News: Alumni

Hundreds Enjoy ‘Parent & Family Weekend’ Festivities
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Kyani L. Lawrence (center), a first-year pre-nursing major from New Rochelle, New York, who also served as a Connections Link this summer, poses with her family in Wrapture.

Pennsylvania College of Technology’s three-day Parent & Family Weekend, in which hundreds of participants joined with their favorite students to help celebrate the institution’s Centennial, offered a packed calendar of activities that included informal access to the president and senior administration, entertainment, food, games, tours and a popular “mocktail” competition.

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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 →

Equipment Rodeo, Presentations Showcase State’s Energy Producers

Welding students Daniel J. Peppernick, left, of Spring Run (welding and fabrication engineering technology) and Teague W. Ohl, of Cogan Station (welding technology) help visitors to use a virtual reality welding simulator.

Welding students Daniel J. Peppernick, left, of Spring Run (welding and fabrication engineering technology) and Teague W. Ohl, of Cogan Station (welding technology) help visitors to use a virtual reality welding simulator.

Rex E. Moore, ShaleNET U.S. consultant and instructor, talks with a visitor.

Rex E. Moore, ShaleNET U.S. consultant and instructor, talks with a visitor.

Joseph P. Hanstine, of Lakewood, maneuvers the bucket under a PVC cage to pull a sled without knocking either the soccer ball from the sled or the tennis balls from the cage.

Joseph P. Hanstine, of Lakewood, maneuvers the bucket under a PVC cage to pull a sled without knocking either the soccer ball from the sled or the tennis balls from the cage.

Sheldon N. Smith, of Harleysville, carefully places a pipe.

Sheldon N. Smith, of Harleysville, carefully places a pipe.

August graduate Ashley M. Baker, of Coudersport, plucks a soccer ball from its perch on a traffic cone.

August graduate Ashley M. Baker, of Coudersport, plucks a soccer ball from its perch on a traffic cone.

Penn College was among participants in Saturday’s PA Energy Games at the Lycoming County Fairgrounds. The event featured educational exhibits, a heavy equipment rodeo, panel discussions and musical performances. The college was well-represented at Hughesville, with three student teams enrolled in heavy construction equipment technology: operator emphasis competing in a heavy equipment rodeo with industry representatives. In addition, David C. Pistner, director of energy initiatives for the college’s Workforce Development & Continuing Education, moderated a question-and-answer session on Education & Training. In the exhibit hall, Penn College employees and students staffed a busy booth with information about the college’s ShaleNET initiatives and its welding; heating, ventilation & air conditioning; and building sciences majors.

One-Time Bonus Payment Available to State’s Persian Gulf Veterans

Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs

Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs

The Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs reminds Pennsylvania veterans that they have until next Aug. 31 to apply for a special one-time payment to honor their service and sacrifice if they served on active duty in the Persian Gulf Theater of Operations from Aug. 2, 1990-Aug. 31, 1991. To apply, visit the department’s Persian Gulf Veterans Bonus website.

Prospective Employer to Recruit on Campus

Acero Precision

Acero Precision

Representatives of Acero Precision will hold an information session with Penn College students and alumni at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 9, in Room 155 of College Avenue Labs. For more details, including available positions and desirable majors, consult the Career Services flier: Acero Precision

Inside and Out, Events Offer Student Options as Ample as Day’s Sunshine

Sun, shade and dozens of chances to get involved: There's something for nearly everyone at Fall Fiesta!

Penn College students seeking paying jobs and personal enrichment found a varied menu at the ninth annual Fall FIESTA (Friends, Involvement, Employment and Socializing on a Tuesday Afternoon) and the corresponding Part-Time Job Fair, at which employers and nonprofits alike served up a smorgasbord of spare-time opportunities. The events, co-sponsored by Student Activities and Career Services, were held from 3-5 p.m. Tuesday on the mall outside the Breuder Advanced Technology and Health Sciences Center and the nearby Thompson Professional Development Center.

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From Student Design to Employee Application, ‘It’s a Wrap’

A former FedEx Express 727 cargo plane has been repainted and wrapped with a design appropriately reflecting Pennsylvania College of Technology's innovation and technology.

