#FacultyFriday: Meet Vola Andrianarijaona

Raise your hand if you know what country the Malagasy language hails from. Anyone? Ah, a few! Today’s #FacultyFriday feature speaks Malagasy—the language of Madagascar—fluently, in addition to French, English, and German. Dr. Vola Andrianarijaona grew up in Madagascar and attended school in Belgium and France before ending up teaching physics here at PUC for over a decade now. He has taught a slew of courses on varying topics in physics, and manages a lot of undergraduate research taking place in his department. As an experimental scientist, he enjoys working in the labs with his students very much. Allow us to introduce you to Dr. Andrianarijaona.

Name: Dr. Vola Masoandro Andrianarijaona
Title: Professor of Physics
Email: vola@puc.edu  
Faculty since: 2006

Classes taught: PacificQuest, Introduction to Physics laboratory; General Physics I, II, III; Physics with Calculus I, II, III; Applied Optics; Applied Physics; Elementary Modern Physics; Biophysics; Medical Physics; Electromagnetic Theory I, II, III; Experimental Physics; Thermal Physics; Quantum Physics I; Special Topics in Physics; Independent Study; Independent Research; Advanced Experimental Physics

Education: Doctorat en Sciences, Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium; DEA en Physique des Lasers et Applications, Université de Paris XIII, France; DEA en Physique des Solides, Université de Paris VII, France; Maîtrise de Physique et Applications, Université de Paris XIII; CAPEN en Physique-Chimie, Ecole Normale Supérieure, Madagascar

What made you decide to be a teacher?
I did not decide to be or become a teacher per se. I am just following God’s will.

What are some of your hobbies?
Playing with my children and cooking.

What’s something people might be surprised to know about you?
I am a first generation student, more precisely high school student. I am also a first generation immigrant. 

What’s your favorite thing about PUC?

What’s your favorite spot on campus?
Chan Shun room 238J.

What’s your favorite song?
This is a hard question if you want just one answer. There are three hymns that I like the most: “Amazing Grace” by John Newton, “Abide with Me” by Henry Francis Lyte, and “We Have This Hope” by Wayne Hooper. Other songs that I admire and can listen tirelessly: “Ny lanitra mangamanga” by Randafison Sylvestre, “Salakao” by Salala, “Shma Israel” by Sarit Hadad, and “Ashoov eleicha” by Yaron Yerahmiel Cherniak.   

What advice would you give to an incoming freshman?
Enjoy your time and do not underestimate the relationship/connection with your peers, with your teachers and even with the community.

Professional Activities:

Note: Since Dr. Andrianarijaona’s list of professional publications and presentations is extensive, we have chosen to list only the most recent three of each.

Selected Publications:

Quantum Neutron Unit Gravity 

  1. Chakeres and V. M. Andrianarijaona

Journal of High Energy Physics, Gravitation and Cosmology, 3, 267-276 (2017)

Line ratios for soft-x-ray emission following charge exchange between

O8+ and Kr.”  

D.G. Seely, V. M. Andrianarijaona, D. Wulf, K. Morgan, D. McCammon, M. Fogle, P.C. Stancil, R.T. Zhang, and C. C. Havener

Phys. Rev. A 95, 052704 (2017)

A frequency-equivalent scale-free derivation of the neutron, hydrogen quanta, Planck time, and a black hole from 2 and π 

  1. Chakeres, R. Vento, and V. M. Andrianarijaona

Journal of Applied Mathematics and Physics, 5, 1073-1091 (2017)

Selected Presentations:

Invited poster (May 27th, 2014), 23rd International Conference on the Application of Accelerators in Research and Industry (CAARI 2014), San Antonio, TX, USA

Title: Line ratios of soft X-ray emissions following charge exchange between C6+ and Kr 

Invited talk (August 8th, 2012), 22nd International Conference on the Application of Accelerators in Research and Industry (CAARI 2012), Fort Worth, TX, USA

Title: Intense decelerated ion beams for the study of low-energy charge transfer

Award Winning Poster at CAARI  2012

“High Resolution X-Ray Spectroscopy of Charge Exchange Collisions of Astrophysical Interest”

#FacultyFriday: Meet Denise Lee-Haye

Dr. Denise Lee-Haye is today’s #FacultyFriday feature. Dr. Lee-Haye spent her college years on the east coast, so with her time here at PUC she has become acquainted with the culture of the west coast, as well. With several professional presentations under her belt, she is well-equipped and comfortable at the front of the classroom, and she enjoys imparting chemistry knowledge and experience to anyone and everyone. Let’s get to know Dr. Lee-Haye!

