News: Alumni

Alumni Couple Answers ‘I Do’ to ‘Who Loves Penn College?’

On the other side of the camera while a student photographer at Penn College, the former Whitnie-rae Mays makes a radiant photo subject with her dashing new husband.

On the other side of the camera while a student photographer at Penn College, the former Whitnie-rae Mays makes a radiant photo subject with her dashing new husband.

Heavy morning rain left town in time for the alumni nuptials.

Heavy morning rain left town in time for the alumni nuptials.

Graduation wasn’t the only milestone event at Penn College over the weekend. Alumni Whitnie-rae Mays, who holds a 2012 associate degree in advertising art and a 2014 bachelor’s in applied technology studies, and Timothy D. Haldeman,’11, manufacturing engineering technology, feel such a connection to the campus that they were married in front of Madigan Library on Saturday.

More Than 900 Graduate in Spring Commencement Ceremonies
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Seeming superheroes keep their date with a diploma.

Pennsylvania College of Technology held three commencement ceremonies May 15-16 for more than 900 students who petitioned to graduate following the Spring 2015 semester. The Friday afternoon proceedings at the Community Arts Center honored students from the School of Business & Hospitality and the School of Construction & Design Technologies. The School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies and School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies and the School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies were featured Saturday morning, while students from the the School of Health Sciences and the School of Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications graduated during the afternoon session. Student speakers were Matthew J. Glodowski, of Hainesport, New Jersey, awarded a bachelor’s degree in building science and sustainable design: architectural technology concentration on Friday; Andrew S. Manley, of Cogan Station, who earned two bachelor’s degrees – information technology sciences: gaming and simulation, and software development and information management on Saturday morning; and Bethany M. Reppert, of Minersville, who received a bachelor’s degree in applied human services Saturday afternoon. The college also bestowed three Excellence in Teaching Awards and three alumni awards.

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Penn College Honors Three Alumni at Commencement

Pennsylvania College of Technology bestowed honors upon three alumni during Spring 2015 commencement ceremonies held May 15-16 at the Community Arts Center, Williamsport.

Adam J. Yoder, of Gaithersburg, Maryland, received the Alumni Volunteer of the Year Award on May 15. Joseph H. and Barbara A. Reynolds, of Williamsport, were presented with the Humanitarian/Citizenship Award during the same ceremony. Michael K. Patterson, of Oval, received a Mentorship Award on May 16.

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Four ‘Sustainable’ Seniors on Their Way to Architectural Grad School

Four soon-to-be alumni of Penn College's four-year building science and sustainable design major are heading to graduate school. From left are Cody J. Wood, of Berwick; Reece A. Gonsar, of Halifax; Kendel F. Baier, of Jersey Shore; and Ryan J. Litzinger, of Patton. (Photo by Carol A. Lugg, assistant dean of construction and design technologies)

Four seniors from Penn College’s building science and sustainable design bachelor-degree major will be heading off to graduate school, the largest number since the program’s inception in 2011.

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Employee-Focused Centennial Event Returns in Year No. 101

On what was likely the hottest day of spring, the picnic tent offers welcome shade.

On what was likely the hottest day of spring, the picnic tent offers welcome shade.

Crissy L. McGinniss, director of dining services, doubles as bingo caller.

Crissy L. McGinniss, director of dining services, doubles as bingo caller.

Alumnus George E. Logue III serves up succulent pulled pork and citrus chicken

Alumnus George E. Logue III serves up succulent pulled pork and citrus chicken.

Friendly competitions include volleyball in a summery sand pit ...

Friendly competitions include volleyball in a summery sand pit …

... and a few rounds of Wildcat Corn Hole, here played by teammates Barry L. Loner, facilities supervisor, and Brenda A. Wiegand, internal facilities coordinator.

… and a few rounds of Wildcat Corn Hole, here played by teammates Barry L. Loner, facilities supervisor, and Brenda A. Wiegand, internal facilities coordinator.

An end-of-semester employee picnic, held for a second year due to its popularity during Penn College’s 2014 Centennial, was held in and around the Field House on Friday. Co-workers formed teams for a variety of competitive (and a number of less-cutthroat) games, retirees returned, sunshine and good company prevailed, raffles tempted prize-hunters, and alumnus George E. Logue III served phenomenal fare from his Acme Barbecue takeout and catering restaurant.

