Category Archives: Staff Profile

Faces of PUC: Kharolynn Pascual Smith

Kharolynn Pascual Smith has been working as an admissions counselor for the past 10 months. Her focus is mainly on students interested in transferring to PUC, so if you’re thinking about transferring or know someone who is, Kharolynn is the perfect person to reach out to. Let’s get to know a little more about Kharolynn! 

What brought you to PUC? How/Why did you decide to work here? 

An interesting conversation brought me to PUC somewhat unexpectedly. I decided to work here because I value Adventist Christian education at all levels and believed I could use my experience and abilities to help students. 

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

I appreciate the diversity and contributing to a shared purpose, vision, and mission.

 Where is your favorite place to eat in the Valley and why? 

Il Posto Trattoria in Napa. The food is freshly made and tastes great, it’s casual with unpretentious service, and I don’t have to save up for months to eat there.

 What is something you can do/want to do that might be surprising for people to learn? 

I’d like to do a jungle canopy zipline tour, which is surprising because I’m quite terrified of heights. 

 What is one song you’re listening to on repeat lately? 

I tend to repeat entire albums rather than just one song. Recently, I’ve been listening to a Yo-Yo Ma album of Bach Cello Suites a few times a week. It’s peaceful.

 Who is someone you admire and why? 

I admire people like Job in the Bible who have experienced extreme adversity and retained their trust in and praise for God in spite of everything. My grandmother and my friend, Mike, are two examples.

 Finish this sentence: On Sunday mornings you can find me …

Enjoying the chance to sleep until I wake up naturally rather than being forced awake by an alarm, then doing something leisurely, like reading, knitting, or baking.

 

 

 

 

Faces of PUC: Dale Withers

Dale Withers has worked at PUC for 35 years and currently holds the title of director of facilities management. But Dale is a lot more than just the director, Dale is a PUCite through and through. He honestly just might know everything there is to know about PUC! Did you know under the PUC campus sits a bunch of secret tunnels? He does! And I can guarantee he’s been in all of them.

We asked Dale to answer a few questions so we can get better acquainted with him.

What brought you to PUC? How/Why did you decide to work here?  

Was working for Dwight Shogren in Texas before he came to PUC. He called me a few months later telling me he needed me at PUC. I wanted out of Texas so bad I never even asked about the benefit package, just asked what day I needed to be there!

 

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

Working with students and getting to help people.

 

Where is your favorite place to eat in the Valley and why?  

Haciendas in Cloverdale, because it’s not in the busy Napa Valley so it’s quiet like restaurants used to be.

 

What is something you can do/want to do that might be surprising for people to learn?  

Some days I wonder if I am actually making a difference but then someone brightens my day with a compliment.

 

What is one song you’re listening to on repeat lately?   

Sunshine on my Shoulders.

 

Who is someone you admire and why?  

My crew because they are my feet and legs. Without them I could not get what we as a team get done here at Facilities. I am blessed to have good people that work for me and care deeply about this institution. And as an added bonus they know how to laugh, which makes for happy times.

 

Finish this sentence: On Sunday mornings you can find me …

Working mostly lately. Hopefully we can get back to Kayaking and cabin trips again soon!

 

Faces of PUC: Judy Cushman

Judy Cushman is the First Lady of PUC, but that doesn’t mean she spends all her time traveling with the president. Instead, you will most often find her down at the Counseling Center, where she serves as the disability support services coordinator. Judy is passionate about student success and has dedicated her professional life to just that. She loves interacting with and supporting the student body; being able to do so on a daily basis brings great joy to her life.

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What brought you to PUC? How/Why did you decide to work here? 

My husband was asked to be the president. I wanted to work closer to home as I would commute an hour to work every day for 16 years and I wanted to work with students.

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

 I love the students and enjoy interacting with faculty and staff.

 

Where is your favorite place to eat in the Valley and why?

 The Sherpa Kitchen is probably my favorite.

