Earlier this month, we welcomed over 300 students and sponsors to our campus for College Days. If you’ve never heard of College Days, it is PUC’s special visitation event, held three times a year. The next event is scheduled for February 10-12, 2019. Sign up now!

College Days is two action-packed days where you can experience what life at the college is like, and a great way to see if PUC is the right fit for you.

Below are some of our favorite moments from this past College Days. You can also check out the hashtag #PUCCollegeDays18 to see more photos from the event!

Visiting students sign up for academic departments to visit.

PUC’s annual Fall Fest also took place during College Days, where student-run clubs raised money for projects by selling various items.

During one of the College Days meetings, visiting students got to hear from current PUC students about what life is like and ask questions about their experiences at the college.

There was also a faculty panel, during which faculty shared about their departments and why they love teaching at PUC.

A PUC student-led praise band closes the evening with worship.

Roasting marshmallows.

Starting the day with a worship thought.

The highlight of day two was a pizza party and visiting students speed mingling with different departments on campus.

We hope you will join us for our February College Days. Don’t forget to sign up!

PUC & Student Veterans: A Partnership

By Becky St. Clair

Robert Quiroz, a health communications major at Pacific Union College, has been in the California Army National Guard since 2011. In 2014, before he ever deployed, Quiroz sat in his house in Stockton, California, listening to gunshots outside his house, thinking, There has to be a better way.

He had been reading Fearless, by Eric Blehm, the biography of Adam Brown, a Navy SEAL who died in Afghanistan. The book mentions a young man from Angwin, California, which caught Quiroz’s eye. He knew PUC was there and was struck by the idea of completing a college degree. So, once he returned from military training, he and his wife left Stockton for Angwin and Quiroz enrolled in PUC’s health communications program.

Quiroz grew up Adventist. His mom and grandmother were Adventist, as well as his dad, whose father was an Adventist pastor in Colombia.

“My life is deeply rooted in the Adventist Church,” he says. “A lot of my faith comes from those roots.”

This faith and the value he places on them, has led to a deep appreciation for the Adventist school system.

“Adventist education has so much to offer, and getting that education here in Angwin has added benefits,” he says. “It’s quiet here in Angwin, and rent assistance is available for student veterans. They can bring their families here. Everyone’s nice, and everyone smiles. It’s a real blessing to be here.”

Another part of life at PUC that has been helpful to Quiroz and his fellow veterans is the Veterans Club. Fiona Bullock, a former professor in the department of social work at PUC, started the club in 2015 and convinced her department to give the club a room in their building to meet in and call their own. Quiroz worked alongside another PUC student, an Air Force veteran, to make it a welcoming gathering space.

The room now has painted walls, banners and flags from the various branches of the U.S. military, a large map for club members to mark their homes and deployment locations, couches, snacks, a brand new television, and even a few medals on the wall. The television was donated by Kellie Lind, vice president of alumni and advancement, and her two sisters, Kim and Kendall, in honor of their father, Rob, a veteran of the U.S. Army.

“We’re a small group, but we need each other, and we appreciate each other,” Quiroz says. “Our mission is to really help these transitioning veterans spiritually, mentally, and academically while they strive to achieve their academic goals, and do that while providing a familiar community of camaraderie.”

The club regularly hosts events such as dinners, group event attendance, and other social opportunities to gather and get to know and support each other.

Many veterans leave the military with some sort of disability, and some are still working through those disabilities when they arrive at PUC. This is where the support services of the team at the Teaching & Learning Center (TLC) come in.

“We don’t just serve veterans, but they are definitely an important group we work with,” says Nancy Jacobo, director of the TLC, which houses disabilities services for students, as well as tutoring, test preparation, and other academic services for all students. “Veterans are a unique group.”

Jacobo is one of several staff members who work tirelessly to ensure students get the assistance they need while attending PUC. They organize accommodations for physical, mental, and learning disabilities, help student veterans manage and process their government education benefits, offer one-on-one as well as group tutoring sessions for various subjects and courses, and more.

