It’s the last finals week of the year! With the exams, projects, and papers that need to be taken and submitted, we know how stressful and overwhelming you may be feeling. When feeling this way, read these Bible verses to find comfort, hope, and strength during finals week.
1 Peter 5:7 – Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Isaiah 41:10 – So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
John 14:27 – Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Philippians 4:6-7 – 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.
Matthew 6:33-34 – But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Psalm 55:22 – Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.
Psalm 62:8 – Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.
Matthew 11:28 – Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Give all your worries and stress to God. He will take care of you and get you through the end of the school year. Your PUC family will be here praying for you and giving any support you need.
Coming from Denver, CO., is PUC’s Men’s Volleyball coach Melissa Barton. This year was her second season coaching, with the previous coaching at Union College in Lincoln, NE. Melissa coaches to win while also having fun in the process. She believes effort beats talent, so she trains her team to always give a hundred percent.
Melissa kindly answered some questions for us to learn more about her and her team.
What makes PUC athletics different from other colleges and universities?
At PUC you can tell that we are in a season of growth. Everyone has the same goal in mind and that is to better our program. I believe that is what sets us apart right now.
How do you keep your players motivated during the season?
Motivation for my players is easy, they all have such a strong love and passion for the game, they just want to play. They are very self-motivated because they enjoy what they do.
What values do you instill in your players?
Respect is one of the biggest values. As well as discipline, I hope people can see a difference in my team.
What do you enjoy most about being a coach?
I love all the memories made and seeing my players light up with joy when they get that kill, or ace, or whatever good thing they did. It makes my heart happy.
How do you support your players on and off the court?
My players know that I am always there for them. On and off-court whether it is volleyball-related or not. They know that I will always have their back with everything,
Outside of competing, are there activities you try to get your students involved in?
My athletes are regularly involved in helping the sports teams out on game day. I also have several men on my team that play instruments for vespers and church. My team is very charismatic and loves to show up to the SA events.
How do you incorporate spiritual life within your team?
My team has worship on Monday’s lead out by myself. And on every other day of the week the players, each take turns in leading out in a quick devotional before each practice. This allows them to talk about what they believe in, and what is important to them.
Why should prospective students choose PUC over another program?
They will be joining a family, not just a school.
What is your favorite thing about being a part of the Pioneers family?
My favorite thing is getting to know the athletes as more than just players on a court. Like I said we become a family.
When you’re not coaching, what do you enjoy doing?
I enjoy doing other sports, exploring random cities, watching movies, and driving around in my truck listening to country music.
This week’s Faces of PUC is Angwin local, Christianne Andrianarijaona. She is a third year biochemistry major who wants to pursue dentistry and is passionate about singing. We are blessed to have a sweet student like Christianne a part of our Pioneers family.
What is your dream job?
My dream would be something challenging, but one that still gives me peace in mind because of the good hours and organized schedule. That’s why I would want to go into dentistry. I know the patients and colleagues I’d meet along the way would be life-changing.
How does that compare to what you wanted to be when you were young?
Haha, when I was younger, I wanted to be a professional singer, something very close to Tori Kelly or Beyonce. I have pretty bad stage fright and nerves, so I’ve gone against pursuing that. But I must say that compared to now, I had a much more creative and open mindset. As a college student, I overthink often and I tend to go overboard with my creative thoughts, which ends up being overwhelming.
What is your favorite thing about being a part of the Pioneers family?
PUC is a very close-knit, small family meaning that you’ll find long-lasting friends and be able to see God through people. That’s what I like most about the Pioneers family. Everybody knows everybody.
Where is your favorite place in the world?
My favorite place in the world would either be anywhere quiet and spacious, whether it be outdoors, a museum, library, Chan Shun, or wherever my family is.
If you had to be trapped in a movie for a day, what movie would you choose?
If I had to be trapped in a movie for a day, one of the movies I would choose would be Mrs. Doubtfire. Just watching the plotting, setting, and revealing unfold would be so entertaining.
What is something you’re passionate about?
I am passionate about singing, though I haven’t been pursuing as much as I wish. But it’s something that I love doing and am decently confident with.
