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Penn College Presents on Centennial at Communicators Conference
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Co-workers present on college Centennial

Planning and implementing a milestone event – specifically, Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Centennial celebration – was the subject of a recent staff presentation at a Fall 2014 Conference for CUPRAP-The Association of Communicators in Education, held at Harcum College in Bryn Mawr.

Judith A. Fink, website content manager and supervisor of alumni/advancement marketing, and Joseph S. Yoder, associate vice president for public relations and marketing, presented “Staging a Milestone Anniversary: Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Centennial.”

The Centennial honors the 100-year history of the institution, from the inception of vocational and adult education classes at Williamsport High School through its evolution into Williamsport Technical Institute, Williamsport Area Community College and Penn College. It also celebrates the present-day institution, a special mission affiliate of Penn State, with a variety of events built around the college’s vision, values and strategic goals.

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Countdown to the Centennial logo

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 →

Classmates, Co-Workers Brush Up Their Season’s Sentiments

Huddled for the holidays, members of the Student American Dental Hygienists' Association work on their entry.

Huddled for the holidays, members of the Student American Dental Hygienists’ Association work on their entry.

Paint cans tell a yuletide story of works in progress.

Paint cans tell a yuletide story of works in progress.

Surrounded by moral support, web and interactive media majors Robert L. Sloss, of Lake Harmony, and Brittany R. Terpstra, of Jim Thorpe, toil on behalf of the Wildcat Events Board.

Surrounded by moral support, web and interactive media majors Robert L. Sloss, of Lake Harmony, and Brittany R. Terpstra, of Jim Thorpe, toil on behalf of the Wildcat Events Board.

Last season's winner among college employees adds its signature to the department's 2014 card. What will it be THIS year?

Last season’s winner among college employees adds its signature to the department’s 2014 card. What will it be THIS year?

Antlers and artistry combined at the work site of the Society of Plastics Engineers student chapter. From left are Ryan N. Troiano, of Lake Ariel; Cody A. Rathmell, of Hughesville; Thomas J. Ryder, of Muncy; Brittany L. Delmo, of Milford; and Calvin L. Holland, of Huntingtown.

Antlers and artistry combined at the work site of the Society of Plastics Engineers student chapter. From left are Ryan N. Troiano, of Lake Ariel; Cody A. Rathmell, of Hughesville; Thomas J. Ryder, of Muncy; Brittany L. Delmo, of Milford; and Calvin L. Holland, of Huntingtown.

There hasn’t been a significant snowfall in the area yet, but there was a definite seasonal flurry in the General Services warehouse on Wednesday evening. Continuing a beloved year-end activity, Penn College’s student organizations and campus offices spent several hours working on their respective holiday cards. The large-scale greetings will be transported next week from the Reach Road facility to main campus, where they will be installed prior to an official lighting ceremony at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 3. Watch PCToday for photos of all of this year’s creations; the college community can then vote via the myPCT portal for its favorites.
Photos by Dalaney T. Vartenisian, student photographer

Aided by Penn College Presence, It’s Full Steam Ahead for ‘Expo’

Co-organizers Bruce E. (left) and Eric W. Huffman carry on the civic-minded (and certainly magical) tradition that memorializes their father.

Co-organizers Bruce E. (left) and Eric W. Huffman carry on the civic-minded (and certainly magical) tradition that memorializes their father.

Back for its eighth year, the layout of Patrick M. Breen and his wife, Laura, celebrates the Pennsylvania Railroad.

Back for its eighth year, the layout of Patrick M. Breen and his wife, Laura, celebrates the Pennsylvania Railroad.

A heads-up crew from a hands-on institution makes quick work of table delivery. From left are Eric W. Huffman and, from the college's General Services staff, Patrick J. Kimble, Jeff G. Rotoli, Breen and Barry L. Loner Jr.

A heads-up crew from a hands-on institution makes quick work of table delivery. From left are Eric W. Huffman and, from the college’s General Services staff, Patrick J. Kimble, Jeff G. Rotoli, Breen and Barry L. Loner Jr.

A five-year exhibitor is Max E. Ameigh, displaying his circus-themed trains.

A five-year exhibitor is Max E. Ameigh, displaying his circus-themed trains.

Mike Cunningham (seated) shows Marty Payne how to use the train simulation software on college-loaned computers.

Mike Cunningham (seated) shows Marty Payne how to use the train simulation software on college-loaned computers.

