News: Baking, Pastry & Culinary Arts

Interim Dean of Business & Hospitality Named at Penn College

Gerri F. Luke

Pennsylvania College of Technology has appointed Gerri F. Luke as interim dean of the School of Business & Hospitality, effective July 28.

Luke is currently a professor of business administration/management and marketing at Penn College. She received the college’s Veronica M. Muzic Master Teacher Award in May 2013. She joined the college faculty in 2004 and is a former chair of College Council, part of Penn College’s Internal Governance system.

“We are very pleased to have Dr. Gerri Luke agree to serve as interim dean for the School of Business & Hospitality,” said Paul L. Starkey, vice president for academic affairs/provost. “She has all the qualities one hopes to find in higher-education leaders. She is passionate about the quality of teaching and learning at Penn College. She has been intimately involved in shared governance and accreditation. Her colleagues among the faculty welcome her appointment, as do the other deans and I.”

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Instructor, Recent Grad Part of Live TV Broadcast

Chef Charles Niedermyer and recent graduate Ching Chan prepare for their live appearance at WBRE’s studios.

Chef Charles Niedermyer and recent graduate Ching Chan prepare for their live appearance at WBRE’s studios.

A faculty member and an alumna of Penn College’s School of Business & Hospitality appeared on WBRE’s “PA live!” broadcast Tuesday afternoon. Chef Charles R. Niedermyer, instructor of baking and pastry arts and culinary arts, and Ching Chan, who graduated last month with an associate degree in baking and pastry arts, demonstrated how to make a summer fruit tart. The pair also talked with host Dave Kuharchik about Chan’s “Best in Show” honors at the recent Grand Pastry Buffet and discussed the school’s related majors.
Photo provided

Grand Pastry Buffet Includes Student Competition

“Best in Show” was awarded to baking and pastry arts student Ching Chan, of Milton, for her petit fours tray at Penn College’s Grand Pastry Buffet.

Baking and pastry arts students at Pennsylvania College of Technology recently furnished a lavish “Grand Pastry Buffet” for the college’s scholarship donors and recipients, showcasing two years of education.

Featuring tables filled with eye-pleasing pastries, the buffet also featured decorative centerpieces made from chocolate, pastillage and blown sugar, all using the theme “masquerade.”

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Artisan Baker Shares Tips, Techniques With Penn College Students

Kris Patterson, of the Penn State Bakery, demonstrates the classic baguette.

Kris Patterson, of the Penn State Bakery, demonstrates the classic baguette.

The baguettes enter the oven.

The baguettes enter the oven.

Students check the texture and color.

Students check the texture and color.

Patterson and the Bake Shop Production class

Patterson and the Bake Shop Production class

Kris Patterson, head artisan baker for the Penn State Bakery, recently visited Penn College’s baking, pastry and culinary arts laboratories to work with students in the Principles of Bake Shop Production class. Patterson offered a hands-on workshop on bread preferments and the impact each has on the final product. He demonstrated the techniques of preferment preparation and dough mixing for the classic baguette. Each mixing method and preferment produces a different flavor and texture in the result. For example: A dough that is mixed longer will have a tighter air-cell structure and a whiter color because of the oxidation. One mixed less can have a creamier color, larger air-cell structure and a denser crust. Each student was also taught the method of shaping the classic baguette, as well as the scoring techniques − the cuts that are made on the risen, shaped dough before it goes into the oven. “Kris has been a great support to the students of the baking and pastry program,” said Chef Monica J. Lanczak, instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts. In addition to Patterson’s visits to Penn College classes, two baking and pastry arts students − Abigail C. Wilks, of Phillipsburg, and Kelsey L. Park, of Bellefonte − are interning at the Penn State University Bakery this summer. One of the largest scratch bakeries in the continental U.S., the bakery serves six dining halls, 11 campus operations and 48 residence halls. It produces about 59,000 loaves of bread and 89,500 dozen cookies each year.
Photos by Chef Monica J. Lanczak

‘Excellent’ Students Selected to Attend National Restaurant Show

Two students in baking, pastry and culinary arts majors at Pennsylvania College of Technology were selected by faculty to receive the “Award of Excellence,” which included an educational trip to the National Restaurant Association’s 2014 NRA Show.

The May graduates, Amy E. Lynn, who earned an associate degree in baking and pastry arts, and Lewis D. Robinson, who earned a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts and systems and an associate degree in baking and pastry arts, were selected based on their academic records and their service to Penn College’s School of Business & Hospitality.

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Winners Named in Penn College Pastry Show

The School of Business & Hospitality at Pennsylvania College of Technology recently hosted its Culinary and Pastry Experience, allowing students in baking, pastry and culinary arts majors to showcase their final projects for the college community and industry judges.

From among more than 70 entries, Best of Show was awarded to Kristina M. Williams, a baking and pastry arts student from South Williamsport, for a chocolate sculpture featuring a chameleon perched atop stylized greenery.

