Starting the School Year with a Week of Welcome

Wednesday, September 20 brought the close of summer break as freshmen, along with their families, swarmed the seven residence halls turning empty rooms into their home away from home for the next nine months.

After New Student and Family Orientations were completed, the freshmen were whisked away for the FUSION retreat, which is a time where they can get to know each other in a casual setting off-campus.

The official Week of Welcome began on Monday with the start of classes AND the Welcome Back Party in the Campus Mall, where students could socialize with each other and rush campus clubs. The rest of the week was packed full of classes with fun activities mixed in, like a water balloon fight and color blast on the grass, Midnight Madness, Opening Convocation, vespers, and a visit from a food truck before a viewing of “Guardians of the Galaxy 2.”

Faculty, staff, and current students donned blue Student Association tees and helped the incoming freshmen and their families unload their cars and set up their dorm rooms on the first day of Orientation. Pictured: PUC President Bob Cushman, SA President Megan Weems, and CFO Brandon Parker who all lent a hand that afternoon.

The Tyner family helping their daughter move into her dorm room.

The PUC praise band leading out in group worship during FUSION.

Starting the school year off with a splash of color after a fun water balloon fight.

The woman’s volleyball team being introduced to the school during the annual Midnight Madness.

President Bob Cushman addresses the campus for the first time during Opening Convocation, the first Colloquy service of the year. He spoke of the need for love and unity, perfectly echoing the SA theme for the year, which is family.

The first week was so much fun it can only mean more wonderful things are in store for the rest of the year!

Insert caption about colors of the wind* #WOW #pucsa #WeekofWelcome #pucnow

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Meet Megan Weems, PUC SA President

Hailing from Medford, Ore., Megan Weems is a junior studying liberal studies and elementary education at PUC, and is next year’s incoming Student Association president. We’re looking forward to seeing her and her team’s energy and creative ideas in action.

We asked Megan a few questions about her experiences at PUC and her hopes for this upcoming year.

What are your plans for this coming school year?

Oh! Where do I even begin?! This next school year is the year for changes. My SA team and I have so many ideas/events/plans we want to implement. We envision everything already great about PUC but multiplied by 100. My team and I plan to be extremely intentional about making the students happy and encouraging PUC pride! We want to make PUC a place where fun is had, quality relationships are built, and bonds are made that will last a lifetime. #PUCFAM

What are you looking forward to the most with SA?

Family. The family in which we create within the team, that will then trickle out into to Senate, clubs, and EVERYONE.  🙂

What made you decide to run for SA president?

Truly, God put me in the right spot, at the right time. I ran for SA president because I wanted to do something a little out of my comfort zone and put myself out there. I want to be the change so, I can therefore make a change. I am so proud to be a Pioneer and I wanted to be in a position where I can facilitate change to make PUC a place everyone wants to be.

What is your favorite thing about PUC?

The people of course! We are beyond blessed here on this hill with some of the most compassionate, brilliant, and beautiful minds. I feel extremely blessed to be a part of this college community.

Why did you decide to attend PUC?

If we are being honest, PUC was not in my original plan. In fact, I was at Walla Walla University my freshman year, but something didn’t fit for me there. I was pulled by God (and my sister) to enroll at PUC and I found my niche here. I appreciate the experience I had at WWU but here at PUC is where my heart and home are.

So far, what has been your favorite class at PUC?

Any class by Tom Lee or Jim Roy. (Shout out to the department of education, woot woot!)

What was the last book you read?

“Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell.

What are some of your hobbies?

Singing, sewing, cooking, socializing, swimming, chilling, learning new things, doing anything exciting and new.

What advice would you give incoming freshmen?

GET INVOLVED and STAY INVOLVED.

How can students keep up-to-date with SA events and activities?

The PUC SA Facebook page, as well as our SA website. Stay tuned for more info!

 

First Annual PMPD Health Fair a Success

By Abigail Daniliuc

It is amazing how a vision can start, grow, morph, and is almost unreal when it becomes a reality. After months of planning and preparing for the Pre-Medicine and Pre-Dentistry Health Fair, it finally took place in the PUC gymnasium on May 21, 2017.

Initially, we started the event with the goal to consolidate the need for shadowing hours and networking opportunities of pre-professional students into one unifying event for everyone interested in health professions. However, at the end of the event it was clear God had another plan, which was to open our hearts and give the college the opportunity to soften the hearts of PUC’s students, as well as change the lives of the patients who came to be seen at the health fair. Our event sought to care for the person as a whole and our mission was reflected in our acts of service, from offering a brand new pair of glasses, educating on the importance of cholesterol management, sharing healthy food demonstrations, and gaining insight on what it means to lead a spiritually healthy life.

