Life Group leader, and hopefully, everyone can work out a time to do it!

Who can be a Life Group leader?

Life Group leaders are students from PUC who have expressed the desire to be apart of the new student experience. Usually, these students have a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences at PUC, which can be a huge asset to students new to the college. Life Group leaders want to help new students feel comfortable and have a safe place to ask questions as they start their college experience at PUC.

How long will I be in my Life Group?

Life Groups are usually very active during the first quarter of the year and then stay active as long as the group wants. There is no limit of time you and your Life Group can meet!

We hope this helps you get excited to start your college years at PUC and meet your very own Life Group!

Transfer Student Spotlight: Katie Williams

Williams at the net (number 13).

By Sarah Tanner

Volleyball player and English major Katie Williams transferred to PUC at the beginning of her junior year. After attending a junior college in Santa Rosa for two years, the student-athlete made the switch to PUC, and after two quarters on campus, she comfortably claims the title of Pioneer. After school shopping for a number of months, Williams’ decision to attend PUC came down to a handful of qualities she simply could not find anywhere else.

“One thing that immediately drew me to the campus is how in-touch it is with nature. My old college had a lot of oak trees, and I knew I wanted to attend somewhere that shared a similar love for nature. Coming up here, something felt familiar, and I think having such a small campus contributed to that feeling of closeness and comfort,” she explains.

Williams also wanted to make sure whatever college she chose included a strong program in her major.

“The department of English at PUC was a huge draw,” she says, “especially since small class sizes meant I would be able to interact more with professors and definitely be able to finish my major on time.”

As a result of her participation in volleyball, Williams began living on campus in August before fall quarter classes commenced. During that time, she gained a sense of the general campus culture and was surprised at how diverse such a small population could be.

When asked what surprised her most about her initial introduction to PUC, Williams notes, “I was shocked at how many people I met from different backgrounds in that first month. There were not very many students on campus when I arrived for volleyball, but the diversity was unlike anything I had experienced in college so far. It was a nice surprise.”

Over the past two quarters, Williams has adjusted to student life, though participating as a student-athlete during the fall often left her with little time to socialize. Nevertheless, she explained the general friendliness of the campus has made the process quite easy, and building connections with others at PUC has been an exciting process.   

Williams continues, “I am so grateful for the people I have met so far. I know I am making lifelong friends, and being able to push myself out of my comfort zone to attend a school with a strong spiritual life has been really good for me. Being away from home can be a little uncomfortable at times, and knowing my professors, advisors, dean, and the desk-workers are all available to talk or just listen is something I really value about being here.”

When asked if there were any pieces of advice she would like to share with others who are considering PUC as their transfer destination, Williams paused a moment before answering.

“The best advice I can give is to be open to changes in your life. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or draw attention to things that matter to you when you first visit. Tour guides are there to help you gain a sense of life on campus; use them as a valuable resource! When you’re looking at the dorms, ask to see what the rooms look like to get a feel for what the living experience will be like. Also, make sure to walk across campus to see if it is something you’ll want to do every day.”

“Do your best to gain a sense of campus life,” Williams smiled, “ It is so important to be comfortable at your college, and that is something I have definitely found at PUC. I can’t imagine going anywhere else.”

Anyone interested in transferring to PUC, hearing about the academic and athletic opportunities on campus, or simply learning more about the transfer process can reach out to Kharolynn Pascual Smith, PUC’s transfer student counselor, via email at kharolynn@puc.edu or call (800) 862-7080, option 2 to talk with her now. To schedule a campus visit, go to puc.edu/visit, call the number above, or email PUC’s visit coordinator at visit@puc.edu

 

You’ll Never Walk Alone

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.

We asked several campus leaders to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about the spiritual life at PUC. Here’s what they said.

What worship activities are there at PUC?

There is the Friday night worship program at 8 p.m., which we call vespers. Then on Sabbath, we have the student-led worship service that goes by The Twelve (held at 12 noon in Dauphinee Chapel), in addition to the more traditional college church service at the PUC Church at 11:15 a.m.

During the week there are residence hall worships, where each residence hall will host a smaller, more casual service once a week. Within the residence halls themselves, there are hall worships, where the resident assistants for each floor host weekly worships as well. One such worship is Men-istry, where the men’s residence halls get together and have a collaborative worship experience once a week on Thursday nights. All are welcome and there are games/snacks incorporated into the program.

In addition to all of these, there are smaller, unofficial groups which regularly meet, such as prayer, Bible study, or other outreach groups. Student-led clubs include the Ignite Club, which is comprised primarily of students who have had a history of working in more traditional outreach ministries such as Youth Rush. The Thaumatrope club is a one that focuses primarily on community impact outreach, organizing events such as community clean-ups to promote local involvement.

