Monthly Archives: October 2022

Feel at Home with the SOL Club

Senior Alondra Zepeda is this year’s president of the SOL Club. She wasn’t expecting to be president since she was new to PUC and felt nervous taking on the role since SOL Club is very well-known on campus, but as a proud Chicana who enjoys serving the community, Alondra knew this club was going to help her and students in many ways. Alondra and the rest of the officer’s goals are to build a community they can rely on and make each student feel at home.

Tell us about SOL Club

SOL CLUB stands for Student Organization of Latinos! This club has been around for quite some time at PUC and has been one of the clubs on campus to have many members. The mission of this club is to truly build a community that can rely on one another and be the place you can come to relax and enjoy. Our goals are not only to continue to grow as a club but also to build and give an insight of the club to the next team leaders of this club.

What motivated you to run for your position?  

Given the position of president was definitely something that I was not expecting to have during my junior year of college. I was still sort of new to the school, as well as to the club. I had only come into campus after COVID, so everything was still barely getting back to its old way. Especially knowing that SOL Club is a very known club in school, it made me a whole lot more nervous. But one thing I am completely proud of is my roots. I am a proud Chicana who enjoys serving its community, and not only did I know I was going to serve my community in some way- I knew this club was going to help me develop leadership skills and also help develop a strong community amongst the students here on campus. That’s what motivated me to take this position.

What is your favorite thing about being a part of SOL Club? 

I would have to say that my favorite thing about being part of SOL Club beside the events, is being able to develop new friendships. In every event, there’s always at least one new person that you meet, and you just think “Wow, I’m really glad I met this person”!

What are your goals for the club this year? What activities do you have planned or hope to do?  

The goal for this school year is to do many events for the student body and connect to the community a lot more. Every other Monday, we will be having Refresca at 7 pm. Refresca is an easy get-together where we get to mingle and worship, and it’s a great way to start the week. We do have fall fest coming up in November, so definitely do not miss our table! We will be serving a delicious plate. An upcoming big event is our Albion Trip which occurs every winter quarter. Last year’s trip was so much fun! This trip is a fun weekend trip where we get to enjoy ourselves and really just take a breather from school. So, definitely stay on the lookout for the announcements! We will also be doing some small events throughout the year, but we will announce those as the year comes along.

How can students get involved with SOL Club? 

Everyone is welcome!! We love the help and ideas that the students have. Feedback is important to us because that will allow this club to grow and give the community what they want. For those who want to get more involved with our clubs by helping out of any sort just approach us. If it’s easier they can just email me at ajzepeda@puc.edu, the V.P Catherine at catgarcia@puc.edu, or the secretary Nayelli at namgarcia@puc.edu. We would definitely love to have the members get involved!

What do you want future students to know about the club that is interested in joining?  

To future students, SOL Club is open to everyone! Just because it has a Latinx name doesn’t mean you can’t be part of it. Our goal is to make the student feel at home and build a community on which you guys can rely on. Joining a club allows you to know the campus more, and being involved is going to give you a good college experience. So do not be afraid and join! You will not regret it.

Faces of PUC: Taytan Bereket

Meet one of our new Pioneers, Taytan Bereket. She’s a biotechnology pre-med student from Riverside, CA., and is passionate about lifestyle, growth, and her relationship with Jesus. By the end of her senior year of high school, Taytan had a feeling she would attend PUC. “I’m glad that I made that decision,” she shares. “And I am so blessed to be here.” 

What is your dream job? 

My dream job is to be a neurologist or neurosurgeon. I’ve always been interested in the way the brain works, especially in the area of medicine. Maybe one day I’ll own/be a founder of a facility that works with diseases in the brain like Alzheimer’s, brain tumors, etc., receiving treatments, from natural remedies and receiving healthy foods, and to dedicated nurses and researchers. 

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

I wanted to be a doctor when I was five, then wanted to be an actor for some reason- I don’t know what I was thinking, and then I wanted to be a counselor during my sophomore and junior year, it wasn’t till senior year where I knew exactly what I wanted to be.  

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

I love the beauty of the campus and the teachers as well. You could tell that they are dedicated to the things that they teach and that is something that I appreciate. At times, I don’t want to go to class, but when I arrive in class, the hospitality that the professors here give you makes you feel like you are at home, making the day better. 

Where is your favorite place in the world? 

I love to go to the beach! The sounds of the waves and the feeling of the air and the sun give you peace. 

