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Penn College News

THON Supporters Send Healthy Wishes Skyward

Members of Penn College Benefiting THON help assemble the fragile paper lanterns.

Members of Penn College Benefiting THON help assemble the fragile paper lanterns.

Kelsey A. Maneval (center), one of Penn College's dancers during the February 2014 THON Weekend, lends a hand.

Kelsey A. Maneval (center), one of Penn College’s dancers during the February 2014 THON Weekend, lends a hand.

Participants battle frigid temperatures and occasional wind in trying to keep their lanterns lighted and under control.

Participants battle frigid temperatures and occasional wind in trying to keep their lanterns lighted and under control.

Emma J. Sutterlin (kneeling at right), of State College, this year's campus THON chair, joins some of her board members in preparing to set free one of the evening's final lanterns. From left are Kelsey A. Maneval, of McAlisterville; Lillian L. "Lily" Pakradooni, of Shillington; John D. Pater, of York; and Brieona R. Broadwater, of Berlin. Absent from the photo are board members Chelsea M. Burger, of Millersburg, and Allison D. Bailey, of West Chester.

Emma J. Sutterlin (kneeling at right), of State College, this year’s campus THON chair, joins some of her board members in preparing to set free one of the evening’s final lanterns. From left are Kelsey A. Maneval, of McAlisterville; Lillian L. “Lily” Pakradooni, of Shillington; John D. Pater, of York; and Brieona R. Broadwater, of Berlin. Absent from the photo are board members Chelsea M. Burger, of Millersburg, and Allison D. Bailey, of West Chester.

Buoyed by the heat inside, another lantern rises into the night sky.

Buoyed by the heat inside, another lantern rises into the night sky.

Nearly 100 sky lanterns drifted over campus Wednesday night in a fundraiser for children battling pediatric cancer, as members of Penn College Benefiting THON draw nearer to February’s culminating 46-hour dance marathon at Penn State. For $1 each, supporters could purchase a paper lantern to be illuminated and cast aloft on the lawn outside the Thompson Professional Development Center. The second-year organization is hoping to top its inaugural collection of $13,000 in 2013-14, and will be “canning” – carrying canisters to collect local donations from passing cars and pedestrians in well-traveled areas – on Dec. 5-7. Interested donors can also visit the THON Web page, click “Donate Now” and select Penn College as their organization of choice. The annual “no-sleeping, no-sitting” dance marathon will be held Feb. 20-22 in Bryce Jordan Center; THON has raised more than $114 million since 1977.

Popular Poinsettia Sale Nears at ESC Greenhouse

Poinsettias add splash of seasonal color at ESC.

Poinsettias add splash of seasonal color at ESC.

The annual Poinsettia Sale at the Schneebeli Earth Science Center greenhouse starts Wednesday, Dec. 3, and runs until all plants are sold. The hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, and all sales are on a first- come, first-served basis. Inventory is very limited this year and is expected to sell out fast! No early sales, please.  Contact Justin Shelinski, laboratory assistant for horticulture, at ext. 3511 or the ESC office (570-320-8038) with any questions.
Photo provided

 

Handcrafted Goods Available at Student-Arranged Sale

Ten Thousand Villages sale transforms CC lobby into an international bazaar.

Ten Thousand Villages sale transforms CC lobby into an international bazaar.

Holiday ornaments among sale items ...

Holiday ornaments among sale items …

... along with jewelry ...

… along with jewelry …

... and a line of basketry all the way to the elevator.

… and a line of basketry all the way to the elevator.

Sale continues through Friday

Sale continues through Friday

The annual fair-trade sale organized by human services students in the Community and Organizational Change course is being held through Friday in the lobby of Penn College’s Bush Campus Center. The Ten Thousand Villages Festival sale features artisanal items from various other countries’ working poor.
Photos by Abdullah H. Muaddi, student photographer

Aided by Penn College Presence, It’s Full Steam Ahead for ‘Expo’

Co-organizers Bruce E. (left) and Eric W. Huffman carry on the civic-minded (and certainly magical) tradition that memorializes their father.

Co-organizers Bruce E. (left) and Eric W. Huffman carry on the civic-minded (and certainly magical) tradition that memorializes their father.

