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.

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.

Five Reasons to Apply to PUC Right Now

The fall season is prime time for high school seniors. If you haven’t already started looking at potential schools to attend next year, now’s the time—and why not start with Pacific Union College! Here are five reasons why you should consider applying to PUC today.

Make Friends for a Lifetime

One of the best things about attending PUC is living in one of our seven residence halls. About 75 percent of students live on-campus, which fosters a very close-knit community atmosphere. Students live together, study together, socialize, and worship together, which gives our campus a unique sense of unity. Besides being home for almost 10 months out of the year, the residence halls also provide students with activities like Dorm Olympics, weekly hall worships, and a chance to get to know other students outside the classroom.

Check out the Life at PUC page on our website to learn more about the true Pioneers experience.

Get Involved & Make a Difference

You don’t need to wait until you graduate to start helping with problems around the world. PUC students are already making a difference. With internships, missionary opportunities, service-learning projects, and on-campus ministry groups, you can be part of making change, today.

  • 75 percent of PUC students complete an internship by graduation
  • 10+ mission trip opportunities per year
  • 20,000+ hours PUC students have spent on service-learning projects
  • 10 campus ministry groups

Read about Lauren’s experience as a student missionary in our “How Uganda Love It?” blog post.

Have a Mentor in Your Corner

With a 12:1 student-teacher ratio, your professors will know you. They’re invested in helping you succeed. The one-on-one attention you receive in and out of the classroom will help make you a much more successful student. On top of professors’ regular office hours, students at PUC have many unique opportunities to strengthen relationships with their professors, including intramurals, pre-vespers, and community service projects. As you work towards your career goals, you will find your professors become more—they become your mentors who can help you along your journey, and ones you can still get advice from years after graduation.


Great Financial Aid Opportunities

Since 1882, PUC 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.

Did you know:

  • Last year, the college awarded over $30 million in financial aid to 1,250 students
  • The average financial aid award per student is approximately $22,483
  • 100 percent of students qualify for financial aid
  • Most PUC scholarships renew for four years

Learn more about scholarships and other financial aid opportunities at puc.edu/scholarships.

Enjoy NorCal Life

One of the best things about life at PUC is our amazing location. Nestled in the mountains above the beautiful Napa Valley, students are #blessed to wake up each morning to gorgeous views of a perfect mixture of forest and vineyards. Surrounded by over 30 miles of picturesque hiking and biking trails with incredible destinations, allow for some of the most exquisite sunsets over the charming town of Angwin, perfect to get that Instagram-worthy photo. And just a car ride to San Francisco away holds all the culture you can dream of with galleries, concert halls, museums, theaters, sports stadiums, and plenty of shopping. With so many unique sites and attractions, you’ll always have somewhere to explore.

As you’ve seen, there are many advantages to attending PUC and we would be thrilled to welcome you into the Pioneers family! The online application is quick, easy to complete, and always free. Reach out to the Admissions office with any questions you might have by calling (800) 862-7080, option 2 or emailing admissions@puc.edu.

Don’t wait—apply to PUC now!

PUC & Student Veterans: A Partnership

By Becky St. Clair

Robert Quiroz, a health communications major at Pacific Union College, has been in the California Army National Guard since 2011. In 2014, before he ever deployed, Quiroz sat in his house in Stockton, California, listening to gunshots outside his house, thinking, There has to be a better way.

He had been reading Fearless, by Eric Blehm, the biography of Adam Brown, a Navy SEAL who died in Afghanistan. The book mentions a young man from Angwin, California, which caught Quiroz’s eye. He knew PUC was there and was struck by the idea of completing a college degree. So, once he returned from military training, he and his wife left Stockton for Angwin and Quiroz enrolled in PUC’s health communications program.

Quiroz grew up Adventist. His mom and grandmother were Adventist, as well as his dad, whose father was an Adventist pastor in Colombia.

“My life is deeply rooted in the Adventist Church,” he says. “A lot of my faith comes from those roots.”

This faith and the value he places on them, has led to a deep appreciation for the Adventist school system.

“Adventist education has so much to offer, and getting that education here in Angwin has added benefits,” he says. “It’s quiet here in Angwin, and rent assistance is available for student veterans. They can bring their families here. Everyone’s nice, and everyone smiles. It’s a real blessing to be here.”

Another part of life at PUC that has been helpful to Quiroz and his fellow veterans is the Veterans Club. Fiona Bullock, a former professor in the department of social work at PUC, started the club in 2015 and convinced her department to give the club a room in their building to meet in and call their own. Quiroz worked alongside another PUC student, an Air Force veteran, to make it a welcoming gathering space.

