PUC in Pictures: Spring 2018 Edition

As we start sorting through the hundreds of graduation photos from this past weekend’s celebrations, we want to take a moment to look back on some of our favorite moments from spring quarter at PUC.

LOVE THIS! Thanks, @angelty_!

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BTS 🎓 shot from our inside (wo)man!

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Have a wonderful summer everyone! We’ll see you in the fall.

#FacultyFriday: Meet Aimee Wyrick

Professor Aimee Wyrick is one of PUC’s most popular faculty. She specializes in ecology, herpetology, and paleontology. She advises students studying biology, pre-dentistry and pre-dental hygiene. Professor Wyrick helps students connect what they learn in the classroom to the outdoors; students in her classes regularly participate in service-learning projects and/or field trips to local areas of interest, including working on invasive species removal and restoration projects with the LTNC, Napa Chapter CNPS, Bureau of Reclamation, Tuleyome Napa, and PUC. For the past 10 years, Professor Wyrick has been the Biology Club sponsor, planning fun and educational events and trips to Albion for one of PUC’s most popular clubs.

Name: Aimee Wyrick
Title: Associate Professor of Biology and Chair, Department of Biology
Email: awyrick@puc.edu
Faculty since: 2004

Classes taught: Biological Foundations III, Flowering Plants, Conservation Biology, Philosophy of Origins, Geology, Home Greenhouse Gardening, Organic Vegetable Gardening, Research in Biology/Environmental Studies

Education: B.S. in biology, from Pacific Union College in 1996; MSc. in biology with an emphasis in paleontology, from Loma Linda University in 1998; MSc. in organismal biology and ecology, from the University of Montana in 2004

What made you decide to be a teacher?  

I don’t think it was a decision so much as it is who I am! As a kid, I would make tests and quizzes for myself to take just for fun. I’ve always been curious and love to learn new things. Sharing my knowledge and excitement about the natural world with students brings me great joy.

What are some of your hobbies?  

Cooking, gardening, travel, anything outdoors, and trying new things.

What’s something people might be surprised to know about you?  

I was first exposed to biology and PUC as a toddler. My dad was a TA for several classes and would bring me to his labs—while he taught the class, I hung out in a crib at the back of the room. Teaching biology at PUC is my destiny!

What’s your favorite thing about PUC?

Most faculty and staff live in Angwin and most students reside in the dormitories—the advantage is we can more easily establish and nurture relationships with each other. I love our location and the community but it’s more than “just” a beautiful place with cool people. The whole (PUC) is definitely greater than the sum of its parts (place + people).  

What’s your favorite spot on campus?

I really enjoy sitting on the patio outside the Grind while enjoying a hot drink with my friends.  For me, an almond milk latte elevates an already beautiful setting and gives me a chance to unwind for a moment.

What’s your favorite movie?  

The Princess Bride (yes, really!).

What advice would you give to an incoming freshman?  

Be willing (and able) to delay gratification. You will have to put in a lot of work and effort that won’t necessarily pay off for several years. Getting a good grade in a class is one thing but actually knowing and understanding what you’ve been taught is the long-game. Focus on that.

Professional activities:

Presentations

Pacific Union Conference Science Teacher’s In-service, Ontario, CA, January 2018

   Title: “Teaching origins: The importance of accuracy, attitude, and honesty

Geoscience Research Institute Second Conference on Teaching Origins Conference, Colorado Springs, Colorado, August, 2009

   Title: “Using surveys to start the conversation on science and origins.”

Annual meeting, Montana Chapter American Fisheries Society, January, 2001

   Title: “Fish and frogs: Can they coexist?”

Conference on Biology and Conservation of the Spotted Frog (Rana luteiventris), March, 2000

   Title: “Columbia spotted frogs in Montana: Status, threats, research priorities, and proposed University of Montana research program.”

REFEREED PUBLICATIONS

Pilliod, D.S., B.R. Hossack, P.F.Bahls, E.L. Bull, P.S. Corn, G. Hokit, B.A. Maxell, J.C. Munger, and A. Wyrick.  2010. Non-native salmonids affect amphibian occupancy at multiple spatial scales. Diversity and Distribution 16(6):959-974.