What service or ministry activities can I get involved with at PUC?

There is a Campus Ministries office, under which the Missions office operates, as well as other ministries such as Homeless Ministries. At PUC you can, if you’re service-oriented, get involved within our local community throughout the Bay Area, feeding the homeless in Clearlake or Berkeley, which regularly happens on the weekends.

For ministry activities, there are plenty of ways to get involved. The Twelve church service is student-run, if you would like to be a part of that, you have ways to do so. If there is a Bible study you would like to start, you have the Campus Ministries office as your guide to help you get that running.

Can I be a student missionary while I’m a student at PUC?

Yes! Students can serve as a missionary for a full school year, or for a few weeks at a time on a mission trip. Usually, there are mission trips held during Thanksgiving, Christmas, and spring breaks. Talk with the Missions office for more information.

What is Connect Ministry and where might I see them?

Connect Ministry is PUC’s opportunity to share with the community what sets us apart from other schools, our student-led worship experience. Connect Ministries functions more or less out of the Admissions office, sending out student (and sometimes faculty and staff!) worship groups to churches and schools across California. We are always on the go! The mission is to have PUC students, faculty, and staff dynamically serve churches and schools through ministry, such as leading worship, having a PUC guest speaker, and providing youth-oriented spiritual involvement.

Wherever you are in your spiritual walk, you’re guaranteed to find the support and encouragement you’ll need here at PUC.

You’re Supposed to Have Fun in College!

College isn’t just about academics! Having a healthy social life is also a really important part of your college experience. Our admissions team gets asked just as many questions about the social aspect of being a student at PUC as they do about academics, so we thought it would be worthwhile to put together a helpful FAQ for you to learn more about the fun side of PUC!

How will I make friends at PUC?

Whether you’re coming to PUC with a large group of friends or taking the plunge and going solo, it can seem intimidating when you’re on a new campus and don’t know many faces. Fear not though; there are plenty of different ways you can make new friends during your first few quarters. Every freshman is put into a Life Group with other new students to help them adjust to college life and to PUC, and meet regularly throughout the year. You’ll also start getting to know students in your classes, and within your department. Each department typically has a pre-vespers event once a quarter, so you’ll have plenty of chances to get to know your classmates outside of the classroom too.

Get more ideas on how to make friends your first quarter at PUC.

What student clubs can I get involved with?

From academic to civic to cultural clubs, PUC promises a space for all interested students. With over 15 organizations on campus, and a growing number each year, any student looking for a place to connect with those who share their passions is sure to find a group that is right for them. Here’s just a short list of some of the student-run clubs at PUC:

  • Biology Club
  • Pre-Law Society
  • Pre-Med & Pre-Dent Club
  • SPARK
  • Literature Evangelism Club
  • Thaumatrope
  • Korean Adventist Student Association
  • Student Organization of Latinos
  • Mountain Biking Club
  • Climbing Club

Learn more about what student clubs you can join at PUC.

What’s there to do on PUC’s campus?

Plenty! Hopefully, though, you’ll be spending a lot of your time studying, whether it’s in your dorm room or the library, but when you need a break, there’s a lot of things you can do. You can go for a run in PUC’s back 40 property; get an iced tea from the Grind and catch up with friends on the Campus Center patio; hit the weight room in the gymnasium to blow off some steam; cheer on your roommate at their basketball intramurals game; receive God’s blessing with your hallmates at a mid-week dorm worship; or catch a movie at the Campus Center. Honestly, you’ll have too much to choose from!

Are there fun things to do in the towns near PUC?

If the hill doesn’t provide enough social life for you, students can venture to the nearby beautiful city of St. Helena or elsewhere in the Napa Valley, where there’s no shortage of restaurants, shops, and art galleries. For students who want a break from the quiet of the valley, San Francisco is just a short drive away. There’s a reason why over 25 million people visit SF each year! You can catch the latest exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art, have a picnic at Crissy Field, go on a shopping spree at Union Square, or catch a Giants game at AT&T Park.

Explore Northern California & why it’s a great place to spend your college years.

What are weekends like at PUC?

You get to decide how you spend your weekends! Every Friday evening offers a vespers program at 8 p.m. and a post-vespers activity like AFTRlite. Sometimes there are department pre-vespers too. Every Sabbath morning there are multiple Sabbath school and church options, and you can spend the afternoon taking a walk in PUC’s beautiful back 40 property, to places like Inspiration Point.

