Tag Archives: higher education

Q&A with First-Year Aviation Student Noah Noble 

Noah Noble is a freshman aviation student from Lemoore, California. Ever since Noah was a kid, he always wanted to be in Aviation, which is why he chose this program. One of the reasons he particularly chose to attend PUC is because the program would allow him to make his dreams come true and train in an environment that will prepare him for his future.  

Noah answered a few questions for us to get a glance at his first year in the aviation department.  

What made you decide to attend PUC? 

I chose to come to PUC because it was close to my grandparents, so it gave me a close connection to home. Another reason was because PUC’s aviation program allowed me to pursue my aviation dreams and train in an environment that will prepare me well for my future career.

What has been your favorite class, and why? 

My favorite class is AVIA 176. This is the beginning flying class, where you will learn the basics of flying your airplane. This is my favorite class because it allows me to explore the areas around Angwin from a view that not many get to see. We get to travel to new areas and airports, such as Yolo County, Santa Rosa, and more. 

What do you like the most about the program? 

The part I love most about the program is how helpful and close-knit the Aviation community is. The instructors are extremely helpful and are always willing to help you with whatever you need, even if it’s not aviation related. Not only that but being in the program gets you great exposure to the aviation industry. 

What are some valuable things you’ve learned from your program? 

The most valuable thing that I have learned from this program is attention to detail. In aviation, 99% isn’t enough. You always want to make sure you give 100% to everything, not only to ensure safety but also proficiency.

Can you give any advice to high school students who are interested in pursuing your major? 

For anyone hoping to be in aviation, I would say be mentally prepared to dive into a lot of work and a very fast pace. The aviation program moves quickly, and there is a ton of information to learn in a short amount of time. Another thing that people should expect is cost. Earning your private license and other pilot ratings costs a lot of money. The average price for your private pilot’s license can range from $11,000 to $15,000. 

Outside of classes, what activities or events does the program hoat during the school year? 

There is an Aviation Club called Angwin Flyers. They host many outings such as dinners, movies, and other hangouts for students to participate in. 

What is your favorite thing about being in the Pioneers family? 

My favorite thing about being in the Pioneers family is the close-knit community. You get to know almost everyone here, and they are all extremely kind and friendly. It allowed me to gain new friends quickly and build new relationships. 

Achieve Your Best On Tests

Sometimes students study so hard for a test and don’t get the exact outcome they hoped for. If your study techniques aren’t working for you, it’s time to change something about it. Here are ways to achieve your best on exams.

Make A Study Plan

Balancing your time between doing homework and studying for several classes can be tough. Making a study plan can help you stay on track of what you need to study and how long you want to spend studying. Note what specific parts you need to focus on and review. Either make this plan the night before or in the morning, so you know what needs to get done.

Go To Class

Skipping class will not help you prepare and do better on exams, so please go to class. Going to class will keep you on top of your studies, help you remember information, and feel more prepared for exams.

Take Notes

Take notes in class so you can look back on them while studying. Some teachers use PowerPoints during lectures, so write down everything and anything you know is important. Your notes will be a big resource to you and will help you prepare for your test.

Make A Study Guide

Make a study guide in advance with the notes you’ve taken and handouts given in class. If you organize your notes by terms, chapters, and sections, it’ll be easier to find what you need and be more beneficial to your learning.

(A lot of students use Google Docs to make a study guide. If you haven’t tried that yet, make your study guides there.)

Use Supplies That Helps You Learn

If you don’t enjoy taking notes or writing a study guide, use supplies that will make studying more interesting. Use colored sharpies, pens, and highlighters to make your study guide. Color code sections that you need to study more or will for sure be on the test.

Go Over Questions You Struggle With

When you study, make a little more time to go over the questions you struggle with. You won’t be able to achieve your best on tests if you go into it with uncertain answers and less confidence.

Work With Others

Find classmates that you would work well with when it comes to studying. Students have found that having a study group helps them remember the material and; gives them a better understanding of what to expect on the test.

(If you need extra help understanding a class, visit TLC to schedule a tutoring session or ask for help from your professor. PUC has resources to help you succeed!)

Work Ahead

Don’t wait until the week of your test to start studying. Work ahead and start writing out the information you will need to know. The earlier you study, the more ready you will be for the test.