Grants

Communication Grant ($6000), GC Faith and Science Council, 2018

   Funding for: development and installation of a creation trail on the PUC campus

Summer Sabbatical ($2349), Pacific Union College, 2015

   Funding for: development of “solving real-world problems” for the ENVR 360L curriculum

Service-Learning Fellowship ($400), Pacific Union College, 2015

   Funding for: development of a service-learning project for BIOL 325

Margaret Huse Faculty Research and Development Grant ($1200), Pacific Union College, 2012

   Funding for: Field research on Columbia spotted frog (Rana luteiventris)

Herber Faculty Grant ($2000), Pacific Union College, 2011

   Funding for: attendance at the Geoscience Research Institute Field Conference for SDA Church Administrators, Banff, Alberta Canada

Mini-Sabbatical ($500), Pacific Union College, 2010

   Funding for: development of Biology and Environmental Studies Capstone course

Margaret Huse Faculty Research and Development Grant ($2000), Pacific Union College, 2009

   Funding for: attendance and presentation at the Geoscience Research Institute Second Conference on Teaching Origins Conference, Colorado Springs, Colorado

Herber Faculty Grant ($2500), Pacific Union College, 2006

   Funding for: attendance at the Geoscience Research Institute Field Conference for SDA Church Administrators, Colorado

USGS – Biological Research Division Amphibian Monitoring and Research Initiative ($15,000), 2000-2002

   Funding for: “Predation and other pressures on the Columbia spotted frog (Rana luteiventris) in a high-elevation system, Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, Montana”

USFS – Region 1 SLIC ($3000), 2000-2002

   Funding for: “Inventory and monitoring of all amphibians and reptiles in Region 1 Forests”

Research Joint Venture Agreement – Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute (USDA Forest Service) ($3000), 1999

   Funding for: Pilot study “Fish effects on the Columbia spotted frog (Rana luteiventris)”

Field Research Grant – Loma Linda University, Department of Natural Sciences ($3000), 1997-1998

   Funding for: “Plant taphonomy of the Mono Lake drainage basin”

“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.

Department of Visual Arts Senior Thesis Projects

By Celeste Wong

We are extremely proud of our seniors and their thesis projects. Congrats!

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This year’s Senior Thesis Exhibition for visual arts students was held on Thursday, May 19th, in the Rasmussen Art Gallery, located between the Nelson Memorial Library and Paulin Hall.  The exhibition included the theses of 12 graduating visual arts majors ranging from fine art, graphic design, and photography.

For the film and television majors, they premiered their thesis films at the annual Diogenes Film Festival at the Cameo Cinema in St. Helena on Thursday, May 31. Three graduating film and television majors premiered their thesis films, along with other short films by other film students.

#pucart #pucfilm #diogenesfilmfestival #inspiringcreativecommunity

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These graduating seniors began their year-long project starting at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year. At the beginning of the year, they have had to pitch their thesis ideas to the entire department of visual arts faculty for approval and have consistently worked from then until now. Students who are BFA students are expected to work on their projects for at least a whopping 300 hours, to give some perspective.

Fine Art

Sierra Driver
Graphic novel

Lexi Haylock
Found objects installation

“My thesis is titled ‘Homegrown.’ I wanted to capture my most intimate and cherished memories of growing up in the beautiful nature of Angwin. I was inspired by changes that will be occurring in my life as I graduate from PUC and move away from my childhood town. I’ve always been fascinated by the connection between emotion and memory. This project is my attempt at visually showing how the most prominent memories of my home have changed as I continue to grow.”

Chanel Lee
Diptych of large-scale watercolor paintings

Drew Macomber
Series of watercolor paintings

Laurel Williams
Assemblage installation

“My project is about technology, social media, and information, how these things are connected to education and about some of their negative effects on the development of children and youth today. I was inspired to do this because I’ve noticed there are higher levels of anxiety, depression, and stress amongst successive generations in America and I wondered if there might possibly be a common factor. It looks like that factor is how we tie the gathering of information or even education to success and put pressure on our students to ‘be successful.’ Increasingly over the decades, it has led to something called ‘play deprivation’ which can inhibit the development of youth in ways that counteract their preparation for a successful life. Hopefully, those who see my project will be inspired to rethink what success means to them and make better choices for themselves and their futures.”

Celeste Wong
Ceramics installation

“My project confronts and brings insight into what it means to be biracial or multiracial. I myself am multiracial and usually identify as just ‘American;’ however, this response is an answer that people find too vague. By blood I am half Filipino, quarter Chinese, and quarter Euro-American mix, to put it simply. Do I relate to any of these cultures? No, I do not; my parents were born and raised in America just like me. I started to open up about my frustration of finding my own ‘identity’ and in return, I found many bi/multiracial students on campus whom I’ve shared stories with. Included in my installation, I have quotes from more than 15 PUC students, sharing both the positive and negatives of being bi/multiracial, accompanied by expressive ceramic vessels.”

Graphic Design

Jenae Benson
Educational poster series, photographs, and handouts

“My thesis project is about raising awareness about the harms drugs have on a fetus of a pregnant mother. I was inspired by my mom because throughout her career as a school nurse she has told me heartbreaking stories about children who live a difficult life because they were drug exposed. My hope for this project is to make an impression on at least one person—that could be one baby’s life changed forever.”

