News about Faculty & Staff

Helping Hands (and Feet) Add Meaning to King Tribute

Phi Mu Delta President Paul M. Lasell, of Williamsport, a plastics and polymer engineering technology major

Unselfish in their community commitment and undeterred by winter’s chill, about 225 people participated in Monday’s 10th annual Peace Walk to commemorate the legacy of Martin Luther King. Members of the Penn College community (with notable contributions from fraternity members and Wildcat student-athletes) were among those gathering at Lycoming College’s Lamade Gymnasium for the kickoff event, and more than 150 walkers – honoring the theme of a day ON rather than a holiday off – stuck around to perform service projects on behalf of 15 local nonprofits (West End Christian Community Center, Saving Grace Shelter, American Rescue Workers, Sojourner Truth Ministries, Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, Footprints of Montgomery, New Love Center Food Pantry, Family Promise of Lycoming County, West House, Center City Food Bank, Firetree Place, Transitional Living Center and the Salvation Army in Williamsport, Muncy and Lock Haven). The two colleges were co-organizers, along with STEP Inc. AmeriCorps and the Beloved Community Council.

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‘Dream Week’ Guest to Facilitate Discussion, Deliver Keynote Address

Jamie Washington

The president and founder of a multicultural organizational development firm, a self-described “instrument of change,” will be the keynote speaker as Pennsylvania College of Technology continues its Dream Week reflections on the contributions of Martin Luther King Jr.

“The Content of Our Character: Doing the Work to Live Out the Dream of Inclusion” will be presented at 7 p.m. Thursday by Jamie Washington, whose Baltimore-based Washington Consulting Group has been named one of the Top 10 Global Diversity Consultants in the world. The presentation, free and open to the public, will be in Penn College’s Klump Academic Center Auditorium.

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Penn College Names Associate VP for Human Resources

Hillary E. Hofstrom

Pennsylvania College of Technology has named Hillary E. Hofstrom associate vice president for human resources and expanded the responsibilities of two other longtime administrators in the Human Resources Office.

Hofstrom, who had been director of employee relations and compliance, will oversee all activities within Human Resources. She will report to Suzanne T. Stopper, vice president for finance/CFO, and Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour. She will also serve on President’s Council.

LaDonna J. Caldwell remains director of compensation and benefits but takes on new responsibilities within Human Resources. She will be responsible for administering the college’s wage and salary programs, supervising the employee benefits program, administering the job/position analysis process, partnering with Financial Operations on the salary increment process, reviewing and authorizing all college personnel actions for payroll, and supporting professional development and the onboarding process.

Molly J. Steele-Schrimp, who had been compensation and benefits specialist, becomes manager of employment. She will conduct new-employee orientations and exit interviews, serve as the initial contact for college employee benefit problems and information, process new and updated salary-system calculations, manage the employee leave of absence process, partner in the administration of worker’s compensation, and assure compliance with state Department of Transportation regulations related to employees using CDL licenses. She will also serve as the college’s deputy coordinator and lead investigator of Title VII, Title IX and Section 504/ADA for employment.

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Homeowners Invited to Undergo Student-Led Energy Audits

auditStudents in the Renewable Energy Technologies course are looking for homes in which to perform energy audits, identify energy-saving measures and recommend renewable systems. To qualify, a home must be a freestanding single-family dwelling. Students will come to the house and evaluate it as part of their course requirements. They will produce a report that will document how airtight the home is and where it leaks air, recommend ways in which energy use and comfort can be improved, and show how renewable energy (photovoltaic and solar thermal systems) can be integrated. Those interested in volunteering their homes are asked to email Dorothy J. Gerring, associate professor of architectural technology, and include an address, phone number and email. What secrets does your house keep?  The students will find out using a blower door test and infrared thermal imaging. The images above show the corner/ceiling of a client’s bedroom: on the left is what it actually looks like; on the right is a thermal image.  The images were taken on a cold winter day, so the interior of the house was warm (yellow colors in second image) and the places where there is missing or compromised insulation in the ceiling and air infiltration on walls are cold (which shows as blue in the right-hand photo). “My husband, Jeff, and I were pleased to have our home chosen by a team of two students for the energy audit,” said Kimberly M. Antion, secretary to the School of  Construction & Design Technologies. “The students conducted themselves very professionally while in our home.  They explained what they were going to do and asked questions of my husband and me when necessary.  The blower-door test produced some startling results that Jeff and I are now in the process of remediating. We are both glad that we had this energy audit done on our home. It will not only save us energy dollars, but also contribute to reducing the carbon footprint.”

Penn College Contingent Participates in Conferences

J.D. Mather, assistant professor of engineering design technology at Penn College, holds his Autodesk Expert Elite Award, which was presented to him for his outstanding contribution to Autodesk community forums.