Name: Dr. Denise Lee-Haye
Title: Associate Professor of Chemistry
Email: dleehaye@puc.edu
Faculty since: 2011

Classes taught: General Chemistry, Biophysical Chemistry, Science & Chemistry Seminars

Education: Bachelor’s degree in biochemistry, Connecticut College; Ph.D. in biochemistry, University of Connecticut

What made you decide to be a teacher?
I like to teach what I know, to those who need or want to learn it. I had experience doing that and teaching jobs were coming to my attention even before I was looking for any.  

What are some of your hobbies?
Fixing delicious foods, hiking, and finding scenic locations in the San Francisco Bay Area.

What’s something people might be surprised to know about you?
I’m Jamaican and I have both Asian and African heritage.

What’s your favorite thing about PUC?
Its location in the Napa Valley and the opportunity it gives for meaningful relationships with others.

What’s your favorite spot on campus?
The college’s back 40 property.

What’s your favorite song?
I love songs about Jesus’ birth— anytime and all year long!

What advice would you give to an incoming freshman?
Ask God for wisdom in everything. Take your teachers’ advice seriously. Test it so you can learn exactly what they mean. It’s worth getting to bed early. Get up in time to have breakfast and don’t forget to drink enough water and get some exercise outdoors. Then hopefully you’ll sleep well and think well!

#FacultyFriday: Meet Katharine Van Arsdale

Katharine Van Arsdale is a Texan-turned-Californian who loves books. This is appropriate, considering her profession: She is one of our team of librarians here at PUC who helps students and other faculty find what they need. Katy adores her two cats, Mochi and Meeka, and has a passion for history. Without further ado, introducing: Katharine Van Arsdale!

Name: Katharine Van Arsdale
Title: Special Collections Librarian
Email: kvanarsdale@puc.edu
Faculty since: 2015

Classes taught: Information literacy sessions for all kinds of cool classes in different departments

Education: B.A. English, Andrews University; MSLS Library & Information Science, Catholic University of America; M.A. History, Catholic University of America

What made you decide to be a librarian?
I’m a special collections librarian at an academic library, which is honestly my dream job. The “special collections” part means I get to work with rare books and archives full of old letters and photographs and diaries. It’s all the coolest stuff in the library. I knew I wanted to do this job when I was a kid and I visited museums. I saw all the interesting objects hidden behind glass and I thought to myself, “I want to be the one who has permission to touch all the historic things.” So that’s what I do now every day, and it’s great. The best part is that I work in an academic library’s collection, which means that I’m making these rare books and fragile photographs available to student researchers. I’m taking the cool exhibits out from behind the glass and sharing history with PUC, and I love that.

What are some of your hobbies?
I’m obsessed with National Parks. My life goal is to visit and hike in every National Park. California is a great state for this, because a lot of the most beautiful parks in the United States are here within driving distance of PUC.

What’s something people might be surprised to know about you?
I grew up in Texas, and until I was about 10 I spoke with a thick Texan drawl. It’s totally gone now. Well, mostly.

What’s your favorite thing about PUC?
I love the campus. There are trees and flowers everywhere, and the views are always changing as you walk across the campus because it’s hilly. Many of the buildings are historic, and they have very interesting architecture. The campus is also special because it’s close to wilderness and city, mountains and ocean. From PUC, we can go for a hike in the forest preserve, or we can take a day trip to San Francisco. It’s all nearby.

What’s your favorite spot on campus?
I love standing on the steps to Irwin Hall when the sun is setting. You get such a gorgeous view of the campus and the sky.