Joshua Davis
Graphic novel

Giang Pham
Illustrated storybook

“My project is a storybook, loosely based on my own story revolving around the theme of relational struggles. I enjoy graphic novel, manga, and animation illustrations, so I wanted to make my own.”

Jackie Rivera
Hand-painted and designed signage installation

“As a letterer and designer, I’m really inspired by the letterforms and signage of the 20th century. For my thesis, I wanted to create a series of signs inspired by vintage signage I grew up seeing around small, historic Northern California towns. I wanted to learn about old sign making processes such as sign painting and woodworking. As a designer, learning about the history of graphic design is very important to me, and learning these old techniques has given me a much deeper appreciation and love for the career path I’ve chosen.”

Chad Smith
Series of digital paintings and parallax paintings

Photography

Alexis Howard
Photography series of vintage memorabilia

“My project is called ‘The Things She Left Behind’ and it is about photographing the things that belong to my great-grandmother. I was inspired by my great-grandmother and the impact she made in my life. So I wanted to do something to honor her.”

Film & Television

Rachel Ermshar

“My thesis is an exploration of growth, how we react and grow to different situations we end up in.”

Sarah Martinez

Gabriela Talevera

“My thesis is a documentary about the civil war in El Salvador. I was inspired by all the stories my mom would tell me about her childhood.”

After reading the highlights of some of the year-long projects these seniors have been working on, hopefully, you are inspired by these artists and filmmakers!

 

#FacultyFriday: Meet John Duncan

A several-time presenter in the U.K., today’s #FacultyFriday feature is a man of few words but much knowledge and experience. Dr. John Duncan, professor in the department of biology here at PUC, has a real passion for plants and marine life. Nature is Dr. Duncan’s primary source of recreation, and for this reason he very much enjoys PUC and its surroundings. Introducing: Dr. John Duncan!

Name: Dr. John Duncan
Title: Professor of Biology
Email: jduncan@puc.edu  
Faculty since: 2000

Classes taught: Human Anatomy, Developmental Biology, Cellular and Molecular Biology, Advanced Anatomy, and Medical Terminology

Education B.S., from Andrews University in 1991; Ph.D., from Loma Linda University in 1998

What made you decide to be a teacher?

Before I finished my dissertation, I got a job teaching in an osteopathic school in the anatomy lab. I found I enjoyed the interaction with the students. Then I gave a few lectures at LLU and I found I wasn’t too terribly intimidated by speaking to a group of students. With this information, I figured I would be able to teach and enjoy interacting with people who wanted to learn about a subject with which I had some experience.  

What are some of your hobbies?

Travel, reef aquariums, gardening, Jujitsu, and orchids.

What’s something people might be surprised to know about you?

I am surprised that people would find something to be surprised about relating to me.

What’s your favorite thing about PUC?

Its location in a forest.

What’s your favorite spot on campus?

Don’t really have one.

What’s your favorite book/movie/song? (pick one)

The one I am watching, reading or hearing at the moment.

What advice would you give to an incoming freshman?

Always take an opportunity to do something you have never done before.

Professional activities (Note: Only the most recent three in each category are listed.)

Publications

Nam, B. H., Worrell, L. A., Jung, T. T. K., Kim, P. S., Park, S. K., Duncan, J. C., Park, Y. S.,   John, E. O., & Fletcher, W. H. (2004). Effect of corticosteroid on salicylate induced morphologic changes of isolated cochlear outer hair cells. Annals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology, 113(9), 734-737.

Duncan, J. C., & Fletcher, W. H. (2002). Alpha 1 connexin (connexin43) gap junctions and activities of cAMP-dependent protein kinase and protein kinase C in developing mouse heart. Developmental Dynamics: An Official Publication of the American Association of Anatomists, 223(1), 96-107.

Dasgupta, C., Escobar-Poni, B., Shah, M., Duncan, J., & Fletcher W. H. (1999). Misregulation of connexin43 gap junction channels and congenital heart defects. Novartis Foundation Symposium, 219, 212-21; discussion 221-5.

Presentations

Feb. 3, 2000        Duncan, J. C., & Fletcher, W. H. Alpha 1 connexin (connexin43) gap junctions and activities of cAMP-dependent protein kinase and protein kinase C in developing mouse heart. Pacific Union College, Angwin, CA.

March 18, 1998   Fletcher, W. H., Dasgupta, C., Escobar-Poni, B., Shah, M., Duncan, J. Gap junctions and cardiology. University of Wales, College of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry, Cardiff, Wales.

March 6, 1998    Fletcher, W. H., Dasgupta, C., Escobar-Poni, B., Shah, M., Duncan, J. Genetic and developmental defects of the heart. Wellcome Trust, London, England.