News about Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies

College’s Restoration Major in Statewide Spotlight

Penn College’s unique automotive restoration technology major is featured in Keystone Edge, an online magazine of positive news about companies and communities designed to encourage young talented people that Pennsylvania is the best place to invent their future. The piece was written by Elise Vider, the publication’s innovation and jobs news editor, with input from Brett A. Reasner, the college’s dean of transportation and natural resources technologies.

Alumnus-Maintained Blimp Makes Big Splash During Little League

Students exit the gondola after their access to a high-profile aircraft.

Penn College alumnus brings DirecTV blimp to Energy Aviation, near the Lumley Aviation Center.

Wearing his pride

The crowd assembling around the airship lends a sense of proportion.

Penn College aviation students were invited by 1997 aviation technology alumnus James Weed to visit the DirecTV blimp, which he maintains. The students were able to board the gondola to get a close look at the instruments and controls. The blimp is equipped with two 180-horsepower Lycoming engines and a high-definition camera. Operated by the Van Wagner Airship Group, the blimp is in town to provide aerial television coverage of the Little League Baseball World Series.
Photos by Thomas D. Inman, associate professor of avionics

Penn College Names New Assistant Dean for Academic School

Justin W. Beishline

Justin W. Beishline has been named assistant dean for the School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

Beishline, who grew up in Benton and resides in Millville, had been an instructor of diesel equipment technology at the college since the Fall 2008 semester.

“Justin will be an excellent addition to the leadership team in Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies,” said Paul L. Starkey, vice president for academic affairs/provost. “He has been an excellent teacher for a number of years and is noted for his commitment to his students. He brings creativity and a great work ethic to this new role.”

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Hands-On Wiring Project Emblematic of Program’s Civic Connections

Checking out a fleet of vintage cars ...

... including an award-winning, student-restored 1970 Chevelle SS.

The instructor lends a hand to a group supervised by YMCA Program DIrector Bryce Weaver (center).

Success and satisfaction

Displaying a patriotic eagle, one of the student projects in the Auto Graphics course

Young men and women from the Williamsport YMCA’s F.I.R.S.T. (Fostering Individuality, Respect, Success and Teamwork) Program toured Penn College’s collision repair lab Wednesday as part of a five-week summer workshop series designed for community outreach. The once-weekly activities, sponsored by Lycoming United Way, are spearheaded by Katrina A. Sinclair, part-time member of the college’s history faculty. Automotive instructor Eric D. Pruden walked the group through the restoration, paint and collision repair labs before assigning them hands-on activities involving series and parallel circuits.

NYC Kids Get ‘Fresh’ Taste of Postsecondary Possibilities

In a lab full of priceless automobiles being restored by Penn College students, the visitors are allowed several supervised violations of the "look, but don't touch" rule. The youngsters take turns cranking a Ford Model T coil tester, generating enough voltage to illuminate a small light bulb.

A group of New York City youngsters, finishing a seven-day visit to Williamsport arranged through the Fresh Air Foundation, this week tasted the uniquely amazing opportunities of a Penn College degree. A rewarding experience for both the youngsters and their local host families, Fresh Air gives urban boys and girls a peek into life outside the city, and enticed Monday’s group with a higher-education option they might have thought was well beyond their reach. In an age-appropriate agenda fashioned by admissions representative Emily A. Weaver, the kids started their day with a brief video showcasing three Penn College students. “They were having fun while working toward their goals,” one boy noted, surprised that college isn’t all studious drudgery. A campus tour followed, then lunch in the Keystone Dining Room. The guests also visited the automotive restoration/collision repair and welding labs before burning off excess steam on the basketball court. The verdict? Unqualified success … and the wide-eyed promise by some to enroll as students within the decade.

