News about Construction & Design Technologies

Student Shoveler Shies From Limelight, but Not From Heavy Lifting

Saluting a helpful neighbor

As Tuesday’s two-hour weather delay turned into an all-out closing of Penn College, students and employees joined other area residents in cleaning up the sloppy mix of overnight snow and persistent morning rain. Among those pitching in was Shawn A. Mayberry, a construction management major from Clarksburg, Maryland, who was photographed while clearing the parking lot outside his Riverside Drive apartment in South Williamsport. “You hear so much bad all the time,” fellow tenant William L. McGill said in sharing the photo on his Facebook page. “How about what good guys like this do … and won’t take anything for doing it?” As of midday Monday, the post has been shared by more than 3,900 people and has drawn positive commentary (including employers impressed with the student’s work ethic) … a fact unknown to the shovel-wielding Samaritan until he was told about it by someone in the Capitol Eatery over the weekend. “It’s really cool that it blew up like that, but I didn’t do it for the credit,” Mayberry said, explaining that his local helpfulness is just an extension of what he does for neighbors and family back home. “I do things just to help people; I was going to be out there, anyway.”

College Emissaries Tout ‘degrees that work’ at Mentor Event

Brad M. Martin (center) and alumnus Peter J. Shkuda (right) speak with ACE Mentor participants about the 100-percent placement rate among Penn College's construction management graduates. (Photo by Susan Martin)

Representatives of the School of Construction & Design Technologies recently traveled to an ACE affiliate event hosted at Cumberland-Perry Area Vocational Technical School. ACE Mentor Mike Weidner, of Weidner Construction Services in Mechanicsburg, and Jason E. Krick, an assistant professor in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s construction management major, coordinated the opportunity to introduce ACE Mentor participants and their parents to the college’s “degrees that work.”

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Sitting Pretty – Functionally, Too!

Displaying their design are (from left) Leonardo Tejeda, Bailey F. Chrisman and Samantha R. Callender.

Among the student projects is a cardboard chair designed by Michelle H. Ni, of Berwick; and Albert V. Dubovik and James L. Newby, both of State College.

David P. Suchoza (left), Matthew W. Rissmiller and Cassondra L. Farmer show off their collaboration.

Building science and sustainable design students in Architectural Design Studio V recently presented their first design program of the semester: chairs made out of cardboard and no adhesives, with the additional requirement that they be able to support the weight of an average adult. Intended to introduce students to the principles of a design-build approach, the exercise involved teams of three students working together to complete their projects. Cassondra L. Farmer, a junior from Towanda, said the assignment challenged students to “design a chair that is aesthetically pleasing, yet functional and comfortable.” Farmer and David P. Suchoza, of Reading, credit teammate Matthew Rissmiller with the inspiration for their project. Rissmiller, of Hummelstown, obtained cardboard tubes and the design began to take shape, including a honeycomb pattern in the seating area for comfort. The team of Bailey F. Chrisman, of Hatboro; Samantha R. Callender, of Baldwin, New York; and Leonardo Tejeda from New Rochelle, New York, created something different. “The basic design was a challenge and we continuously refined and changed our design until we settled on our design that incorporated all the requirements imposed on us by our instructors,” Chrisman said. Instructing the two sections of the course are Naim N. Jabbour, assistant professor of architectural technology, and Daniel L. Brooks, instructor of architectural technology.  Chairs and designs are displayed on the second floor of the Hager Lifelong Education Center.
Photos by Carol A. Lugg, assistant dean of construction and design technologies

CMA to Host Construction Safety Expo on Feb. 5

The Penn College Construction Management Association, in conjunction with the Associated Builders and Contractors of America, is hosting a Construction Safety Expo from 7:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 5, in Penn’s Inn (Bush Campus Center, second floor). A host of topics will be covered by industry professionals, including OSHA updates, ladder safety and first aid. Want to attend? Student tickets cost $25 (lunch included) and can be purchased until this Friday by contacting Wayne R. Sheppard, assistant professor of construction management, or Lisa J. Caputo, secretary to the School of Construction & Design Technologies.

New Penn College/WVIA TV Series Connects Education, Careers

Student video production assistant Kashiki E. Harrison views the website for “Working Class,” a new TV series produced by Penn College in partnership with WVIA, which will encourage viewers to make an impact by pursuing careers that reflect their personal talents and interests. Harrison, of Williamsport, and fellow student videographer Jeffrey A. Stanley, of Stewartstown, assist with the series.

Students and teachers who connect learning with real work experiences will be featured in a new series premiering this month on public television.

“Working Class” will encourage viewers to make an impact in the world by pursuing careers that reflect their personal talents and interests. The first episode in the series, which is produced by Pennsylvania College of Technology in partnership with WVIA Public Media, will premiere in Northeast Pennsylvania and the Central Susquehanna Valley on Tuesday, Jan. 26, at 7 p.m. on WVIA.

Following the broadcast premiere, series content also will be shared via the Penn College and WVIA websites and on YouTube. Viewers also may follow the series on Facebook and Twitter.

