News: Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies

IT Students Share Strategies for Staying Safe Online

William C. Blessing talks about the malicious methods employed to compromise computer security.

William C. Blessing talks about the malicious methods employed to compromise computer security.

Zachary L. Lundberg addresses the benefits (and more than occasional pitfalls) of geolocation, which pinpoints and shares one's physical whereabouts.

Zachary L. Lundberg addresses the benefits (and more than occasional pitfalls) of geolocation, which pinpoints and shares one’s physical whereabouts.

Several "cloud"-based systems for information backup are assessed by Adam T. Check.

Several “cloud”-based systems for information backup are assessed by Adam T. Check.

David M. Mossop (left) and Jeremy W. Rennicks cover multiple security considerations, including password strength, wireless security and the endless shelf life of Internet posts.

David M. Mossop (left) and Jeremy W. Rennicks cover multiple security considerations, including password strength, wireless security and the endless shelf life of Internet posts.

Members of Penn College’s Information Security Association observed Data Privacy Month on Wednesday afternoon with brief presentations on relevant topics about online protection. Intended mainly as a peer-to-peer supplement to the introductory Information, Technology and Society course, the afternoon program included valuable tips for anyone concerned about his or her digital footprint. Sharing their knowledge in the Student & Administrative Services Center were William C. Blessing, of Muncy; Zachary L. Lundberg, of Warren; Adam T. Check, of Great Falls, Virginia; David M. Mossop, of Newark, Delaware; and Jeremy W. Rennicks, of Williamsport. Blessing is enrolled in the information technology: network security concentration; the others major in information technology: information assurance and security concentration.

Professor Serves as Judge for On-Campus STEM Competition

David S. Richards

A Pennsylvania College of Technology professor served as a judge for the regional Governor’s PA STEM Competition held recently on the college’s main campus in Williamsport.

David S. Richards, professor of physics, was one of four judges for the high school competition coordinated regionally by BLaST Intermediate Unit 17. While learning about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) careers, teams were required to design, build and present a device addressing a real-world problem with the goal of improving the quality of life for Pennsylvania residents.

Teams from Williamsport Area High School and Hughesville High School competed to be the top school from Intermediate Unit 17’s four-county region and advance to the state finals in May at Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology in Lancaster.

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College’s Centennial Colloquia Culminate in Panel Discussion

Moderator James E. Cunningham, retired vice president for information technology and business process improvement, notes that campus lectures will continue as the Dan Doyle Science, Technology and Society Colloquia Series. Doyle, faculty emeritus and the college's Master Teacher in 1984, was a driving force behind the college's just-ended Centennial celebration.

Moderator James E. Cunningham, retired vice president for information technology and business process improvement, notes that campus lectures will continue as the Dan Doyle Science, Technology and Society Colloquia Series. Doyle, faculty emeritus and the college’s Master Teacher in 1984, was a driving force behind the college’s just-ended Centennial celebration.

Faculty panelists drawn from this past year's Centennial Colloquia Series field a question from the audience. From left are Dorothy J. Gerring and Robert A. Wozniak, associate professors of architectural technology; Lisa R. Bock, assistant professor of computer information technology; Mark D. Noe, professor of English-composition; Rob Cooley, assistant professor of anthropology/environmental science; and Craig A. Miller, assistant professor of history/political science.

Faculty panelists drawn from this past year’s Centennial Colloquia Series field a question from the audience. From left are Dorothy J. Gerring and Robert A. Wozniak, associate professors of architectural technology; Lisa R. Bock, assistant professor of computer information technology; Mark D. Noe, professor of English-composition; Rob Cooley, assistant professor of anthropology/environmental science; and Craig A. Miller, assistant professor of history/political science.

A biometric image on a smartphone – technology only recently embraced by Bock (third from left) – recalls her September lecture on identity protection.

A biometric image on a smartphone – technology only recently embraced by Bock (third from left) – recalls her September lecture on identity protection.

While recognizing the role of technology in effecting change, Gerring said it is but one factor in converting public will into progressive action.

While recognizing the role of technology in effecting change, Gerring said it is but one factor in converting public will into progressive action.

Nursing major Sadie E. Bebko, of Allegany, N.Y., defends her generation against the suggestion that reliance on technology has left her peers unable to read a map or finish a book. While she and her peers avail themselves of shortcuts, she rebutted, they are more than capable of processing and retaining the complex information necessary to be critical thinkers and responsible citizens.

