Monthly Archives: February 2018

PUC’s 2018-2019 Student Association Officers Elected

This week PUC elected a new group of student leaders for next school year to serve on the Student Association. Congratulations to each of them! We can’t wait to see the exciting things you accomplish next year.

We also wanted to take the time to briefly explain the various positions and what they do for the student body.

Kenzie Hardy was elected as SA president.

The leader of the SA team, this position acts as the liaison between the student body and the college’s administration. The president sets the tone for the year and supports the team in their duties, facilitating help and ideas when needed. The president is also responsible for several events each year, including one Colloquy service per quarter and weekly SA team meetings.

Amanda Musvosvi was elected as executive vice president.

Executive Vice President
The executive vice president presides over all Student Senate meetings, following the school constitution and bylaws. This critical role also oversees SA elections and serves as chair of the elections committee, and is responsible for holding quarterly town hall meetings to help keep the campus informed of Senate activities.

Financial Vice President
The financial vice president position is the backbone of the financial structure of SA. This position regularly advises each officer and the Student Senate regarding SA budgets, preparing monthly budgets for each officer and advising them on their status.

Daniel Arriaza was elected as religious vice president.

Religious Vice President
An integral part of the spiritual life of the college, the religious vice president works directly with the campus chaplain to secure guest speakers for Friday night vespers programming. This role also works with student leaders and the PUC Church worship pastor to schedule praise and worship praise teams to perform for vespers, and is responsible for the weeks of prayer held in winter and spring quarters.

Fatima Sosa was elected as social vice president.

Social Vice President
The social vice president position is responsible for scheduling and implementing a regular calendar of activities that encourage student participation, including larger events such as banquets and the annual Talent Show. This role also oversees a social committee and collaborates with campus club officers to help promote and provide opportunities for clubs. The social vice president also works closely with the director of student engagement and leadership to execute the fall “Week of WOW” events during the first week of school.

Public Relations & Marketing Vice President
The public relations and marketing vice president is responsible for running all SA social media accounts, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat, and promotion for each SA event, including posters and email graphics. This position hires photographers and videographers to create content for SA events and social media accounts, and assists other SA officers with marketing needs. The public relations and marketing vice president also designs the SA t-shirt for the year which coincides with the theme for the year.

Diogenes Lantern Editor
The Diogenes Lantern editor oversees the production of the school yearbook, which includes taking student, faculty, and staff portraits, as well as hiring staff to assist with design and layout and generating outside advertising income.

Campus Chronicle Editor
The Campus Chronicle editor is responsible for creating and publishing 16 issues of the newspaper each year, which includes writing content and hiring staff to assist with layout, photography, writing, and editing.

Video Producer
The video producer creates a minimum of four short films each quarter that highlight SA events and campus activities and culture, which includes hiring necessary staff to meet production goals and producing at least one creative short film project in conjunction with the Group Production class.

Service-Minded PUC Students Give Back to the Community

PUC is blessed with a campus full of service minded students who actively participate in the college’s service-learning program. The goal of the program is to deepen students’ understanding of the academic material they learn in the classroom by applying their learning to real life. Students develop collaborative relationships with community groups such as the Veterans Home of California – Yountville, the Napa County Land Trust, the Lake County Continuum of Care, the Berryessa Bureau of Reclamation, and the Boys and Girls Club in St. Helena. Students’ critical thinking skills are enhanced through the practical application of skills and theories learned in the classroom. Though their values and beliefs may be challenged by engagement in their community, PUC’s faculty and staff remain committed to supporting students’ spiritual development and encourage students to process their learning experiences through creative assignments such as group presentations, journaling questions, and classroom discussions.

Here are just a few of the community outreach projects PUC students have participated in during recent months.

Berryessa Bureau of Reclamation
Students work at Lake Berryessa to plant native blue oak trees around the visitor’s center.

