News: Faculty & Staff

ShaleNET Success Shared at Congressional Hearing on Energy Workforce
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Tracy L. Brundage testifies in the Rayburn House Office Building.

Tracy L. Brundage testifies in the Rayburn House Office Building.

The college's vice president for workforce development is greeted by U.S. Rep. Bobby L. Rush, of Illinois, the panel's ranking Democrat.

The college’s vice president for workforce development is greeted by U.S. Rep. Bobby L. Rush, of Illinois, the panel’s ranking Democrat.

Brundage is joined in the hearing room by U.S. Rep Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., chair of the subcommittee.

Brundage is joined in the hearing room by U.S. Rep Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., chair of the subcommittee.

Penn College’s vice president for workforce development testified in Washington, D.C., this week on behalf of improved education and training in energy and related industries. Tracy L. Brundage appeared Thursday before the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power, which is examining legislative language to create a 21st-century energy and manufacturing workforce. Referencing the success of the college’s award-winning ShaleNET partnership, which responded to the industry’s call for trained employees, Brundage said an educational infrastructure – built from a cross-section of public and private interests – is among the innovative solutions necessary to meet challenges. “ShaleNET is a best-practice model that can be deployed and implemented in other areas because the curriculum is competency-based, developed with input from industry, consistent, easily replicated and flexible dependent upon industry needs,” she said. “The success of ShaleNET is a direct result of strong partnerships with employers and trade associations, Workforce Investment Boards and One-Stops, economic development agencies such as the Pittsburgh-based Allegheny Conference on Community Development, and local governments who share a common desire to place qualified candidates with employers in family-sustaining careers.”
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Board Authorizes Bond Refinancing
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The Pennsylvania College of Technology Board of Directors on Thursday authorized refinancing of the college’s 2005 bond series to generate financial savings from reduced interest costs.

Refinancing, said Suzanne T. Stopper, vice president for finance/CFO, is being undertaken at this time because of favorable interest rates. Closing is expected in June.

The board action allows the college administration to request that the Lycoming County Authority issue tax-exempt bonds on the college’s behalf in an amount not to exceed $11 million. There is no new money included in the borrowing.

When first approved 10 years ago, the Series 2005 bond issue included money for capital projects – like construction of the Madigan Library and the Center for Business & Workforce Development – as well as funds for refinancing the 1997 series bonds.

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Banquet Celebrates Imminent Grads’ Proven Career Readiness

Early childhood graduates celebrate with mentors

Early childhood graduates celebrate with mentors

Nearly 40 people attended the annual Spring Early Childhood Practicum Banquet, held recently in the Thompson Professional Development Center. The event honored Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 graduates of Penn College’s early childhood education associate-degree major and director’s competency credential, as well as the students’ practicum supervising teachers from child care centers and Head Start programs in Lycoming, Clinton, Centre and Union counties. Billie A. Coffman, associate professor of early childhood education and practicum adviser (first row, far right), offered greetings to the group and thanked the supervising teachers for the important role they play in the guidance and mentorship of each student in the practicum experience. In addition to Coffman, others on hand to honor the students’ success were (from far left) Jennifer I. Watson, adjunct early childhood education faculty, Karen Woland Payne, adjunct practicum adviser, and Nancy A. Grausam, assistant professor of early childhood education; Barbara J. Albert, director of the college’s Dunham Children’s Learning Center (center, in floral jacket), and Jodi L. Binkley, early childhood lab assistant (upper right).
Photo provided

Math Professor Co-Authors Paper Published in Journal

William Ma

William Ma, professor of mathematics at Pennsylvania College of Technology, jointly authored a paper that was published recently in an international journal, Complex Analysis and Operator Theory.

The paper, titled “Two-Point Distortion for Nehari Functions,” was written with two other mathematicians, Diego Mejia, of Universidad Nacional, Colombia, and C. David Minda, of the University of Cincinnati. The work was initiated when the authors were participants in a research seminar at the Charles Phelps Taft Research Center at the University of Cincinnati.

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Slots Available for Summer Program at Children’s Learning Center

The Dunham Children’s Learning Center will offer a summer program from June 8 to Aug. 7 for children who have completed kindergarten or first grade (up to age 7). Hours will be 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Fridays. A full week of enrollment is $150, or families can choose a part-time schedule of Monday/Wednesday/Friday or Tuesday/Thursday at $30 per day. Discounts will be available for eligible Penn College students and subsidized child care through the Child Care Information Services will be welcome. Applications will be accepted through May 15. For further information or to enroll, contact Barbara J. Albert, center director, or call 570-320-8026.

Plastics Trade Journalists Learn Firsthand of PIRC’s Pre-Eminence

Christopher J. Gagliano, PIRC program and technical service manager, showcases the thermoforming lab.

Christopher J. Gagliano, PIRC program and technical service manager, showcases the thermoforming lab.

