Category Archives: Social Life

Fun in our Forest 

The PUC Demonstration and Experimental Forest is protected by a conservation easement in partnership with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire) and the Land Trust of Napa County. As such, it will always remain forested and provide learning opportunities for PUC students as well as 35 miles of recreational trails—for mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding—for students, college employees, and community members. The rich biodiversity of the PUC forest makes it especially valuable to conservationists and researchers. 

Our forest truly sets PUC apart and makes Angwin a unique and special place to live, learn, and grow. We encourage everyone on our campus to get out and explore our incredible forestlands. 

Keep an eye out for some these #ForestFinds:

Diogenes Lantern

Chosen as the school flower in 1924, the Diogenes Lantern is a special flower that requires the perfect weather, soil, and water combination to grow. PUC’s forest just happens to be an environment where they flourish.  

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Northern Spotted Owl

The northern spotted owl population has suffered from habitat loss which created a decline in spotted owl numbers, causing this species to be listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in the 1980s. Helping to preserve their remaining habitat is one of the best ways to protect this species. That’s why it’s so exciting that the presence of spotted owls has been recorded in our forest on several occasions. 

 

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Sequoia Sempervirens

The coastal redwood is a unique type of redwood that spans from Monterey Bay to the Oregon border. The combination of geographic location and topography creates a special ecological niche allowing for the growth of a rare grove of coast redwoods.

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Experience a few of our favorite things:

Walk or Run the Trails 

The Back 40 is home to PUC’s most popular running trails. That’s a statement PUC’s cross country team, faculty, staff, students, and community members just looking to stay fit can attest to. Not interested in working up that much of a sweat? The trails are full of people just out for a nice walk to get some fresh air and sunshine.  

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Ride a Bike 

Whether you’re an avid rider, member of the PUC biking club, or just a casual rider, there are plenty of beautiful trails for you, including our favorite, the officially named Whoop-Dee-Doos. 

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Pet a Dog or Maybe a Horse

Studies show being in nature can reduce stress. Studies also show petting animals will do the same. One of the best things about being out and about in the PUC forest is coming across lots of pets to pet. Be sure to ask permission first!

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Did you know the PUC Forest has its own make and webpage? Visit puc.edu/forest for forest rules and guidelines and a downloadable map. 

You can also follow the forest on Instagram: @PUCForest and Facebook: /PUCForest.

If you have forest related questions contact PUC Forest Management at Forestry@puc.edu.

 

Meet Your Student Chaplain: Taylor Bothwell

By Ally Romanes

Did you know PUC has student chaplains? Taylor Bothwell is one of two student chaplains this year and she’s more than happy to help you in any way you need whether it’s praying for you when you’re in need of extra help, chatting with you about your spiritual journey, or just a smiling face around campus. Get to know a little about Taylor so next time you see her around campus you can say hi! 

What made you want to be a student chaplain? 

I wanted to be a student chaplain because having a strong spiritual life on campus is very important to me. Being a student chaplain gives me the opportunity to continue to improve and bring about change in that area. It also gives me a chance to interact with a lot of people.

What are you responsible for as a student chaplain?

Since the campus ministries team is all-new this year and we are building from scratch, we are still in the process of fleshing out responsibilities. In general terms though, as a student chaplain, I am here for the students of this school. Whether that be sitting and listening, helping start a new ministry, or running a Bible study, I want to be there for students in whatever capacity they need me for.  

What are the challenges you have as a student chaplain? 

So far, my biggest challenge relates to the new-ness of the job. I am still trying to figure out where I am needed the most and the best places for me to pour out my energy.     

What advice do you have for someone that is struggling with their spiritual life? 

Don’t stop struggling with it. By that, I don’t mean to say that someone shouldn’t reach a place of spiritual peace and fulfillment. I mean that someone shouldn’t give up.  Keep asking the hard questions, keep pursuing answers. Don’t stop struggling just because it is hard or the people around you can’t answer the questions that you have. God can handle all of the emotions and baggage you have. Be willing to share it all with him and don’t be afraid to ask for help from others.