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And to Top It All Off …

Students pour the mortar that will adhere the concrete tabletop to its stone base.

Luse reacts to the class's "level" of craftsmanship.

Hintz lays down a bead of caulk between the halves.

Who needs a lift truck with a team of students to do the heavy toting?

An impressive community project is celebrated with a photo op.

The finishing touches on two stand-up patio tables incorporating material salvaged from the original Williamsport Hospital building – including the 1890 date stones and a portion of decorative terra cotta – were completed Wednesday by students and faculty from Penn College’s School of Construction & Design Technologies. Begun in August by students in the Masonry Principles courses, the tables were topped by two polished slabs fabricated with the help of the Concrete Construction class and attractively flecked with multicolored glass. The tables are companion pieces to another college contribution: a 600-pound welded baseball glove at the front entrance to the Hospitality Inn at Williamsport Regional Medical Center. The students were joined on-site by Glenn R. Luse, masonry instructor; Harry W. Hintz Jr., instructor of construction technology; and Marc E. Bridgens, dean of the school. Also involved in the project was Franklin H. Reber, instructor of construction technology.

Masonry Students Aid Sensory Garden, Feel Community’s Gratitude

A “Penn College 2015” brick signifies the workmanship by instructor Glenn R. Luse (in suspenders) and nine students from his Advanced Masonry class, who constructed accessible flower beds at the Lysock View Complex.

Nine masonry students from Pennsylvania College of Technology recently installed accessible flower beds at the Lysock View Complex near Montoursville, receiving personal satisfaction and public acknowledgment of their much-appreciated community service.

The students, from instructor Glenn R. Luse’s Advanced Masonry Principles class, raised the beds to wheelchair height at the Lycoming County Sensory Garden so that disabled residents have an equal opportunity to exercise their green thumbs. In the process, the construction majors – who are used to having their projects disassembled at the end of class – have a tangible and lasting reminder of their shared skills.

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Two HVAC Students Among Recipients of Industry Scholarships

From left: Stephen D. Manbeck, assistant professor of HVAC technology; scholarship recipients Bryce T. Crowley and Andrew T. Kappelmeier; and Richard C. Taylor, associate professor of plumbing and heating. (Photo by Carol A. Lugg, assistant dean of construction and design technologies)

Two Pennsylvania College of Technology students were recently awarded scholarships from industry partners.

Andrew T. Kappelmeier, of Landenberg, and Bryce T. Crowley, of Smethport, both enrolled in the two-year heating, ventilation and air conditioning technology major, are among the 2015 recipients of the Clifford H. “Ted” Rees Jr. Scholarship.

Kappelmeier is a first-year student, and Crowley is completing the associate-degree major with plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in building automation technology: heating, ventilation and air conditioning technology concentration.

Both students expressed appreciation for the financial awards: Crowley commented, “This scholarship certainly helps with school expenses,” and Kappelmeier – who plans to specialize in refrigeration – said, “These scholarships will definitely help me pursue my educational goals.”

Kappelmeier was also awarded tuition assistance and tools through the Educational Foundation of the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors – National Association, which administers the scholarship for Ridgid, a sponsor since 2011.

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Award-Winning Architecture Alum Cheers, Challenges Current Students

An instructive and inspiring Homecoming

An architectural technology alumnus returned to Penn College for Homecoming Weekend and, while on campus, spoke with first-year students in his former major and served as a guest juror for upper-level students in building science and sustainable design. Michael A. Gibble (at far left in the accompanying photo) started the day with a presentation to the Introduction to Architecture class, sharing the career path from his 2000 associate degree to earning a bachelor’s at Catholic University of America. “I love coming back to see how my story can inspire freshmen on the possibilities to dream big,” said Gibble, CEO of Gibble Enterprises Holdings, a diversified venture capital, private equity and holdings company. Holdings comprise a private equity firm, involvement in architecture and construction (including ownership of the KMA Architecture Group, which specializes in health care projects), the food and beverage industry, and real estate and real estate development. After a morning of emboldening entry-level students, Gibble – recipient of the college’s 2005 Alumnus Achievement Award – moved into the juror role, providing feedback to students in Architectural Design Studio IV. “I also enjoy critiquing the upperclassmen on their projects as a way to prepare them for the real world, “ he said. And that, he did. “Today, I realized I’m moving closer to graduation,” said Adam T. Knoebel, of Montoursville, a junior in building science and sustainable design. “Having Mike work with us was a wake-up call that I’m going to be putting these skills to work, in the workplace, very soon.” Daniel L. Brooks (second from right), instructor of architectural technology, coordinated the visit.
Photo provided

National Construction Advisory Board Includes Penn College Faculty

Building construction technology instructors Levon A. Whitmyer (left) and Barney A. Kahn IV represent Penn College on the National Association of Home Builders Student Chapters Advisory Board.

Two faculty members in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s building construction technology department recently participated in the National Association of Home Builders Student Chapters Advisory Board meeting in Dallas, Texas.