Citizenship Legal Services
Psychology and social work students are trained by coordinators and attorneys from the Citizenship Legal Service partnership to help residents with green cards apply for citizenship. Approximately 50 students have been trained in an effort to help staff the monthly workshops held throughout the Napa Valley.

MLK Monday
Each year, Napa’s MLK Monday Coalition puts together activities, volunteer options, and discussion groups in a day of “action and compassion” throughout the Napa Valley. Students from a variety of courses dialogue about MLK’s letter from Birmingham jail, view documentaries relevant to coursework and participate in discussions, and help clean up the Martha Walker Native Habitat Garden.

Napa Co. Land Trust: Pope Valley
Students from Conservation Biology courses put their knowledge to use clearing invasive species from around valley oak saplings, enabling them to thrive in beautiful Pope Valley.

Point in Time Count (Lake County) 2017 & 2018
Students from Statistical Methods learn about the faces behind the numbers when they administer the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) survey to people experiencing homelessness. Human Behavior and the Social Environment students learn about causes and effects of homelessness while they practice administering an assessment to clients.

How Uganda Love It?

By Lauren Chang

It all started as an ordinary trip to Uganda—that is if you consider moving halfway across the globe to be a student missionary for three months “ordinary.” I used to believe when I was accomplished enough—like when I became more self-sacrificing or developed a skill in medicine, dentistry, or law—then, God could use me. Well, I now know after three months of missionary time my preconceived notions of “helping others” couldn’t be further from the truth. God doesn’t need great people to do great things. He only needs people who are willing to say “yes” and take a leap of faith—something I think people like Abraham, Moses, and many other missionaries realized very quickly.

* * *

I left on September 26, 2017, with fellow PUC pioneers Tom and Mick Borecky and later, my friend Sadie Valentine as volunteers for the Kellerman Foundation. Originally founded by Dr. Scott Kellerman, the foundation was created to help the Pygmy people in Buhoma, Uganda, who were displaced from their indigenous home in the National Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Coming to Uganda was a leap of faith because we knew we were called to work with the Kellerman Foundation, but initially, we had no idea what we were going to do. The only job we set up was to build two simple structures: 1) a banda, which is a community center that also functions to collects rainwater; and 2) a Pygmy house made by mudding bamboo frames. In fact, until we were invited to join research projects by Dr. Kellerman and Dr. Jean Creasey, a dentist in Nevada City, this was all we had set up to do for three entire months.


What I expected out of this missionary experience was to connect with the locals, to help others, and to grow and change because of it. All of those things turned out to be true—and to an even greater degree than I expected.

But what I didn’t expect? Generosity, friendship, and warmth like you wouldn’t believe. Downtime, and lots of it. Emotional breakdowns. Success not according to accomplishments and achievements, but according to relationships. Sobbing after listening to Christmas music because I missed home. Things not going to plan. The emotional toll of being constantly watched by everyone because you are a mazoongu or “foreigner” in the local language of Rukiga. And most of all, the feeling of helplessness from witnessing some of the poorest people on earth. I don’t think any amount of National Geographic pictures could have prepared me for the heartbreak of seeing and meeting kids with bloated bellies from malnutrition or people dying from extremely curable diseases. We saw some of the poorest people in the world, and I still struggle with processing and dealing with that degree of poverty to this very day. But despite it all, these people are some of the happiest, most generous folks I have ever met. They invited us in time after time for the holidays or to share meals simply because we had become friends.


One of our friends Christine Twasiima (Rukiga for “we appreciate”), works in a tourist shop with mountain gorilla merchandise and crafts. She spent countless afternoons teaching me how to weave baskets. There we would weave with our grass piles and needles for hours at the door of her shop, either talking and laughing with the other shopkeepers or hiding inside from the tropical rain. For many of those afternoons, she shared her lunch of matooke (bananas made like mashed potatoes), beans, and sweet potatoes in a light sauce, telling me that all the locals purposely prepare more food than they need in case of hungry visitors or friends. And the people know everything about everyone. One day, when I decided to stay in for a day of resting, I thought nobody would even notice. Later, I found out that everyone was worried and asked Tom and Mick as they passed by if I was OK and why I wasn’t there. Christine even called me to check on me. What I love the most about the culture is it is relationship-oriented and there is no sense of time at all. People will sit around and talk to you for as long as you’ll let them because this culture is centered around relationships—not productivity.

