Five of Napa Valley’s Best Study Breaks

By Sarah Tanner 

The Napa Valley is known best for luxury living, fine dining, and watercolor sunsets set against the dark green of its surrounding mountains. For college students with limited budgets and even less time, while the area is gorgeous to take in, it is not always easy to find inexpensive activities to relieve the stress of classes. Luckily, the valley has much to offer, and discovering your next favorite study break location is easier than you think!

Lake Berryessa

Adventurous students with a love for the outdoors can head to Lake Berryessa for a variety of activities including kayaking, fishing, hiking, and a number of water sports. Less than a forty-minute drive from PUC’s campus, this lake makes for a fun weekend hangout location. It’s also the perfect spot for hot weekends early in the fall quarter, when students can pack a picnic lunch and spend the day surrounded by nature, and still make it back to the dorms in time for nightfall.   

St. Helena Farmer’s Market

The St. Helena farmer’s market is a lovely Friday morning activity just a few minutes’ drive down the hill. This event is open from 7:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. each week and features the valley’s favorite artisan products. Located in Crane Park from May through October, fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as a number of baked goods are available for purchase. Grab a coffee, and wander the stalls for a quick morning get away. 

Bocce Ball

St. Helena features a number of parks that include bocce ball courts. This easy afternoon activity pairs best with a handful of friends and a large pizza. Take in the sunshine and let your competitive spirit run wild as you compete on the court. With a little skill and some luck, this game is relatively simple to master, and a great way to fit outdoor activity within a busy schedule. 

Robert Louis Stevenson State Park

A favorite area of its namesake author, and located just north of Calistoga, this state park includes a number of hiking trails and cycling opportunities. It encompasses Mount St. Helena, as well as a number of scenic viewpoints. With hiking options ranging from short jaunts to a ten-mile round-trip, Robert Louis Stevenson practically begs for return visits.

Bouchon Bakery

Tucked between restaurants lining Yountville’s main street is Bouchon, a local bakery known worldwide for their award-winning desserts. What better way to treat yourself after a long week of classes, quizzes, and studying? Pick up a house-made macaron, pain au chocolat, or take a loaf of fresh-baked bread to go, and enjoy a well-deserved break from the stress of the quarter. 

Whether you prefer to wander the streets of Calistoga, fit in an early morning hike, or sample your favorite baked goods, the Napa Valley has a number of budget-friendly activities practically made for busy college students. With a wide variety of options and locations, the valley offers something fun for virtually everyone. 

 

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!

 

It’s ACT/SAT Time! Are You Prepared?

Fall is officially in full swing which means you have a lot of things on your “preparing for college” checklist! We hope one of those is preparing for the ACT or SAT. We know the idea of sitting down and taking them might be a bit overwhelming but we hope you know how important they are! Did you know that while a lot of colleges have score requirements for admissions, PUC doesn’t? While that might ease some of your anxiety, it shouldn’t stop you from preparing for and taking them because there are some BIG reasons to take them and score well! 

Note: PUC accepts both the ACT and the SAT. To have your test scores sent to PUC, make sure you include PUC’s school code; 0362 for ACT and 4600 for SAT. 

You need them to register for classes

A little different than most state and public schools, PUC doesn’t require test scores for admission for first-time college students, with a few exceptions. However, you still need to submit test scores for placement into math and English classes, so it is something you will have to turn in eventually when you register for classes in the spring. 

For transfer students, test scores are only required for students who have not successfully taken the equivalent to College Algebra or English 101.

Learn more about PUC’s admissions requirements

You could earn a scholarship

PUC uses test scores for several scholarships for incoming freshmen, including the Maxwell scholarship, the college’s most prestigious scholarship; and the President’s, Dean’s, Trustee’s, and Founder’s scholarships. Each of these scholarships require a certain GPA and a certain test score range and is potentially worth a great deal of money, from $36,000 all the way up to $112,000. It’s definitely a wise decision to make sure you take time to adequately prepare for the ACT or SAT since the better you score, the higher the scholarship you’re eligible for. 

