Monthly Archives: July 2022

Faces of PUC: Danika Saucelo 

Danika Saucelo is a nursing student from Antioch who has worked as a CNA and aspires to become a nurse practitioner. She loves helping patients, giving the best care, and connecting with them. To relax from school and work, Danika finds taking nature photos calming.

What is your dream job? 

As of right now, my dream job would be to become an RN (Registered Nurse). But I also aspire to hopefully reach the level of becoming a Nurse Practitioner. This career is so versatile and I would be able to experience long-lasting connections with my patients by providing basic preventative health care. As I am already working as a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant), being able to help patients with everyday activities, providing the best possible care, and also building connections with patients, is something that I would love to continue doing in the future.

How does that compare to what you wanted to be when you were young? 

When I was younger, I already knew that I wanted to be involved in healthcare. Around 6th grade, I had planned on wanting to become a Dermatologist. It was within the healthcare career, and I was really interested in skin, and how the skin can be prone to certain cancers or diseases. 

What is your favorite thing about being a part of the Pioneers family?

My favorite thing about being a part of the Pioneers family is the constant feeling of being welcome. Ever since I first visited the campus, I knew that I was in a safe, peaceful, and welcoming environment. Everyone was beyond helpful and respectful, and it just gave me an overwhelming feeling of happiness. 

Where is your favorite place in the world? 

I think my favorite place in the world would be Lake Tahoe. I always go there to camp with my family, and you just can’t beat their crystal-clear water. It’s getting more and more crowded, but I love going there.

What song have you been listening to on repeat?

Dynamite by BTS has been my go-to song lately. It’s such a mood-booster and it always makes me happy whenever I listen to it!

What is something you’re passionate about?

Singing and photography are some things that I am really passionate about. I love listening to music, so singing is just something that makes me happy. I’m not an expert photographer or anything, but taking pictures (especially in nature settings) is something that I find to be calming.

Recommend a place to go in the Bay Area on a weekend 

A place I would recommend to go to the Bay Area would probably be Bethel Island. It’s a wonderful place to go if you love boating and swimming. Plus, they have this amazing place to eat called “Sugar Barge Restaurant & Bar.” Their fish-n-chips are AMAZING!

Five PUC Scholarships To Check Out 

At PUC, we understand the cost of college is quite a number, which is why each student receives one or more forms of financial aid to help them on their educational journey. Here are just five scholarships specifically from PUC:

Maxwell Scholarship (Yearly: $32,000 / 4-Year Total: $130,620)

The Maxwell Scholarship is only available to incoming freshmen for the fall 2022 term. 

The student must have a 3.9-4.0 GPA and a 34+ ACT or 1500+ SAT. This scholarship cannot be combined with any other PUC scholarships, awards, or discounts, and is renewable for three years with a 3.5 GPA, with a potential 4th year under qualifying conditions. The student must also be living in the residence halls. 

Merit Scholarships

These are based on an unweighted cumulative GPA and test scores. These are automatically awarded to students who meet the criteria after the admissions application is reviewed. The awards are renewed for three years for students meeting the GPA requirements. 

  • President’s ($15,000 / 4-Year Total: $52,000) 

The President’s Scholarship is awarded to students who have a 3.75-4.0 GPA or 29+ ACT / 1350+ SAT. This scholarship is renewable with a 3.0 GPA. 

  • Dean’s ($13,00 / 4-Year Total $52,000) 

The Dean’s Scholarship is awarded to students who have a 3.5-3.74 GPA or 26+ ACT/1200+ SAT. This scholarship is renewable with a 3.0 GPA. 

  • Trustee’s Scholarship ($11,000 / 4-Year Total: $44,000) 

The Trustee’s Scholarship is awarded to students who have a 3.25-3.49 GPA, and is renewable with a 3.0 GPA. 

  • Founder’s ($9,000 / 4-Year Total: $36,000) 

The Founder’s Scholarship is awarded to students who have a 2.8-3.24 GPA, and is renewable with a 3.0 GPA. 