In an impressive reversal of tradition – the custom of unwrapping a present before showing it to others – Pennsylvania College of Technology has actually enhanced a gift’s value by covering it.

A Boeing 727 airplane, donated to Penn College in March 2012 after being retired from FedEx Express cargo service, was recently (and attractively) sheathed in vinyl in a project that began with a graphic-design class and eventually involved several academic schools and college employees.

Adding to its primary role as a real-world training tool for students at the Lumley Aviation Center in Montoursville, the institution’s largest single corporate donation now doubles as its biggest billboard. The repurposed plane greets visitors to the Williamsport Regional Airport, including those who will attend the college’s Open House on Sunday, Oct. 26.

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Academic Mentors Provide Resource for Student Success

Joshua I. Bobenrieth, a recent electronics and computer engineering technology graduate from Port Allegany, meets with his academic mentor, Karen E. Wright, a graduation assistant in the Registrar's Office.

For a first-year college student, stepping onto a new campus and beginning classes can be overwhelming. For a returning student, an unsuccessful first semester can add a lot of pressure, especially if the student is not certain how to avoid making the same mistakes.

At Pennsylvania College of Technology, an academic mentoring program is designed to help those students.

Joshua I. Bobenrieth, of Port Allegany, graduated in May with a degree in electronics and computer engineering technology, a faculty award and a plan to continue his education in aerospace engineering. But in his first semester, he was anything but confident.

“I was having a hard time adjusting to college life,” he said. “After a few weeks, I was stressed and needed help, so I asked my instructor and was directed to the mentor program.”

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Attendance at National Aviation Event to Be Discussed by Faculty, Alumnus

William F. Stepp III

William F. Stepp III

The campus community is invited to a President’s Forum presentation at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday by William F. Stepp III, associate professor of aviation, who will highlight his Heli-Expo experience in Anaheim, Calif., and share information on the industry. Andrew L. Stamey, who graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in aviation maintenance technology – and one of two student attendees at the conference – will add his insights during the presentation in Room W204 of the Breuder Advanced Technology and Health Sciences Center. Attendance at the February conference allowed Stepp to participate in meetings of the Helicopter Association’s International Technical Committee, of which he is a member. The experience yielded two scholarships for student attendees (Stamey and Marc T. Kaylor, another May graduate), teaching materials for the aviation department, contacts for student internships and/or employment, as well as sources of additional equipment donations. Stepp is the first awardee from the Strategic Initiative Fund, created by President Davie Jane Gilmour to increase the college’s presence at the national level via presentations and/or leadership within national associations. Interested faculty and staff can learn more about the fund through the president’s page on the myPCT Web portal.

Buoyant Reception Greets Students, Start of New Semester
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Hopeful tennis team member Joseph H. Griep, an information technology sciences: gaming and simulation freshman from Le Roy, New York, moves his gear into Dauphin Hall.

Penn College’s “Welcome Weekend,” held Saturday and Sunday on main campus, gently and helpfully guided new and returning students toward the start of classes. Student leaders, faculty/staff and alumni – all wearing T-shirts identifying them as the go-to gang to satisfy any last-minute questions – offered a collectively friendly face to the Fall 2014 members of the college community. New enrollees and transfers moved into on- and off-campus apartments, academic and social activities filled the schedule, and crucial offices offered convenient extended hours in advance of Monday’s official opening of the 2014-15 academic year. Among the high notes of this overture to fall were a convocation parade of first-year students, reunions enjoyed and new friendships begun, “Wildcat Welcome” refreshments, and a chilling and charitable surprise from college President Davie Jane Gilmour.

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Penn College, Little League Celebrate Anniversaries in ‘Grand Slam’ Fashion
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Admissions representative Sarah R. Shott snaps a selfie with a home-state favorite, the Mid-Atlantic team from Philadelphia.

