News: Students

Plastics Students, Faculty Mentor Attend Industry Conference

On hand for presentation of SPE's Carrie Fox Solin Memorial Scholarship awards are (from left) John R. Bartolomucci, assistant professor of plastics and polymer engineering technology at Penn College; scholarship recipients Bryan T. Robinson, of Penn College, and Samuel Moore, of Pittsburg (Kansas) State University; and Paul M. Herring, an associate professor of plastics engineering technology at Pitt State.

On hand for presentation of SPE’s Carrie Fox Solin Memorial Scholarship awards are (from left) John R. Bartolomucci, assistant professor of plastics and polymer engineering technology at Penn College; scholarship recipients Bryan T. Robinson, of Penn College, and Samuel Moore, of Pittsburg (Kansas) State University; and Paul M. Herring, an associate professor of plastics engineering technology at Pitt State.

Robinson and Julia I. Gilchrist (joined at the conference by classmate Thomas J. Ryder, who is not pictured) represented Penn College at a display table.

Robinson and Julia I. Gilchrist (joined at the conference by classmate Thomas J. Ryder, who is not pictured) represented Penn College at a display table.

Three Penn College students and a faculty member, including a Society of Plastics Engineers national scholarship recipient, attended the recent 30th annual SPE Blow Molding Division Conference in Chicago. Thomas J. Ryder, of Muncy; Julia I. Gilchrist, of Hanover; and Bryan T. Robinson, of Gilbertsville – all plastics and polymer engineering technology majors – helped staff a tabletop display and represented the college throughout the exhibits area, conference sessions, and among students attending from other colleges and universities. During the event, Robinson received the second half of his two-year $6,000 Carrie Fox Solin Memorial Scholarship from the organization. The group was accompanied by John R. Bartolomucci, assistant professor of plastics and polymer engineering technology, who was one of five panelists in a “Training Resources for Blow Molders” discussion. Moderated by Geoff Ward, of Argi Industrial Plastics, the panel also included Penn State Erie, the Behrend College; Ferris State; Calhoun Community College and Paulson Training Programs.
Photos provided

Penn College Information Technology Students Excel at ‘Hackathon’

Penn College IT majors had a strong showing at the recent Altamira Hackathon in Fairfax, Virginia. College participants were (front row, from left) Evelyn E. Hill, of Muncy; Madelyn M. Lanoue, of Dallastown; David M. Mossop, of Newark, Delaware; Zachary L. Lundberg, of Warren; Donald E. McCoy, of Watsontown (2014 graduate); and Brian S. Stringer, of McVeytown. Back row, from left: Derek E. Teay, of Northampton; Tucker J. Harner, of Leesport; Drew Pacell, of Ottsville; Jeremy W. Rennicks, of Williamsport; Jerome T. Czachor, of Dickson City; and Adam T. Check, of Great Falls, Virginia. (Photo by Sandra Gorka, associate professor of computer information technology)

Information technology majors from Pennsylvania College of Technology proved their prowess at a recent cybersecurity competition. A five-member Penn College contingent finished second at the Altamira Hackathon in Fairfax, Virginia.

Conducted at George Mason University, the competition required participants to test their skills around the Atari game Scram. Team members controlled various aspects of a nuclear reactor while protecting their computer network and attacking the computing resources of other teams.

“Events such as the Altamira Hackathon give students an opportunity to exercise their skills in a competitive environment,” said Sandra Gorka, associate professor of computer information technology, who accompanied the students with Jacob R. Miller, associate professor of computer information technology. “We are very impressed with the performance of our second-place team and all the Penn College students who participated. They did an outstanding job representing the college.”

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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.”

Gernert Again Named Conference ‘Player of the Week’

Courtney Gernert

Courtney Gernert

Senior Courtney Gernert, of Palmyra, has been named the North Eastern Athletic Conference Women’s Volleyball Player of the Week for the period ending Oct. 19.  The graphic design major had a milestone week for the Wildcats, compiling 70 kills, 86 digs and 15 service aces across five matches, while reaching 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs for her career.  She had a kills/digs double-double in all five matches on the week, including 20 kills and 21 digs in a 3-2 win over Cazenovia College.  She also reached both career milestones in style: She tallied her 1,000th dig against University of Valley Forge during Senior Night while smacking her 1,000th kill on match point against Cazenovia. Gernert is now fifth in the NEAC in digs (367), digs per set (4.03) and points per set (3.6); sixth in both kills (2.76) and kills per set (3.03); and seventh in points (331).  This is Gernert’s second NEAC Player of the Week selection on the year. She and the Lady Wildcats close out the season Wednesday with a 7 p.m. match at Susquehanna University.

