Back-to-back Halloween events provided family-friendly fun Wednesday night, beginning with the fifth annual Trick or Treat Night at the Village at Penn College. Residents of the on-campus housing complex went all-out for the younger children of students, employees and alumni, handing out goodies in a safe, controlled environment. (Many more images are available via Penn College Alumni Relations on Facebook.) The popular event was followed by a party in the Rose Street Courtyard, complete with novelties, giveaways, a dual obstacle course, food, T-shirts and prizes.
Fright-Night Double-Feature Offers Howlingly Good Time
The Advanced Patisserie Operations class will hold an “American Bakery Classics” sale from 10 a.m.-noon Wednesday in Le Jeune Patissier at the Market (in the West Third Street hallway of the Carl Building Technologies Center). Join Chef Charles R. Niedermyer, instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts, and students – including managers Haylee N. Swartz, of Newport, and Diana N. Lindner, of North White Plains, New York, both baking and pastry arts majors – for artisan breads, pastries and candies. More information, including a product list and instructions for pre-ordering a specially decorated cake, follows: American Bakery Classics
Affirming that the speed of communication governs the pace of life, a visiting physicist, author and educator made a regretful confession to his Penn College audience Tuesday: “I rarely goof off.” No matter the amount of time available – seconds can be spent answering phone messages, minutes are allotted to email responses and hours devoted to work on an article or book – Alan Lightman lamented that he no longer wastes that precious commodity. Contrasting his “long childhood detours through the woods” with his adult status as “a prisoner of the wired world,” he called for a more selective, reflective approach to time management; challenging us, individually and as a nation, to “take the time to think about where we’re going.” While he is far from anti-technology (Skype and other tools keep him connected to his nonprofit Harpswell Foundation), Lightman said society pays a heavy price for its advanced gadgetry. Among them are an obsession with speed and a corresponding impatience with relative slowness, an overload of not-always-useful information, confusing the cyberworld with reality, and the dual absence of silence and privacy. “I have lost something of my inner self,” he said; that quiet “soul space” where imagination, dreaming and exploration dwell. Lightman invoked the philosophy of Francis Bacon and Benjamin Franklin, who only championed technological invention when it served humanity. And it is humans, he said, who have the power to reverse the dizzying course and reclaim the “certain amount of stillness” required to balance societal progress with internal peace. The presentation of “Our Home in the Material Universe” to a packed Klump Academic Center Auditorium, especially written for the college’s Centennial Colloquia Series, was introduced by physics professor David S. Richards (who noted his favorite novel is Lightman’s “Einstein’s Dreams”). The series will conclude Tuesday, Nov. 18, with “Technology, Power and Responsibility,” presented by Craig A. Miller, assistant professor of history/political science.
Photos by Dalaney T. Vartenisian, student photographer
2014 marks a milestone in the institution's rich history, from the inception of adult classes in the Williamsport Area School District in 1914, through its evolution into Williamsport Technical Institute, Williamsport Area Community College, and present-day Pennsylvania College of Technology. Read about the institution's history →
Want a $0.00 energy bill? It is possible! The Penn College community can learn how at Thursday’s “Race to Zero” presentation, set for 3:30 p.m. in the Klump Academic Center Auditorium. Everyone will learn about current standards that can be used to design houses that produce as much energy as they use. All students are invited to be part of the U.S. Department of Energy Student Design Competition team, putting their combined skills – architecture; surveying; construction management; estimating; interior design; landscaping; and mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems – toward a Habitat for Humanity home to be built in the Brodart neighborhood of Williamsport in the summer of 2015. Their design will be submitted in the DOE contest, intended to inspire and develop the next generation of building science professionals.
The School of Business & Hospitality’s Catering class made its annual visit Saturday to the Williamsport Growers Market, where they prepared a menu of free samples made from ingredients donated by market vendors. It is a valuable learning opportunity for Penn College students, as they interact with growers and work with fresh, local ingredients while practicing their skills at off-site catering. The class is taught by Chef Michael J. Ditchfield, instructor of hospitality management/culinary arts, and the “customer appreciation” visit to the market is coordinated with the help of Anne Nordell, of Beech Grove Farm and a member of the Williamsport Outdoor Growers Association.
NetBrain Technologies Inc. will provide Penn College students with a demonstration of its map-driven, network-automation software during a virtual conference, scheduled from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6, in Room E140 of the Breuder Advanced Technology and Health Sciences Center. The presentation will feature Christel Glaser, an account executive with the Burlington, Massachusetts-based company, the mission of which is to empower professionals by making network management simple and visual with transformational technology. NetBrain’s customer base includes organizations in health care, financial services, the government and telecommunications, including AT&T, BP, MITRE, Lockheed Martin, NASA and the U.S. Army. The presentation will demonstrate to students the power of NetBrain’s map-based automation to discover, document and troubleshoot business-critical, enterprise-grade networks to simplify and reduce the efforts associated with network management. The demo, hosted by the Penn College Cisco Networking Academy, is an opportunity for all information technology students to learn about some amazing technology from network professionals. For more information, contact Jeff B. Weaver, associate professor of electronics, or Lisa R. Bock, assistant professor of information technology.
