News about Construction & Design Technologies

Summer Camps Provide Practical Mix of Education, Enjoyment

Invoking the hands-on hallmark of a Penn College education

A series of academic-based camps at Pennsylvania College of Technology included enough information to satisfy minds hungry for challenge, while not forgetting that it IS summer. A wrap-up photo gallery reflects the unique career opportunities represented at Architecture Odyssey Camp, Designing a Digital Future Camp, Future Restaurateurs Career Camp, Advanced Restaurateurs Career Camp, Graphic Design Summer Studio, Health Careers Camp, SMART Girls Summer Camp, Creative Art Camp and Youth Training for Athletic Development Camp.

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Memorial Service Thursday for Professor Emeritus

Barbara Helen Williams

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Thursday for Barbara Helen Williams, a professor emeritus at Penn College, who died Monday. The service for Williams, a member of the engineering drafting technology faculty at the college (and its Williamsport Area Community College predecessor) from 1980-96, will be at Muncy First United Methodist Church, 602 South Market St., Muncy.

Students’ Civic Contribution Noted in Newscast

Student builders acknowledged

A ribbon rests atop a pillar constructed by Penn College masonry students. (Photo by Carol A. Lugg, assistant dean of construction and design technologies)

Penn College’s involvement in construction of the Lycoming County Sensory Garden is noted in a Newswatch 16 piece previewing this weekend’s ribbon-cutting at the Fairfield Township facility. In addition to footage of a sign acknowledging The School of Construction & Design Technologies’ contribution, Kristina Papa’s segment features Christina Dorward, a master gardener and chair of the Sensory Garden Committee, and her husband, Dennis, associate professor of construction management/building construction work at the college.

Firm Establishes Scholarship Fund for Masonry Students’ Benefit

Debra M. Miller, Penn College’s vice president for institutional advancement, accepts a check for The Witmer Group Scholarship from Roger Derr (left), senior vice president-masonry restoration, and Ken Schwebel, company president.

A Pennsylvania-based, nationally recognized masonry subcontracting business that regularly recruits graduates of Pennsylvania College of Technology has established an annual scholarship at the institution.

The fund was begun by The Witmer Group, headquartered in Mount Joy, and will generate two $2,500 awards each year to full-time students who have successfully completed two semesters at the college. Preference will be given to students enrolled in the building construction technology: masonry emphasis major who have a minimum GPA of 2.75.

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European Trip Blends Sustainability, Antiquity

Pride among the ruins

Enjoying a cross-cultural experience

Thirty-nine students from the ACH 270 (European Sustainable Building, Historical Architecture and Art) class joined two faculty members on a recent nine-day, four-city educational tour of Italy. The students – accompanied on their May 18-26 adventure by Naim N. Jabbour, assistant professor of architectural technology, and Daniel L. Brooks, instructor of architectural technology – visited Venice, Vicenza, Florence and Rome. “As an HVAC graduate, I enjoyed the opportunity to see how another culture views heating and cooling,” said Bradley G. Willis, who earned a bachelor’s degree in heating, ventilation and air conditioning design in May. “For example, while in Italy, I learned cooling set points of 78-80 (degrees Fahrenheit) are acceptable where the U.S. has a preference for the 70-72F range. This experience allowed me have a broader view of the advancement of HVAC systems, as well as cultural differences that affect our global industry.” Another new alumnus, Timothy S. Shook, offered a similar endorsement of the study-abroad program. “Being able to see the ancient buildings in person, after studying them at Penn College, created an unforgettable experience for me,” said the graduate in building science and sustainable design: architectural technology concentration. “An experience including learning, visualizing and fun that will stay with me forever.”
Photos by Willis and Jabbour

The Writing on the Wall

Words to live by

A closeup of students' craft

A handcrafted addition to a hallway in Penn College’s School of Construction & Design Technologies – espousing “honesty,” “integrity” and “respect” – shows off students’ skills while offering bywords for the campus community. From a seed planted with faculty last fall by Marc E. Bridgens, dean of the school, the idea grew into a spring project for Peter Kruppenbacher’s CCM 440 (Woodworking: Art, Craft and Design) classes. “We worked with Rob Wozniak in the architecture area to find a font that would work,” the assistant professor of building construction technology said, “and he printed out full-size templates for us to use as patterns.” Two sections of Kruppenbacher’s class worked on the letters off and on between other projects throughout the semester, helping to lay out, cut, prepare and install the letters on a wall near the carpentry labs in the Carl Building Technologies Center.

Penn College Graduates Commissioned in ROTC Ceremony

From left, Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour, Daniel G. Curtin, of Berwick; Craig W. Robbins, of Newton, New Jersey; Daniel H. Pulinski, of Penfield, New York; Kyle A. Csorba; of Trenton, New Jersey; and Carolyn R. Strickland, vice president for enrollment management/associate provost.

Four new Pennsylvania College of Technology graduates experienced a second milestone during the college’s commencement weekend: commissioning as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army Reserve.

Kyle A. Csorba, of Trenton, New Jersey; Daniel G. Curtin, of Berwick; Daniel H. Pulinski, of Penfield, New York; and Craig W. Robbins, of Newton, New Jersey, received the honor during an Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps ceremony at Bucknell University.

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Students Pitch In, Pick Up for Earth Day

Michael J. Fonti (left), of Wayne, N.J., and Patrick T. McCaffery, of Carbondale, help beautify the Susquehanna Riverwalk ...

... and join Robert W. Klingerman (left), of Langhorne, for a photo with the bronze "Wood Hick" statue.

Brandon P. Boyce, of Clearfield, is among the civic-minded students scouring the levee for refuse.

Andrew L. Darr, of Carlisle, offers a gloved "Hello" while walking with Boris Lobo, of East Elmhurst, N.Y.

In observance of Earth Day, the U.S. Green Building Council Students of Penn College collected trash and debris last Friday on the Williamsport side of the Susquehanna Riverwalk, extending from the Hepburn Street Pump Station east to the Market Street Bridge. The 18 students filled up 20 bags of trash, and John O. Markley, secretary of the Veterans Memorial Park Commission (who was aware of the group’s project), stopped to share his appreciation. “We could visually see the difference in our cleanup efforts,” said Timothy S. Shook, of Bangor, president of the USGBC Students of Penn College. “Looking back and seeing the change we made in just a few hours was very gratifying.” The USGBC students coordinated the logistics for the day, and the American Institute of Architecture Students at Penn College supported the endeavor by supplying gloves, bags and water for the volunteers. “The students that participated enjoyed this event,” added Peter L. Gauthier, of Newville, club vice president. “Unfortunately, public spaces create opportunities for trash. We enjoyed the opportunity to dedicate our efforts at promoting healthy and sustainable environments.” True to the day’s environmental focus, the students either walked or carpooled to the worksite.
Photos provided

Historic Number of Penn College Students Headed to Nationals

SkillsUSA Pennsylvania

Seventeen first-place winners from Pennsylvania College of Technology have advanced to the 52nd annual National SkillsUSA Conference, to be held from June 20-24 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Three other students finished in the top four places in their respective categories during the SkillsUSA Pennsylvania Leadership and Skills Conference held earlier this month in Hershey.

“I feel great about the students’ performance at the state competition. It goes to show how well-prepared the students are from their respective fields and how great our instructors are here at the college,” said James N. Colton II, assistant professor of welding and the college’s SkillsUSA adviser. “This is, by far, the most diverse group of students I’ve had go to the competition. The national competition gives us a chance to showcase our technical skills and show everyone why we’re a leader in applied technology. I hope next year we can increase the number going to nationals and continue to make the college proud.”

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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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