Out-Of State Scholarship ($1,500-$4,000) 

Freshman students out-of-state will automatically receive $1,500. For freshman students who are California residents and qualify for Cal Grant, up to $4,000 may be awarded.

Mostert Leadership Scholarship ($2,000) 

This scholarship is given to incoming freshmen for selected leadership roles they had during their junior and/or senior years. (Limited to two awards.)

Transfer Scholarships 

  • President’s ($13,000)

The President’s Transfer Scholarship is awarded to students who have a 3.75-4.0 GPA, and is renewable with a 3.0 GPA.

  • Dean’s Transfer ($11,000)

The Dean’s Transfer Scholarship is awarded to students who have a 3.40-3.74 GPA, and is renewable with a 3.0 GPA.

  • Trustee’s Transfer ($8,000) 

The Trustee’s Transfer Scholarship is awarded to students who have a 3.10-3.39 GPA, and is renewable with a 3.0 GPA.

  • Founder’s Transfer ($6,000)

The Founder’s Transfer Scholarship is awarded to students who have a 2.70-3.09 GPA and is renewable with a 3.0 GPA.

To view a list of all the scholarships given by PUC, visit our website. Please keep in mind that some of these scholarships have certain qualifications and restrictions. No matter what year you are, PUC offers other scholarships, grants, and discounts to make sure you and your family have financial support. 

Life After PUC: An Interview With Alum Nephtali Marin

Nephtali Marin graduated from PUC in 2021 with a B.F.A in Film, and decided to stay on our beautiful campus to continue his passion for videography by helping out the PR department. Having worked at PUC’s PR office since his freshman year of college, he shares that being a part of the Pioneers family is a beautiful thing and a relationship that lasts a lifetime. 

How did you decide to work for PUC?

I decided to work at PUC for many reasons, and being a broke graduate is one of those, but jokes aside, I kind of just fell into it. To give you some context, I have been working for the PR/Enrollment office since I was a freshman. Although I mostly answered phones, got coffee, and ran other errands, I did do some content creating. Occasionally I would get asked to take photos for Instagram or the website, which was way better than walking 20 miles (that’s what it felt like) to the mailroom to promptly be told that they had nothing for me to pick up. As the years went by, I began to take on bigger projects, until I pretty much was the President, okay that’s false but you get the idea. So when I graduated, I already had experience working in that office as a videographer. It only felt right to come back, one because I love PUC and creating content but two because it was familiar, it was family (someone put that on a sticker).

What do you enjoy most about creating videos?

My favorite part of creating videos is interacting with students and capturing a variety of reactions from “I am a star” to *hides face. People are funny when there’s a camera present and it makes my job a lot more fun. 

Can you walk us through your creative process of making videos?

You want to know my creative process? That’s a secret kept down through hundreds of generations…but I guess it wouldn’t hurt to share. It really depends on the project but if I’m shooting an event, I’ll usually let the event guide me. If it’s energetic, then I want to bring out that energy, so that’ll sway the way I capture it, but if it’s peaceful then I probably won’t be running around doing backflips. Also, I always try to remember that people are the key. Sometimes I get caught up in the small details, and making them look cinematic that I forget to capture what really matters, the students! Taco night is fun and all but it’s not about the tacos, it’s about the experience those tacos bring to the students. I try to keep this in mind when filming and editing. Plus our audience is parents, alumni, and students, videos of tacos will get pretty boring without people. 

How did your experience at PUC prepare you for the job you have now?

PUC overall pretty much molded me into this job as I talked about before but as far as how my degree prepared me, well that is a different story. My degree prepared me for this job by presenting me with a wide range of knowledge and it was my duty to decide what I wanted to do with that knowledge. Because we are such a small college a lot of us here take on multiple roles, and being the videographer, there are times where I’ll need to do a lot on my own. This means I need to know a little of everything. The visual arts department did a really good job pushing me into multiple directions, which allowed me to do a lot on my own when I needed to.

What is the most valuable lesson you learned from the film department? 

