News: Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications

Geology, Environmental Science Faculty Member Earns Doctorate

Veronica C. Ciavarella

Veronica C. Ciavarella, instructor of geology and environmental science at Pennsylvania College of Technology, recently received her doctorate of education in adult education from Penn State.

Focused on distance education and, specifically, the use of labs in online geology courses, Ciavarella defended her dissertation, “Exploratory Qualitative Case Study of Lab-Type Activity Interactions in an Online Geoscience Course.”

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Spiffed-Up ‘Millionaire’ Moves Ever Closer to Stepping Out

From left, WASD graphic-design students Zach Miller and Chase Campbell assist their CTE instructor, Timothy A. Miller,  in applying a vinyl decal ...

From left, WASD graphic-design students Zach Miller and Chase Campbell assist their CTE instructor, Timothy A. Miller, in applying a vinyl decal …

... and working out the air bubbles for a smooth, professional look.

… and working out the air bubbles for a smooth, professional look.

Kevin P. Sullivan (left), lab coordinator for programs in Penn College's School of Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications, assists Miller on a side-door application. The two men were also among those involved in the extensive (and impressive) vinyl wrap of a FedEx cargo plane donated to the School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies.

Kevin P. Sullivan (left), lab coordinator for programs in Penn College’s School of Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications, assists Miller on a side-door application. The two men were also among those involved in the extensive (and impressive) vinyl wrap of a FedEx cargo plane donated to the School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies.

Zach Miller applies a placard acknowledging the WASD Education Foundation's funding of the project.

Zach Miller applies a placard acknowledging the WASD Education Foundation’s funding of the project.

Celebrating a Millionaire moment

Celebrating a Millionaire moment

A collaborative project between Penn College students and their Williamsport Area High School counterparts entered its final phase Monday morning, as a 1979 Lincoln Continental Mark V was adorned with the Millionaire logo to accent its new finish in cherry-and-white school colors. The car was donated to the high school’s automotive department by a Williamsport Area School District employee last year, and, with financial support from the WASD Education Foundation, has been given new life as a showpiece for parades, Homecoming and other events. Collision repair students from the School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies worked on the car for nearly a year, painstakingly painting and clear-coating the luxury coupe. Vinyl decals of the high school’s emblematic top hat, gloves and cane were fabricated in the college’s graphic design lab and affixed by faculty and students from the high school’s Career and Technical Education program. Penn College students from Shaun D. Hack’s Introduction to Non-Structural Collision Repair Applications class visited from an adjacent lab to watch the application. After some final touch-up of the vehicle’s trim in College Avenue Labs, the once-blue car will be returned to the district, where automotive students will be in charge of maintaining the “Millionaire-mobile.”

Winning Their Share: WTI Students, Faculty Support WWII Efforts

Williamsport Technical Institute students examine a gas mask, circa 1941.

Williamsport Technical Institute students examine a gas mask, circa 1941.

An aviation mechanic student works on an airplane engine. The student was later placed as an Army Air Corps aviation mechanic.

An aviation mechanic student works on an airplane engine. The student was later placed as an Army Air Corps aviation mechanic.

From the Fall 2014 One College Avenue magazine: To help train men and women for war-related production, the institution overhauled its curriculum from 1940-45, reinforcing a growing national reputation. Read the full story.

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 to Review Book by Next Presenter in Colloquia Series

David S. Richards

David S. Richards

David S. Richards, a professor of physics at Penn College, will discuss Alan Lightman’s “Einstein’s Dreams” during an on-campus reprise of his recent James V. Brown Book Review Luncheon at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Mountain Laurel Room of the Thompson Professional Development Center. The international best-seller is a fictional collage of stories dreamed by Einstein in 1905, when he worked in a Swiss patent office. The author explores how the lives of ordinary people in Switzerland would be changed in the various realities of time imagined by Einstein as he develops his theory of relativity. Richards’ review offers a timely introduction to Lightman – a theoretical physicist, educator, novelist and essayist – the next speaker in the college’s Centennial Colloquia Series at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 28, in the Klump Academic Center Auditorium.

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 →

English Faculty Member at Penn College Earns Doctorate

Bruce A. Wehler

Bruce A. Wehler, instructor of English composition at Pennsylvania College of Technology, recently earned his doctorate of education in adult education from Penn State.