Women’s, Men’s Soccer Teams Pay Tribute to Graduating Seniors

Pregame ceremonies honor soccer seniors

Prior to their respective Sunday matches against Penn State Abington, the Penn College soccer teams honored their graduating seniors. Each of the student-athletes – one on the women’s squad and six on the men’s – was presented with a framed team photo while being acknowledged by coaches, family and other supporters during the pregame ceremonies.

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Students Afforded 20-Percent Discount to Savor Le Jeune Chef

The staff of Le Jeune Chef Restaurant stands ready to serve ...

The staff of Le Jeune Chef Restaurant stands ready to serve …

... with an enticing discount to encourage students' patronage.

… with an enticing discount to encourage students’ patronage.

New this semester, Le Jeune Chef Restaurant offers a 20-percent discount to Penn College students who’d like to enjoy “an education in fine dining.” The relaxing gourmet venue is operated by the School of Business & Hospitality and serves as a living laboratory for students in hospitality management, culinary arts, and baking and pastry arts majors. The restaurant is open to the public for lunch each weekday from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and for dinner Wednesday to Saturday from 5:30-8 p.m. Lunch  menus offer a choice of soups, salads, sandwiches, entrees and desserts, as well as specials developed by culinary-arts interns. Thursday night dinners are prepared by students in the Classical Cuisines of the World course, with each week featuring classically prepared fare from a different old-world region. Upcoming menus include Champagne, France;  Alsace, France; The British Isles; and Northern Italy. On Wednesday and Friday evenings, the Regional American Cuisine class takes over, with menus that explore the cultural specialties of the U.S. Upcoming Regional American Cuisine dinners will feature Chesapeake Bay, the Heartland, Floribbean and New Orleans. Students may use flex dollars or declining-balance meal plans, as well as cash or credit. To view menus, visit the restaurant’s website. To make reservations, call 570-320-CHEF (570-320-2433).

‘Senior Night’ Honors Soon-to-Be Grads on Women’s Volleyball Squad

Kaitlyn A. Klein (15) and Courtney L. Gernert (2) join their families and coaches for a Senior Night tribute during Thursday's match against the University of Valley Forge.

Kaitlyn A. Klein (15) and Courtney L. Gernert (2) join their families and coaches for a Senior Night tribute during Thursday’s match against the University of Valley Forge.

A milestone mark: Thanks to Thursday night's performance, Gernert stands at 1,001 digs in her four-year Wildcat career, making her the college's all-time leader in that category.

A milestone mark: Thanks to Thursday night’s performance, Gernert stands at 1,001 digs in her four-year Wildcat career, making her the college’s all-time leader in that category.

The team tops its opponent, 3-0, during action in Bardo Gym.

The team tops its opponent, 3-0, during action in Bardo Gym.

Penn College women’s volleyball honored its two graduating seniors, Kaitlyn A. Klein and Courtney L. Gernert, before a stellar crowd in Bardo Gym on Thursday night. Head coach Monica Brown presented the seniors with mementos – their framed jerseys – prior to the start of the game and college President Davie Jane Gilmour was also in attendance to honor the student-athletes. Klein, a graphic design major from Lock Haven, is a two-year member of the squad. She has been a top attacker for the Wildcats with a total of 164 kills, 43 aces and 55 total blocks. She not only performs on the court, but also in the classroom: This past year, she was named to the 2013 Penn State University Athletic Conference All-Academic team. Courtney Gernert, a graphic design major from Palmyra, has been a four-year member of the squad.  She has been one of the most decorated volleyball players in Penn College history with a total of 970 kills, 1,001 digs and 183 aces. In 2013, she was named PSUAC First team All-Conference, PSUAC All-academic, and USCAA secondteam All-American. This year, in the team’s first season of the North Eastern Athletic Conference,Courtney was named Conference Player of the week early in the season.
Photos by Dalaney T. Vartenisian, student photographer

Penn College Catering Students Return to Growers Market Oct. 25

Pennsylvania College of Technology culinary arts technology student Cassandra R. Brochu serves visitors at the Williamsport Growers Market in 2011.