Take Breaks

Take breaks so you don’t overwhelm yourself or burn out. You’re going to be gathering a lot of information, so give yourself and your brain a break.

Get A Good Night’s Rest

Getting a good night’s rest will make a difference in how well you do on your test. You’ll be more alert and won’t feel tired or sluggish.

We hope some of these tips help you. Study habits are important in college and it’s good to establish them early. Work hard, take care of yourself, and pray. You got this!

Alumni Profile: Alex Chang, Publisher of ‘Your Corner’ 

PUC alum Alex Chang (B.S. in Chemistry with a Biochemistry Emphasis ‘19) recently published a book titled, Your Corner. The book is about his experience with missions- including stories from his time as a PUC student missionary. After Alex’s first year as a missionary, he received great advice, mentors, teachers, lessons, and experiences he felt might be beneficial to share- so Alex started writing during his first year of medical school and finished writing after three years. Your Corner shares Alex’s experience as a student missionary and is intended to inspire people towards the global and local mission, as well as a closer walk with good.

Tell us about your book. What inspired you to write and publish it? 

Everyone has a corner. It may be comprised of friends, family, church members, classmates, local community (even including the cashier at your grocery store), or a global community. I believe that God has called everyone to be missionaries. All are local missionaries. Some are called globally as well. In this book are stories from the mission field, thoughts on how to optimize a local or global missions experience, and inspiration to follow God’s calling and purpose for our lives.

This book can be used as a devotional book to prepare student missionaries for their service, to help guide local and global missionaries, or for those simply interested in reading about the experiences and lessons a student missionary on the island of Pohnpei learned after two years of service.

Additionally, I wanted to create a book that would help both local and global missionaries in each season as they prepare for their ministry, while they are involved with it, and once they are done with their ministry or time abroad. At the end of the day, my hope is that this book is an inspiration to embrace our God-given calling to be missionaries, either local, global, or both.

You include stories from your time as a PUC student missionary. Who encouraged you to be a student missionary? 

I believe it actually started multiple generations ago. My great-great-grandfather on my mom’s side and my great-grandfather on my dad’s side were missionaries. My grandfather on my dads was a missionary for multiple decades in Southeast Asia, and my father was a mission trip leader for our local church. Missions have always been engrained into our family identity and culture. The seed for serving as a student missionary was watered early from stories shared by my youth pastor in 4th grade, Garrison Chaffee. He shared stories of his time on the islands as a student missionary. This in combination with mission spotlight at church, church presentations of recent mission trips, student missionary presentations at Leoni Meadows, and eight short term-mission trips my family took me on really grew my passion for missions. 

What are your best memories of being a PUC student missionary? 

The exciting memories I love to share are swimming with manta rays, breathtaking sunsets with colors I feel like I had never seen before, racing dolphins on our boat, drinking fresh coconuts on screensaver beaches, and experiencing bioluminescent water while stargazing with basically zero light pollution. The deep, meaningful memories that come to mind are moments laughing with my students, playing ocean tag on an island with my senior class, being a human jungle gym at recess for the elementary students, singing songs with the high school for chapel, and hanging out with the 16 or so student missionaries every single day.

How did your time at PUC impact your spiritual life? 

PUC had a massive impact on my spiritual life. I always share with others that one of PUC’s greatest strengths was its support of its students in ministry. PUC made it very easy to get involved with worship music, spiritual leadership, or even start new programs or churches. A couple of faculty come to mind that played a big role in my spiritual development such as Jim Roy, Pastor Jonathan Henderson, Pastor Kent Rufo, Pastor Mark Witas, Pastor David Carreon, Fabio Maia, and so many other faculty. We had incredible support during the time we started the student-led church, “The 12”, and I had incredible support and mentorship not only in my spiritual life but also in my academics and how that affected my decision to be an SM. I used to meet with Kent Davis with ideas of finishing college a year early so I could go as an SM and finish in four years. Dr. Davis always responded with a wise, personally life-changing phrase, “What’s the rush?” I ended up staying an extra year in the mission field, met my now-fiancé that second year, and made even more lifelong memories and friendships. My time at PUC was filled with an amazing culture of passionately pursuing God together as a school. Vespers, church services, dorm worships, and the faculty all were very influential for me.