This weekend’s Will Huffman Toy Train Expo, a holiday homage to a “less-complicated world of wonder and nostalgia,” will once again include volunteers from the Penn College family. When the 24th annual event opens its doors at Park Place, 800 W. Fourth St., three college employees will be among those with model-railroad layouts on display: Max E. Ameigh, a part-time faculty member in advertising art; Patrick M. Breen, a first-shift custodian; and – exhibiting for the first time – Cletus G. Waldman Jr., clinical director of radiography. The Expo honors its late founder, who said, “Every Christmas tree should have a model train running around it,” and whose sons further the college connection: “Conductor” Eric W. is a shipping/receiving worker and Bruce E. is a former instructor of media arts/video production. Helping hands come from other corners of the campus, including the General Services workers who delivered more than 65 tables in Wednesday’s sub-freezing temperatures. Additionally, personal computers and monitors on loan from the college’s Information Technology Services (with thanks to Mike Cunningham, vice president for information technology/chief information officer, and Brad A. Miller, manager of technical support) will allow attendees to test their locomotive skill through simulation software. Others from Penn College include Eric Huffman’s wife, Linda D., a General Services custodian who staffs the admission table, and Patricia M. Russell, a part-time/substitute faculty member in building construction management, who is affiliated with the host venue. A portion of this year’s adult donations will be shared with the Lycoming County SPCA and the Lycoming Animal Protection Society Inc.; children are admitted free. Held in conjunction with the neighborhood’s Victorian Christmas, the event will be held from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and noon-4 p.m. Sunday.
Photos provided

Colloquium Highlights Consideration of Context Over Memorization of Dates

Under the lights of the ACC Auditorium dome (and the glow from the projection screen and students' electronic devices), a sizable crowd gathers for the final Centennial Colloquium.

Under the lights of the ACC Auditorium dome (and the glow from the projection screen and students’ electronic devices), a sizable crowd gathers for the final Centennial Colloquium.

Craig A. Miller offers an overview of the technological, economic, environmental and cultural issues that surrounded construction of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railways – including displacement of American Indians.

Craig A. Miller offers an overview of the technological, economic, environmental and cultural issues that surrounded construction of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railways – including displacement of American Indians.

Miller responds to an audience question about the ultimate impact of automation on the workforce, optimistically saying that, while technology will continue to alter the way we live and work, humans will always be involved.

Miller responds to an audience question about the ultimate impact of automation on the workforce, optimistically saying that, while technology will continue to alter the way we live and work, humans will always be involved.

The college's Centennial is drawing to a close, but Miller – along with the five other Penn College faculty members who contributed to the enlightening colloquia series – will reconvene for a panel discussion in February.

The college’s Centennial is drawing to a close, but Miller – along with the five other Penn College faculty members who contributed to the enlightening colloquia series – will reconvene for a panel discussion in February.

Past and present meet as Miller time-travels across the stage, introducing his audience to Thomas C. Durant, vice president of the Union Pacific Railroad.

Past and present meet as Miller time-travels across the stage, introducing his audience to Thomas C. Durant, vice president of the Union Pacific Railroad.

Defining history as a “conversation between the past and the present … and almost always about the future,” faculty member Craig A. Miller delivered the concluding lecture in Penn College’s Centennial Colloquia Series on Tuesday night. The assistant professor of history and political science discussed “Technology, Power and Responsibility” in the Klump Academic Center Auditorium, engaging his audience the same way he challenges his students: “I’m not here to teach you history. I’m here to use history to teach you to be critical thinkers.” So while the presentation was shaped around the construction of the transcontinental railroad, that story served as a thought-provoking springboard to the broader connection between choices and consequences. Cross-country rail service was “truly a technological marvel” steeped in progress and industrial speed, he said, a monumental achievement that was not without fallout. True, it ushered in an era of development and helped the United States become a global economic power. But the territorial expansion also relocated Native Americans under a policy of “assimilate or move,” fostered financial chicanery and altered the workforce. In an informed give-and-take, Miller urged attendees to vigilantly weigh multiple perspectives, to logically and critically analyze the societal price of decisions, and to “accept uncomfortable truths and learn from them.” The hourlong program, introduced and moderated by Paul L. Starkey, vice president for academic affairs and provost, was followed by a question-and-answer session and a reception in Wrapture.

Countdown to the Centennial logo

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 →

Faculty Member Brings Shipyard Experience Into Welding Lab

A mock-up of a oil tanker's bulkhead has been fabricated by Steven J. Kopera's welding students ...

A mock-up of a oil tanker’s bulkhead has been fabricated by Steven J. Kopera’s welding students …

Cutaway drawings help Kopera's students envision the scope of the work.

Cutaway drawings help Kopera’s students envision the scope of the work.

... who are living an on-the-job scenario in their Penn College lab.

… who are living an on-the-job scenario in their Penn College lab.