In addition to serving on the national board, instructors Barney A. Kahn IV and Levon A. Whitmyer serve on subcommittees: Kahn is a member of the two-year competition and awards subcommittees, and Whitmyer sits on the four-year competition and nominating subcommittees.

“Being two of 15 educational members gives the college a significant national platform to lead our students into an industry that is in need of new young members,” Whitmyer said. “Barney and I never realized how important this volunteer position would be at placing us in the discussions at this level. We now realize that Penn College’s School of Construction & Design Technologies has the opportunity to become a national influence in the delivery of residential construction education.”

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Explore Penn College’s ‘Degrees That Work’ at Oct. 25 Open House

Penn College’s Oct. 25 Open House provides an ideal opportunity to explore “degrees that work.”

The distinctive, hands-on academic programs offered at Pennsylvania College of Technology, a national leader in applied technology education, will be highlighted at Open House on Sunday, Oct. 25.

Held twice a year, Open House at Penn College provides prospective students and their families an opportunity to sample campus life and learn about 100-plus bachelor’s and associate degrees and certificates.

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Sustainability Students Help Chart Lycoming County’s Green Future

Students Robert W. Klingerman (left) and Timothy S. Shook, building science and sustainable majors at Penn College, staff a table during a Sept. 14 Lycoming County Comprehensive Plan meeting at the Trout Run Fire Hall. (Photo provided by the School of Construction & Design Technologies)

Members of Penn College’s U.S. Green Building Council student chapter enrolled in the four-year building science and sustainable design major are benefiting from a project spearheaded by the Lycoming County Department of Planning & Community Development.

The invitation to participate in the countywide planning meetings grew out of two years of involvement from the Penn College faculty and the planning department, which is in the process of updating Lycoming County’s Comprehensive Plan.  Public input is sought to help the county and its communities establish priorities for growth, transportation, resource protection, recreation and more in the next 10 to 20 years.

“The department sees our program as a means to show ideas about what sustainable planning and building design looks like,” commented Dorothy J. Gerring, associate professor of architectural technology.

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Seasoned Students, Alum Orient New Construction Management Majors

Students vie to build the tallest tower from marshmallows and toothpicks ...

The second annual Construction Management Freshman Orientation, in which new students were broken into small teams and attended three presentations, was held from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday.

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Building the ‘New’ Route 15

A bypass that will ease congestion along U.S. Route 15 in the area of Shamokin Dam and Hummels Wharf has been the desire of drivers for decades. Photo courtesy of PennDOT

Maggie (Powers) Jackson, ’08, is project manager for a $669 million construction project that will result in a limited-access highway that stretches from the current freeway end on Route 15 north of Selinsgrove to the four-lane section of Route 147 south of Montandon.

Groundbreaking for a bridge that will cross the Susquehanna River’s West Branch near Winfield is expected in October. The bridge represents the first of seven contracts that, by 2024, will complete a 13-mile bypass to ease traffic congestion along U.S. Route 15. Artist’s rendering courtesy of PennDOT

From the Fall 2015 edition of One College Avenue magazine: The groundbreaking for a new bridge this fall will mark the first tangible progress on a highway construction plan that has been decades in the making. The 13-mile, $669 million project will provide a bypass around the congested Shamokin Dam area. A 2008 civil engineering technology alumna will oversee it. Read “Building the ‘New 15′”

Students Fine-Tune Presentation Skills Through Monumental Design

Samantha R. Callender, of Baldwin, N.Y., and Kyle R. Shuman, of Birdsboro, explain their design – inspired by the symbol for infinity.

An ambitious design, including a cresting wave made of glass, is advanced by Leonardo Tejeda, of New Rochelle, N.Y., and Bailey F. Chrisman, of Hatboro.

Ornamental pillars surround a motor-spun globe in this work by Trent D. Urbine, of Coatesville, and Carlos J. Anavitate, of Millersville.

David R. Suchoza (left), of Shillington, and Matthew W. Ritsmiller, of Hummelstown, field questions after their presentation.

An artistic interpretation, its twistiness duplicated in the color renderings behind them, is displayed by Andrew J. Davies (left), of Lititz, and Ryan M. Kobela, of Mountain Top.

Juniors in Penn College’s building science and sustainable design: architectural technology concentration major recently presented their first project of the fall semester: an assignment that consumed much of their first three weeks of classes. Members of the Architectural Design Studio IV class were charged with designing a monument to the four classical elements (earth, wind, fire and water) along the East River, near New York City’s FDR Drive and First Avenue. Eight teams made their pitch to a jury of classmates and faculty members, who praised what worked in the students’ respective designs – and constructively deconstructed those choices that fell short. Limited only by imagination, the varied designs incorporated such eye-catching features as trees fashioned from wind turbines, a two-story fish tank, a flaming torch against the urban skyline and a rotating model of Earth. “If we can’t come up with these ideas and share them,” asked Daniel L. Brooks, instructor of architectural technology, “who else is going to?” In addition to offering feedback about the projects themselves, Brooks and Naim N. Jabbour, assistant professor of architectural technology, advised students on poster preparation, communication skills and other practical pointers to aid in their eventual real-life meetings with potential clients.