What about being a student chaplain has prepared you for your career and other aspects of your future?

I have no idea what I am going to do for a career. That’s a very scary thing to admit to myself, but at this point, I’m simply saying yes to the opportunities I feel God has placed in front of me. That being said, I believe being a student chaplain has given me the skills of working with a team, dealing with sensitive subjects, and being able to articulate my faith and what I believe. Regardless of where I end up working, those skills will benefit me for the rest of my life.

Where is your favorite place to eat in the Napa Valley?

Ooh! That’s a hard one! I’ve lived in the Napa Valley for practically my entire life, so I have lots of memories at the different restaurants here. If I had to pick though, I would say Gott’s. Of course, the burgers are always good and they have lots of fun seasonal options too. (Did you know it used to be called Taylor’s Refresher? Can you guess why it’s my favorite?)

What shows are you watching right now?  

I’m waiting for the final season of Madame Secretary to be released on Netflix. And while I’m waiting, I’m watching The Great British Baking Show.  

What is your favorite weekend activity?

I love driving out to the beach and hanging out with friends. Since I don’t always have time to do that, I’m always down for a game night in the dorm lobby (Taboo, Uno, Codenames, etc.).

What is a favorite class that you have taken at PUC?

Can I pick one class per department? I’ve taken so many I really like I don’t think I could choose just one! Cancer Biology, History of Western Art II, Elementary Differential Equations, and Business Law I are some of my favorites.  

 

Faces of PUC: Nephtali Marin

Nephtali Marin has been at PUC for the past four years seeking a BFA in film and tends to leave a lasting impression on everyone he meets. While forgetting him is not likely to happen, he wanted to make sure he didn’t slip your mind while he spends the year serving as a student missionary in Brazil. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder but just in case you’re starting to forget our friend Nephta, or haven’t had the pleasure of meeting him just yet, we asked him a couple of questions to help everyone get to know him better. And since he’s busy acclimating to life in a different country, try not to judge him for his short answers (even though we might just a little🤣). 

What is your dream job?

DoP (Director of Photography) for narrative films. But honestly, I’m still figuring this out …

How does that compare to what you wanted to be when you were young?

Well, I wanted to be a doctor so I’d say it’s pretty different. I probably won’t be saving lives, but hey you never know! 

What is your favorite thing about being a part of the Pioneers family?

We are all equal. Whether you are a 4th year, 1st year, or faculty, I’ve never felt like there is a hierarchy. We all experience similar ups and downs which help us become close.  

Where is your favorite place in the world?

My Abuelitas house on thanksgiving. 

What show are you binge-watching right now?

My Hero Academia 

What is something you’re passionate about?

Making people laugh.

Recommend a place in the Bay Area to visit on a weekend.

Dolores Park in San Francisco. 

 

Faces of PUC: Sebastian Anderson

You may recognize this week’s #FacesOfPUC. His name is Sebastian Oliver Anderson and he’s the Student Association Executive Vice President. Sebastian is a junior in the department of visual arts focused on graphic design. In his spare time, he sometimes designs for the public relations office and is responsible for some incredible designs including the PUC bus wraps and this year’s PUC t-shirt! 

What is your dream job?

Growing up, I always wanted to be a roller coaster designer, but I think as I discovered my passion for graphic design and my strong interest in the film industry, I would really like to design movie posters, intro sequences, and other design elements necessary for film. I’m also interested in web design and UI/UX design!

What is your favorite thing about being a part of the Pioneers family?

I love the community I have here, especially my visual arts family in Fisher Hall! I am so thankful for my department.

Where is your favorite place in the world?

Right now, it is definitely Asia. I got to go on a tour two summers ago where I visited Singapore, Indonesia, and Hong Kong. I also got to spend two weeks in Malaysia with my girlfriend’s family and friends, and I can’t wait to go back.

What show are you binge-watching right now?

I’ve been watching Gilmore Girls with my mom! It’s a fun show and it’s nice to be able to spend time with her. 

What is something you’re passionate about?

