Category Archives: Spiritual Life

Conquer Your First Month ON Campus 

Your first quarter of college was probably VERY different than you imagined, and for the record, we HATED not having everyone on campus and are thrilled to welcome everyone. Your first month on PUC’s physical campus will likely be a bit of a whirlwind. You’ll be meeting new people, learning new things, and having a new schedule. Here are some tips to help you get on the right track.  

Attend Class

You’re in college to go to classes and learn. Please do yourself a solid and attend class. If you’re not a morning person, don’t schedule early morning classes. If you rather have your evenings free, take classes in the afternoon. Make a schedule that you can work with that won’t make you skip class. 

Stay Organized 

By staying organized in college, you will have a better time conquering your assignments, tests, and other things. The first month of school may be overwhelming for you, so get a planner, use your calendar, just find a way that works for you to stay organized. 

Don’t Forget To Eat 

Please don’t forget to eat! Your health is important and if you don’t eat well, you might have a hard time concentrating. Fight the temptation to snack on junk food and instead indulge in healthier options. It’s a good idea to have water with you at all times. You must stay hydrated! 

Meet With Your Academic Advisor 

You’re going to have a lot of questions regarding your classes and major. Having meetings with your academic advisor will be very helpful to you. They are there to guide you in the right direction and help you out in any way they can. 

Put Yourself Out There 

One of the best things about college is that you get the chance to meet people from all over the world. It’s not always easy putting yourself out there, but during the first month, most students will feel the same way as you. Join clubs, study groups, intramurals, etc. Even if you’re scared, put yourself out there. 

Find Your Quiet Place 

From going to class, eating at the cafeteria, and living in the dorms, you’ll be surrounded by people most of the time. If you need your space and some quiet time, find a spot on campus that lets you have time to yourself. 

Get A Good Night’s Sleep 

Lack of sleep is what causes the most stress, so please make sure you’re getting good sleep every night. There will be nights where you and your friends stay up late studying and getting to know each other, but if you don’t get enough hours of sleep you won’t feel so great the next morning. 

Be True To Yourself 

College is a chance to have a fresh start, but don’t lose sight of your values and beliefs. You’ll be figuring out new things about yourself, but don’t feel that you have to act a certain way or be someone different just to fit in. Be true to yourself and let your light shine to others. 

Take in every moment during your first month on campus. Be open to change, new opportunities, and keep an open mind. Enjoy the beautiful Napa Valley and remember that your PUC family is here for you! 

 

Get To Know PUC Church Pastor Chanda Nunes

By: Ashley Eisele

In the midst of the pandemic, the PUC Church welcomed new lead pastor Chanda Nunes after more than a year-long search to find the right candidate. 

Pastor Nunes was born and raised in Toronto, Canada, and is a graduate of Burman University (formerly Canadian University College) and Andrews University, where she received her Master of Divinity degree. She also holds associate degrees in private investigation & paralegal studies and is a certified life coach practitioner.

She began her pastoral ministry in August 2003, serving the Alberta Conference at the College Heights Seventh-day Adventist Church, on the campus of Burman. From 2008-2015, Pastor Nunes served the Kansas-Nebraska Conference at the New Haven Seventh-day Adventist Church and was the first Black pastor ever to serve in the Conference, as well as the first Black woman pastor to serve in the Mid-American Union. She was commissioned while there in 2011.

Pastor Nunes has served the Northern California Conference since 2015, most recently at the Capitol City Seventh-day Adventist Church in Sacramento, Calif. She is the first Black woman pastor to serve within the Conference where she was ordained in June 2018.

“My biggest hope for right now,” Nunes says. “Is that this pandemic will cease, and that we have an opportunity to come back together as a church family to experience the love and fellowship that we have been missing all these months.”

While Pastor Nunes is very excited for the unique experience of pastoring in a college town, the pandemic has not allowed her congregation to get to know her as well as she would like so she jumped at the chance to sit down (virtually) and answer some questions. 

What is pastoring like during a pandemic? 

Pastoring during a pandemic is a unique position to be in. This is something we’ve never been through or have seen modeled for us, so we’re literally starting at ground zero. This is the time for pastors to unleash their creativity like never before, in order that the Message of the Gospel can continue moving forward. 

How do you connect with a new community when our congregation is virtual?