Learn more about PUC’s scholarships

Retaking it could result in a higher scholarship

With the fall just getting started, there’s still plenty of time to take either test or retake one if you aren’t satisfied with your score. This might not sound like the most fun since it’s several hours of your time, but it can be worth it since there’s serious scholarship money available for students who do well on these tests. It can be the difference between earning thousands of dollars more if you can significantly increase your score. If you took the ACT but didn’t do well, it may even be worth trying the SAT to see if that results in a higher score. 

Learn more about the ACTs, including registration deadlines and fees.

Learn more about the SATs, including registration deadlines and fees.

Our team of admissions counselors is ready to help if you have questions about applying to PUC! Call our office at (800) 862-7080, option 2 Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Friday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. to get connected with a counselor. You can also email admissions@puc.edu.

Good luck! 

 

Experience Northern California

Do you love the mountains? Do you love the beach? Do you love the forest? Do you love the city? Do you love a combination of those? Do you love all of them? If you answered yes to even one of those questions you might want to consider applying to PUC and spending the next four or five years in NorCal. 

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Relax at the Beach

There are plenty of beaches within a short distance of PUC. Grab a blanket, a Frisbee, a guitar, and your friends and spend an afternoon on the coast.

 

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Hang in There

Take advantage of being on our beautiful and peaceful campus. Join the latest craze; grab a hammock and a friend and swing the stress away. 

 

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Clear Your Mind 

The campus is surrounded by over 30 miles of picturesque hiking and biking trails with incredible destinations, allowing for some of the most exquisite sunsets, perfect to get that Instagram-worthy photo or just take a moment to enjoy God’s gift.

 

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Think Outside

For students interested in spending time outdoors, Northern California has limitless options. Go hiking at Mount St. Helena, take a mountain bike ride on the Napa Vine Trail, raft down the Russian River, ski at Lake Tahoe, go surfing at Ocean Beach, or simply take a nice stroll through the PUC forest.

 

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Be a Local

Nearby St. Helena is just a quick trip down the hill, and you can often find students studying at one of the many coffee shops or taking a study break at Crane Park.

 

out of state scholarship

 

 

Be a Tourist

There are plenty of well known Bay Area sights but the Golden Gate Bridge is probably the most iconic! 

 

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Love the Small Town Charm

Sebastopol is famous for its quirky, artistic feel and friendly, small-town vibes with one-of-a-kind restaurants and shops.

 

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Explore the City

There’s a reason why over 25 million people visit San Francisco each year! You will never have the same experience twice. You can catch the latest exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art, have a picnic at Crissy Field, go on a shopping spree at Union Square, or catch a Giants game at Oracle Park.

 

Still not sure if life in NorCal is for you? Follow #PUCAdventures and @PUCNow on Instagram to see PUC students living their best lives. For even more of the adventures you can visit, puc.edu/norcal.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Sensibilities: Douglas Sandquist at the Rasmussen Art Gallery

By Becky St. Clair

In the early 90s, Douglas Sandquist attended PUC as a bio-chem. Upon being accepted into dental school after his junior year, he left PUC and headed to dental school. He went on to become a dentist back in his hometown of Las Vegas, Nevada, where today he curates the unexpected combination of his dental career and photography. 

In 2016, a photo Sandquist took in Iceland with his iPhone and shared via Instagram was requested by Apple for use in a worldwide marketing campaign. This resulted in mega exposure for this Nevadan dentist-photographer. (More on this in the Q&A—keep reading!)

Some of Sandquist’s photographic art will be displayed in an exhibit in the Rasmussen Art Gallery beginning this Saturday, Oct. 12, with his opening reception at 7 p.m. He will present an artist talk and refreshments will be served. Before you go, though, you may want to learn a bit more about the artist himself. We did, so we asked him a few prodding questions. 

Introducing: Douglas Sandquist.

Where did you grow up, and how did that environment contribute to how you view the physical world? big-image-1

I was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. It’s right in the middle of the Southwest part of the United States. California, Utah, and Arizona, along with their beaches, deserts, and National Parks, gave me the opportunity to get out and see what was out there. I’ve never stopped exploring.

 

 

What sparked your original interest in photography?

