News: Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies

Benefactor of Penn College Diesel, Aviation Programs Dies

Dr. Marshall D. Welch Jr.

Dr. Marshall D. Welch Jr.

Dr. Marshall D. Welch Jr., a retired Williamsport orthodontist whose philanthropic contributions benefit students in Penn College’s School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies, died Wednesday, Aug. 27, at the age of 85. Welch and his wife, Mary, are among those enshrined on the college’s Donor Wall as members of the Millionaire’s Society. Their generosity is also reflected in the hangar at the Lumley Aviation Center in Montoursville, the diesel lab at the Schneebeli Earth Science Center near Allenwood and a scholarship fund for diesel technology students – all of which bear the Welch family’s name. A full obituary can be found on the website of the Knight-Confer Funeral Home.

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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Attendance at National Aviation Event to Be Discussed by Faculty, Alumnus

William F. Stepp III

William F. Stepp III

The campus community is invited to a President’s Forum presentation at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday by William F. Stepp III, associate professor of aviation, who will highlight his Heli-Expo experience in Anaheim, Calif., and share information on the industry. Andrew L. Stamey, who graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in aviation maintenance technology – and one of two student attendees at the conference – will add his insights during the presentation in Room W204 of the Breuder Advanced Technology and Health Sciences Center. Attendance at the February conference allowed Stepp to participate in meetings of the Helicopter Association’s International Technical Committee, of which he is a member. The experience yielded two scholarships for student attendees (Stamey and Marc T. Kaylor, another May graduate), teaching materials for the aviation department, contacts for student internships and/or employment, as well as sources of additional equipment donations. Stepp is the first awardee from the Strategic Initiative Fund, created by President Davie Jane Gilmour to increase the college’s presence at the national level via presentations and/or leadership within national associations. Interested faculty and staff can learn more about the fund through the president’s page on the myPCT Web portal.

Student-Restored Automobile Piques Interest of Australian TV Series

Patricia B. Swigart is interviewed by Mark Fletcher, host of Australia's "Classic Restos."

Patricia B. Swigart is interviewed by Mark Fletcher, host of Australia’s “Classic Restos.”

A rare Verrill Wolf Wagon automobile, restored to award-winning quality last semester by Penn College students, is included in a recent addition to an Australian television show’s YouTube Channel. (EDITOR’S NOTE: The “Wolf Wagon” segment runs between 8:11-10:32.) “Classic Restos,” hosted by Mark “Fletch” Fletcher, caught up with vehicle owner Patricia B. Swigart during The Elegance at Hershey concourse event in mid-June. The 1953 car − a fiberglass behemoth nearly 25 feet long and weighing more than 5,000 pounds − won the “Dawn of a New Era” trophy at the show. While the segment as edited does not mention Penn College or its automotive restoration technology major, Swigart has been gracious and complimentary in past comments about the students’ work on her eye-catching prototype from the Chrysler family.

Diesel Instructor Honored With Caterpillar ‘Pathfinder’ Award

Mark E. Sones is presented with the 2014 Pathfinder to Excellence faculty award by Mary A. Sullivan, executive director of Penn College’s Schneebeli Earth Science Center and assistant dean of transportation and natural resources technologies.

An instructor in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s diesel equipment technology program has been honored with Caterpillar Inc.’s annual Pathfinder to Excellence faculty award.

Mark E. Sones, who teaches in the School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies, received the award during a recent advisory meeting of Caterpillar officials and dealers.

“I’m pleased that Mark received this recognition. It acknowledges that what he does on a daily basis makes a difference in the lives of his students,” said Mary A. Sullivan, executive director of the Schneebeli Earth Science Center and assistant dean of transportation and natural resources technologies. “This is a great way for him to receive the ‘Thank you’ he deserves.”

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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.

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.

Employer’s Former Office Site Gets Distinctive Campus Landmark

A commemorative heavy-construction blade is lifted off the truck ...

A commemorative heavy-construction blade is lifted off the truck …

... hoisted high above the ground ...

… hoisted high above the ground …

... and positioned as a singular historical marker.

… and positioned as a singular historical marker.

A substantial piece of construction equipment – and a noteworthy segment of neighborhood history – was installed Tuesday near the front of Penn College’s Breuder Advanced Technology and Health Sciences Center. The massive steel blade was lowered onto the former site of the Lycoming Construction Co., which occupied the property from 1943-80. The latter years of that period marked the company’s transition to Allison Crane & Rigging, which delivered the hefty keepsake and provides ongoing employment opportunities for current students and alumni alike. The blade was donated by Larry Allison Jr. in memory of his father, Larry Sr.; his grandfather, Herbert L.; and his great-grandfather, Herbert F., founder of the business. The equipment was provided by the George Logue family, and will be incorporated into the college’s award-winning History Trail with informational signage and attractive landscaping.

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 →

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.

Recent Aviation Alumnus Wins SkillsUSA Gold

Marc T. Kaylor

Marc T. Kaylor

Marc T. Kaylor, who graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in aviation maintenance technology, was a gold medalist in that category at last month’s SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Kansas City, Missouri. A student photographer during his last two years at Penn College, he will begin work July 28 as a Cessna Citation mechanic at the Stewart International Airport in New York state’s southern Hudson Valley. Among students and recent alumni to take part in the June 23-27 event – the 50th annual for SkillsUSA – Kaylor is the college’s 35th national medalist. (It was his second trip to Kansas City; he placed second in 2013.) “Thank you to all of my professors that helped me make it this far. Also, thank you to (welding instructor/adviser) James Colton II for taking the time to travel with us to Kansas City and being such a great supporter of Skills,” Kaylor said. “And, of course, thank you to all of the students who made it to SkillsUSA.” Watch PCToday for more.