The most valuable lesson I learned at the film department was trying it on my own first before approaching professors. We want the easy route, just go ask our professors or the TA but I was always encouraged to figure it out on my own. Although I didn’t always find the answer, it helped me practice learning things on my own. Once you graduate you might not have your professors available 24/7. 

What was your favorite class at PUC, and why?

I had so many favorite classes but I really enjoyed Typography I with Milbert Mariano. It has completely changed the way I look at type usage in the world. It’s everywhere! Not only is it a great class for creatives but for anyone.

What advice do you have for students who want to pursue film?

Use these few years here to grow and learn as much as possible, so jump on every project you can, get outside your comfort zone, and gain experience. Be kind and make connections, they’ll last you a lifetime. 

Where is your favorite place to eat in the valley, and why?

Bon appetit, that’s a no-brainer! Just kidding, although I do like their food most of the time. I personally really enjoy sunshine market sandwiches. 

What are other things that you are passionate about?

I really enjoy playing music, not very good but it’s fun! So if any of you are reading this, please join Wind Ensemble or Orchestra cause we need musicians! I also love dancing, socializing, and making people laugh. 

What is the most important thing you learned during your time at PUC?

It’s going to sound cheesy but PUC taught me to be me. Just be yourself and you’ll find people who genuinely care about you, and I found those people here.

Things You Should Do This Summer Before Coming to PUC 

Whether you’re an incoming freshman or your first time living away from home, there are a couple of things you should start learning how to do before coming to PUC. 

Learn How To Cook 

It’s good to know how to cook, so if you don’t know how, start trying out a few recipes this summer. Look up some easy recipes first, then make your way to more complex recipes if you want. Even though you’ll have a meal plan with the dining commons, each dorm has a kitchen where you and your friends can cook and enjoy good meals together. 

Learn How To Do Laundry 

Many students go to college not knowing how to do laundry. If you’re one of those students, learn how to do laundry this summer. You can’t rely on anyone else to clean your clothes once you get to college, so the time is now, friends.

Contact Your Roommate 

Reach out to your roommate if you haven’t yet. Introduce yourself and get to know a bit about each other since you’ll be living together. It’s also good to ask what appliances and room essentials they’re bringing so you don’t come with double the items.

(If you don’t know who your roommate is yet, contact your dean to make arrangements.)

Go Through Your Closet 

This may not sound fun, but going through your closet will let you figure out which clothes to bring to school and which to keep, give, or donate. Packing for college is time-consuming, so going through your clothes will make it much easier when you’re preparing to leave for college. 

Get Into The College Mindset 

Every student knows how rough it can be to get back into a routine after the summer. Once the weeks get closer to school, start getting into the college mindset. Make sure everything is finalized with financial aid, housing, classes, etc. Outside of the paperwork, start getting excited! 

Research Your Program 

Research your program if you haven’t yet. Talk to your advisor if you have questions about classes or are interested in other courses. It’s okay if you’re undecided on a major! Choosing a major can be difficult, and many students enter college undecided, so don’t fret. 

(Please make sure you are registered for classes. If you are not, contact the records office.)

Look Up Clubs & Organizations

PUC has over 40 clubs and organizations for you to choose from. From on-campus events, outreaches within the community and Bay Area, banquets in the Napa Valley, to weekly activities throughout the year, there is a place for everyone. Joining a club and going to school events is a great way to meet people and make friends in college. If you and your friends want to start a new club, you can! 

Clean Up Your Social Media

College is a place to reinvent yourself, so make sure you have a clean slate before the school year starts. Go through your social media and delete photos or posts you don’t think apply to who you are or you don’t want public anymore. Check your tagged photos on Facebook, old photos on Instagram, or even old tweets.

Enjoy Your Summer

Even if you’re working or taking classes, make time to enjoy your summer. Time goes by fast, so make the most of your summer by spending it with your family and friends. 

