Monthly Archives: November 2023

Studying Abroad – An Experience Like Never Before

Arianne Milosavljevic’s family is from overseas. They’ve always placed a huge emphasis on her to get out into the world to open her mind and realize that her way of life isn’t the only one and to just enjoy all she can. All this is what inspired her to study abroad through Adventist College Abroad and attend Seminar Schloss Bogenhofen in Austria. 

As a sophomore pre-nursing student, Arianne chose a great time to study abroad. 

How did you decide which ACA school to attend? 

I wanted to go to a school in Europe because there are so many countries nearby, which makes it easier to travel to many places over vacations and such. I ended up deciding on Bogenhofen because Spanish and French are already familiar to me, and I wanted to experience something I never had before.

How are classes and learning the language going?

The classes are going really well. I honestly am so grateful for my professors and people who are willing to practice with my VERY beginner German – it makes improving so much easier.

Describe your typical day there. 

I usually get up at 6 am and go to the gym, and from there, I have breakfast at 7- and get ready for classes that start at 8:30 am and go until 13:20. Then it is lunch time and homework and just hanging out with friends or going out somewhere. Dinner is at 6 p.m., and afterward is volleyball practice, orchestra, or choir- depending on the day.

What cities have you visited and are planning to see next? 

Thus far this year, I’ve been privileged to visit Salzburg (where Sound of Music was filmed), Vienna, Munich, Frankfurt, Graz, and the South of France. I’m planning on visiting the UK, Italy, and definitely some of the Balkans. 

What have been your favorite things so far about studying abroad? 

Just getting to be a sponge is amazing. It’s a humbling experience feeling like a baby all of the time, but really, once I embraced it, I’m so grateful to just learn from those around me.

What three words describe your time there?

Adventure, blessing, hilarious

What would you say to someone who is interested in ACA?

Go. Don’t think too hard about it- you will never be this age and have this much freedom, and you can always do multiple schools for different quarters. There are so many resources, scholarships, and people willing to help- just do the thing. You won’t regret going, but you will regret not knowing what could’ve been.

Bible Verses To Give Thanks 

With the season of Thanksgiving, here are five Bible verses that we hope helps you reflect on the abundant blessings from God. 

Psalm 107 – Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

Hebrews 12:28 – Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe. 

Colossians 3:15-17 – Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Psalm 95:1-5 – Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord, let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.

Philippians 4:4-7 – Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus

Remember to give thanks to God not just during this season, but every day. 

Anna Ramos Discusses SAC Experience

The Society of Adventist Communicators, commonly referred to as SAC, traditionally organizes an annual conference that serves as a nexus for communicators, journalists, media professionals, and individuals involved in the realm of communication. This gathering facilitates the exchange of ideas, learning from experts, and discussions on topics pertinent to the Adventist Church and the broader field of communication. 

This year, the conference unfolded in Springfield, Massachusetts, from October 19 to 21. The event featured an array of program workshops, panel discussions, general sessions, and award ceremonies.

Communication student Anna Ramos had the opportunity to attend the conference for the first time. “I approached it with an open mind, free of any preconceived expectations,” shared Anna. “It was a very welcoming environment with communicators of different age groups. I was able to gain new insights into the work done by different communication departments.”

What were some of the conference highlights for you?

The workshops during the convention were definitely a highlight for me, with my favorite being PR and Crisis Communication: “How to Handle the Media During Crises” by Greg Dunn and Kevin Lampe. But overall, the opportunity to connect with fellow communicators and reunite with old friends added a layer of satisfaction to the event.

In what ways did you participate? 

As a first-time participant, I actively engaged in various workshops during the event, discussing subjects like crisis communication, PR and marketing, and social media management. Unfortunately, neither my classmate nor I had the opportunity to partake in any of the student awards. We remain hopeful that either we or another representative from PUC will secure recognition and bring home an award in the future.

What stood out the most during the conference?

After hearing from the panelists and speakers at the conference, I realized how much Adventist communicators can do and how much work is still ahead of us. It was really inspiring to see all the possibilities we have as communicators.

