News about Faculty & Staff

Longtime Record of Service Typifies Penn College Employees

A number of employees at Pennsylvania College of Technology are reaching service milestones in 2015-16, including one attaining the 40-year mark. Penn College employees marking additional milestones of a quarter century or more include: 35 years, four; 30 years, 13; and 25 years, five.

“These dedicated employees are committed to ensuring Penn College remains true to its unique mission,” said President Davie Jane Gilmour. “We are grateful for their service to the institution.”

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Penn College Provides Timely Workshop Topics to Health Care Pros

Penn College’s Brian J. Schurr, counselor, and Jen Hammond, coordinator of tutoring, lead a session on suicide awareness and intervention for the health professionals who help to educate Penn College health sciences students during clinical rotations at area health care facilities.

Suicide prevention training was a lead topic when the School of Health Sciences at Pennsylvania College of Technology hosted a continuing education workshop for health care professionals who serve as educators to the college’s students while they complete rotations at area health care facilities.

According to recent data, suicide is the second leading cause of death in the United States among 15- to 24-year-olds.

“Suicide has affected our communities, including Penn College, in a very disturbing way,” said Barbara J. Natell, director of the college’s Occupational Therapy Assistant Program and one of the coordinators for the workshop. “The problem is escalating to epidemic proportions. Anything we can do to heighten awareness and interventions – with prevention at its core – should be promoted.”

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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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Between Classes, Faculty Turn Focus to More Effective Teaching Practices

Keynoter Kyle D. Bowen delivers the opening session: "New Ideas for New Learning Experiences."

Tom Gregory discusses assessment and accreditation.

In "Proving the Power of Doing," presenter Kyle Peck explores techniques for meaningful measurement of accomplishment.

The Summer Teaching Institute, a day and a half of professional development, recently offered faculty the opportunity to gain new information, improve skills and associate with colleagues in the relaxed atmosphere of the Schneebeli Earth Science Center. Among the topics at this year’s end-of-semester event were tools for student assessment, selection of general-education electives for advisees, staying apprised of workforce trends, creative and collaborative “makerspaces,” and teaching with technology. Guest speakers were Kyle D. Bowen, director of education technology services at Penn State; Kyle L. Peck, a research fellow, professor of education and co-director of Penn State’s Department of Learning and Performance Systems; and Gary R. Hafer, professor of English at Lycoming College. The institute was overseen by Tom Gregory, associate vice president for instruction, and the Professional Development Office.
Photos provided

Picnic Offers Good Time, Aids Good Cause

A sampling of canned goods donated to The Cupboard, a food pantry for Penn College students to be launched by Dining Services this fall

Maria E. Weisser, ShaleNET U.S. data manager, collects nonperishable food and distributes raffle tickets. Prizes included gift cards. theater passes and reserved-parking privileges.

Food, sun, blue skies and yard games make for a relaxing post-commencement event.

Crissy L. McGinness, director of dining services, calls the numbers for candy bingo in the Field House.

Penn College colleagues ended the first Friday of summer hours with a third annual Employee and Retiree Picnic in and around the Field House. Lunch was catered by the alumni-owned Acme Barbecue; the afternoon also included indoor and outdoor games, raffles and catch-up socializing before the closer-than-you-think start of fall classes. Nonperishable food items were collected to support The Cupboard at Penn College, an initiative in support of students experiencing food insecurity.

Yucatan Travelers Share Study-Abroad Experiences

A large crowd gathers to hear the presentations. In the background, D. Robert Cooley (light blue shirt), assistant professor of anthropology/environmental science, leads the discussion.

Intrepid travelers (from left): Erik G. Knecht, of Cranesville; Leo J. Ravina, of Hazleton; Brendon J. Dibble, of Douglassville; Anthony V. Rode, of Palm Coast, Fla.; and Curtis R. Gehman, of Lock Haven.

Dibble discusses his pit-fired ceramics, an attempt he made following the trip to recreate ancient Maya ceramics.

Knecht shares stories from the voyage.

Vander Vere listens to his students’ presentations.

