News about Information Technology

In Midst of Finals Prep, IT Crowd Literally Enjoys the Ride

Associate professors Sandra Gorka and Daniel W. Yoas (left), as well as Jacob R. Miller (right), accompany students from the IT Living-Learning Community for a day of fun at Knoebels.

Taking in the view from the Scenic Skyway

Gorka snaps a student-laden selfie at the park entrance.

Eight students and three faculty members from Penn College’s Information Technology Living-Learning Community headed to Knoebels Amusement Resort on April 30, savoring their last trip of the 2015-16 academic year. “It was opening weekend, so it was full of people and new rides,” said LLC mentor Ryan Monteleone, an information assurance and cyber security major from Stevens. “It was a great way for everyone to release some stress before Finals Week started.”
Photos provided

Information Technology Student Honored in National Competition

Sebastian J. Peipher

A Pennsylvania College of Technology student earned first-runner-up honors in a national competition sponsored by COMMON, the world’s largest professional association of IBM technology users.

Sebastian J. Peipher, an information technology: network specialist concentration major from Middleburg, received the accolade for his submission in COMMON’s recent Student Innovation Award contest, geared to undergraduate and graduate students concentrating on information systems, enterprise computing, computing science or information technology.

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Historic Number of Penn College Students Headed to Nationals

SkillsUSA Pennsylvania

Seventeen first-place winners from Pennsylvania College of Technology have advanced to the 52nd annual National SkillsUSA Conference, to be held from June 20-24 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Three other students finished in the top four places in their respective categories during the SkillsUSA Pennsylvania Leadership and Skills Conference held earlier this month in Hershey.

“I feel great about the students’ performance at the state competition. It goes to show how well-prepared the students are from their respective fields and how great our instructors are here at the college,” said James N. Colton II, assistant professor of welding and the college’s SkillsUSA adviser. “This is, by far, the most diverse group of students I’ve had go to the competition. The national competition gives us a chance to showcase our technical skills and show everyone why we’re a leader in applied technology. I hope next year we can increase the number going to nationals and continue to make the college proud.”

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Robots Go Head-to-Head in Student-Hosted Competition

Attending to details are William C. Hayden, of Greensburg, an engineering design technology major ...

,,, and Alexander J. Horne, a manufacturing engineering technology student from West Chester.

'bots ready for battle

Assembled in College Avenue Labs are (foreground, from left) Matthew A. Semmel, of Palmerton, engineering design technology; Kaylee R. Tressler, of Howard, electronics and computer engineering technology; Brandon T. Russell, of Nottingham, engineering design technology; and Timothy R. Thompson, Stephens City, Va., electronics and computer engineering technology. At rear is Michael E. Zalatan, an information technology: network specialist concentration major from Center Valley.

Sparks fly in the competitive arena.

The Student Wildcats of Robotic Design, a revitalized campus organization centered in Penn College’s School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies, hosted a robotics competition in College Avenue Labs earlier this month. About a dozen robots, built by students from S.W.O.R.D. and members of the community, were entered in the head-to-head “Wildcat Battle of the Bots.” S.W.O.R.D., which secretary Briana L. Sheehan said looks forward to growing as a club after a period of inactivity, is open to all Penn College students. No experience with engineering or robot-building is required, noted the club officer, an engineering CAD technology student from Windber.
Photos by Caleb G. Schirmer, student photographer

Penn College IT Students Impress at Security Conference

Penn College faculty, current students, alumni and former students fared well at ShmooCon 2016 in Washington, D.C.

Pennsylvania College of Technology students left a trail of success at a recent high-profile  “hacker” convention. The Penn College contingent excelled at ShmooCon 2016.

The annual event in Washington, D.C., brings together 1,500 students and professionals from the cybersecurity community to showcase inventive technology, discuss information security issues, network and test their skills.

Approximately 30 current Penn College students, alumni and former students participated at the recent conference.

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IT Students, Faculty Enjoy LLC Bowling Night

Sandra Gorka, Jacob R. Miller and Daniel W. Yoas – associate professors of computer information technology – gather with members of the IT Living-Learning Community at ABC Lanes.