Recommend a place to go in the Bay Area on a weekend.
Hmm, I would say Round One in San Jose. It’s a cute little arcade with bowling allies and karaoke rooms. The only thing that’s not very affordable is the ride there and back, but that’s Bay Area for you.
This past spring break, 22 students, two professors from PUC, and five parents, went to serve in Kenya. They traveled to Kensington Hall Oloosinon Girls Secondary School (with about 150 students) to deliver 18 laptop computers and a projector. PUC students trained five out of eight teachers on how to use the laptops since most of the teachers were unfamiliar with computers but were eager to learn. Professor of Biology Floyd Hayes organized this mission trip for the fourth time and shared that his favorite memory from this trip was seeing the joy in the eyes of the teachers as they learned how to use their laptop computers. 10 of the computers will be in the computer lab they planned to set up before the students returned in April. Computer training will be a game-changer for the students, providing them with crucial skills that will help them find jobs and interact with a complex modern society.
A laptop was also donated to a clinic where the group constructed the foundation of a new building at the Africa Mission Services Community Health Clinic and Birth Center. Nursing Professor Nicolette Piaubert and PUC students assisted in delivering five babies at the clinic- one baby was named Nicolette, and another was named Christie in honor of nursing student Christie Sumner. Several students assisted Dr. John Hiss and his wife Rita, a nurse (and parents of PUC student Nathan Hiss), with a few dozen patients in the clinic’s outpatient offices.
During the trip, PUC students hosted Vacation Bible School for four days, where they enjoyed teaching and interacting with 75 students and witnessing 13 of those students baptized by Pastor Vuong Tran.
The group also had the chance to spend two and a half days on safari in the Maasai Mara National Reserve, observing thousands of mammals plus many interesting reptiles and birds. “The highlight was seeing the big cats, including a few dozen lions, three cheetahs, and two leopards. The Maasai Giraffes and African Bush Elephants were also spectacular,” said Hayes. “This was my fourth trip to Kenya, and each time, I experience new sights and sounds. As a wildlife biologist, observing the iconic wildlife of Africa up close and personal has been the highlight of my career. I always feel like I’m in heaven! But not quite. It’s not safe to walk among the big animals, so I look forward to walking safely among them in heaven.”
With this being the fourth mission trip Professor Hayes organized, he shared that this one was different from the previous trips in that they donated laptop computers to a school. “Mission trips provide a wonderful opportunity for students to interact with people from another culture to learn how much we share in common and to realize how variable our opportunities are. I hope the students will realize how fortunate they are to have so many opportunities that are unavailable to many people who live in impoverished communities. That they will become more sensitive to the needs of those people, and that they will take advantage of the opportunities they have in life to help make the world a better place for others.”
It’s incredible to see the impact these mission trips give our students. To watch them lead and serve with love is an amazing sight, and we could not be more proud of the group that went to Kenya this past spring break. “I highly recommend participating in PUC’s homeless ministries, going on at least one mission trip, and becoming a student missionary in a developing country,” said Hayes. “Mission service is a life-transforming experience!”
The EMS Club is a student-led organization with the goal of teaching students skills in emergency medical care while engaging in fun outdoor activities. Gil Fayard is the president of the club and organizes and leads all club activities with the help of his team. He also leads weekly meetings to brainstorm and plan their upcoming fundraisers and events with my fellow officers. Gil thoughtfully answered some questions for us to learn more about the EMS Club.
Tell us about the EMS Club. How did this club get started?
The EMS club is a student-led organization here at PUC with the goal of teaching students skills in emergency medical care while engaging in fun outdoor activities. During the fall quarter of the 2019-2020 school year, some friends and classmates of mine noticed that there was no club to represent the emergency services department. We felt our field of study and interests were not represented by the PUC student body at the time, so this motivated us to start our club! Our vision is to build community by doing fun outdoor activities and teaching emergency medical skills applicable to those activities.
Can anyone join the club?
Yes! Anyone may join the club. Students of all majors and standings are welcome.
What do you hope to accomplish with the club this year?