Another friend of ours named Gemma is the manager of a gorilla trekking lodge. We initially came to buy ice-cold sodas, but we ended up becoming instant friends when I asked her to teach me some Rukiga. Two months later on her off-days, Gemma took us to her hometown via a 4-hour bus ride at 4 a.m. through windy mountain dirt roads (and lots of honking!). After escaping the clutches of death, however, we ended up having one of the best days of our entire trip. We visited Gemma’s house built from the ground up by her father, met the family—seven people were there, and this is not including the other siblings and their kids!—saw the family beekeeping houses, gardens, crops, flowers, forest, and the breathtaking mountain views. The air smelled of pine and a picnic was set out for us in front of the house that was cool and shaded as we ate the most amazing home-cooked meal of stew, greens, and potatoes—all cooked on a clay furnace with three holes and a single fire underneath. Our day ended with loads of gifts sent back with us: fresh honey from their beehives, sugar cane, mangoes, clay pots, and a gorgeous necklace. In my entire life, I have not experienced better hospitality than in Uganda.


I talk so much about these experiences because really, besides the research and two days of helping to build the banda and the house, this was what we did. The research took a lot of time and effort to conduct, it’s true. We spent many days going out into the communities and conducting focus group interviews and surveys or recording data at the hospital for our research. Additionally, I have grown much closer to my friends and family who were a fantastic support system as we worked through all of the struggles and hardships we encountered together. But sometimes, I ask myself: “Why did God bring us all the way to Uganda if what came out of it was personal growth, strengthened and new friendships, research, two structures, and the witnessing of terrible poverty?” The answer? I am unsure, but at the very least, I have a renewed commitment to helping and loving others as God calls. I believe God uses ordinary people who are willing to say “yes” to do great things, and even though I am unsure of what that entails from my time in Uganda, I trust what He has set into motion, nobody can stop.

A panorama of our view.

Dr. Kellerman and I with a new friend.

Sadie and I’s room.

A Polaroid of Gemma and I.

Me making a basket in front of Christine’s shop.

Me with Gemma’s family.

Mick (L) and Tom (R) talking at Gemma’s house.

Me with guest house employee, Diana.

Monkeying around.

Batwa school kids.

Conducting a research surveys in a church.

Meet Enrollment Counselor Janae Bowman

We have a great team of enrollment counselors here at PUC, ready to help you and your family with any questions you have, at any point throughout the admissions process. For the next few weeks, every Monday we’ll be introducing each one to you, to help you get to know them a little better.

This week, meet counselor Janae Bowman!

What made you decide to recruit for PUC?
I experienced PUC. I was a student and saw all of the opportunities it gave me. Whether it was spiritually, academically, or just life tips. I had a fantastic experience and by recruiting for PUC I get to share what I love about it.

Where is the most interesting place you’ve traveled for work?
I would say the most interesting place I have travel for work is to Miami. It’s such a beautiful place with amazing food!

What is the most rewarding thing about recruiting?
When I bump into my students that I have recruited and they tell me about how they love PUC! I love hearing all the stories and fun experiences they have!

If you were choosing a movie to be shown at New Student Orientation, what would you pick? Why?
“The Parent Trap” (1998) because part of it was filmed in the Napa Valley!

What is your favorite part about living here?
I’m so lucky to call this place home. I feel like it’s a community where you know everyone. There is always something to do; whether it’s going to the beach or San Francisco for the day or staying local and hiking or trying out one of the local restaurants.

What is your favorite spot on campus?
My favorite spot on campus is right outside the Campus Center. When it’s sunny outside it such a nice area to grab lunch and soak up some sun.