I really want to make an actual, meaningful change here at PUC by the time I graduate. One of my biggest pet peeves is when my friends complain about issues on campus and have no initiative to try and seek a solution. I hope through my role as EVP, I can seek and find our student body’s strength in order to create an even better PUC.

Recommend a place in the Bay Area to visit on a weekend.

Mendocino is a beautiful little town only a few minutes away from Fort Bragg—where I live—and from our Albion Field Station! It has beautiful beaches—they are Norcal beaches, so don’t expect sun—and a lot of cute stores to visit. There’s even an ice cream store with mushroom ice cream!

 

How to Build Relationships with Your Professors

Ally Romanes

One of the great things about studying at PUC is the student-to-teacher ratio. Unlike larger classes in bigger universities, PUC gives students the opportunity to get to know the faculty and build relationships with them. This allows students to not only get the help they need but build lasting and meaningful relationships. 

Faculty at PUC are well known for going above and beyond to not only help their students succeed in class but in their everyday lives as well. They care about your future and want to prepare you for the real world. Building a relationship with your professor allows them to know who you are, and that can only help when it comes time to ask them to write you a letter of recommendation! Go out of your way to get to know your professors and let them get to know you as well. That will not only change how you learn in their classes, but it will also benefit your college experience. 

Here are some tips to help you build relationships with your professors, and guess what? They’re really simple!  

Introduce Yourself

Let your professors know who you are beyond roll-call. Go up to them and introduce yourself. 

Be Respectful 

Make sure you know how to address your teacher. If they prefer being called Dr., Professor, or even their first name, make sure you address them as they have told you.

Side note: Put your phone down! (unless they ask you to use your phone for class).

Participate

You don’t need to sit in the front row or raise your hand every time a question is asked. Just show you are paying attention and do your part when it comes to group activities. Who knows, you might even get called on, so listen and be prepared. 

Write Professional Emails 

Treat being a student as a job. Don’t write an email to your professor as if you were texting a friend. Students who write professional emails stand-out to faculty. Use the subject line of the email to let make your questions or concerns clear. Some faculty teach more than one class, so use that subject line to show what you need. 

Be clear in what you need in the body of your email. If you need to schedule a meeting with your professor, have a concern with your grade, or didn’t understand something in the homework, be up front about that and be specific in what you need. 

Communicate

Take the time to talk with your professor about what you want out of the class. If you are struggling, let them know. Ask them for advice on how you can improve. 

Check Office Hours

Faculty put their office hours on the syllabus for a reason! Take advantage of their hours and get the help and advice you need to excel in your classes. Never worry about bothering them, that is what they are there for. 

 

Fall Fest Fun

This weekend was PUC’s annual Fall Festival where the Pioneers family came together to enjoy food and fun. With booths full of things to buy, things to eat, and causes to support, Fall Fest is one event everyone looks forward to.

Here are just a few of our favorite moments.

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Members of SOL Club pose for a photo before the crowds come! 

 

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These lovely ladies are taking a break by the English table! 📚 

 

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The Biology Club had the cutest succulents for purchase! 🌿  

 

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No explanation is necessary.🤣 Thanks for the laughs, REVO! 

 

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The Mabuhay Filipino Club really wowed everyone with their Tinikling which is a traditional Philippine folk dance! 

Browse through the Fall Fest album on facebook for even more! 

 

A Moment in Time: Artist Davis Perkins Exhibits at PUC

By Becky St. Clair

Always drawing as a kid, Davis Perkins doesn’t remember a time when art wasn’t a part of his life. Perkins attended the University of Oregon, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts, and he has now made art a career. He has original artwork in a permanent collection at the Smithsonian as well as in the Pentagon and has done one-man shows at the Alaska State Museum and the Smithsonian’s Air & Space Museum.

On Nov. 9, Perkins will host an opening reception and artist talk at 7 p.m. in the Rasmussen Art Gallery right here on campus. His exhibit, Landscapes: A Moment in Time, will be on display through December 8 (the gallery will be closed Nov. 23-Dec. 1 for Thanksgiving break). We caught up with Perkins and asked him a few questions to get to know him and his craft better. 