This part is a challenge. I’m an extrovert and love to meet new people, so with the social distancing that we are expected to adhere to, it will now take (more) time to get to know members individually. Every week, I try to work my way through our church family directory, and make a number of phone calls, send emails/texts messages.

What makes pastoring a campus church special? 

Pastoring a campus church is an exciting and unique experience! You have great resources at hand, the opportunity to meet people from all over the world, energy and insight from all age-ranges, and the desire to come together to learn, and to lift up Jesus!

What hopes do you have for the PUC Church and community in the coming months and years? 

My biggest hopes for right now is that this pandemic will cease, and that we have an opportunity to come back together as a church family to experience the love and fellowship that we have been missing all these months.  

The PUC Church welcomes you to join their weekly worship service each Sabbath morning at 11 a.m. Join at livestream.com/pucchurch

The Women’s Volleyball Team Shows Pioneers Spirit

By Richie Silie 

Times are difficult and that is a fact. But even in the midst of a global pandemic, our student athletes are finding ways to be good “teammates” to our surrounding communities. 

Members of our women’s volleyball team made the decision to volunteer at the COVID-19 testing site in Yountville, Calif. These ladies didn’t just help at the mobile clinic, they also passed out food, toiletries, and various personal health items to families in need. Overcoming challenges and working as a team are part of an athlete’s everyday life so it was no surprise to see the selflessness of our Pioneers. These incredible young people lead our athletics department by shining their light “all around the neighborhood.” 

The #PUCPioneersNation has really stepped up and shown they are proudly part of the larger Napa Valley community. Though we are more than ready to have all our students back on campus and regain a sense of normalcy, we are blessed to give back in as many ways as possible because that IS the Pioneers way! 

Follow us on Instagram at @pucpioneers!

Let’s Stay Together

It hasn’t taken long to realize how much we miss seeing everyone on campus every day so we know this year must be tough on you and your friends. Even though we know social distancing is important for everyone’s health and safety, it’s equally important to stay connected with your friends. Here are a few simple (maybe obvious) ways to do just that. 

Follow Each Other On Social Media 

We don’t really need to tell you this one, if you have social media you’re most likely already following your friends. But try following your new classmates too! It’s obviously a great way to get to know people and an easy way to stay in touch. 

Make A Study Group 

Get some classmates together at least once a week, jump on Teams, Google Hangouts, Zoom, Slack, etc, and study! Not only will it help you with your classes but it’s a great way to chat and engage with your schoolmates, and who knows, maybe you’ll meet some new people.

Have Movie Nights 

Movie nights may look a little different right now but you can still have them! Pop some popcorn, grab a fizzy drink, your favorite blankets, and hop on FaceTime, Zoom, or Netflix Party and have a great time. Don’t forget to invite your fully little friends if you have them!

Enjoy Music Together 

Staying connected with your friends can be as simple as sharing music and enjoying it together. Send your playlists to your friends or send some songs you think your friends would like. If you have Spotify, you can even make a collaborative playlist. 

Start A Book Club

Pick a book, not a school book, and start a book club. It’s fun to read in general but it’s even better when you get to share with friends. Video chat each week or start a group text to discuss chapters.

Be A Penpal

The digital world has made communicating simple and fast but sometimes it’s nice to do things ‘old school’. Find a friend and exchange letters. If you’re like me you might get sucked down a rabbit hole full of wax seal and stamps on Etsy.

Everyone is handling this time differently so remember to check up on your friends. Nothing can replace seeing your friends face-to-face, but thankfully technology is here to do it’s best. No matter how far you are from your friends, remember to stay connected.

A Letter From PUC’s SA President

Hello PUC,

Hi everyone! My name is Lewis Govea, this years’ PUC Student Association President. I am a senior music major looking to attend pharmacy school in the future. My PUC journey started fall of 2017 when I came to PUC as an aspiring biochemistry major. My efforts to power through my chosen major were thwarted by passion and the desire to be as well rounded as possible, so I switched my major to music with voice being my primary instrument.