“They shouldn’t fight their battles alone,” Jacobo says. “We want things to be as easy as possible for veterans who are dealing with trauma, anxiety, PTSD, or physical challenges due to their service to our country. They shouldn’t have to worry about school, too.”

One of the greatest things about PUC, though, Quiroz admits, is where he’s able to live.

“Student family housing is a huge benefit here,” he says. “It’s very affordable, and allows student veterans to live in relatively private homes and still be able to afford to pay their bills, have kids, and own small pets. It almost feels like you’re living a normal adult life. It’s one of the greatest things about this place.”

Quiroz maintains God led him to PUC.

“I’m grateful to be where I am,” he says. “PUC opened its doors wide and invited me to find peace here. I have, and I want to help make that a reality for others as well.”

#FacultyFriday: Meet Tammy McGuire

Dr. Tammy McGuire has been teaching for over 30 years and has made a profound impact on the lives of hundreds during that time. Those who have taken Organization Communication from her think back fondly to analyzing the organizational structure of countless episodes of “The Office.” Like most employees at PUC, McGuire loves spending time in nature but what sets her apart from the crowd is what an avid backpacker and outdoorsy-woman she is. Join us as we get to know a little more about Dr. McGuire!

Name: Tammy McGuire
Title: Professor of Communication
Email: tmcguire@puc.edu
Faculty since: 2006

Classes taught: Interpersonal Communication, Small Group Communication, Organizational Communication, Communication Research, Nonverbal Communication, Visual Communication and Semiotics, Argumentation, Persuasion, Introduction to Health Communication, Health Communication Seminar


B.S. in Language Arts Education from Union College, M.A. in English from Eastern Washington University, Ph.D. in Communication from University of Missouri

What made you decide to be a teacher?  

I wanted to be a teacher because of the profound influence some of my high school teachers had on me (Mrs. Kittrell, I’m looking at you). I wanted a job that was interesting, varied, and carried with it the possibility of making a difference. Teaching fit that bill. I love my job.

What are some of your hobbies?  

Anything outdoors. In over 30 years of teaching, I’ve only bought one piece of new furniture but I own three bikes (mountain, road, bikepacking), four pair of telemark skis, five backpacks of various sizes, six tents of various sizes, seven different types of backpacking stoves, two hammocks, three tennis rackets, a bin full of rock climbing gear, three ice axes, two pairs of crampons, at least eight pairs of hiking boots/shoes, two kayak paddles, at least three pairs of trail running shoes, three down sleeping bags, innumerable jackets and vests for the outdoors, etc., etc.

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

I occasionally play The Elder Scrolls Online. My character name is Kraaken-Ta. She is a force to be reckoned with (rather unlike my real life)!

What’s your favorite thing about PUC?  

No other college has the Back 40. What an immeasurable treasure.

What’s your favorite spot on campus?

Anywhere along Mossy Rock trail after the rains start. It reminds me of Middle Earth. (My office has a pretty good view of the fountain as well!)

What’s your favorite song?

I could listen to Cory Asbury’s song “Reckless Love” a thousand times and still be moved.

What advice would you give to an incoming freshman?  

Reframe academic challenges, difficulties, things that are uncomfortable or hard as a POSITIVE. We never grow, change, or become better human beings until our boundaries are pushed. The usefulness of education is pushing those boundaries with supportive mentors at your size. But don’t hesitate to ask for help if you feel overwhelmed. Seeking help is a strength, not a weakness.

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


Dougherty, D., Baiocchi-Wagner, E., & McGuire, T. (2011). Managing Sexual Harassment through Enacted Stereotypes: An Intergroup Perspective.  Western Journal of Communication, 75, 259-281.

Lair, D., Shenoy, S., McClellan, J., & McGuire, T. (2008). The Politics of Meaning/ful Work: Navigating the Tensions of Narcissism and Condescension While Finding Meaning in Work.Management Communication Quarterly, 22, 172-180.