An important goal I have for this club is for us to stay active. I want to host a variety of events throughout the school year so that we can build a community of students with similar interests, values, and the desire to learn emergency medical skills.
Can you share with us any upcoming activities or events?
We have some exciting events for the rest of the school year. Rock climbing trips, movie nights, a minimalist survival camping trip, a snowboard/ski trip, pre-vespers, and white water rafting are all activities we are wanting to do.
How does the club incorporate spiritual life?
The spiritual life within our club is heavily based upon the combination of friendship and God’s creation. We strengthen our spiritual lives by embracing our club’s sense of community while enjoying the beauty and opportunity of the outdoors.
What is your favorite thing about being a part of the EMS Club?
I love brainstorming with my team and seeing our ideas transform into real events. It reminds me of how capable we are, and I get satisfaction from events that are fun, educational, and constructive for students.
Convince me to join the EMS Club in five sentences.
The EMS club here at PUC is a student led organization that invites all. We are passionate about teaching students new and exciting skills in engaging ways. From rock climbing and rafting to bleeding control, and CPR, we got it! To make things better, our events will have minimal to no cost due to our efficient fundraising efforts. College is all about learning new skills, getting out of your comfort zone, and making friends, so EMS club is for you!
Follow the EMS Club on Instagram to stay up-to-date on activities, events, and trips.
Laura Wibberding has been teaching at PUC for the last five years. When she first visited PUC, she loved the campus and shared, “As an Oregon native, I thought there was too much sun =)” Teaching at PUC has been one of the most meaningful jobs for Laura. She loves getting to know the students and learning about the history of our college. We’re glad to have Laura at PUC and see our students enjoy her classes.
How long have you worked at PUC?
I’ve worked at PUC for about 5-years now, although most of that time I was an adjunct. This year I started as a regular faculty. I’ve enjoyed growing into my relationship with PUC, learning more about the college and the students as I do.
What brought you to PUC? How/Why did you decide to work here?
Our family moved here in 2017 when my husband started teaching and knew I wanted to be a part of this community. Honestly, teaching at PUC is one of the most meaningful jobs I could imagine.
What is the best thing about being a part of the Pioneers family?
All the Pioneers, of course! Actually, both kinds. I love getting to know students. You guys are all insightful and creative. And I love Adventist history, so those Pioneers make me happy, too. There’s a story behind every building name on campus and a lot of the street names, too. I love being part of it. I also love that we don’t just inherit a legacy- we choose how we want to direct the future.
Where is your favorite place to eat in the Valley, and why?
I’m actually not the most adventurous with eating out. We discovered our kids like Pizzeria Tra Vigne and often go there. But my favorite place to eat is my own kitchen.
What is something you can do/want to do that might be surprising for people to learn?
I used to use my church history degree to create drama programs for our churches. I have tubs of Renaissance-era costumes and props I made for those, and I keep daydreaming about pulling them out again. Maybe if life slows down a little, I’ll get to that!
What song are you listening to on repeat lately?
The one I can’t get out of my head is “Surface Pressure” from Encanto.
Where is your dream vacation?
I love old architecture and art and especially ruins. I picked Rome for our 20th-anniversary trip, and what I’d love to do next is see Spain or Greece.
Finish this sentence: On Sunday mornings, you can find me…
Doing laundry. Sunday is for all the work I couldn’t get to during the week, but it’s also family movie night with the kids, so there’s balance.
This week’s RA feature is Keren Castro, a senior photography major from Rehoboth, MA. She is RA for the third floor of Andre Hall and, depending on if she’s working at the front desk, she is the first face you see when you walk into the dorm. With this year being a first-time RA, she’s enjoyed getting out of her bubble and getting to know her residents and other students.
Tell us about being a RA. What are your responsibilities, and what does a typical shift look like for you?
Being an RA isn’t really a shift, it’s a full-time job. Just like being known as a student, I’m also known as an RA. And part of being an RA is doing room check every night. You have a hall partner, so you do switch off nights. We also do worships, dorm worships with the rest of our staff and Dean and hall worship with our floors. Being an RA also means coming to school early and getting training and preparation for the student body. Another side job to being an RA is that you’ll also work desk shifts. Greeting people in and out of the dorm, getting tasks done, and being a friendly face.