Students in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s hospitality majors will cook and serve free samples to patrons of the Williamsport Growers Market on Saturday, Oct. 25.

The students will demonstrate their dishes – all made with ingredients donated by vendors at the market – and serve samples beginning at 8 a.m.

Students in the college’s Catering class visit the Growers Market every year as part of the market’s customer appreciation event. It provides a valuable learning opportunity, as the students practice planning a menu and ordering and organizing supplies for an off-site event, interacting directly with food producers while working with the freshest, most nutritious ingredients. All vendors at the Williamsport Growers Market must produce at least 80 percent of the products they sell.

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‘French Favorites’ Bake Sale Set for Wednesday

The Advanced Patisserie Operations class will hold a “French Favorites” bake sale from 10 a.m.-noon Wednesday in Le Jeune Patissier at the Market (in the West Third Street hallway of the Carl Building Technologies Center). Join Chef Charles R. Niedermyer, instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts, and students – including managers Sarah R. Nichols, of Williamsport, a technology management major; and Theodore J. “T.J.” Persing, a baking and pastry arts student from South Williamsport – for artisan breads, pastries and candies. More information, including a product list and details on preordering a specially decorated cake, follows: French Favorites

Penn College Plastics Students Recognized for Research

Research conducted by plastics and polymer engineering technology majors at Pennsylvania College of Technology has been recognized by the Rotational Molding Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers.

Larry Schneider, representing the board of directors of the SPE Rotational Molding Division, recently commemorated the students’ work by traveling to campus and presenting plaques to Julia I. Gilchrist, of Hanover; Thomas J. Ryder, of Muncy; Benjamin G. Robertson, of Hummelstown; and Taylor J. Smith, of Williamsport.

The four students researched powdered polyethylene and micro-pelletized polyethylene. Earlier this year, Gilchrist and Ryder delivered the team’s findings in Cleveland at RMD TOPCON, a forum for SPE members to exchange information regarding rotational molding.

“It’s quite appropriate that these four students have been recognized for their commitment to the plastics field,” said David R. Cotner, dean of the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies. “Their hard work in conducting the study is a great example of how students can enhance their education outside of regular class and lab sessions. Presenting their research at a well-respected industry event speaks to the quality of their work.”

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Radiography Seniors Hold ‘Pink Out’

Clinical supervisors Lauren E. Reed (far left, back row) and Karen L. Plankenhorn (far right, back row) join the senior class of radiographers in a "Pink Out."

Clinical supervisors Lauren E. Reed (far left, back row) and Karen L. Plankenhorn (far right, back row) join the senior class of radiographers in a “Pink Out.”

Honoring a traditional October observance that is closely aligned with their chosen career path, radiography seniors observed a “Pink Out” on Wednesday. “I encouraged my class to dress in pink … in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month,” said  Karen L. Plankenhorn, clinical supervisor for radiography. “I worked as a mammographer prior to coming to the college and I teach the Mammography class in the spring, so breast-cancer awareness is near and dear to me.”
Photo by Cletus G. Waldman Jr., clinical director for radiography

More Than 2,000 Jobs, Internships Offered at This Week’s Career Fairs
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James G. Theisen (with blue alumni ribbon at center), a 2004 graduate in landscape/nursery technology, was part of the recruitment effort by the Dover-based Hively Landscapes.

Nearly 200 employers were on campus this week, looking to fill more than 2,000 positions from among Penn College’s “degrees that work.” At three sessions over two days, including breakout offerings for specific majors, employers (including a number of Fortune 500 companies and other industry heavyweights) sought interns and new graduates who are technically skilled and prepared to enter today’s workforce. A Monday fair in the Breuder Advanced Technology and Health Sciences Center highlighted majors within the School of Health Sciences, while Tuesday morning’s Field House event – moved onto main campus from the Schneebeli Earth Science Center – was geared toward natural resources technologies students. The Career Fair wrapped up Tuesday afternoon with a wide-open field of opportunities for students in all six of the college’s six academic schools.