McGuire, T.  (2009). From Emotions to Spirituality: “Spiritual Labor” as the Commodification, Codification, and Regulation of Organizational Members’ Spirituality.  Management Communication Quarterly, 24, 74-103.

Conference Papers/Presentations

Coffelt, T., & McGuire, T. (2014). Emerging adults who talk about delaying or abstaining from sexual activity: The influence of religion and religiosity. Paper presented at the Religious Communication Association convention in Chicago.

McGuire, T. (2012). Nonverbal Communication and Small Groups: The Elephant in the Room. Presented at the G.I.F.T.S. (Great Ideas for Teaching Speech) session at the National Communication Association Convention, Washington, D.C.

McGuire, T. (2011, November). An exploration of students’ reluctance to ask clarifying questions on tests.  Paper presented at the National Communication Association convention in Orlando.

Studies in Watercolor: Wendy Liang, Guest Artist

By Becky St. Clair

Wendy Liang is the guest artist at PUC’s Rasmussen Art Gallery in November. In 2018, she has won the California Watercolor Association’s 48th National Exhibition, The Artist’s Magazine’s 35th Annual Art Competition, and Southwest Art Magazine’s Artistic Excellence Competition. In 2017 she received the most meaningful recognition yet for her artwork: when she won the competition of Splash 19, The Illusion of Light.

Please join us for Wendy’s opening reception, including an artist talk, on Saturday, Nov. 10, from 7-9 p.m. Her show will remain in the Rasmussen Art Gallery through December 9 (note that the RAG is closed for Thanksgiving Break, Nov. 16-25).

We caught up with Wendy to get to know her as an artist and a person and enjoyed learning more about her inspiration, her passion, and her process.

When did you first feel that spark of desire to create?

I became interested in art as a child when I first noticed colors of objects would change depending on the type of weather and the different time of the day. I’ve taken lots of college-level art courses and private art lessons over the years.

What do you love most about painting?

I enjoy the solitude and the joy of creating something pleasant for others and myself.

Tell us about what inspires you.

My inspiration comes through interesting lighting, water and its reflections, and scenes that feel dreamlike or somehow ethereally familiar.

Once you get inspiration, how do you begin the creation process?

I start by playing with different compositions until I find the ideal. Then, I make a draft. Finally, and most important, I determine the dominant color and mood of the painting.

Okay, we’ve talked about what influences you; now tell us who inspires you.

I’ve been influenced the most by impressionists such as Monet and Degas.

How would you categorize the style of your art?

I usually refer to it as impressionistic realism.

What are some of your typical muses?

I want nothing more than to freeze the moment for eternity whenever I come across a scene that catches my heart, whether it is the first morning rays breaking through the mist or a sunset that turns the sky into a warm color pallet. Any scene that creates otherworldly or mysterious atmosphere remains one of my favorite subjects to paint.

Looking to the future, what kind of goals do you have in your career?

I am a dreamer, and my biggest dream right now is to turn my hobby into a professionI want to teach college-level art eventually. And, perhaps this will surprise you, but I would be a movie director or a writer if I weren’t an artist.

How about when you’re not in the studio? What are some of your hobbies?

When I’m not painting, I enjoy dancing, reading, and cooking for my family.

10 Ways to Make New Friends Your First Quarter at PUC

Whether you’re coming to PUC with a large group of friends or taking the plunge and going solo, it can seem intimidating when you’re on a new campus and don’t know many faces. Fear not though; there are plenty of different ways you can make new friends during your first few quarters.

Read on for 10 suggestions to get you out of your dorm room and into the mix!

Go to a Pioneers Athletics game. Hanging out in the Covered Wagon and cheering on your Pioneers is a great way to get involved with the Pioneers Posse, and meet some new friends too!

Join an intramurals team. Close to 50% of students at PUC participate in intramurals, and there are over 10 sports to play each year, so sign up to play! Or, you can start your own team. See if there’s anyone from your floor or class who wants to play.