Nursing major Sadie E. Bebko, of Allegany, N.Y., defends her generation against the suggestion that reliance on technology has left her peers unable to read a map or finish a book. While she and her peers avail themselves of shortcuts, she rebutted, they are more than capable of processing and retaining the complex information necessary to be critical thinkers and responsible citizens.

Six Penn College faculty members, who combined for four enlightening and provocative lectures during 2014’s Centennial Colloquia Series, reconvened on campus Wednesday night for a roundtable recap. The discussion, titled “Riding the Wave of Technological Change: Revolution or Evolution?” was held in the Klump Academic Center Auditorium. The group (Dorothy J. Gerring, Robert A. Wozniak, Lisa R. Bock, Mark D. Noe, Rob Cooley and Craig A. Miller) ably kicked around the connection between technology and progress, entertaining questions from moderator James E. Cunningham and the audience.
Photos by Elizabeth S. Greis, student photographer

Video Crew Visits Plastics Labs in Advance of International Trade Show

Dave Pinskey (center) and Mike Lomma prep for an interview with Brittany L. Delmo, a plastics and polymer engineering technology major from Milford, about why she chose Penn College.

Dave Pinskey (center) and Mike Lomma prep for an interview with Brittany L. Delmo, a plastics and polymer engineering technology major from Milford, about why she chose Penn College.

Before the camera rolls, producer Nell Abom conducts a pre-interview with plastics and polymer engineering technology student Cody J. Fisher, of Blandon.

Before the camera rolls, producer Nell Abom conducts a pre-interview with plastics and polymer engineering technology student Cody J. Fisher, of Blandon.

Christopher J. Gagliano (left), the PIRC's program and technical service manager, leads a tour for the day's guests.

Christopher J. Gagliano (left), the PIRC’s program and technical service manager, leads a tour for the day’s guests.

Seth E. Cook (above) and Heith A. Hicks – students of Timothy E. Weston, associate professor of plastics and polymer engineering technology and department head – are filmed during a practical exercise in the injection molding lab. Cook, of Mountville, is pursuing a bachelor's degree in plastics and polymer engineering technology; Hicks, of Williamsport, is enrolled in the two-year plastics and polymer technology major.

Seth E. Cook (above) and Heith A. Hicks – students of Timothy E. Weston, associate professor of plastics and polymer engineering technology and department head – are filmed during a practical exercise in the injection molding lab. Cook, of Mountville, is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in plastics and polymer engineering technology; Hicks, of Williamsport, is enrolled in the two-year plastics and polymer technology major.

Kirk M. Cantor, professor of plastics and polymer technology, coolly awaits his opportunity to discuss the industry-relevant research, development and education available in the college's plastics labs.

Kirk M. Cantor, professor of plastics and polymer technology, coolly awaits his opportunity to discuss the industry-relevant research, development and education available in the college’s plastics labs.

A production team from Harrisburg spent much of Tuesday in Penn College’s plastics laboratories, preparing for a brief video that will be shown at NPE: The International Plastics Showcase from March 23-27 in Orlando, Fla. Gathering footage and conducting interviews for the Team Pennsylvania Pavilion in the Orange County Convention Center were Nell Abom, a communications consultant working with the state Department of Community and Economic Development, and Commonwealth Media Services’ Mike Lomma, director of videography, and Dave Pinskey, audio engineer. The three-person crew toured labs in each of five featured processes (injection molding, extrusion, blow molding, rotational molding and thermoforming) and talked with students, faculty and Plastics Innovation & Resource Center Director C. Hank White about the hands-on education offered both on the curricular side and in helping the industry remain competitive. Penn College is one of only five colleges in the nation offering degree programs in plastics accredited by the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET, and boasts unique National Centers of Excellence in rotational molding and thermoforming – distinctions that will be highlighted in the video, as well.

Seminar Augments Manufacturing Students’ Industry Perspective

Chris Washinger, a cutting tool applications engineer for Iscar Metals, talks with students during a seminar in the automated manufacturing lab.

Manufacturing students at Pennsylvania College of Technology supplemented their classroom and extensive hands-on lab work by attending a recent seminar at the institution.