Can you share a favorite moment during the conference?

Unfortunately, I missed the media tours provided by the conference as part of the program- otherwise, it would have been my favorite moment at the conference. However, being able to get to know more communicators and see old friends became a source of enjoyment for me throughout the event.

An Interview with David Bui: Campus Ministries Worship Coordinator

David Bui has the incredible privilege of curating a musical experience at PUC that elevates spiritual gatherings to a new level on campus. As worship coordinator for Campus Ministries, his role revolves around crafting the ideal setlist for events like Vespers, Week of Prayer, and GLOW. 

“I have the honor of selecting and arranging music that resonates with your heart and spirit, creating an atmosphere of reverence, reflection, and joy during Vespers,” said David. “Our Week of Prayer becomes a transformative journey as we explore faith and spirituality through the power of song. And when it’s time for GLOW, we come together in celebration and community to praise God. My year-long involvement in Campus Ministries has been a catalyst for my spiritual growth. I’m absolutely thrilled about the future that lies ahead on my spiritual journey!”

What made you want to be a part of campus ministries?

What truly captivated my heart and inspired me to become a part of Campus Ministries was the extraordinary role that music plays in this ministry. As a college student, I found myself irresistibly drawn to the power of music to connect, uplift, and inspire. It’s not just about melodies and lyrics; it’s about the connection everyone can make to God, the sense of community, and the spiritual resonance that music brings to our journey.

How do you balance team responsibilities and nursing school?

Navigating the challenging journey of a nursing student while also juggling on-campus responsibilities is difficult. However, I’ve found that the key to managing this is in the incredible support system I have. Christian De Jesus, Mika Palitang, Lily Chaffee, Kyler Vanhook, Abby Huerta, Ashley Castro, and Pastor Arturo are all big reasons why I can do both. They are not just teammates. They are my invaluable partners in organizing and planning, making the seemingly impossible- possible. Our collaboration isn’t just about dividing tasks; it’s about coming together as a unit to conquer the challenges we face. But their support doesn’t stop at planning. In times of struggle, when the weight of my nursing studies feels overwhelming, this team is there to offer a helping hand and reassurance. They understand the demanding nature of our academic pursuits and offer a sense of comfort.

What goals do you hope to accomplish with your team and campus?

As a team, our mission is pretty straightforward but incredibly impactful: We aim to enhance the spiritual lives of everyone on campus. Our goal is to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to understand who God is and hear His message through the events we organize. We believe that college life can be hectic, and it’s easy to get caught up in schooling, but that’s why we’re here, working diligently to create an atmosphere where spiritual enrichment is accessible to all. Whether you’re seeking answers, looking for a sense of belonging, or simply curious about matters of faith, we want our events to be a welcoming space where you can explore, learn, reflect, and grow.

What does being a part of the campus ministries team mean to you?

Being a part of Campus Ministries is about embracing a role beyond the surface. It means stepping into the shoes of a spiritual leader on campus, a person that anyone can turn to for guidance and support. It’s about forging connections. We’re not just here to set the stage for worship; we’re here to connect with others on a personal level. As spiritual leaders, we offer a safe space where students can come as they are, share their thoughts, doubts, and aspirations, and know they’ll be heard and supported. Being part of Campus Ministries is an opportunity to make a real impact on the lives of our fellow students. It’s about creating a beautiful worship environment, yes, but it’s also about building meaningful connections, fostering personal growth, and sowing the seeds of positivity and understanding that can transform our campus community for the better.

How can students get involved with campus spiritual life?

Getting involved with Campus Ministries is not only easy but incredibly rewarding. One of the most accessible ways to dive into Campus Ministries is by attending our exciting events. Whether it’s Vespers, a serene and reflective evening of worship, or Bible Study, where you can delve deeper into the teachings of faith- you’ll discover spaces that encourage personal growth and spiritual exploration. But we don’t just want you to be a spectator; we invite you to become an active participant in our mission. Volunteering is a fantastic way to contribute your time, energy, and skills to our collective efforts. You can join us for Vespers preparations, share your insights in Bible Study, help serve through Afterlight or bring joy and positivity to our community with GLOW. Collegiate Sabbath School is another avenue where you can connect with like-minded peers, engage in meaningful discussions, and strengthen your spiritual foundation.