What is your favorite place to eat in the valley?
That changes monthly … but I guess this month it would be Bistro Jeanty. They have an amazing tomato soup!

What is the last book you read?
I’m currently in graduate school so it would be my last class textbook, which was a book on operations management.

What’s one thing you would like to accomplish in 2018?
I’ve started something called the two-minute rule. So any action that can be carried out in two minutes or less is completed right away. I want to accomplish a full year of doing this to help to maximize my time and help with procrastination.

What advice would you give to an incoming freshman?
Get involved and enjoy every moment! This is a place where you make lifelong friends and memories.

#FacultyFriday: Meet Maria Rankin-Brown

This week’s #FacultyFriday introduces us to Dr. Maria Rankin-Brown, who joined the department of English in 2006 and now serves as department chair. She specializes in composition studies, rhetoric, sociolinguistics, multicultural studies, non-Western literature, and creative writing. Prior to teaching at PUC, she taught at several institutions, including the University of the Pacific, Southern Utah University, Dalton State College, Chattanooga State Technical Community College, Mesa State College, and California State University, Chico. We are blessed to have Dr. Rankin-Brown’s energy and creative wit on our campus.

Name: Maria Rankin-Brown
Title: Professor of English and chair of the department of English
Faculty since: 2006

Classes taught: College English, Survey of Linguistics, Contemporary Literature, Themes in Literature, Short Story Writing

Education: Bachelor’s degree in journalism, from Pacific Union College, 1995; master’s in communication, from the University of Northern Colorado, 1997; Ph.D. in rhetoric and linguistics, from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, 2005

Professional activities:

Editor’s note: Since Dr. Rankin-Brown’s professional activities are extensive, we have listed only a few of her most recent accomplishments.


“’Sin’ of Adulthood’ and ‘Ministerial Cramps’ Are all in My Day’s Work,” Adventist Review. November, 2014. Print.

“Finding our Humanity in Paranormal Literature.” Popular Culture Review, Winter 2013.

“The Function of Japanese Manga to Shape and Reflect Japanese Identity.” Japan Studies Review, 2012.


Northern California Conference Academy Teacher In-service, “What to Expect from College Composition” and “Don’t Do It All: Using Rubrics to Teach Writing.” January 30-31, 2017.

California Association of Teachers of English. Co-presenter with Georgina Hill. “Don’t Do It All: Responding to Student Writing.” Santa Clara, California. February 17-19, 2017.

Adventist English Association. Co-presenter with Georgina Hill. “Worthwhile and Reliable Assessment in the First-Year Writing Sequence,” June, 2016, Keene, Texas.

Grants, Awards, and Other Professional Contributions

2007-2009; 2008-2009; 2010-2011; 2013-2014; 2017-2018: Pacific Union College: Herber Grant awarded to conduct research on Japanese literature and rhetorical behaviors and the African diaspora and the ways in which it is represented in museums.

Conference submission reviewer. Sigma Tau Delta National English Honor Society – 2009-current.

Article reviewer, Adventist Journal of Education, reviewed article on plagiarism, January 2012.

What made you decide to be a teacher?
I’m a big nerd and school is where I feel most at home. I was waiting to do my MA comprehensive exams in 1996 and was planning to be a professional mediator when the University of the Pacific needed me to cover their Conflict Management classes for a professor who was out on leave. Teaching both exhilarated and terrified me and I enjoyed that balance, and from there, I just stayed in school, where I continue to be exhilarated and terrified.

What are some of your hobbies?
It’s really hard for me to walk past a flowering plant without photographing it and posting it on Instagram. I spend a lot of time out in nature with my phone and camera while obsessively listening to audiobooks.

What’s something people might be surprised to know about you?
My father’s family emigrated from Europe to Zambia (Southern Africa) long before the United States was even a country. I became a U.S. citizen seven years after marrying my American husband. I’m still learning new things about what it means to be an American.