What first sparked your interest in painting?

I was always drawing as a kid. It was something for which I seemed to get a lot of “praise.” I was raised on a farm in rural Oregon and was always outside. It was during my three-year stint in the Army I really started to draw a lot, and when I got out of the service I attended college, initially studying history, but taking more and more drawing and painting classes. I had great support from my professors and they encouraged me to pursue painting seriously. I switched majors to art and began in earnest. I initially started in oil painting, and it’s what I love most to this day.

How did your career start?

While in college, I was a smokejumper (parachute firefighter), and I worked during the summer fire season. After graduation, I moved down to the Bay Area to paint during the winter, going back to Alaska to spend the summers jumping fires. It was a very seasonal lifestyle! When a professor advised me to start a series of paintings of my experiences as a smokejumper, I began jumping fires with a small sketchbook, documenting my work during the slow times. The series ended up being my senior thesis project. I had a lucky break with that final series; first, the Alaska State Museum gave me a one-man show of the work, and the next year, the Smithsonian Institution’s Air and Space Museum gave me a one-year solo exhibition of my work. The Smithsonian has three of my paintings in their permanent collection. I also have a painting in the Pentagon with the Air Force Art Collection.

How does your environment play a role in your art-making?

As you will see in the exhibit at the Rasmussen, I consider myself a traditional landscape painter. Much of my life has been spent outdoors, and the wonders of nature are what inspire me, therefore much of my work is plein air. For larger studio pieces I always work outside for reference studies.

What is one of your favorite pieces you’ve created, and why?

Hmm … that’s a tough one! I’d say some of my favorite pieces are the quick studies done on location. They often seem the freshest and most spontaneous. I am constantly attempting to not overwork a piece; I try and limit an outdoor painting session to no more than two hours. By that time, the light has changed significantly. I will often start a painting in the morning and move on to another in the afternoon. If there’s more work that remains, I can return the next day.

Tell us about your studio. What kind of space have you created in order to be comfortable expressing yourself?

I’ve got a great studio! It’s located in downtown San Rafael and is part of a complex called The ArtWorks Downtown. There are about 35 studios in the building and it is a wonderful complex in which I have many good friends. I have a high ceiling studio with a skylight, as well as good artificial lights. I’ve been in ArtWorks Downtown for about 15 years. Come visit anytime!

What’s something you still want to learn about art-making, and what are you doing to acquire that knowledge?

A good question! I am obviously still learning and it is an ongoing ambition, but I’m focusing on the study of color primarily. For the past three years, I have been on the faculty of the annual Plein Air convention. The four-day convention attracts painters from all over the world, and individuals give wonderful lectures and demonstrations. I gain a great deal from attending these lectures and learning from some of the world’s top artists. I also try and take advantage of living in the Bay Area and travel to museums here as often as I can. We are so fortunate to have access to the de Young, the Oakland Museum, and others; they have wonderful collections!

large-Perkins_Doc's PondWhat makes oil painting different from other kinds of painting?

What is delightful about oil painting is the ability to alter your work: You simply wipe it off! Often when I’m painting a cloud, for example, I will decide to start again. During the process of wiping off the paint, a new shape will emerge that I like and will develop. I especially like the ability to glaze over the dried paint with a translucent layer of color. It’s a technique used by oil painters for hundreds of years. As I mentioned, I am constantly exploring and reading about mixing color. It is an ongoing process!

How do you start a new piece? 

A large white canvas staring you in the face can be intimidating. So I always start a painting with a thin wash, usually in an earth color. I then use a little darker, thin paint to start developing the composition. This is really the most fun time to paint; you’re exploring, wiping out, redrawing with thin paint. You can’t screw it up! I then start to develop the basic values–light and dark. When I’m satisfied I’m on to something, I’ll start applying heavier layers of paint. Then it’s, “Fingers crossed!” Ha!

Who is another artist you admire, and why?

I would have to say Richard Schmid is one of my greatest inspirations. He is nothing less than a National Treasure. I have had the pleasure of meeting him, and I own all of his books. He’s been an inspiration to hundreds of young artists.