Pennsylvania College of Technology students and faculty were big winners recently in Las Vegas. The contingent attended two major industry conferences during the same week.

Representatives from the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies participated in FABTECH 2016 and the Autodesk University conference. FABTECH is the largest metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing event in North America; the Autodesk event is geared to those who utilize the company’s computer-aided design software.

J.D. Mather, assistant professor of engineering design technology, received special recognition at the Autodesk conference. He completed the Inventor 2017 certified professional exam and was presented with the Autodesk Expert Elite Award for his outstanding contribution to Autodesk community forums.

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iLuminate: The Most Fun You’ll Ever Have in the Dark!

iLuminate

From “America’s Got Talent” and a recent New York City tour, iLuminate will light up the Community Arts Center’s stage – literally – at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7. The Bush Campus Center Information Desk has a limited number of free tickets available to students, plus tickets to sell for a discounted price of $20 for students, faculty and staff.  Penn College students and employees can buy additional tickets for family members at the Campus Center, as well, while supplies last. (Please note: only students can get into the theater with a student ticket. Students are ages preschool through college. All tickets will be checked at the door. College students must present valid student ID night of show.) iLuminate is an entertainment technology company that combines state-of-the-art technology with electrifying entertainers who perform in the dark to create the ultimate performing-arts experience. Founded by dancer and software engineer Miral Kotb, iLuminate enables performers, choreographers, engineers, technicians, stylists and artistic directors to produce explosive performances with customized wireless-lighting programs. The results are extraordinary lighting effects choreographed with phenomenal dance moves that take viewers on an exhilarating ride. All orders must be paid with cash, check or credit card. By purchasing at the Campus Center, the 4-percent service fee that the Arts Center box office charges will be waived. There are no refunds or exchanges, and the offer ends Feb. 1. For complete show details and a video clip, visit the CAC website. The Arts Center, a wholly owned subsidiary of the college, is at 220 W. Fourth St. in downtown Williamsport (just a few blocks from campus). Complimentary Show Shuttle service will be available for the show.

Jan. 17-18 Blood Drive to Benefit THON

THON to benefit from Jan. 17-18 blood donations

College Health Services and the American Red Cross encourage the campus community to donate much-needed blood during their drive, scheduled for noon to 6 p.m. Jan. 17-18 in Penn’s Inn.  Online appointments to contribute to this lifesaving mission are available, and each presenting donor will result in a $4 donation to the THON fight against pediatric cancer. All donors will receive Pizza Hut pizza, a beverage and a “We Challenge U” T-shirt after their contribution. In addition, successful donors will be entered in a Health Services-sponsored drawing for one of three $50 Sheetz gift cards.

Penn College Welcomes New Employees

PCToday continues its regular feature – welcoming new full-time and regular part-time Pennsylvania College of Technology employees, as reported by the Human Resources Office.

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Penn College Welcomes New Employees

PCToday continues its regular feature – welcoming new full-time and regular part-time Pennsylvania College of Technology employees, as reported by the Human Resources Office.

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Penn College to Showcase ‘degrees that work’ at State Farm Show

Student Kassandra Sellinger, a culinary arts and systems student from Linden, and Chef Mike Ditchfield perform a cooking demonstration on the Culinary Connection stage at the Pennsylvania Farm Show in January 2016.

Nearly 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive entries and 300 commercial exhibits – and more than 100 rewarding career pathways uniquely represented by Pennsylvania College of Technology – will be on display as America’s largest indoor agricultural exposition celebrates its 101st anniversary next month.

In what has become a New Year’s custom, the college will show off its prestigious “degrees that work” from Jan. 7-14 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg, where visitors can get a participatory glimpse at a rewarding future.

“Attending the PA Farm Show is a beloved tradition for Penn College. During the weeklong event, Admissions, Alumni Relations and Academic Affairs will showcase all of the amazing opportunities that await students on our campuses,” said Claire Z. Biggs, coordinator of admissions events and services. “We hope that, through our hands-on activities, students, alumni and families will learn why we have so much Penn College Pride! We can’t wait to meet all of the Farm Show guests this year and share what makes applied technology education so special.”

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Case Study Aids Patient Understanding

From left: students Neil A. Ebert II, of Catawissa; Alicia A. Brant, of Mifflinburg; and Alexandra R. Harriman, of Montoursville; chest-trauma patient Wayne Brooks, his wife, Dawn, and son Joel, a part-time instructor of nursing; and students Sarah E. King, of Milton, and Kelsey J. Maneval, of McAlisterville.