What’s your favorite thing about PUC?
I feel like I’m supposed to say the students, but I really love the biscuits and gravy in the caf on Fridays. Plus my colleagues are thoughtful, friendly, and supportive. They make working here a pleasure.

What’s your favorite spot on campus?
Outdoors: the Back 40; indoors: Stauffer Hall.

What’s your favorite book?
“A Tale for the Time Being” by Ruth Ozeki and “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee.

What advice would you give to an incoming freshman?
It’s easy to allow yourself to stress about everything because everyone else is talking about how stressed they are and that energy is catching. If you’re here to learn and grow, allow yourself the time, the schedule, and the mindset to enjoy college instead of only being stressed.

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

Meet Enrollment Counselor Chris Romero

We have a great team of enrollment counselors here at PUC, ready to help you and your family with any questions you have, at any point throughout the admissions process. For the next few weeks, every Monday we’ll be introducing each one to you, to help you get to know them a little better.

This week, meet counselor Chris Romero!

What made you decide to recruit for PUC?
I wanted to share my college experience with students. It was a crazy journey from beginning to end!

Where is the most interesting place you’ve traveled for work?
Oklahoma, I was in the middle of nowhere. First time in “The Dust Bowl” and just at the airport alone it had signs for tornado warnings. I’m a SoCal guy so that freaked me out a little the first time I saw those signs. I am used to earthquakes, fires, riptides from the ocean while at the beach … stuff like that, not tornados!

What is the most rewarding thing about recruiting?
Being able to see student’s faces as I say they have been accepted to Pacific Union College. Also, the after-expression of students who are worried about not knowing what to do with their life and me just saying “Trust me, I didn’t know either, but it’s alright.”

If you were choosing a movie to be shown at New Student Orientation, what would you pick? Why?
Disney’s “Hercules”—I can say because it shows the adversity of going from nothing to something, and how it can relate to a student going from freshman year to senior year and the growth of those years … But mostly because it’s my favorite movie!

What is your favorite part about living here?
The trees and nature. I can’t count the amount of times I have walked out my door in the morning and was greeted by a couple of deer.

What is your favorite spot on campus?
That last step after going up those stairs in front of flagpoles of Irwin Hall. *Cue the Rocky Balboa montage*

What is your favorite place to eat in the valley?
Gillwoods Cafe in St. Helena for breakfast, Giugni’s for lunch, and Pizzeria Tra Vigne for dinner, and then pistachio macaroons from Bouchon Bakery in Yountville for dessert.

What is the last book you read?
Comic books count too right? “Flashpoint” by Geoff Johns & Andy Kubert.

What’s one thing you would like to accomplish in 2018?
Travel around more of California! Go to more national parks, food joints, etc.

What advice would you give to an incoming freshman?
Don’t be a hermit! Socialize with people! Devote one day (whether Sabbath or not) to not doing any homework or classwork. Eat breakfast! Changing your major isn’t the end of the world! Make an effort to contact family at least once a week even if it’s through texting. Enjoy your college experience, go bowling in Napa, watch movies in Santa Rosa, go on late night In and Out runs every once in a while. Most importantly though, do not and I repeat DO NOT try and do a 12-page paper at 3:00 a.m. the day the paper is due … trust me it doesn’t work.     

#FacultyFriday: Meet Ross Winkle

It’s time for another #FacultyFriday! Meet Dr. Ross Winkle, professor of new testament and chair of the department of theology who has taught at PUC since 2005. He has a professional focus on the New Testament and has received several PUC Faculty Development Research and Honors awards, as well as two Herber Faculty Development Awards. He has also served as a student missionary in Tokyo, Japan, and as a pastor for 13 years in three successive church districts in Oregon. He is an ordained minister and occasionally leads adult Sabbath School discussions on campus and preaches in surrounding churches. Dr. Winkle has also had several pieces published in various publications and given a significant number of presentations at professional conferences around the world, including Edinburgh, Scotland; Izmir, Turkey; and Vienna, Austria.