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It’s Safe to Say: IT Students Make Impression at Security Convention

Faculty members, alumni and students alike attend ShmooCon2015.

Faculty members, alumni and students alike attend ShmooCon2015.

A sizable Penn College contingent attended ShmooCon, the East Coast “hacker” convention, held Jan. 16-18 at the Washington (D.C.) Hilton. Three faculty members in the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies – along with 11 graduates, 18 current students and a former student – were among those attending. The annual event covers such related topics as demonstrating technology exploitation, inventive software and hardware solutions to security issues, and provides for open discussions of critical information security issues. Two information technology: information assurance and security concentration majors, David M. Mossop, of Newark, Delaware, and Joseph M. Eak, of Bayville, New Jersey, attended on merit-based “Shmooze a Student” scholarships that paid their $150 registration fee and gave them $200 each to offset travel and meal costs. Students attended presentations and Fire Talks (15-minute presentations that challenge speakers to dive into the core of their content in a more relaxed environment than the traditional 30- to 90-minute conference format), explored Lockpick Village and teamed with professional hackers for the Hack Fortress competition. Each team comprises members playing Team Fortress 2 and members solving hacking challenges. Both gamers and hackers can contribute to the overall score of the team: Hackers can earn points for the gamers to purchase “equipment” in the game and gamers can find clues to assist hackers in solving the puzzles. The Penn College team, which won that event at ShmooCon 2014, placed second this year. Students had the opportunity to speak with the many vendors in attendance about job opportunities, and many submitted resumes for internships and permanent positions.
Photo provided by Sandra Gorka, associate professor of computer information technology

Roundtable to Continue Discussion of Technology and Society

Pennsylvania College of Technology will continue the dialogue engendered by its Centennial Colloquia Series – designed to explore the impact of technology on society – by hosting a roundtable discussion with the series’ faculty presenters.

Scheduled for Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. in the Klump Academic Center Auditorium, the discussion is titled “Riding the Wave of Technological Change: Revolution or Evolution?”

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Penn College Makes Friends, Memories at State Farm Show
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Culinary arts and systems majors Brianna E. Bucklin (left), of Whitehall, and Victoria L. Zablocky, of Jersey Shore, serve vegetable-filled hush puppies and slaw to audience members.

Penn College’s exciting two- and four-year majors were on display throughout the Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg (Jan. 10-17), where representatives of the Admissions Office and the college’s six academic schools entertained, educated – and even fed – the throng attending the traditional agricultural expo.

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Penn College Names Director of Corporate Relations

Elizabeth A. Biddle

Elizabeth A. Biddle has been appointed director of corporate relations at Pennsylvania College of Technology, effective Jan. 19.

Biddle has been project manager for the Outreach for K-12 Office at Penn College since 2009. In her new role, she will develop and sustain mutually beneficial relationships with business and industry to benefit students at Penn College.

“We are excited to have Liz join our team in Institutional Advancement,” said Debra M. Miller, vice president for institutional advancement at the college. “Liz brings an excellent technical background and considerable experience working with a variety of constituencies. Her professional demeanor and enthusiasm for Penn College and our mission will continue to be an asset to Penn College and prove valuable in her new role as director of corporate relations.”

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Hawbaker Family Scholarship Established at Penn College

From left: Scholarship donors Daniel R. and Suzie Hawbaker with Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour.

The president and CEO of a well-known State College-based highway construction company and his wife have established a scholarship at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

Daniel R. and Suzie Hawbaker recently created the Hawbaker Family Scholarship at Penn College. Daniel Hawbaker heads Glenn O. Hawbaker Inc., a firm established in 1952 that performs asphalt paving, road construction, gas well service and construction, and engineering design services in northern Pennsylvania, southern New York and eastern Ohio.

Two $1,000 scholarships will be awarded from the Hawbaker Family Scholarship Fund for the 2015-16 academic year; the recipients will be presented with $500 each in the Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 semesters.

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Faculty Member Presents, Receives Honors at Autodesk Conference

J.D. Mather

A Pennsylvania College of Technology faculty member presented a paper and received multiple honors at the recent Autodesk University Conference in Las Vegas.

J.D. Mather, assistant professor of engineering design technology, presented “Finite Element Analysis for the Casual User in Inventor.” Autodesk Inventor is 3-D parametric design software used for product and mechanical design. Mather demonstrated how modern “expert systems” software makes complex calculations more accessible to design professionals.