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

A Journal for Jordan

What is something you’re passionate about? 

I am very passionate about lifestyle, growth, and my relationship with Jesus. Also, I love music and learning things about music in different genres. 

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

I’m not from the bay area, I’m from Socal haha. But I’ll say from what I know, go to Oakland or San Francisco, they have wonderful sights that you can drive through, walk or take pictures of. 

Staying Healthy & Fit At PUC 

Going to college and starting a new school year can be an overwhelming change for a lot of students. It can be difficult to incorporate a healthy lifestyle when you’re busy and feel that you don’t have enough time to have a proper meal or exercise. Here at PUC, we encourage an active and healthy lifestyle by giving our students the resources and opportunities they need to live a good lifestyle. Here are ways to stay healthy and fit at PUC.  

Change Your Eating Habits 

College comes with the freedom of choosing when and what to eat. Our dining commons serve locally grown fruits and vegetables and offer healthy dishes for each meal. If you’re tempted by candy or junk food, opt for healthier options. The dining commons is stocked with chips, ice cream, and candy, so we’re not saying to cut out sugar completely but to have a good balance.

*add photo of students eating at the cafe or food being served

Utilize The Pacific Auditorium

The Pacific Auditorium is PUC’s gym, which provides a fitness center, weight room, rock climbing wall, pool, and three indoor courts for basketball, volleyball, soccer, or badminton. Outside you can find the track, six tennis courts, and the soccer, football, and baseball fields. There are plenty of ways for students to workout and stay active on campus. 

*add photo of students at the gym 

Move Through The Back 40 

The back 40 is made up of over 30 miles of trails for everyone to enjoy the outdoors by hiking, biking, running, or walking. (Some students even do yoga out there to relish the fresh air and peaceful environment.) Since PUC owns the back 40, it’s great for our students to live on a campus with such a vast backyard that not only benefits their physical health but also their mental health. 

*add photo of students biking, hiking, or running in the back 40

Use The Dorm Gyms 

The dorms also have workout rooms for residents to use. Exercise equipment such as treadmills, multi-functional trainers, and weights are provided. Students like having workout rooms in their dorms because it allows them to just go down the hall or stairs to add a workout early in the morning or between classes. 

*if photo is available, add photo of one of the dorm gyms

Join Intramurals 

Intramurals are a great way to exercise while also having fun with friends. Sports such as flag football, basketball, volleyball, soccer, tennis, and badminton are offered throughout the school year for students to get a range of options to choose from. 

*add photo of intramurals 

Walk, Don’t Drive 

Every student has had that moment waking up for class and dreading to walk to class early in the morning. The temptation to drive instead of walk to class is real, especially when it’s chilly out. We know the struggle, but don’t waste your gas driving to class. Save money and walk to class instead. 

*add photo of student/students walking around campus

Embrace The Stairs

Embrace the stairs around campus. Your legs will feel stronger by taking the stairs and getting a cardio workout every day. If you have time, take the long way to class to get more steps in and take in our beautiful campus. Sometimes there’s no way to avoid them, so embrace the stairs. 

*add photo of students walking the stairs by Clark Hall

Enjoy Linda Falls

Just down the road from the main campus is Linda Falls- a favorite spot for many students. Students don’t have to go far to embark the outdoors when we have trails nearby and a pretty waterfall to enjoy.

*add photo of students at Linda Falls or just Linda Falls 

Go Beyond Campus

When students feel like venturing beyond campus, some places they go to are Mount St. Helena, Mount Tamalpais, and Moore Creek State Park. With these places not far from campus, students are able to venture out by foot or wheels to get a good workout in while enjoying delightful views. 

*add photo of students at one of the hiking points or hiking mountains around PUC

Have A Good Attitude

Your attitude makes a big difference in how you see yourself and being consistent with your health goals. With school, work, and personal life taking most of your time, it’s normal to have no energy after a long day to exercise. Looking forward to adding a workout in your day or having one of your favorite healthy meals changes your attitude and can get you excited to continue reaching your health goals. 

Gain Career Experience In School  

It’s important to start building work ethic while you’re in school because it allows you to learn new skills, use your strengths, and find new passions. You’ll also get an understanding of a work environment and see which careers are best for you. Here are three ways on how you can gain career experience while in school: 

Volunteer 

There are many opportunities available to students to volunteer through their school and community (and you don’t need to have a lot of work experience). If you have an idea of what career path you want to take, look into volunteer opportunities specifically for that job. Volunteer positions provide flexible hours, so you don’t have to work about being behind in school. 

