Tag Archives: PUC student life

Learn About PUC’s Business Club from President Melisa Lopez

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

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

What made you want to be involved with the club?  

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

What is your favorite thing about the Business Club?  

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

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

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

How can students get involved? 

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

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

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

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

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

SA Feature: Alexander Chuquimia, President 

Meet this year’s student association president, Alexander (Alex) Chuquimia. If you told him his freshman year that he would be SA president his senior year he would not have believed you. Previously being a part of the student senate, Alex was encouraged to run for SA but never saw himself doing that. After taking a leap of faith last school year, he became executive VP and moved to a bigger role for his last hurrah at PUC. Now, as Alex finishes his pre-medicine degree, he loves being PUC’s SA president. 

Tell us about being SA President.

I love being in this role! By being the SA President, I have had the privilege of building connections with a diverse group of driven individuals, many of whom I might not have crossed paths with otherwise. Through my tenure as the SA President, I have practiced the soft skills of leadership- including effective communication and time management. I know these invaluable qualities will serve to enrich my personal and professional life for years to come.

What motivated you to run for President?

If you told me I was going to be SA President when I was a freshman, I would not have believed you. The first person that encouraged me to run for SA was my friend Aileen when I was in the Student Senate. She advised me to run for the office of the SA Executive VP, a role I originally could not see myself in. But I took a leap of faith in that opportunity and ultimately enjoyed that role. Last year, I was again encouraged by others to run for the office of SA President. This time, I was more confident in what I was doing.

Leaders are not always sure of themselves at first. If you have any desire to lead, you should act on it. If SA does not seem like your jam, join a club! Or join Intramurals and be part of a sports team! All these roles will teach you crucial skills that will prepare you for the future.

What to you is the most important role or duty as President?

My most important role as President is being there for the other SA officers. In my role this year, I have been an advisor and teacher, giving pointers and voicing my thoughts on things. Typically, the SA President has the most experience in a new SA team; therefore, they tend to be in the best position to provide other members of the SA with help. However, the President is also tasked with various committees and special projects that occur behind the scenes.

What is your leadership philosophy?

My leadership philosophy in SA has been to prioritize the students’ viewpoint over anything else. Essentially, students are my focus. The Preamble of the SA Constitution and Bylaws states that SA exists to “represent the needs of the student body.” In other words, your SA officers are here for you if you need anything at all!

What do you enjoy the most about being a part of SA?

What I most enjoy about being in SA is my team. Though the official roles stay relatively consistent from year to year, the dynamic of the SA team changes. I often bounce ideas off Natalia Gomez, our PR/Marketing VP, and she gives the best feedback. JR Rogers, our sponsor and advisor, can take any idea I have for the campus and formulate it into a plan. He has been a huge help to us with basically everything. Emily Smith, our Executive VP and future doctor, manages a 17+ person Senate, encouraging them to fulfill our SA mission in representing student needs. Paola Velazquez, our Financial VP, keeps us on budget and is super timely. Keren Castro, our Photographer, is present at SA events snapping photos and spreading her contagious laughter. Eden Salazar, our Social VP, is receptive to our ideas on fun events for students and is a great communicator. Ashley Castro-Rodriguez, our Religious VP, is always on top of things, managing our weekly Vespers programs and the Campus Ministries social media page. Fabiola Ixcot and Marguerite McHenry, our Co-Videographers, bring humor and creativity to our meetings through their comedic timing and the fun films they produce. Adwoa Appiah-Boateng, our secretary with a great sense of humor, provides a valuable voice and freshman perspective in our meetings. I feel privileged to be a part of this year’s story, with such a dynamic group of individuals. I am grateful to my team for everything they have done this year and everything they have helped me to do, as well as those things we have yet to do!

Do you have a favorite SA event? 

My favorite SA event has to be the Spring Banquet! It is basically our trademark event and an event most people will remember after college. Students dress up fancily and gather to celebrate the year’s memories. There is always so much life around the Spring, too, as the campus warms up and the flowers bloom. The Poor Man’s Banquet is my other favorite event which is hosted in the Winter quarter. Last year we went to Six Flags, which was a lot of fun!

How can students have their voices and concerns heard by the student leaders on campus?

