Monthly Archives: October 2017

What PUC Means to Me

By Andrea James

I have a confession to make: I was wrong about PUC.

For years, I was vehement in my desire to never attend an Adventist school, especially PUC. I had grown up in a sheltered bubble where almost everyone was rich, white, and Adventist. This bothered me a lot.

My mother immigrated to the U.S. with her mostly Colombian family when she was a child, while my dad’s family come from the Midwest and their ancestors come from a German colony in the Ukraine. My mother’s family raised me for all but a few years of my childhoodthough my upbringing was still mostly white, culturally speaking; I probably learned to make arepas before I learned to make pancakes, but I still can’t speak fluent Spanish and I never had a quinceañera (though that was more because of how incredibly expensive they are).

This relates to my feelings about PUC in that I was desperate to meet mixed-race people like myself and I didn’t think that would happen here. I had grown up in the Adventist world and all I had seen were white people, with occasional exceptions. I thought I would have to go to a secular school to get any kind of real diversity. I am so glad to be wrong!

Once I was finally convinced/decided to attend PUC, I was shocked to see and experience what the PUC community was actually like. PUC has been an immense blessing to me. For the first time, I’ve gotten to meet to people from all sorts of socioeconomic levels, cultures, backgrounds, etc. Having grown up going to schools full of rich white kids with whom I could only ever half-identify, I have immensely enjoyed being able to relate to other mixed-race people and listen to their experiences and stories. This is exactly what I was hoping for when I started college.

Of course, I wanted not only to interact with people like me but also with people nothing like me at all. I will never get bored learning about all the things I share and don’t share with the various people I meet, and I doubt I will ever stop being surprised by what I discover. I have immensely enjoyed expanding my understanding of others and correcting my significant ignorance about many subjects and issues. I hope to constantly grow and learn more with the help of my professors, classes, and friends here at PUC. And, of course, through my life once I graduate.

#FacultyFriday: Meet James Wibberding

Welcome to our latest installment of #FacultyFriday, where we feature a different faculty member each week.

Joining the college’s department of theology, Dr. James Wibberding has a wide variety of experience as a pastor, professor, author, chaplain, and speaker. Since 2014, he has served as the lead pastor for the Journey Seventh-day Adventist Church, a 700-person church in Kelso, Wash. Dr. Wibberding has also served as an adjunct professor at Andrews University since 2013.

During the 2013 legislative session, Dr. Wibberding was the senate chaplain for the state of Idaho where he provided daily inspirational talks to the Senate while they were in session and also offered social support to the senators and their families. For many years, he has also worked as a pastor at the Cloverdale Seventh-day Adventist Church in Boise, Idaho, and throughout the Pennsylvania Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, where he also served as the lay training director, developing curriculum for an annual lay pastor training course. Additionally, Dr. Wibberding has published several books, including “Learn to Preach Before Next Weekend” and “Sabbath Reflections: A Weekly Devotional.”

Name: James (Jim) Wibberding
Title: Associate professor of applied theology and biblical studies
Faculty since: July 1, 2017

Classes taught: Pastoral Ministry, Biblical Foundations, Ministry Extern Program I

Education: Bachelor’s in theology, from Southern Adventist University, 2000; masters of divinity, from Andrews University, 2005; doctor of ministry, from Andrews University, 2010

What made you decide to be a teacher?
I have wanted to be a teacher for the past 20 years because I believe every person is a unique masterpiece of God with an exquisite potential that I find joy in helping them develop.

What are some of your hobbies?
I enjoy hiking, building musical instruments, and furniture out of wood, and finding new ways to create.

What is something people might be surprised to know about you?
I have been a pastor for 17 years and still disdain neckties.

What are you looking forward to the most about teaching at PUC?
Contributing to the life of a community that is intended to nurture the best in humanity.

So far, what’s been your favorite thing about PUC?
The incredible diversity of our student body and the potential that represents for making a difference in the world together.

Interested in learning more about PUC’s religion and theology programs? Visit!

PUC Offers Exciting New Scholarship Opportunities

Pacific Union College is proud to announce two new scholarship opportunities available to students entering Fall 2018; the STEM Scholarship and the Campus Impact Scholarship. Recognizing the financial difficulties families face when planning for college, PUC has strengthened its commitment to make a Seventh-day Adventist liberal arts education accessible and affordable to all admitted students.

PUC’s new STEM Scholarship recognizes first-time freshmen who have obtained a strong understanding of and competence in advanced mathematics and science during high school. Recipients must have completed three years of college preparatory laboratory courses (biology, chemistry, physics, anatomy & physiology) and three years of college preparatory math courses (intermediate/advanced algebra, pre-calculus, calculus, geometry, and statistics) to receive the $1,000 renewable award. (Please see scholarship guidelines for specific requirements and details.)