What’s your favorite book?
My favorite book is “The Count of Monte Cristo” because it’s a glorious revenge tale but also a classic book, so you feel very cultured and smart when you finish reading it.

What advice would you give to an incoming freshman?
If you have questions or problems with any stage of research or study, you can text the library. Did you know that? It’s true! We have a Text-a-Librarian number so you can get help even when you can’t come to the library. Try it—the number is (707) 948-6639!

#FacultyFriday: Meet Milbert Mariano

PUC’s department of visual arts has been led by the same very capable chair for a dozen years now. Milbert Mariano, native to SoCal, taught for four years at Andrews University in Michigan before moving back to the West Coast and joining the visual arts faculty at PUC. He’s an outdoor enthusiast like none other and enjoys pretty much any activity that involves being outside. Without further ado, let’s get to know Milbert Mariano.

Name: Milbert Mariano
Title: Professor of Graphic Design
Email: mmariano@puc.edu 
Faculty since: 1995

Classes taught: Typography, Publication Design, Interactive Design, Environmental Graphic Design, among others.

Education: MFA, San Francisco Academy of Art; BS, Pacific Union College

Highlighted professional activities:

Juror for the Napa Lighted Art Festival and the Napa Art Walk

What made you decide to be a teacher?
After getting my design degree at PUC, I had the opportunity to teach at Andrews University. I realized that teaching was my calling while I was teaching there. A few years later, PUC called me as they were expanding their design program. I knew it was something that I wanted to be a part of helping grow. I’ve been teaching ever since and chairing for the past 12 years.

What are some of your hobbies?
I love food, travel, running, and 80s trivia.

What’s something people might be surprised to know about you?
I can solve a Rubik’s cube and do a New York Times crossword puzzle (Mondays only) in about 8-10 minutes.

What’s your favorite thing about PUC?
The community of faculty, staff, and their families. We work and go to church together, and live relatively close to each other. I think it’s important to find and build community wherever you are.

What’s your favorite spot on campus?
Anywhere in Fisher Hall/Visual Arts Department. It’s like my second home.

What’s your favorite book?
“Les Miserables”

What advice would you give to an incoming freshman?
PUC’s a great place to put in your 10,000 hours. So work your rear off, and make yourself at home.

#FacultyFriday: Meet Hilary Dickerson

Welcome to #FacultyFriday! Meet Hilary Dickerson, professor of history. Dr. Dickerson is a long-time West Coast resident, having completed four degrees in Washington State before moving south to teach here at PUC. Her interest in WWII-era history led her to a short-term research position in Japan, which has given her invaluable experience as a professor and a historian. But more on that later. Introducing: Dr. Dickerson!

Name: Hilary Dickerson
Title: Professor of History
Email: hdickerson@puc.edu
Faculty since: Fall 2007

Classes Taught: U.S. History, Intro to Asia, History Methods II (Historiography), Civil War and Reconstruction, Recent America: 1945-Present, Seminar in Asia, Seminar in the U.S., History Methods IV (Senior Thesis), History of Culture: Cold War America, U.S. Diplomatic History, History Study Tour, and an Honors course: Race and the American Century

What do you enjoy most about being a professor?
I love interacting with students, particularly watching students transform and master skills (reading, original research, writing, presentations) they once thought close to impossible. My favorite part of teaching is the growth I see in my students’ scholarship and character from their freshman to senior years as they encounter the world.

What is your area of expertise and why did you choose that?
My specialty is U.S.-Japanese relations during World War II and the Occupation, particularly involving the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I chose it partially because I heard my grandfather’s stories about fighting in the Pacific during World War II, and I read a book on the atomic bomb as an undergraduate. I also chose it partially by accident; I came across a group of women, the Hiroshima Maidens, in something I was reading in early graduate school and shifted my interest from an environmental history of Hanford Nuclear Site to this group of women who, despite being bombed by the U.S., traveled here afterward for plastic surgery to fix their scars.

What do you find most challenging about your job?
Staying up-to-date on current research in the field of history and making history relevant for college students.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to teach kindergarten for a while, which is hysterical now because my classroom management skills for that age group are non-existent.