Back for its eighth year, the layout of Patrick M. Breen and his wife, Laura, celebrates the Pennsylvania Railroad.

Back for its eighth year, the layout of Patrick M. Breen and his wife, Laura, celebrates the Pennsylvania Railroad.

A heads-up crew from a hands-on institution makes quick work of table delivery. From left are Eric W. Huffman and, from the college's General Services staff, Patrick J. Kimble, Jeff G. Rotoli, Breen and Barry L. Loner Jr.

A heads-up crew from a hands-on institution makes quick work of table delivery. From left are Eric W. Huffman and, from the college’s General Services staff, Patrick J. Kimble, Jeff G. Rotoli, Breen and Barry L. Loner Jr.

A five-year exhibitor is Max E. Ameigh, displaying his circus-themed trains.

A five-year exhibitor is Max E. Ameigh, displaying his circus-themed trains.

Mike Cunningham (seated) shows Marty Payne how to use the train simulation software on college-loaned computers.

Mike Cunningham (seated) shows Marty Payne how to use the train simulation software on college-loaned computers.

This weekend’s Will Huffman Toy Train Expo, a holiday homage to a “less-complicated world of wonder and nostalgia,” will once again include volunteers from the Penn College family. When the 24th annual event opens its doors at Park Place, 800 W. Fourth St., three college employees will be among those with model-railroad layouts on display: Max E. Ameigh, a part-time faculty member in advertising art; Patrick M. Breen, a first-shift custodian; and – exhibiting for the first time – Cletus G. Waldman Jr., clinical director of radiography. The Expo honors its late founder, who said, “Every Christmas tree should have a model train running around it,” and whose sons further the college connection: “Conductor” Eric W. is a shipping/receiving worker and Bruce E. is a former instructor of media arts/video production. Helping hands come from other corners of the campus, including the General Services workers who delivered more than 65 tables in Wednesday’s sub-freezing temperatures. Additionally, personal computers and monitors on loan from the college’s Information Technology Services (with thanks to Mike Cunningham, vice president for information technology/chief information officer, and Brad A. Miller, manager of technical support) will allow attendees to test their locomotive skill through simulation software. Others from Penn College include Eric Huffman’s wife, Linda D., a General Services custodian who staffs the admission table, and Patricia M. Russell, a part-time/substitute faculty member in building construction management, who is affiliated with the host venue. A portion of this year’s adult donations will be shared with the Lycoming County SPCA and the Lycoming Animal Protection Society Inc.; children are admitted free. Held in conjunction with the neighborhood’s Victorian Christmas, the event will be held from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and noon-4 p.m. Sunday.
Photos provided

Exposé of Food Industry to Be Shown Monday in Penn’s Inn

"Fed Up"

“Fed Up”

A free screening of “Fed Up,” which focuses on the causes of obesity in the U.S. and argues that the large quantity of sugar in processed foods is an overlooked root of the problem, will be held at 7 p.m. Monday in Penn’s Inn (Bush Campus Center, second floor). Presented by the Student Activities Office and billed as “the film the food industry doesn’t want you to see,” the PG-rated documentary has a running time of 92 minutes. Produced and narrated by Katie Couric and executive-produced by Laurie David (an Oscar-winner for “An Inconvenient Truth”), the film is directed by Stephanie Soechtig.

Colloquium Highlights Consideration of Context Over Memorization of Dates

Under the lights of the ACC Auditorium dome (and the glow from the projection screen and students' electronic devices), a sizable crowd gathers for the final Centennial Colloquium.

Under the lights of the ACC Auditorium dome (and the glow from the projection screen and students’ electronic devices), a sizable crowd gathers for the final Centennial Colloquium.

Craig A. Miller offers an overview of the technological, economic, environmental and cultural issues that surrounded construction of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railways – including displacement of American Indians.

Craig A. Miller offers an overview of the technological, economic, environmental and cultural issues that surrounded construction of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railways – including displacement of American Indians.

Miller responds to an audience question about the ultimate impact of automation on the workforce, optimistically saying that, while technology will continue to alter the way we live and work, humans will always be involved.

Miller responds to an audience question about the ultimate impact of automation on the workforce, optimistically saying that, while technology will continue to alter the way we live and work, humans will always be involved.

