News: Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications

Roundtable to Continue Discussion of Technology and Society

Pennsylvania College of Technology will continue the dialogue engendered by its Centennial Colloquia Series – designed to explore the impact of technology on society – by hosting a roundtable discussion with the series’ faculty presenters.

Scheduled for Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. in the Klump Academic Center Auditorium, the discussion is titled “Riding the Wave of Technological Change: Revolution or Evolution?”

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Penn College Engages in STEM Awareness in Tioga County

Justin M. Ingram, assistant professor of biology at Penn College, center, shares scientific insights with Tioga County eighth graders at the STEM Awareness Career Day.

A biology professor and an assistant dean from the School of Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications at Pennsylvania College of Technology presented at the first STEM Awareness Career Day, held recently at Wellsboro Area High School’s administration building.

Conducted by the Tioga County Development Corp. in conjunction with Shell Appalachia and several other organizations, the event drew approximately 530 Tioga County eighth-graders from all three county school districts – Northern Tioga, Southern Tioga and Wellsboro.

Justin M. Ingram, assistant professor of biology (anatomy and physiology), and Michael J. Reed, assistant dean of sciences, humanities and visual communications: liberal arts and sciences, were among educators offering insights into the exciting opportunities available in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

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Scholarship Memorializes Penn College Faculty Member

John J. Messer, an associate professor of Web and interactive media, is clearly in his element in this Spring 2014 lab photo.

Friends and family of John J. Messer, a Pennsylvania College of Technology faculty member who fought a courageous battle against brain cancer, have established a scholarship fund in his memory.

Messer, who taught in Penn College’s Web and interactive media major, died Jan. 5 – barely two weeks before his 50th birthday. The clinical trial that extended his life and the inspirational way in which he maintained his optimism against the odds, were featured in the Spring 2013 issue of the college’s One College Avenue magazine.

The scholarship fund was started by a group of John’s longtime friends from his college years in Oneonta, New York.

“In keeping with John’s mantra of ‘eyes forward,’ we wanted to create a continuing legacy so that his inspiration and influence could live on,” some of those friends said in a joint statement. “Penn College and his students were very important to John. Our hope is that this scholarship will allow future generations of Penn College students the benefit of being touched by John’s selflessness and positive energy.”

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‘Celebration of Life Fundraiser’ to Be Held Jan. 17 for Faculty Member

John J. Messer (center), assistant professor of Web and interactive media, with students

John J. Messer (center), assistant professor of Web and interactive media, with students

The Jan. 5 death of John J. Messer, an assistant professor of Web and interactive media and a Penn College faculty member since January 2002, has been announced by the School of Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications. A celebration of his life – and a fundraiser to benefit the Geisinger Health System Foundation for Brain Tumor Research – will be held by his family at 3 p.m. Jan. 17 in the Mountain Laurel Room of the Thompson Professional Development Center. Messer’s long and valiant battle against glioblastoma multiforme, which was diagnosed in November 2010, was featured in the Spring 2013 issue of One College Avenue magazine. Coinciding with what would have been his 50th birthday the following day, the Jan. 17 event will include a basket raffle and a variety of other activities intended to boost donations to brain-cancer research. Contributions to the Geisinger Foundation can be made online or at the PDC; checks should note “Brain Tumor Research in Honor of John Messer” on the memo line. Anyone wishing to contribute items for the fundraiser is asked to contact Pat Coulter, Denise Leete or Lisa Bock.

Scholarship Honors Professor Emeritus at Penn College

Darryl and Dawn Kehrer

Two alumni of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s immediate predecessor institution have established a scholarship honoring Daniel J. Doyle, professor emeritus of history and a former administrator at the college.

Darryl and Dawn (Wahler) Kehrer, both 1972 liberal arts graduates of Williamsport Area Community College, have endowed a scholarship in honor of Doyle.

“The annual award is an enduring way to honor Dan Doyle’s nearly four decades of commitment to Penn College students,” Darryl Kehrer said.