Benefiting from the real-world experience of an alumnus turned faculty member, Penn College students are simulating how the watertight bulkhead of an oil tanker is assembled, welded and pressure-tested. “Often times, the day-to-day lab projects we do in class can become very monotonous, and leave students asking, ‘Is this really what it’s like out in the field?’and “When am I ever actually going to need to do this?'” said Steven J. Kopera, a welding lecturer in the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies. Kopera earned degrees in welding technology (2007) and welding and fabrication engineering technology (2009) before embarking on a career that included time at the Aker Philadelphia Shipyard. While course work provides necessary practice in fundamentals and technique, he said, it is done under the most ideal circumstances – conditions that are atypical of industry. “The intent behind this project was to get the students out of their routine and their comfort zone,” he said, “and to expose them to a situation that they will be faced with in the workforce.” Kopera has been brainstorming the exercise for some time and, with only seven students in his unusually small class this semester, the time was right. He explained how hull sections are put together and showed them various pictures and sketches in the classroom, supplementing the instruction with stories of his “overwhelming” encounters as a young welder newly exposed to large-scale fabrication. “This project will apply those skills they have been honing to a realistic industry scenario,” Kopera said. noting that they will be using the flux-core, arc-welding process that they have been learning in lab. “I believe it will not only be a good learning experience for them, but also a testament to how well our normal class routine prepares them for an actual on-the-job application.” Having fashioned a small mock-up of a watertight bulkhead, the students plan to do the welding and pressure-testing on Thursday.
Photos provided

Centennial Reception, Concert Say ‘Thanks’ to Scholarship Donors

A full house in the Field House! The Centennial event invited all campaign donors to an autumn buffet. Attendees including alumni, current and retired employees and other friends and supporters, enjoyed such treats as mashed sweet potatoes, a selection of "sliders" and a choice of desserts from the college's fine-dining restaurant.

A full house in the Field House! The Centennial event invited all campaign donors to an autumn buffet. Attendees including alumni, current and retired employees, and other friends and supporters enjoyed such treats as mashed sweet potatoes, a selection of “sliders” and a choice of desserts from the college’s fine-dining restaurant.

Surrounded by colorful stage lighting befitting the festive affair, President Davie Jane Gilmour welcomes more than 500 people – including students – to the post-buffet concert at the CAC.

Surrounded by colorful stage lighting befitting the festive affair, President Davie Jane Gilmour welcomes more than 500 people – including students – to the post-buffet concert at the CAC.

One of the funnier moments of the evening was when the band offered a free copy of its new Christmas CD to the first audience member "to get up here." Two eager fans took the words literally, leaping onto the stage. Erin N. Shaffer (standing in white top), daughter of Myra K. Shaffer, institutional advancement and foundation assistant, was proclaimed the winner (although the band gave a second CD to the other fan.)

One of the funnier moments of the evening was when the band offered a free copy of its new Christmas CD to the first audience member “to get up here.” Two eager fans took the words literally, leaping onto the stage. Erin N. Shaffer (standing in white top), daughter of Myra K. Shaffer, institutional advancement and foundation assistant, was proclaimed the winner (although the band gave a second CD to the other fan.)

Home Free, which received two standing ovations by night's end, takes the stage.

Home Free, which received two standing ovations by night’s end, takes the stage.

Chris Rupp, who founded Home Free with his brother Adam, signs autographs for young fans in the Capitol Lounge following the show.

Chris Rupp, who founded Home Free with his brother Adam, signs autographs for young fans in the Capitol Lounge following the show.

In appreciation of their contributions to the Penn College Scholarship Campaign, donors were treated to a casual Saturday evening of tasty and tuneful entertainment. The celebration began with a Le Jeune Restaurant-catered buffet at the Field House and continued at the Community Arts Center with a private performance by Home Free, the a cappella country group that won the fourth season of NBC’s “The Sing-Off.” More than $5.7 million has been donated to the campaign, which, for 2014-15, has already more than doubled the scholarship support to students prior to the start of the campaign in 2011.

Countdown to the Centennial logo

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 →

Dental Hygienist Visits Children’s Learning Center

Myreta Churba works with youngsters at the college's Dunham Children's Learning Center.

Myreta Churba works with youngsters at the college’s Dunham Children’s Learning Center.