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Ransome CAT Donates Diesel Engine to Penn College

Ransome's Ron Garber secures diesel engine for ESC

A Caterpillar C6.6 diesel engine, which became available after it was replaced under warranty by the dealership, has been donated by Ransome CAT for use by students at Penn College’s Schneebeli Earth science Center. “Since I know the college is always looking for recent engines for instructional purposes, we made the call to Dr. (Mary A.) Sullivan (ESC executive director and assistant dean of the School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies) and arrangements were made for the pickup of the engine,” said Ron Garber, Ransome’s fluids lab general manager and Whitehall/Fleetwood regional manager. “We had no further cost in the item and it made sense to donate it to Penn College. All dealers in the program keep an eye out for such items … and make them available whenever we can.”
Photo by Ken J. Bashista, laboratory technician for diesel equipment technology

Alumnus Among Top Competitors in Employer’s Skills-Testing

Under the critical eye of a judge and his clipboard, Brian P. Weidner competes ...

... in a series of skills tests ...

... that pitted him against other top-performing Ryder technicians.

After only 20 months on the job, Brian P. Weidner – a 2011 diesel technology graduate working as a Tech 3 for Ryder Systems Inc. – tested his way into the third level of his employer’s prestigious Top Tech Competition. During the awards ceremony, the alumnus from Quakertown said, his mentor cited Weidner’s educational background at his technical high school and his degree from Penn College.
Photos provided

Restoration Major ‘The Big Story’ From The Associated Press

Penn College’s automotive restoration technology major, particularly students’ ardent work in returning a vintage Scripps-Booth Model D to roadworthy condition, is featured in an article and video by The Associated Press’ Michael Rubinkam. “Passion is what the hobby desperately needs from young people right now,” he writes. “When Penn College revved up its vintage vehicle restoration major in 2012, it became one of just a handful of degree programs around the country teaching young people how to help refurbish and maintain North America’s fleet of more than 10 million classic cars.”

FFA Again Draws Upon Horticulture Faculty Members’ Prowess

For the fifth consecutive year, two members of Penn College’s horticulture faculty shared their expertise during Pennsylvania FFA Convention/Activities Week in Centre County. Dennis P. Skinner, assistant professor, and instructor Carl J. Bower Jr. judged the Public Speaking-Conversation competition at Penn State on Tuesday and, on Wednesday, Bower (the co-chair of that category) judged the Nursery & Landscape Career Development Event held at the Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science & Technology in Bellefonte. The 86th annual event drew more than 1,400 high school students and chaperones from across Pennsylvania for a busy and varied agriculture-related agenda.

Returned to Running Order, Historic Vehicle Earns Youth Judges’ Favor

Bill Rothermel (right), master of ceremonies, gets acquainted with students and faculty - including co-advisers Shaun D. Hack (center) and Roy H. Klinger, second from right.

Bollinger talks with young judges from the Hagerty Education Program (under the guidance of Tabitha Hammer, youth supervisor), who awarded third prize to the Scripps-Booth.

The vehicle is reviewed by the official Elegance judging team.

Vehicle owner Patricia B. Swigart gives a detailed talk to the youth judges about the vehicle, while portraying its significant owner, Eleonora Randolph Sears. Penn College students, in period garb, enjoyed acting as her driver and mechanics.

The crowd enjoys seeing the vintage automobile and watching a bit of 1916-era playacting.

Penn College students’ work on a 1916 Scripps-Booth Model D, a one-of-a-kind vehicle that had not been roadworthy for many years, was awarded third-place by a group of young judges at last weekend’s Elegance at Hershey concourse event. Owned by the William E. Swigart Jr. Automobile Museum in Huntingdon, the car was originally built to the specifications of Eleonora Randolph Sears, the great-great-granddaughter of Thomas Jefferson and a popular tennis star of the 1910s. Sears paid $17,500 for the privilege of a vehicle with the elegance, quality and ride of a Rolls-Royce; the smallness of a Model T and the grille of a Mercedes Benz. Four students in the college’s automotive restoration technology major – Ryan J. Bollinger, of Mount Joy; Ian M. Bachleda, of Schaefferstown; Ryan J. Haslett, of Warren; and Eugene J. Toner, of Quakertown – restored the car to driveability. Their painstaking process included electrical diagnosis and repair, a thorough cleaning of the oilpan, inspection of the engine for corrosion, creation of new gaskets and laborious hand-greasing before its ultimately successful road test.