Name: Dr. Ross Winkle
Title: Professor of new testament and chair, department of theology
Faculty since: Fall 2005

Classes taught: Discovering Jesus (Honors), Encountering Jesus, Parables of Jesus, Book of John, Studies in Daniel, Studies in Revelation, Advanced Studies in Apocalyptic, Biblical Greek I, II, III, Seventh-day Adventist Beliefs, Theology of the Sanctuary, Last Day Events

Education: Bachelor’s degrees in theology and biblical language, from Walla Walla College, 1983; M.Div., from Andrews University, 1987; Ph.D. in religion, from Andrews University, 1987

Professional activities:

Editor’s note: Since Dr. Winkle’s professional activities are extensive, we have listed only a few of his most recent accomplishments.

Scholarly Publications

1 Peter. Seventh-day Adventist International Bible Commentary (co-written [1 Peter 3-5] with Tom Shepard, Ph.D.). Nampa, ID: Pacific Press, forthcoming.

“Navigating the Aqueous and Fluvial Imagery of the Liquid Temple.” In Sacred Space, Sacred Thread. Wipf & Stock, forthcoming, 2018.

“Resistance Is Not Futile: Restraint as Cultic Action in 2 Thessalonians 2.” In Jewish Cult Identity: Constituents and Critique, eds. Henrietta Wiley and Christian Eberhart. Resources for Bible Study series. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2017.

“‘You Are What You Wear’: The Dress and Identity of Jesus as High Priest in John’s Apocalypse.” In Jewish Cult Identity: Constituents and Critique, eds. Henrietta Wiley and Christian Eberhart. Resources for Bible Study series. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2017.

“A River Flows From It: The ‘Sanctuary Doctrine’ and the Hydrological Ecclesiology of the Temple.” Spectrum 43/2 (2015): 8-15.

Selected Scholarly Presentations

“‘Clothes Make the (One Like a Son of) Man’: Dress Imagery in Revelation 1 as an Indicator of High Priestly Status.” Daniel and Revelation Symposium, Chico, CA. May 28, 2017.

“(The) Speaking of the Altar: Animate Architecture in the Heavenly Temple in Rev 16:7.” Daniel and Revelation Symposium, Chico, CA. May 27, 2017.

“Crystal Clear—The River Flowing from the Throne of God and of the Lamb as a Symbol of the Spirit.” Annual Meeting of the Adventist Theological Society on “The Triune God.” San Antonio, TX. November 19, 2016.

“Navigating the Aqueous and Fluvial Imagery of the Liquid Temple.” “Sacred Space, Sacred Thread” Global Conference. University of Southern California. Los Angeles, CA. November 4, 2016.

“Fluvial Fantasies? The Liquid Temple and the Spirit.” Plenary Session Presentation. North American Division Asian/Pacific Pastors Convention. Sacramento, CA. February 23, 2016.

What made you decide to be a teacher?
I first decided I wanted to teach Bible classes while I was in academy. I personally liked one of my Bible teachers there, but I felt the Bible class for the students was a disaster, and I thought I could do better. When I got to college, though, I decided I’d rather teach at the college level than at the academy level. My year as a student missionary in Tokyo while in college, teaching conversational English to Japanese students, helped solidify that desire.

What are some of your hobbies?
Reading, genealogical research, piano/keyboard, strategy games, hiking

What’s something people might be surprised to know about you?
I like making freezer jams with interesting, fruity flavors (e.g., elephant heart plum, blackberry rhubarb, blackberry orange, blueberry peach raspberry, etc.).

What’s your favorite thing about PUC?
I like the fact that it is “in nature” and surrounded by lots of hiking trails.

What’s your favorite spot on campus?
The water fountain in front of Paulin Hall—although I don’t spend a lot of time there!

