News about Business & Hospitality Management

Video Showcases Hospitality Grad, on the Ride of His Life

Planning a family trip to the amusement park during these dog days of summer? A timely addition to Penn College’s YouTube channel spotlights alumnus Brian Knoebel, who used his food and hospitality management degree to secure a future in the family business: Knoebels, America’s largest free-admission amusement park. Today, the 1993 Penn College grad is one of the key operators of the Elysburg park, which has been making happy memories for nearly 90 years. “I’m very proud of my degree. Pennsylvania College of Technology prepares for the future,” Knoebel said. “The course selection …was very intriguing. Because of the culinary, because of the management, because of the hospitality. Those three facets right there – that was so similar to my jobs here in the park.” (Knoebel was also featured in the Spring 2011 issue of One College Avenue, Penn College’s magazine.)

Students to Cook Samples for Growers’ ‘Customer Appreciation Day’

Pennsylvania College of Technology student Brianna R. Helmick, who graduated in May, serves egg rolls made with fresh, vendor-donated ingredients at the Williamsport Growers Market. Penn College hospitality students will return to the market for Customer Appreciation Day on Sept. 19.

Students in a Catering course at Pennsylvania College of Technology will offer cooking demonstrations – and free samples – at the Williamsport Growers Market’s annual “Customer Appreciation Day” on Sept. 19.

The students will prepare a variety of recipes using fresh, local ingredients donated by the market’s vendors. They’ll serve samples beginning at 8 a.m. – when the market opens – and continue until noon (or until the samples run out).

“It’s the farmers saying thanks to the local customers for their patronage and support throughout the year, with Penn College preparing food from the products they’ve donated,” explained Michael J. Ditchfield, instructor of hospitality management/culinary arts, who teaches the Catering class.

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Le Jeune Chef Restaurant Again Receives Wine Spectator Award

Wine Spectator honors college again

Wine Spectator magazine recently released its annual Restaurant Guide, again naming Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Le Jeune Chef Restaurant among the “Award of Excellence” recipients.

The world’s best wine lists are featured in this annual guide, which presents the winners in the magazine’s Restaurant Awards program. Hailing from all 50 states and more than 75 countries, the establishments that made the list stand at the forefront of wine-and-food culture, offering extraordinary experiences for oenophiles across the globe, according to the magazine.

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15 Students Learning, Working at Iconic Maryland Shore Restaurants

Pennsylvania College of Technology culinary arts and systems student Randall Colby Janowitz, of Westminster, Maryland, works in the kitchen of one of Phillips Seafood’s Ocean City, Maryland, restaurants. Janowitz is completing his second internship with the company, which hired 15 interns from Penn College’s hospitality majors this summer.

A record 15 Pennsylvania College of Technology students were hired by Phillips Seafood to serve internships in the iconic Maryland company’s Ocean City establishments this summer.

Phillips has hired an increasing number of students from the college’s culinary arts majors for more than eight years, but this year, with the company in need of even more summer staff, executive chef Randy Stanley made a visit to the Penn College campus to recruit.

“In my 26 years of working for Phillips, virtually every season the backbone of our back-of-house staff has been young college students from Maryland and Pennsylvania,” Stanley said. “The students from Penn College have always been among our most valued employees. They are bright, eager, polite and professional. The time of year that the students are available – mid-May to mid-August – works very well for us here in Ocean City.”

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Marketing Internship on Target for Penn College Student-Athlete

Penn College’s Justus K. Leimbach, a student in business administration: marketing concentration and an All-American member of the college’s archery team, poses with the Lancaster Barnstormers’ Pete Andrelczyk, who twice caught Leimbach’s first “pitch,” a soft-tipped arrow shot from the pitcher’s mound. Leimbach, of Westminster, Maryland, threw out the pitch as part of a community relations project for Lancaster Archery supply, where he is a marketing intern this summer.

When Pennsylvania College of Technology student-athlete Justus K. Leimbach stood atop the pitcher’s mound at Clipper Magazine Stadium – home of the Lancaster Barnstormers professional baseball team – to “throw” the honorary first pitch on June 19, he did not take the usual stance.

An All-American archer and business administration: marketing student at Penn College, Leimbach instead drew his S.A.F.E.-brand bow and fired a soft-foam-tip arrow toward home plate – where his spot-on aim was caught by the skilled glove of the Barnstormers’ Pete Andrelczyk.

The pitch was part of a community relations project for Lancaster Archery Supply, where Leimbach is completing an internship in the marketing department. The Westminster, Maryland, native plans to graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Penn College in August.

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Junior Chefs Conquer Kitchen as ‘Future Restaurateurs Camp’ Debuts

Campers prepare daikon radishes for a salad garnish.