What is something you can do/want to do that might be surprising for people to learn? 

I love putting jigsaw puzzles together. I have a puzzle going at my house all the time.  It is my way to relax.

What is one song you’re listening to on repeat lately?

 Probably something from Big Daddy Weave.

Who is someone you admire and why? _MG_5876

I admire so many people, but if I have to pick one it would be my husband. He has inspired me to reach toward goals, including getting my masters and trying new jobs.  His love language is helping people reach their potential.

Finish this sentence: On Sunday mornings you can find me … 

Taking a walk with my husband in the forest!

 

Faces of PUC: Crista Peterson

Crista Peterson graduated from PUC in 1983 and five years ago decided to come back to our favorite ‘College on the Mountain’! Crista is the executive assistant for Student Life as well as the international student advisor which means she gets to work very closely with lots of current students as well as incoming students. There’s a great chance you’ll see Crista around campus so let’s get to know a little bit about her!  

What brought you to PUC? How/Why did you decide to work here? 

I arrived in this area when I was 9-years-old with my family. I attended PUC Elementary, Prep, and college. When I graduated from college, I left to pursue work in my field. I then went on to pursue a master’s degree at another university. After 20 plus years living and working in the U.S. and internationally (SE Asia),  I returned to Napa Valley to be closer to my family. Because of my international experience, I had an interest in working with international students. I have always had fond memories of my time at PUC and wanted to give back in some way.

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

It’s wonderful to connect with the students and provide some support in their life and career journey. There is so much individuality and diversity on this campus, and it’s special to be a part of this. The campus and surrounding areas are beautiful and inspiring. The spiritual component is also a huge blessing.

 Where is your favorite place to eat in the Valley and why? 

Himalayan Sherpa Kitchen in St. Helena. I’ve adopted a vegan, plant-based diet and this restaurant has some delicious cuisine options in the “plant-based” category.

Crista What is something you can do/want to do that might be surprising for people to learn? 

I have traveled extensively, but I have not visited the Bible lands and have not been on an African Safari. I would like to do this.

 What is one song you’re listening to on repeat lately? 

Lauren Daigle – “Rescue” and “How Great Thou Art”

 Who is someone you admire and why?

General Colin Powell. He was present at an international conference I attended. He has had an amazing career and is a person of high integrity. I bought one of his books and plan to read it.

 Finish this sentence: On Sunday mornings you can find me …  

Sipping ginger tea, cooking, and juicing. I like to start the day off with a substantial meal.

 

 

Faces of PUC: Doug Wilson

With a great sense of humor and a smile on his face, Doug Wilson is a favorite among students. You wouldn’t guess it since he looks as young as ever but Doug has worked at PUC for 20 years! As the director of student engagement and leadership, you’ll most likely find him in the hub of campus, the Campus Center which is where his office is! 

  We asked Doug to answer a few questions so we can get better acquainted. 

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What brought you to PUC? Why did you decide to work here? 

I came to PUC because of the reputation of being an outstanding school. I decided to work here when I was approached by Dr. John Collins to stay on and be an employee. I’m happy I did! 

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

The best part of being a part of the Pioneers family are the friendships I still have today. I have life-long friends that came from PUC and they have made such a difference in my life. 

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 Where is your favorite place to eat in the Valley and why? 

When money is no object? Rutherford Grill!  Normally though, one of my favorite places is Tacos Michoacan Food Truck. AMAZING food!

What is one song you’re listening to on repeat lately? 

Christian – Elevation Worship/See a Victory 

Non-christian – The Midnight/Jason

 Who is someone you admire and why? 

Someone I admire is Steven Furtick. He is a phenomenal pastor and leader.

 Finish this sentence: On Sunday mornings you can find me … 

Kicking back on my couch watching TV or outside playing basketball!