If a student has an idea or concern, they can always get in touch with me or with any SA officer! Oftentimes, a specific student concern is addressed by one senator. That senator will write up a Senate bill that will be voted on by student senators. If the vote passes, the Administration will review it and determine whether or not to approve it. Many bills end up affecting daily campus life: the frozen yogurt machine in the Grind is one example!

Can you share any events that will be happening this quarter?

We have our yearly SA banquet coming up on Sunday, May 21 at the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena! We are currently selling tickets for students. Follow us @puc.sa on Instagram for timely updates and an opportunity to win free tickets!  

What are your favorite things about PUC?

What I love most about PUC is the people. In general, the students and staff around campus are friendly, and all of my professors are there to provide help when needed. The one-on-one time you get with professors is something you would not get at larger institutions. Another one of my favorite things about PUC is the surrounding flora! In past years, I often hiked the Back 40 with friends to Inspiration Point and took in the view after a good workout. I also love the religious aspect of PUC, with its lively community church and its focus on one’s relationship with God. Throughout my time here, I have had many opportunities to be part of praise teams and worship programs—even a worship trip to Texas!—which were all blessings and provided me with good memories.

Get Excited About PUC!

With the school year starting on September 26, we could go on and on about why you should be excited about going to PUC, but cut it down to 10 reasons:

Making New Friends 

The friends you make at PUC will last a lifetime. You won’t just make friends in your department, but from other classes, clubs, school events, and through your other friends. You will be surrounded by so many incredible people who will encourage, support, and uplift you throughout your college experience and beyond. 

Creating New Memories 

With new friends comes new memories. You’re having a whole new life at PUC and you will be creating unforgettable memories. Take pictures at events and when you and your friends hangout. It’s always nice looking back at pictures and being reminded of your fondest moments at PUC. 

Living In The Napa Valley 

Living in the Napa Valley gives you the ability to explore different cities and venture out into the trails of the back 40, breathtaking mountains and pretty beaches. From cute towns like St. Helena to venturing out into San Francisco, there are endless places to enjoy. It is truly one of the best things about attending PUC.

Joining Clubs 

PUC has over 30 clubs– from different cultures, interests to majors, there is something for everyone. If you want to start your own club, you can do that too! There is a club for everyone to dive into their interests and hobbies and share them with others. 

Participating in Intramurals 

Intramurals give you the opportunity to step away from your studies and join your friends in playing different sports. Throughout the year, you can choose to participate in football, basketball, volleyball, futsal, baseball, and other sports. It’s a lot of fun and you’ll be able to hangout with your friends you don’t see much and make new ones as well. Check Rec Radio for intramural updates. 

Worshiping & Serving with Campus Ministries 

PUC offers a variety of worship services and outreaches. Our faculty and staff make it a priority to support your spiritual life and; provide you with opportunities to share your faith and learn more about Christianity. There are weekly dorm worships, Bible studies, and student-led vespers, church services, and outreaches on and off-campus. PUC also offers short to long-term mission trips to other countries. However you like to worship, you will be able to do so at PUC. 

Going to Games 

PUC has a lot of school spirit, and the energy during games is electrifying. Students make signs, wear their PUC gear, and are able to meet other students. Even if you aren’t big on sports, going with your friends and cheering our Pioneers is a fun experience to be a part of. 

Learning More About Yourself 

With the changes college brings, there is so much room for growth and learning more about yourself. You’ll find new interests, goals and; start making your way into the life you want to create while learning how to be the best version of yourself.

Embracing Your Independence 

Going to college is the first time for some students to be independent. If this will be your first time on your own, it can feel overwhelming, but the community you will have at PUC keeps you grounded and will be there for you each step of the way. 

Being A Part of the Pioneers Family

No other university will give you the care, support, and warmth like the Pioneers family does. From your professors, deans, RA’s, friends, and other faculty and staff, we will make sure you are comfortable and are on the right path to success. We welcome everyone and are happy to make our campus your home away from home. 

We hope you are just as excited as we are to have you at PUC! This is going to be one of the best times in your life! 

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!”

Faces of PUC: Karina Saavedra 

Karina Saavedra is a nursing student from American Canyon. She is a driven student who aspires to have a career that will always challenge her and feels like nursing is a perfect choice. Karina also enjoys doing calligraphy and spending time with her friends during her free time. 

