News: President

On Cusp of Second Century, College Congratulates Final Centennial Class
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Faculty onlookers share in the joy of the class speaker's splendid day, captured with the help of chief student affairs officer Elliott Strickland.

Pennsylvania College of Technology held its Winter Commencement on Saturday at Williamsport’s Community Arts Center, honoring Fall 2014 graduates  and ringing down the curtain on a yearlong 100th-anniversary celebration. Student speaker Nicole Marie Reyes-Molina, of Lancaster, a deaf student who received an Associate of Applied Science in building construction technology: masonry emphasis, represented the year’s final Centennial class during the 11 a.m. event. Nearly 300 degrees were conferred by college President Davie Jane Gilmour and state Sen. Gene Yaw, chair of the Penn College Board of Directors, who was surprised with a leadership award during the ceremony.

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Sen. Yaw Honored With Leadership Award at Penn College
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State Sen. Gene Yaw, chairman of the Pennsylvania College of Technology Board of Directors, is presented with the Centennial Leadership Award by Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour at the college's Winter Commencement ceremonies.

State Sen. Gene Yaw was presented with a Centennial Leadership Award during Winter Commencement for Pennsylvania College of Technology, which is celebrating its Centennial throughout 2014.

Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour bestowed the surprise award upon Yaw during the ceremony, which was held at the Community Arts Center, Williamsport. The award honors “a legacy of leadership and a continuing contribution to the vitality of the institution during its Centennial anniversary year.”

“For more than three decades – spanning one-third of the institution’s 100-year history – Gene Yaw has served in pivotal leadership roles as solicitor, adviser, advocate, director and chairman of the Board of Directors of Pennsylvania College of Technology,” Gilmour said.

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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 →

Centennial Documentary to Premiere in January on WVIA-TV

From its humble inception as a basement vocational-technical shop at Williamsport High School in 1914 to its standing today as a special-mission affiliate of Penn State, Pennsylvania College of Technology and its predecessor institutions have continually met workforce demands.

The college’s 100-year commitment to that noble objective is explored in a one-hour documentary airing throughout northeastern and northcentral Pennsylvania in January on WVIA-TV. “Working Class: 100 Years of Hands-On Education” will premiere on the PBS-member station on Jan. 13 at 7 p.m.

Produced by Penn College and WVIA Public Media, the documentary reveals myriad challenges the college has overcome in honoring the dignity of work and embracing workforce needs. Through interviews with multiple generations of key college officials, and archival photos and video, the documentary brings to life the institution’s enduring commitment to the working class, defined not only as a group contributing to the workforce but also a classroom engaging students in traditional, general education and relevant, hands-on activities.

“We knew there were important stories to tell for our 100th anniversary about the founding of the institution and the many challenges that were faced over the past century,” said Elaine J. Lambert, special assistant to the president for creative development and public relations, and an executive producer of the documentary. “We chose to produce a film because we felt it was important to share the history in a video format in addition to printed materials.”

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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 →

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 →

President Gilmour Visits White House With U.S. Little League Champs

President Gilmour, with Jackie Robinson West players and coaches at the White House (WLS-TV)

President Gilmour, with Jackie Robinson West players and coaches at the White House (WLS-TV)

As chair of the Little League International Board of Directors, Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour joined players and coaches from Chicago’s Jackie Robinson West All-Stars in a Thursday visit to the White House. The college president accompanied Stephen D. Keener, president and CEO of Little League International; Patrick W. Wilson, senior vice president of operations and program development; and Demiko Ervin, Little League Urban Initiative director, as the U.S. Little League champions were guests of President Obama and the first lady. Among those airing coverage were the ABC and NBC affiliates in the team’s proud home city; the visit also is recapped on the Little League Baseball website.

College Holds Centennial Open House
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Victoria Krueger, a student ambassador stationed in an information tent by "The Rock," points a family in the right direction.

Penn College welcomed prospective students, their families and friends, and its community neighbors to Fall Open House on Sunday. Helpful employees, students and alumni were on hand throughout the day to enable exploration of academic programs, student life, and the college’s campuses and facilities. The student-focused portion of the day was held from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; free transportation was provided to and from the Schneebeli Earth Science Center near Allenwood and the Lumley Aviation Center in Montoursville. A Community Centennial Event, inviting the public to help celebrate 100 years of adult education, was from 2-4 p.m.

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Allison Scholarship at Penn College Honors Three Generations

Larry Allison Jr. and his daughter, Sadie, join Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour in front of a heavy-construction equipment blade on the campus site of the former Lycoming Construction Co., predecessor of Allison Crane & Rigging. The Allison family has established a scholarship fund at the college.

Larry Allison Jr., a member of the Pennsylvania College of Technology Foundation Board of Directors and president of Allison Crane & Rigging, has created a scholarship fund at the college in honor of his father, Larry Allison Sr., who died earlier this year, as well as his grandfather and great-grandfather.