Basic medical, dental, and vision exams can cost over $50 at doctors’ office, so this turned out to be very beneficial for community members and students who were seen during the Health Fair. In the future, with more tools and resources, we hope to expand and provide a higher level of care and disease prevention to local communities such as Clearlake. Along with medical and dental providers, we can be equipped to deliver the highest care possible to those in need.

At the fair, both students and professionals spent their time instructing the patients about positive health behaviors, while providing preventive services. They also encouraged patients to receive medical and dental care from their community providers. Yet, while the health fair helped increase access to preventive health services and screenings, little health impact can be achieved without follow-up care. To address this gap, I hope you will be interested in next year’s health fair for another chance to open our doors to serve the community God has placed us in to be His hands and feet. When a vision finally becomes a reality and is able to bless God’s people, He gets to be glorified. I was touched by the positive responses from the aftermath of the health fair and that He was indeed glorified in this event. I am confident He will make a way for more similar community outreach events like the PMPD Health Fair to occur annually.

Special thanks goes out to all our volunteers and sponsors who helped this event take place. I would like to take the time to highlight some of the key contributors. Thank you to Fabio Maia and Holly Jeske for their constant encouragement, resourcefulness, and help with planning the details for the fair. We partnered with the St. Helena Hospital, Northern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Adventist Medical Evangelism Network, Cal Coast, Napa Solano Dental Society, Take 10, Paws for Healing, and Angwin Village Seventh-day Adventist Church. Also a special thanks to Dr. James Gearing, Dr. Isaac Chin, Dr.  Wayne Ogata, Dr. Renee Tabiolo, Mr. Gilbert Lutes, and Mr. Jose Ponce for their time serving the community and for their donations of materials.

Lastly, I would like to thank the professors who helped spread the word about the fair to their classes. This event could also not have occurred without the help of the team of dedicated student volunteers. They did everything from setting the up the fair to helping the professional volunteers, and being so ready to plug in and assist wherever they were needed.

Come to the PMPD Health Fair This Weekend

By Abigail Daniliuc

The pre-medicine/pre-dentistry (PMPD) Club are teaming up with the Office of Service, Justice, and Missions at PUC and the St. Helena Hospital to put on the 1st Annual Health Fair to offer many free services to students and community members. As leaders in our community and pre-professional students, we hope this event will create an opportunity for students to get firsthand experience in their field of interest while bettering the campus and local community.

What services are provided at the PMPD Health Fair?

We are offering a variety of services, including dental screenings, medical testing, therapy dogs, a smoothie bike, vision screenings, outdoor yoga, massage therapy, healthy food demonstrations, and more. We are so thankful and thrilled to say all services are free!

When is the PMPD Health Fair?

This coming Sunday, May 21, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The fair will take place at the same time as the Angwin Flea Market and is open to PUC students as well as the surrounding communities of St. Helena, Yountville, and Calistoga.

Why should I volunteer or attend?

Why shouldn’t you volunteer? Think about it—when was the last time you saw your doctor or dentist? As a student myself, I know it is always easy to put off those maintenance appointments which are so essential to our long term health and well-being. How can we take care of others if we don’t make time to take care of ourselves first? Volunteer to help make a positive change in someone’s life and attend the fair to get some of your basic medical, dental, vision exams (and more) done for FREE.

As an incentive, all volunteers will be given free lunch from 12-1 p.m. All PUC students participating in the fair will be given attendance credit for visiting four booths and obtaining stamps from each one. Students who submit their stamp sheets to us at the end of the fair will be eligible to potentially win two $25 Amazon gift cards.

To learn more about this event or sign up to volunteer, please visit puchealthfair.org or check out the event’s Facebook page.

PUC Students Share Powerful Testimonies During Annual Student Week of Prayer

By Andrew Mahinay

Pacific Union College held its annual student week of prayer the week of April 10. Student week of prayer is a special time for the students, giving them the opportunity to experience the power of God’s work in the lives of their peers. “It is more personable, more real,” said Jason Bajwa, a senior biology major.

This year’s student week of prayer took place in Dauphinee Chapel, a more confined and intimate worship space, giving students a feel of comfort and closeness with each other. Students spoke of God’s ability to work in the life of a sinner. The personal testimonies had a powerful impact on listeners. Inspirational and uplifting words were usedtransformative, change, willing to use youto give listeners a glimpse into how God works. The speaker series consisted of Lulu Kabanje, Randy Ramos, Daniel Grigore, Giselle Garcia, Milka Saint-vil, Laurant Panggabean, Nic Miller, Jamal Armstrong, Alex Chang, and Andy Palomares. There were morning and evening meetings each day.