My passion for music began very early. I have been in choirs and plays my entire academic life and have continued to grow as a musician. My musical experience ingrained within me the value of teamwork, so I continue to seek out groups that work together for a common goal. This desire, to be a part of something larger than myself, is what drew me to student government. I joined PUC’s Student Association fall of 2019 as the Social Vice President, where I took my skills as a team player and refined them into being the skills of a team leader. I found leadership to be one of my core characteristics. I planned fun events, like Bob Ross Paint Night and a concert where I invited The Voice alum Jej Vinson to sing. I felt like I was making an impact on campus, but I also felt limited to the social lives of PUC students rather than being someone who could affect actual changes to campus life and culture. This is what made me run for president.

School is starting and it might feel like there is no end in sight to this pandemic. I can already sense the walls of my bedroom pressing inwards, but I still don’t give up hope. Hope for better days and for when I can see the kind and loving faces of my friends again. If I begin to feel stagnate, I will push myself to fight for a cause. That cause will be to do everything in my power to make everyone connect to a community that loves them and will support them through these difficult times. This quarantine has been tough, and nobody expects you to just pick up where you left off. Heal. Rest. PUC SA is doing the work to make those dreams a reality. 

Until we meet again,

Lewis Govea

SA President

Get To Know Your Student Association

Welcome to a new year at PUC! We are so excited to get to know each and every Pioneer! This year we have a great group of student leaders who have been working hard to make sure this is the best year yet. Let’s take a minute to meet them and when you see them around campus, don’t hesitate to say hello!

thumbnail_image001Lewis Govea – President 

“There is nothing I want more than to reunite with my PUC family, but I know everything is going to be different when all this is over. The incoming SA Team has the monumental task of rebuilding the PUC Family following this forced separation, but that’s exactly what we signed up for. This pandemic has strained our support systems and left us feeling alone, but I want everyone to know that SA will be waiting for you all with open arms and hearts full of love when we are back together again. We see our reunion as something to be excited for and we are ready to make PUC feel like home again. SA misses everyone and can’t wait to be back home on the hill. We love you all!”

thumbnail_Image-2Aileen Kurts – VP 

“I’m so excited to be a part of SA because I know the potential Student Senate has for making great changes at PUC. I’m ready to lead the Senate to make PUC feel like home for all students. I’m hoping to create a mentorship program at PUC so freshmen have some more guidance in what they’re doing and so they know people who have accomplished what they dream of. Senate is a powerful tool that I’m hoping every student learns about and utilizes so that their experience at PUC is the best they can have because PUC is not just a school but a place to create a family and call home.”

thumbnail_11B82805-844F-4B31-8C46-5B54A7F03BCDSebastian Anderson – PR/Marketing VP

“I’m thrilled to have another opportunity to be a leader and representative of the student body. I hope to use the PR & Marketing position to bring the whole campus closer together while helping campus culture and energy flourish. I want to do everything in my power to make sure everyone feels included, involved, and invited to everything the SA team puts together.”

thumbnail_ImageGrace Jong – Social VP 

“Hey, guys! I can’t wait for all the exciting new adventures that God has planned for PUC. This upcoming year, I have so many events planned in order to connect the students together. Stay tuned always remember to give love and give grace :)”

thumbnail_Image-1Keren Castro – Religious VP 

I’m really excited to be part of SA and bringing new things to PUC. My biggest goal for next year is really to bring more opportunities for the students to seek a more personal and deeper relationship with God while creating a stronger community through it. This past year, I was on Noah’s RVP team and we brought together Afterglow and we’ve seen amazing outcomes from it. So now I only want to expand from that.”

thumbnail_IMG-20190831-WA0008Miriam YU – Financial VP 

“I’m excited to meet everyone, especially the new SA team, real soon and also to bond with the student body. As FVP I look forward to growing in this position and meeting all the accounting goals.”

thumbnail_ADC_0034Adam Adreveno – Video Producer 

“I look forward to making quality videos for everyone to engage with and enjoy!”

Things To Expect Your Freshman Year

Starting college is a very exciting time though it can be nerve-wracking not knowing what to expect, especially during such unprecedented times. While everyone’s college experience will be different, we’re here with a few things you can almost certainly expect. 

You’ll Make Friends Quickly

Even shy people make friends in college, even remotely! From SA activities to your classes, it won’t be hard to meet new people and make friends. Don’t be afraid to talk to people, especially during orientation. Everyone is just as nervous as you are. 

You’ll Have Flexibility 

College gives you freedom. You get to choose your classes (to an extent), when to eat, when to nap, when to have fun, and so on. Having more freedom is great but be sure to use good judgment! 