The college's Centennial is drawing to a close, but Miller – along with the five other Penn College faculty members who contributed to the enlightening colloquia series – will reconvene for a panel discussion in February.

The college’s Centennial is drawing to a close, but Miller – along with the five other Penn College faculty members who contributed to the enlightening colloquia series – will reconvene for a panel discussion in February.

Past and present meet as Miller time-travels across the stage, introducing his audience to Thomas C. Durant, vice president of the Union Pacific Railroad.

Past and present meet as Miller time-travels across the stage, introducing his audience to Thomas C. Durant, vice president of the Union Pacific Railroad.

Defining history as a “conversation between the past and the present … and almost always about the future,” faculty member Craig A. Miller delivered the concluding lecture in Penn College’s Centennial Colloquia Series on Tuesday night. The assistant professor of history and political science discussed “Technology, Power and Responsibility” in the Klump Academic Center Auditorium, engaging his audience the same way he challenges his students: “I’m not here to teach you history. I’m here to use history to teach you to be critical thinkers.” So while the presentation was shaped around the construction of the transcontinental railroad, that story served as a thought-provoking springboard to the broader connection between choices and consequences. Cross-country rail service was “truly a technological marvel” steeped in progress and industrial speed, he said, a monumental achievement that was not without fallout. True, it ushered in an era of development and helped the United States become a global economic power. But the territorial expansion also relocated Native Americans under a policy of “assimilate or move,” fostered financial chicanery and altered the workforce. In an informed give-and-take, Miller urged attendees to vigilantly weigh multiple perspectives, to logically and critically analyze the societal price of decisions, and to “accept uncomfortable truths and learn from them.” The hourlong program, introduced and moderated by Paul L. Starkey, vice president for academic affairs and provost, was followed by a question-and-answer session and a reception in Wrapture.

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 →

Faculty Member Brings Shipyard Experience Into Welding Lab

A mock-up of a oil tanker's bulkhead has been fabricated by Steven J. Kopera's welding students ...

A mock-up of a oil tanker’s bulkhead has been fabricated by Steven J. Kopera’s welding students …

Cutaway drawings help Kopera's students envision the scope of the work.

Cutaway drawings help Kopera’s students envision the scope of the work.

... who are living an on-the-job scenario in their Penn College lab.

… who are living an on-the-job scenario in their Penn College lab.

Benefiting from the real-world experience of an alumnus turned faculty member, Penn College students are simulating how the watertight bulkhead of an oil tanker is assembled, welded and pressure-tested. “Often times, the day-to-day lab projects we do in class can become very monotonous, and leave students asking, ‘Is this really what it’s like out in the field?’and “When am I ever actually going to need to do this?'” said Steven J. Kopera, a welding lecturer in the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies. Kopera earned degrees in welding technology (2007) and welding and fabrication engineering technology (2009) before embarking on a career that included time at the Aker Philadelphia Shipyard. While course work provides necessary practice in fundamentals and technique, he said, it is done under the most ideal circumstances – conditions that are atypical of industry. “The intent behind this project was to get the students out of their routine and their comfort zone,” he said, “and to expose them to a situation that they will be faced with in the workforce.” Kopera has been brainstorming the exercise for some time and, with only seven students in his unusually small class this semester, the time was right. He explained how hull sections are put together and showed them various pictures and sketches in the classroom, supplementing the instruction with stories of his “overwhelming” encounters as a young welder newly exposed to large-scale fabrication. “This project will apply those skills they have been honing to a realistic industry scenario,” Kopera said. noting that they will be using the flux-core, arc-welding process that they have been learning in lab. “I believe it will not only be a good learning experience for them, but also a testament to how well our normal class routine prepares them for an actual on-the-job application.” Having fashioned a small mock-up of a watertight bulkhead, the students plan to do the welding and pressure-testing on Thursday.
Photos provided

Kyle T. Smithmyer Newest ‘Penn College Star’

Kyle T. Smithmyer enjoys the spotlight as the second "Penn College Star."

Kyle T. Smithmyer enjoys the spotlight as the second “Penn College Star.”

Gwendolyn A. Ntim sings for the audience and the panel of judges.

