News: Business & Hospitality

Visiting Chef Series and Hospitality Students: A Palatable Pairing
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Culinary arts and systems students Sarae D. Davis (left), of Nescopeck, and Brianna R. Helmick, of Hershey, help to assemble a “trout napoleon” for the first course.

The School of Business & Hospitality welcomed three guests during the latest edition of its Visiting Chef Series last week. Brian McClure, beverage director of The Greenbriar, a luxury resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, worked with the school’s faculty to develop a menu that exemplified how wine can be paired with foods that are salty, sweet, sour, bitter or umami. He then visited the school last week to share his expertise with students and with guests at the Visiting Chef Dinner, where he introduced each course and its accompanying wine and circulated to speak with guests about the pairings. Also sharing their know-how with students were Laura Tornichio-Vidal, northeast territory sales manager for Guittard Chocolate (which donates all of the chocolate the school uses each year) and Amy Rosenfield, owner of Mon Aimee Chocolat, a retail specialty shop in Pittsburgh (and the regional distributor for Guittard). The pair offered two chocolate-tasting sessions to School of Business & Hospitality students and employees, helping them to discern flavors and textures in chocolate and how they  might be paired with other flavors. The five-course Visiting Chef Series dinner on Friday, prepared and served by students and faculty, raised funds for student scholarships.

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‘French Favorites’ Bake Sale Set for Wednesday

The Advanced Patisserie Operations class will hold a “French Favorites” bake sale – the fourth of eight sales scheduled for the Spring 2015 semester – from 10 a.m.-noon Wednesday in Le Jeune Patissier at the Market (in the West Third Street hallway of the Carl Building Technologies Center). Student managers are baking and pastry arts majors Shannon E. Croney, of Lake Ariel; Rebecca L. Rizzo, of Palmyra; and Janell E. Gibbs, of Beach Lake. Join Chef Charles R. Niedermyer II, instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts, and students for artisan breads, pastries and candies. A product list, including instructions for pre-ordering a specialty cake by Monday’s noon deadline, follows: French Favorites

Caleb G. Schirmer Named ‘Student of the Month’ at Penn College

Caleb G. Schirmer

Caleb G. Schirmer, of Sugarloaf, a technology management major at Pennsylvania College of Technology, has been chosen as the February Student of the Month.

Schirmer, who earned an associate degree in landscape/horticulture technology: landscape emphasis in 2014, is president of the Off-Campus Housing Organization and secretary of Students Making a Contribution.

He is also a member of Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ), a Student Government Association senator from the School of Business & Hospitality, and an English tutor in Penn College’s Writing Center. He supports a number of additional student organizations, including the Horticulture Club and Penn College Benefiting THON.

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New Penn College Major Designed for Future Sport & Event Managers

A new concentration in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s suite of business administration majors is designed to help prepare those who seek a management career in the sports or events industries.

The bachelor’s degree in business administration: sport and event management concentration is built around a strong business core, providing students with an extensive background in the areas of marketing, finance, accounting, human resources and management, accompanied by a detailed focus on both sport and event activities.

“This is a big growth area in industry,” said Chip D. Baumgardner, associate professor of business administration/management at Penn College.

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Classmates’ Appetizer, Entrée Judged in ‘Mystery Basket’ Challenge

Team Pork Buttz enters the “field” of competition with confidence.

Team Pork Buttz enters the “field” of competition with confidence.

Inspired by a list of required ingredients, students produce house-made ricotta cheese quenelle with citrus salad atop a cauliflower and cheese crust.

Inspired by a list of required ingredients, students produce house-made ricotta cheese quenelle with citrus salad atop a cauliflower and cheese crust.

Team Grateful Bread carefully scores its classmates’ culinary creations.

Team Grateful Bread carefully scores its classmates’ culinary creations.

The team’s entrée: spice-rubbed and smoke-fired rabbit with dumplings.

The team’s entrée: spice-rubbed and smoke-fired rabbit with dumplings.