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Human Services Students Donate Funds to Veterans Group

From left: Jenice L. Phillips-Harrold, Williamsport; Amanda R. Tyler, Brockport; Erin L. Sullivan, Elizabethtown; Chad E. Hahn (presenter), Hughesville; Paul Spurgin (recipient), Keystone Wounded Warriors; Travis S. Draper, Williamsport; LaQuinn N. Thompson, York; April M. Tucker, Muncy; Jessica J. Eisely, Middleburg; Brittany E. Goldinger, Bainbridge; Chelsea D. Woodland, State College; Meagan R. Kolk, Blossburg; Deborah E. Wells, Montoursville; and Stacey L. French, Montoursville. Goldinger is a human services major; the rest are enrolled in applied human services.

Students enrolled in a Community and Organizational Change class at Pennsylvania College of Technology raised more than $3,000 for a worldwide fair-trade organization and donated a portion of their sales to a veterans group based in Berks County.

The human services class conducted a Ten Thousand Villages sale last month and was permitted to donate 10 percent of its sales total to another nonprofit of its choice. The class chose Keystone Wounded Warriors Inc., of Blandon.

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Sociology Faculty Members Present at Conference

Faculty members present paper

Two sociology faculty members at Pennsylvania College of Technology presented a paper at the 64th annual meeting of the Pennsylvania Sociological Society, held Oct. 25 at Lebanon Valley College, Annville.

Vinay Bahl, associate professor of sociology, and Richard Sahn, instructor of psychology/sociology, presented “Sociopathic Institutions: The Reasons for ‘Moral Monday’ in North Carolina.”

The discussion focused on the protests that began in Raleigh in 2013 and evolved into a grassroots social injustice movement that spread to other states in 2014, as well as on the role legislative institutions may play in enacting laws and policies leading to such protests.

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Handcrafted Goods Available at Student-Arranged Sale

Ten Thousand Villages sale transforms CC lobby into an international bazaar.

Ten Thousand Villages sale transforms CC lobby into an international bazaar.

Holiday ornaments among sale items ...

Holiday ornaments among sale items …

... along with jewelry ...

… along with jewelry …

... and a line of basketry all the way to the elevator.

… and a line of basketry all the way to the elevator.

Sale continues through Friday

Sale continues through Friday

The annual fair-trade sale organized by human services students in the Community and Organizational Change course is being held through Friday in the lobby of Penn College’s Bush Campus Center. The Ten Thousand Villages Festival sale features artisanal items from various other countries’ working poor.
Photos by Abdullah H. Muaddi, student photographer

Colloquium Highlights Consideration of Context Over Memorization of Dates

Under the lights of the ACC Auditorium dome (and the glow from the projection screen and students' electronic devices), a sizable crowd gathers for the final Centennial Colloquium.

Under the lights of the ACC Auditorium dome (and the glow from the projection screen and students’ electronic devices), a sizable crowd gathers for the final Centennial Colloquium.

Craig A. Miller offers an overview of the technological, economic, environmental and cultural issues that surrounded construction of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railways – including displacement of American Indians.

Craig A. Miller offers an overview of the technological, economic, environmental and cultural issues that surrounded construction of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railways – including displacement of American Indians.

Miller responds to an audience question about the ultimate impact of automation on the workforce, optimistically saying that, while technology will continue to alter the way we live and work, humans will always be involved.

Miller responds to an audience question about the ultimate impact of automation on the workforce, optimistically saying that, while technology will continue to alter the way we live and work, humans will always be involved.

The college's Centennial is drawing to a close, but Miller – along with the five other Penn College faculty members who contributed to the enlightening colloquia series – will reconvene for a panel discussion in February.

The college’s Centennial is drawing to a close, but Miller – along with the five other Penn College faculty members who contributed to the enlightening colloquia series – will reconvene for a panel discussion in February.

Past and present meet as Miller time-travels across the stage, introducing his audience to Thomas C. Durant, vice president of the Union Pacific Railroad.

Past and present meet as Miller time-travels across the stage, introducing his audience to Thomas C. Durant, vice president of the Union Pacific Railroad.