CAT Dealers, Foundation Add More Than $150,000 in Fiscal Support

Cleveland Brothers Equipment Co. Inc.'s Randy Fetterolf delivers a Caterpillar contribution to Mary Sullivan, executive director of Penn College's Schneebeli Earth Science Center and assistant dean of transportation and natural resources technologies. Second row (from left): Ronald Barton and Sebastian “Buster” Fiacco, Southworth-Milton Inc.; Griffin Reome, Caterpillar Inc.; Melissa Charest and Carl Bisesi, H.O. Penn Machinery Inc.; and Penn College diesel equipment technology instructors Justin Beishline and David Johnson. Back row (from left): Nick DePermentier, Ransome CAT; Karl Quinn, Alban CAT; Ron Garber, Ransome CAT; diesel equipment technology instructor Chris Weaver; and Brian Clayton, Cleveland Brothers Inc.

A longstanding alliance that prepares Pennsylvania College of Technology students for careers in a variety of fields will continue with the recent donation of $151,076 from the Caterpillar Foundation and a consortium of regional dealerships.

Cleveland Brothers Equipment Co. Inc., Alban CAT, H.O. Penn Machinery Inc. Ransome CAT and Southworth-Milton Inc. donated a total of $93,706 to help students in the college’s diesel technology, heavy construction equipment technology and on-site power generation majors. Matching funds amounting to $58,000 were provided through the Caterpillar Foundation.

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Faculty Trio Receives ‘Excellence in Teaching’ Awards

Pennsylvania College of Technology bestowed Excellence in Teaching Awards upon three faculty members during commencement ceremonies held May 15-16 at the Community Arts Center in Williamsport.

As part of the Distinguished Teaching Awards program, Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour presented Excellence in Teaching Awards to Roy H. Klinger, instructor of collision repair; Charles R. Niedermyer II, instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts; and John G. Upcraft, instructor of machine tool technology/automated manufacturing.

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Penn College Honors Three Alumni at Commencement

Pennsylvania College of Technology bestowed honors upon three alumni during Spring 2015 commencement ceremonies held May 15-16 at the Community Arts Center, Williamsport.

Adam J. Yoder, of Gaithersburg, Maryland, received the Alumni Volunteer of the Year Award on May 15. Joseph H. and Barbara A. Reynolds, of Williamsport, were presented with the Humanitarian/Citizenship Award during the same ceremony. Michael K. Patterson, of Oval, received a Mentorship Award on May 16.

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Forest Technology Student Receives Memorial Scholarship

A forest technology student at Pennsylvania College of Technology has received a scholarship from a fund that memorializes a longtime regional leader in the lumber industry.

Harley R. Heichel, of Wellsboro, received the $1,000 award from the Richard P. Lauchle Forestry Scholarship Fund created by the Keystone Wood Products Association and administered by the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania. The check was presented during the association’s recent annual membership dinner, held at The Watson Inn in Watsontown.

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Birds of Prey Visit ESC Prior to Students’ Seasonal Flight From Campus

Students watch a Harris's Hawk on pinpoint wing ...

... and in impressive repose.

Heimbach with a Peregrine Falcon

An American Kestrel joins the display.

Fluttering wing feathers announce The Gyrfalcon's participation.

Cheri Heimbach, master falconer and owner of Baywings Falconry in Lewisburg, recently provided an educational discussion and live demonstration of falconry to the Wildlife Management class within the School of Transportation & Natural Resources Management at Penn College. Many birds of prey – including Peregrine Falcon, American Kestrel, Screech Owl, Gyrfalcon, Harris’s Hawk and European Eagle Owl – were on display and discussed in terms of diet, habitat and potential long-term impacts of thoughtful forest management on their populations. Students were actively engaged in demonstrations involving the Harris’s Hawk, which displayed a high level of accuracy and precision while in flight. Students were given ample opportunities to interact with the birds and ask questions during the presentation, held at the Schneebeli Earth Science Center near Allenwood. Baywings Falconry provides an educational program for a wide range of audiences from small children to adults. Heimbach also uses the birds for hunting and invites volunteers to accompany her during October and November to experience their amazing skills firsthand.
Photos by Pamela A. Mix, secretary to the ESC executive director and assistant dean of transportation and natural resources technologies