News about Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications

Student Redesigns Surgical Instrument

Penn College’s Elizabeth A. Snedeker is on her way to becoming a biomedical engineer. The industrial design major devoted her senior project to redesigning a common, yet troublesome surgical instrument used for partial-knee replacements. Her design has impressed a prominent orthopedic surgeon, as well as the maker of the current extractor tool. “It was astounding to know that I had this opportunity and maybe I could do something with it,” said Snedeker, who graduated May 14 with a bachelor’s degree in industrial and human factors design. “Realistically, what I would like to do at the end of this is to have my design and have surgeons using my tool in order to make it more effective and efficient.”

Yucatan Travelers Share Study-Abroad Experiences

A large crowd gathers to hear the presentations. In the background, D. Robert Cooley (light blue shirt), assistant professor of anthropology/environmental science, leads the discussion.

Intrepid travelers (from left): Erik G. Knecht, of Cranesville; Leo J. Ravina, of Hazleton; Brendon J. Dibble, of Douglassville; Anthony V. Rode, of Palm Coast, Fla.; and Curtis R. Gehman, of Lock Haven.

Dibble discusses his pit-fired ceramics, an attempt he made following the trip to recreate ancient Maya ceramics.

Knecht shares stories from the voyage.

Vander Vere listens to his students’ presentations.

Among the engaging end-of-semester activities that occurred across campus in recent weeks were presentations by students in MTH 156 (Mathematics in Non-European Cultures). Gathering in the Bush Campus Center TV Lounge, the students offered insights into their study-abroad adventures in Mexico earlier this year. The unique course blends mathematics, anthropology and cultural adventures, and is led by D. Robert Cooley, assistant professor of anthropology/environmental science, and Curt E. Vander Vere, assistant professor of mathematics. This year’s student group represented a diverse range of majors including manufacturing and engineering technology, industrial and human factors design, studio arts, construction management, and pre-physician assistant. The Penn College class traveled to the Yucatan peninsula, specifically the Mexican states of Yucatan and Campeche. This year’s outing marked the fifth time Cooley and Vander Vere have guided students in the exploration of ancient Maya civilization.
Photos by Tia G. La, student photographer

A previous MTH 156 travel experience was showcased in this video on the college YouTube channel:

Penn College Faculty Earn ‘Excellence in Teaching’ Awards

Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour stands with Kirk M. Cantor (left) and Craig A. Miller, recipients of Excellence in Teaching Awards presented at commencement.

Two faculty members at Pennsylvania College of Technology were honored with Excellence in Teaching Awards during Spring Commencement ceremonies held May 13-14 at the Community Arts Center, Williamsport.

As part of the Distinguished Teaching Awards program at Penn College, President Davie Jane Gilmour presented Excellence in Teaching Awards to Kirk M. Cantor, professor of plastics technology, and Craig A. Miller, assistant professor of history and political science.

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Students Share Website Designs With Nonprofit Clients

Clayton K. Lose, of Waterville, laughs along with the audience at an old photo of himself participating in the Smoked Country Jam Bluegrass Festival for which he created a website.

Rebecca L. Workman, of Valencia, created a new website for Road Radio USA, an organization offering secondary schools free safety assemblies designed to prevent underage drinking and distracted driving.

The attentive audience is filled with fellow students, clients, faculty (including Denise S. Leete near center) and administrators.

Trevor I. Brandt, of Cashtown, showcases the mobile-friendly nature of his new design for Pennsylvania Court Appointed Special Advocates. Although enrolled in the Web and Multimedia Senior Capstone, Brandt will earn his degree in applied technology studies.

Michael Bender, of Footprints of Montgomery, a food bank serving the Montgomery community, discusses the design created for his nonprofit by Timothy W. Duncan, of Lakeville (seated behind him).

Students in the Web and Multimedia Senior Capstone course of the web and interactive media major presented their projects at a gathering in Penn’s Inn on Wednesday morning. The students completed 12 web development projects for nonprofit clients in Williamsport and surrounding communities. Several of the clients attended the senior capstone presentations, as well. The course is taught by Denise S. Leete, associate professor of web and interactive media.

