News about Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications

Foundation’s Generosity Endows Scholarship, Creates Opportunity

A significant grant from the Tamaqua-based John E. Morgan Foundation will allow students from that area to enroll in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s distinctive “degrees that work.”

The nonprofit foundation’s $500,000 contribution establishes the John E. Morgan Scholarship, which will give first preference to graduates of Tamaqua Area High School who are pursuing “a degree that is not readily available from other institutions, at a comparable price, within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”

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Child’s Play Takes ‘Center’ Stage

Children are entranced by Kamin's talent.

Two end-of-semester events capped another fun-filled and instructive year at the Dunham Children’s Learning Center: The Penn College facility’s annual Family Appreciation get-together – in which children made turkey headbands and prepared snacks that were appropriately “gobbled” up – and a visit from mime Dan Kamin, who was in town for a holiday appearance with the Williamsport Symphony Orchestra.

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Student’s Work Brings Branding Upgrade to On-Campus Venue

Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Le Jeune Patissier – translated “the young pastry chef” – recently employed new visual branding, courtesy of a graphic design student’s senior project work.

As a student, Breanne M. Chandler, who received a bachelor’s degree in graphic design from the college in May, was a regular customer at Le Jeune Patissier at the Market, an on-campus venue for baking and pastry arts students to learn about bakeshop production and managing a retail bakery.

“One day, I joked with Chef Charles (R. Niedermyer, instructor of baking and pastry arts, whose classes operate the Le Jeune Patissier sales) that he should have a customer punch card so students like me could earn free pastries,” Chandler said. “I told him that I would even design a card for him. At that time, my motivation for designing for Le Jeune Patissier at The Market was purely centered on my small college student wallet and my big appetite for sweets.”

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Ceramic Exhibit, Benefit Auction Underway in Gallery Lobby

Ceramic artists (from left) pose with their works: Anna B. Graef, State College, electrical technology; John S. Krause, Lebanon, graphic design; Carrie A. Myers, Williamsport, graphic design, and David A. Stabley, instructor of ceramics and wood sculpture.

Mugs created by Penn College art faculty await silent bidders.

Stabley (second from left) and student visitors enjoy looking at Graef’s works.

Activity is brisk at the silent bidding station for the one-of-a-kind clay mugs being auctioned to benefit the Penn College Employee Emergency Fund.

Stabley sharing his artistic insights with student guests to the gallery lobby.

An exhibit by David A. Stabley, instructor of ceramics and wood sculpture, and some of his Ceramics III students officially opened Thursday afternoon in the lobby of The Gallery at Penn College. The show, as well as a concurrent silent auction of 10 clay mugs, runs through Thursday, Dec. 8, on the third floor of Madigan Library. The mugs were created by Stabley and nine colleagues among the college’s full- and part-time art faculty. Bidders have until 4 p.m. Dec. 8 to submit offers; money raised will benefit the Penn College Employee Emergency Fund. The gallery is open from 1-4 p.m. Sundays; 2-7 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays; and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays.

Sociology Faculty Member Presents at State Conference

Richard Sahn

A sociology faculty member at Pennsylvania College of Technology co-presented a paper at the annual meeting of the Pennsylvania Sociological Society, held Oct. 28-29 at Bloomsburg University.

Richard Sahn, instructor of psychology/sociology, presented “Unleashing the Sociological Imagination: Wild Challenges to the Status Quo of Contemporary American Ways of Doing Things.” His co-presenter was Luke R. Mann, a former Penn College nursing student who is now studying sociology at Lock Haven University.

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Community Challenge Raises $12,000 to Support Salvation Army

At the Nov. 12 5K run/walk held at Williamsport Area High School, some of the students enrolled in Penn College’s Community and Organizational Change course gather with Major Donald Spencer (center), director of the Salvation Army of Williamsport.

This year’s Community Challenge supporting the Salvation Army of Williamsport raised $12,000, thanks to the efforts of numerous volunteers and participants including many from Pennsylvania College of Technology.