Faces of PUC: Nyllah Safotu

Coming all the way from Kapolei, Hawaii, is Nyllah Safotu. She finished her first year of college majoring in biology pre-med and wants to work in secondary education or help endangered animals. Nyllah chose to attend PUC because she wanted to go to an Adventist institution where the environment could safely help her grow physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. We’re very pleased to have Nyllah as a part of our Pioneers family. 

What is your dream job?

I don’t quite have a specific dream job, but I’m thinking about working in either secondary education or to help endangered animals.

How does that compare to what you wanted to be when you were young?

I’d say it’s a little different. My dream was to be a surgeon and find cures for diseases. I would still like a job that helps people but also the animals and the environment.  

What is your favorite thing about being a part of the Pioneers family?

My favorite thing is how warm and kind people have been here. I’ve been able to make so many great connections and friends with people who I can call family. Everyone has been super helpful with adjusting to college life and I just appreciate being in such a loving community.

Where is your favorite place in the world?


If you had to be trapped in a movie for a day, what movie would you choose?

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

What is something you’re passionate about?

I’m really passionate about music, specifically listening to it. I love all kinds of genres and always enjoy hearing unique styles from different artists.

Recommend a place to go in the Bay Area on a weekend

Golden Gate Park is such a beautiful place to enjoy nature, art, and the company of the people you’re with all in one place.

Come Join the Fun at PUC 

At PUC, students have many ways to get involved with campus life. Through clubs, worship services, outreaches, and other activities and programs, there is always something going on for students to take a break from their studies, de-stress, and have fun. Here are some ways you or your teenager can participate at PUC. 


Our students are passionate about their cultures, interests, and majors, which is why PUC has over 30 clubs. From the beginning of the school year- till the end, clubs host events, activities, and services students can attend and enjoy. You can also start your own club if you want to! 

Student Association 

The Student Association officers are dedicated to making student life the best it can possibly be. They throw a variety of events on campus and within Napa Valley, such as movie nights, food trucks, carnivals, and vespers. When you come to PUC, you can expect a lot of exciting things to happen.

Worship Services

One of the best things about coming to PUC is being a part of a faith-driven community. There are weekly vespers and student-led worships, small group Bible studies, and church services. We know everyone worships in different ways, which is why we encourage our students to gather their friends and worship together in the ways they prefer.  


There are student-led outreaches during the week and weekend for students to help around the community. Our Campus Ministries team also takes students around the Bay Area during the weekends for a chance to minister to others. 

Mission Trips 

Every year our campus ministries team plans short and long-term mission trips for students to get the opportunity to serve in other countries. In the past, our students have gone to Fiji, Brazil, and most recently Kenya. Our students always come back having a great, life-changing experience.


Bring your musical gifts to PUC! Students can join the orchestra, wind ensemble, and touring choir. Our music instructors have directed and toured throughout Asia, Europe, and other parts of the world, and also performed in Carnegie Hall. We are blessed with skilled music teachers who adore all types of genres and enrich the lives of our students to grow as performers. 


Intramurals are one of the most popular ways students join in on the fun at PUC. More than half of our student body participates in intramural sports each quarter, like football, basketball, soccer, and volleyball. 


If you want to continue your athletic talents in college, join the PUC Pioneers! Our athletics department offers- basketball, cross country, soccer, and volleyball teams for women and men. The coaching staff takes pride in building a talented, supportive team on and off the court; in representing PUC throughout California and other states. They make sure that student-athletes put school first and show good character and leadership.

PUC students, faculty, and organizations are always finding ways to make student life more fun and enjoyable for all. We hope you come to PUC to join in on the fun!

Alumni Profile: Elijah Morar, Founder of Bedouin Games

When Elijah Morar was a student at PUC from 2009-2012, he was pursuing a nursing degree and took art and design classes. With a passion for art, he also had an interest in board games and would spend hours playing with his friends in Newton Hall. One day, Elijah realized that there weren’t many Christian Bible-based games available- so he decided to create one. While looking through different Bible stories, the Flood fascinated him on what the world could have looked like before the Flood. Now, he is the creator of the board game The Flood and the Founder of Bedouin Games.