Help Coming ‘Through the First Years’

Dalaney T. Vartenisian, a sophomore in the Web and interactive media major, credits a conversation with her First Year Experience instructor about the stressors she identified in a survey for helping her to progress successfully.

From the Spring 2016 One College Avenue magazine: Penn College’s efforts to help students identify their needs – then meet them – pays off in fewer dropout rates overall and a unique reward for one. Read “Help Coming Through the First Years.”

Students’ Graphic Design Artwork Honored in National Competition

Designs created by Nicholas J. Vetock (left), Shippensburg, and Zachary G. Bird, South Williamsport, were honored as part of AIGA Blue Ridge’s Flux Student Design competition. The seniors traveled to Frederick, Md., for an awards reception.

Creative designs by two graphic design seniors at Pennsylvania College of Technology were honored by the annual Flux Student Design Competition sponsored by AIGA Blue Ridge, a chapter of the national AIGA organization.

Zachary G. Bird, of South Williamsport, and Nicholas J. Vetock, of Shippensburg, had their work selected from nearly 800 entries submitted in the competition. Bird had two designs selected; Vetock had one design chosen.

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Students Show Off Portfolio Work as Commencement Nears

Design: 2016 offers an eye-opening opportunity for students, faculty, staff, family, friends and community members.

An avid Marilyn Monroe fan, Alexa A. Januchowski displays a jewelry box collection of five Monroe films on DVD, a biography and filmography.

Michael J. Reed, dean of sciences, humanities and visual communications, welcomes the gallery crowd and praises the graphic design seniors.

Delicious designs by Breanne M. Chandler, of Glen Rock, tantalize viewers via screen and wall.

A fan of Madison B. Oeler snaps a proud memory of the Montoursville resident.

Design: 2016,” the traditional portfolio display by graphic design majors about to graduate, continues in The Gallery at Penn College through May 13. This year’s exhibition – showcasing the best graphic design, illustration and web work from 14 students’ final semester of study – opened Friday with a public reception. Summer hours are in effect at the gallery, on the third floor of Madigan Library: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. The gallery is closed Saturdays and Mondays (and on Sunday, May 8).

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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Emergency Management Students Evaluate Comprehensive Drill

As role-playing humans and dummy patients cover the ground after a simulated drone attack, students Brittany L. Neupauer and Christopher H. Warney, both of Williamsport, assess the response.

As emergency personnel in hazmat gear go through their paces, Brandon A. Schrimp, of Williamsport, puts his observations on the record.

Shakeem S. Thomas, of Brooklyn, N.Y., jots down his impressions inside Williamsport Regional Medical Center.

Daniel S. Lewis (left), of Hamilton Square, N.J., and Schrimp compare notes in the field.

Eleven upper-level emergency management technology students took advantage of the opportunity to observe a large-scale, mass-casualty and decontamination drill on the Williamsport Regional Medical Center campus Thursday morning. Tasked with observing the response systems, victim assessment and aid procedures used by first responders, the Penn College students deployed to the incident scene, two decontamination sites and an in-hospital receiving/treatment site where they collected data. That information will be aggregated into an after-action report noting “what worked” and “what needs work” in preparing for an efficient response to a real event should one occur in the region, said Thomas A. Zimmerman, associate professor of psychology, who led a group of students through the simulation. The students were welcomed by James W. Slotterback, emergency preparedness coordinator for the Susquehanna Health System, who emphasized that the students’ valuable observations will be added to the evaluations and observations of several emergency management agencies, drill facilitators and response team leaders participating in  Thursday’s exercises. Dr. Gregory R. Frailey, WRMC’s medical command physician and director, also welcomed the students and explained that the drill was the next phase in a planning process that began in September. During their observation, Zimmerman said, students had the opportunity to interact with responders, security personnel, evaluators from the Pennsylvania Department of Health in Harrisburg and many others.