On Nov. 12, the final event in the Community Challenge series, a 5K run/walk was held at Williamsport Area High School. Penn College had over 30 volunteers at the event including students enrolled in the college’s Community and Organizational Change course who devoted part of their fall semester to the nonprofit endeavor.

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Penn College Students, Faculty Attend ‘Women in Technology’ Event

Female students and faculty from Penn College demonstrated their commitment to technology at the recent College to Careers: Women in Technology Conference in Harrisburg.

More than 25 female students and faculty from Pennsylvania College of Technology demonstrated their commitment to technology by attending a recent statewide event in Harrisburg.

During the College to Careers: Women in Technology Conference, the Penn College contingent experienced a panel discussion with eight women technology leaders and enjoyed networking opportunities.

“It was a very valuable experience for our students,” said Bradley M. Webb, assistant dean of the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies, who helped organize Penn College’s participation. “The students were able to not only listen to, but also interact with many impressive women in technology. The conference reinforced that gender should never be a barrier to success in technology-focused careers.”

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High School Students Celebrate STEM Day at Penn College

Penn College student Shawn L. Sheeley Jr., of Kersey, shows a high school student how to use surveying equipment. The hands-on workshop was part of a National STEM Day celebration at the college that brought homeschoolers and students from four area high schools to campus.

A group of 90 high-schoolers spent Nov. 8 at Pennsylvania College of Technology, where they explored a variety of careers as part of National STEM Day.

“STEM” is short for science, technology, engineering and math. According to the Population Reference Bureau, U.S. policymakers watch trends in the science and engineering labor force because high-tech workers increase our capacity for innovation and ability to compete in the global economy.

Penn College’s STEM Day activities were designed to give high school students a hands-on glimpse of some in-demand STEM-related careers.

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Student Mosaics Bring Color to Penn College’s Capitol Eatery

Wall hangings designed and made by Penn College students in an Art of the Mosaic course adorn the Capitol Eatery, the college’s largest and busiest dining unit.

When you enter Capitol Eatery, one of the largest and busiest dining units on the campus of Pennsylvania College of Technology, the serving area boasts bright splashes of color throughout, but the dining room lacked those vivid accents. That changed this summer, when student works of art were installed on its walls.

While taking a ceramics class offered through the college’s Workforce Development & Continuing Education department, Dining Services Director Crissy L. McGinness began to envision a way to spruce up the dining unit décor. She approached David A. Stabley, instructor of ceramics and wood sculpture, about a plan to add student-created mosaics, similar to many he and students had created around campus, at Capitol Eatery.

“Dave is a talented ceramics instructor,” McGinness said, “and I was excited to see what he and his students could bring to our dining unit.”

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Faculty Member to Show Artistic Side at November’s ‘First Friday’

Faculty member's chain mail to be displayed during Williamsport's First Friday

Joseph E. LeBlanc, an assistant professor of physics at Penn College, will be among those displaying their creative handiwork during First Friday (Nov. 4) in downtown Williamsport. The faculty member – also billed as “woodworker, musician, artist and aerospace engineer” – has been making chain mail for four years. His work in a variety of metals can be seen at Gustonian Gifts, 357 Pine St.

It’s Only a Matter of Time

Like a magician, Richards explains the concept of time dilation with the assistance of Rylee A. Butler, an engineering design technology student from Bellefonte.

The first floor of the Klump Academic Center Auditorium fills with "time travelers" from campus and the surrounding community.

Nicholas C. Moore, center, a plastics and polymer engineering technology student from Lock Haven, joins Richards and Butler on stage to demonstrate the use of a “time stick” …

… as audience members also join in the fun experiment measuring reaction time.

Through a pendulum, one of his stage props, Richards can be seen during the closing question-and-answer session moderated by Michael J. Reed (at podium), dean of sciences, humanities and visual communications.