Wehler successfully defended his dissertation, titled “Until All the Pieces Fit: A Hermeneutic Phenomenology of the Informal Learning of Selected Foster Parents in Northeastern Pennsylvania.”

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‘These Trees’ Art Installation Weaves Cross-Campus Connections

"These Trees," an environmental art installation at Pennsylvania College of Technology, created by environmental artists Kathy Bruce and Alastair R. Noble, weaves together Shakespearean text and natural materials.

The third large-scale art installation created to celebrate Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Centennial has woven together not only text and trees, but students from across campus.

Over two weeks, more than 160 students from various majors participated in the creation of “These Trees,” an art piece utilizing a variety of tree species harvested from Penn College’s Schneebeli Earth Science Center and installed on the west lawn of the Bush Campus Center at the college’s main campus in Williamsport.

Working alongside internationally known environmental artists Kathy Bruce and Alastair R. Noble, the students assisted in creating Bruce and Noble’s vision of a spiraling text quoting William Shakespeare’s “As You Like It.”

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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 →

Chemistry Faculty Member Earns Doctorate in E-Learning

Kelly Bieda Butzler

Kelly Bieda Butzler, associate professor of chemistry at Pennsylvania College of Technology, recently received her doctorate of education, specializing in e-learning, from Northcentral University, an accredited online university based in Arizona.

Butzler defended her dissertation, “The Effects of Motivation on Achievement and Satisfaction in a Flipped Classroom Learning Environment.”

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From Student Design to Employee Application, ‘It’s a Wrap’

A former FedEx Express 727 cargo plane has been repainted and wrapped with a design appropriately reflecting Pennsylvania College of Technology's innovation and technology.

In an impressive reversal of tradition – the custom of unwrapping a present before showing it to others – Pennsylvania College of Technology has actually enhanced a gift’s value by covering it.

A Boeing 727 airplane, donated to Penn College in March 2012 after being retired from FedEx Express cargo service, was recently (and attractively) sheathed in vinyl in a project that began with a graphic-design class and eventually involved several academic schools and college employees.

Adding to its primary role as a real-world training tool for students at the Lumley Aviation Center in Montoursville, the institution’s largest single corporate donation now doubles as its biggest billboard. The repurposed plane greets visitors to the Williamsport Regional Airport, including those who will attend the college’s Open House on Sunday, Oct. 26.

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Academic Mentors Provide Resource for Student Success

Joshua I. Bobenrieth, a recent electronics and computer engineering technology graduate from Port Allegany, meets with his academic mentor, Karen E. Wright, a graduation assistant in the Registrar's Office.

For a first-year college student, stepping onto a new campus and beginning classes can be overwhelming. For a returning student, an unsuccessful first semester can add a lot of pressure, especially if the student is not certain how to avoid making the same mistakes.

At Pennsylvania College of Technology, an academic mentoring program is designed to help those students.

Joshua I. Bobenrieth, of Port Allegany, graduated in May with a degree in electronics and computer engineering technology, a faculty award and a plan to continue his education in aerospace engineering. But in his first semester, he was anything but confident.

“I was having a hard time adjusting to college life,” he said. “After a few weeks, I was stressed and needed help, so I asked my instructor and was directed to the mentor program.”

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Chemistry Faculty Member Presents Paper in Global Forum

Kelly B. Butzler

A Pennsylvania College of Technology chemistry faculty member recently presented her innovative teaching methods in an online conference featuring international participants and attendees.

Kelly B. Butzler, associate professor of chemistry, presented “Flipped at an Open-Enrollment College” during an Online ConfChem conference focused on the “flipped classroom” and hosted by the American Chemical Society’s Division of Chemical Education’s Committee on Computers in Chemical Education. Butzler’s presentation also included a weeklong discussion about her paper.

A “flipped classroom” is a blended learning approach to a standard classroom; it moves lectures online, outside of class, and moves assignments into the classroom where teachers can provide guidance and answer questions.

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The Power of an Ally: Academic Mentors Provide Another Resource for Success

Joshua I. Bobenrieth meets with his academic mentor, Karen E. Wright, a graduation assistant in the Registrar's Office.

Joshua I. Bobenrieth meets with his academic mentor, Karen E. Wright, a graduation assistant in the Registrar’s Office.

Human services student Stacey L. French, right, praises the support of her mentor Katie L. Mackey, coordinator of commuter services, who encouraged her when she could just as easily given up.

