News about Construction & Design Technologies

Unexpected Reunion

John Michael Sabga, left, and Tarik Laroche

From the Spring 2016 One College Avenue magazine: Long before becoming Wildcat soccer teammates, John Michael Sabga and Tarik Laroche shared a “football” field in Trinidad. Read more in “Unexpected Reunion.”

Masonry Novices Explore the ‘Arch’ in ‘Architecture’

Adorned with their alma mater, Penn Staters work to beat the clock.

From Happy Valley to serious business, coaching a teammate to an ultimate second-place design.

Surveying the landscape, ready to offer assistance as the mortar flies, are (from left) building construction technology: masonry emphasis majors Gwendolyn M. Wagner, of Cressona, and Nicholas E. Mills, of Tyrone; and faculty members Robert P. Gresko and Glenn R Luse.

The stuff of selfies: After scouring the lab for a serviceable keystone to top their Gothic arch, Penn State students celebrate the stability of their handiwork.

Scurrying into position and flashing a "No. 1" for their winning amalgamation, the day's winners savor their success.

More than 40 Penn State architecture students journeyed to Penn College’s Construction Masonry Building on Monday, a yearly assignment that supplements their studio work with the practical know-how required to breathe life into their designs. Students and instructors from the college’s School of Construction & Design Technologies ferried the guests among four stations, familiarizing them with technique and a variety of materials. After a break for lunch, four groups of 11 students each were tasked with crafting a project that incorporated brick, block, mountain stone and at least one archway. At the end of their Herculean 45-minute deadline, when Penn State instructor Reggie Aviles shouted, “Time’s up, trowels down!” the groups’ creations were judged – and the winners granted bragging rights for the brief duration of the semester.

Penn College Salutes ‘Women in Construction’

“Women in Construction Week” offers a reminder of the career opportunities represented within Penn College’s School of Construction & Design Technologies.

Pennsylvania College of Technology’s School of Construction & Design Technologies is celebrating Women in Construction Week, with multiple activities planned to highlight the women enrolled in construction-related majors at Penn College.

Women in Construction Week (March 6-12) is an opportunity for the National Association of Women in Construction to showcase women’s contributions to the construction industry.

Carol A. Lugg, assistant dean of construction and design technologies at the college, hopes to raise awareness locally on behalf of the NAWIC’s national efforts. From 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 16, the Carl Building Technologies Center will host regional high school girls interested in career opportunities in the construction industry at an event that will include a presentation and laboratory tours by current Penn College students pursuing construction majors.

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Masonry Student: Career Choice ‘Hit Me Like a Ton of Bricks’

Anthony J. DiBucci

Anthony J. DiBucci, of Pittsburgh, enrolled in building construction technology: masonry emphasis major, wrote the initial article for a new Masonry Design Blog feature. Headlined “How I Work,” DiBucci shares a glimpse into a typical day at Penn College and a reverent perspective on his meticulous craft of choice. “I know I’m in a field that will allow me to leave my presence on the world through projects I build,” he writes. “Masonry leaves a permanent mark, and if we want that mark to be filled with creativity and imagination, we must be knowledgeable in the field in which we work. The creation of a skilled mason’s work will be there always as an enduring reminder of a human being’s need to create and build.”
Photos by Zachery T. Kane, student photographer

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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