Category Archives: Staff Profile

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. 

doug-wilson2

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.

Meet Dean Juan Hidalgo

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: Juan Hidalgo
Dean of: Grainger Hall
Phone: (707) 965-6387
Email: jmhidalgo@puc.edu
Dean since: 2017

What were you doing prior to being hired as dean?

I was finishing my degrees here at PUC in psychology, Spanish, and nursing.

What does a typical day look like for you?

7:30 – wake up
8:00 – workout
9:00 – breakfast
9:30 – house/office work
12:00 – lunch
1:00 – siesta
2:00-5:00 – office/house/errands
6:00 – dinner
7:00 – night workout (basketball/sauna/run in back 40)
8:00-11:30 – Uber driving
Midnight – bedtime

What do you find most challenging about your work?

I think the most challenging part would have to be explaining to other people all the things deans do.

What do you find most rewarding?

When students see we are truly here to help, not to hinder.

What are some of your hobbies?

I have a lot, but most of them are pretty active. I enjoy getting outside and moving, so some of my favorite hobbies are sports (Ultimate Frisbee, basketball, golf, football, disc golf), photography, music (guitar, ukulele, harmonica), exploring, and adrenaline-rich activities. I also really enjoy sleeping.

What do you love most about PUC?

I absolutely love the family dynamic we have. We are a little (okay, very) dysfunctional at times and may not always get along, but there is something special about being up on this hill with everyone that brings us together. We have laughed together, cried together, fought with each other; but at the end of the day, there is something very uniting about knowing someone else has gone to PUC and in turn, is also part of the family.

So, you earned three degrees here at PUC. What was it you wanted to be when you were a kid?

Honestly, I wanted to be a grown-up. Now I regret it all. Haha!

What are some things on your bucket list—some you’ve checked off and some you’re still working toward/hoping for?

On my bucket list can be found a lot of traveling; I have always wanted to explore Africa and China. But some of the specific things I still have to do on my list are as follows:

Deep-sea shark cage diving
Attend an Andrea Bocelli concert
Meet Kobe Bryant
Launch my own photography business
Complete an IronMan
Earn Ph.D.
Visit the Pyramids of Giza
Play my harmonica on Bourbon Street in New Orleans
Climb Half Dome
Visit all of the Disneylands

Some of the specific things from my list I’ve done already:

Graduate college
Skydiving (x4)
Watch “Gladiator” in the Coliseum
Win the TV show Fear Factor Live
View Africa from the rock of Gibraltar
Stand in center field at Chavez Ravine aka Dodgers Stadium

Name something you obsessively collect and tell me why.

I collect instruments; I love to challenge myself to play new ones. I may not be good, but I love to try!

Meet Dean Gena Philpott

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: Gena Philpott
Dean of: Andre Hall
Phone: (707) 965-7461
Email: gphilpott@puc.edu
Dean since: 2004

So, what were you doing before you came to PUC?
I worked as the head dean of girls at Gem State Academy in Idaho for eight years. I also taught art and yearbook there.

What does a typical day look like for you?
The thing I think I love most about my job as a dean is even though we have regular daily duties, responsibilities, and meetings to attend as in any other job, the exciting thing about it is my day can change at a moment’s notice depending on what might be happening with a student or situation on campus.

But, in a typical day, I’ll double-check the nightcheck count to make sure everyone is safe and accounted for. Then I answer texts, messages, and emails. It’s during that process I typically find out about happenings that will be changing my intended schedule for the day. Some of those happenings may include a shopping run for food requested by RAs for an upcoming residence hall event; checking on an overflowing sink or toilet; running someone to a doctor appointment when Health Services is short on resources; mediating a fight between suitemates over who isn’t doing their part in keeping the restroom clean; listening to a students talk about their relationships and giving advice on how to handle or what to say in order to resolve something. There are truly a thousand different scenarios that could be all in my day’s work. Think parenting/mentoring to 580 young ladies—shared between four people 24/7.

What do you find most challenging about your work?
Finding balance in all things—between responding to above-mentioned extenuating circumstances, to students, to paperwork and disruptions in normal schedules, while still maintaining and carving out time for a marriage, family, friends, and a personal life.

What do you find most rewarding?
I love it when I see students maturing from freshman year to senior year—overcoming things that hold them back and learning to enjoy life and the new skills they are learning for life.

What are some of your hobbies?
I love traveling and exploring with my husband—from camping in wild places to discovering the awe of lava in Hawai’i. I also enjoy reading and attempting to make favorite comfort foods lighter in calories—although I have a hard time with that since most of my recipes start with a stick of butter. I find pleasure in art—from watercolor painting to ceramics to graphic design. I have some nerdier hobbies as well—maybe this isn’t the best place to go into those.

Besides the students (because we know they’re really the best thing ever), what do you love most about PUC?
Aside from getting paid to interact with young minds every day, I would say I love working with a team of colleagues who understand and support me as a dean. It helps to have people who know the job and can relate and tag-team in crisis situations. I also love that PUC is willing to have the hard conversations even when the PR surrounding the conversations aren’t always understood. Continually asking ourselves why we do things as a church and educational community is important for our growth both mentally and spiritually. I love the fresh eyes, energy, and pictures of Jesus that young minds bring to PUC.