Four students – all of them music-makers in some form or another – have moved on to the finale of the “Penn College Star” talent competition, vying to be the winner when the last round is held at 9 p.m. Nov. 12 in the Klump Academic Center Auditorium. The top finishers in this past week’s second round, as chosen by audience text messages and judges’ scores, are James C. Hendrie, of Gettysburg, a software development and information management major; Lucas P. Crawford, a manufacturing engineering technology student from New Bethlehem; Gwendolyn A. Ntim, of Yonkers, New York, a pre-nursing student; and Kyle T. Smithmyer, of Huntingdon, enrolled in surveying technology. Other contestants during Wednesday’s event were Jonathan D. Straub, a graphic design student from Williamsport who performed magic, and Brett F. Warkoski, of Lancaster, a guitarist/songwriter/vocalist majoring in industrial and human factors design. Round-two judges were Dining Services manager Jason K. Eichensehr; Michael J. Hersh, digital media production assistant; and Julia I. Gilchrist, a plastics and polymer engineering technology major from Hanover who was among last year’s competitors. “Penn College Star” is sponsored by the Off-Campus Housing Organization and the Residence Life and Student Activities offices.
Photos by Whitnie-rae Mays, an applied technology studies major from Williamsport
College Holds Centennial Open House
Penn College welcomed prospective students, their families and friends, and its community neighbors to Fall Open House on Sunday. Helpful employees, students and alumni were on hand throughout the day to enable exploration of academic programs, student life, and the college’s campuses and facilities. The student-focused portion of the day was held from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; free transportation was provided to and from the Schneebeli Earth Science Center near Allenwood and the Lumley Aviation Center in Montoursville. A Community Centennial Event, inviting the public to help celebrate 100 years of adult education, was from 2-4 p.m.
Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Occupational Therapy Assistant Club will host a walkathon on campus Oct. 30.
The walkathon is scheduled 5-9 p.m. and includes laps around the campus mall. Fifteen percent of the walk’s proceeds will be given to initiatives that support individuals with physical disabilities. The remainder will support activities by the Occupational Therapy Assistant Club.
Registration for the walkathon is $15 in advance or $20 on the day of the event. Participants can raise money for their registration – or go above – by asking friends and family to donate toward each lap they complete.
Members of the campus community – particularly students in construction-related majors – are encouraged to attend a lecture by Jeff Erdly, a 1972 graduate of Williamsport Area Community College and a world-renowned authority on building and masonry preservation, who will speak at 3:30 p.m. Thursday in the Klump Academic Center Auditorium. Sponsored by the School of Construction & Design Technologies and the Penn College Alumni Relations Office, Erdly will present “Just Another Brick in the Wall? A Building Science Education – Its Value to Society, and Roadmap to Building Your Career.” The chief executive officer and co-founder of Masonry Preservation Services Inc., Erdly was profiled in the Spring 2014 issue of One College Avenue. He was also selected as the college’s Distinguished Alumnus in 2004 in recognition of his personal and professional accomplishments, his contributions toward the college (including his establishment of a scholarship in memory of his parents), and the high regard in which he is held in the community.
Students narrowing their occupational choices gained some real-world focus on Friday, as the Outreach for K-12 Office again hosted Career Day on Penn College campuses. Held in the spring for seventh- to ninth-graders and in the fall for high school freshmen through seniors, the event gives regional school districts the opportunity to brings groups of students to delve into potential careers through hands-on activities, tours of facilities, and discussions with in-the-know students and on-the-job faculty.
Members and guests of the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce visited main campus in the midst of Penn College’s yearlong 100th-birthday celebration, encouraged to take a leisurely autumn stroll among the institution’s three new outdoor art installations: the Centennial Mosaic, “These Trees” and “Student Bodies.” The Chamber’s latest PM Exchange, providing the area business community with an informal opportunity to network and socialize, was held under a tent outside the Thompson Professional Development Center.
Nearly 200 employers were on campus this week, looking to fill more than 2,000 positions from among Penn College’s “degrees that work.” At three sessions over two days, including breakout offerings for specific majors, employers (including a number of Fortune 500 companies and other industry heavyweights) sought interns and new graduates who are technically skilled and prepared to enter today’s workforce. A Monday fair in the Breuder Advanced Technology and Health Sciences Center highlighted majors within the School of Health Sciences, while Tuesday morning’s Field House event – moved onto main campus from the Schneebeli Earth Science Center – was geared toward natural resources technologies students. The Career Fair wrapped up Tuesday afternoon with a wide-open field of opportunities for students in all six of the college’s six academic schools.
New Experiences, Old Friends
Homecoming 2014, a spectacular continuation of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Centennial celebration, made institutional history while honoring it. Marked by the first-ever campus carnival, the inaugural reunion for Williamsport Area Community College alumni and employees, and an Oktoberfest, “Then … Now … Forever Proud” offered nearly a full week of activities that can’t even fit into an online gallery of more than 140 photos. More images from the week’s activities – which included a faculty lecture, a gallery opening, dedication of a conversation-starting art installation, several other get-togethers and the latest Athletic Hall of Fame induction – are available via Penn College Alumni Relations on Facebook.
As the latest Pennsylvania College of Technology faculty member chosen to deliver the David London My Last Words Lecture, Jacob R. Miller shared a simple barometer of student success: “I would like to think that, at the end of every day, no matter what they have done that day, they can face themselves in the mirror.”