C. Hank White, director of the PIRC, answers a question in the extrusion lab.

C. Hank White, director of the PIRC, answers a question in the extrusion lab.

Julia I. Gilchrist, a plastics and polymer engineering technology major and a research assistant for the PIRC, holds court in the rotational molding lab.

Julia I. Gilchrist, a plastics and polymer engineering technology major and a research assistant for the PIRC, holds court in the rotational molding lab.

Gary E. McQuay (left), PIRC engineering manager, and Jared W. Mahaffey, a plastics and polymer engineering technology major and PIRC research assistant, take measurements in the industry lab.

Gary E. McQuay (left), PIRC engineering manager, and Jared W. Mahaffey, a plastics and polymer engineering technology major and PIRC research assistant, take measurements in the industry lab.

Timothy E. Weston, associate professor of plastics and polymer technology and department head, tells visitors that all 12 pending plastics graduates have secured jobs.

Timothy E. Weston, associate professor of plastics and polymer technology and department head, tells visitors that all 12 pending plastics graduates have secured jobs.

The excellence of the Plastics Innovation & Resource Center reached an international audience on Tuesday. Journalists representing plastics trade publications from India, France, Denmark, the Netherlands and the United States toured the PIRC and plastics labs at the college. Facilitated by the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development, the visit promoted the desirability of central Pennsylvania for international companies with a stake in plastics. According to Sarah Thomas, a spokesperson for DCED, Greiner Packaging, one of Europe’s leading plastic packaging manufacturers, opened a plant in Pittston within the past year because of its proximity to the expertise at the PIRC.  Hank White, director of the PIRC; Christopher J. Gagliano, PIRC program and technical service manager; Gary E. McQuay, PIRC engineering manager; Tracy L. Brundage, vice president for workforce development; and Timothy E. Weston, associate professor of plastics and polymer technology and department head, addressed the international contingent. Julia I. Gilchrist, of Hanover, and Jared W. Mahaffey, of Linden, both juniors in the plastics and polymer engineering technology major and PIRC research assistants, demonstrated equipment. The visitors were impressed to hear Weston report that all 12 plastics students scheduled to graduate in May have already obtained jobs.

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 Students Selected to Cook at Kentucky Derby

Penn College students Brianna R. Helmick, a culinary arts and systems student from Hershey, and Eileen N. Harrington, of Etters, who received an associate degree in hospitality management and is continuing her studies toward a bachelor’s degree in technology management, pause above the iconic Churchill Downs track during the 2014 Kentucky Derby.

Thirty-eight Pennsylvania College of Technology students have been selected to cook for thousands at the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby on May 2.

Known as “the most exciting two minutes in sports,” the tradition-steeped Kentucky Derby attracts more than 150,000 guests, including its fair share of celebrities.

At Churchill Downs, students will spend a week helping to mix, chop and cook thousands of pounds of ingredients that they’ll serve to guests in suites and luxury boxes throughout the facility, including The Mansion, a lavish, invitation-only venue.

Students are also assigned to the main kitchen, Jockey Club Suites, Turf Club Lounge, Finish Line Suites and the Plaza Balcony. In addition to cooking for the main event, several students will prepare food for “Dawn at the Downs,” a popular Louisville tradition that gives visitors an opportunity to enjoy breakfast in Millionaires Row while watching the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks contenders conduct morning workouts.

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Emergency Scenarios Aid Students’ Real-Life Readiness

While students from other majors observe, nursing student Amanda S. Kopczick, of Mifflinburg, takes the temperature of “patient” Kristina N. Varner, of Lewisburg.

Around 250 students and employees from the School of Health Sciences participated in three days’ worth of emergency simulations on campus this week. In its third year, the exercise is known as the Interdisciplinary Professional Event and provides a unique opportunity for students and faculty from different majors within the School of Health Sciences to collaboratively care for patients.

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Campus Community Able to Follow Students’ ‘Race to Zero’ Online

"Race to Zero"Supporters of the Penn College team involved in the U.S. Department of Energy’s “Race to Zero” Student Design Competition can watch their presentations live Saturday through an online link from Golden, Colorado. Presenting their plans for a Habitat for Humanity house to be built in Williamsport in the summer of 2016 are Dustin C. Bailey, of Petersburg, and Christopher G. Master, of Cranberry, enrolled in building science and sustainable design: architectural technology concentration. The pair – traveling with Robert A. Wozniak, associate professor of architectural technology – will be joined by six teammates back home via videoconferencing. They are among 33 entries from the United States and Canada competing to develop affordable, energy-efficient homes; winners will be announced during Sunday evening’s award dinner. The schedule, along with the information necessary to access the “Race to Zero” presentations online, follows. (EDITOR’S NOTE: Times are listed in Mountain Daylight Time; add two hours for their East Coast equivalent.) Race to Zero

