Monthly Archives: July 2014

Fire It Up!

By R.A. Paulson, Professor
Department of Exercise Science, Health & Nutrition

You’re new to PUC and would like to make a few friends, get some exercise thus limiting the effect of the “freshman 15,” reduce the stress of college life and smile a lot more, and maybe win a Championship T-Shirt—well, Fire it Up and participate in Intramural Recreation at Pacific Union College. Let’s look at what we offer:

Friends—Since almost 50% of our students participate in Intramural Recreation at PUC and many more will attend games and support their friends, Intramural Recreation is a great place to meet people.

Exercise—College is where you come to develop the skills you need to be successful in life, such as how to maintain balance. The number of nights you participate is up to you, we offer activities Monday – Thursday but most teams only play once-a-week. If you are a gym rat and sports is critical to your very existence, join several leagues.

Intramurals 1

Fun—We do our best to make sure you enjoy you college days at PUC by offering a wide variety of sports in a well-run Christian atmosphere. Please let me know if you have any comments or suggestions that would enhance your intramural experience!

Championship T-Shirts—Everyone who participates in PUC Intramural Recreation is a winner but those that score more points in the championship game receive a Intramural Recreation T-shirt. (A much coveted part of your PUC wardrobe!)

What sports—when?

Fall – Flagball, Co-ed 6-person Volleyball, Co-ed Team Handball
Winter – Basketball (New this year—Men’s C League), Indoor Soccer, Floor Hockey
Spring – Co-ed Softball, Baseball, Co-ed Flagball, Co-ed Ultimate Frisbee, Date Night (Co-ed Doubles in Volleyball, Pickle Ball, and Badminton)

Intramurals 2

Ok, you’re convinced and want to get involved. Fantastic—here is where to go for everything that is Intramural Recreation at Pacific Union College. is where you register your team, get information on upcoming events, see pictures of you and your friends having a GREAT time, and listen to a wonderful podcast.

If you can’t find an answer to your questions on or have a suggestion on how to make the #1 Intramural program in the United States even better, stop by my office or send me an email at

The Bay Area Has My Heart, Here’s Why

Since I’ve lived in the Bay Area my entire life, picking just five favorite places was really hard! It was like Sophie’s Choice in my office today. So give me a little leeway if I sneak a couple extra!

The Hook—I absolutely love the beach, especially Northern California beaches. I love throwing on flip-flops and a hoodie, grabbing some tacos from Taqueria Vallarta or coffee from Verve Coffee and heading to The Hook, which is actually my all time favorite place in the world! Santa Cruz is a sizable drive from campus (2.5 hours) but my roommate and I made the trek numerous weekends for some much needed beach therapy.

The Hook

If you’re not into driving that long don’t fret! There are beaches just up the coast that are much closer, (take a look at Brennan Puiia’s “The Places I Have Come to Love the Most” post for some suggestions). A popular PUC pick is Goat Rock (about 1.5 hours from campus).

SAP Center— Better known as the Shark Tank to those sports obsessed folk like myself. “The Tank” is home ice for the San Jose Sharks. Hockey holds a huge place in my heart, though I don’t know why since I spend every game anxiety ridden and pulling my hair out. But multiple times a season my friends and I gear up and scream our heads off as the players skate through the glowing, smoking shark head. Win or lose, those are some of my best memories.


But sports aren’t my only interest! If you’re like and me you love music, the beauty of the SAP Center is there’s always something different going on. Hockey season or not, the SAP Center hosts countless concerts and sporting events from charity tennis matches to concerts from headliners like Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars, Queen and many more!

AT&T Park—Working my way closer to campus we hit AT&T Park. Nestled in the kayak laced McCovey Cove sits the home of the TWO TIME WORLD CHAMPION SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS! My one true love is and always will be baseball. I get a smile on my face the moment I walk though the gates. Disneyland has been dubbed the happiest place on earth, but to me, nothing beats the sights and sounds found at this ballpark.


Not a Giants fan or even a big baseball fan? It’s still worth a visit! AT&T Park is listed as one of the top ranked parks in the country for more reasons than two World Series in the last few years. The crazy fans in costumes, the amazing food and the beauty of an ocean backdrop make AT&T Park a must see at least once! Oh, and Buster Posey—Buster makes everything better.