Work 

Check with your school to see what job opportunities are available to students. It’s great working for your school because you don’t have to go to another location, and the faculty understand that your schoolwork comes first, so they schedule your hours around your classes. If all jobs are taken, let them know to contact you if anything becomes available. 

Outside of school, there are part-time jobs offered to students that are convenient for their schedule. Especially now, there are many stores hiring so check out job sites to see who’s hiring in your neighborhood. 

Intern 

Internships are a great way to gain work experience in the job field you’re interested in. Finding internships can be difficult, especially when it comes to required experience, hours, and pay. Research internships on job sites, such as Glassdoor, Indeed, or LinkedIn. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people who could help you or message recruiters to show your interest in their company. You never know who might know someone looking for student interns. 

Faces of PUC: Spencer Gibb 

Metta Spencer Fitzgerald Gibb is a biology student who dreams to be a professor at a medical school. Spencer is passionate about soccer and his favorite thing about being a part of the Pioneers family is being on the soccer team.

What is your dream job? 

My dream is to be a professor at a medical school so I can help raise the next generation of doctors and health professionals.

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

When I was younger, I wanted to be a sailor and travel the world, but now I want a more stable, comfortable income that will still allow me to travel but also not have to leave home for work.

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

I have had the best time of my life on the PUC soccer team. The guys are amazing and, we are like a family. The coaches are amazing and are helping us become better, stronger men and preparing us for life while simultaneously elevating our level of play on the field.

Where is your favorite place in the world? 

I love Japan. I was very fortunate to live there. The land is beautiful, and the beaches are the best I have been to.

What is something you’re passionate about? 

I am very passionate about soccer. It is super fun and the people I get to play with are amazing.

Recommend a place to go in Northern California on a weekend

Go to Kiki’s chicken place. It’s super good. Get their KiKi house sauce chicken or their chicken fries.

“Being an RA Means To Me Is Being A Disciple of Jesus”

BevenGreg Delos Reyes is going into his third year of being an RA and is the student dean of Newton Hall. He is a senior from Sacramento, majoring in health communication/pre-pharmacy, who describes that being an RA “is that it is a lifestyle”. From the start of his freshman year at PUC, his RAs left a lasting impression that made him see himself filling that role one day. Beven generously took the time to share with us what being an RA and student dean means to him. 

Tell us about being a RA. What motivated you to be an RA?

The best way for me to describe being an RA is that it is a lifestyle. It’s more than just doing room checks or hosting worship for residents. You have to work long nights and go the extra mile in order to serve others. I had such great RAs (shoutout to Michael C., Jonathan S., and Jacob E.) my freshman year coming into Pacific Union College, and I looked forward to those nightly interactions at room check. They always went the extra mile to greet me and make sure my first year at PUC was going smoothly. This left a lasting impression. I saw myself filling in that role one day, and what a privilege it has been being part of the ministry that is being a dorm resident assistant.

How many years have you been a RA? What values have you learned by being an RA?

I’m going into my 3rd year of being an RA. I’ve learned the values of service, hard work, love, and integrity. From room checks to dorm worships, there is an RA team dedicated to Christian service, and being a part of that is such a great experience. Being an RA means continually learning new things! I’ve learned different life lessons through my interactions with Dean Granados, Dean Hidalgo, my fellow RAs, and my residents.

How do you balance school and work?

It’s all about time management and asking around for help! When it comes to school, I have to organize blocks of time to study/do homework, and I have to make sure to stay disciplined enough to stick to it. One thing Dean Granados and Dean Hidalgo emphasize at RA meetings is taking care of ourselves so that we can take care of others. It’s challenging being able to work as an RA when there are so many burdens in your academic and personal life. There are periods in life when you can’t catch a break. This is where asking for help comes in! Whether it’s praying to God for strength and wisdom or going to the deans/other RAs to help lighten a load of work responsibilities, leaning on my support system has helped me keep my life balanced. Staying disciplined and not being afraid to ask for help has saved me countless times as an RA!

Can you share with us the most challenging thing about being an RA? What do you enjoy the most about your job?

The challenging part of being an RA is having to work on the fly! The most enjoyable part about the job is being able to work on the fly! Dorm life is unpredictable. Residents come to you looking for help in a number of ways, and you have to be able to serve them to the best of your abilities. It could be that they need some extra insight on what classes to take, they need to borrow a vacuum, or they’re wanting to get involved in dorm worship. It’s a lot of fun and it’s fulfilling being the person that others look to for advice and help.