Three faculty joined 10 students from Penn College’s Information Technology Living-Learning Community for a Tuesday night of bowling at ABC Lanes, near campus at 1245 Park Ave. “It was a great night with pizza, gutter balls and laughs,” said LLC mentor Ryan Monteleone, an information assurance and cyber security major from Stevens. “We were all able to just leave the homework back at campus and enjoy some time with friends and faculty.”
Photo provided

Cisco Academy Hosts Alumnus’ Presentation

Daniel J. Clarke, among the Penn College alumni who frequently (and magnanimously) return to campus for current students' benefit

PowerPoint slides depict a global explosion of information and the technology needed to manage it, creating a need for careers beyond imagination.

Clarke's return visit, one of many he has made since his 2007 graduation, was organized by faculty member Jeff Weaver (left).

Daniel J. Clarke, a systems engineer for Cisco Systems who earned four information technology degrees from Penn College in 2007, returned Thursday to share his knowledge on “the Internet of Things” and provide tips on how to be successful in the information technology field. Clarke’s real-world insight, shared in a Breuder Advanced Technology & Health Sciences Center classroom, was facilitated by Jeff Weaver, associate professor of electronics. Penn College is a Cisco Networking Academy that offers classes to prepare students for Cisco Certified Network Associate.  For more information about Cisco certifications or how to schedule for a class, stop by Weaver’s office (Center for Business & Workforce Development, Room 156), or contact him at 326-3761, ext. 7702, or by e-mail.
Photos by Becky J. Shaner, alumni relations specialist

Number of ‘Tech Scholars’ Grows at Penn College

Penn College Tech Scholars include (from left): Logan T. Beidleman, Hope Mills, N.C.; Nicholas C. Moore, Lock Haven; Kelsey L. Shaak, Quakertown; Brandon A. Biesecker, Waynesboro; Connor L. Winslow, Blanchard; Christopher R. Zimpelman, Reading; Alexander M. Barlow, Hanover; Ethan M. Yoder, Denver; and Colton A. Laughman, New Oxford. Not pictured: Rylee A. Butler, Bellefonte; Margot S. Rinehart, Downingtown; and Thomas P. Tyler, Vienna, Md. (Photo by David S. Richards, professor of physics)

With support from the National Science Foundation, the number of Tech Scholars at Pennsylvania College of Technology continues to grow. Eight new students in STEM majors have been awarded scholarships of up to $10,000 per year for a maximum of four years.

Those students join four returning scholarship recipients from 2014, the first year of a five-year grant designed to increase retention, degree completion and career preparation for students in the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies.

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Living-Learning Community Makes Time for Leisure, Too

First-year IT students bond with faculty, one another at Hooplas.

The Information Technology Living-Learning Community recently enjoyed a night of recreation and relaxation at Hooplas Family Fun & Grill in Muncy Township, where 17 students and four faculty members gathered to play miniature golf. “It was an awesome opportunity for first-year students to be with some of the IT teachers outside of the classroom,” said Ryan Monteleone, of Stevens, an information assurance and cyber security major and LLC mentor who provided the photo. “This also gave the new students the chance to meet other new students, all while having some fun.” The group is planning a paintball trip on Oct. 11, open to students from all of Penn College’s Living-Learning Communities – themed housing arrangements for first-year residents in automotive, health sciences, hospitality and IT majors.

Five Penn College Students Earn Gold Medals at SkillsUSA Nationals

Penn College's SkillsUSA contingent recently returned from national competition with five first-place medals. Front row, from left: Kyle T. Potts, of Colver; Randall J. Haynes, Julian; Ian M. Dorman, Mill Hall; and Bradley L. Hayden, Milton, Vermont. Second row, from left: Matthew R. Harman Jr., Sellersville; Jerome T. Czachor, Dickson City; Kenneth J. "Jeremy" Williams, Westminster, Maryland; and adviser James N. Colton II. Instructor Michael Damiani is in the back row.

Five students from Pennsylvania College of Technology earned first-place medals during the 51st annual National SkillsUSA Conference, held recently in Louisville, Kentucky.