What made you decide to attend PUC?

When I first committed to PUC, it was the nursing program that initially captured my attention and drove my decision to enroll. However, what I’ve discovered during my time here has not only solidified my commitment to this institution but has shaped my college experience. It’s the vibrant spiritual life at PUC that has truly kept me rooted here and enriched my journey in ways I never expected. The people I’ve met here, the friendships I’ve forged, and the mentors who’ve guided me have all played an instrumental role in helping me intimately connect with God. Amid the rigorous demands of the nursing program, I’ve discovered that the spiritual life at PUC has been an anchor, offering purpose, and a sense of belonging.

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

My favorite thing about being part of the Pioneers family is the strong sense of connection. What’s special here is that the relationships feel close and personal. My professors know my name and take a real interest in my progress. When I walk into places like the Grind, I can quickly strike up conversations and connect with fellow students. This sense of connection isn’t limited to the classroom; it’s everywhere on campus. Whether it’s during an event or just hanging out with friends, there’s a friendly and accepting atmosphere. Being a part of the Pioneers family means more than just studying; it means being part of a community where people genuinely care about you. It’s this warm connection that makes my college experience both educational and truly fulfilling.

Faces of PUC: Kyra Grant

Kyra Grant visited PUC during a basketball tournament during her freshman year of high school and felt so welcomed. She loved the campus and felt a deep connection to it, which made her decide to attend PUC. Now coming from San Diego, CA, Kyra is a college freshman studying psychology and music. She’s discovered many parts of herself she didn’t realize before and it’s all due to “feeling safe and supported by the community.” 

What is your dream job?

In the future, I will be a psychologist and teach music on the side, but in my dreams, I’d love to be a chef or be in a very talented band. I love to do a lot of things that I don’t think I would be happy with just sticking to cooking my whole life or just playing music, but being a psychologist and teaching music on the side is a perfect balance of two things that I love.

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

When I was younger, I wanted to be a lot of different things, but one of the professions that stuck with me the longest was being a doctor, but that’s not for me anymore.

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

Ever since coming to PUC, I have gotten to grow and discover so many parts of myself I didn’t realize I had, and I think that’s due to feeling safe and supported by the community. I love being a Pioneer because every day I learn something new about myself, other people, and the world. I also love the campus and the nature around it! Every day I get to sit and read or study on the patio by Stauffer Hall- not a lot of campuses have such beautiful scenery! One last thing that is just such a blessing is the music department. The professors and everyone involved in music are always so wonderful and really show that they want the best for you.

Where is your favorite place in the world and why?

I love being in nature- anywhere the sun is out, there is greenery or water. It’s so nice to feel the warmth of the sun and the wind as well as just feeling calm by the trees and plants.

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

Although it’s not my favorite movie, being in the Avatar world would be so awesome! Just being in a jungle or at a beach all day without a care in the world is much needed, especially being a college student.

What is something you’re passionate about?

I am passionate about many things, but I get really passionate about things I’m interested in. For example, I am so passionate about music, but I also get passionate about life and the beauty of it. I also love learning about the theories of the universe and get really passionate about discoveries and all that stuff.

Can you recommend a place to go in the Bay Area on a weekend? If so, where?

I’m not from the area, so I’m not too familiar with what is around, but I love going to Yo Sushi and then Point Pinole Regional Shoreline in Vallejo. It’s a beautiful trail where you’re able to sit and see the water up close.

Learn About PUC’s Business Club from President Melisa Lopez

PUC’s Business Club is an organization that seeks to inspire students, have fun events, and work together with the business department. The club facilitates not only social gatherings but also opportunities for members to deepen their interest in business. The goal of the business club is to provide opportunities for members to learn about business, give back to the community, interview for internships/jobs, create fun social events for a balance of business and fun, and allow individuals to make connections.  