What advice do you have for students interested in being a missionary? 

Being an SM was hands-down the best two years of my life. My time as a student missionary gave me purpose, passion, direction, growth, lessons, experiences, and friendships that have filled my life to the brim and overflowing. In my opinion, the question is not “whether or not to be a student missionary”, but “where are you going to serve as a missionary.” Other than choosing to follow Jesus, I don’t believe there is a better decision than to choose to be a missionary. I would encourage anyone interested and those who had never considered it to pray about potentially serving as a student missionary.

What have you been up to since graduating from PUC? 

I am currently in my last year of medical school at Loma Linda University. I am applying to an Orthopedic Surgery residency this year, and I have dreams of returning to the mission field to serve as a doctor. I am getting married in the spring of 2023 and am excited for what God has in store for the next chapters of my life!

Q&A with PUC’s Pre-Med/Dent Club President Emily Smith

Pre-med/dent Club President Emily Smith is a senior majoring in management for medical professionals. She joined the club as a freshman in 2019, which at the time was more active but had to stop events due to COVID. Once PUC opened the campus to all students this year, Emily ran for president to get the club running again. With many pre-med/dent students, Emily wants to create a club to make their educational journey more fun. 

Tell us about the Pre-Med/Dent Club. 

The Pre-med/Pre-dent club’s purpose is to provide resources and activities that prepare Pre-med/Pre-dent students for graduate school. We bring in speakers that talk about the admissions process and answer any questions students may have. We also have several fun activities such as trivia/game nights, movie nights, suturing tutorials, and health fairs. 

What motivated you to run for president? What do you enjoy the most about being president? 

I joined the club in 2019 as a freshman when it was much more active. The club stopped having events once COVID hit since we could no longer meet. I saw this year as an opportunity to get the club up and running again, so I ran for president. My most favorite part about being president is interacting with all the new pre-med/pre-dent students. I like being able to give them advice on courses, the admissions process, etc. Also, all the newbies have so much energy so it is refreshing!

What activities or events does the club have planned for this year?

We have plans for a few speakers this year. Speaking of which, we have a podiatrist speaking on November 15th via zoom, so please check our Instagram page for updates about the meeting info. We also are having a pre-vespers at the President Trecartin’s house on November 11th, so please come! The club has plans for a suturing tutorial, a collab with NSA to learn some basic skills (taking vitals, injections, etc), game/trivia nights, movie nights, etc. Make sure to follow the club on Instagram for event announcements. We are also open to any suggestions from students, so do not be afraid to reach out!

What are your goals for the club?

My hope is to make more students aware of the club. We have a large number of pre-med/pre-dent students on campus, so I want to create a club that can make the pre-med/pre-dent journey a little more fun. 

What is your favorite thing about being a part of the Pre-Med/Dent Club?

I like that you get to meet other students that are going through the same things you are. It can be rough especially if you are the first in your family to take this academic route. Meeting other students that are on the same journey makes things a little more manageable. 

To future students who are interested in joining, what would you like them to know? 

Join! We would love to have you! I hope to see you at our upcoming events!

Come Transfer To PUC

Interested in transferring schools? Come to PUC! Our lively community is filled with friendly, kind-hearted people who are ready to help you pursue your passions, grow spiritually, and get you to where you want to be. Here are other reasons why you should consider transferring to PUC. 

PUC has over 70 degrees and programs 

Whether you’re undecided, switching programs, continuing your desired major, or interested in taking up a minor, PUC has a range of degrees and programs. Once we receive your transcripts, we’ll assist you in getting into classes.

Gain A Trustee Advisor 

You will have an academic advisor from your program who knows everything about your major and will always be there for you. They are dedicated to helping you navigate your college experience and set you on the right path for your desired career. 

Have A Support Team 

Just as your advisor will always help you out, so will others. The Teaching and Learning Center offers tutoring and advising services, and the Career and Counseling Center provides career tests and counselors you can meet with for free. 

Network and Build Connections 

Another thing your advisor will assist you in is building your connections and getting you out there to network. From the tech industry of Google to the marketing world of Airbnb to the medical field of Loma Linda University, PUC is well connected to people from all over the world working in different areas of work. 

