News about Construction & Design Technologies

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.

Agreement Provides Transfer Path for Williamson Grads

Representatives of Williamson College of the Trades and Pennsylvania College of Technology: from left, Williamson President Michael J. Rounds; Carol A. Lugg, Penn College’s assistant dean of construction and design technology; and Thomas E. Wisneski, Williamson’s vice president of education, sign an articulation agreement that eases the transfer of Williamson graduates to Penn College’s residential construction technology and management bachelor-degree major.

Williamson College of the Trades and Pennsylvania College of Technology have forged an agreement that will ease the pursuit of a bachelor’s degree for Williamson graduates.

Students in Williamson’s construction technology programs will benefit from a transfer pathway into Penn College’s Bachelor of Science degree in residential construction technology and management without repeating coursework.

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Penn College HVAC Faculty Member Awarded Industry Grant

Kenneth E. Welker Jr.

A member of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning technology faculty at Pennsylvania College of Technology has been awarded a $2,500 industry grant to continue work toward his bachelor’s degree.

Kenneth E. Welker Jr., an HVAC technology lecturer and former toolroom attendant in the college’s School of Construction & Design Technologies, is the first recipient of a Dan Holohan Grant from the Oil & Energy Service Professionals.

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Distinguished Alumnus Honored at Summer Commencement

Warren A. Peter receives the Distinguished Alumni Award from Davie Jane Gilmour, president of Pennsylvania College of Technology, at the college’s Summer 2015 commencement ceremonies.

Pennsylvania College of Technology presented its Distinguished Alumni Award to Warren A. Peter during Summer 2015 commencement ceremonies held Aug. 8 at the Community Arts Center, Williamsport.

The Distinguished Alumni Award is given to those who have made significant contributions in their chosen fields, demonstrated the importance of their Penn College education, participated in leadership roles within the community, and demonstrated a commitment to the college and community relations.

Peter graduated from Penn College’s immediate predecessor, Williamsport Area Community College, in 1974 with an Associate of Applied Science in carpentry and building construction technology.

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Construction Deans Nurture Big Potential in Little Hands

Smiles after a constructive morning's work

The “Summer Bunch” from Penn College’s Dunham Children’s Learning Center visited a School of Construction & Design Technologies lab over two days this past week for a hands-on look at the builder’s trade. In separate visits Monday and Wednesday, the boys and girls learned about the proper use of tools; built wooden toolboxes with Marc E. Bridgens, the school dean; and were interviewed and photographed by assistant dean Carol A. Lugg. (When told that their parents could use the souvenir to carry around their tools, one girl responded, “My dad carries them one by one. He doesn’t need a toolbox.”)

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LCCC Grads Gain Streamlined Path for Continued Architectural Study

Three students in Luzerne County Community College’s architectural engineering technology program (on left), join, from left, Carol A. Lugg, assistant dean of construction and design technologies at Penn College, Dana Clark, vice president of academic affairs and provost at Luzerne County Community College, and Brian Overman, instructor in LCCC’s architectural engineering technology program.

Students in Luzerne County Community College’s architectural engineering technology associate-degree program will benefit from a recently signed agreement that establishes a clear and efficient path to complete a bachelor’s degree in building science and sustainable design at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

After completing a strong foundation with an associate degree at LCCC, students have the opportunity to continue the career ladder at Penn College and complete coursework that prepares them to enter careers as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design specialists, sustainable designers or architectural project team members. In addition to new-building design, students have the opportunity to gain skills that are vital to historic preservation and the renovation and reuse of existing structures.

“We look forward to welcoming the Luzerne County Community College students to our campus and providing a seamless pathway to the bachelor’s degree,” said Marc E. Bridgens, dean of construction and design technologies at Penn College. “The articulation agreement provides a benefit to the student, the industry and both institutions. Being the next step in the lifelong learning process is exciting.”

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Soon-to-Be-Grads Grab One More Tool on Way to Work

Matthew D. Bohlen

Ryan T. Fry

Zachary R. Beaver

Zachary A. Green

Four students graduating Friday from the School of Construction & Design Technologies spent much of the day in the carpentry lab, demonstrating their acquired talents in hopes of attaining a Pennsylvania Builders Association advanced skill endorsement. For several hours, the students – Zachary R. Beaver, of Danville; Matthew D. Bohlen, of Lancaster; Ryan T. Fry, of Nazareth; and Zachary A. Green, of Kensington, Maryland – were put through a series of competencies developed by Levon A. Whitmyer, instructor of building construction technology, based on industry standards. Under the watchful eyes of faculty (including Whitmyer and Barney A. Kahn IV, instructor of building construction technology), the students demonstrated layouts for wall, stairs, rafters and porches; framing skills; exterior finishing; drywall; and trim and millwork. The PBA, which has endorsed the college’s building construction technology and building construction technology: masonry emphasis majors, offers the advanced skill credential to increase students’ credibility as they enter the labor force. Fry is earning his degree in residential construction technology and management; the others are graduating in building construction technology. Windows, longer-length lumber and other materials used in the testing were donated by Your Building Centers.

Champion Archer Demonstrates Skill for Visiting Cub Scout Pack

An attentive crowd watches a champion at work.

