Tag Archives: student life

Faces of PUC: Christian Junior De Jesus

Sophomore student Christian Junior De Jesus is a BBA finance major and communication minor from Manchester, New Hampshire. He dreams of being the CEO/Founder of a Fortune 500 company and is passionate about entrepreneurship. His favorite thing about being a part of the Pioneers family is being an RA, the friendships he’s made, and events at PUC.

What is your dream job? 

CEO/Founder of a Fortune 500 company

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

I wanted to be a computer engineer like my father, but as I grew older I realized that it wasn’t my life purpose.

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

The RA life, friendships I make, and events I participate in.

Where is your favorite place in the world?

New York City because the skyscrapers remind me of what I can accomplish in life.

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

The 300

What is something you’re passionate about? 

Entrepreneurship and Personality Systems 

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

Santa Clara

Pioneers Profile: Jazlynn C. Hardy

Jazlynn Hardy is a sophomore marketing communication major from Florida who plays guard for PUC’s women’s basketball team. Her favorite thing about being a part of the Pioneers family is how they always support each other on and off the court and she is looking forward to growing chemistry with her teammates this season. 

What values have you learned by being on the team? 

To persevere even when things aren’t looking good because it’s always possible to turn things around with the right mindset.

What are you looking forward to this season? 

I’m looking forward to learning more about the game I love and growing chemistry with my teammates.

How do you balance your time between school and sports? 

I try to keep a planner to keep myself organized so I make sure I get everything I need to get done throughout my day. 

What’s your pregame song?

Anything Lil Baby. 

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

We always have each other’s back throughout anything, whether on or off the court. 

Can you share any advice for high school students interested in being college athletes? 

Never stop putting in work, whenever you think you’ve reached your limit push some more and it’s okay to fail and try again. 

Who is your favorite athlete? 

Probably Kobe because I admire his work ethic and dedication. 

What are other things you’re passionate about? 

My friends and family.

RA Feature: Madeline Lo 

Senior Madeline Lo is the first-floor RA for Winning Hall from Stockton, CA., studying to be a nurse. She didn’t consider being an RA until Dean Seibert reached out to her, which made her decide to be an RA for the first time this year. Being an RA made Madeline step out of her comfort zone, which allowed her to take on leadership roles, make new friends, and learn more about herself. 

Tell us about being a RA. What motivated you to be an RA?

Well, this year is my first time as an RA. I didn’t even consider being an RA, but Dean Seibert reached out to me, and after our conversation, I decided I could try to be an RA. There are a lot of duties that RAs have. As an RA, you are the one that gets to know the students that live on your floor. There is always the process of planning for the next hall/ dorm worship. Being an RA means you are a part of the staff that comes early to prep for move-in and leaves school after everyone has gone home for break.

What values have you learned by being an RA?

Being able to work within a team and creating a sense of community are values I’ve learned as an RA. My partner and I have held a couple of hall worships, and we love to do artsy things. It allows us to wind down from our busy day and just relax. It’s very therapeutic!

How do you balance school and work?

Being an RA is a huge responsibility. You have to learn to prioritize your classes and activities. I try to find a balance between my duties as an RA and my school work by writing down the things I need to do on my weekly schedule and also being flexible when things change. I find that working on homework during the day is better so that I can manage other things later in the day.

Can you share with us the most challenging thing about being an RA? What do you enjoy the most about your job?

Being an RA for me means getting out of my comfort zone. It has allowed me to take on roles as a leader and facilitator. I’ve made new friends while learning new things about myself. I’ve enjoyed communicating with my residents and getting to know them. I love doing room checks at the end of the day and just seeing how everyone’s doing.

How do you incorporate spiritual life with your residents?

My RA partner and I have hall worship every Wednesday, where we incorporate devotions, prayers and converse with our residents. We also have dorm worships on Thursdays, where the residents in the building can come and worship as a whole. When I do room checks, I ask my residents if they have prayer requests. Asking those questions lets them know that someone is praying for them.

How do you build a community in your hall, and with other residents?

We schedule hall worship so the residents can become familiar with each other. I think seeing a familiar face during worship and on campus allows them to connect and build a community.

What advice would you give to someone interested in becoming a RA?

I would say, if the opportunity comes, take it. You get to meet new people and organize events for your residents. You can gain valuable experiences. And the best part is you get to have your own room!

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

My favorite thing about being a part of the Pioneer family is that the community is so welcoming and warm. I was coming into this position as a newbie and there were so many people that were helpful and just wanted me to succeed.

What does being an RA mean to you?

To me personally, being an RA means having to be available at all times for my residents and creating an accepting environment that promotes a sense of community.

Faces of PUC: Allison Arenas-Sosa

Coming from Omaha, Nebraska, is freshman business major Allison Arenas-Sosa. While looking at Adventist colleges, she wanted to find a school where she could continue growing spiritually and close to God. Allison shared, “The help I received to be here was always very attentive to me and that made me want to be at PUC.” 