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Saccoman, Rodgers Named Conference ‘Players of the Week’

Jordan Rodgers

Jordan Rodgers

Mike Saccoman

Mike Saccoman

Junior Jordan Rodgers, Biglerville, and freshman Mike Saccoman, of Kingston, New York, have been named North Atlantic Conference* and North Eastern Athletic Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for the period ending Oct. 12.

In men’s tennis, Rodgers went a perfect 2-0 in the first flight for both doubles and singles, dropping only three games in all of his matches.  His efforts helped the Wildcats defeat both Lycoming College and Susquehanna University. In golf, Saccoman shot a season-best 77 to take third individually at the Susquehanna University Fall Invitational.  His efforts, helped the team to a third-place finish.

Rodgers (majoring in residential construction technology and management: building construction technology concentration) and the Wildcat tennis team have completed the fall portion of their season and will get back into action next spring.  Saccoman (enrolled in automotive technology management: automotive technology concentration) and Wildcat golf just competed at the USCAA Championships, which concludes the team’s fall season.

*Beginning with the 2010 season, the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) has partnered with the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) in the sport of men’s and women’s tennis. The NEAC will compete as associate members of the NAC in men’s tennis, while the NAC will compete as associate members of the NEAC in women’s tennis. Members from each conference will be divided into an East and West Division for each sport, with each division holding a championship and the two divisional champions then facing off to determine the conference champion. The conference winner for each sport will earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championships.

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Secretary of Aging Adds to Students’ Interaction at Health-Screening Clinic

Pennsylvania Secretary of Aging Brian Duke addresses a group at the Messiah Senior Community Center.

Pennsylvania Secretary of Aging Brian Duke addresses a group at the Messiah Senior Community Center.

Nursing student Kira M. Cioffi, of Williamsport, practices her blood pressure-reading skills on Secretary of Aging Brian Duke during a health-screening clinic at the senior center.

Nursing student Kira M. Cioffi, of Williamsport, practices her blood pressure-reading skills on Secretary of Aging Brian Duke during a health-screening clinic at the senior center.

Student Alex S. Bogler, of South Williamsport, checks a senior’s blood pressure as part of the health-screening clinic.

Student Alex S. Bogler, of South Williamsport, checks a senior’s blood pressure as part of the health-screening clinic.

State Secretary of Aging Brian Duke encourages Penn College nursing students to consider their work with older adults.

State Secretary of Aging Brian Duke encourages Penn College nursing students to consider their work with older adults.

Four first-semester students in Penn College’s associate-degree RN preparation major visited Messiah Senior Community Center in South Williamsport on Tuesday to provide free health screenings. Also visiting the center was the state’s secretary of aging, Brian Duke, who spoke about initiatives for the state’s older population. The relationship between Penn College’s nursing program and the STEP Office of Aging – which manages the senior center – was established nearly 20 years ago by Jane J. Benedict, associate professor of nursing, when she developed health-screening clinics for students. “Today, we continue to bring small groups of first-year … students to area STEP senior centers for health-screening clinics during each fall semester,” said Laurie A. Minium, instructor of nursing. “Our partnership with STEP is invaluable: The students are able to strengthen newly acquired nursing skills, while at the same time, the area’s older adults have the opportunity to receive free blood pressure and blood-glucose screenings. During the clinics, students interact with the seniors, staff and volunteers at the centers – focusing on proper skill technique, communication and client teaching.”

New Experiences, Old Friends
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Blue skies and a welcoming atmosphere greeted late-morning arrivals for Saturday's numerous activities.

Homecoming 2014, a spectacular continuation of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Centennial celebration, made institutional history while honoring it. Marked by the first-ever campus carnival, the inaugural reunion for Williamsport Area Community College alumni and employees, and an Oktoberfest, “Then … Now … Forever Proud” offered nearly a full week of activities that can’t even fit into an online gallery of more than 140 photos. More images from the week’s activities – which included a faculty lecture, a gallery opening, dedication of a conversation-starting art installation, several other get-togethers and the latest Athletic Hall of Fame induction – are available via Penn College Alumni Relations on Facebook.

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