Senior-level students in the culinary arts and systems major completed their first Mystery Basket challenge of the semester on Friday as part of their coursework in Culinary Competition and Skills Assessment, a capstone class taught by Mary G. Trometter, assistant professor of hospitality management/culinary arts. Half the class – known as Team Pork Buttz – was tasked with using not only a list of required “market basket” ingredients, but also a pair of “mystery ingredients” revealed the morning of the competition, to create two courses to be judged by their classmates, known as Team Grateful Bread. Using the required ingredients (dill pickle, juniper berries, elbow macaroni and cauliflower) plus the “mystery” ingredients of fresh, whole rabbit and Guinness beer, Team Pork Buttz produced an appetizer course of house-made ricotta cheese quenelle with citrus salad on top of a cauliflower and cheese crust, plus an entrée of spice-rubbed and smoke-fired rabbit with dumplings and Guinness/juniper berry with hint of chocolate reduction. The timed contests follow American Culinary Federation competition standards.
Photos by Mary G. Trometter, assistant professor of hospitality management/culinary arts

Penn College to Host Student Wedding Cake Competition

A winning entry from a previous wedding cake competition at Penn College. This year’s competition is scheduled for March 3, with the cakes to be displayed for the public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Thompson Professional Development Center.

Students in hospitality majors at Pennsylvania College of Technology will display their wedding cake creations on March 3 in the college’s Thompson Professional Development Center.

This year’s theme for the cakes is “Love Songs.”

The students spend weeks decorating their fondant-covered cakes for a competition that will be judged by industry professionals. Following judging, the cake display is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Professional Development Center’s Mountain Laurel Room.

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Video Follows Faculty Member’s Preparation for ‘World Cup’ Finals

A new addition to Penn College’s YouTube Channel focuses on Chef Charles R. Niedermyer II, an instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts, a finalist to represent the United States at the 2016 Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie (the “World Cup of Bread Baking”). He will compete in Rhode Island against two other talented chefs the first weekend in March to determine who will be Team USA’s breakfast pastry specialist during next year’s international event in Paris. While the competition brings distinction to Niedermyer and his colleagues in the School of Business & Hospitality, his preparation has proved inspirational for students. “I’ve been bringing in new flavors and new techniques to class,” the 2000 alumnus says. “It’s allowed me to be a good example to them about if you want to pursue something, you go for it. It’s in perfect harmony with class.”

Penn College Cook to Compete in Regional Competition

Cody J. Miller, head cook in Penn College’s Capitol Eatery, was selected to compete in the Mid-Atlantic Region Culinary Challenge sponsored by the National Association of College & University Food Services.

A head cook in one of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s most popular dining venues was selected as one of 10 participants in the National Association of College & University Food Services Mid-Atlantic Region Culinary Challenge.

Cody J. Miller, a 2012 graduate of the college with a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts and systems, will compete against chefs from college campuses across the region on March 8, during NACUFS’s Mid-Atlantic Region annual conference.

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Penn College Makes Friends, Memories at State Farm Show
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Culinary arts and systems majors Brianna E. Bucklin (left), of Whitehall, and Victoria L. Zablocky, of Jersey Shore, serve vegetable-filled hush puppies and slaw to audience members.

Penn College’s exciting two- and four-year majors were on display throughout the Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg (Jan. 10-17), where representatives of the Admissions Office and the college’s six academic schools entertained, educated – and even fed – the throng attending the traditional agricultural expo.

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Visiting Chef Dinner Features Luxury Resort’s Beverage Director

Brian McClure

The Spring 2015 edition of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Visiting Chef Series will feature Brian McClure, beverage director for The Greenbrier, widely regarded as one of the world’s finest luxury resorts.

Penn College’s Visiting Chef Series provides students pursuing associate and bachelor’s degrees in baking and pastry arts, culinary arts and hospitality management with an opportunity to work alongside renowned hospitality-industry professionals. As a culmination to the visit, the students produce a grand meal that raises money for scholarship funds. The Spring 2015 Visiting Chef Dinner will be held Feb. 27.

During the event, McClure will share his knowledge of wine with diners as they experience the elegant five-course meal prepared by students and faculty. While on campus, he will also speak to students in the Hospitality and Beverage Management Service and Controls course.