The Campus Impact Scholarship is a $1,000 renewable scholarship available to students who are invited to participate in PUC’s orchestra, wind ensemble, iCantori, or octet, or are selected for specific roles in campus ministries or CONNECT outreach. These awards are renewable upon continued participation in the specific programs.

In addition, amounts for many existing scholarships have been increased, including the President’s and Dean’s Scholarships for both transfer and first-year students. These scholarships are automatically received by qualifying incoming students, based upon GPA and/or test scores.

Other scholarship changes include transfer student eligibility for the Legacy Scholarship, a renewable $1,500 scholarship awarded to students with a parent or legal guardian who attended a minimum of two years or graduated from PUC.

The qualifications for the Mostert Christian Leader Scholarship have changed as well, which now awards a maximum of $2,000 to incoming freshmen who have demonstrated exceptional leadership in their schools, churches, or communities during their junior and/or senior years of high school. This includes student association officers, junior and senior class officers, and athletic team captain. Award applies to freshman year only.

“Making college affordable has never been more important. As a parent of two college-bound daughters, I personally understand the financial challenges families are facing,” said Jennifer Tyner, vice president of enrollment management and marketing. “PUC is working very hard to make an Adventist college education possible and creating more opportunities for students to succeed in their professional goals.”

Last year, PUC awarded students over $40 million in financial aid. To learn more about all of PUC’s scholarship opportunities, application criteria, and to apply, visit or call (800) 862-7080, option 1.

Pioneers Profile: Lydia Earles

Lydia is a sophomore opposite hitter in her first season with the PUC Pioneers women’s volleyball team. Born and raised in Kailua, Hawaii, Lydia attended Hawaiian Mission Academy where she graduated top of her class. She was the perfect combination of scholastics, leadership, and service to be awarded the 2016 Maxwell Scholar Award. “Receiving PUC’s Maxwell Scholarship has been a huge blessing for myself and my family,” she says.

Since her time at PUC, she has declared her major as health communication, was appointed president of the campus mission club Thaumatrope, became a student ambassador for the enrollment office, and befriended many PUC students. “I’ve really enjoyed my time here at PUC. I’ve made such wonderful friends that support me in everything I do. Managing academics, athletics, my social life, and all other things I’m involved in has been difficult but there is nothing I would change or do differently,” she enthuses.

Lydia’s academic achievements also have translated on the volleyball court. Lydia played four years of varsity volleyball at HMA earning division 1st team award as well as being the captain of her team, all the while playing volleyball for Kealahou Volleyball Club. Her volleyball influence comes from watching her older brother playing volleyball.

At the time of this writing, halfway through the PUC volleyball season, she has appeared in 23 games with 14 kills and has become a crowd favorite during home games. With Lydia’s influence within the PUC student body, there are many students who come out to support the Lady Pioneers. “Our fans are really important to us. It feels great to play knowing the sidelines are there to support and cheer us on. The energy from the crowd helps give us the energy we need on the court,” she says.

There are still several home games left in the Lady Pioneers’ season, so come on down to the Covered Wagon to cheer on Lydia and the rest of the Pioneers! The next home game is scheduled for Tuesday, October 24th, at 6 p.m. against William Jessup University. Visit for a complete season schedule.

#FacultyFriday: Meet Michael Milmine

Welcome to our latest installment of #FacultyFriday, where we feature a different faculty member each week.

Please welcome Mr. Michael Milmine to PUC! Mr. Milmine is a dissertation away from receiving his Ph.D. in psychology from Andrews University. With a thesis titled, “The Television Viewing, Dating, and Academics of Young Adults,” Mr. Milmine received his master’s in educational psychology with an emphasis in research, summa cum laude, in 2015. His work subsequently appeared in the “Journal of Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Research” and he has also presented at several professional conferences. Mr. Milmine’s interests and experience will contribute to the department’s commitment to faculty/student collaborative research and to a tradition of preparing students for graduate studies.

Name: Michael Milmine
Title: Assistant professor
Faculty since: July 1, 2017

Classes taught at PUCGeneral Psychology, Research Methods, Social Psychology, Experimental Psychology, Learning & Memory, Death & Dying, Research Seminar, Graduate School Application Seminar

Education: M.A. in educational psychology (research emphasis), from Andrews University, 2015; B.A. in psychology (entrepreneurship minor), from Southern Adventist University, 2013

Professional activities:

Milmine, M., & Nosworthy, N. (2017). The Television Viewing, Dating, and Academics of Young Adults. Poster presented at the meeting of the Midwest Psychological Association (MPA), Chicago, IL.

Milmine, M. (2013). Beware of what you watch: Television viewing and dating behavior. Journal of Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Research, 5, 65-77.