Soggy turned to sunny just in time Wednesday for Pennsylvania College of Technology to once again welcome visitors to Williamsport for the Little League Baseball World Series. On the evening before play begins in South Williamsport, the college hosted its traditional cookout for the Series teams on the lawn outside the Bush Campus Center. Little League players, coaches, team “uncles,” umpires and baseball legend Dave Winfield enjoyed picnic fare and the company of one another before they (and their college hosts) participated in the Grand Slam Parade down West Fourth Street. Accompanied by the college’s ever-popular Wildcat mascot, Penn College volunteers handed out giveaways – including balsa airplanes and commemorative pins – on their well-received journey downtown. Rounding out the teams’ campus visit was a brief stop in The Gallery at Penn College for a Little League-related art exhibit. The college was featured in at least two live newscasts from campus: on WPVI in Philadelphia and on CBS Chicago (go to “Sports Videos” at lower right). And Patriot News coverage, which was also picked up in Alabama, included a roundup of photos at the PennLive website.

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Penn College Holds Summer Commencement
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Katelyn E. Watson, a radiography grad from Turbotville, marks the day with a true Penn College legacy family, including her father, Chip (far left), a 1980 Williamsport Area Community College graduate who majored in heavy construction equipment.

Pennsylvania College of Technology held its Summer Commencement ceremony Saturday morning at the Community Arts Center in downtown Williamsport. Kaitlin M. Savidge, of Northumberland, who received an Associate of Applied Science degree in emergency medical services, was the student speaker for the 11 a.m. event. More than 200 degrees were conferred by college President Davie Jane Gilmour and Steven P. Johnson, a member of the Penn College Board of Directors. During the ceremony, Penn College also presented a Distinguished Alumni Award to James E Cunningham for four decades of service to college and community.

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Distinguished Alumnus Honored at Summer Commencement

James E. Cunningham receives congratulations from Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour for his Distinguished Alumni Award.

Pennsylvania College of Technology presented its Distinguished Alumni Award to James E. Cunningham, of Montoursville, during Summer 2014 commencement ceremonies held Aug. 9 at the Community Arts Center, Williamsport.

The Distinguished Alumni Award is given to those who have made significant contributions in their chosen fields, demonstrated the importance of their Penn College education, participated in leadership roles within the community, and demonstrated a commitment to the college and community relations.

Cunningham graduated from Penn College’s immediate predecessor, Williamsport Area Community College, in 1973 with an Associate of Applied Science in computer science. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in technology management from Penn College.

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Physical Fitness Instructor/Alum Running NYC Marathon for Charity

Emily B. Miller, at the Oct. 13 Steamtown Marathon

Transcending the personal benefits of running, an instructor of fitness and lifetime sports is entering this year’s New York City Marathon to bring attention to a debilitating neurological condition.

Emily B. Miller, a faculty member in the School of Health Sciences and a 2002 graduate of Penn College’s physical fitness specialist major, is running the Nov. 2 race as a fundraiser for the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation in honor of a friend’s father. Dystonia is a neurological disorder that causes muscles to contract and spasm involuntarily, creating twisting movements and abnormal postures and making movement difficult.

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Dental Hygiene Instructor Presents Thesis at ADHA Session

Kelly A. Braun

A Pennsylvania College of Technology alumna and adjunct instructor was invited to present her master’s thesis during the American Dental Hygienists Association annual session in Las Vegas.

Kelly A. Braun, a registered dental hygienist in the dental medicine/oral surgery department at Geisinger Medical Center, earned both an associate degree in dental hygiene and a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene: health policy and administration from Penn College. In August 2013, she completed a Master of Science in Dental Hygiene from the University of Bridgeport, Fones School of Dental Hygiene.

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‘Pack the Park’ Fans Celebrate College Centennial With Ninth-Inning Heroics
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Enjoying family time at the ballpark are Tammy M. Rich, director of alumni relations, and daughter Ashley.

Before a “Pack the Park” audience of 1,914 – appropriate attendance for a Penn College Centennial event – the Williamsport Crosscutters delivered a walk-off 6-5 win over the Batavia Muckdogs on Tuesday night. Fans arriving at Susquehanna Bank Park at Historic Bowman Field were greeted by college employees at several display tables, and those wearing Penn College, Williamsport Area Community College or Williamsport Technical Institute clothing were eligible to win a variety of raffle prizes. Alumnus Nicholas D. Biddle (’07, graphic design) sang the National Anthem and Allen “Sonny” Yearick (’46, machining), the first Little League alumnus to play professional baseball, threw out the first pitch.

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