 

Meet Dean Hernan Granados

When you arrive at PUC and begin exploring your new home away from home, you’ll likely want to know just who is in charge of your living space. We’ve made that easy for you! Over the next few weeks, we’ll be featuring all of our residence hall deans here on the blog so you can get to know them all. And if you need to contact them, feel free to reach out!

Name: Hernan Granados
Dean of: Newton Hall
Phone: (707) 965-7409
Email: hgranados@puc.edu
Dean since: 2006

Have you always been a dean?

No, actually; before coming to PUC, I was serving as a pastor.

What does a typical day at the residence hall look like for you?

There are no typical days. Every day is different, and that is what I love about my job.

What about your work is the most rewarding to you?

Definitely seeing the men grow as people and into gentlemen.

When you’re not deaning, how do you enjoy occupying your time?

I really like being outside. Either on the water in my boat or on the green, golfing.

What do you love most about PUC?

Well, considering the outdoors is my favorite place to be, it has to be the mountains and the clear air here.

So when you were a kid, did you want to be a pastor and a dean?

No; I actually dreamed of becoming an architect, but God led me in a different direction.

What did you study in college, then?

I studied theology. When I graduated, I went to work for the Southern California Conference.

In your line of work, you often serve as a mentor to others. Tell me about a mentor who has been invaluable to you.

Jim Boyd, a former dean here at PUC who just retired this year. He respects people and is willing to help others. He truly cares for people.

One last personal question: What’s one of your favorite movies, and why?

Dead Poets Society is hands-down my favorite movie. I love how Robin Williams’ character really cares about his students. He challenges them and also is there for them when they need him the most, helping the young people to think outside the box and guiding them when they need it. Most of all, I enjoy how he spends time with them and shows them how much he cares for them not only as students but as individuals.

Meet Dean Kristi Horn

When you arrive at PUC and begin exploring your new home away from home, you’ll likely want to know just who is in charge of your living space. We’ve made that easy for you! Over the next few weeks, we’ll be featuring all of our residence hall deans here on the blog so you can get to know them. And if you need to contact them, feel free to reach out!

Name: Kristi Horn
Dean of: McReynolds Hall
Phone: (707) 965-7478
Email: khorn@puc.edu
Dean since: 2003

So what were you doing when you decided to accept this job?

I lived and worked in Temecula and San Diego, working for a non-profit residential/foster care facility as a therapist for abused and neglected children and adolescents.

Tell me about a typical day for you in McReynolds.                      

I try to enjoy leisurely mornings because once I step out the door, I will hit the ground running to committee meetings, lunch with my awesome coworkers, driving my mom here and there, appointments with my students and deans staff, making time for exercise and fun time, all with the goal of leaving my office by 11 p.m. Once I’m home for the night, I spend some time with God, and then curl up with my cat and a good book.

What you love the most about your job?

The long-term relationships with students and coworkers, watching students grow and mature from year to year, and looking back and seeing growth within myself.

So in that rare free moment, what do you enjoy doing?

Reading, hiking, trips to the coast, going on random drives with no destination in mind.

What do you love most about PUC?                                        

Location, location, location!                        

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?        

Veterinarian

What did you study in college, and where did you go?   

I earned a B.A. in psychology from Southern Adventist University, and then an M.S. in marriage and family therapy from Loma Linda University.

What are some things on your bucket list?          

I want to be a contestant on The Price is Right, I would love to do a driving/hiking tour around Ireland, and I want to own my own home.

Fair warning: We’re gonna get personal here. Name something you obsessively collect and tell me why.       

Books! You can find so much diversity in books. They’re fun and challenging and take me to places I can only dream about. They teach me and stretch my imagination and encourage me to be a better person. They give me the courage to stand up for my relationship with God and for what I believe to be right. (I have at least 500 actual books and probably another 200+ on my phone. I’ve read about 90 percent of them.)

Wow! Okay, out of all the books you’ve read, tell me about one that changed your life and/or your worldview.         

Saint Ben, by John Fischer.