The room now has painted walls, banners and flags from the various branches of the U.S. military, a large map for club members to mark their homes and deployment locations, couches, snacks, a brand new television, and even a few medals on the wall. The television was donated by Kellie Lind, vice president of alumni and advancement, and her two sisters, Kim and Kendall, in honor of their father, Rob, a veteran of the U.S. Army.

“We’re a small group, but we need each other, and we appreciate each other,” Quiroz says. “Our mission is to really help these transitioning veterans spiritually, mentally, and academically while they strive to achieve their academic goals, and do that while providing a familiar community of camaraderie.”

The club regularly hosts events such as dinners, group event attendance, and other social opportunities to gather and get to know and support each other.

Many veterans leave the military with some sort of disability, and some are still working through those disabilities when they arrive at PUC. This is where the support services of the team at the Teaching & Learning Center (TLC) come in.

“We don’t just serve veterans, but they are definitely an important group we work with,” says Nancy Jacobo, director of the TLC, which houses disabilities services for students, as well as tutoring, test preparation, and other academic services for all students. “Veterans are a unique group.”

Jacobo is one of several staff members who work tirelessly to ensure students get the assistance they need while attending PUC. They organize accommodations for physical, mental, and learning disabilities, help student veterans manage and process their government education benefits, offer one-on-one as well as group tutoring sessions for various subjects and courses, and more.

“They shouldn’t fight their battles alone,” Jacobo says. “We want things to be as easy as possible for veterans who are dealing with trauma, anxiety, PTSD, or physical challenges due to their service to our country. They shouldn’t have to worry about school, too.”

One of the greatest things about PUC, though, Quiroz admits, is where he’s able to live.

“Student family housing is a huge benefit here,” he says. “It’s very affordable, and allows student veterans to live in relatively private homes and still be able to afford to pay their bills, have kids, and own small pets. It almost feels like you’re living a normal adult life. It’s one of the greatest things about this place.”

Quiroz maintains God led him to PUC.

“I’m grateful to be where I am,” he says. “PUC opened its doors wide and invited me to find peace here. I have, and I want to help make that a reality for others as well.”

10 Ways to Make New Friends Your First Quarter 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.

Read on for 10 suggestions to get you out of your dorm room and into the mix!

Go to a Pioneers Athletics game. Hanging out in the Covered Wagon and cheering on your Pioneers is a great way to get involved with the Pioneers Posse, and meet some new friends too!

Join an intramurals team. Close to 50% of students at PUC participate in intramurals, and there are over 10 sports to play each year, so sign up to play! Or, you can start your own team. See if there’s anyone from your floor or class who wants to play.

Hang out at your department’s pre-vespers. Most departments have pre-vespers at least once a quarter. This is a great opportunity for you to get to know not only other students who share the same major, but your professors as well. Bonus: good food!

Go to your hall worship. Most floors in each residence hall have a simple weekly worship service where you can decompress with your fellow hallmates and spend time together in praise and worship.

Join a student-run club. There are over 20 different student-run clubs on campus, ranging from the Biology Club to the Literature Evangelism Club to the Student Organization of Latinos (SOL) Club. Joining one of these clubs can help you get to know other students outside of your dorm and major, and fill up your social calendar with fun club-related events and trips.

Join a tutoring group at the TLC. Whether you’re struggling in a class or just want to reinforce some core concepts, being part of a study group can help you succeed academically. It can also be a great way to meet other students too!

Go to the weekly SA event. Each week, the Student Association puts on a fun activity for students; sometimes on-campus, sometimes off. It could be a game night in the Campus Center, or a trip to the movies in Napa. Venture out and have fun!

Get involved with service and missions. There are plenty of ways you can give back, and make a friend or two in the process. You could help with Homeless Ministries, which visits local areas in need to pass out sack lunches and care packages every Sabbath, or go on one of the quarterly mission trips to places like Fiji, Brazil, or Kenya.

Check out the opening reception for a Rasmussen Art Gallery show. 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.

Get a job on-campus. One of the advantages of getting a student job at PUC is being able to put your earnings towards your school bill. Another advantage is it introduces you to people you might not otherwise get to meet!

Don’t be afraid of getting outside your comfort zone and trying something new once you’re in college; you might surprise yourself and learn something new, and make a few new friends as well!


Kenzie Hardy, Your SA President!