A large crowd of “time travelers” enjoyed a journey through the realities and fantasies of time during “Manipulating Time Using Science, Technology and Literature,” presented Tuesday evening in the Klump Academic Center Auditorium by David S. Richards, professor of physics. The second talk in the 2016-17 Technology & Society Colloquia Series, the discussion ranged from scientific principles to personal perceptions of time. The audience was encouraged to participate in a demonstration measuring reaction time utilizing “time sticks” and by submitting their definitions of time that were transcribed and shown on the large screen. A question-and-answer session and a post-talk reception in Wrapture concluded the evening. The next colloquium is scheduled for Feb. 7: “A General Assertion is Worth Innumerable Pictures,” by Robert N. McCauley, a professor and founding director of the Center for Mind, Brain and Culture at Emory University. Richards’ presentation will soon be added to the Penn College YouTube channel.

Student-Organized ‘CommUNITY Day’ Exceeds Expectations

Penn College Police Officer Jen J. Bowers interacts with a costumed campus visitor.

Picking their "spots" near the drive-in

Guests try their hand at mechanized competition, courtesy of the Students Wildcats of Robotic Design.

Members of the Williamsport Bureau of Fire display Engine 14-1 from the Old Lycoming Township Volunteer Fire Department.

Power Rangers and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle get comfortable for a photo.

A “CommUNITY Day,” intended to celebrate diversity and foster residents’ connectedness with police, firefighters and emergency medical personnel, was held Saturday afternoon in the parking lot just north of Penn College’s Bush Campus Center. Organized by nine human services students in D. Robert Cooley’s Service Learning in Sociology class, the event was free and open to the public. “We surpassed our goal of having 200 children attend,” said Ashley N. Irish, of Williamsport, an alumnus now enrolled in applied human services. “We had our intended interactions between the community and local agencies –  including Williamsport police and fire, Penn College Police and EMS. Through our event, we raised over $350 for the American Rescue Workers.” Attractions included games, raffles, an auction, food and music, and a “trunk-or-treat” display of decorated cars and trucks.
Photos by Tia G. La, student photographer

Penn College Backpacks Donated to Children in Belize

Belize schoolchildren sport Penn College backpacks, delivered along with instructional supplies by a math professor.

Students and teachers in San Pedro, Belize, recently sent their thanks to Pennsylvania College of Technology and one of its math professors for donated backpacks and other school supplies used during a summer literacy camp at the San Pedro Library.

The donations were coordinated by Curt Vander Vere, assistant professor of mathematics, who distributed the items via a family friend who is working on a master’s degree and teaching at a school in Belize. The supplies included Penn College Admissions backpacks and three boxes of school supplies.

Vander Vere, who guides a study abroad trip to Mexico or Guatemala for Penn College students enrolled in MTH 156 (Mathematics in Non-European Cultures), regularly collects and distributes supplies to children during his professional and personal travels.

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Chemistry Professor Invited to Join Penn State Innovation Team

Kelly B. Butzler

Kelly B. Butzler, associate professor of chemistry at Pennsylvania College of Technology, has been invited to be a member of Penn State’s Learning Innovation Forum Team, a cross-university brain trust working to advance learning and education through collaboration.

LIFT aims to contribute to the progress of Penn State as a leader in the transformation of education for the betterment of its students and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Insight provided by the team will complement advancements in various educational areas including curricula, instruction, operations efficiencies, recruitment, retention and student success, and facilitate innovation across the university.

Butzler was selected as a Penn College representative to the team based on her creative approaches and passionate desire to transform education.

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West Chester Company Donates Gas Chromatograph to Penn College

Michael J. Reed, dean of the School of Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications at Penn College, accepts a donated PeakSimple 2000 gas chromatograph from Kate Bowes Harris, of Hilltop Enterprises, based in West Chester.

Students enrolled in natural sciences courses at Pennsylvania College of Technology will benefit from a recent donation of a PeakSimple 2000 gas chromatograph by Al Silkroski, president and chief executive officer of Hilltop Enterprises, based in West Chester.

“The gas chromatograph is an essential piece of equipment that separates, identifies and quantifies a wide variety of organic chemicals in a mixture,” said Justin M. Ingram, assistant professor of biology. “This GC gives our organic chemistry students hands-on experience with a sophisticated instrument found in many different types of industries, and allows students to monitor their chemical reactions and check the purity of their products.”

The equipment will also be used in science courses required for the college’s new associate degree in brewing and fermentation science, which officially launches in Fall 2017.

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