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Penn College to Hold Three Commencement Ceremonies May 16-17

More than 900 Pennsylvania College of Technology students have petitioned to graduate at the completion of the Spring 2014 semester, and the college has scheduled three ceremonies May 16-17 for those who will march at commencement.

All of the ceremonies will be held at the Community Arts Center, Williamsport.

At 3 p.m. Friday, May 16, students in the School of Business & Hospitality and the School of Construction & Design Technologies will march. The student speaker will be Lewis Damase Robinson, of Bellefonte, who will be awarded a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts and systems and an associate degree in baking and pastry arts.

At 10 a.m. Saturday, May 17, a ceremony will be held for students in the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies and the School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies. The student speaker will be Benjamin Michael Schappell, of Mohrsville, who will receive a bachelor’s degree in computer aided product design.

At 1:30 p.m. May 17, a ceremony will be held for students in the School of Health Sciences and the School of Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications. The student speaker will be Ashley Grace Maietta, of Hughesville, who will receive an associate degree in nursing.

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Nine of 12 College Medalists Headed to SkillsUSA Nationals

SkillsUSA-Pennsylvania

Nine Pennsylvania College of Technology students from a variety of majors will compete at the National SkillsUSA Conference from June 23-28 in Kansas City, Mo., after winning gold medals at the state level.

Three other students in the college contingent finished second in their respective categories at the SkillsUSA Pennsylvania Leadership and Skills Conference held April 9-11 at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center.

And a Penn College student/alumnus will attend as a candidate for the highest individual SkillsUSA honor: an International Degree, awarded at the rarely attained upper level of the organization’s professional-development program.

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Hospitality Students’ Final Projects Deliciously Dazzle in Weekend Events
Photo gallery

A blown-sugar fish by Nathan D. Strouse, of Spring Mills, receives first place.

Two recent events showcased the final projects of students in culinary, baking and pastry arts majors. The annual Culinary and Pastry Experience on Friday featured final projects from six classes: Cakes and Decorations, Principles of Chocolate Works, Sugar Art, Classical and Specialty Dessert Presentation, Baking and Pastry Applications for the Culinary Lab, and Culinary Competition and Skills Assessment. Students in the latter two courses are in the final semester of the culinary arts and systems bachelor’s degree. Each developed a menu that included a dessert and entrée, set up shop and served samples to event visitors. Judges for the Culinary Competition and Skills Assessment portion of the event were  Drew Kendall, store chef for Wegmans Food Markets in Williamsport; Kim Morrison, of Cakes for Occasions in State College; and Frank Priore, executive chef of the Westmoreland Club in Wilkes-Barre. On Sunday, students in the final semester of the baking and pastry arts major showcased the variety of skills they have mastered during their Penn College classes at the Grand Pastry Buffet. Featuring both their buffet presentation skills – through sugar art and chocolate centerpieces – and their baking skills, the buffet also served as the centerpiece to an event that brought scholarship recipients and donors together.

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Daughters, Sons ‘Dig In’ During Daylong Career Exploration

President Gilmour welcomes the day's guests.

President Gilmour welcomes the day’s guests.

Justin Shelinski (in sunglasses at center), a laboratory assistant at the college's Schneebeli Earth Science Center, mentors arborists-in-training outside the Field House.

Justin Shelinski (in sunglasses at center), a laboratory assistant at the college’s Schneebeli Earth Science Center, mentors arborists-in-training outside the Field House.

Participants in the Take our Daughters and Sons to Work Day surround the weeping Norwegian spruce tree they helped to plant, expected to remain a part of the campus for years to come.

Participants in the Take our Daughters and Sons to Work Day surround the weeping Norwegian spruce tree they helped to plant, expected to remain a part of the campus for years to come.

Youngsters learn the art and science of salad preparation from Cody M. Yonkin, a culinary arts technology major from South Williamsport ...

Youngsters learn the art and science of salad preparation from Cody M. Yonkin, a culinary arts technology major from South Williamsport …

... before applying their newly gained knowledge to a homemade vinaigrette. At background is Presidential Ambassador Timothy R. Zeigler, of Port Royal, a civil engineering technology student.

… before applying their newly gained knowledge to a homemade vinaigrette. At background is Presidential Ambassador Timothy R. Zeigler, of Port Royal, a civil engineering technology student.

On a campus widely known for hands-on instruction, it’s not surprising that Thursday’s 21st annual “Take Our Daughters & Sons to Work Day” would provide opportunities for young visitors to roll up their sleeves for the tasks at hand. Honoring the theme of “Plant a Seed, Grow a Future,” Penn College employees’ children learned about trees and related careers, and explored another kind of “green” through preparing personalized tossed salads with their own signature dressing. The day also included a get-acquainted session in the Field House, a welcome from President Davie Jane Gilmour, a campus tour, lunch in Dauphin Hall and job-shadowing.
Photos by Craig R. Urey, student photographer

Penn College Students Receive Trophies at Expo

A cake decorated by Pennsylvania College of Technology student Ching Chan, of Milton, received first-place honors in the Cake Decorating Extravaganza, part of the Atlantic Bakery Deli Dairy Expo at the Atlantic City Convention Center in New Jersey.

