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.

The Grind: A Showcase of a Student Job on Campus

By Michael Morales

What’s something everyone worries about when first starting life at a new school? I’ll tell you: Meeting. New. People. Even if you manage to get out there and meet new people, there’s no guarantee your schedule will allow you to maintain those friendships! Meeting new people is definitely a stressful part of college. However, it can also be one of the most memorable things about your college experience. If you find yourself nodding your head while reading the above statements, have I got a tip for you!

Try applying for a job in the Grind—the quaint little coffee shop located inside the Campus Center! Why do I suggest working at a coffee shop is a good way to meet people? Here’s a list of reasons I compiled from simply being a barista myself:

The Coffee

One of the perks of being a Grind employee is the fact you get to surround yourself with a drink that makes the world go around—coffee. Working as a barista really opens your mind to the world of coffee and the drinks involved in it. Trust me, you’ll easily be able to explain to your friends the difference between a caramel latte and a caramel macchiato. After being immersed in coffee culture, you can use that as a talking point with other coffee enthusiasts on campus (of which there are many).

The Customer Service

A great skill working at the Grind will help you develop is a positive work ethic and cheerful attitude towards customers. Since you’ll be a barista/cashier employee, you have the chance to make a service interaction truly memorable and personal. If a person is unsure about what to order, you can use your developed coffee knowledge to recommend a drink that suits the customer. Before long, you might see the faces of people who come often to get their coffee fix. You can learn their name, their favorite drink, and even become good friends!

The Team

Apart from being a master barista with a knack for good service, is perhaps the best part of working at the Grind—your team. Your co-workers have got your back whenever you need them, and they know you got theirs too. Each person is so unique with their own set of skills that makes the Grind a truly unique work experience. Some can dance, some can stock items like a beast, and some can make drinks faster than you can say “Man, I love Colloquy!”

Overall, the Grind is a great place to work if you’re eager to meet new people at PUC. You meet customers and co-workers alike, each with their own personality traits that makes the student body so diverse. Not to mention you get to say “Yeah, I’m a barista now” to anyone you meet. That, in and of itself, should be motivation enough to get out there and give it a shot! Who knows, you might find yourself loving it a latte.

Life as a C.C. Sports Writer

By Andrew Kim

When I think about sports, sports are more than physical activities that occur for entertainment purposes, keeping people healthy, and building character. Sports serve as one of many crucial elements of everyday life that keeps athletes, fans, and society energized, emotional, motivated, and inspired in life. When journalists report on sports stories, they share the same passion with sports fans and athletes. That’s the main reason why I am a communication major here at PUC with plans on becoming a sports journalist so I, too, can share my passion and enthusiasm of sports I follow on a daily basis. In addition, I knew to continue to build towards my future path, I needed to gain experience in learning and writing about sports. That all was reaffirmed when I joined the staff of the Campus Chronicle, PUC’s student-run newspaper.

The first time I heard of the Campus Chronicle here at PUC was during my first week as a freshman, when I visited the Chronicle offices at the Campus Center to gain an idea of what the organization was like and how they reported on story ideas on a weekly basis. It was not until the following year as a sophomore, where I spent my freshman year attending meetings but not proposing any sports stories then, where I decided to write my first sports article, which was about NASCAR and a racing event that recently occurred. Because of my childhood obsession of NASCAR, I knew a lot about NASCAR and I thought writing about it for the Chronicle would be perfect enough for me to do on a regular basis. Little did I know I had a lot more about sports writing and reporting to learn.

There were mixed emotions after my NASCAR article was published in the following Campus Chronicle edition. Part of me was happy with what I wrote and published for the first time for the Chronicle, but there was another part of me that felt like the Chronicle would not be overly excited about me only writing about NASCAR on a continuous basis. I knew for my next assignment, I would have to learn more about other sports. That was when I decided to learn about the PUC Pioneers, the college’s sporting teams from volleyball to basketball, and familiarize myself with their code of language, names of the athletes, the rules of the game, and what highlights to mention when writing.

I decided my first PUC Pioneers article I would write about would be a preview edition for the Pioneers heading into the 2017/18 season. I visited the Pioneers website and analyzed the Pioneers’ stats from last season, among which included how many games they won or lost and how close they came in making the Cal Pac tournament. I then turned my attention to the roster to know who represents the Pioneers in what sport, mention any newcomers to the Pioneers family, and break down the schedule for the upcoming season. Researching online and communicating with key Pioneer staffs that included coaches Greg Rahn and George Glover along with Brittany Brown, the athletics director, provided for me a clear background on sports that included basketball, volleyball, and cross country. After turning in the article, I felt both relieved and pleased with my first completed task as a Campus Chronicle sports writer, but also knew that this was only the beginning.