A Linden-area man who survived serious chest injuries after a farm wagon rolled over him in August attended a case-study presentation made by nursing students who attended to him during his two-and-a-half week stay in Geisinger’s intensive care unit. The students were serving a rotation in Geisinger’s ICU when they encountered Wayne Brooks, who sustained 29 broken bones. Brooks’ son Joel, a part-time instructor of nursing at the college, said it’s the most severe chest trauma Geisinger has seen in a patient who survived. “A big part was the nursing staff that saved his life because they were so diligent,” said Wayne’s wife, Dawn. “Your students got to be a part of that.” Wayne Brooks, a K-12 teacher and part-time farmer, remembers the accident, calling 911 from his cellphone, shifting his position and feeling his ribs scrape together “like broken pretzels.” He can remember everything up to the time that paramedics began treating him. But he can’t remember his time in the ICU, so Joel suggested he attend the students’ presentation to learn more about what he went through. Alexandra R. Harriman was the primary student working with Brooks, who presented her first experience with a chest-trauma patient. She quickly gained experience with ventilator and chest care. “It was a very complex case,” she said. Brooks spent a total of five weeks in the hospital. When he attended the Nov. 30 presentation, he was back to farming a few hours a day, which will increase as he regains stamina and muscle strength, and looks forward to returning to teaching at Walnut Street Christian School in early 2017.

Holiday Happenstance Puts College Card Into Grad’s Hands

In this Instagram post, Kelvin A. Ortiz-Gomez holds an odds-defying holiday card from his alma mater.

Admissions Representative Sarah R. Shott spearheads the holiday card-signing, enlisting college co-workers to share positive and personal messages to U.S. troops.

For the past few years, admissions representative Sarah R. Shott has headed up a campus initiative in which Penn College employees write grateful messages in holiday cards for American servicemen and women. This season, 1,500 cards were signed and sent to A Million Thanks, an organization that distributes them (along with hundreds of thousands of other cards and letters) in packages for troops around the world. One of those greeting cards was astonishingly delivered to Kelvin A. Ortiz-Gomez, who earned his associate degree in collision repair technology a year ago and is now serving in the Army. “Would like to give a shoutout to @PennCollege,” he said via social media, “especially Disability Services for this holiday card I received, which is funny because it’s been a year since I graduated from Penn College and I was given this bag randomly.”

There’s Still Time to Get Your Flu Vaccine!

Penn College Health Services will provide flu shots for faculty, staff, students, dependents (age 9 years and older) and spouses in Room 150 of the Bush Campus Center. Vaccinations will be available from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. daily. The cost of the flu vaccine is $15.  Payment will be accepted in the form of cash, check (made payable to Penn College), Health Savings Accounts or credit card. The second line of defense? Healthy habits like hand-washing, sneezing into the bend of your elbow, getting enough sleep and eating right can help your body defend itself against influenza. College Health Services encourages the campus community to stay healthy and prevent the spread of this preventable disease.

A Giving Campus Makes Holidays Happy for Scores of Youngsters

Gifts stand gathered for Thursday delivery to Salvation Army-arranged recipients.

As they have for so many years, Penn College employees and students can take pride in knowing they made someone smile this holiday season. A total of 60 “someones,” in fact – 60 youngsters, from infants to 12-year-olds – whose ornaments were pulled from The Giving Tree. An annual Bush Campus Center tradition, this year supervised by Diversity and Community Engagement, the tree is adorned with children’s wishes collected by The Salvation Army. Students, faculty/staff, organizations and offices fulfill those dreams, filling gift bags with on behalf of children in need within the Williamsport area.
Photo by Todd Moore, student affairs marketing specialist

College Faculty Help High-Schoolers Crack ‘Code’

In a “Coding Unplugged” session, a student solves a problem by moving disks from one spot to another. Students learned that repeating and combining the movements that solve a simple problem can solve more complex problems.

High school students from as far as Warren County in northwestern Pennsylvania and Chester County in the state’s southeastern corner were among those participating in an “Hour of Code” event at Penn College on Thursday. The Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in more than 180 countries. At Penn College, the students gathered for a “Coding Unplugged” activity with Anita R. Wood, associate professor of computer information technology. Later, they toured campus and practiced coding Ozobots with Spyke M. Krepshaw, instructor of web and interactive media, and Alicia McNett, instructor of computer information technology. A project of the nonprofit Code.org, the Hour of Code started as a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify “code,” to show that anybody can learn the basics, and to broaden participation in the field of computer science. It has become a worldwide effort to celebrate computer science, starting with one-hour coding activities but expanding to all sorts of community efforts. Most Hour of Code events are scheduled during Computer Science Education Week. The week coincides with the birthday of computing pioneer Admiral Grace Murray Hopper, who was born Dec. 9, 1906.