Wayne Township Landfill Scholarship Initiated at Penn College

From left are Michael L. Crist, Wayne County Landfill environmental manager; Max T. Persun, operations manager at the landfill; Jay B. Alexander, landfill general manager; James H. Maguire, chair of the Clinton County Solid Waste Authority Board of Directors; and Debra M. Miller, Penn College’s director of corporate relations. (Photo provided)

Officials at the Wayne Township Landfill in Clinton County have established a scholarship fund to benefit Pennsylvania College of Technology students enrolled in diesel and heavy equipment majors.

The fund will generate two $1,000 awards each year to full-time students from Clinton and Lycoming counties. Preference will be given to those seeking two-year degrees in heavy equipment technology (including the technician, operator and Caterpillar equipment emphases) or diesel technology.

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Horticulture Faculty Members Renew Commitment to FFA Competition

FFA

FFA

Two members of Penn College’s horticulture faculty honored tradition at this month’s 85th Pennsylvania FFA Convention/Activities Week, again serving as contest judges during events at Penn State’s main campus. Dennis P. Skinner, assistant professor, and instructor Carl J. Bower Jr. judged the Public Speaking-Conversation competition on June 10 and, the following day, Bower (who serves as co-chair for the category) judged the Nursery & Landscape Career Development Event. The annual get-together draws 1,400 high school students and chaperones from across Pennsylvania for agriculture-related contests, leadership and career opportunities, performances, social interaction and other activities.

Student-Restored Vehicle Honored Among Select Company

The Wolf Wagon emerges from its transport trailer.

The Wolf Wagon emerges from its transport trailer.

The vehicle's wide-open "eyes" match those of the rapt spectators it attracts.

The vehicle’s wide-open “eyes” match those of the rapt spectators it attracts.

An impressive honor for an inspired restoration

An impressive honor for an inspired restoration

Among those sharing the sunshine are current Penn College student Sean M. Hunter (in the center of the group at left) and 2014 alumnus Carmen Cicioni (right).

Among those sharing the sunshine are current Penn College student Sean M. Hunter (in the center of the group at left) and 2014 alumnus Carmen Cicioni (right).

Alongside their labor of love − and accompanied by Patricia B. Swigart and her son, Steve − are (standing from left) Hunter, Cicioni and Levesque.

Alongside their labor of love − and accompanied by Patricia B. Swigart and her son, Steve − are (standing from left) Hunter, Cicioni and Levesque.

The Verrill Wolf Wagon, a one-of-a-kind automobile meticulously restored by Penn College students, won the “Dawn of a New Era” award at The Elegance at Hershey last weekend. The distinctive 1953 vehicle is owned by Patricia B. Swigart of Hummelstown, and was judged the best post-World War II car at the celebrated concourse event. “We’re in the big leagues now,” said Roy H. Klinger, instructor of collision repair. “I’m very, very proud of our students for reaching the level of an invitation-only show.” The car was originally taken to Hershey merely to be displayed as the eye-catching rarity it is, but the judges liked it so much that they insisted it be placed into competition. “Not only was the car a hit at The Elegance at Hershey, but the boys that were there representing Pennsylvania College of Technology were helpful and equally proud of the work done,” Swigart told PCToday. “As the restoration program at Penn College is not yet well-known, this was a great time to inform the attendees from all over the country … to not only hear of the program, but see their exquisite work. We are extremely proud to have such a fine school available for interested, talented young people.” Some of the world’s finest vintage and antique automobiles graced The Hotel Hershey gardens for the June 13-15 event, attended by a number of Penn College alumni, current students and prospects in the School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies. Among them were May graduates Carmen Cicioni and Ryan J. Levesque; and automotive restoration technology majors Sean M. Hunter, of Livingston, New Jersey, and Andrew B. Switch, of Lancaster. The trophy will be displayed by the school, which has been invited to take the Wolf Wagon to other such events − including the March 13-15 Concours d’Elegance at Amelia Island, Florida, the East Coast precursor to the prestigious August showcase at Pebble Beach, California. As Swigart told the Hemmings Daily blog, “I just own the car; the students did all the work.”
Photos provided

Heavy-Equipment Students Awarded National Tool Scholarships

Mike Rowe

Two Pennsylvania College of Technology students are among 51 of the nation’s highest-achieving construction equipment technology majors awarded tool scholarships from the mikeroweWORKS Foundation.

Receiving scholarships of $1,000 each are Matthew A. Hartzell, of Knox, and Jesse R. Rhodes, of McVeytown, both heavy construction equipment technology: technician emphasis majors. Hartzell is also working toward an associate degree in diesel technology.

The students were selected from Associated Equipment Distributors-accredited or -affiliated technical colleges for their high cumulative GPAs as of the end of the Fall 2013 semester. Penn College is the lone Pennsylvania institution on AED’s list, attaining accreditation for its two-year majors in heavy construction equipment technology: technician emphasis and heavy construction equipment technology: Caterpillar equipment emphasis majors.

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‘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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