I actually dabbled with it even as a child. It wasn’t until I wanted to get better at taking photos for my day job as a dentist that I really started getting serious about it. I wanted to somehow be able to capture what I do. Most dental photography is macro photography, but it’s also portrait photography. I originally wanted to learn how to take better clinical photos, so I delved into learning how to better use a camera, how to compose a shot, and how to work with different lighting. One thing led to another, and I started to enjoy photography outside the office just as much as in it.

What was the first camera you used to start shooting artistic/intentional photography?

I bought a Canon 10D in 2004.

What camera is your instrument of choice now?

I currently use a Canon 5D Mark IV and, of course, an iPhone. 

Where do you learn your photography skills?

I’ve never taken a formal photography class. I am mostly self-taught, but I have also participated in workshops all over the world, and have engaged in online mentorship programs for over 10 years.

Okay, let’s talk about the Apple iPhone ads. (You knew it was coming!) How did this happen?

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Crazy as it sounds, I didn’t submit my photo to Apple. In January 2016 I took a photo with my iPhone and posted it on Instagram with a few hashtags—as you do—and a few months later, I was contacted by Apple and their advertising agency, requesting the use of my photo in a campaign. I agreed, and within a matter of months, my photo—taken with an iPhone 6S—was on billboards, in magazines, and on signs around the globe.

 

 

 

Where did your photo show up, that you know of? big-image-3

That photo appeared on over 30 billboards all around the world: L.A., San Francisco, Dallas, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Paris, India, six cities in China—including Shanghai—Korea, Thailand, Mexico, Tokyo, and Turkey, and on the back of magazines all over the world. 

 

What inspires you as a photographer?

I love challenging what I see and then attempting to capture it. It also means I get to get out there and go see the world. 

What are your favorite subjects to photograph?

I particularly enjoy capturing cold landscapes and the stars in the American Southwest. 

How do you think the desert of the American Southwest and the frozen tundra of Iceland are connected for you? What draws you to those environs to shoot? big-image-2

Both of these regions offer plenty of opportunities to ask, “How did this happen?” Whether it’s a massive arch-like Double Window in Arches National Park or the glacier ice that ends up on the black sand beaches of Iceland, there are always unique views and perspectives to capture and ponder. I also love the way the light transforms these elements. Different times of the day or year create different scenes that often catch me off-guard and illuminate my sensibilities.  

We have to ask one completely abstract question, so here goes: If the experience of taking the perfect photo had a color, what would it be? big-image

Sunset Orange 🙂 

 

There Are Some Really Great Reasons to Apply to PUC

Your senior year of high school is a busy time. Aside from classes and making memories you’re gearing up to head off to college. If you haven’t already started looking at potential schools to attend next year, now’s the time—and why not start with Pacific Union College! Here are just a few of the reasons why you should consider applying to PUC.

 

Screen Shot 2019-09-05 at 11.35.54 AMThere’s Something for Everyone

PUC offers more than 70 different degrees and programs to choose from—whatever your passion, we’ve got a program for you! Our graduates are primed for success and are working in many exciting areas, including Stanford University, Google, Buzzfeed, Apple, Lucasfilm, Airbnb, Loma Linda University, LinkedIn, and more.

 

Screen Shot 2019-09-05 at 11.36.01 AMMake Friends for a Lifetime

One of the best things about attending PUC is living in one of our seven residence halls. About 75 percent of students live on-campus, which fosters a very close-knit community atmosphere. Students live together, study together, socialize, and worship together, which gives our campus a unique sense of unity. 

 

 

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You don’t need to wait until you graduate to start helping with problems around the world. PUC students are already making a difference. With internships, missionary opportunities, service-learning projects, and on-campus ministry groups, you can be part of making change, today, in places like Fiji, Nicaragua, Brazil, and more.

 

Screen Shot 2019-09-05 at 11.36.14 AMHave a Mentor in Your Corner

With a 12:1 student-teacher ratio, your professors will know you. The one-on-one attention you receive in and out of the classroom will help make you a much more successful student. Your professors become your mentors who can help you along your journey, and ones you can still get advice from years after graduation.

 

As you’ve seen, there are many advantages to attending PUC and we would be thrilled to welcome you into the Pioneers family! The online application is quick, easy to complete, and always free. Reach out to the Admissions office with any questions you might have by calling (800) 862-7080, option 2 or emailing admissions@puc.edu. 

Don’t wait—apply to PUC now!