Among the engaging end-of-semester activities that occurred across campus in recent weeks were presentations by students in MTH 156 (Mathematics in Non-European Cultures). Gathering in the Bush Campus Center TV Lounge, the students offered insights into their study-abroad adventures in Mexico earlier this year. The unique course blends mathematics, anthropology and cultural adventures, and is led by D. Robert Cooley, assistant professor of anthropology/environmental science, and Curt E. Vander Vere, assistant professor of mathematics. This year’s student group represented a diverse range of majors including manufacturing and engineering technology, industrial and human factors design, studio arts, construction management, and pre-physician assistant. The Penn College class traveled to the Yucatan peninsula, specifically the Mexican states of Yucatan and Campeche. This year’s outing marked the fifth time Cooley and Vander Vere have guided students in the exploration of ancient Maya civilization.
Photos by Tia G. La, student photographer

A previous MTH 156 travel experience was showcased in this video on the college YouTube channel:

College Preps Dual-Enrollment Partners for Coming Year

Pat Scheib, academic skills specialist in the Academic Success Center, works with secondary teachers during her morning sessions; she focused on the choices of successful students and skills that teachers can use to motivate struggling students.

Admissions representatives Sarah R. Shott, Salvatore Vitko, Emily A. Weaver, Claire Z. Biggs (coordinator of admissions and enrollment event services) and Sean M. Stout introduce themselves, explain their territories and academic school focuses, and invite teachers to contact them for visits or for any information they may need about Penn College. Representatives also escorted groups of teachers to their academic program areas.

Eric Nagy, an English teacher at Jersey Shore Area High School, prepares to meet with Bruce A. Wehler, assistant professor of English composition, to organize and plan ENL111 through the Penn College NOW program.

On May 17-18, the College Transitions Office hosted the 135 secondary teachers who will teach Penn College NOW courses to their high school students in 2016-17. The teachers spent the morning attending sessions on “Academic Resources for Students and Teachers,” led by Monica A. McCarty, the college’s dual enrollment specialist, and librarian Helen L. Yoas; and “Instructional Strategies to Nurture Student Learning and Motivation,” taught by Pat Scheib, academic skills specialist in Penn College’s Academic Success Center. The secondary teachers spent the afternoon meeting in groups with their Penn College faculty liaisons about the courses they’ll teach next school year. Thirty-eight Penn College faculty members serve as liaisons for the program. “Secondary teachers in attendance came from each of our 40 partners across the state and teach Penn College NOW courses connected with every academic school on campus,” said McCarty, who coordinated and hosted the event with colleagues Brigette M. Cleary, secretary to academic services and college transitions, and Laura M. Machak, college transitions specialist. The professional development is a requirement of the college’s accreditation through the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships. Penn College NOW is one of only two accredited dual-enrollment programs in Pennsylvania.
Photos by Tia G. La, student photographer

Hands-On Visit Lets Middle-Schoolers Jump-Start Career Aspirations

Under the supervision of Scott A. Geist (background), director of surgical technology, students explore the hands-on world of the operating room.

More than 1,040 students and chaperones from seven area middle schools visited Tuesday, exploring a wide variety of technical careers through hands-on activities, tours of facilities, and discussions with Penn College students and faculty. Career Day, organized by the College Transitions Office is held each spring and fall; the next program, for students in ninth through 12th grade, will be held Oct. 13.

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Faculty Member, Family Serve Community Dinner

Barbara K. Emert-Strouse (right), and her family, including May culinary arts and systems graduate Scott L. Neff (with hat), join forces in the kitchen of Christ Episcopal Church in Williamsport to serve a free meal to the community.

Barbara K. Emert-Strouse, assistant professor of dental hygiene, was joined by her family, including Scott L. Neff, a May culinary arts and systems graduate, in serving a free dinner for the community recently at Christ Episcopal Church in Williamsport. The “Pay It Forward” dinner began as a class project for students in the college’s Community Dental Health course and has evolved into a volunteer project for second-year dental hygiene students and Emert-Strouse’s family. The church offers a free meal for the community on the first Saturday of each month, and Emert-Strouse and her family provided the groceries and the manpower to prepare and serve the May edition.
Photo provided

Nearly 1,000 Earn ‘degrees that work’ in Weekend Ceremonies

Kadeem D. Carter, collision repair technology graduate, and family revel in the joy of the day.