The next task I took, when writing about sports for Campus Chronicle, occurred on January 15, 2018, where I participated and reported my first Pioneers men’s basketball home game against UC Santa Cruz. Throughout the first half of the game, I kept track of the number of points made by each team, who contributed to scoring a point, and thought it would be a piece of cake. Then, someone gave me an official report sheet that covered the shots and stats of each player. By the time the game ended, I left with mixed emotions, one feeling happy for the Pioneers winning the game and having a lot to recap and write about the game, but also disappointed and felt I came unprepared and did not know what some of the stats meant. On the bright side, the game provided a general overview of what specifics, stats, and top plays to cover throughout an event and the importance of writing based on my knowledge of sports. The first game encouraged for me to participate in more games to familiarize myself with the Pioneers’ environment and the significance of their endless fight in making championship runs as underdogs. The more I went, the more I came back having more to write about the Pioneers and their top highlights from each game, along with including interviews with coaches and featured athletes. Even in times where I did not travel out to a Pioneers game, I spent a majority of my spare time following sports, both at PUC and out in the world, chronologically and familiarizing myself with what to cover or mention as a sports journalist.

Working for the Campus Chronicle as a sports writer has and continues to be a great learning experience. For starters, I am more familiarized with the PUC Pioneers and know more about their accomplishments compared to not knowing anything significant about them on my first day as a PUC student. Looking at the big picture, being a Chronicle sports writer provides for me a general view of the work sports journalists and broadcasters cover across the globe along with the resources, code of language, and overview they need to familiarize themselves with before, during, and after an event. Learning about different types of sports has lead me more in analyzing how to write and report on sports stories in a way where I can share the same enthusiasm, knowledge, and passion about sports.

Me to Me

By Hailey Johanson

You probably think this blog post is about a meme, it’s not. Nope, this isn’t about the classic Star Wars influenced meme featuring Kermit the Frog.

This post is a few thoughts I would share with my younger self about growing up and life at PUC.

Dear Hailey,

You’re going to mess up. But that’s okay, it’s part of growing. I know you’re anxious to grow up, to do your own thing. Don’t worry, it’ll happen sooner than you realize.

I’m going to be straight with you, high school is going to suck. You’re going to think you know who you are when you’re 15 when in all honesty, learning about who you are is a life-long lesson.

No need to worry about high school, it all happens so fast. Don’t get hung up on tiny issues, keep your eyes on the big picture. By the time you reach your senior year you’re going to be faced with some pretty life-altering decisions: Where are you going to go to college? What will your major be? Etc.

You’re going to go to PUC, you’re going to be a communication major, and you’re going to realize that was the best possible choice for you. It was the best choice for reasons that weren’t clear at first, for reasons you get to discover.

You’re going to learn so much at PUC, and you’re going to love your departments so much, it will surprise you. Be grateful for your professors, they want nothing more than to see you succeed. Advocate for yourself in your classes, really take full advantage of the opportunities presented to you. And Hailey, don’t worry if you hate a class, it’s only going to be a quarter long. You’ve done much harder things than take a class you don’t like, you’ll be fine.

Homework can be fun, who am I kidding, I know you love learning. But don’t let it control how you feel. As long as you put in the time and the effort you shouldn’t worry too much. Anxiety is a problem, but it’s nothing you can’t handle if you take small steps, but steps nonetheless.

Friends will find you. Don’t be worried about making friends when you come to PUC. Even if it isn’t immediate, you’re going to find your people, and they will find you.

Oh, and just a heads up, you’ll be able to survive the cafeteria food at PUC, they have avocados and a lot of kombucha. The Hawaiian bread isn’t bad either, you’ll be fine.

You’re going to make connections, friendships, and relationships that will help you along the path to who you want to be.

When I say things are going to be hard, I mean you’re going to struggle. But no matter how long or how much you struggle, you’ll be okay. You may not be okay in the moment, but eventually, given time, you are going to be just fine.

Remember, you don’t know everything. Even if you think you’ve got it all figured out, life has a funny way of showing you the true extent of your knowledge. Just be okay with messing up, it’s the only way you’ll ever learn.

You’re stubborn, and that’s good, just don’t let it blind you to the different aspects of life that are new to you. Be ready to learn, but not just academically. You’re going to learn in all kinds of ways.

Growing is always difficult but it’s one of the only things you can ensure will happen. Change is constant, don’t be scared of change, that too is one of the only reliable aspects of life.

So hang in there, you crazy rugrat. You’re going to do great, even if that’s hard to believe at times. You’re going to do great.  

“Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?”

Photo Credit: Karina Oliani

By Yuliya Belikova

Going on a mission trip was one of my New Year’s Resolutions. It was something I wanted to do just to say I have done and maybe receive a different view of the world that everyone who has been on a mission trip keeps talking about. I was dreading the day of departure and wanted to get it over with. This was something out of my comfort zone, but that is why I needed to do it.