You Will Get Lost (once you’re on campus)

It’s a big campus so getting a little turned around is completely expected. We’ve all been there! If you need help finding your way to class, just ask! If you happen to find yourself lost with no one around, pull up the campus map!

Classes Might Get Hard 

College isn’t easy and you’re definitely going to have some tough classes. But there’s no need to get discouraged! PUC offers tons of resources from study groups to private tutoring! 

You’ll Figure Things Out

You’re bound to have questions as you start this new journey. Maybe you don’t know what major to declare or you’re trying to decide when if you can handle a campus job. The great thing about PUC is, you have tons of people and resources to help you figure things out, so use them! Check-in with your friends, your RA, or your advisor for some great advice. 

Remote learning isn’t ideal for anyone. We would much rather have you all on campus, hanging out and having a blast but your safety is the most important thing. Remember, we’re all in this together. Your first year of college goes by really fast so take chances, try new things, and make as many memories as you can. Have fun and stay positive!

 

 

Note: Be sure you carefully read your communications from Student Life and regularly check the Fall Campus Plan webpage to stay up-to-date with the COVID-19 safety precautions PUC will be enforcing.

 

How To Thrive and Survive Freshman Year 

Starting college is a challenging transition; a new environment, new people, new classes. Even starting at home with remote learning, it can be very daunting. Here are some tips to making sure you thrive during your first year at PUC!

Take Classes That Interest You 

You’ve most likely already registered for your first quarter so don’t worry about that, but it’s never too soon to start planning ahead. The great thing about PUC is it’s a liberal arts college. That means along with your required courses for your chosen degree, you’ll be taking general education classes AND electives. This gives you a great opportunity to receive a very well rounded education and to take some really fun classes. Take the time to look for classes that interest you. Even if those classes don’t fulfill a requirement for your major, you can find some that fulfill GE and elective credits. 

Go To Class

You think this would be obvious, but some students just need a reminder. Sleeping in and skipping class may be tempting at times, but fight the temptation. Going to class and taking notes will help you understand and keep up with the material. You and your family are also paying for you to take these classes, so don’t waste your time and money.

Meet Your Professors 

It’s good to know your professors. Introduce yourself and take advantage of their office hours if you need help on an assignment, have questions, or just want to send an email to say hello. Not only will this benefit you from a learning aspect, but it will also benefit you in the long run. Building relationships with your professors can open a lot of networking doors. 

Know Your Academic Advisor 

Just like your professors, your academic advisor wants you to succeed. Get to know your adviser because they will help you with anything you need. From registering for classes, deciding on majors and minors, and giving you career advice, your adviser will be there for you.  

Get Organized

Staying organized in college is a must. Buy a planner, use an app, or get a calendar to stay on top of test dates, due dates, and meetings you might have during the school year. 

Find Your Study Spot

Your study environment plays a big role in the quality of your studying. Find a study spot that works for you and will help you stay motivated. While at home, try to avoid your bed or places you like to hang out and relax in. Once you’re on campus, try the library, a lounge, or the campus center to see which place works best for you to stay focused. Even your room could be your ideal study spot without being distracted. PUC has a lot of great study spots

Get Involved & Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone

PUC offers many programs from student organizations, clubs, and various intramurals throughout the year. There are also on-campus job opportunities with flexible hours. Getting involved in school will help you learn new skills, meet new people, and have you feel more connected to your school. Consider joining a school club, intramural team, or getting a job on campus. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and get involved! 

Take Advantage of Free Stuff 

There are many opportunities at PUC where students can receive free things, and we all love free things! From school events, like sports games, guest speakers, and food trucks to receiving scholarships throughout the year. You can even receive discounted items from stores using your college ID. Take advantage!  

Explore The Area

Eventually, we’re all going to be able to be together on campus. College is a great opportunity to get to know a place you’ve never lived in before. Even if you’re familiar with your chosen college, there is always something new to explore. Reward yourself from all the hard work you do during this week by discovering new places and things. College is stressful, so don’t forget to give yourself a break and have fun. The Napa Valley is known for great food, try a new place each quarter.

Seek A Balance 

College is filled with so many things from classes to social life. Know how much you can handle and don’t overwhelm yourself. Find that balance between productivity and downtime to help you stay focused and relax throughout the school year.  