If you want to hang out on campus, there are always Student Association events every Saturday night, and usually, there are Pioneers Athletics games too. You can also join a study group to help yourself stay motivated on Sundays to get all your homework done. If you and your friends want to get out and have your own adventures, there’s a lot to do in our neighboring towns of St. Helena, Calistoga, Napa, Santa Rosa. Or you can take a study break and spend a few hours binging something on Netflix.

Hopefully, this gives you an idea of what to expect when you’re a student at PUC. We can’t wait to have you here!

Multi-Media: 2019 Annual Faculty Art Show

By Becky St. Clair

The faculty of the department of visual arts at Pacific Union College invites the community to the opening reception of their 2019 faculty art show in the Rasmussen Art Gallery on the PUC campus in Angwin. The reception begins at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16, and is free and open to the public. The art will be available for viewing through March 17.

“Faculty in visual arts constantly push themselves to stay relevant within their fields and create work relative to their disciplines,” explains Rajeev Sigamoney, department chair and associate professor of film and television production. “Art is meant to be shared with others, and the process of putting one’s work out there for others to see takes vulnerability, honesty, and bravery. This is something we challenge our students to pursue in their academic development, so it is our privilege to engage in the same practices as faculty.”

Faculty with art in this year’s show are: Amy Cronk (mixed media); Cheryl Daley (ceramics); Jayme de la Torre (sculptural assemblage); Brian Kyle (photography); Milbert Mariano (design); Bob Pappas (ceramics); Cliff Rusch (photography); Tom Turner (watercolors).

Here are some thoughts from some of the faculty in the show, reflecting on what they do and why they do it.

Brian Kyle, Assistant Professor of Visual Arts

One of the things I enjoy most about art-making is the challenge of finding innovative ways to communicate ideas and the constant need for creative problem-solving throughout the process. When faced with challenges I have found that many times an understanding of artistic disciplines outside of my current focus has offered options for innovative solutions to these problems. For example, while my most recent work is photographic, I’ve been able to integrate elements of graphic design, illustration, and printmaking into the creation of props that have become valuable communication tools within the photographs in the series. As a multidisciplinary artist, I feel it is important to continue gathering a wide variety of skills and knowledge within a variety of artistic (and non-artistic) disciplines. I am currently interested in continuing my exploration of motion & animation and finding ways to begin incorporating these disciplines into my other work.

Jaymie de la Torre, Visual Arts Assistant

I really love to work with found objects, particularly recycled materials or things that might be considered trash. I’m fascinated by the juxtaposition of things decaying and newly created, rejected and desired. I think they can be used to speak about our relationships to things that are different than us, what we consider us and them and how regardless of our feelings we are still intertwined.

Milbert Mariano, Professor of Graphic Design

As a graphic designer and professor since college, I’ve stuck with it because the field is so wide, varying, and changing that it’s constantly offering different challenges. I admire the designers Stefan Sagmeister and Paula Scher because of the constant adaptiveness and evolution of their craft. UX (User Experience) design has been intriguing me over the past several years, and the more I learn about it, the deeper and wider it gets. It’s the core of successful design and, actually, everything we do; it surrounds us whether we’re aware of it or not.

Amy Cronk, Assistant Professor of Fine Art

I’m showing encaustic paintings inspired by some photos I took of beached sea nettle jellyfish this summer on my walks in Bodega Bay. My work is influenced by biology in all aspects and often combines nature with anatomy in some form. I love how encaustic painting (a medium that combines beeswax and damar resin) creates an aesthetic that so beautifully mimics the textures and feel of both of these influences. This series conceptually depicts a conversation with the creative process that an artist might have while wrestling with their imagery and medium.

Tom Turner: “The Tower Room,” a depiction in watercolors of Elmshaven on Glass Mountain Road. From the series he’s showing, “Glowing Whites in Watercolor.”

A Hot Meal & A Prayer: Students Serve the Homeless

Homeless Ministries at People’s Park in Berkeley.

By Becky St. Clair

One Friday night business administration major George Grigsby was serving food for AfterLite, a post-vespers event designed to encourage student fellowship, he was approached by fellow student John Roberts, asking for any leftovers.

“I asked him what he needed them for, and that’s when I learned about the Clearlake Ministry,” Grigsby says.

Roberts was the leader of the ministry at that time, and he encouraged Grigsby to accompany them. The ministry, run by PUC students, provides both hot and nonperishable food, hygiene items, clothing, and prayer to persons experiencing homelessness on the streets of Clearlake, California. This year, Grigsby is the ministry leader, taking around five fellow students with him every other week to connect with anyone they can find.

“It’s getting harder to reach them because the local law enforcement is stepping up their efforts to disperse the city’s homeless,” Grigsby explains. “So instead of the 75-100 we used to serve there, we now see only 15-30 each time, and we have to drive around to various locations to find them.”