Milmine, M. (2013). Beware of what you watch: Television viewing and dating behavior. Poster presented at the meeting of the Southeast Psychological Association (SEPA), Atlanta, GA.

What made you decide to be a teacher?
Three activities I thoroughly enjoy came together and led me to become a teacher. Firstly, I find human beings endlessly fascinating, and I wanted to spend my lifetime learning about them. Second, I love interacting with anyone who is excited and passionate about the field of psychology as well as spreading that curiosity and enthusiasm to others. I also enjoy conducting research studies in order to better understand human behavior. When I realized I could have a career which allowed me to engage in all of these activities, I knew I’d found the perfect career.

What are some of your hobbies?
Reading, hiking, playing hockey and other sports, rollerblading, video games, photography, and learning new things

What is something people might be surprised to know about you?
I read 89 books for pleasure last year.

What are you looking forward to the most about teaching at PUC?
All of the great classes I’ll be teaching. I’ve been so blessed to have the opportunity to teach all the classes I’m most interested in and passionate about.

So far, what’s been your favorite thing about PUC?
Definitely the people! The students, faculty, and staff I’ve met have all been excellent and I’m really looking forward to getting to know everyone better.

Interested in learning more about PUC’s psychology program? Visit!

Seeing the East Coast with the PUC Department of History

By Marielle Gutierrez

As a recently graduated history major from Pacific Union College, I can say I spent a lot of time in Irwin Hall. As a student, I sat through many interesting class periods where professors not only gave thought-provoking lectures, but also encouraged students to use critical thinking and problem solving skills. Learning history in a classroom setting is great, but it is even better when you are able to visit the many different places you read about in an assigned reading, or researched for your next paper. Visiting historical locations makes the past more real and accessible. Thankfully, the department of history at PUC offers students the chance to experience history through travel.

This past summer the history tour went to the East Coast. All who participated on the tour had the opportunity to visit Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. Each location showcased an obvious mix between the past and present. Despite this common factor, each location managed to offer something unique to me. Boston provided a clear visual of our nation’s beginnings with all of its historical sites. New York offered us the opportunity to see the roots of our country’s diversity, while Philadelphia proudly displayed themes of our country’s foundational beliefs—liberty and freedom. Last but not least, Washington, D.C., was a memorial of thanks to the many brave people who sacrificed everything so their country could flourish.

I enjoyed the history tour so much because I was able to fulfill my dream of visiting these famous cities that played an important role in founding the United States. I also enjoyed the tour because I was able to form friendships with other PUC students who I previously never had the chance to meet, or initially did not know very well. By the end of the tour numerous inside jokes were formed during evening homework sessions and various means of keeping in contact were created. They honestly became family.

I will always remember this trip as one of my best college memories, and for that, I am so thankful for the PUC department of history because they provided me with this once-in-a-lifetime experience. If you ever have the opportunity go on this tour; take it! You will not regret it.

#FacultyFriday: Meet James Cephas

Welcome to our latest installment of #FacultyFriday, where we feature a different faculty member each week.

Please give a warm welcome to Dr. James Cephas to our department of psychology. Dr. Cephas joins the ranks of academia after serving successfully for several years as a psychologist with the California state prison system. His training and real-world experience in the area of counseling and clinical psychology will bring strength to this dimension of the psychology curriculum. Dr. Cephas’s counseling and advocacy experience includes children, adolescents, and adults. He is also very interested in the multicultural aspects of social and psychological development and in issues of social justice.

Name: Dr. James Cephas
Title: Clinical psychology professor
Faculty since: July 1, 2017

Classes taught at PUC: General Psychology, Psychology of Personality, American Social Problems, Psychological Testing

Education: Psy.D. with an emphasis in multicultural community, from Alliant International University, 2012; M.A. in clinical psychology, from Alliant International University, 2010; B.A. in human services, from California State University, Fullerton, 2003

What made you decide to be a teacher?
Honestly, my daughter. She asked me to apply. I have a diverse background and working in the field allows me to share my knowledge and experience while leading and broadening my experience.

What are some of your hobbies?
Hiking, camping, fishing, snorkeling, music (praise and worship), art, therapy

What is something people might be surprised to know about you?
I was born in the first state of the United States. (Figure that one out!)

What are you looking forward to the most about teaching at PUC?
After the first week of classes? A vacation! Lol. Becoming a part of the family. Growing into a better professor.

So far, what’s been your favorite thing about PUC?
An amazing group of young people, the beauty of the surroundings, the awesome administration team that has been eager to assist, and the amazing staff and faculty members.

Interested in learning more about PUC’s psychology program? Visit!