I understand you’ve spent significant time in Japan. Tell us about that.
I lived in Japan for seven months as a research fellow at International Christian University when I was ABD (All But Dissertation in my doctoral program) and have had the privilege of traveling in Japan several other times as well. While there, I conducted my own research three days a week, and usually traveled the other four, unless I needed to help out with a conference or proofread professors’ latest projects.

In Japan, I learned about the importance of traveling alone and pushing myself to try new things even when it felt uncomfortable. I frequently draw on my research from that era as I teach or work on new projects of my own; I learned how to negotiate difficult research topics—such as the death and destruction wrought by the atomic bomb—as a citizen of the country that built the bomb.

I was initially most surprised by Japan’s blend of cutting-edge modern life with tradition, but I should not have been. I was also surprised at how good my Spanish became in Japan; I’d studied in Argentina in college, and surrounded by a new language, I started thinking in Spanish instead of English. When I tried to speak in my limited and halting—and frankly awful—Japanese, Spanish words came out instead. It is funny now, but it wasn’t always then.

And finally, I learned what it feels like to be an outsider while I lived in Japan—to not speak the language, understand all parts of a culture, be able to express myself easily. I brought that with me to teaching, I hope. I think the experience gave me empathy for my students when they are working to learn something new and frustrated by how long it takes or who feel like they don’t yet belong.

Why did you decide to become a teacher?
I decided to teach high school when I started college, and then I taught about the atomic bomb and the students were clearly uninterested. About that time, a history professor at Walla Walla University named Bob Henderson suggested I should think about teaching college. It had never occurred to me that I could succeed in graduate school, let alone teach college students.

What are some of your hobbies?
I like to travel, read, run, spend time with my family, and ride horses.

What’s something people might be surprised to learn about you?
I once spent a summer working grounds for a golf course and can (or at least could) drive a tractor, mow greens, mow fairways, and reprimand golfers throwing fits about their drives. I misunderstood my boss once and mowed an entire hill of decorative grass down; he’d been carefully growing the grass for a few seasons and had told me to “go find something to mow.” So, I did.

What’s your favorite thing about PUC?
I love being part of the community of students and faculty at PUC, particularly given the natural setting of the hill.

Name a class (history or otherwise!) you think all PUC students ought to take.
I think all students should take a class in a subject that pushes the boundaries of their own knowledge and perspectives, whatever that class might be. History Methods II (Historiography) is my favorite class to teach in many ways because it does just that.

Education: B.A. in English, B.A. in Spanish from Walla Walla University; M.A. in American Studies from Washington State University; Ph.D. in U.S. History from Washington State University

Professional activities:


New publication (book chapter) in Fall 2018 as part of the Legacies of the Manhattan Project called, “The Atomic Bomb in Censored Print: Newspapers and the Meaning of Nuclear War.”


“‘Will Die for Cause of Imperial Edict:’ Paul Tatsuguchi’s Transnationalism in a Time of War.” Asian Studies on the Pacific Coast 2017 Annual Conference. June, 2017. Salem, Oregon.

#FacultyFriday: Meet Maria Rankin-Brown

This week’s #FacultyFriday introduces us to Dr. Maria Rankin-Brown, who joined the department of English in 2006 and now serves as department chair. She specializes in composition studies, rhetoric, sociolinguistics, multicultural studies, non-Western literature, and creative writing. Prior to teaching at PUC, she taught at several institutions, including the University of the Pacific, Southern Utah University, Dalton State College, Chattanooga State Technical Community College, Mesa State College, and California State University, Chico. We are blessed to have Dr. Rankin-Brown’s energy and creative wit on our campus.

Name: Maria Rankin-Brown
Title: Professor of English and chair of the department of English
Email: mrankin@puc.edu
Faculty since: 2006

Classes taught: College English, Survey of Linguistics, Contemporary Literature, Themes in Literature, Short Story Writing

Education: Bachelor’s degree in journalism, from Pacific Union College, 1995; master’s in communication, from the University of Northern Colorado, 1997; Ph.D. in rhetoric and linguistics, from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, 2005

Professional activities:

Editor’s note: Since Dr. Rankin-Brown’s professional activities are extensive, we have listed only a few of her most recent accomplishments.