The Larry Allison Family Scholarship gives primary preference to any student who is an employee – or the dependent of an employee – of Allison Crane & Rigging, a Williamsport-based successor to Lycoming Construction Co., which was located from 1943-80 near the current site of the Breuder Advanced Technology and Health Sciences building on the main campus. The site is commemorated with a bulldozer blade, plaque and historical marker.

Larry Allison Sr., grandson of Lycoming Construction Co. founder Herbert F. Allison, died Jan. 22. The scholarship honors both men, as well as Herbert L. Allison, Larry Allison Sr.’s father.

Secondary preference for the scholarship will be given to students who are Pennsylvania residents and are enrolled in one of the following programs: civil engineering technology, surveying technology, construction management, heavy construction equipment technology and diesel technology.

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New Experiences, Old Friends
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Blue skies and a welcoming atmosphere greeted late-morning arrivals for Saturday's numerous activities.

Homecoming 2014, a spectacular continuation of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Centennial celebration, made institutional history while honoring it. Marked by the first-ever campus carnival, the inaugural reunion for Williamsport Area Community College alumni and employees, and an Oktoberfest, “Then … Now … Forever Proud” offered nearly a full week of activities that can’t even fit into an online gallery of more than 140 photos. More images from the week’s activities – which included a faculty lecture, a gallery opening, dedication of a conversation-starting art installation, several other get-togethers and the latest Athletic Hall of Fame induction – are available via Penn College Alumni Relations on Facebook.

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Penn College Dedicates ‘Student Bodies’ Centennial Sculpture

Abstract human forms, crafted from thousands of pounds of scrap metal, parade up the mall on the main campus of Pennsylvania College of Technology. Titled "Student Bodies," the Centennial art installation features 78 life-size structures created by more than 50 welding students.

As part of its Centennial anniversary, Pennsylvania College of Technology welcomed 78 new “students” this fall, many of which just might be around for the institution’s bicentennial.

Some of these “freshmen” could sustain a broken body part, and others might corrode. But if welding majors, faculty and staff did their job correctly, the “Student Bodies” Centennial Sculpture will be still standing in 2114.

Augmenting the campus mall, the large-scale project features 78 abstract human forms made of scrap-metal pieces welded together. The college formally dedicated “Student Bodies” today during homecoming festivities. It’s the third recent art installation meant to enrich the college’s outdoor environment.

“This work of art is a testament to the creative abilities and technical skills of our college community,” said Davie Jane Gilmour, president. “It’s very rewarding to know that students, faculty, staff and visitors will be able to marvel at these creations for generations to come.”

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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 →

New Penn State President Makes First Visit to Penn College
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Penn State President Eric J. Barron (left) is joined on the verdant grounds of the Victorian House by (from right) Robert E. Dunham, chairman emeritus of the Penn College Board of Directors; state Sen. Gene Yaw, current board chairman; and Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour.

Penn State President Eric J. Barron traveled to Pennsylvania College of Technology on Tuesday, his first visit since assuming the presidency in May. In a timely trip to a main campus observing its 25th anniversary as a special mission affiliate of Penn State – as well as its yearlong Centennial celebration – Barron met with students, viewed three recent art installations, toured Madigan Library and student housing, explored the college’s role in the natural gas industry, and visited a variety of instructional labs. Joining Barron and his wife, Molly, on the tour were Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour; retired Penn College Board of Directors Chairman Robert E. Dunham and his wife, Maureen; Paul L. Starkey, vice president for academic affairs and provost; and police Chief Chris E. Miller. A reception in the Victorian House and dinner at Le Jeune Chef Restaurant, where the group was joined by state Sen. Gene Yaw, board chairman, followed.

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Faculty Member’s Role in Global Conference Subject of Tuesday Presentation

Tina M. Evans

Tina M. Evans

The Penn College community is invited to a Tuesday afternoon President’s Forum by Tina M. Evans, associate professor of applied health studies, who will discuss the International Conference on Healthcare Systems & Global Business Issues during the 3:30 p.m. presentation in Room W205 of the Breuder Advanced Technology and Health Sciences Center. Evans’ invitation to present at the conference, held in June at Harlaxton College in the United Kingdom, resulted from the double-blind peer review of her paper. In addition to her presentation – “Palliative Care: A Global Development Update, Challenges and Policy Recommendations” – and her attendance at the conference sessions, she had the opportunity to visit teaching/learning medical facilities in Nottingham, including the Queen’s Medical Centre, a specialty care hospital and the largest teaching hospital in Europe. The conference, attended by international medical delegates, provided information on European medical education as well as on the workings of several of the world’s health care systems. In addition, a session on adapting online health care courses for international audiences fit Evans’ teaching interests. She will share her learning experience with forum attendees. Evans is the second awardee from the Strategic Initiative Fund, created by President Davie Jane Gilmour to increase the college’s presence at the national (or, in this case, international) level via presentations and/or leadership. Interested faculty and staff can learn more about the fund through the president’s page on the myPCT Web portal.