 What is your dream job? 

My dream job is to one day be a CRNA: Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. I love to challenge myself, and I have always aspired to have a career that will constantly challenge myself every day. I want to care for and save my patients’ lives. I want to be an advocate for them. I love working with people and giving them a reason to see another day! 

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

As silly as it may sound I wanted to work at Target. As a kid, I was obsessed with the idea of being a cashier at Target.  

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

The Pioneers family is naturally very welcoming and loving—I love this the most about being a part of the Pioneers family. From the moment I arrived on campus, I instantly felt at home with the numerous people that made me feel like I had a new family.  

 Where is your favorite place in the world? 

My favorite place in the world is the Phi Phi Islands in Thailand. I went island hopping on all six islands of Phi Phi, and it was the most beautiful site in the world. I love nature as well as being in the water. I was able to swim in the ocean and the lagoons of various islands.  

What show are you bingeing these days? 

I am currently bingeing on Avatar. I love the show so much, this is my second time watching the entire series! 

What is something you’re passionate about? 

I love to do calligraphy in my free time, so writing is something I am personally passionate about. Writing/calligraphy is something that’s helped me cope with my stress in college.  

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

Growing up around San Francisco, I do have some personal favorite places to go to. If you love to walk around and enjoy the scenery, I recommend taking a walk around Bernal Heights Park, Fort Point, or walking around Sausalito. If you love sweets and coffee like me, I recommend Mr. Holmes Bakehouse. There are also many countless shopping areas and restaurants all over the Bay Area!  


Meet Dean Hernan Granados

When you arrive at PUC and begin exploring your new home away from home, you’ll likely want to know just who is in charge of your living space. We’ve made that easy for you! Over the next few weeks, we’ll be featuring all of our residence hall deans here on the blog so you can get to know them all. And if you need to contact them, feel free to reach out!

Name: Hernan Granados
Dean of: Newton Hall
Phone: (707) 965-7409
Email: hgranados@puc.edu
Dean since: 2006

Have you always been a dean?

No, actually; before coming to PUC, I was serving as a pastor.

What does a typical day at the residence hall look like for you?

There are no typical days. Every day is different, and that is what I love about my job.

What about your work is the most rewarding to you?

Definitely seeing the men grow as people and into gentlemen.

When you’re not deaning, how do you enjoy occupying your time?

I really like being outside. Either on the water in my boat or on the green, golfing.

What do you love most about PUC?

Well, considering the outdoors is my favorite place to be, it has to be the mountains and the clear air here.

So when you were a kid, did you want to be a pastor and a dean?

No; I actually dreamed of becoming an architect, but God led me in a different direction.

What did you study in college, then?

I studied theology. When I graduated, I went to work for the Southern California Conference.

In your line of work, you often serve as a mentor to others. Tell me about a mentor who has been invaluable to you.

Jim Boyd, a former dean here at PUC who just retired this year. He respects people and is willing to help others. He truly cares for people.

One last personal question: What’s one of your favorite movies, and why?

Dead Poets Society is hands-down my favorite movie. I love how Robin Williams’ character really cares about his students. He challenges them and also is there for them when they need him the most, helping the young people to think outside the box and guiding them when they need it. Most of all, I enjoy how he spends time with them and shows them how much he cares for them not only as students but as individuals.

Meet Dean Kristi Horn

When you arrive at PUC and begin exploring your new home away from home, you’ll likely want to know just who is in charge of your living space. We’ve made that easy for you! Over the next few weeks, we’ll be featuring all of our residence hall deans here on the blog so you can get to know them. And if you need to contact them, feel free to reach out!

Name: Kristi Horn
Dean of: McReynolds Hall
Phone: (707) 965-7478
Email: khorn@puc.edu
Dean since: 2003

So what were you doing when you decided to accept this job?

I lived and worked in Temecula and San Diego, working for a non-profit residential/foster care facility as a therapist for abused and neglected children and adolescents.

Tell me about a typical day for you in McReynolds.                      