Grow Spiritually 

Our student’s spiritual development is just as important as their academic progress. PUC is devoted to having students gain a spiritual experience and grow closer to God every day. Students join PUC chaplain Kent Rufo on outreaches and lead worship services and events for everyone to enjoy. Every staff and faculty member is also there to help you on your spiritual journey. 

Make Lifelong Friendships 

Through your department, intramurals, clubs, events, work and living in the dorm, you will meet so many people here and most of them will be your lifelong friends. The relationships you make here will leave a beautiful mark on your college experience and life.

Our transfer student counselor, Kharolynn Pascual Smith, is committed to helping students through the transfer process. You can contact her at kharolynn@puc.edu or call (800) 862-7080, option 2, with any questions or concerns you have. No matter where you are in your program, you can still transfer with the credits you have. Visit our website to get more information. We hope you join our Pioneer family!

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.

“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!

Important Offices To Know As A PUC Student 

The school year has started, and for those who are new or need reminding, we want you to know some of PUC’s offices that will benefit you and your education.

Student Finance 

Financial planning for college can be overwhelming, which is one your financial counselor is committed to working with you through the process and addressing any concerns, confusion, and complications you may have.

Academic Records 

Academic Records keeps track of all your credits and is the place to add a class or drop one. If you decide to change majors or add a minor, the academic records office is where you’ll get that done. 

Student Wellness Center 

Across the main campus is the Student Wellness Center, which provides personal and career counseling and offers testing services. For counseling, qualified counselors will sit, listen, and help you with anything you’re going through. If you haven’t decided on a major, that’s okay! PUC’s career counselors will talk you through career options to find a major that would be a good fit for you.

Teaching & Learning Center 

Tutors at the Teaching and Learning Center (TLC) are here to assist you with those classes that need extra attention. TLC offers small group and one-on-one tutoring sessions, a writing lab; and makes accommodations for those with learning disabilities. If you’re a student veteran, PUC’s key task force members will work with you to make your transition to college life as smooth as possible.

Academic Advisor 

Your academic advisor is a valuable resource to you- whether it involves school, jobs, internships, or even life in general. With work and internships, they’ll connect you with people they know, and from there, you’ll continue to network and get your foot in the door. Your academic advisor wants you to succeed just as much as you do, so let them assist you in any way possible.

These are just five resourceful offices to familiarize yourself with. You might find other offices of use as the school year goes by. You can always check the campus map to know where each building is located. 

Refreshed; Reset; Re-Energized

By Becky St. Clair

Let’s just start with the whole point of this blog post, so if you don’t make it past the first two sentences, you’ll at least leave with the one thing I want to make sure you know: Things feel good here at PUC. 

Now, what prompted this statement (and this blog post) was the pleasant surprise I experienced during last week’s Colloquium. Because here’s the truth: PUC administration pulled off one of the best all-employee meeting sessions I’ve ever experienced.

For those of you who don’t know, Colloquium is a two-day series of meetings before classes start fall quarter, intended to bring all faculty and staff together in one place to engage in professional development and get a sense of what’s happening on campus as we prepare for another academic year.

And this year, these meetings were truly fantastic on multiple levels. The presentations were informative and, in some cases, quite entertaining, and I felt like they built on each other as the two days went on. The order of the presentations seemed very intentional, making sure we all felt comfortable in our groups before asking us to discuss philosophical realities and ideals as a team, and so we would walk away inspired, with action steps to move forward. 

I will take a moment here to explain the groups. When we arrived Monday morning we were given name tags with numbers in the corner corresponding with table numbers, meaning we couldn’t sit just anywhere; we had to sit at our randomly assigned tables. So right off the bat, the introverts were freaking out, and the extroverts were bemoaning the fact that they couldn’t all just gather at a table together and talk the whole time. (Don’t argue—you all know I’m right!) 

I’m not gonna lie—I went into the meetings that morning with trepidation. The emails reminding us about these meetings in the weeks leading up to them mentioned things like “team-building” and “bonding” and “activities” and “comfortable shoes,” so I was…hesitant. 