How do you incorporate spiritual life with your residents?

I’m always trying to think of spiritual events that can reach the needs and interests of my residents. For example, last year, I started a dorm ministry called “10@10” where every night at 10 pm, residents can meet in the Newton Hall men’s chapel for a 10-minute devotional. The worship includes music, devotional thought, discussion, and group prayer. This is a time for a group of guys to be vulnerable and look at life from a spiritual perspective. I’ve experienced my residents getting more involved in the worship scene as well as starting their own relationship with God through the ministry of 10@10!

How do you build a community in your hall and with other residents?

The best feeling is when your residents express how proud they are of the hall they live in. Introducing my residents to each other by inviting them to a particular room to play video games or watch anime is always a great icebreaker. At the end of the quarter, it was a common occurrence to find all the residents on my floor in the same 1 or 2 rooms playing video games, jamming out, watching movies, having a midnight snack together, or just hanging out.

What advice would you give to someone interested in becoming a RA?

Be ready to dedicate your life to a life of Christian service! If you want to become an RA, you have to have excellent integrity that you can be proud of. This means picking up the slightest amount of trash on the floor, reaching out to struggling new students, and just going the extra mile to see where you could meet the needs of others.

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 how supportive everyone is! I’ve seen Newton dorm worship grow from 20 attendees to 190 attendees just by reaching out to anyone I passed by! If you invite people to come to your intramural game, dorm worship, or club event, they’ll come out to support it. Sometimes, they might even want

to participate and be part of the event! The school spirit is strong with the Pioneers, and it really bonds everyone together.

What does being an RA mean to you?

What being an RA means to me is being a disciple of Jesus. Every interaction I make at room check or in my daily life is an opportunity to show God’s love. Being an RA is about being ready to physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally support all the different people you meet. Wherever you go, you’re representing your dorm, your deans, your RA team, and PUC. This can happen through building friendships or being a friendly face wherever you go!

Faces of PUC: Ashley Castro-Rodriguez

Ashley Castro-Rodriguez is studying theology and minoring in communications. Coming from Salem, Oregon. She chose PUC because she received scholarships and guidance from her advisor, Pastor and Professor Wibberding. He explained and showed her how the Theology program worked and made her feel welcome. Ashley shared that the admissions team was also super welcoming and helped guide her through the entire application process. Living in the PNW, she found the campus pretty and reminded her of home.

What is your dream job? 

Anything relating to Pastoral Ministry, knowing I am making an impact being able to help people.

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

I never really knew what I wanted to be as a kid, it always changed. It wasn’t until I understood how my mom had studied Theology and was going to be a pastor for the Oregon conference, that I realized that was even an option.

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

How easy it is to be involved in things, and the people you get to meet because of it. Being able to go from class to working at the grind to working at the campus ministries office to running to orchestra practice and seeing so many different familiar faces makes my day.

Where is your favorite place in the world?

Anywhere as long as I’m with my friends and family

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

Eternals, because a) ancient history, b) the music (more specifically the song “Friends”), c) super cool superheroes (and Harry Styles). But as a main character, I wouldn’t want to be an innocent bystander who doesn’t know what’s going on. 

What is something you’re passionate about?

Music! I listen to a lot of music styles, and I love live music and the impact it can have. Whether I’m leading, playing bass for worship, or simply listening. Ministry and Jesus too, they tie together and are a big part of my life.

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

The Petrified Forest in Calistoga is pretty cool and makes for a nice hike

Break Out Of Your Comfort Zone

It’s obvious that college is a place for you to break out of your comfort zone, but you’d be surprised how many students hesitate to do so. It can be scary trying new things and meeting new people, but that’s why PUC has established many opportunities for students to partake in. Here are five ways to break out of your comfort zone. 

Join A Club 

With over 30 clubs at school, you will find a club that fits your interests, major, and culture. Clubs organize events throughout the year, which is a great way to meet other people within your department and outside of it. Joining a club is a good way to break you out of your comfort zone. 

Go To School Events 

There are many events throughout the school year for you to attend. Clubs, departments, dorms, and SA host various events for students to enjoy. Cheer on your Pioneers at their games too! Go to school events because you don’t want to miss out on the fun students and faculty plan for you. 