Graduation Ends (for Now) Family’s 20-Year History at Penn College

The Bird family, of Canton, has sent five sons to Penn College since 1995. From left, Ross; Guston; their mother, Janice; Mitchell; their father, the late James ("Jim"); Jennings; and Seth.

When T. Mitchell Bird walks across the Community Arts Center’s stage on May 16 and receives a bachelor’s degree, he will turn the page toward a new life and end one of the longest, unique chapters in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s history.

Mitchell will become the last of five siblings to earn a degree from the college. Since 1995, at least one “Bird brother” has been enrolled at the institution. Counting Mitchell’s pending graduation, the five brothers, all Dean’s List students, have earned eight degrees.

“Some people will say they can’t afford Penn College. I say, ‘You cannot afford not to go to Penn College,’” says matriarch Janice Bird, 69. “You get a good job in your field after you graduate. All our boys are doing well. They received an education to obtain not only a beginning position, but they all moved up. I’m 100-percent Penn College.”

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Penn College to Hold Three Commencement Ceremonies May 15-16

Pennsylvania College of Technology will hold three commencement ceremonies May 15-16 at the Community Arts Center in Williamsport for more than 900 students who are expected to graduate following the Spring 2015 semester.

On Friday, May 15, at 3 p.m., a ceremony will be held for graduates from the School of Business & Hospitality and the School of Construction & Design Technologies.

A ceremony for graduates from the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies and the School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies is scheduled for Saturday, May 16, at 10 a.m.

On Saturday, May 16, at 1:30 p.m., a ceremony will be held for graduates from the School of Health Sciences and the School of Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications.

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Father-Son Project Transports Longtime Mentor Back to Campus

Johnathan L. (left) and Robert Capps, with their collaboration outside College Avenue Labs

Johnathan L. (left) and Robert Capps, with their collaboration outside College Avenue Labs

Robert Capps, a 2013 recipient of an Alumni Mentorship Award and a frequent face at campus Career Fairs, returned to Penn College on Friday in a Cobra that he built with his son last year. Capps, of Allan A. Myers (formerly American Infrastructure) and his son, Johnathan L., built the vehicle in their home garage, finishing it just in time for the young man to drive it to his senior prom.  The elder Capps drove it to Williamsport from just outside Philadelphia to meet up with Johnathan and his friends.  Capps’ son is a student in the mechatronics engineering technology major, a member of the Baja SAE Team and a competitor in last weekend’s Green Grand Prix in New York state.
Photo by Debra M. Miller, vice president for institutional advancement

Horticulture Grads Put Experience to Use as ‘Field Day’ Judges

Horticulture alumni returning to Penn College as Field Day judges (from left): Tyler J. Fatzinger (2014), Cory M. Ferreri ('12), Nicholas B. Cramer  ('08), Melissa D. Berrier-Cramer  ('08), Jeremy L. Thorne  ('13), Nicholas D. Foreman  ('14), and Joseph D. Plummer  ('97).

Horticulture alumni returning to Penn College as Field Day judges (from left): Tyler J. Fatzinger (2014), Cory M. Ferreri (’12), Nicholas B. Cramer (’08), Melissa D. Berrier-Cramer (’08), Jeremy L. Thorne (’13), Nicholas D. Foreman (’14), and Joseph D. Plummer (’97).

Students in the hardscape competition prepare the base for brick pavers.

Students in the hardscape competition prepare the base for brick pavers.

High school students create floral designs for the judges.

High school students create floral designs for the judges.

Alumnus Joseph D. Plummer (center) joins current students in working with high school competitors in the Plant ID contest.

Alumnus Joseph D. Plummer (center) joins current students in working with high school competitors in the Plant ID contest.

A student "sells" his landscape design to judges Nicholas B. Cramer and Melissa D. Berrier-Cramer.

A student “sells” his landscape design to judges Nicholas B. Cramer and Melissa D. Berrier-Cramer.