Hang out at your department’s pre-vespers. Most departments have pre-vespers at least once a quarter. This is a great opportunity for you to get to know not only other students who share the same major, but your professors as well. Bonus: good food!

Go to your hall worship. Most floors in each residence hall have a simple weekly worship service where you can decompress with your fellow hallmates and spend time together in praise and worship.

Join a student-run club. There are over 20 different student-run clubs on campus, ranging from the Biology Club to the Literature Evangelism Club to the Student Organization of Latinos (SOL) Club. Joining one of these clubs can help you get to know other students outside of your dorm and major, and fill up your social calendar with fun club-related events and trips.

Join a tutoring group at the TLC. Whether you’re struggling in a class or just want to reinforce some core concepts, being part of a study group can help you succeed academically. It can also be a great way to meet other students too!

Go to the weekly SA event. Each week, the Student Association puts on a fun activity for students; sometimes on-campus, sometimes off. It could be a game night in the Campus Center, or a trip to the movies in Napa. Venture out and have fun!

Get involved with service and missions. There are plenty of ways you can give back, and make a friend or two in the process. You could help with Homeless Ministries, which visits local areas in need to pass out sack lunches and care packages every Sabbath, or go on one of the quarterly mission trips to places like Fiji, Brazil, or Kenya.

Check out the opening reception for a Rasmussen Art Gallery show. Several times a quarter, a new exhibit opens at the college’s on-campus art gallery, which often features students, faculty, and other local artists. The opening reception is a chance to meet the artists, mingle with other guests, and enjoy some tasty snacks while appreciating the talent on display.

Get a job on-campus. One of the advantages of getting a student job at PUC is being able to put your earnings towards your school bill. Another advantage is it introduces you to people you might not otherwise get to meet!

Don’t be afraid of getting outside your comfort zone and trying something new once you’re in college; you might surprise yourself and learn something new, and make a few new friends as well!


PUC Biology Professor Floyd Hayes Scales Matterhorn

By Sarah Tanner

Since 1865, over 500 people have died climbing the Matterhorn. Dr. Floyd Hayes was almost one of them. From August 24 to 26, the Pacific Union College professor and resident rock climber took on Europe’s 14th highest peak, only to be caught in a near-whiteout snowstorm on the way down.

Hayes teaches biology and environmental studies at PUC. In conjunction with quarterly classes, he also conducts student trips to locations around the world including Alaska, Micronesia, Fiji, Panama, Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, Paraguay, and Kenya. It is safe to say the professor is quite the explorer. Along with former PUC professor of mathematics, Roy Benton, Hayes expanded his travels this summer when he flew to the town of Zermaat in Switzerland in preparation to climb the Matterhorn.

Hayes and Benton have been climbing together for years, and the decision to climb Matterhorn came naturally to the two adventurers. To prepare for the roughly 14,700-foot ascent, the professors made a number of solo preliminary hikes as well as a joint two-day ascent of Switzerland’s Breithorn shortly before their Matterhorn ascent.

As part of his training, Hayes explained, “I climbed Mount St. Helena with a backpack and books. It’s about a 10-mile round trip. I also spent the night at 12,000 feet during a 15-mile round trip hike up White Mountain Peak in eastern California.” He smiled, “After this, I think we were in shape.”

Rather than employ a guide, the veteran climbers decided to tackle Matterhorn on their own. Though confident in their ability to scale its summit, the two, Hayes admitted, tended to veer off route. However, these brief diversions from the trail proved to be the least of their worries as they neared the pinnacle of the famed mountain.

On the morning of their first day, the pair made their way to 10,696 feet via a combination of cable cars and normal hiking.

“The next morning we started climbing at 4:30 a.m. and after seven hours, we made it to the top,” Hayes recalled. And that is when it started to snow.

Professor Hayes enjoys the view from the top.

“At 11:30 a.m. just as we reached the summit, the snow started falling. It wasn’t supposed to happen for another three hours, so we thought we had time.” He explained that after weeks of following conflicting weather reports, they had purposely planned to summit the mountain on this particular day because the chance of storms had dropped to a mere 20 percent.