“’Sin’ of Adulthood’ and ‘Ministerial Cramps’ Are all in My Day’s Work,” Adventist Review. November, 2014. Print.

“Finding our Humanity in Paranormal Literature.” Popular Culture Review, Winter 2013.

“The Function of Japanese Manga to Shape and Reflect Japanese Identity.” Japan Studies Review, 2012.


Northern California Conference Academy Teacher In-service, “What to Expect from College Composition” and “Don’t Do It All: Using Rubrics to Teach Writing.” January 30-31, 2017.

California Association of Teachers of English. Co-presenter with Georgina Hill. “Don’t Do It All: Responding to Student Writing.” Santa Clara, California. February 17-19, 2017.

Adventist English Association. Co-presenter with Georgina Hill. “Worthwhile and Reliable Assessment in the First-Year Writing Sequence,” June, 2016, Keene, Texas.

Grants, Awards, and Other Professional Contributions

2007-2009; 2008-2009; 2010-2011; 2013-2014; 2017-2018: Pacific Union College: Herber Grant awarded to conduct research on Japanese literature and rhetorical behaviors and the African diaspora and the ways in which it is represented in museums.

Conference submission reviewer. Sigma Tau Delta National English Honor Society – 2009-current.

Article reviewer, Adventist Journal of Education, reviewed article on plagiarism, January 2012.

What made you decide to be a teacher?
I’m a big nerd and school is where I feel most at home. I was waiting to do my MA comprehensive exams in 1996 and was planning to be a professional mediator when the University of the Pacific needed me to cover their Conflict Management classes for a professor who was out on leave. Teaching both exhilarated and terrified me and I enjoyed that balance, and from there, I just stayed in school, where I continue to be exhilarated and terrified.

What are some of your hobbies?
It’s really hard for me to walk past a flowering plant without photographing it and posting it on Instagram. I spend a lot of time out in nature with my phone and camera while obsessively listening to audiobooks.

What’s something people might be surprised to know about you?
My father’s family emigrated from Europe to Zambia (Southern Africa) long before the United States was even a country. I became a U.S. citizen seven years after marrying my American husband. I’m still learning new things about what it means to be an American.

What’s your favorite thing about PUC?
I feel like I’m supposed to say the students, but I really love the biscuits and gravy in the caf on Fridays. Plus my colleagues are thoughtful, friendly, and supportive. They make working here a pleasure.

What’s your favorite spot on campus?
Outdoors: the Back 40; indoors: Stauffer Hall.

What’s your favorite book?
“A Tale for the Time Being” by Ruth Ozeki and “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee.

What advice would you give to an incoming freshman?
It’s easy to allow yourself to stress about everything because everyone else is talking about how stressed they are and that energy is catching. If you’re here to learn and grow, allow yourself the time, the schedule, and the mindset to enjoy college instead of only being stressed.

Interested in learning more about PUC’s English program? Visit puc.edu/admissions!

#FacultyFriday: Meet Ross Winkle

It’s time for another #FacultyFriday! Meet Dr. Ross Winkle, professor of new testament and chair of the department of theology who has taught at PUC since 2005. He has a professional focus on the New Testament and has received several PUC Faculty Development Research and Honors awards, as well as two Herber Faculty Development Awards. He has also served as a student missionary in Tokyo, Japan, and as a pastor for 13 years in three successive church districts in Oregon. He is an ordained minister and occasionally leads adult Sabbath School discussions on campus and preaches in surrounding churches. Dr. Winkle has also had several pieces published in various publications and given a significant number of presentations at professional conferences around the world, including Edinburgh, Scotland; Izmir, Turkey; and Vienna, Austria.