Manufacturing Students Present Baja Trophy to College President

Baja trophy presented to Penn College president

Baja trophy presented to Penn College president

Three members of the student team that placed third in the international Baja SAE endurance race this past spring – Penn College’s highest-ever finish in nearly a decade of competition – delivered the trophy to President Davie Jane Gilmour on Thursday. From left are John G. Upcraft, instructor of automated manufacturing and machining and the students’ adviser; and manufacturing majors Andrew R. Klimek, of Cherry Hill, New Jersey; Gilmour; James A. Depasquale, of West Simsbury, Connecticut; and Jason B. Miller, of Mount Joy. The trophy was presented in the president’s office, but will be moved to a display area on campus.
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President’s Council Answers ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’

With moral support from the Wildcat, vice president for academic affairs/provost Paul L. Starkey issues the “ice bucket challenge” to the cabinet of Lycoming College President Kent C. Trachte.

With moral support from the Wildcat, vice president for academic affairs/provost Paul L. Starkey issues the “ice bucket challenge” to the cabinet of Lycoming College President Kent C. Trachte.

President’s Council braces for a dousing at the hands of student-athletes. Council members, from left, are David Kay, vice president for college services; Tracy L. Brundage, vice president for workforce development; Joseph S. Yoder, associate vice president for public relations & marketing; Carolyn R. Strickland, vice president for enrollment management/associate provost; Mike Cunningham, vice president for information technology/chief information officer; Elliott Strickland, chief student affairs officer; and Paul L. Starkey, vice president for academic affairs/provost.

President’s Council braces for a dousing at the hands of student-athletes. Council members, from left, are David Kay, vice president for college services; Tracy L. Brundage, vice president for workforce development; Joseph S. Yoder, associate vice president for public relations & marketing; Carolyn R. Strickland, vice president for enrollment management/associate provost; Mike Cunningham, vice president for information technology/chief information officer; Elliott Strickland, chief student affairs officer; and Paul L. Starkey, vice president for academic affairs/provost.

Challenge met!

Challenge met!

While unavailable Thursday, council member Barry R. Stiger, the college's vice president for institutional advancement, provided photographic proof of his participation.

While unavailable Thursday, council member Barry R. Stiger, the college’s vice president for institutional advancement, provided photographic proof of his participation.

Responding to Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour’s convocation “call-out,” members of President’s Council donned ultra-business-casual garb and courageously met the ALS Foundation’s “ice bucket challenge” on Thursday afternoon. Wildcat student-athletes did the honors outside the Student and Administrative Services Center, as the group of good sports took the brunt of the cascading chill – all in the name of charity.

Attendance at National Aviation Event to Be Discussed by Faculty, Alumnus

William F. Stepp III

William F. Stepp III

The campus community is invited to a President’s Forum presentation at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday by William F. Stepp III, associate professor of aviation, who will highlight his Heli-Expo experience in Anaheim, Calif., and share information on the industry. Andrew L. Stamey, who graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in aviation maintenance technology – and one of two student attendees at the conference – will add his insights during the presentation in Room W204 of the Breuder Advanced Technology and Health Sciences Center. Attendance at the February conference allowed Stepp to participate in meetings of the Helicopter Association’s International Technical Committee, of which he is a member. The experience yielded two scholarships for student attendees (Stamey and Marc T. Kaylor, another May graduate), teaching materials for the aviation department, contacts for student internships and/or employment, as well as sources of additional equipment donations. Stepp is the first awardee from the Strategic Initiative Fund, created by President Davie Jane Gilmour to increase the college’s presence at the national level via presentations and/or leadership within national associations. Interested faculty and staff can learn more about the fund through the president’s page on the myPCT Web portal.

President Keeps College in World Spotlight While Going to Bat for LLB
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In her capacity as chair of the Little League International Board of Directors, Gilmour addresses the 25,000-plus crowd at Howard J. Lamade Stadium for Sunday's title matchup.

As chair of the Little League International Board of Directors, Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour helped make the 68th annual Little League Baseball World Series one to remember. While tending to Welcome Weekend and other fall startup activities back on campus, the president navigated a cyclonic Little League schedule that began with a campus picnic for the 16 participating teams and ended with Sunday’s championship between Seoul, South Korea, and Chicago. Among her official duties during this 75th-anniversary year for LLB were the enshrinement of retired major leaguer (and Lycoming County favorite son) Mike Mussina and the annual Challenger Division exhibition game. Adding to the college’s visibility were students from the School of Health Sciences, who provided medical care for players and coaches as well as outreach to the thousands of fans on hand for the Series.

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