Myreta Churba, a part-time faculty member and 1984 alumna, recently presented dental hygiene lessons at Penn College’s Dunham Children’s Learning Center. Churba is a community outreach dental hygienist with Susquehanna Community Health and Dental Center. In addition to Thursday’s class activities, some children received dental cleanings and screenings on-site if their parents had enrolled them in the program.
Photo by Regina G. Andes, assistant group leader, Children’s Learning Center

College ‘Giving Tree’ Again Provides Outlet for Holiday Generosity

The Penn College "Giving Tree"

The Penn College “Giving Tree”

Interested in helping someone less fortunate in the Williamsport community this holiday season? A Penn College “Giving Tree,” bearing tags of individuals (children 3 months to 12 years, and senior citizens) who could benefit from your generous donation, is located in the Student Activities Office. The process for sponsoring someone is easy; instructions are available alongside the “Giving Tree” (Bush Campus Center, first floor) or on the myPCT portal.

Consider Penn College in Your Year-End Giving Plans

If you are considering making a charitable donation as the 2014 tax year comes to a close, please remember the Penn College employee campaign. Gifts of all sizes help students succeed and will be put to use immediately.

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Penn College Welcomes New Employee

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. Continue reading →

A Picture Worth 100 Years

"100" on the lawn

“100” on the lawn

Celebrating 100 years of hands-on education (and a brisk moment of coats-on necessity), the Penn College community gathered Thursday for an aerial commemoration of the institution’s ongoing Centennial. Scores of students and employees – and one canine member of the family – enthusiastically braved the chill to form a “100” on the Madigan Library Lawn.
Photo by Carlos Ramos, web designer/interactive media specialist

Countdown to the Centennial logo

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 →

Culinary Duo Prepares Seasonal Treat in Live Broadcast

Student Daniel A. Horst and Chef Mary G. Trometter, assistant professor of hospitality management and culinary arts, talk with "PA live!" co-host Dave Kuharchik.

Student Daniel A. Horst and Chef Mary G. Trometter, assistant professor of hospitality management and culinary arts, talk with “PA live!” co-host Dave Kuharchik.

Chef Mary G. Trometter, assistant professor of hospitality management and culinary arts, assisted by Daniel A. Horst, a culinary arts and systems student from Harrisonburg, Virginia, appeared on WBRE-TV’s “PA live! Thursday afternoon. In segments with co-hosts Dave Kuharchik and Jasmine Brooks, they prepared Roasted Butternut Squash Soup.

A College Family Dinner, at Students’ Second Home

Bradley M. Webb, director of student affairs administration and one of the evening's servers, talks with colleagues from the Residence Life Office.

Bradley M. Webb, director of student affairs administration and one of the evening’s servers, talks with colleagues from the Residence Life Office.

A seasonal centerpiece helps set the mood.

A seasonal centerpiece helps set the mood.

Student leader Emma J. Sutterlin enjoys a pre-holiday meal.

Student leader Emma J. Sutterlin enjoys a pre-holiday meal.

Members of the college community mingle over a family-style meal.

Members of the college community mingle over a family-style meal.

Cookies an ever-popular item at Dining Services events

Cookies an ever-popular item at Dining Services events

Members of the Penn College community, including administrators and Student Affairs personnel, served a family-style Thanksgiving dinner this week in the Keystone Dining Room. More than 80 people enjoyed turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, green beans, cranberry sauce, rolls, beverage and dessert – a mouth-watering menu planned and prepared by Dining Services.
Photos by Dalaney A. Vartenisian, student photographer

Thursday Funeral Set for Former Dean of General Services

William E. Twaddell

William E. Twaddell

Services will be held Thursday in Hackettstown, New Jersey, for William E. Twaddell, Penn College’s dean of general services from January 1986 to December 1994, who died Monday, Nov. 10. An obituary has been posted by the Cochran Funeral Home in Hackettstown.

Students, Faculty Treated to IT-Related Conference in Indiana

Penn College students, faculty among conference attendees

Penn College students, faculty among conference attendees

Five students and two professors recently traveled to Indianapolis to attend the COMMON 2014 Fall Conference and Expo, sponsored by the world’s largest professional association of IBM technology users. Their attendance was made possible through a scholarship from the COMMON Education Foundation, which provided registration, travel and lodging. Participating Penn College students were information technology: network specialist concentration majors Michael A. Gideon, of York, and Connor M. Ream, of Lititz; Kyle J. Rosales, a software development and information management student from Blandon; Benjamin S. Welch, of State College, enrolled in information technology: information assurance and security concentration; and Dominic D. York, of Williamsport, an information technology sciences-gaming and simulation student. Accompanying them were Lisa R. Bock and Anita R. Wood, assistant professors of computer information technology. The Oct. 27-29 event provided education on a broad range of IBM i, AIX and Linux topics. “Students took the COMMON Business Computing Associate certification exam, and four passed,” Bock noted. “It was a great experience for the students, and they look forward to attending another COMMON conference.”
Photo provided

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