“We spent nine hours descending and did 24 rappels during the storm. It was well below freezing and we could barely see the ropes in front of us, much less the side of the mountain.”

He explained in addition to the inherent danger of the conditions, rappelling in itself is a significant challenge.

“We were afraid the hanging rope would get caught as we were coming down. We have a lot of experience and know how to survive. But accidents happen. You have to be prepared,” Hayes warned.

As the last shreds of daylight slipped between the peaks, Hayes and Benton made their last rappel to the emergency hut stationed at 13,000 feet.

Professor Benton on the climb.

“We slept fully clothed under six blankets and still shivered.” Hayes continued, “The next morning we had to wait for some of the snow to melt before making our way back. This time, we only made two rappels before downclimbing the rest of the way.”

Hayes captured the entirety of the climb, blizzard included, in a video using a small camera he attached to his gear.

“Out of all the climbing videos we’ve made, this is by far the most spectacular.” he grinned, “I wasn’t very happy about it at the time, but looking at it now is incredible.”

Undeterred by the complications on the Matterhorn, Hayes is hopeful about his future adventures. Having already scaled Grand Teton in Wyoming, Mount Shasta here in California, and various locations in Colorado, he hopes to tackle Washington’s Mount Rainier next.

“My experience is mostly in rock climbing, not mountain,” Hayes explained, “I still have a lot of locations I haven’t tried.”

Students who want to learn more about rock climbing are welcome to talk to Hayes, who has insight about a fledgling club at PUC. He also mentioned a climbing class using the rock wall in the gym is in the works.

For those interested in his Matterhorn adventure, Hayes has posted his video to YouTube, which you can view below.

#FacultyFriday: Meet Bryan Ness

Dr. Bryan Ness, professor of biology, has taught at PUC since 1989. His research interests include plant systematics and genetics. He advises in the areas of biology, natural science, veterinary medicine, medical radiography, and occupational therapy. He enjoys spending time outdoors, doing a variety of activities such as birding, fishing, tide pooling, hiking, and backpacking. He also has an extensive menagerie, for which is he most known for. At any given time you may see him with a snake around his arm. Without further ado, let’s spend a few minutes getting to know Dr. Ness!

Name: Bryan Ness
Title: Professor of Biology
Email: bness@puc.edu
Faculty since: 1989

Classes taught: Foundations of Biology (BIOL 112), Introduction to Research Methods (BIOL 222), Scientific Discoveries (GSCI 205), Genetics (BIOL 354), Issues on Origins (BIOL 355), Biotechnology I (BIOT 345), Biotechnology II (BIOT 445), Biology Seminar (BIOL 397)

Education: B.S. in biology, Walla Walla University; M.S. in biology, Walla Walla University; Ph.D. in botany, Washington State University

What sparked your interest in biology?

I spent a lot of time outdoors as a child and loved finding animals of all kinds, from insects to snakes. Later I became fascinated with knowing the names of all the plants I would see and learned how to identify them.

What made you want to teach?

I wanted to share what I loved about the living world and share it with others who also come from a Christian background so they could see how nature tells us about God.

What is your favorite area/topic in biology, and why?

Genetics has become my favorite area because it helps make sense of living things, both how they should be classified and why they look and behave the way they do. I especially enjoy the insights genetics gives us about human variation and behavior.

Where did you grow up?

The Seattle area in western Washington State.

What are some of your hobbies?

Reading, photography, reading, music, reading, hiking, reading, and travel. 

Okay, it sounds like you really enjoy reading! Who is one of your favorite authors, and why?

J.R. R. Tolkien, because he is not only an excellent writer, but he makes his stories come alive and they are steeped in Christian symbolism and allegory.

Where is your favorite spot on campus?

The library stacks.

What’s something people may be surprised to learn about you?

That I almost became an apprentice to a harpsichord maker.

Do you have any pets?

A few. Two cats, two rats, a guinea pig, about 15 snakes, three turtles, four lizards, and about 25 tarantulas.