Precision under the waning sun

A new "fan club" forms

The boys from Cub Scout Pack 38 (and their parents) were treated to an archery exhibition by Wildcat All-American Kendel F. Baier on Wednesday evening, leaving campus quite impressed with her prowess and accuracy. “We truly appreciate your time and consideration,” Scout leader Gigi Dammer told the Jersey Shore resident. “What a pleasure it was for you to show my young Cub Scouts how determination, practice and hard work really pay off!” The group, from St. Ann’s Roman Catholic Church in Loyalsock Township, watched Baier shoot balloons off the targets from 55 yards. She also shot at the 77-yard target used by recurve archers at the outdoor practice range off Rose Street. The college’s Athlete of the Year in 2014 and a national bowhunter champion, Baier will graduate this weekend with a degree in building science and sustainable design: architectural technology concentration.
Photos provided

Four ‘Sustainable’ Seniors on Their Way to Architectural Grad School

Four soon-to-be alumni of Penn College's four-year building science and sustainable design major are heading to graduate school. From left are Cody J. Wood, of Berwick; Reece A. Gonsar, of Halifax; Kendel F. Baier, of Jersey Shore; and Ryan J. Litzinger, of Patton. (Photo by Carol A. Lugg, assistant dean of construction and design technologies)

Four seniors from Penn College’s building science and sustainable design bachelor-degree major will be heading off to graduate school, the largest number since the program’s inception in 2011.

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Penn College Among National Finalists in Home-Design Competition

Penn College students Christopher G. Master (left), of Cranberry, and Dustin C. Bailey, of Petersburg, stand in front of the poster for their Habitat for Humanity project, which was among the top finalists at the second annual “Race to Zero Student Design Competition” held recently in Colorado.

A team of Pennsylvania College of Technology students was among the grand-prize finalists at the second annual “Race to Zero Student Design Competition” held recently at the National Renewable Energy Labs in Golden, Colorado.

The U.S. Department of Energy sponsors the competition, which challenges college and university students to design “zero energy-ready homes” – high-performance homes so energy-efficient that they completely offset their energy consumption through electricity produced by renewable sources.

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Cub Scouts Build Souvenirs, Memories in Visit to Carpentry Labs

PCCA members enlighten area Cub Scouts in a mutually beneficial (and enjoyable) visit.

Cub Scouts join their hosts and chaperones in showing off their birdhouses and toolboxes.

The Penn College Construction Association welcomed the Muncy Cub Scouts to campus on Monday. The Scouts arrived at the carpentry labs for an evening filled with fun, as they learned how to build their own birdhouses and small toolboxes. Every Cub Scout had a PCCA member guide him through the construction of each project. “This was a wonderful event,” said PCCA President Ryan Fry, of Nazareth. “I enjoyed seeing the Cub Scouts enjoy building their very own projects. I think our members had just as much fun as the kids.” The Scouts had a sense of accomplishment after seeing their projects come to fruition. PCCA Historian Alexander E. Eckerd, of Elizabethtown, said: “The club members enjoyed passing their passion for construction down to the next generation. I feel the Cub Scouts greatly enjoyed their time spent with us and will have a lasting memory.” PCCA believes such events are very successful in getting future generations to develop an appreciation for the construction industry. “Another successful task completed by the PCCA,” said organization Secretary Kyle J. Williams, of Oley. “It was truly a great feeling to be able to help the Cub Scouts build these projects, letting them get hands-on and mentoring them with techniques that we learned in our construction classes. Seeing the kids smiling and enjoying every minute of using the tools and building their projects really inspired me, and I hope PCCA continues the tradition!” Fry, Eckerd and Williams are enrolled in the college’s four-year residential construction technology and management major. After the kids completed their projects, faculty member Barney A. Kahn IV led the Cub Scouts on a tour of the construction labs. More photos can be viewed on PCCA Facebook and LinkedIn pages.
Photos by Kahn, instructor of building construction technology

Campus Community Able to Follow Students’ ‘Race to Zero’ Online

"Race to Zero"Supporters of the Penn College team involved in the U.S. Department of Energy’s “Race to Zero” Student Design Competition can watch their presentations live Saturday through an online link from Golden, Colorado. Presenting their plans for a Habitat for Humanity house to be built in Williamsport in the summer of 2016 are Dustin C. Bailey, of Petersburg, and Christopher G. Master, of Cranberry, enrolled in building science and sustainable design: architectural technology concentration. The pair – traveling with Robert A. Wozniak, associate professor of architectural technology – will be joined by six teammates back home via videoconferencing. They are among 33 entries from the United States and Canada competing to develop affordable, energy-efficient homes; winners will be announced during Sunday evening’s award dinner. The schedule, along with the information necessary to access the “Race to Zero” presentations online, follows. (EDITOR’S NOTE: Times are listed in Mountain Daylight Time; add two hours for their East Coast equivalent.) Race to Zero

WNEP on Hand as Students Visit Loyalsock Creek

Students in the news

Newswatch 16’s Kristina Papa followed some Penn College students on Wednesday as they visited a monitoring station along flooding-prone Loyalsock Creek. Papa interviewed civil engineering technology majors James H. Cassidy, of Douglassville, and Andrew J. Susen, of Easton, among the members of John J. Miknis’ Water and Wastewater Systems class who toured the U.S. Geological Survey stream gauge in Eldred Township.

Eight Penn College Students Headed for SkillsUSA Nationals

Eight first-place winners from Pennsylvania College of Technology have advanced to the 51st annual National SkillsUSA Conference, to be held from June 22-26 in Kentucky.

Five other students from the college finished in the top four places in a variety of categories during the SkillsUSA Pennsylvania Leadership and Skills Conference held April 8-10 in Hershey.

“The students did very well representing the college. It was the first time competing for some of the students, but they will be back next year for another go-around,” said James N. Colton II, assistant professor of welding and the college’s SkillsUSA adviser. “Many of the students advancing have been to nationals before, either as a college competitor or when they were in high school. We’re looking forward to the change of venue, as nationals will be in Louisville instead of Kansas City.”

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