One of the week’s highlights was the talk by Andy Palomares, future religious vice president of the Student Association. He ended the evening talking about God as our ultimate defender. His demeanor and style made it easy for students to relate with him. In addition to bringing astounding energy, he owned the stage pacing back and forth with confidence and authority. Palomares touched on a more personal issue. After disappointing his father by doing something he should not have done, he felt guilty and ashamed. At times, he could hardly look himself in the mirror. He felt disconnected and distanced from God and his father. But upon reading the Word, Palomares realized it wasn’t God who was doing the distancing, it was himself. “There’s nothing I could do to fix what was wrong, because Jesus was the problem fixer. He is the one interceding for us,” he said. Palomares realized there was nothing in his power, nothing he could do to right his wrong. However, he realized the importance of accepting forgiveness, which his father provided.

With the acceptance of grace and forgiveness, Palomares realized God was on his side the entire time. He used a profound quote saying, “God is already wanting you to be saved, and Jesus is your defense attorney. Not only do you have the judge on your side but you have the best defense attorney on your side you can get,” he continued, “And the only thing against you is Satan, and Satan isn’t going to win.” Palomares paralleled his own struggles with that of Jesus, quoting Hebrews 4:15, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one that has been tempted in every way just the way we are, yet He did not sin.” Ending his speech with this, Palomares made it clear we sinners are not to bask in our own mistakes, “You see, Jesus is for us and He’s never going to leave us.”

After a successful week of student testimonials, many students felt a need to reassess their lives and re-accept God as their Lord and savior. By mentioning their past problems, student speakers made it known no one is perfect. Each student’s sermon emphasized perfectness is not a prerequisite to be used by God. Student testimonials were a great reminder of how God can use any life for His glory and purpose of furthering His kingdom here on earth.

What is PUC College Days and Why Should You Go?

By Leanna Arredondo

Trying to choose a college can be fun, but also extremely stressful. The truth of the matter is, the memories from college are ones you will remember forever, so making a conscious decision for where you attend is crucial. College Days at PUC makes this not only easier, but a whole lot more exciting. As a recent graduate, and now a PUC enrollment counselor, I am excited to share more about this experience with you!

What Should You Expect?

PUC is located just minutes from one of the most well-known destination spots in the country, Napa Valley. Surrounded by picturesque views, our “campus on the hill” is where it all takes place. Whether you are traveling by plane, car, bus, or train (who knows), PUC does their best to accommodate you. Upon arriving, you will make your way to Winning Hall, our main residence hall, where you will check in with our enrollment team and receive your rooming assignment and schedule for your stay.

Depending on the dates of your specific College Days experience, the activities will differ. However, this April, you will take a tour of the campus, eat dinner with current PUC students, play some fun games, and end the night with an ice cream social! Think you’re finished? Not quite! You can also look forward to attending a couple classes of your choice, a financial aid workshop, spending time in our storybook town of St. Helena, and touring the beautiful city of San Francisco!

What Should You Bring?

If you are anything like me, you feel the need to pack your entire life into a suitcase for whatever trip you’re embarking on. However, lucky for you, I am going to give you a list of essentials:

  • A sleeping bag, travel mattress pad, pillow, and towel.
  • A comfortable pair of shoes is KEY for this trip. We do live on a mountain, so tennies or flats would work perfectly. This is especially important for those of you checking out our hiking trails!
  • Personal toiletries are important; however, we do have the College Market where you can purchase items from, as well.
  • Extra cash isn’t a requirement, but who doesn’t want some chocolate directly from the Ghirardelli Factory in San Francisco? Let’s be honest.
  • Athletic gear for our open gym is optional.

Why Is This Important?

Before attending PUC, I remember how stressed out I was about choosing a college that would not only offer great academics, but a spiritual and welcoming atmosphere, as well. When I found PUC, I was nervous about a few things. I wasn’t Adventist, I really loved the city, and I had never lived so far from my parents. This is why visiting is so crucial. During my visit to PUC, I was able to talk to my enrollment counselor, get my financial aid questions answered, talk with an advisor for my major, meet several current students, worship with the community, visit some of the surrounding cities, and get a feel of what the campus was all about. College Days will change everything folks. Don’t second guess an opportunity to experience what could potentially be your home away from home.

Where Can You Get More Information?

Ready to visit? All you need to do is go to our Visit page on the Admissions website, scroll down to the College Days section, and click on the “Sign Up for April 2017” button. Here, you’ll be able to choose what classes fit your interest, and if you know any of our current PUC students, request to dorm with them during your stay. It is as easy as that! I look forward to meeting you!

Your last chance for a College Days experience this year is coming up April 9-11. Don’t miss out!