Culinary Students Add Flavor to National Science Festival

Students and faculty from Pennsylvania College of Technology’s School of Business & Hospitality served a “Taste of Technology” at the USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington, D.C., from April 15-17. From frozen Teddy Grahams to instant ice cream, the students fed guests’ curiosity and appetite. With other exhibitors and science celebrities, the Penn College culinary contingent promoted careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). A video has been added to the college’s YouTube channel, and a photo gallery compiled from the contributions of faculty and staff.

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Math Professor Co-Authors Paper Published in International Journal

William Ma

William Ma, professor of mathematics at Pennsylvania College of Technology, jointly authored a paper that was published recently in an international journal, Annales Academiae Scientiarum Fennicae Mathematica.

The paper, titled “Estimates of the Hyperbolic Metric on the Twice Punctured Plane,” was co-authored with two other mathematics educators, Seong-A Kim, of Dongguk University, Seoul, South Korea, and Jinxi Ma, of Beihang University, Beijing, China.

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Igniting Imagination

The pursuit of craft in an open-air "classroom"

Instructor David A. Stabley and his wife, Deborah L. Stabley, an adjunct member of the arts faculty ...

... get down to business with help from Ryan K. Fisher, an engineering design technology senior from Bethel.

Rapid cooling completes the Obvara process.

Beautiful pieces, destined for public display

The beautiful spring weather of late was an ideal time to take learning outdoors for ceramics classes led by David A. Stabley, instructor of ceramics and wood sculpture. On the lawn of the Bush Campus Center, just outside the studio, Stabley fueled the fancy of student artists with Obvara and raku firings. Obvara is a 19th- to 20th-century technique from the Eastern European country of Belarus. A Japanese pottery technique, raku translates to “happiness in the accident.” The resulting unique creations are on display in the cases outside the ceramic studio (CC, Room 159).
Photos by Tia G. La, student photographer

‘Design: 2016’ Showcases Graphic Design Student Portfolios

Design students' portfolios to be dsiplayed from April 29-May 13

Fourteen graphic design seniors at Pennsylvania College of Technology will exhibit their work as part of “Design: 2016,” the annual student portfolio exhibition in The Gallery at Penn College.

A public reception for the exhibit’s opening will be held Friday, April 29, from 4 to 6 p.m., in the gallery, located on the third floor of the Madigan Library. The design work will be on display through May 13.

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Graphic Design Alumni Return to Campus to Share Insights

Graphic design graduates (from left) Erin M. Schlesinger, Madison M. Miller, Kyle R. Taylor and Michael A. Siemianowski share their insights with current students in a recent alumni panel.

Four graduates of the graphic design major at Pennsylvania College of Technology returned to campus recently to share their insights with current students.

The alumni panel discussion was sponsored by Penn College’s student chapter of AIGA, a professional association for design.

The alumni who served on the panel are: Madison M. Miller, ’14, graphic designer at Weis Markets, Sunbury; Erin M. Schlesinger, ’14, graphic designer for Burson-Marsteller in Washington, D.C.; Michael A. Siemianowski, ’13, art director at Chemistry Communications, Pittsburgh; and Kyle R. Taylor, ’13, graphic and web designer for Blackboard Inc. in State College.

“This is a great way for current students to see the end result of their education,” said Nicholas L. Stephenson, instructor of graphic design and adviser to the student AIGA chapter. “These alums, who are only a few years out of college, are doing amazing work and are becoming leaders in their field.”

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Chemistry Professor Published in Research Journal

Kelly B. Butzler

Kelly B. Butzler, associate professor of chemistry at Pennsylvania College of Technology, had a paper published in an international journal’s special issue focused on “Flipping the Classroom.”

The current issue of Computers in the Schools: Interdisciplinary Journal of Practice, Theory, and Applied Research features Butzler’s article, “The Synergistic Effects of Self-Regulation Tools and the Flipped Classroom.”

Butzler is an educational advocate for “flipped classrooms” – a blended learning approach to standard classrooms. Flipped classrooms move lectures online, outside of class, and move assignments into the classroom where teachers can provide guidance and answer questions.

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