Sogni Di Dolci—I like to joke that I love food more than I love sports, and I love sports more than most people, so it’s a good thing I now call the Napa Valley home. You’ll hear a lot of people talk about the amazing eateries up and down the valley and they are not lying to you! It’s impossible to pick just one, however, I find myself at Sogni Di Dolci almost once a week, either grabbing gelato and people watching on their outside patio or having a meal with some friends and watching a game. This European/Italian-inspired bistro with an espresso bar and gelateria is right on Main Street in the quaint town of St. Helena, a short 10 minute drive from campus. They pride themselves, as do most places in the valley, on using only the freshest local ingredients and their food doesn’t disappoint.

Napa Valley Roasting Company—As a student, or a staff writer for a college admissions blog, finding the perfect study and writing spot is a must. Some like it quiet, some like it loud. I need a bizarre mixture of both. My perfect spot and one of my favorite places in the area is the Napa Valley Roasting Company, or the RoCo, as it’s warmly referred to. The RoCo offers great coffee and good pastries accompanied by a nice, friendly atmosphere and free Wi-Fi! Every time I stop in, I always see at least one PUC student camped out studying with their books and laptop, which always makes me a tad nostalgic.


As corny as it sounds, the places you go and people you meet in college will stay with you forever, so during your stay at PUC I implore you to visit my favorite places in the area at least once, but even more so, to find your own!

Working On-Campus Has Its Perks

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal reports that only 44% of college students worked either part- or full-time in 2013, which was the lowest percentage of students working since 1985. Interestingly, however, research from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics finds that students who worked part time on average have a higher GPA than those who didn’t work: Researchers found that freshmen students at four year colleges and universities who worked between one and 20 hours a week had an average GPA of 3.13, while those who didn’t work had an average GPA of 3.04. It’s important to note that freshmen who worked over 20 hours a week had a significantly less average GPA – just 2.95.

In addition to a slight academic advantage, however, there are many other reasons why students should consider working while in college, particularly on-campus. Consider the following:

  • Convenient. It is so easy getting to work! No commute, no time stuck getting to and from work, and no extra car/transportation expenses all add up to lower stress.
  • Scheduling. Need to work a little? Need to work a lot? It can be easy to hold either one job or a few jobs on campus, picking up a few hours here and a few hours there. Also, on-campus employers understand student schedules so when there is an exam or project to work on, getting time off is easier.
  • Variety. On-campus jobs are available in accounting/payroll, information technology, academic departments, library, residence halls, dining services, and much more. You can get varied work experiences throughout your years at PUC.
  • Finances. You can choose to have all or part of your on-campus earnings applied directly to your tuition payments.
  • Connections. Working on-campus puts you in touch with other students, faculty, and staff. With some on-campus jobs, it seems that you meet everyone! These connections can be very useful when it’s time to send out reference letters to future employers or graduate schools.
  • Skills. An on-campus job can help develop important professional skills such as time management, teamwork, customer service, and many more.
  • Weekends. Many on-campus jobs are during the week, which leaves the weekend wide open for spending time with friends, campus ministries, and studying.

As of October 2013, there were 1,326 active student jobs on PUC’s campus taken by 833 students. So think about joining about half the student body and working on campus! Yes, you might earn more money working off-campus, but that job will come with its own price tag.

For information about current student jobs available on-campus, visit the Student Employment section of the PUC website.

Choose Your Own PUC Adventure: Be a Volunteer Firefighter

Growing up a fire captain’s daughter, I spent my fair share of time in a fire station, so the infamous air raid siren at PUC that blasts everyday at noon wasn’t anything new or startling to me when starting school. Unlike my fellow classmates, who covered their ears and quickly looked around worried, I didn’t even notice it. I had never lived less than five miles from a fire station, so the siren was a strange comfort to me being away from home for the first time.