What’s your favorite song?
There’s too many to pick from! And they are “favorites” for different times of the year, different emotions, different experiences one is going through. But since you’re forcing me, I’ll pick one: Currently, one of my favorite religious songs is “Somewhere in Your Silent Night” by Casting Crowns.

What advice would you give to an incoming freshman?
Try several “different” courses to see whether you might like that direction for a career; manage your time well; and read your email!

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

Meet the RAs of Andre Hall

By Carissa Paw

Andre Hall is one of seven residence halls at Pacific Union College and serves as a home for female students throughout the academic year. Andre houses around 170 residents, six of which are resident assistants. I was able to interview Sam Yin, Miranda Halversen, and Jessica Marruffo and learn more about their jobs as RAs and what advice they would give to anyone considering becoming one.

Q&A with Sam Yin

How long have you been an RA for?
I have been an RA for about a year and a couple months.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of being an RA?
The most rewarding aspect to me is being able to connect and build relationships with the residents.

How does being an RA help you become a better team player and a better communicator?         
Being an RA helps me communicate with the residents and so it helps me build better communication skills and also helps strengthen my active listening skills. Another important aspect is understanding the residents and being genuine. I believe all these are crucial to becoming a great team player.

How do you balance being an RA and a student at the same time?
It can be difficult to balance a job and school work but I consider the RA position be a good learning experience and so when I do have to do room check or talk to one of the residents I take time and focus on their situation. When I know I’m going to be doing room check, I finish all my homework and projects on time so I will have enough time to talk to the residents. Sometimes I do have to cut room check a little short and when it comes to having conversations, but the residents are understanding. I work on time management and schedule my school work to have enough time when it comes to checking the residents in at night or having important conversations.

What advice would you give to someone who’s thinking of being an RA?
My advice would be to pray about it and be willing to be genuine and understanding when it comes to connecting with residents. Sometimes there will be situations when a resident wants to open up about their problems and talk to you for hours and other times there will be residents who do not even want to talk. One has to be ready for anything. It takes up a lot of time so time management is an important skill to acquire if one does not have it yet. Another piece of advice would be to treat the RA position as not only a job but an opportunity and a great experience.

Q&A with Miranda Halverson

How long have you been an RA for?
I’ve been an RA since this past September.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of being an RA?
I think the most rewarding thing about being an RA is watching the girls on your floor slowly open up to you and to each other, and how you can really feel like you become a family. I’ve made so many friendships from being an RA already.

How does being an RA help you become a better team player and a better communicator?
Being an RA, you have other people you work with and lean on for support while you go through struggles and help girls in our dorm go through things. Becoming an RA has really shown me the importance of family, of teamwork, of allowing others to be there for you and help pick you and support you. I have been overwhelmingly blessed by the Andre team we have this year. With communication, I’ve seen myself improve by meeting different types of people on each of the floors. Each person communicates differently, and you have to adjust to them and you want to make them feel comfortable. I think it’s really helped me work on all different communication styles!

How do you balance being an RA and a student at the same time?
I think for balance, I make sure that when I’m in RA mode, I’m fully dedicated to that. I don’t let myself think about school when I’m doing room check or working so that I can be there fully for the girls. But then I also take my free time then very seriously, making sure to focus and plan out my schedule to make time for everything! I have like four planners; I love to plan things out, even though life has a way of making sure things don’t always go as I’ve planned. Still, it puts me at ease.

What advice would you give to someone who’s thinking of being an RA?
My advice would be to pray about it. Being an RA is a form of mission work, you are a leader, a sister, a spiritual mentor for so many different types of people. It takes a lot of time and work to be an RA, but it is probably one of the most rewarding things I have done.

Q&A with Jessica Marruffo

How long have you been an RA for?
This is my first year being an RA.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of being an RA?
The most rewarding aspect is being able to interact, get to know, and form relationships with the girls on my floor.

How does being an RA help you become a better team player and a better communicator?
It allows more opportunities for communication in different situations. Being an RA also puts you on a team with other RAs. We are a team and there are many situations in which we must tackle together. This gives you the opportunity to develop skills as a team player.