Why You Should Join a Music Group at PUC

By Andrea James

PUC boasts many great music ensembles. We enjoy their performances every quarter, but most of us don’t participate in a music group. After all, why should we sacrifice our precious free time? I asked Kayley Wilson, a junior English major and member of both I Cantori and Chorale, for her answer and a few other questions about music at PUC.

“The payoff is great. There have been times where I’ve been thinking, ‘Man, I could be working on a paper right now.’ But there have been so many times when I’ve walked out going, ‘Wow. I am so less stressed about what was bothering me.’ I feel better … Singing is healthy. It causes you to breathe really deeply … Psychologically, physically it’s good for you. Even though there have been times when I’m like, ‘I could be doing something else,’ I feel it benefits me in so many ways. It’s not something I’m willing to give up, you know? It does limit your time sometimes. If you’re just in Chorale, a couple weekends a year you’re singing. It’s really not that much. I think it’s worth it.”

Why do you have such a high opinion of singing?
“There’s something so powerful about this big group of people all thinking about the same thing and focusing on the same thing when we live in this world where there’s so much division. It’s really a beautiful thing to be able to come together and do that.

Music relaxes me. It allows me to step outside of the daily struggles and focus on something I love. I love that a lot of it’s worship music and I love doing that. It’s an escape; it’s worship. I just think it’s really valuable … I also feel like whatever gift you’ve been given, doing it well is an act of worship … When I was in high school, I came from a Waldorf school and it wasn’t Christian, and now I go to this school where my professor is saying, ‘We’re singing the Bible; we’re singing Scripture.’ Literally, singing Scripture! He said, ‘When I’m conducting, I’m praying. My heart is in it; my soul is in it. I want you to think about singing in a choir as your personal worship time. You’re not performing for other people; you’re giving back to God.’ That really, really stuck with me.”

Why do you think people are hesitant to join music groups?
“Well, for one I think a lot of people are scared of joining music groups because they’re scared they don’t have the ability. The thing is, no one expects you to come in knowing everything. That’s why there’s an instructor.

If you like music, what kind of music are you interested in? Don’t think that ‘Oh, well, this was written in 1500sI’m not going to like that.’ You don’t know unless you’ve tried singing it, unless you’ve sat down and listened to it. It doesn’t have to be choirthat’s my background, but I have friends who are in Symphonic Wind Ensemble and they just have a blast. They’re always doing some really interesting pieces. I think it really builds communityreally, really builds community. It’s typical that you’re going to know more people within your department because you have events to go to and classes with all those people, but when you’re in a music ensemble, you also get to meet people from all over who maybe you wouldn’t have encountered otherwise and you’re all coming together for one common goal. I just think that’s so cool.

ensemble

One thing I think is really neat about being in an ensemble is that if you don’t feel confident, you’ve got a lot of people behind you. There’s something really beautiful about that unity; that we may not all sound amazing by ourselves, but we’re stronger and more powerful together.”

So, consider joining one of the music groups on campus and be part of a community, worshipping and singing together. Here’s a list of some of the larger ensembles at PUC:

  • Big Band–Rehearses and performs big band jazz. The group focuses on the development of reading and improvisation skills.
  • ChoralePerforms both sacred and secular music, in diverse styles and from many periods. It’s a large mixed chorus open to all students, faculty, and staff. The group normally performs one piece with the orchestra each year. There are auditions each quarter; however, membership for the whole school year is preferred.
  • Gospel ChoirExtensively surveys religious music from African-American worship experiences.
  • Handbell Choir–Performs every quarter, both on and off campus. There are two levels of handbell choir: The beginning choir is open to any student who can read music; the advanced handbell choir is for ringing level three music and above.
  • I CantoriPerforms both sacred and secular music. It’s a mixed-voice chamber ensemble for voice majors and other serious vocal students. It’s also a major touring ensemble and has a full performance schedule, including off campus tours. The director holds auditions at the beginning of fall quarter and year-long membership is required. Students in I Cantori are also required to register for Chorale.
  • Introductory String EnsemblePerforms music at the level of the group. The ensemble focuses on developing technique, musicianship, and ensemble skills.
  • OrchestraPerforms masterworks in concerts every quarter and at other events, both on and off campus. It’s for advanced string, wind, and brass players. The group often collaborates with soloists and other ensembles.
  • Praise Teams/Bands–There are opportunities to perform at both vespers and the PUC Church service Sabbath morning. Contact the religious vice president in the Student Association or the church office to learn more. You can also read our post “(P)Raise the Roof” for some thoughts on being part of a praise band at PUC.
  • Symphonic Wind Ensemble–Performs a diverse selection of music in a wide variety of settings and is for advanced instrumentalists. Tours and workshops occur on alternate years.

praise-band