The Horticulture Department recently hosted the fifth annual High School Horticulture Field Day competition at the Schneebeli Earth Science Center. The event is based on the National Collegiate Landscape Competition that Penn College students regularly attend, sponsored by the National Association of Landscape Professionals. This year, two schools – Central Pennsylvania Institute in Bellefonte and Williamsport Area High School – brought a total of 22 students to the Allenwood area campus on April 10 to compete in contests such as hardscape installation, sales presentation, floral and corsage design, plant identification and equipment safety. Seven alumni of the program returned to judge, with help from current students. “This is a great day to showcase what we do for these high school students,” horticulture instructor Carl J. Bower Jr. said. “Faculty, staff and administration all come together to help put on a great day for the students. Having our alumni on hand gives them the chance to help mentor these young folks and share their experiences in the industry. The students get to learn firsthand some of the opportunities in this field.”
Photos by Bower; Deborah C. Books, secretary to the dean of transportation and natural resources technologies; and Becky J. Shaner, alumni relations specialist

College Holds First ‘Lavender Graduation’

G. Patrick Butler, a 2007 computer information systems graduate now working for Amtrak in Philadelphia, recounts what attracted him to Penn College in the first place: the people, the personal interaction and the positive attitude of a clerk in the Wildcat Express convenience store.

G. Patrick Butler, a 2007 computer information systems graduate now working for Amtrak in Philadelphia, recounts what attracted him to Penn College in the first place: the people, the personal interaction and the positive attitude of a clerk in the Wildcat Express convenience store.

Sara H. Ousby (left), the college's associate director of student activities for diversity and cultural life, congratulates Bethany M. Reppert for her selfless campus/community activism. "She doesn't do things for the credit," Ousby said. "She simply does what she thinks is the right thing to do."

Sara H. Ousby (left), the college’s associate director of student activities for diversity and cultural life, congratulates Bethany M. Reppert for her selfless campus/community activism. “She doesn’t do things for the credit,” Ousby said. “She simply does what she thinks is the right thing to do.”

PC Alliance President Wesley G. Ginnick honors his organization's partners.

PC Alliance President Wesley G. Ginnick honors his organization’s partners.

The keynoter (center) is reunited with Student Affairs personnel from his Penn College days. From left are Kimberly R. Cassel, director of student activities; Elliott Strickland, chief student affairs officer; Katie L. Mackey, coordinator of off-campus living and commuter services; and Timothy J. Mallery, assistant director of residence life.

The keynoter (center) is reunited with Student Affairs personnel from his Penn College days. From left are Kimberly R. Cassel, director of student activities; Elliott Strickland, chief student affairs officer; Katie L. Mackey, coordinator of off-campus living and commuter services; and Timothy J. Mallery, assistant director of residence life.

Penn College’s first Lavender Graduation – celebrating the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students and their allies – was held Friday evening in the Thompson Professional Development Center. Alumnus G. Patrick Butler, a student during the founding year of the PC Alliance organization, was the guest speaker for the event. “I was proud to be there at the beginning and even more proud to be here tonight,” he said. “And I’m proud to see my alma mater moving with the times.” Such events, now held at nearly 50 colleges and universities nationwide, are an educational opportunity for the entire campus community, Butler said. “We are all people and expect to be treated as such. We live in a very interdependent world; do we go through life with fists up or open hands?” The graduation paid tribute to Bethany M. Reppert, of Minersville, who will receive her Bachelor of Science degree in applied human services in May. In welcoming remarks by President Davie Jane Gilmour and in the keynote address, the senior was reminded of the personal and professional resource that Penn College represents. “Your education is a framework, a starting point, a running start to your career,” Butler told her. “Put your degree to work – not just for you, but for the betterment of society.” The night included honors for a number of others that have supported PC Alliance in its advocacy. Receiving kudos from organization President Wesley G. Ginnick, a construction management student from Altoona, were Sigma Pi fraternity, the Wildcat Events Board, Student Government Association, Equality Central PA and The Planet Bar in downtown Williamsport. The graduation was the culmination of Pride Week, which included campus speakers, films and a symposium.

Williamsport Technical Institute Reunion Marks 15th Year

Forty-five graduates of Williamsport Technical Institute, a predecessor of Pennsylvania College of Technology from 1941-65, gather for a group photo on campus.