So imagine my reaction when later that year, the alarm went off while I was sitting in my English class, unfazed. Wrong! As one of my classmates jumped up from his desk, letting his chair crash behind him as he bolted out the door and down the hall, I was shocked. It wasn’t until that moment I realized a large percentage of the Angwin Volunteer Fire Department was made up of students. The thought never crossed my mind, since I was pretty sure you needed to be an adult to run into a burning building to save a life—and there was the epiphany: this was college, we were adults!

Having the ability to volunteer at the Angwin fire station is something pretty unique about PUC. This week I sat down with J.R. Rogers, Director of Recruitment at PUC, who has volunteered with the AVFD for over 11 years. He serves as Captain in command of the Truck Company and also Officer in Charge of Fleet and Logistics. I asked him a few questions about being a member of the fire department and how it helped change his life and his time at PUC.

Q: Why should someone join the fire department?

A: It’s a great way to serve the community around you and to expand your skill base. You get a lot of hands on training both in the fire and medical world that you get to use to help others. These skills will serve you for the rest of your life. It’s a pretty powerful thing to be able to help those in quite possibly some of the worst situations and time of need.

Angwin Fire collage 1

Q: What skills will I learn if I join?

A: The Angwin Fire is an all hazard and all risk department, which means we respond to everything. We teach you how to work with and mitigate situations involving fire, hazardous materials, vehicle accidents, plane crashes, water emergencies, and medical emergencies. Many of these skills are life skills you can put into use when things like this happen in your personal life as well.

Q: Is it hard to volunteer and go to school?

A: Not at all. In fact, over half the department is PUC students. You are a volunteer, which means we ask that you come whenever possible, but understand if you are unable to respond. You’re given a pager and when it goes off you respond to the station. Most teachers at PUC are fine with you leaving class for a call. At the beginning of each quarter, I would go up to each of my teachers at the first class and let them know I was a member of the fire department. I asked if it was okay if I left for calls and that I wouldn’t leave during quizzes, presentations, or tests. I think I only had one teacher that preferred I didn’t.

Q: How do I join the fire department?

A: If you go to, you will find the application and instructions on other documents needed and you can bring them to the firehouse in person (you’re guaranteed to find us there the 1st and 3rd Monday nights from 7-10 pm) or mail it to the PO Box listed on the application letter.

Q: How many hours per week does volunteering take up?

A: It varies. We have a three hour drill every other Monday and trainings as assigned by your company officer, in addition to the calls you respond to. A typical medical aid, which is the majority of what we respond to, takes about an hour. The fire academy we put you through is every Wednesday, with some Mondays and Sundays, for six months.

Q: Should I join the department even if I’m not interested in a degree in Emergency Services?

A: Volunteering with the fire department is something you want to be passionate about doing. If it’s something you don’t believe in, it’s a lot of work and personal risk and being a firefighter isn’t a title that you get, it’s one you earn. The medical side is something we do often and has varying degrees of certification but everyone is trained in at least first aid.

Q: What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned as a volunteer?

A: I have really learned so much I can’t pick just one. Leadership, accountability, resourcefulness, and being a team player are just a few things I’ve learned that have played into my everyday life. Other useful skills like fire knowledge, medical skills, and hazarding identification that also find their way into my days. You really see the world with new eyes.

Angwin Fire collage 2

Q: Do you remember your first call?

A: Definitely. It was a wildland fire in Pope Valley on Barnett Road the day after I graduated. I was the only one from my class that made it to the call. We worked for about six hours cutting hand line alongside a bulldozer to contain the fire. Just as we were getting the fire encircled, it created its own weather system and it began to hail and then rain, which ultimately helped us. There are a lot more stories along with that single incident but I learned a lot on my first call.

Q: Will I be able to drive the fire truck?

A: If you’re on the department long enough and you put forth the effort and time to learn your job as a firefighter, and then you train to become an operator – yes, you can eventually drive a fire engine or truck. You have to learn your first job and do it well to be able to take on a second.

As you may have heard in the news recently, there were several large fires in the Napa Valley and surrounding areas. Thankfully, CalFire and many other departments from around the state were able to contain and extinguish them, and we’re incredibly proud to say our very own Angwin Volunteer Fire Department was part of those efforts!