Bringing home the gold – and bringing to 40 the number of top Penn College winners in national competition over the years – were Matthew R. Harman Jr., of Sellersville; Randall J. Haynes, of Julian; and Ian M. Dorman, of Mill Hall, who competed as a team in the Automated Manufacturing Technology category; Kyle T. Potts, of Colver, Technical Drafting; and Bradley L. Hayden, of Milton, Vermont, Welding.

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Penn College Professors Present at National Conference

Faculty presenters

Two Pennsylvania College of Technology faculty members shared their expertise with an international audience by presenting at the recent COMMON Annual Meeting and Exposition in Anaheim, California.

Both Lisa R. Bock and Anita R. Wood, assistant professors of computer information technology, made two presentations during the four-day conference, which is COMMON’s premier educational event of the year. COMMON is the world’s largest professional association of IBM technology users and is dedicated to uniting the Power Systems community.

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Imagination, Real-World Possibilities Merge at Digital Future Camp

Matthew A. Bamonte (right) who graduated last month with a bachelor's degree in information technology sciences-gaming and simulation, assists a young camper with his question.

Young campers learn how to program simulation on a Lego robot.

Apps are where it's at! A group of campers learns how to develop mobile applications under the tutelage of Spyke M. Krepshaw, instructor of computer information technology.

A study in concentration

Campers and their mentors pause for a group shot in front of the ATHS after lunch on their final day.

Forty high school students from across Pennsylvania explored potential careers in Penn College’s fourth annual “Designing a Digital Future Camp” on Tuesday and Wednesday. The campers, entering 10th, 11th or 12th grade this fall, embraced the boundless employment possibilities of gaming, Web design, product design, mobile applications and graphic design during hands-on workshops in the Breuder Advanced Technology and Health Sciences Center and the Bush Campus Center. The popular camp, one of a number offered on campus this summer, is a collaboration of the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies and the School of Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications.

Graduation Ends (for Now) Family’s 20-Year History at Penn College

The Bird family, of Canton, has sent five sons to Penn College since 1995. From left, Ross; Guston; their mother, Janice; Mitchell; their father, the late James ("Jim"); Jennings; and Seth.

When T. Mitchell Bird walks across the Community Arts Center’s stage on May 16 and receives a bachelor’s degree, he will turn the page toward a new life and end one of the longest, unique chapters in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s history.

Mitchell will become the last of five siblings to earn a degree from the college. Since 1995, at least one “Bird brother” has been enrolled at the institution. Counting Mitchell’s pending graduation, the five brothers, all Dean’s List students, have earned eight degrees.

“Some people will say they can’t afford Penn College. I say, ‘You cannot afford not to go to Penn College,’” says matriarch Janice Bird, 69. “You get a good job in your field after you graduate. All our boys are doing well. They received an education to obtain not only a beginning position, but they all moved up. I’m 100-percent Penn College.”

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Gaming/Simulation Major Set to Graduate First Class

The first graduates of the gaming and simulation major, begun in the Fall 2011 semester, celebrate with faculty.

After a long and wintry semester, IT students soak up the outdoor ambiance on the CC patio.

The first graduates from Penn College’s information technology sciences-gaming and simulation major, who will be accorded their bachelor’s degrees during May commencement, recently celebrated the occasion with a cookout on the Bush Campus Center patio. IT faculty and the graduating seniors enjoyed grilled hamburgers and hot dogs – prepared by Spyke M. Krepshaw, instructor of computer information technology. The seniors received an additional sendoff from next year’s graduates, as juniors painted “The Rock” in acknowledgment of their upperclass colleagues’ accomplishment.
Photos provided

Eight Penn College Students Headed for SkillsUSA Nationals

Eight first-place winners from Pennsylvania College of Technology have advanced to the 51st annual National SkillsUSA Conference, to be held from June 22-26 in Kentucky.

Five other students from the college finished in the top four places in a variety of categories during the SkillsUSA Pennsylvania Leadership and Skills Conference held April 8-10 in Hershey.

“The students did very well representing the college. It was the first time competing for some of the students, but they will be back next year for another go-around,” said James N. Colton II, assistant professor of welding and the college’s SkillsUSA adviser. “Many of the students advancing have been to nationals before, either as a college competitor or when they were in high school. We’re looking forward to the change of venue, as nationals will be in Louisville instead of Kansas City.”

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