How many years have you been an RA? Why did you want to become an RA?
This is my first year being an RA. It’s interesting because I didn’t really look for the position, Dean Philpott reached out to me about it. But when she did bring it up to me, the first thing I thought about was my RA freshman year. Eryn Pongs, the sweetest person I know, made me feel at home. I didn’t know anyone coming to PUC and I moved across the country for PUC. So, coming here was an adjustment, but Eryn made me feel welcomed and cared about. And if I could do that for someone else, that would be the greatest privilege of being an RA.
What values have you learned by being a PUC RA?
Compassion is probably the greatest value I’ve learned so far being an RA. Checking in on my residents and seeing how they’re doing, hearing about their day/week. When residents feel like you care, they feel special. I’ve also learned a lot about communication and teamwork. This isn’t a job you can do by yourself. And having a team beside me to cheer me on or lift me up is the best thing there is.
How do you balance school and being a RA?
Something the deans taught us during our training is that we are students first. So that means being on top of my studies. When I’m not working desk or in class or being an RA, I try to get everything else done. I set hours for myself and give myself breaks when needed.
What is the most difficult aspect of your job? What do you enjoy the most?
I would say the most difficult aspect of my job is putting myself out there. I’m very much an introvert and so this job is a learning curve, going out of my comfort zone. Initiating conversation is something I must think about a lot. But something I enjoy the most is getting to know new people that I probably wouldn’t have done on my own. It’s fun to get out of my bubble sometimes. Also, I loved being on retreat with all the other RAs. Creating a community within ourselves and opening up to each other is a bond I’ll forever be thankful for.
How do you incorporate spiritual life with your residents?
This is a big thing for me because I am a pastor’s kid and I’ve loved getting to know what it’s like to have a relationship with God. But I also respect that not everyone who comes to PUC is Adventist or even Christian. On our halls, each RA has their own bulletin board and on mine, I’ve put a Prayer Request envelope. It was my goal from the beginning to start praying for the girls on my hall, the girls in the dorm, the staff we have, and myself as well. I want to be a spiritual mentor for these girls, and I want them to know that someone is praying for them. Sometimes if they can’t make it to put it on my board, they’ll tell me when I do room check. And I pray for them individually before I go to bed. Also, a lot of people from PUC follow me on my Instagram. And I make sure to reflect Christ there as well. When I have time, I’ll post small devotionals on my stories and people have told me it helps them a lot.
How do you build a community in your hall, and with other residents?
I try to connect with them as much as possible. I ask about their games if they’re athletes, I help those in the same department as me, and most importantly hall worship is a time I like to have discussions with them on larger topics.
What is your favorite thing about being a part of the PUC family?
My favorite thing about being part of the PUC family is having the same goal in mind: showing others who Christ is and developing friendships and relationships, establishing that community. Without that common ground, we wouldn’t get anywhere.
What advice would you give to someone interested in becoming a RA?
I kind of relate it to being a camp counselor. Know it’s one of the hardest jobs to have but also the most rewarding. You’re going to be on the front line, and everyone will be looking at you to see how you’re doing your job but knowing you’re making an impact in someone’s life or being an example to others makes it all worth it. If you’re nervous to apply for the position, talk to the Deans or one of the current RAs, and we’ll help you navigate through the process. Interest in becoming an RA is on your heart for a reason and I think it’s worth it to investigate those feelings that you’re having and the leadership growth that comes with it.
What are you looking forward to this year?
Something I’m looking forward to most this year is planning worships and getting to know the Deans more. When I was a resident myself, I was intimidated by them. I saw them as leaders that I didn’t know how to approach. And now working beside them, I know they’re someone I can talk to whether it be something serious or just wanting to create a friendly connection.
Andres Borrero is one of PUC’s student chaplains this year and is making sure to provide students with the best worship experience thus far. He loves being able to serve others and do so while keeping God a part of everything he’s involved in. Andres wants everyone to be involved in any way they feel comfortable and be able to see how God works through all of us. Don’t hesitate to talk to Andres if you want to participate in worship or be a part of his team!