Three commencement ceremonies were held May 13-14 for the nearly 1,000 Pennsylvania College of Technology students who petitioned to graduate following the Spring 2016 semester. Friday afternoon’s exercises at the Community Arts Center featured students from the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies and the School of Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications. Students from the School of Construction & Design Technologies and the School of Health Sciences received their degrees Saturday morning, while those in the School of Business & Hospitality and the School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies crossed the magnificent stage during the afternoon. Student speakers were Anthony D. Gobbi, who received a bachelor’s degree in building automation technology on Friday; Cortney Lyn Weaver, who earned an associate degree in dental hygiene on Saturday morning; and Jessica R. Wiegand, who received a bachelor’s in business administration: marketing concentration Saturday afternoon. The college also bestowed a pair of Excellence in Teaching Awards and four alumni awards.

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Penn College Faculty Earn ‘Excellence in Teaching’ Awards

Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour stands with Kirk M. Cantor (left) and Craig A. Miller, recipients of Excellence in Teaching Awards presented at commencement.

Two faculty members at Pennsylvania College of Technology were honored with Excellence in Teaching Awards during Spring Commencement ceremonies held May 13-14 at the Community Arts Center, Williamsport.

As part of the Distinguished Teaching Awards program at Penn College, President Davie Jane Gilmour presented Excellence in Teaching Awards to Kirk M. Cantor, professor of plastics technology, and Craig A. Miller, assistant professor of history and political science.

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Annual Recognition Accorded Penn College Employees, Faculty

Pennsylvania College of Technology held its traditional Employee Recognition event on May 12, presenting awards to Distinguished Staff, a part-time instructor, faculty advisers, new members of its Quarter Century Club and employees who retired during the 2015-16 academic year.

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Award-Winning Employees Catalyst for ‘Global Responsibility’

Closing out the 2015-16 school year with a Thursday morning message to campus colleagues, President Davie Jane Gilmour honored meritorious employees who “have inspired us all to be more caring … more productive … and more vital members of this priceless Penn College community.” And looking ahead to the challenges of tomorrow, with 10 little words as a road map, she rallied others to follow that example when opening potential students’ eyes to Pennsylvania College of Technology. “It is important that everyone in the room realize that recruiting is a global responsibility. All of us play one of the key roles in the process,” she said. “All of us play a part and, without all of us working together, we cannot achieve our goals.”

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Penn College Dedicates Nursing Education Center

Cutting the “ribbon” to dedicate the Penn College Nursing Education Center are, from left, Dottie M. Mathers, associate professor of medical-surgical nursing; Sandra L. Richmond, director of nursing; Edward A. Henninger, dean of health sciences; President Davie Jane Gilmour; and student Monica A. Flexer, president of the Penn College Student Nurses Association.

On May 10, during National Nurses Week, Pennsylvania College of Technology dedicated its Nursing Education Center.

The Nursing Education Center occupies the first floor of the Breuder Advanced Technology and Health Science Center’s west wing. The facility contains 10 dedicated classrooms and seven learning labs serving more than 350 students enrolled in nursing majors at the college.

“The Penn College nursing program began in 1963 with a certificate in practical nursing; today, we offer associate and bachelor’s degrees in support of an increasing demand for highly qualified nursing professionals,” said President Davie Jane Gilmour. “Our nursing degrees incorporate Penn College core values, typified by hands-on instruction and a student-centered learning environment. These expanded and consolidated facilities enable us to produce more graduates for this rewarding career field.”

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Truck Donated by FedEx Delivers Expanded Opportunity for Students

Gathered near a newly acquired Volvo truck are (from left) Elizabeth A. Biddle, Penn College’s director of corporate relations; alumnus Greg A. Moser, who, as a district fleet maintenance manager for FedEx Freight, arranged donation of the 2006 vehicle; and Mark E. Sones, a diesel equipment technology faculty member.

Students in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s diesel equipment majors now have newer equipment on which to hone their craft, thanks to a graduate’s ongoing involvement with his alma mater.

The donation of a 2006 Volvo truck was facilitated by Greg A. Moser, an alumnus of Penn College’s former diesel technology: Mack emphasis major. Based in Pocono Summit, Moser is a district fleet maintenance manager for FedEx Freight. He frequently recruits at campus career fairs and serves on the college’s Diesel Technology Advisory Committee.

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