Melissa’s Advice – Do Something New!

Name: Melissa SetterlundMelissa Setterlund
From: Nampa, Idaho
Major: Nursing
Graduation: AS in June 2014, BSN in June 2015

Why did I choose Nursing?
I’ve always wanted to help people, especially those who are unable to help themselves. I also find human anatomy to be fascinating. Add to that the excitement of how different medications work on the body and BAM! You have the trifecta for a desire to be a nurse. There are always a million reasons to do each job, and if those don’t appeal to you, that doesn’t mean that nursing isn’t for you. It’s okay for you to have your own reasons.

A Normal Week
Usually I have class 2-3 days a week. The other days are filled with clinical hours, one or two shifts at the hospital a week. During my free days, I try to put in as many work hours as I can and then, of course, I spent time studying and doing homework. It’s definitely a busy schedule, but if you’re able to manage your time well and motivate yourself to complete assignments and study, you’ll be just fine.

Favorite Class at PUC 
I have two favorites: Pharmacology and Maternal-Newborn. Pharmacology appeals to my interest in the body and how medications work. It helps that the professor, Susan Bussell, keeps things interesting by using different candies to compare to the different medications. Maternal-Newborn, taught by Gladys Muir, interested me because of how the body changes to accommodate another human life. Again with the whole anatomy kick, the idea of creating life and your body adapting to it is fascinating.

Most Exciting Experience
Probably the most exciting experience I’ve had relating to nursing was during my clinical rotation to the Labor & Delivery Unit. I was able to see a baby being born. It was special to see how happy the mom and the dad were when they were able to hold their baby for the first time. It was probably even cooler for me since Maternal-Newborn was one of my favorite classes. It showed me the things I learn at PUC are applicable to real life and happen in the real world.

You’ve probably heard a million times that you should study hard, use good time management, and take advantage of tutoring, so I won’t go that route. Instead, I encourage you to take advantage of every opportunity for doing or learning something new in the hospital. Tell your nurse that you want to do something new and ask if there is a procedure or treatment being done that day that you could be a part of and don’t be afraid to get in there and participate. You are there to learn and become a nurse so take every opportunity you can.

Why Should You Consider Majoring in Business?

By John Nunes, Associate Professor John Nunes
Business Administration & Economics Department

So, why in the world should you consider a major in Business Administration at Pacific Union College? The title doesn’t sound particularly exciting, does it?

Do you want to be a leader? Having business skills are important! Fact of the matter is, ALL of you will end up working in some type of organization, whether profit or non-profit in scope, a mammoth multi-national conglomerate or a small enterprise, which you own and operate in size. Regardless of size or mission, you will face these fundamental challenges:

  1. Being a good steward of resources. In any organization, expenses must be less than revenues or your organization will not survive. In addition, the time, talent, and financial resources your stakeholders (employees, suppliers, customers, investors, etc.) commit to your enterprise must be fruitfully and ethically managed or they will move on to an opportunity that better suits their needs and interests.
  2. Vision and Purpose. Why are you here? Where are you going? How are you going to get there? Who do you want to serve and how can you best serve them? Personally and organizationally, these questions are essential to success and survival. You have to possess a dream to create a plan and once you have created that plan, you must act on it!
  3. Change and Innovation. As important as dreaming, planning, and action are, you must be willing and able to adapt based on changes in a host of internal and external environmental factors. Having the capacity to proactively and reactively manage and create change and innovate individually and systemically are fundamental to building a sustainable enterprise. You must learn to love change and own the future or you won’t be around!

As a business major, we will provide you with the resources to master the skills shown above. By exposing you to the entire continuum of the business administration discipline, combining quantitative training in accounting, finance, economics, information systems management, and operations, critical thinking and communication skills gleaned from extensive writing, research, and presentations, and leadership development through marketing, management, internship, and service learning courses, we will not only instruct you on how to do things the right way, but will model the essential art and science of doing the right things, in a learning environment that is committed to nurturing your unique growth needs inside and outside of the classroom! WE VALUE YOU!