Share with us what being a student chaplain means to you.
Being a student chaplain, for me, means being part of a team. A team in which we work together weekly to help provide opportunities for students to come together to worship and praise God. Not only that but I am responsible for overseeing many music and technology aspects for many of our programs. I do so by helping manage those aspects which are something I love to do, especially with Student-led programs, which is what has drawn me over the years.
What made you want to be a student chaplain?
For the last 3 years I have been the music chaplain of the school, and music, specifically praise music, has always been a big part of my life growing up. This year I am passing my torch as this is my last year, but very much still involved. Although I am not a music chaplain anymore, but a student chaplain, I find that now I am able to look into more aspects around school in which I can be a part of and not just music. In other words, now having more time than I used to, I now can use that time to focus on other ministries.
What are your responsibilities?
Currently, my responsibilities are managing the AV team for each service or program, which includes slides and presentations, sound, and live streaming. Also as I go through the transition of passing the torch of music chaplain I am currently training the new music chaplain. Lastly and one of my most important jobs especially for the other team members, is I am here for anything, if someone needs to talk just about life, or struggling, or would want bible studies, or simply just needs help with a program, I am here to do so.
What are the challenges you have as a student chaplain?
Currently, I do not find many challenges quite frankly. One I might find is, as students it can be hard to come together to have meetings, which would be very helpful weekly. But we are all current students which can make it quite hard sometimes.
What do you hope to accomplish as a student chaplain this year?
I hope to leave this school better than I got here, from the religious aspect on campus. I believe we are quite on track to do so, and especially with music, I would like to create a concrete system by the end of the year that can be used for the years to come and create less stress for students.
What about being a student chaplain has prepared you for your career and other aspects of your future?
Being able to take charge and shape my interpersonal skills has definitely been a by-product of being a chaplain for four years now. I now currently work in a mental health facility and can see every time I go to work how these tools that I have gained from being a chaplain I now use for my work and how I approach the mental health patients.
What advice do you have for something who is struggling with their spiritual life?
Get involved! I myself struggle spiritually even now sometimes, and as humans, I believe it is not bad to do so. But get involved whether you might agree completely with God or not. Getting involved can show you Jesus in so many ways! From the teams you work with to seeing how everything is processed and how we involve God in all we do. There is always room for more on our team!
What do you love about PUC?
PUC has such a family setting. I would walk out of my dorm and head over to the grind and I always knew everyone I passed, and they knew me! That family aspect where we really know each other is so much fun. Because of that, so many people loved to get involved and support each other when they are not, which is what I love so much about this school.
What is your favorite weekend activity?
On-campus: Definity vespers! Being a part of the rush of the whole program and when I am able to sing and lead, being able to create an atmosphere for my fellow students.
Off-campus: Going to baseball games! I absolutely love baseball!
The PUC Green Club was established last year (but restarted their club this past fall) and are on a mission to protect and better serve our beautiful planet earth. They have been working with the Napa County Resource Conservation District to help plant acorns and spreading awareness about sustainability and the environment through their Instagram @puc.green. They share tips and information about recycling, composting, and ways to reduce waste and single-use plastic.
Sarah Franklin is the public relations officer of the Green Club. She coordinates events and connects with other organizations and individuals who can help with their mission. Sarah also runs the club’s Instagram account. She kindly answered some questions for us to learn more about the PUC Green Club.
How did the Green Club get started?
At the beginning of the fall quarter, I was really interested in finding out if there was an environmental club or opportunities on campus because I wanted to get involved in an activity somehow. I found out that there was a Green Club that started last year but didn’t have much success. So the leaders, Kaylyn and Marriah, wanted to “restart” the club. As the head of Public Relations, I made a new Instagram account, and the three of us revamped our club.
How did you get started in environmental issues?