Let’s travel back in time a bit. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was three, I had big goals to become a “cat farmer.” Ironically, I became allergic to cats at age 12, and I took that as a direct sign I should maybe look at a different career path. Then I wanted to work as a designer and graphic artist for Review and Herald. I was wowed by Harry Anderson, Lars Justinen, and Nathan Greene’s artistic work. But it wasn’t until I joined the residence hall staff in college as a student dean and worked for the English department I found my true calling—education. After spending a year as a taskforce dean and art teacher at Upper Columbia Academy in Washington State, I was hooked for life and haven’t looked back!

What did you study in college?
Like most college students, I changed my major many times but ultimately ended up with a double major, earning degrees in both English and computer graphic art with minors in religion and secondary education. I feel I have been able to use all the indecision and different major changes to lead me to be a better dean and educator—to serve my residents even better than I could have if I had been single-minded in my ambitions. I can reassure students changing career paths is ok, learning is a lifelong process and they can change it up as they grow and mature and gain new insights and interests.

So tell me what a dean has on her bucket list. Okay, okaylet’s not speak for everyone. What’s on your bucket list?
I’ll start with some fun things I have done already. I went to Hawai’i two summers ago—that’s where the lava comment above came from. It’s hard to describe the amazing emotional experience to see molten rock flowing, cooling, and actually creating more earth as we know it. If you didn’t understand the majesty of the creator, you see and feel it when you get a chance to witness it in person. The second thing I was able to do from my bucket list while there was swim in the open ocean with sharks—no cages. That was also a spiritual experience. Adrenaline-filled, yes, but still just amazing and I was truly awestruck. Something I would do again in a heartbeat.

And for the to-do bucket list, I would love to go to Europe with my husband—Switzerland, Austria, France, and Italy. I have been to Spain and Morocco years ago and would love to be able to explore more of all the historical places—too many to name. I would love to stay in one of those igloos with glass ceilings and view the northern lights in Alaska or Norway, and they have hotels in Norway where you can see the wolves—I always thought that would be cool, as well. And then there’s Bora Bora and Brazil … the list goes on!

Any final words? Leave us with some wisdom!
Haha! I’ll do my best.

To be a dean is to be a life skills educator. What is taught outside the classroom can improve your academic achievements beyond what a person thinks they may be capable—from time management, to integrity, ethics, modesty, budgeting, healthy eating, sleeping, exercise and relationship habits. We try to slip ‘Adulting 101’ between all the o-chem and anatomy lectures. And I truly do love it.

Meet Dean Lunelle Bertresse

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: Lunelle Bertresse
Dean of: Graf Hall
Phone: (707) 965-6522
Email: lbertresse@puc.edu
Dean since: 2013

So what were you doing prior to accepting a position as dean here at PUC?
I was working as the head girls’ dean at Milo Academy in Oregon.

What does a typical day look like for you?
It’s hard to pin down a typical day—you never know what you’re going to get! But my morning always starts with a debate with myself: Breakfast, or an extra 20 minutes of sleep. Once that’s settled, I do my devotions, go to my office, goof off at some point with my students, and then get back to work. I have a bit of personal time in the afternoon (Sherpa Kitchen, anyone?), come back to the office in the evening for my second shift, and end my day with a little cereal, Netflix, and a book.

Tell me what you find most rewarding about what you do.
I love seeing the growth in the students. Being and becoming a young adult is a journey, and seeing the students hit those milestones and having that connection with them is the best. I also absolutely love those sit-down chats where we crack open life situations and get into the nitty-gritty.

All right, let’s get personal: What are some of your hobbies?
I love music and the fine arts, whether it’s singing at church or going to a concert or a play. I also enjoy reading, hand lettering, watching sports (Go Miami Heat!), and exploring cities.

Sounds like you really love your life! What is it you appreciate most about PUC?
I love the night skies here. Back home the city lights are extremely bright, so I love to stargaze up at the PUC airport. I also loooooove my coworkers. They keep me grounded and they are the best to hang out with.

College students get asked a version of this all the time, so now it’s your turn! What did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was four, I decided I wanted to be a lawyer, then a Supreme Court judge. I also wanted to be an archeologist/ballerina/interior designer/party planner—all at the same time. Dream big, people!

So where did you choose to attend college, and what did you study?
I studied social work at Southern Adventist University.

Since we’re looking at the past, what are some things on your bucket list you’ve already checked off?
Visiting a tiger sanctuary (Thailand), learning how to double dutch jump-rope, and going to Italy.

Is there anything on your list you’re still working toward?
Yes! I still want to participate in an archaeological dig in Egypt, learn how to trapeze, see Hamilton, and start my own non-profit (that one’s another story for another time).

You mentioned you enjoy reading. Tell me about a book you’ve read that changed your life and/or worldview.
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. It really broke down and helped me see the love God has for us. The one and only book that has made me cry like une bebe.

Okay, let’s stick with the media theme: What’s one of your favorite movies and why?
Oh golly! That is such a hard question as it changes constantly. Currently, it is The Greatest Showman. Putting the true character of the real-life P.T. Barnum aside, I love the message of the movie: There is beauty in diversity; be accepting and loving. And the soundtrack? Every. Song. Is. Gold.