I try to enjoy leisurely mornings because once I step out the door, I will hit the ground running to committee meetings, lunch with my awesome coworkers, driving my mom here and there, appointments with my students and deans staff, making time for exercise and fun time, all with the goal of leaving my office by 11 p.m. Once I’m home for the night, I spend some time with God, and then curl up with my cat and a good book.

What you love the most about your job?

The long-term relationships with students and coworkers, watching students grow and mature from year to year, and looking back and seeing growth within myself.

So in that rare free moment, what do you enjoy doing?

Reading, hiking, trips to the coast, going on random drives with no destination in mind.

What do you love most about PUC?                                        

Location, location, location!                        

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?        


What did you study in college, and where did you go?   

I earned a B.A. in psychology from Southern Adventist University, and then an M.S. in marriage and family therapy from Loma Linda University.

What are some things on your bucket list?          

I want to be a contestant on The Price is Right, I would love to do a driving/hiking tour around Ireland, and I want to own my own home.

Fair warning: We’re gonna get personal here. Name something you obsessively collect and tell me why.       

Books! You can find so much diversity in books. They’re fun and challenging and take me to places I can only dream about. They teach me and stretch my imagination and encourage me to be a better person. They give me the courage to stand up for my relationship with God and for what I believe to be right. (I have at least 500 actual books and probably another 200+ on my phone. I’ve read about 90 percent of them.)

Wow! Okay, out of all the books you’ve read, tell me about one that changed your life and/or your worldview.         

Saint Ben, by John Fischer.

Meet Dean Juan Hidalgo

When you arrive at PUC and begin exploring your new home away from home, you’ll likely want to know just who is in charge of your living space. We’ve made that easy for you! Over the next few weeks, we’ll be featuring all of our residence hall deans here on the blog so you can get to know them all. And if you need to contact them, feel free to reach out!

Name: Juan Hidalgo
Dean of: Grainger Hall
Phone: (707) 965-6387
Email: jmhidalgo@puc.edu
Dean since: 2017

What were you doing prior to being hired as dean?

I was finishing my degrees here at PUC in psychology, Spanish, and nursing.

What does a typical day look like for you?

7:30 – wake up
8:00 – workout
9:00 – breakfast
9:30 – house/office work
12:00 – lunch
1:00 – siesta
2:00-5:00 – office/house/errands
6:00 – dinner
7:00 – night workout (basketball/sauna/run in back 40)
8:00-11:30 – Uber driving
Midnight – bedtime

What do you find most challenging about your work?

I think the most challenging part would have to be explaining to other people all the things deans do.

What do you find most rewarding?

When students see we are truly here to help, not to hinder.

What are some of your hobbies?

I have a lot, but most of them are pretty active. I enjoy getting outside and moving, so some of my favorite hobbies are sports (Ultimate Frisbee, basketball, golf, football, disc golf), photography, music (guitar, ukulele, harmonica), exploring, and adrenaline-rich activities. I also really enjoy sleeping.

What do you love most about PUC?

I absolutely love the family dynamic we have. We are a little (okay, very) dysfunctional at times and may not always get along, but there is something special about being up on this hill with everyone that brings us together. We have laughed together, cried together, fought with each other; but at the end of the day, there is something very uniting about knowing someone else has gone to PUC and in turn, is also part of the family.

So, you earned three degrees here at PUC. What was it you wanted to be when you were a kid?

Honestly, I wanted to be a grown-up. Now I regret it all. Haha!

What are some things on your bucket list—some you’ve checked off and some you’re still working toward/hoping for?

On my bucket list can be found a lot of traveling; I have always wanted to explore Africa and China. But some of the specific things I still have to do on my list are as follows:

Deep-sea shark cage diving
Attend an Andrea Bocelli concert
Meet Kobe Bryant
Launch my own photography business
Complete an IronMan
Earn Ph.D.
Visit the Pyramids of Giza
Play my harmonica on Bourbon Street in New Orleans
Climb Half Dome
Visit all of the Disneylands

Some of the specific things from my list I’ve done already:

Graduate college
Skydiving (x4)
Watch “Gladiator” in the Coliseum
Win the TV show Fear Factor Live
View Africa from the rock of Gibraltar
Stand in center field at Chavez Ravine aka Dodgers Stadium

Name something you obsessively collect and tell me why.

I collect instruments; I love to challenge myself to play new ones. I may not be good, but I love to try!