Kenzie Hardy is what is commonly known as a “super senior.” This is her fifth and final year at PUC, having spent one of those years as a student missionary in Madagascar. She will graduate in June with two degrees: A Bachelor of Business Administration with an emphasis in international business, and a Bachelor of Science degree in global development studies with a business emphasis.

She considers Roseville, Calif., to be home, and completed her high school years at Pine Hills Adventist Academy in Auburn. While there, she served as student association treasurer, was a member of the honor society, and helped out during Week of Prayer. When it came time to decide on a college, Kenzie says, “PUC was the college I felt was most responsive and provided the best answers to the questions I had.” Her path was clear: She chose PUC.

This year, Kenzie is not only finishing up her college career, but she’s also serving her fellow students as their student association president. We caught up with her between classes and meetings so we could get to know her a little better. Introducing: Kenzie Hardy, your Student Association president!

When did you first get that spark of interest in leadership?

I unofficially participated in SOL club (the Student Organization of Latinos) my freshman year, attending and offering help during some events. But I became a life group leader as a sophomore. As a freshman, I had a great leader but knew of others that didn’t have the same experience. I saw the benefits of continuing the program but also saw an opportunity to be part of changing those things that weren’t working as well.

What was your major platform while running for SA president?

The phrase on the campaign materials was “let’s talk” and instead of leaving it as a printed poster, I set up a booth in the cafeteria. The booth provided an opportunity for students to share concerns, ideas, and to get to meet me and ask questions. I really emphasized the experience and knowledge gathered after several years here.  

How did it feel to go through your campaign—and win?

The elections process felt surreal, and the day it was announced even moreso. To this day I’ll have random and sudden realizations of the huge responsibility I have been entrusted with. It is mostly humbling to have received support that put me in this office and continues.

Tell us your leadership philosophy.

I truly think individuals are motivated to thrive in any position if the environment is designed to allow individuals to grow. Also, I really take into heart the idea of leading by example, instead of demanding or requiring things I wouldn’t of myself.

What do you feel is one of your most important roles/duties as president?

I think being visible, accessible, and present to students. Also, making sure information is being collected and transmitted between the student body and college administration.

What’s the best way for students to have their voices/concerns heard by the student leaders on campus?

There are several student leadership bodies that are empowered to make changes, but it all starts with communication. Finding out who represents them in the Student Senate, SA, and other committees is the first step. I’d like to encourage anyone with concerns to actually address them to someone—any leader can take it to the appropriate channels. The invitation also goes to those entrusted with listening, to make sure they are getting to those channels or individuals who can make changes.

Kenzie and the SA team.

What’s the best class you’ve taken at PUC thus far, and why?

My freshman year I took Psych 121 (General Psychology) and at that time it was taught by Dr. Charlene Bainum. The class was fascinating and to this day, I still reference some of the concepts learned in that class almost daily.

Where are your favorite study spots?

If I really need to focus and minimize distractions I like to go to the basement laundry room in Andre. I usually go off-campus on a Sunday or during finals week, and I like Brasswood’s coffee shop.

What’s something about PUC you learned after being here a while?

This is something I learned during my junior year, I think everyone should know: There is a waived fee for credit overload if you’re a senior who has taken 16 credits/quarter since freshman year.

Tell me about a time you stepped out of your comfort zone and how it’s benefitted you.

I worked as the programming coordinator at Pine Springs Ranch this past summer, and the position was somewhat out of my comfort zone. Creating programs for different purposes (comedy plays, activities with spiritual messages, interactive stations with a theme, etc.) and overseeing their development from start to finish was not something I had experience doing. It was definitely a summer of growth, I developed the skill of quick problem-solving.

Kenzie and her SM family.

Tell us about a positive role model in your life.

I have a very special place in my heart for Dr. Gideon Petersen, president at Université Adventiste Zurcher in Madagascar, and his wife, Pam. During my time as a student missionary they cared for me and I experienced firsthand their servant leadership style, their passion for helping others, and their humble lifestyle. We had candid conversations about various topics and they are part of the reason I am completing the major I am.

Where and when can students find you if they want to chat about life at PUC and voice their opinions?

In between classes, meetings, and other such events, my default location is my office in the Campus Center. Whenever I am in here, unless I’m having a meeting, I keep the door open and everyone is welcome to come chat. I also love writing emails, so I am always checking my email and answer relatively fast.

What’s your favorite Bible verse, and why?

One of them is Luke 1:45; “Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her!” I love that this verse specifically says “she” and the benefit of trusting in God and His faithfulness is feeling happy, secure, and blessed.

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.