Three Pennsylvania College of Technology students received first- and second-place honors in the Cake Decorating Extravaganza, a competition held as part of the Atlantic Bakery Deli Dairy Expo at the Atlantic City Convention Center in New Jersey.

Ching Chan, of Milton, placed first in the student Tiered Cake category for a pink cake with delicate lace and bridgework techniques.

Lynette F. Stegmaier, of Muncy Valley, received second place in the student Tiered Cake category for a Chinese destination-wedding themed cake with hand-sculpted gum-paste dragons. Kristina M. Williams, of South Williamsport, placed second in the student Sculpted Cake category for a Las Vegas themed wedding cake that included a roulette wheel and gum-paste Cadillac.

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Students Picked to Prepare Food for Kentucky Derby Fans

At the 2013 Kentucky Derby, Penn College students Eileen Harrington, of Springfield, Va., (left) and Laura A. Rozzi, of Reading, (a May 2013 graduate) prepare food for guests. Penn College students, including Harrington, will return for the 140th running of the Derby on May 3.

Nearly 40 Pennsylvania College of Technology students have been selected to cook for thousands at the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday of May.

The Kentucky Derby, known as “the most exciting two minutes in sports,” is set to celebrate its 140th

running this spring. Steeped in tradition, the event attracts more than 150,000 guests, including its fair share of celebrities.

At Churchill Downs, students will prepare foods for guests in suites and luxury boxes throughout the facility, including The Mansion, a lavish, invitation-only venue added to the facility last year.

Students are also assigned to the main kitchen, Jockey Club Suites, Turf Club Lounge, Finish Line Suites and the Plaza Balcony. In the days leading up to the May 3 Derby, in addition to preparing thousands of pounds of ingredients 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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Resident Hospitality Students’ Midstate Adventure Includes Riverside Dining

From left, Quenise E. Jones, baking and pastry arts; Jonathan D. RIckards, culinary arts and systems; Resident Assistant Eileen Harrington, hospitality management; Sarah Anne E. Haines, culinary arts technology; Nicholas J. Boudman, culinary arts technology; Emily K. Lutz, hospitality management; and Andrea K. Irvine, hospitality management.

From left, Quenise E. Jones, baking and pastry arts; Jonathan D. RIckards, culinary arts and systems; Resident Assistant Eileen Harrington, hospitality management; Sarah Anne E. Haines, culinary arts technology; Nicholas J. Boudman, culinary arts technology; Emily K. Lutz, hospitality management; and Andrea K. Irvine, hospitality management.

The Hospitality Living-Learning Community made a Saturday outing to Hershey and Harrisburg to enjoy a day of fun and camaraderie, visiting attractions that included Chocolate World and shopping outlets. Appropriately, the group stopped for dinner at Char’s at Tracy Mansion Restaurant in Harrisburg. The Residence Life Office offers a variety of living-learning communities on campus, bringing beyond-the-classroom opportunities to freshman students enrolled in the same academic majors.
Photo by Frederick W. Becker, dean of business and hospitality

‘Pay It Forward’ Dinner: Comfort Food From a Caring Community

Students Cassandra B. Mohr, left, and her roommate Paige E. Monk, handle pans of meatloaf.

Dental hygiene students made their annual visit Saturday to Williamsport’s Christ Episcopal Church, where they prepared a free dinner for the community.

Known in the Dental Hygiene program as the “Pay It Forward” dinner, what began as a class project for students in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Community Dental Health course has evolved into a volunteer experience open to all second-year dental hygiene students, arranged by faculty member Barbara K. Emert-Baldwin. Seven dental hygiene students were joined in the effort by culinary arts and systems student Scott L. Neff (one of Emert-Baldwin’s two sons who helped) and Paige E. Monk, a student in applied health studies: occupational therapy assistant concentration.

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Students Visit Alumna-Owned Business in Lock Haven

Samantha L. Liedtka (in pink), the alumna who lends her name and artistry to Samantha's Kitchen in Lock Haven, opened her doors to a Penn College tour Saturday.

Samantha L. Liedtka (in pink), the alumna who lends her name and artistry to Samantha’s Kitchen in Lock Haven, opened her doors to a Penn College tour Saturday.

Hospitality Living-Learning Community students visited Samantha’s Kitchen’s in Lock Haven on Saturday afternoon. The bakery is owned by 2010 Penn College baking and pastry arts graduate Samantha L. Liedtka, who shared her experiences with students. “The cupcakes were pretty good, too” added Frederick W. Becker, dean of business and hospitality, who led the trip with Brian D. Walton, coordinator of academic operations for the School of Business & Hospitality.
Photo by Matthew C. Helf, Residence Life coordinator

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