But, after a couple of hours of listening to presenters, laughing at well-placed one-liners from various presenters, and whispering with members of my table comments or questions about what we were hearing, I suddenly realized something: I was enjoying myself. 

I was loving getting to know the people at my table, which included individuals from eight different departments on campus, both staff and faculty, most of whom I’d never spoken to before). I learned that Cesar, who works in facilities, has a great sense of humor, in addition to his fabulous mustache. I learned that Lorenzo, who teaches theology, puzzles deeply over recruitment and retention and looks for ways to contribute to those efforts whenever he can. I learned that three years ago, Abraham, our cross-country coach, couldn’t even run a mile, and now he has the personal experience to empower other runners to improve, too. I learned that Erwin, who works in the career center, has a cheerful, comfortable smile that makes you feel at ease. I learned that Bakil, a biology professor, has a passion for getting prayer groups together and truly believes in (and acts with) the power of prayer. 

And then Monday afternoon came. The hour of reckoning. The moment we’d all been simultaneously intrigued by and terrified of: “The Amazing Race: PUC.” 

In those first few moments you could sense the hesitancy as administrators stood in front of the room and explained the activity. Honestly, it felt a little like high school when the teachers had prepared an icebreaker the students actually thought sounded fun, but until the “cool kids” admitted it sounded fun, no one was willing to jump in. 

And then the Cool Kids (aka: Lindsay Morton, associate academic dean) stood up and asked, “Okay, which team is the most determined to win? Because I’m going to join you!” Cheers rang out from several teams, and Lindsay hurried over to one of them.

The ice was broken. A sea of faculty and staff streamed out of the Fireside Room doors, rushing to their team’s first location. It was truly beyond anything I think any of us had imagined—in the best way possible. And I’ll admit: Seeing the Student Life AVP running up the Clark Hall steps in dress slacks was fantastic. Noticing the associate director of facilities getting a break from being on call 24/7 and having fun made me so happy. Racing to the president’s office next to an executive assistant from across campus as we playfully heckled each other (“You’re goin’ DOWN!”) was a hoot. Also, you haven’t lived until you’ve seen a group of eight college employees each shoving Big Franks in their mouths in tandem.

The overall feel of these two days of meetings was incredibly positive. Though yes, there are still challenges PUC is working to overcome, I left after the last session feeling optimistic about the college’s future (and my place in it) for the first time since those rose-colored “new job” glasses came off a few months after I started here. And I’m not the only one who felt that; in chatting with a fellow employee after the meetings, they expressed that they, too, felt positive about the direction of the college for the first time in years. I suspect there are far more than two of us who felt refreshed, reset, and re-energized.

It was a huge feat administration accomplished at Colloquium—building team camaraderie and school spirit, while inspiring us to do our best going into this new school year after the last several difficult years.

So to President Trecartin, Academic Dean Mariano, Associate Academic Dean Morton, and Associate Vice President of Human Resources Stacy Nelson: Thank you. Thank you for inspiring hope, encouraging joy, and building community. Thank you for giving us the chance to learn and grow, for reminding us of the value of play, and for reconnecting us as a community. May you and your fellow administrators have the strength and courage to continue to lead PUC charging full force with optimism and determination into the coming year.

Faces of PUC: Beldina Opiyo 

Beldina Opiyo is a pre-nursing student from San Pablo, CA. She originally wanted to be a doctor, but now wants to be a neonatal nurse or a child therapist to help kids flourish. She chose to attend PUC because she wanted to grow intellectually and spiritually, and felt PUC would guide her through her journey. We are very happy Beldina is a part of our Pioneers family!

What is your dream job?  

I want to be a neonatal nurse if not I want to be a child therapist, I love to help the little ones and watch them grow. I want to help them flourish.  

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

I wanted to be a doctor when I was young but only for the money. I did not know what being a doctor entailed and what I wanted to specialize in.  

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

Everybody genuinely is here to grow and have a fun time and the way I see people support each other every day is very heartwarming.  

Where is your favorite place in the world?  

I have not been to many places yet but I love nature a lot. I think the place that I enjoyed nature the most was Yosemite.  

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

Emma by Autumn de Wilde   

What is something you’re passionate about?  

Dancing  

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

Golden Gate Park