Give A Warm Welcome To Your Roommate

Get to know your roommate! If you don’t know them already, take the time to learn about each other. Not only will you be living with them for the next nine months, but they can become an important confidant, so find some common interests! 

Relax 

You may feel you always have to be productive, but remind yourself to take a breather. It is important to stay focused in school, but it is also vital for your health to make time for yourself. It’s okay to watch a show or hang out with friends from time to time. Make sure you allow yourself to relax from working hard. You deserve it! 

Get Enough Sleep

All-nighters are no fun, so try and avoid them, (this means planning ahead). Getting enough hours of sleep throughout the night will help you in a big way. You’ll be well-rested, think more clearly, and be able to function throughout the day.  

Even though your first year of college can often be challenging, it’s also supposed to be fun! Don’t stress, remember you are not alone. There are tons of others feeling the same way. Utilize your network of new friends and professors and don’t forget to learn and have fun. You will thrive and survive your freshman year! 

Note: Be sure you carefully read your communications from Student Life and regularly check the Fall Campus Plan webpage to stay up-to-date with the COVID-19 safety precautions PUC will be enforcing.

 

Faces of PUC: Dannica Roberts 

Coming to PUC from Honolulu, HI, Dannica Roberts is studying physical education. As an older sibling, she’s always been a nurturer and is really passionate about helping people which makes her a great fit here at PUC where students are encouraged to join service projects. Dannica is well-known for being “super sweet” so when you see her on campus don’t hesitate to say hello! 

What is your dream job? 

My dream job would be to become a pilot and a dentist for children. 

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

When I was young, I wanted to become a teacher, so my dream jobs have not happened yet. Eventually, I would love to learn how to fly a plane and maybe get some experience in the dentistry field. 

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

I receive so much love and support from the Pioneers family. 

What is your favorite place in the world? 

My favorite places in the world are either the beach where I would be surfing or in another country, like Taiwan or Peru where I would want to help with community service projects. 

What show are you bingeing these days? 

I have been binge-watching Criminal Minds and I am so close to finishing all 12 seasons of it. 

What is something you’re passionate about? 

I am passionate about going out into the community and helping with service projects. 

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

I would recommend buying a ticket to go riding on the cable car around San Francisco and of course, visiting Ghirardelli Square. 

 

Faces of PUC: April Medel 

April Medel is a senior from Stockton, Calif., majoring in psychology with an emphasis in Spanish and pre-medicine. She is passionate about helping others and is dedicated to making changes in how the medical field treats minorities. April was sweet enough to answer some questions for us. We are truly blessed to have students like April on our campus!

What is your dream job?

My dream job is to be a doctor. Personally, it does not really matter to me what kind of doctor I end up being as long as I am able to make a difference in someone’s life physically and emotionally and being able to use my knowledge and resources to try and fix parts of the system that are broken, like the prejudice many minorities face while seeking medical care. 

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

I’ve wanted to be a doctor since I was in the first grade!  Having the ability to help others and using the resources I have to help those in need is something I wanted to do since I was a kid and I am glad that my priorities have not changed. 

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

My favorite thing about being part of the Pioneers family is that I am given the opportunity to worship God at the end of a stressful week. Many schools do not offer that opportunity, and I feel like it is great how PUC students can all get together, praise God, and give thanks for another successful week. 

Where is your favorite place in the world? 

My favorite place in the world is definitely Yosemite. Yosemite is basically my second home and I have been going there since I was born. It is a place where I can shut out the world and just thank God for all the blessings in my life. 

What show are you bingeing these days? 

I have been watching Space Force and 100 Humans on Netflix. Space Force is such a cute show and I just love Steve Carell. 100 Humans is extremely interesting so if you are interested in research and random human behaviors, then you should definitely check it out! 

What is something you’re passionate about? 

I am really passionate about standing up against racism and making sure everyone is treated equally and with respect. The Black Lives Matter movement, standing up for women and LGBTQ+ rights, and helping immigrants and DACA recipients are stuff that I am really passionate about. 

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

I recommend going to Napa or to Pier 39 in San Francisco with your friends. If you want a bit more adventure, definitely check out Alcatraz in San Francisco or the Manchester House in San Jose.