What is your dream job? 

It is to work in an office where I can do what I like to do and enjoy doing it, in a pleasant and healthy environment.

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

When I was younger, I wanted to be a teacher because my mom studied that, and when I was teaching, I helped her, and I liked what I was doing, but later I discovered other things and new hobbies that made me change my mind.

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

That they are always willing to help others in any way they can, and the joy they share.

Where is your favorite place in the world?

“Mar Azul” is a beach in the city where I grew up in Mexico. When I’m there, it’s like escaping from the world. Everyone is carefree, enjoying the sea, the company, the sunsets, and the atmosphere in general. It’s very relaxing and gives me peace.

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

Back to the Future, to be able to travel in time.

What is something you’re passionate about? 

Listening to music, taking pictures, and painting. I love to do any of the 3, they bring me moments of happiness in which I feel good about myself.

Faces of PUC: Taytan Bereket

Meet one of our new Pioneers, Taytan Bereket. She’s a biotechnology pre-med student from Riverside, CA., and is passionate about lifestyle, growth, and her relationship with Jesus. By the end of her senior year of high school, Taytan had a feeling she would attend PUC. “I’m glad that I made that decision,” she shares. “And I am so blessed to be here.” 

What is your dream job? 

My dream job is to be a neurologist or neurosurgeon. I’ve always been interested in the way the brain works, especially in the area of medicine. Maybe one day I’ll own/be a founder of a facility that works with diseases in the brain like Alzheimer’s, brain tumors, etc., receiving treatments, from natural remedies and receiving healthy foods, and to dedicated nurses and researchers. 

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

I wanted to be a doctor when I was five, then wanted to be an actor for some reason- I don’t know what I was thinking, and then I wanted to be a counselor during my sophomore and junior year, it wasn’t till senior year where I knew exactly what I wanted to be.  

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

I love the beauty of the campus and the teachers as well. You could tell that they are dedicated to the things that they teach and that is something that I appreciate. At times, I don’t want to go to class, but when I arrive in class, the hospitality that the professors here give you makes you feel like you are at home, making the day better. 

Where is your favorite place in the world? 

I love to go to the beach! The sounds of the waves and the feeling of the air and the sun give you peace. 

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

A Journal for Jordan

What is something you’re passionate about? 

I am very passionate about lifestyle, growth, and my relationship with Jesus. Also, I love music and learning things about music in different genres. 

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

I’m not from the bay area, I’m from Socal haha. But I’ll say from what I know, go to Oakland or San Francisco, they have wonderful sights that you can drive through, walk or take pictures of. 

Faces of PUC: Frances Velarde 

Frances Velarde is a nursing major from Arizona. She found her calling to be a nurse and dreams of working in pediatrics. One of her favorite things about PUC is being in a welcoming community that helps her grow spiritually. 

What is your dream job?

My dream job is to be a pediatric nurse.

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

I always wanted to help people and educate others when I was younger and become a teacher, but today, I feel like my calling is to be a nurse instead, and I’m very passionate about it.

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

My favorite thing about being part of the Pioneers family is that a lot of the people here in PUC are very wholesome. It’s nice to have a community of people that make you feel included and help you grow spiritually.

Where is your favorite place in the world?

Wherever my friends are because I feel happiest when I’m with them.

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

Crazy Rich Asians

What is something you’re passionate about? 

Music 

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

Daeho, because they have bomb food.

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  

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! 

Pioneers Represent at Student-Athlete Council Summit 

(PUC student-athletes Madison Kindred & Nathan Hiss on the far right, second row.)

The Student-Athlete Council Summit is a yearly event hosted by the commissioner of the Cal Pac, where representatives from all Cal Pac schools meet and come up with proposals to make the student-athlete experience better by addressing topics that need changing and revising athletic programs as a school and conference. PUC athletes Madison Kindred (women’s volleyball) and Nathan Hiss (cross country) were chosen to represent our college athletes amongst 10 of the 13 Cal Pac schools at this year’s summit to form the 2022-2023 Student Athlete Council at Cal Maritime in Vallejo. 

As SAC representatives, Madison and Nathan’s responsibilities are to ensure that the Cal Pac is responsive to the needs of PUC athletes and resolve the many issues student-athletes face. By doing so, they attended various meetings discussing leadership, emphasizing making a lasting impact on their school’s athletic department and those enrolled in the Cal Pac and NAIA. They met other representatives, participated in team activities, attended a speech by Admiral Copper, and worked closely with the commissioner to create plans and goals for each school. “Our goal at the university level is to represent student-athletes and work with administration to solve the issues that arise throughout the school year and implement lasting solutions,” said Nathan.

