Penn College’s first Lavender Graduation – celebrating the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students and their allies – was held Friday evening in the Thompson Professional Development Center. Alumnus G. Patrick Butler, a student during the founding year of the PC Alliance organization, was the guest speaker for the event. “I was proud to be there at the beginning and even more proud to be here tonight,” he said. “And I’m proud to see my alma mater moving with the times.” Such events, now held at nearly 50 colleges and universities nationwide, are an educational opportunity for the entire campus community, Butler said. “We are all people and expect to be treated as such. We live in a very interdependent world; do we go through life with fists up or open hands?” The graduation paid tribute to Bethany M. Reppert, of Minersville, who will receive her Bachelor of Science degree in applied human services in May. In welcoming remarks by President Davie Jane Gilmour and in the keynote address, the senior was reminded of the personal and professional resource that Penn College represents. “Your education is a framework, a starting point, a running start to your career,” Butler told her. “Put your degree to work – not just for you, but for the betterment of society.” The night included honors for a number of others that have supported PC Alliance in its advocacy. Receiving kudos from organization President Wesley G. Ginnick, a construction management student from Altoona, were Sigma Pi fraternity, the Wildcat Events Board, Student Government Association, Equality Central PA and The Planet Bar in downtown Williamsport. The graduation was the culmination of Pride Week, which included campus speakers, films and a symposium.
About 50 graduates of Williamsport Technical Institute, a Pennsylvania College of Technology forerunner, attended a 15th annual reunion on April 17.
The event, held in the college’s Thompson Professional Development Center, provided an opportunity for alumni and their guests to enjoy lunch, reminisce and hear presentations by six students enrolled in aviation maintenance, automotive restoration and construction technology majors.
Thirty-eight Pennsylvania College of Technology students have been selected to cook for thousands at the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby on May 2.
Known as “the most exciting two minutes in sports,” the tradition-steeped Kentucky Derby attracts more than 150,000 guests, including its fair share of celebrities.
At Churchill Downs, students will spend a week helping to mix, chop and cook thousands of pounds of ingredients that they’ll serve to guests in suites and luxury boxes throughout the facility, including The Mansion, a lavish, invitation-only venue.
Students are also assigned to the main kitchen, Jockey Club Suites, Turf Club Lounge, Finish Line Suites and the Plaza Balcony. In addition to cooking for the main event, several students will prepare food for “Dawn at the Downs,” a popular Louisville tradition that gives visitors an opportunity to enjoy breakfast in Millionaires Row while watching the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks contenders conduct morning workouts.
Around 250 students and employees from the School of Health Sciences participated in three days’ worth of emergency simulations on campus this week. In its third year, the exercise is known as the Interdisciplinary Professional Event and provides a unique opportunity for students and faculty from different majors within the School of Health Sciences to collaboratively care for patients.
Ten students in David Stabley’s Ceramics II class this week created raku clay pots in the courtyard of the Pajama Factory – studio space northwest of campus, where the instructor of ceramics and wood sculpture has a kiln. Each student made at least two pieces, which were subjected to separate firings. “The first firing is called horsehair firing,” he explained. “The pieces were fired to 1,600 degrees Fahrenheit and taken out of the kiln while still hot. Then, horsehair, sugar and feathers are burned into the surface of the pots.” The second firing is called Obvara firing and is an old method of firing and sealing the clay surface. “I mixed up a solution of water, flour, yeast and sugar and let it ferment for three days,” Stabley said. “The pots were fired to 1,650 degrees Fahrenheit, taken out while hot and dunked into the mixture, creating oranges and blacks over the pots.”
Photos by Dalaney T. Vartenisian, student photographer
Supporters of the Penn College team involved in the U.S. Department of Energy’s “Race to Zero” Student Design Competition can watch their presentations live Saturday through an online link from Golden, Colorado. Presenting their plans for a Habitat for Humanity house to be built in Williamsport in the summer of 2016 are Dustin C. Bailey, of Petersburg, and Christopher G. Master, of Cranberry, enrolled in building science and sustainable design: architectural technology concentration. The pair – traveling with Robert A. Wozniak, associate professor of architectural technology – will be joined by six teammates back home via videoconferencing. They are among 33 entries from the United States and Canada competing to develop affordable, energy-efficient homes; winners will be announced during Sunday evening’s award dinner. The schedule, along with the information necessary to access the “Race to Zero” presentations online, follows. (EDITOR’S NOTE: Times are listed in Mountain Daylight Time; add two hours for their East Coast equivalent.) Race to Zero
Pennsylvania College of Technology recently held induction ceremonies, welcoming 128 high-achieving students into its honor society chapters for two- and four-year students. Paul L. Starkey, vice president for academic affairs/provost, and Tom Gregory, associate vice president for instruction, offered remarks at both proceedings.