The competencies developed in our department have been leveraged with distinction by our numerous graduates in wide ranging organizations and careers, including accounting, dentistry, law, medicine, healthcare administration, entrepreneurship, management, sales, information systems, education, marketing, and finance among many others.

Come join us!

(P)Raise the Roof

I love the student involvement in the worship services at PUC. It’s one of the ways that makes us spiritually authentic. I found a way to get involved with praise music since I play bass guitar (otherwise known as the stringed instrument you can’t use to get banquet dates in high school). I had been at PUC for a grand total of two months before someone found out I played, and asked me to help out one weekend at church.

I was surprised, since I figured you had to prove your worth or fill out a mountain of paperwork before you were asked to play up front. I was also surprised because I played with all the grace of a panicked rhinoceros, and they still wanted me to help. I wasn’t expecting it to be so accessible, but it was. And for  the next four years, I had many more opportunities to express my spirituality through music.

You don’t have to be Chris Martin to play in the praise band here. If you have a gift, PUC allows you to put it to use. I’ve seen groups with violins, harps, bongos, or harmonicas. I’ve seen people who’ve played their instrument for nine years playing next to people who’ve played theirs for nine months.

Praise Band

That’s me on the right playing like a panicked rhinoceros.

It’s awesome to see different groups up front every time. Between vespers, church services, the Week of Prayer events, and the many other spiritual get-togethers, we’re always looking for people willing to use their talents. That means you don’t have the same group recycling the same songs every time you go to worship.

If it seems like I’m gushing, it’s because music put me in touch with God in a profound way during my time at PUC. Whether I was playing or being led by someone else, the music always had a unique way of bringing my world back into perspective.

If you’re a musician, and you’re interested in being a part of a spiritually authentic campus, you can talk to the Student Association Religious Vice President Josue Hernandez about getting involved. Stop by his office in the Campus Center. Or you might just introduce yourself to the groups you see playing each week. It never hurts to make new friends. And it certainly doesn’t hurt to take a little ownership of your worship experience. So bring your guitar, your drums, or your didgeridoo, and put your gifts to good use when you get here in September!

It’s Okay to be Undecided

“If you don’t know what you want to be when you grow up by the time you’re 12, you’ll never finish college in time!” said no one ever.

Actually that’s not true – a lot of people have probably said that. Many people, maybe even some of you, think you HAVE to have everything planned out long before you begin your undergraduate career. Well I’m here to tell you, “Pump the brakes!” There’s no need to rush! For those of you who have known what you wanted to do since you were in diapers, awesome! But for those who feel a little lost, welcome to college! You’ll find your way and the Enrollment office at PUC is here to help.

For me, throughout high school I was the girl with the plan – physical therapy, specifically sports medicine. That’s all I wanted to do and I was convinced I would be perfect at it. I took a series of personality and career tests my senior year and discovered something very obvious: I was good at communicating (and something I learned my junior year, not good at Chemistry).

Now, cut to the first day of freshman year at PUC to a newly declared Communication major. I had no idea what I was getting myself into and within the first quarter I apprehensively made the decision to switch to being undeclared and you know what? I wasn’t alone. Research shows up to 50 percent of college students change their major at least once, and some change it several times. For the next year and a half, I made up my mind and changed it quite a few times, all the while smartly taking classes in many areas from different departments. The beauty of PUC being a liberal arts college is you will need to take classes in different subjects to fulfill your GE class requirements (You can read more about those in our recent “What on Earth are General Education Requirements?!” post). This is the perfect way to try something new while learning about your strengths.

As it would turn out, I would find my way back to the Communication Department a couple quarters later and fall in love with Public Relations, and I never would have discovered that had I not been open minded.

If you’re struggling to see where your future is headed, be smarter than I was! Don’t wander through your first year of college without some kind of plan. PUC comes fully equipped with a Career & Counseling Center at your disposal. You’ll have access to multiple personality tests, interest surveys and Laura Gore, our Career Counselor, will happily give you one-on-one career counseling.

While it’s on your mind, why not spend a few minutes taking this short career test to get a few new ideas about what majors might be a good fit for you! We found it surprisingly insightful. Be more informed before scheduling an appointment with Laura in the fall! Check it out at