Out of all the sessions, the one topic that stood out to Nathan and Madison was mental health and how they can better support student-athletes by addressing their mental health needs. “This stood out the most because it was a universal problem across the schools represented at the summit. This is important to cover because of the extra stress added to athletes throughout their education and athletic careers,” shares Madison. Nathan added, “This topic was deemed as top priority in our council as each school’s athletics department has suffered from struggles arising from mental health.”

From what Madison and Nathan learned from the summit, they both will take action to create a SAC at PUC composed of members from each sport and meet throughout the year to resolve team and department issues and become leaders on our campus.

A Leap of Faith in Italy 

Natalia Gomez recently flew back to her hometown of Santa Barbara after spending most of her summer studying abroad at Villa Aurora in Italy. Applying through ACA (Adventist Colleges Abroad), she saw that she didn’t know anyone in the program but decided to take a leap of faith and go on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure before her senior year. By facing her fears, Natalia met amazing people on campus, learned Italian, explored new places, and indulged in delicious food every day. From her “HOT!, inspiring, and yummy” time in Italy, Natalia couldn’t have asked for a better study abroad experience.

How has your time in Italy been? 

My time in Italy has been great! I’ve been able to visit and explore a new Italian city every week as well as really familiarize myself with Florence. It’s pretty exciting to be living in Florence and find my favorite spots to study or get gelato. I have definitely indulged and gotten gelato almost every day I’ve been here. School in Italy is not structured the same as back home, and learning a new language comes with its challenges, but it has been a lot of fun learning a new language and immersing yourself in the culture. I’d definitely say that I’ve gotten the most practice with speaking in Italian through talking with salespeople or waiters at restaurants. I didn’t always understand what they were saying at first or even what I was saying, but it made for some funny moments, and after a few weeks, I got the hang of it. I’m definitely not fluent, but I’ve really enjoyed being able to speak with locals in Italian as best as I can. 

What inspired you to study in Italy?

I have to be honest, the foodie in me is what really determined me to study in Italy. I love pasta, and I love ice cream, and the thought of having the best of the best in Italy, on a regular basis? Sold! But of course, I also thought it would be really exciting to make new friends from all over the world. I really enjoyed going on an ADRA missions trip a few years back, and I made incredible friendships from that experience, and I was also hoping the same would come out of studying abroad! I actually took a really big leap of faith and decided to go abroad alone, without knowing anyone else in the program. And after my time here, I honestly would recommend going even if you don’t know anyone. 

Describe your typical day studying abroad.

My typical day abroad: I wake up around 7 a.m. to get ready for breakfast at 7:30 at the caf or a quick trip to a nearby cafe. Then I go to classes from 8:40-1:15, usually getting some snacks from the vending machines during class breaks. Once I’m out of classes, I run over to the caf for lunch to be in the front of the lunch line because lunch is the best meal of the day on campus! And after lunch, some friends and I take off to our favorite spots to do homework and study. Then we explore Florence or go shopping before dinner. If I don’t eat dinner in town, I go back to campus for dinner, but regardless- I will always go out with friends after dinner for gelato. Then it’s time for an ice-cold shower before bed, it’s so hot in the summer, that’s the only way to fall asleep peacefully. (keep in mind, I was in Italy during Europe’s record-breaking heat wave). I usually fall asleep around midnight. 

What have been your favorite things about studying abroad?

Surprisingly meeting new people has been my favorite thing! I’m actually a pretty shy person and studying in Italy without knowing anyone seemed scary at first. However, I’ve met amazing people while being here, from students to teachers and the volunteers who work on campus! I’ve had so much fun going out with everyone here that I’ve actually already made plans to travel and go out with some new friends after returning home! 

What will you miss the most about your time abroad? 

That’s tough, I miss so much! But I’d have to say exploring Florence in the afternoons after school was the best time. Practicing our Italian, finding new places, trying new foods – just adventuring without a plan was so fun! Some of the funniest memories came from us just taking advantage of our time and exploring. Was there an afternoon where at one point there were dark clouds and lightning off in the distance? Yes. Did we have jackets or umbrellas? Nope. Did we get caught in a rainstorm and end up running in the rain all over the city? Yes, we did, and it was one of the funniest nights ever. Truly just do it all!

Recommend an Italian dish or restaurant. 

Medici’s has the best gelato and this has been confirmed by multiple locals! I went here almost every day of the summer- all the flavors are amazing! Although I’d have to say that Stracciatella is my favorite flavor of gelato, and this was the best place to get it. Everywhere else I went did not compare.

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

Just go for it! Don’t let any of your fears or worries stop you from having once-in-a-lifetime experiences. It sounds so cheesy, but when else will you have the opportunity to be 18-22 ish running around a foreign city with friends, trying new foods, seeing beautiful landscapes, and learning about another culture? It’s probably one of the last times you’ll have a summer camp type of experience before you graduate and start working.