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.
News: Business & Hospitality
Penn College Makes Friends, Memories at State Farm Show
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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.
The Centennial Legacy Celebration, recognizing the donors who help further Penn College’s mission – and showcasing the talented students in the School of Business & Hospitality – was held Saturday evening in the Hager Lifelong Education Center. Invited guests enjoyed dinner in Le Jeune Chef Restaurant, bookended by appetizers and a Grand Pastry Buffet in the Keystone Dining Room. The phenomenal success of the Centennial-related Penn College Scholarship Campaign was noted by President Davie Jane Gilmour, who said more than $6.1 million has already been pledged … and more gifts are expected before a final total is announced in mid-January. “This additional scholarship support will help the college pursue its vision of being a national leader in applied technology education,” she told donors, “and it was only made possible thanks to your generous support and commitment to Penn College. The impact of your generosity is already being felt by students, as the (Penn College) Foundation has awarded more than $600,000 in scholarships this academic year – a 150-percent increase from the start of the campaign!” Support came from many members of the college community, who donated to an existing scholarship or established one of the 71 new funds added over the past three and a half years. The broad-based demonstration of support involved 653 alumni, 439 employees and retirees, 598 friends of the college and 197 industry partners.
The School of Business & Hospitality hosted 300 high school students on campus Friday for “Hospitality Day.” The students attended a demonstration by Chef Charles R. Niedermyer, instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts, in the Klump Academic Center Auditorium, toured hospitality facilities, a residence hall and other parts of campus, and visited the Thompson Professional Development Center, where Penn College students and faculty provided demonstrations and samples.
In the World Seafood Championship, Pennsylvania College of Technology student Jessica N. Felton finished 14th among 45 competitors, just four spots from advancing to the Top 10 Round.
The World Seafood Championship was one of nine categories comprising 550 competitors in the World Food Championships, held in Las Vegas from Nov. 12-18. The champion of each of the nine categories faced off at the Final Table to determine the World Food Champion, who went home with $100,000.
Felton, of State College, is pursuing a degree in culinary arts and systems at Penn College. The college was presented with a “Golden Ticket” to the World Food Championships by Chef Ben Vaughn, host of a television show based on the championships, when he visited the college to share his knowledge with School of Business & Hospitality students. Felton was chosen to receive the Golden Ticket by winning a faculty-judged cook-off among other Penn College students.
Gold Medalist Shares Ice-Carving Mastery With Students
Chef Robert Lo Furno, a competitive ice carver, food service director for Aramark at the University of Delaware, and father of baking and pastry arts student Nicole C. Lo Furno, visited Pennsylvania College of Technology, where he and his wife, Monica – also an accomplished ice carver – spent Thursday in the courtyard outside the Keystone Dining Room working alongside School of Business & Hospitality students to share the tricks of the trade. Working well after dark, students in Chef Craig A. Cian’s Artistic Buffet Decoration course used the Lo Furnos’ specialty tools and lessons in technique to produce six ice sculptures that remain on display outside the dining hall’s atrium.
The Advanced Patisserie Operations course completed its Trade Show activity Wednesday. As part of the course, the students develop a product line or business concept and put their marketing lessons to work by creating and staffing a display that includes product packaging, menus or price lists, business cards and other marketing materials, as well as samples. Their innovations included gluten-free cookies, pretzel-bread croissants, and bialy rolls topped with onions and poppy seeds.
High school students from across the region spent most of Friday in Penn’s Inn, where the School of Business & Hospitality partnered with EconomicsPennsylvania to present the Entrepreneurship Challenge. Mark A. Ciavarella, assistant professor of business administration/management, along with Carolyn Shirk of EconomicsPennsylvania and Tim Keohane, of the Small Business Development Center at Lock Haven University, taught the students how to take their business ideas from a concept to a plan, coaching them in the basic elements of a viable business plan. EconomicsPennsylvania is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to ensure every young person in Pennsylvania understands the essential economic and financial literacy concepts.
Chef Mary G. Trometter, assistant professor of hospitality management and culinary arts, assisted by Daniel A. Horst, a culinary arts and systems student from Harrisonburg, Virginia, appeared on WBRE-TV’s “PA live! Thursday afternoon. In segments with co-hosts Dave Kuharchik and Jasmine Brooks, they prepared Roasted Butternut Squash Soup.
Culinary arts and systems student Jessica N. Felton left Williamsport Regional Airport at 5:45 a.m. Wednesday to compete in the World Food Championships in Las Vegas. Felton earned a Golden Ticket to the event (presented to the college by championships host Chef Ben Vaughn) via a faculty-judged cooking contest against five other students. She will compete in the opening round of the World Seafood Championship on Friday against up to 50 other competitors, who have qualified by winning such prestigious contests as the Great American Seafood Cookoff. The opening round’s top scorers will move on to the World Seafood Championship Top Ten Round on Sunday, with the first-place winner competing for $100,000 against the winners of eight other World Food Championships categories on Tuesday, Nov. 18.