Chef Frank M. Suchwala, assistant professor of hospitality management/culinary arts, helps a student learn knife skills as she minces parsley.

The students’ final buffet (just a portion is shown here) shows off their hard work.

– A student dices carrots using safe cutting procedures.

Chef Craig A. Cian, associate professor of hospitality management/culinary arts, shows a student how to shave a tomato to create a rose-shaped garnish.

A new addition to Penn College’s hands-on summer lineup, this week’s Future Restaurateurs Career Camp gave high school students a two-day taste of the restaurant life. Students entering grades nine to 12 learned such important kitchen basics as knife skills and safety, as well as menu planning and dining room etiquette, as they spent their time planning and preparing a buffet lunch that culminated the camp. Among their finished products were fruit and vegetable carvings, salad and dressing, ice cream, sorbet and a variety of sauces to top them, crème brulee, guacamole, and more.

Faculty Member Presents Baseball Research at Hall of Fame

Chip D. Baumgardner

A Pennsylvania College of Technology business faculty member recently presented research regarding minor-league baseball ticket sales at the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Chip D. Baumgardner, associate professor of business administration/management at Penn College, was a co-presenter with Michael Gallagher, of DeSales University, at the 27th Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture, held May 27-29 at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. Their talk was titled “The Culture of the Minor League Baseball Experience.”

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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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Students Explore Career Returns on Simulated Investments

The School of Business & Hospitality’s Gerri F. Luke, dean, and Brian D. Walton, assistant dean, chat with students during the event’s “professional meet-and-greet.”

High school students chat with Terry A. Girdon, professor of business administration/management at Penn College, and Sam Ryder, senior vice president of FNB Bank (right).

Terry A. Girdon, professor of business administration/management, addresses a full room.

John D. Grigsby, assistant professor of business administration/accounting and head of the college’s accounting and financial planning department, talks with students about the college’s programs.

Bernard A. Oravec, publisher of the Sun-Gazette, talks about the business side of a daily newspaper.

Students from high schools and middle schools around Lycoming County convened on the Penn College campus Wednesday for the grand finale of EconomicsPennsylvania’s Stock Market Game. The Stock Market Game is a classroom simulation that offers players the opportunity to invest a hypothetical $100,000 in stocks, bonds and mutual funds. Prior to receiving awards for the highest total end-of-game equity, the students attended a professional meet-and-greet with business representatives and faculty and staff from the Penn College School of Business & Hospitality, and heard remarks from Gerri F. Luke, dean of business and hospitality; Terry A. Girdon, professor of business administration/management; John D. Grigsby, assistant professor of business administration/accounting; Bernard A. Oravec, publisher of the Williamsport Sun-Gazette; and Sam Ryder, senior vice president of FNB Bank.

Hospitality Students’ ‘Derby’ Contribution Merits USAToday Coverage

In an atypically calm moment, Penn College students and faculty take a photographic pause from their Derby duties.

The annual trek by Penn College students participating in the “culinary Olympics” that accompanies the Kentucky Derby recently drew the attention of USAToday. The article, headlined, “Churchill student chefs prep for 140,000 fans,” details the colossal work involved in food preparation for Churchill Downs and other Derby venues. Whether dicing beef, poaching shrimp or marinating turkey, the students relished the assignment as one more step toward their chosen career. “I have never seen this much shrimp before,” said Sarah B. Fiedler, a culinary arts and systems student from Lock Haven. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.” Chef Paul E. Mach, assistant professor of hospitality management/culinary arts, was interviewed by WHAS11 in Louisville for a segment that also features students seasoning beef and making apple cobbler.
Photo provided by School of Business & Hospitality

Penn College Students Selected to Cook at Kentucky Derby

Penn College students Brianna R. Helmick, a culinary arts and systems student from Hershey, and Eileen N. Harrington, of Etters, who received an associate degree in hospitality management and is continuing her studies toward a bachelor’s degree in technology management, pause above the iconic Churchill Downs track during the 2014 Kentucky Derby.

Thirty-eight Pennsylvania College of Technology students have been selected to cook for thousands at the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby on May 2.

Known as “the most exciting two minutes in sports,” the tradition-steeped Kentucky Derby attracts more than 150,000 guests, including its fair share of celebrities.

At Churchill Downs, students will spend a week helping to mix, chop and cook thousands of pounds of ingredients that they’ll serve to guests in suites and luxury boxes throughout the facility, including The Mansion, a lavish, invitation-only venue.

Students are also assigned to the main kitchen, Jockey Club Suites, Turf Club Lounge, Finish Line Suites and the Plaza Balcony. In addition to cooking for the main event, several students will prepare food for “Dawn at the Downs,” a popular Louisville tradition that gives visitors an opportunity to enjoy breakfast in Millionaires Row while watching the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks contenders conduct morning workouts.

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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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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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