Attended by 9,700 architects, engineers, designers, animators and industry leaders, the conference recognized Mather’s dedication to the Autodesk community.

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Welding Student Takes Scrap Metal From Dumpster to Dazzling

Michael A. Cramer proudly displays his artistry in the Avco-Lycoming Metal Trades Center.

Michael A. Cramer proudly displays his artistry in the Avco-Lycoming Metal Trades Center.

The headdress took about a month to complete ...

The headdress took about a month to complete …

... with painstaking detail that confirms the work involved.

… with painstaking detail that confirms the work involved.

Inspired by a picture and encouraged by a faculty mentor, a first-year welding and fabrication engineering technology major has replicated a Native American headdress with impressive intricacy and realism. Michael A. Cramer, of Mahaffey, a student in Michael K. Patterson’s Oxy-Fuel Welding and Cutting course this past semester, fashioned his creation entirely from scrap steel. “I always wanted to make one out of metal, but never thought I could … until I got the chance to do any project I wanted,” he said. “I told Mike about it and he immediately gave me the OK and seemed excited about it.” Cramer said it took more than two weeks to form, hammer out and color all of the feathers, then another week and a half to make the headband and put it all together. “I really think that the details, such as the small engraving and the color, bring it to life,” said the student, who added that Patterson was never far away with ready answers to any questions. “I loved a quote that Mike wrote on a white board: ‘Take the metal to places it has never been,'” Cramer said. “I think I will use that for the rest of my life working with metal. I think that welding is seen by a lot of people as ‘just a dirty job that can pay well – ‘Why would anyone want to do this?’ – but I want to show people that working with metal is more than that. You can make such beautiful things out of scrap metal in a Dumpster. I want my work to be inspirational to others and maybe get them to try welding and working with metal.”
Photos by Matthew W. Nolan, welding lecturer

Tree Decorations Honor Penn College’s Military Family

Student veterans – along with supportive friends from the Financial Aid, Admissions and Registrar’s offices at Penn College – pause for a photo during the tree’s decoration.

A seasonal accent to Pennsylvania College of Technology’s main entrance has gift-wrapped an opportunity for the institution to recognize its military family. A 25-foot-tall tree pays tribute to the students and employees who are veterans.

The Vanderwolf blue limber pine is adorned with 408 stars, fashioned by servicemen enrolled in the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies. The stars honor the 373 students and 35 employees who have identified themselves as veterans.

“We want to show all the veterans in the Penn College family that we are thinking about them,” said Chester M. Beaver, the college’s veterans affairs coordinator. “We also want the community to know how many veterans are on campus. By seeing the large number of stars on the tree, we hope people understand that veterans are an important part of the college community.”

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Middle School Students Explore STEM Careers at Penn College

Penn College student Brian J. Pernot, who is studying manufacturing engineering technology, shows Williamsport Area Middle School students the workings of automated manufacturing on a Haas computer-numeric-controlled vertical machining center.

Participants in the Williamsport Area Middle School After-School Program are again spending one afternoon each week at Pennsylvania College of Technology, where college employees help them explore careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

In addition to hands-on career-exploration activities in the college’s high-technology classrooms and labs, the college arranges for participants to visit STEM-focused businesses in the Williamsport area.

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Entranceway Tree Decorated in Honor of College’s Military Family
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Jacob M. Heuman, of Boiling Springs, a building automation technology major and a Veterans Affairs Work-Study employee in the Financial Aid Office, rises in support of his colleagues.

A tree along the main campus entrance has been decorated with 408 stars, each representing a military member of the Penn College community – and each fashioned by a serviceman enrolled in the School of Industrial, Computing and Engineering Technologies. Using the 60-ton Minster 5 press in the Machining Technologies Center, students of Howard W. Troup, maintenance mechanic/millwright, and Keith H. English, instructor of machine tool technology/automated manufacturing, stamped out the stars using leftover plastic from the school’s thermoforming lab. On Thursday afternoon, student veterans – along with supportive friends from the Financial Aid, Admissions and Registrar’s offices, as well as General Services personnel – adorned the red-, white- and blue-lighted tree in tribute to the 373 students and 35 employees who have identified themselves as veterans.

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