Tell us about Bedouin Games. What was the inspiration behind starting
your company?  

I have always had a passion for tabletop games. I played Checkers, Scotland yard, and the Game of Life in the 1990’s when I was in elementary school. During my teens, I took a pause from playing games until I started college. While at PUC, I majored in nursing, took some art/design classes, and lived in Newton Hall. Most of my friends in Newton were business majors, and I thought to myself I could be a business major too, seems a lot less stressful. Yet, I continued my nursing degree and enjoyed those few art/design classes. I did not know that those art/design classes would pay off and that I would end up creating a board game in the future. When we hung out with our friends in the hall, we would play very competitive Uno and Monopoly games. The games would last 3-6 hours nonstop. Sometimes we would play through the night and try to keep it quiet so that dean Granados won’t come checking on us. He did sometimes 🙂. Part of his house was right below the room we played in. After leaving PUC, my interest in board games did not fade. One day while playing a board game with family, I realized that there are not many Christian Bible-based games out there. This is when I got the idea to create one. My wife and I sat down and went through the different stories in the Bible, starting with Genesis. We paused on the story about the Flood because I was fascinated with what the world could have looked like before the flood. I ran the idea by my brother and his spouse and started concepting the design and engineering of The Flood board game. This is how Bedouin Games was formed. We were blessed to have incredible artists help us with this project. Some of them have worked for famous titles like Star Wars, Skyrim, and more. Today I realize running a business is not as easy as I thought, and business majors face their own challenges.

What do you enjoy the most about what you do? What’s the most challenging? 

I enjoy seeing the excitement on people’s faces when they start playing the game. To me, the most challenging part of creating a game is bringing all the aspects like design, publishing, and logistics together.

How did your time at PUC help prepare you for your career?

I have always had a passion for art. During one of my quarters, I was looking for an Art class I could take as an elective. I noticed a photoshop class that was offered that quarter with professor Milbert Mariano. I fell in love with that class and remember doing extra assignments on top of what I was required to. This truly helped me in the board game making and design because I was able to learn how to use Photoshop effectively. I have spent hundreds of hours using photoshop to create the game design as well as the art for our Instagram and Facebook pages. Overall I really enjoyed my time at PUC, and it brings back very good memories.

Faces of PUC: Adam Parker 

Adam Parker comes to us from our town of Angwin. He is majoring in Emergency Management Paramedic, which is a great fit since it combines his love for helping people and wanting to make a difference. Adam loves being a part of the Pioneers family because of the effort to make sure students have a good experience here and how welcoming the campus is.

What is your dream job?

For now, my goal is to be a paramedic working for a fire department somewhere in the mountains.

How does that compare to what you wanted to be when you were young?

I’ve wanted to be in medicine for as long as I can remember. The reason I went with EMS is that I like the idea of being one of the first people to make contact with the patient. To me it’s a perfect way to combine my love for helping people, my wanting to make a difference, and my adrenaline-seeking nature lol.

What is your favorite thing about being a part of the Pioneers family?

I would say the effort that goes into making sure students have a good experience here. I also like how welcoming the campus is.

Where is your favorite place in the world?

Oh, man, hard question. Too many good ones to choose from so here’s a couple: The beach, a good snowboard run, a good bike trail, or at the lake with my friends.

What show are you bingeing these days?

I’m not super into watching a lot of TV shows but I’ve been watching Brooklyn 99 on occasion. I really like that show, it’s pretty funny.

What is something you’re passionate about?

A hotdog is a sandwich, sorry. On a real note: I love music, playing guitar, and drums are two major joys in my life. I also like getting outdoors and doing stuff like climbing, biking, and running/hiking.

Recommend a place to go in the Bay Area on a weekend

Tiburon is a cool little town, there are some good places to eat there and they have a ferry you can take into San Francisco or over to Angel Island. Mount Tamalais is also a pretty cool place if you’re down for a hike.