When they do connect with someone, Grigsby and his team make sure to inquire about needs they might be able to fill the next time they come. The top three requested items, especially this time of year when it’s chilly, are sweaters, sleeping bags, and socks.

Howell Mountain Market contributes groceries for the Clearlake Ministry team, and Grigsby spends a bit of time each day putting the bags together so it doesn’t add up to one long night of doing it all. Then he and his student team get together and cook hot food, as well.

“This ministry gives me a chance to put myself in a situation where I can make things better,” Grigsby explains. Growing up in West Africa, he felt very deeply the tragedy that occurred when Ebola broke out there in 2014.

“The people I grew up with were suffering, and I couldn’t do anything about it,” he recalls. “If I can’t make a difference there, I will help the people around me. Clearlake gives me a chance to do that.”

As a sophomore, Kevin Martins, junior biology and pre-med major, had seen Homeless Ministries listed in the “This Week at PUC” emails many times, and when he happened to meet the student director of the Berkeley Ministry to the homeless, he decided to give it a try.

“I really enjoyed the experience of preparing and serving food for others,” he says. “They’re usually just there alone and really enjoy having someone notice them and listen to what they have to say.”

When the ministry leader graduated, Martins stepped up and took over. Every other Sabbath the team of around 15 pile into a large van and attend church and eat potluck with the Adventist church in Berkeley. After potluck, they prepare food in the church’s kitchen to serve the homeless in a place called People’s Park. They serve food, talk with the people, find out their needs and make lists for next time they come, and pray with those who are willing.

“When we’re at the church I organize the group to make sure everyone has a role,” Martins explains. “Everyone has their skills and strengths, and we work together well, making sure everything happens that needs to.”

The group typically serves around 50 homeless, but recently new tents appeared at the park, and Martins made notes to prepare food for 70 the next time they came. Once they serve within the main part of the park, they carry plates around to other areas of the park to serve those who didn’t make it to the table.

Martins has participated in an Amen Clinic previously, and it sparked his interest in serving others. He intends to continue doing so even once he starts his career.

“I want to be a doctor because I want to help people in their healing,” he says. “This ministry has helped me see this is, in fact, what I want to do with my life.”

It’s the stories that affect Martins most. One week he met a woman in a wheelchair who had spent many years living in Brazil, Martins’ home. They began speaking in Portuguese, and she shared her struggles with him.

“She explained to me how being disabled makes being homeless even harder,” he says. “Sometimes she is harassed by other homeless people, and once she and her wheelchair were even set on fire. The things she tells me inspire me to keep going back.”

Martins, like Grigsby, says a majority of the requests they receive from those they serve are for basic hygiene items such as toothbrushes and shaving cream, as well as warm clothing such as socks and jackets.

Both ministries accept donations toward supplies as well as donations of time to prepare and/or serve. Since not everyone has cooking skills, they invite those who do to contribute their skills to serve others. Whether it’s helping prepare the food or delivering pre-cooked meals, both ministries welcome contributions.

“These ministries give us a chance to see beyond ourselves,” he says. “The present need of others isn’t someone else’s problem, it’s everyone’s problem. And if we don’t know what’s going on around us, we can’t help.”

Hygiene kits or supplies for them, clothes—especially socks, gloves, hats, and coats—and money toward gas and food are always appreciated. Anyone who wishes to accompany the groups to Berkeley or Clearlake can reach out to Grigsby and Martins for a schedule and instructions. Drivers are also needed, as two current drivers are graduating this spring. Although worship credit is available for this ministry, both Grigsby and Martins encourage student participants to focus on the serving rather than the credit.

“The purpose is to take a look at your life and realize all you have and how you can give from that to those who don’t have,” Grigsby says. “If you can help make a difference for someone not doing as well, you should. It’s the selflessness of giving and what you learn from the experience that is most important.”

A new part of this ministry that Martins would like to start is bringing musicians to provide live music for the people as they eat. If you play an instrument and are interested in being part of ministry in this way, let Martins know. If you are interested in contributing to either of these ministries in any way, contact Grigsby at gggrigsby@puc.edu or Martins at knmartins@puc.edu.

“We’re so fortunate, and we need to give whenever we get the chance,” Martins comments. “This is that chance.”

Editor’s note: The following is a list of items needed the most by Homeless Ministries. Toothbrushes, toothpaste, shaving cream, shaving razors, sanitary pads, soap bars, deodorant, tissues, wet wipes, towels, and other personal hygiene items. Food, clothes, and cash donations are always greatly needed and appreciated.