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Walton Appointed Assistant Dean at Penn College

Brian D. Walton

Brian D. Walton has been named assistant dean of business and hospitality at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

Walton had served as coordinator of academic operations for the School of Business & Hospitality since June 2013.

“Brian Walton is an excellent addition to the leadership team in the School of Business & Hospitality,” said Paul L. Starkey, vice president for academic affairs/provost. “Brian brings great creativity and energy to the role of assistant dean. He has produced excellent results in working with the faculty to assure our students of the best educational experience possible.”

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Dean of Business & Hospitality Appointed at Penn College

Gerri F. Luke

Gerri F. Luke has been named dean of business and hospitality at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

Luke had served as interim dean since July. Previously, she was a professor of business administration/management and marketing and received the Veronica M. Muzic Master Teacher Award, the highest level of recognition for a Penn College faculty member, in 2013. She joined the faculty in 2004.

“In Gerri’s brief tenure as interim dean, she immersed herself in gaining a comprehensive understanding of all facets of the School of Business & Hospitality,” said Paul L. Starkey, vice president for academic affairs/provost. “She brings great experience and a passion for student success to this leadership role. She has been an outstanding educator and will now be an outstanding leader.”

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Faculty Member Advances to Final Round of ‘Team USA’ Pastry Tryouts

And then there were three. Chef Charles R. Niedermyer II, an instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts at Penn College, will compete in Providence, Rhode Island, in March for a spot on the American team at the 2016 Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie. The School of Business & Hospitality faculty member learned this weekend that he made the cut on the basis of a recent competition among seven bakers in North Carolina. The two-day, nine-hour final round to decide who will compete on Team USA in the Viennoiserie (breakfast pastry) category will be held March 5-7 at Johnson & Wales University. Watch PCToday after the holiday break for more on Team USA’s final round, which will help shape the three-person team that will represent America during the 2016 competition in France.

Students From Austria Study Semester of Business at Penn College

S. Jordan Stammer, center, a student in Penn College’s culinary arts technology major, takes the dinner order of Anita K. Fink, left, and Katharina M. Sutter, both exchange students from Fachhochschule Vorarlberg in Dornbirn, Austria, during a Classical Cuisines of the World dinner in the college’s Le Jeune Chef Restaurant. The meal featured foods from the Alsace region of France, just a few hours from the students’ home university.

Two Austrian students spending a semester exchange at Pennsylvania College of Technology will return with valuable perspectives from their months in the Keystone State.

“Our experience here showed us that it is important to be open to other cultures, other points of view and other opinions,” said Katharina M. Sutter. “Furthermore, it is important – especially in a new country – to be open to your classmates, neighbors and people you meet. An open attitude helps to come into contact with these people.”

The students recently talked about their experience over a student-prepared classic European dinner in the college’s Le Jeune Chef Restaurant.

Sutter and travel mate, Anita K. Fink, are participants in a semester exchange program between Penn College and Fachhochschule Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences in Dornbirn, Austria. Students in their fifth semester of international business majors at FH Vorarlberg are encouraged to study abroad. During that semester, students from around the world study at Vorarlberg.

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Faculty Member to Compete for Spot on Team USA of Baking

Chef Charles R. Niedermyer, instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts at Pennsylvania College of Technology, confers with students as they prepare desserts for a special event. Niedermyer is a candidate to join Team USA at the Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie – the World Cup of Baking – in 2016.

A member of the baking and pastry arts faculty at Pennsylvania College of Technology will compete this month to become a member of the team that will represent the United States at the Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie – sometimes called the World Cup of Baking – in France in 2016.

“Everybody tells me it’s an enormous amount of work and energy,” said Chef Charles R. Niedermyer, of State College, an instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts. “But on the other side, you become so much better at your craft.”

Team USA is sponsored by the Bread Bakers Guild of America, for which Niedermyer has served as a volunteer for several years. Nine countries will be accepted to compete at the Coupe du Monde, held every four years. Team USA has an automatic bid to the competition based on its silver medal at the 2012 event.

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