May 4 Deadline Set for 2015-16 Colloquia Proposals

Daniel J. Doyle

Daniel J. Doyle

Proposals will be accepted until May 4 from faculty, staff and retirees interested in being considered as presenters for the Daniel J. Doyle Technology & Society Colloquia Series, opening in the Fall 2015 semester. Following the success of last year’s Centennial Colloquia, President Davie Jane Gilmour announced that the ongoing series would be dedicated in honor of Daniel J. Doyle, a professor emeritus and the college’s 1984 Master Teacher. Proposals will be accepted by email through next month’s deadline. More information is available in the official flier, distributed Friday in employee mailboxes: Colloquia Series

Longtime Aviation Faculty Member Named Assistant Dean

Walter V. Gower

Walter V. Gower has begun duties as assistant dean in the School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

A 25-year faculty member, Gower most recently was assistant professor of aviation at the college’s Lumley Aviation Center in Montoursville.

“Wally Gower is an excellent addition to the leadership team in Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies,” said Paul L. Starkey, Penn College’s vice president for academic affairs/provost. “Wally has great experience as an educator and is respected by his peers and students. His enthusiasm for student success will be of great benefit to the school and the college.”

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‘Props for Profs’ Applauds Advocates, Supports Students

"Props for Profs"

“Props for Profs”

A fundraising initiative launched on the Penn College Alumni Relations Facebook page encourages all segments of the campus community to make a gift – to give “props” – on behalf of a faculty or staff member who has influenced their lives. “I know that our faculty and staff change lives and form lifelong connections with alumni, their colleagues, parents and other friends of the college,” President Davie Jane Gilmour said in announcing the Props for Profs campaign. “And I look forward to seeing the outpouring of thanks for their hard work.” Alumni, parents, friends and employees are all encouraged to donate by midnight Friday;  those sharing “props” can enrich the Penn College Fund for as little as $5, providing scholarship support, helping to purchase state-of-the-art lab equipment, and funding student travel that leads to hands-on experiences in real-world environments.

Kept Resolutions Pay Off for Fitness Center Members

Penn College students, staff and faculty participated in a Fitness Center promotional event to help encourage members to see through fitness-oriented goals set as New Year’s resolutions. The Resolutions Fitness Challenge began the second week of classes and ended April 10, hosting 28 completing participants actively involved for the nearly semesterlong duration.  Participants checked in and recorded workout programs on a daily basis to accumulate points to meet time-based goals. Several tiers of prizes were awarded upon completion of goal checkpoints in addition to grand-prize packages awarded to six finalists. Prizes were Penn College nutrition shaker bottles, water bottles, T-shirts, workout towels, thumb drives and free one-semester memberships for staff/faculty.  Top student awards were given to Jillian Helmus, of Middletown, an on-site power generation major who reached 60 points, and Cody L. Hagen, of Lancaster, an automotive technology management: automotive technology concentration major who amassed 63 points.  Staff/faculty grand prizes were awarded to Beverly A. Hunsberger, college transition specialist at Outreach for K-12; Michael R. Triassi, director of sales and restaurant operations for the School of Business & Hospitality; Tobey M. Robison, senior financial system analyst; and Daniel F. Warner, web programmer/analyst. The program was well-received by members and is projected to be offered again in the Spring 2016 semester.

Reception Acknowledges Gifts Integral to Student Success

Debra M. Miller, vice president for institutional advancement, talks with William Knecht, who, along with his wife, supports the Marie E. Knecht Scholarship.

Debra M. Miller, vice president for institutional advancement, talks with William Knecht, who, along with his wife, supports the Marie E. Knecht Scholarship.

President Davie Jane Gilmour thanks Virginia Thompson, treasurer of the Williamsport Hospital School of Nursing Alumni Association, which reached Heritage Society status on the Donor Wall.

President Davie Jane Gilmour thanks Virginia Thompson, treasurer of the Williamsport Hospital School of Nursing Alumni Association, which reached Heritage Society status on the Donor Wall.

The Donor Wall offers a reflective backdrop for Elizabeth A. Biddle, director of corporate relations, and friends.

The Donor Wall offers a reflective backdrop for Elizabeth A. Biddle, director of corporate relations, and friends.

The earliest arrivals mingle in the SASC lobby, a stellar setting for a distinguished event.

The earliest arrivals mingle in the SASC lobby, a stellar setting for a distinguished event.

The president welcomes guests, honorees' gifts by her side.

The president welcomes guests, honorees’ gifts by her side.

Individuals and corporations alike were recognized Tuesday night during the 11th annual reception for Friends of Penn College who provide significant support or planned gifts. Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour recognized new contributors and those whose ongoing benevolence in the past year elevated them to a new category on the Donor Wall in the Student and Administrative Services Center lobby.

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