Meet Dean Gena Philpott

When you arrive at PUC and begin exploring your new home away from home, you’ll likely want to know just who is in charge of your living space. We’ve made that easy for you! Over the next few weeks, we’ll be featuring all of our residence hall deans here on the blog so you can get to know them all. And if you need to contact them, feel free to reach out!

Name: Gena Philpott
Dean of: Andre Hall
Phone: (707) 965-7461
Email: gphilpott@puc.edu
Dean since: 2004

So, what were you doing before you came to PUC?
I worked as the head dean of girls at Gem State Academy in Idaho for eight years. I also taught art and yearbook there.

What does a typical day look like for you?
The thing I think I love most about my job as a dean is even though we have regular daily duties, responsibilities, and meetings to attend as in any other job, the exciting thing about it is my day can change at a moment’s notice depending on what might be happening with a student or situation on campus.

But, in a typical day, I’ll double-check the nightcheck count to make sure everyone is safe and accounted for. Then I answer texts, messages, and emails. It’s during that process I typically find out about happenings that will be changing my intended schedule for the day. Some of those happenings may include a shopping run for food requested by RAs for an upcoming residence hall event; checking on an overflowing sink or toilet; running someone to a doctor appointment when Health Services is short on resources; mediating a fight between suitemates over who isn’t doing their part in keeping the restroom clean; listening to a students talk about their relationships and giving advice on how to handle or what to say in order to resolve something. There are truly a thousand different scenarios that could be all in my day’s work. Think parenting/mentoring to 580 young ladies—shared between four people 24/7.

What do you find most challenging about your work?
Finding balance in all things—between responding to above-mentioned extenuating circumstances, to students, to paperwork and disruptions in normal schedules, while still maintaining and carving out time for a marriage, family, friends, and a personal life.

What do you find most rewarding?
I love it when I see students maturing from freshman year to senior year—overcoming things that hold them back and learning to enjoy life and the new skills they are learning for life.

What are some of your hobbies?
I love traveling and exploring with my husband—from camping in wild places to discovering the awe of lava in Hawai’i. I also enjoy reading and attempting to make favorite comfort foods lighter in calories—although I have a hard time with that since most of my recipes start with a stick of butter. I find pleasure in art—from watercolor painting to ceramics to graphic design. I have some nerdier hobbies as well—maybe this isn’t the best place to go into those.

Besides the students (because we know they’re really the best thing ever), what do you love most about PUC?
Aside from getting paid to interact with young minds every day, I would say I love working with a team of colleagues who understand and support me as a dean. It helps to have people who know the job and can relate and tag-team in crisis situations. I also love that PUC is willing to have the hard conversations even when the PR surrounding the conversations aren’t always understood. Continually asking ourselves why we do things as a church and educational community is important for our growth both mentally and spiritually. I love the fresh eyes, energy, and pictures of Jesus that young minds bring to PUC.

Let’s travel back in time a bit. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was three, I had big goals to become a “cat farmer.” Ironically, I became allergic to cats at age 12, and I took that as a direct sign I should maybe look at a different career path. Then I wanted to work as a designer and graphic artist for Review and Herald. I was wowed by Harry Anderson, Lars Justinen, and Nathan Greene’s artistic work. But it wasn’t until I joined the residence hall staff in college as a student dean and worked for the English department I found my true calling—education. After spending a year as a taskforce dean and art teacher at Upper Columbia Academy in Washington State, I was hooked for life and haven’t looked back!

What did you study in college?
Like most college students, I changed my major many times but ultimately ended up with a double major, earning degrees in both English and computer graphic art with minors in religion and secondary education. I feel I have been able to use all the indecision and different major changes to lead me to be a better dean and educator—to serve my residents even better than I could have if I had been single-minded in my ambitions. I can reassure students changing career paths is ok, learning is a lifelong process and they can change it up as they grow and mature and gain new insights and interests.