Human services student Stacey L. French, right, praises the support of her mentor Katie L. Mackey, coordinator of commuter services, who encouraged her when she could just as easily given up.

A student faced with leaving school remains, thanks in large part to an academic mentor who went the extra mile to seek help from other staff. Academic mentors are Penn College employees who volunteer to meet regularly with students who seek guidance and moral support. Read the full story in the Fall 2014 One College Avenue.

Penn College Welcomes JCC Transfer Students

Thomas E. Ask, right, professor of industrial and human factors design at Penn College, works on a clay model with a student. Students from Jamestown Community College may transfer to Penn College and complete a Bachelor of Science in industrial and human factors design.

Jamestown Community College and Pennsylvania College of Technology have established a seamless pathway for students interested in pursuing an innovative and interdisciplinary degree that incorporates art, design and engineering.

By completing prescribed coursework at Jamestown Community College, students may transfer to Penn College and complete a Bachelor of Science in industrial and human factors design.

The degree prepares students to design marketable products in the fields of industrial design and product and packaging design, as well as the emerging and growing field of human factor and sustainable design.

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Assistant School Dean Appointed at Penn College

Michael J. Reed

Michael J. Reed has been appointed assistant dean of sciences, humanities and visual communications: liberal arts and sciences at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

Reed comes to Penn College from the Williamsport Area School District, where he most recently served as head principal at Williamsport Area High School.

“Mike Reed is a welcome addition to the leadership of the School of Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications,” said Paul L. Starkey, vice president for academic affairs/provost. “Mike has more than 20 years of experience in progressively more responsible positions. He has consistently built collaborative teams among his faculty to improve teaching and learning. He has excelled in every endeavor, and we look forward to him joining the Penn College family.”

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Boeing 727’s Makeover Continues to Draw Media Interest

WBRE interviews school dean

WBRE interviews school dean

Tysanner gets a closer look at the plane's labyrinthine landing gear, just one area for aviation students' hands-on learning.

Tysanner gets a closer look at the plane’s labyrinthine landing gear, just one area for aviation students’ hands-on learning.

The plane's student-designed sheath beautifies a generous gift and promotes Penn College values.

The plane’s student-designed sheath beautifies a generous gift and promotes Penn College values.

Eyewitness News reporter Valerie Tysanner interviewed Colin W. Williamson, dean of transportation and natural resources technologies, on Thursday for a piece about the former FedEx plane donated to Penn College – recently cocooned in vinyl and ready for another academic year of training students at the Lumley Aviation Center.

HACC Counselors Discuss Transfer Options During Campus Visit

Visitors from Harrisburg Area Community College get together with their Penn College counterparts outside the Thompson Professional Development Center.

Visitors from Harrisburg Area Community College get together with their Penn College counterparts outside the Thompson Professional Development Center.

Charles R. Niedermyer II, instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts, doubles as laboratory tour guide.

Charles R. Niedermyer II, instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts, doubles as laboratory tour guide.

Six transfer counselors from Harrisburg Area Community College traveled to Penn College this week to learn more about the transfer process. During their stay, the counselors reviewed current and potential articulation agreements, and, with their academic program peers, discussed advisement from two-year degrees into Penn College’s four-year programs. The counselors also had the opportunity to tour academic labs, hear about services offered to international students and study-abroad opportunities, visit Madigan Library, and enjoy lunch and conversation at Le Jeune Chef Restaurant. “This was a great opportunity to collaborate with Penn College faculty to create transfer paths for our students,” said Gina Bowers-Miller, a counselor and faculty member in HACC’s Computer Information Security program.  “The exchange provided the opportunity for us to forge meaningful connections with our counterparts at Harrisburg Area Community College and between our shared program areas,”  said Clifford P. Coppersmith, dean of sciences, humanities and visual communications at Penn College. “We look forward to following up with visits by HACC students to our programs in the fall to further their knowledge of these continuing educational opportunities in paralegal studies and emergency management.” HACC is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, so, in the spirit of institutional celebrations, enjoyed Penn College’s Centennial additions around campus, including the mosaic and the History Trail. The visit was coordinated by the Office of Transfer Initiatives, charged with fostering stronger relationships with community college partners.
Photos by Carol A. Lugg, director of transfer initiatives  

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