Name: Dr. Ross Winkle
Title: Professor of new testament and chair, department of theology
Email: rwinkle@puc.edu
Faculty since: Fall 2005

Classes taught: Discovering Jesus (Honors), Encountering Jesus, Parables of Jesus, Book of John, Studies in Daniel, Studies in Revelation, Advanced Studies in Apocalyptic, Biblical Greek I, II, III, Seventh-day Adventist Beliefs, Theology of the Sanctuary, Last Day Events

Education: Bachelor’s degrees in theology and biblical language, from Walla Walla College, 1983; M.Div., from Andrews University, 1987; Ph.D. in religion, from Andrews University, 1987

Professional activities:

Editor’s note: Since Dr. Winkle’s professional activities are extensive, we have listed only a few of his most recent accomplishments.

Scholarly Publications

1 Peter. Seventh-day Adventist International Bible Commentary (co-written [1 Peter 3-5] with Tom Shepard, Ph.D.). Nampa, ID: Pacific Press, forthcoming.

“Navigating the Aqueous and Fluvial Imagery of the Liquid Temple.” In Sacred Space, Sacred Thread. Wipf & Stock, forthcoming, 2018.

“Resistance Is Not Futile: Restraint as Cultic Action in 2 Thessalonians 2.” In Jewish Cult Identity: Constituents and Critique, eds. Henrietta Wiley and Christian Eberhart. Resources for Bible Study series. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2017.

“‘You Are What You Wear’: The Dress and Identity of Jesus as High Priest in John’s Apocalypse.” In Jewish Cult Identity: Constituents and Critique, eds. Henrietta Wiley and Christian Eberhart. Resources for Bible Study series. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2017.

“A River Flows From It: The ‘Sanctuary Doctrine’ and the Hydrological Ecclesiology of the Temple.” Spectrum 43/2 (2015): 8-15.

Selected Scholarly Presentations

“‘Clothes Make the (One Like a Son of) Man’: Dress Imagery in Revelation 1 as an Indicator of High Priestly Status.” Daniel and Revelation Symposium, Chico, CA. May 28, 2017.

“(The) Speaking of the Altar: Animate Architecture in the Heavenly Temple in Rev 16:7.” Daniel and Revelation Symposium, Chico, CA. May 27, 2017.

“Crystal Clear—The River Flowing from the Throne of God and of the Lamb as a Symbol of the Spirit.” Annual Meeting of the Adventist Theological Society on “The Triune God.” San Antonio, TX. November 19, 2016.

“Navigating the Aqueous and Fluvial Imagery of the Liquid Temple.” “Sacred Space, Sacred Thread” Global Conference. University of Southern California. Los Angeles, CA. November 4, 2016.

“Fluvial Fantasies? The Liquid Temple and the Spirit.” Plenary Session Presentation. North American Division Asian/Pacific Pastors Convention. Sacramento, CA. February 23, 2016.

What made you decide to be a teacher?
I first decided I wanted to teach Bible classes while I was in academy. I personally liked one of my Bible teachers there, but I felt the Bible class for the students was a disaster, and I thought I could do better. When I got to college, though, I decided I’d rather teach at the college level than at the academy level. My year as a student missionary in Tokyo while in college, teaching conversational English to Japanese students, helped solidify that desire.

What are some of your hobbies?
Reading, genealogical research, piano/keyboard, strategy games, hiking

What’s something people might be surprised to know about you?
I like making freezer jams with interesting, fruity flavors (e.g., elephant heart plum, blackberry rhubarb, blackberry orange, blueberry peach raspberry, etc.).

What’s your favorite thing about PUC?
I like the fact that it is “in nature” and surrounded by lots of hiking trails.

What’s your favorite spot on campus?
The water fountain in front of Paulin Hall—although I don’t spend a lot of time there!

What’s your favorite song?
There’s too many to pick from! And they are “favorites” for different times of the year, different emotions, different experiences one is going through. But since you’re forcing me, I’ll pick one: Currently, one of my favorite religious songs is “Somewhere in Your Silent Night” by Casting Crowns.

What advice would you give to an incoming freshman?
Try several “different” courses to see whether you might like that direction for a career; manage your time well; and read your email!

Interested in learning more about PUC’s religion and theology programs? Visit puc.edu/admissions!