So tell me what a dean has on her bucket list. Okay, okaylet’s not speak for everyone. What’s on your bucket list?
I’ll start with some fun things I have done already. I went to Hawai’i two summers ago—that’s where the lava comment above came from. It’s hard to describe the amazing emotional experience to see molten rock flowing, cooling, and actually creating more earth as we know it. If you didn’t understand the majesty of the creator, you see and feel it when you get a chance to witness it in person. The second thing I was able to do from my bucket list while there was swim in the open ocean with sharks—no cages. That was also a spiritual experience. Adrenaline-filled, yes, but still just amazing and I was truly awestruck. Something I would do again in a heartbeat.

And for the to-do bucket list, I would love to go to Europe with my husband—Switzerland, Austria, France, and Italy. I have been to Spain and Morocco years ago and would love to be able to explore more of all the historical places—too many to name. I would love to stay in one of those igloos with glass ceilings and view the northern lights in Alaska or Norway, and they have hotels in Norway where you can see the wolves—I always thought that would be cool, as well. And then there’s Bora Bora and Brazil … the list goes on!

Any final words? Leave us with some wisdom!
Haha! I’ll do my best.

To be a dean is to be a life skills educator. What is taught outside the classroom can improve your academic achievements beyond what a person thinks they may be capable—from time management, to integrity, ethics, modesty, budgeting, healthy eating, sleeping, exercise and relationship habits. We try to slip ‘Adulting 101’ between all the o-chem and anatomy lectures. And I truly do love it.

Meet Dean Lunelle Bertresse

When you arrive at PUC and begin exploring your new home away from home, you’ll likely want to know just who is in charge of your living space. We’ve made that easy for you! Over the next few weeks, we’ll be featuring all of our residence hall deans here on the blog so you can get to know them all. And if you need to contact them, feel free to reach out!

Name: Lunelle Bertresse
Dean of: Graf Hall
Phone: (707) 965-6522
Email: lbertresse@puc.edu
Dean since: 2013

So what were you doing prior to accepting a position as dean here at PUC?
I was working as the head girls’ dean at Milo Academy in Oregon.

What does a typical day look like for you?
It’s hard to pin down a typical day—you never know what you’re going to get! But my morning always starts with a debate with myself: Breakfast, or an extra 20 minutes of sleep. Once that’s settled, I do my devotions, go to my office, goof off at some point with my students, and then get back to work. I have a bit of personal time in the afternoon (Sherpa Kitchen, anyone?), come back to the office in the evening for my second shift, and end my day with a little cereal, Netflix, and a book.

Tell me what you find most rewarding about what you do.
I love seeing the growth in the students. Being and becoming a young adult is a journey, and seeing the students hit those milestones and having that connection with them is the best. I also absolutely love those sit-down chats where we crack open life situations and get into the nitty-gritty.

All right, let’s get personal: What are some of your hobbies?
I love music and the fine arts, whether it’s singing at church or going to a concert or a play. I also enjoy reading, hand lettering, watching sports (Go Miami Heat!), and exploring cities.

Sounds like you really love your life! What is it you appreciate most about PUC?
I love the night skies here. Back home the city lights are extremely bright, so I love to stargaze up at the PUC airport. I also loooooove my coworkers. They keep me grounded and they are the best to hang out with.

College students get asked a version of this all the time, so now it’s your turn! What did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was four, I decided I wanted to be a lawyer, then a Supreme Court judge. I also wanted to be an archeologist/ballerina/interior designer/party planner—all at the same time. Dream big, people!

So where did you choose to attend college, and what did you study?
I studied social work at Southern Adventist University.

Since we’re looking at the past, what are some things on your bucket list you’ve already checked off?
Visiting a tiger sanctuary (Thailand), learning how to double dutch jump-rope, and going to Italy.

Is there anything on your list you’re still working toward?
Yes! I still want to participate in an archaeological dig in Egypt, learn how to trapeze, see Hamilton, and start my own non-profit (that one’s another story for another time).

You mentioned you enjoy reading. Tell me about a book you’ve read that changed your life and/or worldview.
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. It really broke down and helped me see the love God has for us. The one and only book that has made me cry like une bebe.

Okay, let’s stick with the media theme: What’s one of your favorite movies and why?
Oh golly! That is such a hard question as it changes constantly. Currently, it is The Greatest Showman. Putting the true character of the real-life P.T. Barnum aside, I love the message of the movie: There is beauty in diversity; be accepting and loving. And the soundtrack? Every. Song. Is. Gold.