News: Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications

‘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  

Retired Into Educational Service, Former FedEx Plane Gets ‘Airtime’ on WNEP

Sullivan's son, Alex B., a lab assistant for the graphic-design project, uses a heat gun to smooth out a vinyl panel.

Sullivan’s son, Alex B., a lab assistant for the graphic-design project, uses a heat gun to smooth out a vinyl panel.

While work continues on the "degrees that work" tail section, Papa talks with Williamson about the rare benefit of having such an aircraft in the college's instructional fleet.

While work continues on the “degrees that work” tail section, Papa talks with Williamson about the rare benefit of having such an aircraft in the college’s instructional fleet.

The multimedia journalist captures "B-roll" footage of David E. Maurer, assistant lab coordinator, as he works on an overlay acknowledging the FedEx donation.

The multimedia journalist captures “B-roll” footage of David E. Maurer, assistant lab coordinator, as he works on an overlay acknowledging the FedEx donation.

Sullivan relays his pride in the student-assisted outcome of a logistically and climatologically challenging endeavor.

Sullivan relays his pride in the student-assisted outcome of a logistically and climatologically challenging endeavor.

As a donated Boeing 727 nears the end of a two-month makeover, Newswatch 16 reporter Kristina Papa visited Penn College’s Lumley Aviation Center on Wednesday to prepare a story about the monumental exterior work on the former FedEx transport plane. Taping her segment outside the Williamsport Regional Airport in Montoursville, Papa interviewed Colin W. Williamson, dean of transportation and natural resources technologies, and Kevin P. Sullivan, lab coordinator for programs in the School of Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications, about both the “wrap” project and the long-term curricular applications for aviation students. The piece initially was broadcast at 5:30 p.m. on WNEP.

Artistry in Aerospace: The ‘Vinyl’ Frontier

A full-bodied view illuminates the scope of the project, which crisscrosses curricular turf and covers the breadth of the Boeing 727.

A full-bodied view illuminates the scope of the project, which crisscrosses curricular turf and covers the breadth of the Boeing 727.

Kevin P. Sullivan (rear), lab coordinator for programs in the School of Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications, and Timothy A. Miller, lab assistant I, graphic design project, smooth out a tail section emblazoned with a Penn College trademark ...

Kevin P. Sullivan (rear), lab coordinator for programs in the School of Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications, and Timothy A. Miller, lab assistant I, graphic design project, smooth out a tail section emblazoned with a Penn College trademark …

... and oblige the photographer's request for an above-ground wave.

… and oblige the photographer’s request for an above-ground wave.

An inspiring word offers a fitting comment on the work itself: painstakingly encasing the plane in a vinyl shell that announces its new owner while prominently honoring the donor.

An inspiring word offers a fitting comment on the work itself: painstakingly encasing the plane in a vinyl shell that announces its new owner while prominently honoring the donor.

Putting the "lift" in "facelift," the two high-flying men at work ply their craft.

Putting the “lift” in “facelift,” the two high-flying men at work ply their craft.

An impressive undertaking, befitting one of the largest donations in the institution’s history, is nearing completion at the Lumley Aviation Center in Montoursville. As storm clouds gave way to resumption of the work this past week, patient artisans continued to wrap a donated Boeing 727 jet in a snug-fitting vinyl shroud. The plane’s nose-to-tail makeover, as much protective as it is decorative, emblematically replicates the transformational benefit of a Penn College degree.

‘Digital Futures Camp’ Offers Fun and Games … With Purpose

Campers design logos in the Mac lab.

Campers design logos in the Mac lab.

Participants get game-creation guidance from Spyke M. Krepshaw, instructor of computer information technology, and Anita R. Wood, assistant professor of computer information technology ...

Participants get game-creation guidance from Spyke M. Krepshaw, instructor of computer information technology, and Anita R. Wood, assistant professor of computer information technology …

... and Adobe Illustrator pointers from Nicholas L. Stephenson, graphic design instructor.

… and Adobe Illustrator pointers from Nicholas L. Stephenson, graphic design instructor.

Already a tradition after only three years: the donning of camp T-shirts for an "official" group photo

Already a tradition after only three years: the donning of camp T-shirts for an “official” group photo

College's abundance of technology showcased during lab-based workshops

College’s abundance of technology showcased during lab-based workshops

Penn College’s third annual “Designing a Digital Future Camp” introduced dozens of high school students to an enticing two-day menu of career-based workshops this week. The campers – rising sophomores, juniors and seniors – learned about employment opportunities during eight sessions (four each) in gaming and web and interactive media; developed personal computer games and mobile applications; networked with faculty, staff and students; and got a slice of campus life during an overnight stay in college housing. The event, which has attracted capacity crowds since its debut in 2012, culminated in a gaming tournament Wednesday afternoon.
Photos by Dalaney T. Vartenisian, student photographer

Class Completes Centennial Mosaic Artwork at Penn College

A mosaic created for Penn College’s Centennial by eight students and an instructor adorns a wall at the Physician Assistant Center on the main campus.

Piecing together approximately 14,000 fragments of ceramic tile, marble, mirror and stones, eight students and an instructor took one month to create a beautiful legacy in the center of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s main campus.

The Centennial Mosaic, designed by David A. Stabley, instructor of ceramics and wood sculpture, is now complete on a wall of the Physician Assistant Center in the middle of campus. Measuring approximately 17 by 25 feet, the mosaic’s design relates to “social connectedness, paths travelled, dreams and the pleasure of learning through hands-on work,” according to Stabley.

For the installation of the artwork, Stabley led a team of students enrolled in a three-credit course titled, “The Art of the Mosaic.” The class met four days a week from May 19 through June 19.

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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 →

‘Wrap’ Artists Prepare to Sheathe Plane in College Attire

A behemoth on the tarmac, the plane seems even more enormous when partially pulled into the spacious Lumley Aviation Center hangar.

A behemoth on the tarmac, the plane seems even more enormous when partially pulled into the spacious Lumley Aviation Center hangar.

Collision repair instructor Roy H. Klinger (left) and aviation instructor Michael R. Robison begin the laborious process of painting over the plane's prior corporate identity.

Collision repair instructor Roy H. Klinger (left) and aviation instructor Michael R. Robison begin the laborious process of painting over the plane’s prior corporate identity.

A retired Boeing 727 donated to Penn College in March 2012 will soon wear the logo of its owner, courtesy of an effort than spans several of the institution’s academic schools. The former FedEx Express plane made its last flight more than two years ago, when it was delivered to the Lumley Aviation Center for a new life among the college’s instructional fleet. That new life includes a new coat, which was designed by Kyle R. Taylor for an illustration class taught by Brian A. Flynn, assistant professor of graphic design. (A 2013 graphic design graduate, Taylor is now employed by Schoolwires Inc. in State College.) Moving the plane was quite an exercise, involving faculty/staff from the School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies and the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies. Welders from the latter school fabricated an adapter for a hitch on the light-duty diesel lab’s GMC 3500 truck, which pushed and pulled the 727 from the west pad to the hangar. Transportation faculty/staff recently began washing, sanding and painting the tail section, the first steps toward wrapping the plane in a collegiate cocoon of vinyl. Kevin P. Sullivan, lab coordinator for programs in the School of Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications, is overseeing students’ output of the various pieces that will cover the aircraft.

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