This journey was only 10 days long but it taught me so much more than I could have learned in years. It expanded my heart to love the way I didn’t think I could. Building those relationships with the kids and the locals, hearing their stories, their everyday lives, and having real conversations. One of the things that I admired about the kids is when they asked you about your life they actually cared and wanted to know more about you, with no hint of jealousy. They genuinely wanted to get to know you, respect you, and love you. These are the people that our society talks about as if they lack the “important” things in life, but in my eyes, they have it all and even more than we do.  They may not have the materialistic things of this world, but they have the most important thing in life, a developing relationship with God that is not forced, and the relationships within the community and each other. It made me realize how shut out we are to making new relationships with others, but in reality that is what keeps us alive.

Going on this trip has taught me the simplicity of life and the importance of relationships. Putting away your phone and getting up early, actually listening to another person’s answer when you ask the generic question “how are you?” These may seem like small and little things that others take for granted, but for me, it changed my perspective. It would have taken me years to develop this mentality, but here I am after 10 days. You may not believe me or won’t be able to fully understand the emotion until you go through it too. This is why I 100% suggest doing this at least once in your life. The relationships that were made on that small island of Mana were made for a lifetime. Now I can point to that small island on the map and say, “I have a family who lives here and I can’t wait to go back and visit them soon.”

How Being an Athlete Helped Me

By Lauren Purdom

Whenever I tell people I will be graduating from Pacific Union College, 90 percent of the time they have no idea as to its whereabouts. Coming from a highly populated city and high school, to joining the Pioneers was a major transition and adjustment for me. Not only was it in a city that barely had 4,000 people but it was on a hill. It is also a private Christian-based college affiliated with the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. I was born and raised in a city in Southern California and went to a high school with over 2,000 students. Can you imagine the hallways! Seeing how I have played sports all my life and continued by playing on PUC’s women’s volleyball team, I feel like that made my transition into such a small college a whole lot easier.

Sports and sports teams even are full of diversity. In a sense so is PUC. This is one of the major reasons why I was probably able to adapt to the college when got up here. I already had the skill set to meet new people and create bonds by getting to know people and hang out with them. It also made it easier because when you join a team you meet a lot of people from different backgrounds you automatically have something in common withplaying sports!

Another reason why being an athlete helped me with my transition was because I was faced with adversity before I even got to college. Nothing and nowhere is perfect so you are always going to face obstacles and challenges. I played multiple sports as a child and was on two sports teams in high school so I was dealing with a variety of personalities. Because of PUC’s diverse population, I encountered numerous amounts of individuals from all over the world. These students came from a list of backgrounds and all were unique in their own way.

All in all, I feel being an athlete all my life was beneficial towards my transition into becoming a student-athlete here at PUC. I can sincerely say that the skills you learn and develop when you are on a team or in a teamwork environment not only build your confidence but are everlasting and will definitely help you with future endeavors.

PUC: A Place I Found My Spiritual Talents

By Jamal Armstrong

My name is Jamal Armstrong and I am a super senior social work major. Yes, I have been in college for five years. As I come to the end of my undergraduate career, I have become retrospective about how much I have grown at PUC and how I have been able to leave an impact. PUC has taught me many things. From learning to truly have my own personal relationship with Jesus Christ to how to manage my time better, I learned it all at PUC.

Coming here in September of 2013 after living on the East Coast for the previous four years was exciting for me. I came to college as a wide-eyed 18-year-old freshman who was simply excited to come back and live in the state where I was born. I like to consider myself an outgoing person so it didn’t take a long time for me to begin making friends and coming out of my shell. One thing I quickly became involved in was praise music. I absolutely love singing and I consider it a huge honor to be a vessel for Christ as I let Him use me to help lead out in praising His name. In a sense, I went through the ranks. I started out being on praise teams meant for smaller worship services and made my way through to leading out vespers and church. I recognized God gave me talents to lead in praise and I dove headfirst into that. Understanding I have talents the Lord gave me and having older worship leaders such as George Tuyu and Jason Decena to help mold me as a worship leader are things I am grateful for.

From a young freshman to a seasoned super senior, I have learned the best thing I can do as a follower of Christ is to be absolutely honest and open with how I praise Him on stage. People can see right through someone who is just going through the motions just as well as they can tell when someone is being genuine. For me personally, it is easy to be genuine because I consider myself a very introspective person. I like to know where I’m at mentally, physically, and emotionally and I like to know where I can improve. As I have grown up the past five years, I can honestly say I have learned to let others help me rather than rely on myself, and more importantly, I have learned how to rely on God. There will always be ups and downs in life but with God leading my life I know I will go far. As I get ready to set sail from PUC, I leave knowing my purpose in life and to always rely on God.