About 50 graduates of Williamsport Technical Institute, a Pennsylvania College of Technology forerunner, attended a 15th annual reunion on April 17.

The event, held in the college’s Thompson Professional Development Center, provided an opportunity for alumni and their guests to enjoy lunch, reminisce and hear presentations by six students enrolled in aviation maintenance, automotive restoration and construction technology majors.

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Longtime Aviation Faculty Member Named Assistant Dean

Walter V. Gower

Walter V. Gower has begun duties as assistant dean in the School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

A 25-year faculty member, Gower most recently was assistant professor of aviation at the college’s Lumley Aviation Center in Montoursville.

“Wally Gower is an excellent addition to the leadership team in Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies,” said Paul L. Starkey, Penn College’s vice president for academic affairs/provost. “Wally has great experience as an educator and is respected by his peers and students. His enthusiasm for student success will be of great benefit to the school and the college.”

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‘Props for Profs’ Applauds Advocates, Supports Students

"Props for Profs"

“Props for Profs”

A fundraising initiative launched on the Penn College Alumni Relations Facebook page encourages all segments of the campus community to make a gift – to give “props” – on behalf of a faculty or staff member who has influenced their lives. “I know that our faculty and staff change lives and form lifelong connections with alumni, their colleagues, parents and other friends of the college,” President Davie Jane Gilmour said in announcing the Props for Profs campaign. “And I look forward to seeing the outpouring of thanks for their hard work.” Alumni, parents, friends and employees are all encouraged to donate by midnight Friday;  those sharing “props” can enrich the Penn College Fund for as little as $5, providing scholarship support, helping to purchase state-of-the-art lab equipment, and funding student travel that leads to hands-on experiences in real-world environments.

Reception Acknowledges Gifts Integral to Student Success

Debra M. Miller, vice president for institutional advancement, talks with William Knecht, who, along with his wife, supports the Marie E. Knecht Scholarship.

Debra M. Miller, vice president for institutional advancement, talks with William Knecht, who, along with his wife, supports the Marie E. Knecht Scholarship.

President Davie Jane Gilmour thanks Virginia Thompson, treasurer of the Williamsport Hospital School of Nursing Alumni Association, which reached Heritage Society status on the Donor Wall.

President Davie Jane Gilmour thanks Virginia Thompson, treasurer of the Williamsport Hospital School of Nursing Alumni Association, which reached Heritage Society status on the Donor Wall.

The Donor Wall offers a reflective backdrop for Elizabeth A. Biddle, director of corporate relations, and friends.

The Donor Wall offers a reflective backdrop for Elizabeth A. Biddle, director of corporate relations, and friends.

The earliest arrivals mingle in the SASC lobby, a stellar setting for a distinguished event.

The earliest arrivals mingle in the SASC lobby, a stellar setting for a distinguished event.

The president welcomes guests, honorees' gifts by her side.

The president welcomes guests, honorees’ gifts by her side.

Individuals and corporations alike were recognized Tuesday night during the 11th annual reception for Friends of Penn College who provide significant support or planned gifts. Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour recognized new contributors and those whose ongoing benevolence in the past year elevated them to a new category on the Donor Wall in the Student and Administrative Services Center lobby.

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100-Year Memories Safely Cocooned … Until College Sesquicentennial

The General Services crew undertakes a weighty task.

The final activities of Penn College’s illustrious Centennial observance – the filling, sealing and installation of an institutional snapshot from that 2014 celebration – took place this week in a first-floor corner of Madigan Library. Various historical and commemorative items were loaded into the time capsule on Thursday, and the contents were sealed with argon gas the following day. On Wednesday morning, the high-grade, stainless steel container was maneuvered into a glass-block repository built by the School of Construction & Design Technologies. The time capsule and its archival treasure will remain undisturbed until reopened in 50 years. A montage of Centennial activities, colorfully and energetically composed from a year’s worth of photos, has been incorporated into a video on the Penn College YouTube channel.

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Countdown to the Centennial logo

2014 marks a milestone in the institution's rich history, from the inception of adult classes in the Williamsport Area School District in 1914, through its evolution into Williamsport Technical Institute, Williamsport Area Community College, and present-day Pennsylvania College of Technology. Read about the institution's history →

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