As a sophomore in high school, I took AP Environmental Science, which started my love for planet earth and grew my knowledge about issues our planet faces. In high school, I was a part of our school’s greenhouse, garden; Napa River cleanups; and acorn plantings at Alston Park in Napa. Doing these things to help the environment and our community made me feel so happy and grateful for our earth, and I want to spread those feelings to others through this club.
Have you been able to help the community during this time?
We have helped educate the PUC community through our Instagram account about sustainability, zero-waste, and plastic-free tips. I have been wanting to plan a trash pickup day at the Napa River and/or the beach, and I have been trying to set up an acorn planting event with the City of Napa as well, but things have been on hold due to Covid. So hopefully, we will start becoming more active soon!
In previous school years, our main goals were to clean up the garden at PUC for the gardening class to use and basically spread awareness about what people can do to reduce their impact on planet Earth, like recycling, composting, reducing plastic waste, and reusing/repurposing food to avoid excess food waste!
What other activities do you have planned or hope to do this year?
We are currently working with the Napa Valley Conservation District to plan acorn planting events in the valley. We also hope to coordinate some hikes and trash cleanups.
What is the most urgent issue, or issues, for the club to spread awareness about?
Sustainability is a huge issue we care about. We want to encourage people to use what they have instead of buying new things, use sustainable materials instead of plastics or synthetics which harm the environment, and shop locally to reduce our carbon footprint. There are many simple things that you can do in your everyday life that can make a huge difference, and that is what we want to educate people about on our Instagram.
How will the Green Club help these issues?
We will help these issues by educating people through our social media platforms. We are also working to organize more hands-on events such as trash cleanups, tree plantings, and hikes.
What is your favorite thing about being a part of the Green Club?
My favorite thing about being a part of the Green Club is that it allows me to have a platform to reach out to people and students in order to educate them about serious environmental issues and actions that can be done to help solve these issues.
What are the small steps we can take at home to become eco-friendly?
Use what you have instead of buying new things; When buying new things, make sure it’s something that you can use for a lifetime, not just a few months (especially prevalent with clothing); SHOP LOCAL (this helps our economy and the environment); try to opt for plastic-free items (reusable bags and water bottles, bring your own utensils, reusable straw, reusable containers for food, use bar soap/shampoo bars instead of in the bottle, etc.)
Convince me to join the Green Club in five sentences.
If you care about the environment, we would love to have you be a part of this amazing cause. Our goal is to spread awareness about how to practice sustainability and protect the environment. By joining the club, you can help spread that message to as many people as possible in order to make an important change. Even if you just want to know more about simple steps you can take to help our environment, the Green Club is for you. Check us out on Instagram to learn more, and follow us for updates on special club events for Winter Quarter. @puc.green
Follow the Green Club on Instagram to stay up-to-date on their events and to learn about environmental issues. Be a part of this great club and join them in helping make our world better one action at a time.
Meet Isabella “Abbey” Esperanza, a sophomore pre-nursing student from Vacaville, CA. She shared that she chose to attend PUC because of its location in Napa Valley and heard that PUC has a really good nursing program. Abbey is passionate about personal growth and wants to be the best person she can be.
What is your dream job?
My dream job is to be a nurse practitioner because I want to be able to help the community.
How does that compare to what you wanted to be when you were younger?
When I was young, I wanted to be a bunch of things, but I always knew I wanted to be a part of a team.
What is your favorite thing about being a part of the Pioneers family?
My favorite thing about PUC is that everyone is so welcoming. The professors and campus staff are all so helpful and want us to do well. The campus is also quiet and calm, which makes it easier to get work done.
Where is your favorite place in the world?
This is a hard question because each destination provides a different and special experience, but my favorite place is Destin, Florida. I would even live there one day! I love the beaches and vibes I get there.
If you had to be trapped in a movie for a day, what movie would you choose?
If I were trapped in a movie for a day, I would choose Mamma Mia because I love the movie and how it is based in the country of Greece.
What is something you’re passionate about?
I am passionate about personal growth. I want to become the best person I can be.
Recommend a place to go in the Bay Area on a weekend
A place I would recommend visiting is San Francisco because it is a fun city with fun activities such as shopping, good food, beaches, and more. There is always something to do on a night out!