Defining history as a “conversation between the past and the present … and almost always about the future,” faculty member Craig A. Miller delivered the concluding lecture in Penn College’s Centennial Colloquia Series on Tuesday night. The assistant professor of history and political science discussed “Technology, Power and Responsibility” in the Klump Academic Center Auditorium, engaging his audience the same way he challenges his students: “I’m not here to teach you history. I’m here to use history to teach you to be critical thinkers.” So while the presentation was shaped around the construction of the transcontinental railroad, that story served as a thought-provoking springboard to the broader connection between choices and consequences. Cross-country rail service was “truly a technological marvel” steeped in progress and industrial speed, he said, a monumental achievement that was not without fallout. True, it ushered in an era of development and helped the United States become a global economic power. But the territorial expansion also relocated Native Americans under a policy of “assimilate or move,” fostered financial chicanery and altered the workforce. In an informed give-and-take, Miller urged attendees to vigilantly weigh multiple perspectives, to logically and critically analyze the societal price of decisions, and to “accept uncomfortable truths and learn from them.” The hourlong program, introduced and moderated by Paul L. Starkey, vice president for academic affairs and provost, was followed by a question-and-answer session and a reception in Wrapture.

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 →

Human Services Students Host Ten Thousand Villages Sale

Unique handmade gifts from diverse cultures are available at the Ten Thousand Villages Festival Sale, set for Nov. 19-21 at Pennsylvania College of Technology's Bush Campus Center.

Students in a human services class at Pennsylvania College of Technology will host a fair-trade sale Nov. 19-21 in the lobby of the Bush Campus Center.

The annual sale, which is open to the public, helps working poor in other countries.

Facilitated by students in the Community and Organizational Change course, the Ten Thousand Villages Festival Sale will feature unique handmade gifts, jewelry, home decor, art and sculpture, textiles, serveware, and personal accessories representing the diverse cultures of artisans in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.

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Lecture to Examine Responsibilities of Technological Innovation

Craig A. Miller

Pennsylvania College of Technology faculty member Craig A. Miller will present the concluding lecture in the college’s Centennial Colloquia Series on Nov. 18 at 7 p.m.

Miller, an assistant professor of history/political science, will offer a talk titled “Technology, Power and Responsibility” in the college’s Klump Academic Center Auditorium. The lecture is free and open to the public.

At a college of applied technology, Miller says, it is important to discuss and assess the responsibilities associated with technological innovation.

To illustrate the maxim “choices have consequences,” Miller will evaluate the technological, economic, environmental and cultural issues that surrounded the construction of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railways, a massive undertaking that involved technological innovation, colossal financing, unique labor arrangements and the displacement of American Indians from Minnesota to California.

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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 →

Students Among ‘Evacuees’ in County Disaster Simulation

Tommie L. Smith (with clipboard), of Montgomery, an accounting student who works with the Lycoming County Emergency Management Agency, gathers biographical information from Ronald D. Parks, of Jersey Shore, an emergency management technology major simulating contamination with radiation particles. Among others involved in the exercise, in which Parks had to be "decontaminated" before joining the general population in the mass-care shelter, is Charles E. O'Brien Jr. (background), a Penn College Police officer.

Tommie L. Smith (with clipboard), of Montgomery, an accounting student who works with the Lycoming County Emergency Management Agency, gathers biographical information from Ronald D. Parks, of Jersey Shore, an emergency management technology major simulating contamination with radiation particles. Among others involved in the exercise, in which Parks had to be “decontaminated” before joining the general population in the mass-care shelter, is Charles E. O’Brien Jr. (background), a Penn College Police officer.

A mock evacuation site is in full swing in the halls of Montoursville Area High School.

A mock evacuation site is in full swing in the halls of Montoursville Area High School.

Kyle G. Stavinski, an emergency medical services major from Elysburg, undergoes radiological "screening" during the Lycoming County drill.

Kyle G. Stavinski, an emergency medical services major from Elysburg, undergoes radiological “screening” during the Lycoming County drill.

Ten Penn College students – eight from the emergency management technology major and two from the paramedic program – attended this week’s disaster exercise hosted by the Lycoming County Emergency Management Agency. The scenario, held at Montoursville Area High School and featuring involvement by the American Red Cross, was based on a nuclear accident at PPL’s Susquehanna Steam Electric Station near Berwick. Students role-played being evacuees from the zone surrounding the nuclear power plant and underwent simulated radiological testing and monitoring.
Photos provided by David E. Bjorkman, instructor of emergency management technology

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 →

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