Benefits of Higher Education at PUC

There are a lot of things to consider when choosing a college. Financial aid, majors available, and location are just some aspects to think about. At PUC, we know how Adventist higher education is even more important. We want to make sure you invest your time, energy, and money into the best education you can possibly get. Here’s why PUC could be the right fit for you. 

Career Preparation 

Our devoted faculty and staff are ready to help instill the knowledge, skills, and training you need for your chosen career. If you don’t know what profession to pursue, that’s okay! PUC is a place to explore your options to help you decide what career is right for you. 

Student-Teacher Ratio 

With a 12:1 ratio, your professors will be able to give you the time and attention you need that you wouldn’t get at a bigger college or university. With your professors knowing who you are, it will be easier for you to get the assistance you need to succeed in your classes. 


With the Bay Area and Silicon Valley a drive away, you have the opportunity to step into the world of healthcare, art, technology, marketing, business, and everything in between. This helps land potential internships with innovative companies, which allows you to network and score a job. Healthcare students get hands-on experience at leading hospitals in Northern California and build connections with employees that help them jumpstart their careers. 

Network Opportunities  

Our graduates work for exciting companies such as Buzzfeed, Lucasfilm, Apple, Google, National Geographic, Loma Linda University, and Stanford University. We connect our students to alumni that work in the fields of their interests to network to seek advice and help get their foot in the door. 

Personal Development 

A personal benefit to getting an education at PUC is growing as an individual. You’ll learn, change, and transition into new experiences. Besides the skills needed for your future job, you will also acquire the traits you need to live a more structured lifestyle. Developing your passions and being exposed to sets of people and ideas will help you grow and learn every day. No matter what your major is, what your passions are, and who you are, you will do well here.

Community Support 

Once you apply to PUC, you are automatically part of the Pioneer’s family. From your enrollment counselor to your academic advisor to your residence dean, we will assist you throughout your entire enrollment process and answer any questions you and your parents have. Throughout your educational journey, your professors will help you reach your goals and encourage you to pursue your passions.

Higher education can lead you to many opportunities and plays an important role in your life. PUC ensures students are well-supported as they strive to reach their full potential in all areas of life and are committed to giving you or your student the best of higher education.

Six PUC Programs You Should Know About 

We know how difficult it can be to choose a major- which is why Pacific Union College has over 70 degrees and programs, ranging from pre-medical professions to visual arts, for students to choose from. As you or your student begin researching programs, here are six departments at PUC you should know about.

Nursing & Health Sciences 

As PUC’s largest department, it is filled with experienced and helpful professionals that work in nursing, allied health, and emergency services. Students have the opportunity to work in leading hospitals in Northern California and get hands-on experience during clinicals to prepare them for their nursing careers. 

Health Communication

Health communication is an excellent degree for students pursuing medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, and other healthcare-related fields. Communication is one of the top skills employers look for, and health communications teach students to recognize and demonstrate the elements of competent communication. Especially when working with a diverse group of people in the healthcare profession, articulating communications is vital. 


Our biology department is one of our popular programs. From the Bioneers mentorship program to Albion trips, students mix fun with learning as they develop a strong background in biology. With the guidance of our dedicated professors, students are ready for medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, and other medical and graduate schools. 


The education program has prepared students for a lifetime of service. The program not only provides associate’s and bachelor’s degrees; but also masters. To ensure students get a job right after graduating, they attend Education Days. This event connects graduating education majors with potential employers all over California and other states. Our students become independent and qualified to teach and lead. 

Psychology & Social Work  

Our psychology and social work program teaches students to have the knowledge of human behavior, human rights, social environment, and social and economic justice. Through classes, internships, and research, students engage in professional practices and apply ethical practices that will have them ready to help others. 

Visual Arts 

Our talented professors guide students to step into their creative minds, step out of their comfort zones, and discover their voices through art and work. The department goes on trips to museums in San Francisco, companies like YouTube, and Sundance Film Festivals. Our graduates have worked with well-known companies such as Disney, Pixar, and Netflix. 

Check out the other programs we offer. To receive more information about our programs, email or call (800) 862-7080 to speak to one of our admissions counselors.