How do you balance being an RA and a student at the same time?
Balancing school and a job takes a lot of time management. There are some days in which we cannot fit both into a day. This is when teamwork comes into play and we are able to cover each other’s shifts.

What advice would you give to someone who’s thinking of being an RA?
I would tell them to do it! It’s a great experience which broadens perspectives and opportunities.

Meet Enrollment Counselor Avery Lay

We have a great team of enrollment counselors here at PUC, ready to help you and your family with any questions you have, at any point throughout the admissions process. For the next few weeks, every Monday we’ll be introducing each one to you, to help you get to know them a little better.

This week, meet Avery Lay, the transfer student counselor!

You’ve had several positions at PUC. How do you feel that benefits you in your new position as an enrollment counselor?
Working around the campus has allowed me to learn a lot about PUC as a whole and the people that make this place a possibility for education and employment. It’s been fun getting all kinds of experience and learning things I never thought I would after college.

What do you like the most about working with transfer students?
Transfer students are very motivated which is really cool and inspiring. They also span a really large range of ages. It makes me feel good I’m not the only one still figuring out my life path or long-term career.

You once tried out for the basketball team at PUC, which is now the subject of a popular YouTube video. How did it go?
It was difficult, but I had a lot of fun trying out for the basketball team. I’m not an athletic person, but I wanted to support the athletic program since I enjoy it a lot. Aren Rennacker, who was on the team already, came up with the idea for a video and we both thought it would get a good laugh.

If you were choosing a movie to be shown at New Student Orientation, what would you pick? Why?
“Your Name (Kimi no Na wa)” because it can be enjoyed by all ages and it would trick people into thinking anime is cool.

What is your favorite part about living here?
The trees.

What is your favorite spot on campus?
The weight room.

What is your favorite place to eat in the valley?
Farmstead in St Helena.

What is the last book you read?
“Storm of Swords” by George R.R. Martin.

What’s one thing you would like to accomplish in 2018?
Explore more of Northern California.

What advice would you give to an incoming freshman or transfer student?
Try to have pride and confidence in yourself and in the things that make you happy.

#FacultyFriday: Meet Abram Fisher

This #FacultyFriday, meet Abram Fisher, an associate professor of business administration who has taught at the college since 2013, first as an adjunct contract instructor and then as a full-time faculty member. Previously, for several years he worked as the risk and insurance coordinator at the college, assisting with fiscal and legal analysis and research, internal controls research, ledger review and adjustment, commercial lease management, and contractual drafting, review, negotiation, and revision.

Name: Abram Fisher
Title: Associate professor of business administration
Faculty since: 2014

Classes taught: Business Law, Personal Law, Healthcare Law, Financial Accounting, Estate Taxation, Problems in Finance

Education: Bachelor’s in business administration, from PUC, 2007; bachelor’s in communication, from PUC, 2007; Juris Doctor, from the University of Maryland Law School, 2011

What made you decide to be a teacher?
I hadn’t planned on it originally, but after teaching on contract when the school found itself without a Business Law professor, I decided I really liked it—and the department was nice enough to let me stick around.

What are some of your hobbies?
Reading (as long as it’s a good story, and isn’t remotely useful), generally trying to be less physically sedentary (walking, elliptical, rack), recently trying to learn basic guitar (I’m ridiculously horrible), occasional gamer if the mood strikes me.

What’s something people might be surprised to know about you?
My parents are Caucasian (Polish and Russian/German descent lines IIRC).

What’s your favorite thing about PUC?
The students. MY students in particular.

What’s your favorite spot on campus?
The Clark Stairs. #sarcasm

What’s your favorite book?
“The Dark Tower” series.

What advice would you give to an incoming freshman?
Your teachers don’t bite. In fact, they’re generally here because working with, advising, and helping you is the best part of the job—so if you need something, ask.

Interested in learning more about all of PUC’s business programs? Visit!