A fundraising initiative launched on the Penn College Alumni Relations Facebook page encourages all segments of the campus community to make a gift – to give “props” – on behalf of a faculty or staff member who has influenced their lives. “I know that our faculty and staff change lives and form lifelong connections with alumni, their colleagues, parents and other friends of the college,” President Davie Jane Gilmour said in announcing the Props for Profs campaign. “And I look forward to seeing the outpouring of thanks for their hard work.” Alumni, parents, friends and employees are all encouraged to donate by midnight Friday; those sharing “props” can enrich the Penn College Fund for as little as $5, providing scholarship support, helping to purchase state-of-the-art lab equipment, and funding student travel that leads to hands-on experiences in real-world environments.
Kyle G. Stavinski, of Elysburg, an emergency medical services major, was chosen as the March Student of the Month at Pennsylvania College of Technology.
Stavinski, who is scheduled to graduate in August, is an emergency medical technician for Area Services Inc. and has worked as an emergency room technician at Geisinger Medical Center and Evangelical Community Hospital.
“Kyle is a well-rounded adult who has pride in his education and pride in his chosen career,” his nominator said.
A trio of employers will be on campus during the coming week, hoping to interest Penn College students and alumni in a variety of available jobs. Two of those information sessions are scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Tuesday: Pilot Flying J will be recruiting in Room W204 of the Breuder Advanced Technology and Health Sciences Center, and Maine Drilling & Blasting will be in Room 201 of the Bush Campus Center. (Pilot will collect resumes from interested applicants during its session, scheduling interviews for the following day.) At 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Trane representatives will be in Room 110 of the Carl Building Technologies Center. For details, including open positions and the applicable academic majors, consult the Career Services’ fliers: Employer Information Sessions
Pennsylvania College of Technology students and faculty teamed with community volunteers on March 21 to treat 56 children as part of the Pennsylvania Dental Hygienists’ Association’s statewide Sealant Saturday initiative.
In the college’s Dental Hygiene Clinic, which was one of several Sealant Saturday sites statewide, the volunteer dentists, hygienists and dental hygiene students gave each child a dental screening and fluoride varnish and placed 290 sealants.
Newswatch 16’s Kristina Papa followed some Penn College students on Wednesday as they visited a monitoring station along flooding-prone Loyalsock Creek. Papa interviewed civil engineering technology majors James H. Cassidy, of Douglassville, and Andrew J. Susen, of Easton, among the members of John J. Miknis’ Water and Wastewater Systems class who toured the U.S. Geological Survey stream gauge in Eldred Township.
Penn College students, staff and faculty participated in a Fitness Center promotional event to help encourage members to see through fitness-oriented goals set as New Year’s resolutions. The Resolutions Fitness Challenge began the second week of classes and ended April 10, hosting 28 completing participants actively involved for the nearly semesterlong duration. Participants checked in and recorded workout programs on a daily basis to accumulate points to meet time-based goals. Several tiers of prizes were awarded upon completion of goal checkpoints in addition to grand-prize packages awarded to six finalists. Prizes were Penn College nutrition shaker bottles, water bottles, T-shirts, workout towels, thumb drives and free one-semester memberships for staff/faculty. Top student awards were given to Jillian Helmus, of Middletown, an on-site power generation major who reached 60 points, and Cody L. Hagen, of Lancaster, an automotive technology management: automotive technology concentration major who amassed 63 points. Staff/faculty grand prizes were awarded to Beverly A. Hunsberger, college transition specialist at Outreach for K-12; Michael R. Triassi, director of sales and restaurant operations for the School of Business & Hospitality; Tobey M. Robison, senior financial system analyst; and Daniel F. Warner, web programmer/analyst. The program was well-received by members and is projected to be offered again in the Spring 2016 semester.
The final activities of Penn College’s illustrious Centennial observance – the filling, sealing and installation of an institutional snapshot from that 2014 celebration – took place this week in a first-floor corner of Madigan Library. Various historical and commemorative items were loaded into the time capsule on Thursday, and the contents were sealed with argon gas the following day. On Wednesday morning, the high-grade, stainless steel container was maneuvered into a glass-block repository built by the School of Construction & Design Technologies. The time capsule and its archival treasure will remain undisturbed until reopened in 50 years. A montage of Centennial activities, colorfully and energetically composed from a year’s worth of photos, has been incorporated into a video on the Penn College YouTube channel.
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 →
Student Government Association officers for 2015-16 were chosen last week in an election that saw a record turnout of Penn College student voters. A total of 233 votes were cast during the weeklong balloting, 84 more than last year and 48 votes higher than any other year in SGA’s history of online voting. Members of the new Executive Board are:
President – Zachary T. Peachey, of Lewistown, a construction management major
Executive Vice President – Benjamin L. Thayer, of Hampton, New Jersey, residential construction technology and management
Vice President of Internal Relations – Brittnay M. Stevenson, of Riegelsville, welding and fabrication engineering technology
Vice President of Public Relations –Kyani L. Lawrence, of New Rochelle, New York, health arts: practical nursing emphasis
New senators are Caleb E. Cartmell, of Honesdale, automotive technology management: automotive technology concentration; Andrew J. Bucher, of Manheim, automotive technology; Gracie R. Cooper, of Green Lane, construction management; and Colin P. McNoldy, of Muir, civil engineering technology.
All will officially assume their positions on April 22, after the passing of the gavel at that evening’s Student Activities awards ceremony.