Get A Job or Internship 

If you’re interested in getting a job, whether within your department or outside of it, let your advisor know. They might know what jobs are available and connect you with people that are hiring. Getting a job is a fantastic way to break out of your comfort zone because you’ll be learning new skills and meeting new people. 

If you need an internship for your major, meet with your advisor so they can help you find what opportunities are out there for you. You’ll be getting experience in your field early, which will look good on your resume and also help you gain a better understanding of where you want to work in the future. 

Volunteer 

PUC has many opportunities for students to volunteer. Talk to your advisor to see what volunteer opportunities on and off campus you can be a part of. Volunteering is not just a way to break out of your comfort zone, but to help others and see the world from a different perspective. 

Put Yourself Out There

From joining clubs to volunteering to going on school trips, PUC gives you many ways to put yourself out there. This doesn’t just apply to new students, but returning students as well. Even seniors should put themselves out there! You’ll never know what else you could be missing to make your last year more memorable. Meet new people, try new things, and get the best out of your college experience. 

Breaking out of your comfort zone is the beauty of college. It may be nerve-racking, but you won’t know what’s out there if you don’t allow yourself to get out there. Every student has had to break out of their comfort zone more than once. 

Connect With God Through Nature 

We are blessed to live on a campus that is so beautiful. Surrounded by miles of valleys, hills, and bountiful trees reigning over, we are reminded of God’s love every day. Connecting with God through nature can pull us out of low places and calm the chaos in our lives. Here are a few ways you can connect with God through nature.

Worship Outside

We have outdoor sabbath and vespers for our students and faculty each year. Sometimes students can be found outside on a sunny Sabbath praising and worshiping together. With spring and summer coming up, try to worship outside every once in a while. 

Appreciate the Outdoors 

There are many ways at PUC for students to appreciate the outdoors. The Back 40 is a pleasant atmosphere to worship, have devotional time, and be alone with God. It’s a go-to spot to go for a walk, run, or bike ride. Linda Falls is a local favorite for hiking and relaxing by the waterfall or sitting under the trees for shade. There are also numerous camping sites in our area where students go to embark on the great outdoors. 

Walk and Talk 

Walking and talking with God in nature is a peaceful experience. Being in the midst of a quiet, serene space can put you at ease, give perspective to your situations, and feel God’s presence. 

Read Outside 

When weather permits, take your devotional and Bible reading time outside. PUC’s numerous Bible study groups enjoy having their meetings outside in the fresh air. It’s relaxing being in the stillness of nature, reading his word, and seeing the beauty he’s created all around you. 

PUC promotes a spiritual, active lifestyle- and the environment that we’re in helps do that. The nature around us is refreshing to be in and helps physical, mental, and spiritual health. Connect with God through nature and see all the wonder and goodness that he is. 

Things College Freshmen Need To Know 

The first day of college is filled with many emotions. You’re anxious but at the same time excited, and maybe you know what to expect, but you never know what can happen. You’re starting a new phase in your life and doing things on your own. It’s a lot! You’re going to learn new things every day, and we wanted to share six things you should know and remember throughout your first year of college. 

It’s Okay To Be Homesick 

You have to know that feeling homesick is normal. You’re in a new environment, surrounded by new people and things- it can be overwhelming. Others feel the same way too, so don’t think you have to hide it or feel embarrassed. It’s okay to be homesick! 

Everyone Feels The Same As You 

Whatever you’re feeling, someone feels the same way and has felt the same at one point. Especially within your freshmen class, everyone is in the same boat as you- you’re not alone. 

Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone 

From activities, events, to outreaches PUC offers many opportunities for you to step out of your comfort zone. It can be scary putting yourself out there but pace yourself and open yourself up to try new things. You’ll meet people along the way and create great memories. 

The Friends You Make Last A Lifetime 

The friends you make in college will last a lifetime. From the very start of your classes, clubs, activities, and more, you’ll be bonded by this new milestone in each other’s life that will only continue as the years go by. 

Professors, Faculty, & Staff Are Here For You 

Everyone at PUC wants you to succeed. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help about anything because your professors, advisor, dean, RA, and pastor are here for you. They will give you the resources you need to get you on the right path to success. 

You’ve Got This 

College is challenging, but no matter what happens, you’ve got this! Every day you will be learning, growing, and taking steps towards your goals. There will be days where stress takes over you, but keep pushing through! Remind yourself that you’ve got this!