Senior Melisa Lopez is the club’s president this year. A high-level view of her role is to set the vision and direction of the club, provide guidance to our other club officers, and empower them to achieve their goals together. Her role also entails planning their weekly officer meetings to strategize and get everyone on the same page, assign tasks, discuss progress reports, and plan club events.  

What made you want to be involved with the club?  

Historically, the business club has been one of the biggest clubs on campus. Once COVID hit, the club quickly lost members and engagement. I wanted to be involved with the club to start it from scratch and bring it back to what it used to be, giving business students a place to not only learn about business but also make connections with each other through social events.  

What is your favorite thing about the Business Club?  

My favorite thing about the business club is watching individuals who wouldn’t normally cross paths interact and make connections at our events. I love being able to give people the opportunity to learn more about business, acquire internships and jobs, and have fun events to socialize and get their minds off school.  

Can you share any activities or events planned for this year? What do you hope to accomplish with your team?  

This year, we already had some events, such as a welcome party and an information session with AdventHealth about internship and job opportunities. We have had a pre-vespers, and we plan on having an escape room night, along with some other fun events and guest speakers. Our biggest event of the year, which we are tirelessly working on, is our Tahoe Ski trip, which we hope to have during the winter quarter.  

How can students get involved? 

Students can get involved in our club by coming out to the events we host! On our Instagram page @businessclubpuc, we announce all our upcoming events! Not all events are member-exclusive, so we encourage everyone to come out when they are not member-exclusive!  

What are the benefits of being a part of this club? 

The benefits of being a part of PUC’s Business Club are the connections you make with individuals around you, as well as the benefit of hearing our guest speakers, share their knowledge. We also hope to announce some of our partnerships soon, which will offer local internships and opportunities to give back to the community.  

What do you want the PUC community to know about the Business Club? 

This club is not just for business students- we have a diverse group of members from theology majors, psychology majors, and even biology majors. Everyone can use some business knowledge, so we recommend joining our club for the opportunity to hear from some spectacular individuals, as well as have some fun at social events!  

Get to Know Lem Garcia: Associate Pastor for Worship & Administration 

Pastor Lem Garcia began pastoring in 2009 at Grand Advent Church in his hometown of Oakland, CA. When the opportunity came to join the PUC community, he could not pass it up. Since October 2022, Pastor Garcia has been the associate pastor for worship and administration and feels blessed to be a part of an amazing pastoral team.

What made you decide to work at PUC? 

The short answer is that God brought me here! The long answer is that I could not pass up the opportunity to join an amazing community and the group of professionals who collaborate to advance the mission of our college. This requires a lot of hard work, commitment, presence, and creativity to take on the challenges that come with ministry on a college campus. We are blessed to have an amazing pastoral team and I believe that together we can make a meaningful impact on the spiritual life of our campus and the wider community. 

What makes pastoring a campus special to you? 

I really enjoy being able to collaborate with very talented multi-disciplinary teams on various projects throughout the year. I also appreciate the energy and creativity that our students bring to the life of the college and church. 

How do you stay connected with young people and be a mentor through their spiritual lives? 

I think the secret sauce is authenticity, self-awareness, and presence. My job is not to be an expert on all spiritual or worship matters, but I am an expert on my own story and journey. Faith and spirituality require space for relating, asking questions, partaking, and expressing. It all begins with creating and holding space for us to journey together, and I’m quite passionate about doing that. 

What goals do you have for the PUC church and community? 

That we can be one, as Jesus prayed. Just as He is in the Father and the Father in Him, we are invited to be part of something bigger than ourselves. God invites us into a community because he exists and works in the community. I believe we begin to enjoy this oneness when we learn to behold God and each other. 

What is your favorite thing about PUC? 

After its people, definitely the location- the surrounding nature, the mountain, Napa Valley. 

How can the PUC family support you as you minister to us? 

Through prayer first and foremost. I also don’t mind Giugni’s or Gott’s!  

What do you enjoy doing outside of work? 

Visiting family and friends, working on my cars, growing my vinyl collection, going on bike rides, and finding new places to eat.