Tips for Managing Stress in College

By Carissa Paw

All too often, students find themselves in stressful situations. Whether it’s from overloading on credits, taking on too many jobs at once, or having multiple deadlines to meet in one week, college can be stressful. These times are when it’s most important to remember putting too much stress on yourself isn’t beneficial to your studies. If you have found yourself in these types of situations, here are some tips to prevent and deal with stress.

Utilize the syllabus
From week one, check the syllabus given to you on the first day of class and write down important dates, such as tests and quizzes. By checking your syllabus on a weekly basis, you can to look at what’s due ahead of time and won’t be surprised by that one report worth 15 percent of your grade.

Prioritize your week
If you know you have two tests, three quizzes, and a reading report due in one week, make sure to divide the work. Try to study ahead of time instead of cramming the night before. As arduous as it sounds, try to get bigger projects done as soon as you can—trust me, you’ll thank yourself later. This will eliminate stress during the week, allowing yourself those additional blissful hours of sleep.

Take a minute to breathe
When you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, take a minute to sit back and breathe. Use those sixty seconds to focus on breathing and not on the assignment due on Canvas at 11:59 p.m. After a minute, write out all the things you need to do. List them in the order they’re due and prioritize the things on top of the list first.

Find sources of help
As a class progresses, the material slowly builds upon the prior week. If you realize the material is too much to manage, don’t be afraid to talk to the professor. As a senior here at PUC, I’ve found the professors to be extremely helpful. Each professor is more than willing to meet with you and ensure you understand the material.

Take a break
Honestly, this step may seem ludicrous when facing multiple deadlines, but this tip has been the most beneficial to me. Removing yourself from a stressful situation for 5-10 minutes (or however long you prefer) can be extremely helpful in eliminating stress. You can take this break to listen to music, watch a YouTube video, or catch up on social media. By allowing yourself time to not be engrossed in studies, you can alleviate stress and improve your focus when going back to a certain task.

#FacultyFriday: Meet Jason St. Clair

Here’s the latest installment of #FacultyFriday, where we feature a different faculty member each week.

Name: Jason St. Clair
Title: Technical services librarian
Faculty since: July 1, 2017

This year we welcome Jason St. Clair to PUC, where he will be working as the new technical services librarian in the Nelson Memorial Library. He joins us most recently from Andrews University, where he spent the past five years serving as the interlibrary loan assistant and more recently, the head of patron services and interlibrary loan manager. Previously, St. Clair served as the access services assistant and media center technician at the Peterson Memorial Library at Walla Walla University.

Education: M.S. in library & information science, from Drexel University, 2008; B.A. in English, minor in History, from Walla Walla University, 2005

Professional activities“Adulting in the Library: Experiences of Millennials as Library Staff” presentation at 37th Conference of the Association of Seventh-day Adventist Librarians, June 25-29, 2017.

What made you decide to be a librarian?
I’m a very curious person and I love being surrounded by so much information and being able to explore different topics on a whim or learning something new as I assist a student in their research.

What are some of your hobbies?
Reading, hiking, mountain biking, Legos, family

What’s something people might be surprised to know about you?
I can name all of the countries of the world.

What are you looking forward to the most about being at PUC?
The close-knit feeling of the campus community.

So far, what’s been your favorite thing about PUC?
Being surrounded by trees and mountains and nature.

Starting the School Year with a Week of Welcome

Wednesday, September 20 brought the close of summer break as freshmen, along with their families, swarmed the seven residence halls turning empty rooms into their home away from home for the next nine months.

After New Student and Family Orientations were completed, the freshmen were whisked away for the FUSION retreat, which is a time where they can get to know each other in a casual setting off-campus.

The official Week of Welcome began on Monday with the start of classes AND the Welcome Back Party in the Campus Mall, where students could socialize with each other and rush campus clubs. The rest of the week was packed full of classes with fun activities mixed in, like a water balloon fight and color blast on the grass, Midnight Madness, Opening Convocation, vespers, and a visit from a food truck before a viewing of “Guardians of the Galaxy 2.”

Faculty, staff, and current students donned blue Student Association tees and helped the incoming freshmen and their families unload their cars and set up their dorm rooms on the first day of Orientation. Pictured: PUC President Bob Cushman, SA President Megan Weems, and CFO Brandon Parker who all lent a hand that afternoon.

The Tyner family helping their daughter move into her dorm room.

The PUC praise band leading out in group worship during FUSION.

Starting the school year off with a splash of color after a fun water balloon fight.

The woman’s volleyball team being introduced to the school during the annual Midnight Madness.

President Bob Cushman addresses the campus for the first time during Opening Convocation, the first Colloquy service of the year. He spoke of the need for love and unity, perfectly echoing the SA theme for the year, which is family.

The first week was so much fun it can only mean more wonderful things are in store for the rest of the year!