Gwendolyn A. Ntim sings for the audience and the panel of judges.

James C. Hendrie shares one of his original raps.

James C. Hendrie shares one of his original raps.

Caleb G. Schirmer performs a dance piece between acts.

Caleb G. Schirmer performs a dance piece between acts.

Beatboxer Lucas P. Crawford (second from right) was also among the finalists.

Beatboxer Lucas P. Crawford (second from right) was also among the finalists.

Kyle T. Smithmyer, a surveying technology major from Huntingdon, was crowned the latest “Penn College Star” at the recent conclusion of a three-round talent competition. The singer/guitarist, among four students vying at the second annual event’s Nov. 12 culmination in the Klump Academic Center Auditorium, took home a $500 Amazon gift card as the top prize-winner. Also competing were Lucas P. Crawford, a manufacturing engineering technology student from New Bethlehem, who beatboxed; James C. Hendrie, of Gettysburg, a software development and information management major who produces, writes and raps his own songs; and singer Gwendolyn A. Ntim, of Yonkers, New York, a pre-nursing student. A panel of judges and a tally of audience text messages rated the musicians on creativity/originality, poise/presentation, voice clarity and crowd appeal. Judges were college President Davie Jane Gilmour; Elliott Strickland, chief student affairs officer; Commuter Assistant Morgan N. Keyser; and 2000 alumnus Jon W. Mackey. “Penn College Star” – sponsored by the Off-Campus Housing Organization and the Residence Life and Student Activities offices – was hosted by George W. Settle III, last year’s champion, and Lauren J. Crouse, OCHO vice president. Settle was also a guest performer, as was Caleb G. Schirmer, OCHO’s interim president.
Photos by Dalaney T. Vartenisian, student photographer

Centennial Reception, Concert Say ‘Thanks’ to Scholarship Donors

A full house in the Field House! The Centennial event invited all campaign donors to an autumn buffet. Attendees including alumni, current and retired employees and other friends and supporters, enjoyed such treats as mashed sweet potatoes, a selection of "sliders" and a choice of desserts from the college's fine-dining restaurant.

A full house in the Field House! The Centennial event invited all campaign donors to an autumn buffet. Attendees including alumni, current and retired employees, and other friends and supporters enjoyed such treats as mashed sweet potatoes, a selection of “sliders” and a choice of desserts from the college’s fine-dining restaurant.

Surrounded by colorful stage lighting befitting the festive affair, President Davie Jane Gilmour welcomes more than 500 people – including students – to the post-buffet concert at the CAC.

Surrounded by colorful stage lighting befitting the festive affair, President Davie Jane Gilmour welcomes more than 500 people – including students – to the post-buffet concert at the CAC.

One of the funnier moments of the evening was when the band offered a free copy of its new Christmas CD to the first audience member "to get up here." Two eager fans took the words literally, leaping onto the stage. Erin N. Shaffer (standing in white top), daughter of Myra K. Shaffer, institutional advancement and foundation assistant, was proclaimed the winner (although the band gave a second CD to the other fan.)

One of the funnier moments of the evening was when the band offered a free copy of its new Christmas CD to the first audience member “to get up here.” Two eager fans took the words literally, leaping onto the stage. Erin N. Shaffer (standing in white top), daughter of Myra K. Shaffer, institutional advancement and foundation assistant, was proclaimed the winner (although the band gave a second CD to the other fan.)

Home Free, which received two standing ovations by night's end, takes the stage.

Home Free, which received two standing ovations by night’s end, takes the stage.

Chris Rupp, who founded Home Free with his brother Adam, signs autographs for young fans in the Capitol Lounge following the show.

Chris Rupp, who founded Home Free with his brother Adam, signs autographs for young fans in the Capitol Lounge following the show.

In appreciation of their contributions to the Penn College Scholarship Campaign, donors were treated to a casual Saturday evening of tasty and tuneful entertainment. The celebration began with a Le Jeune Restaurant-catered buffet at the Field House and continued at the Community Arts Center with a private performance by Home Free, the a cappella country group that won the fourth season of NBC’s “The Sing-Off.” More than $5.7 million has been donated to the campaign, which, for 2014-15, has already more than doubled the scholarship support to students prior to the start of the campaign in 2011.

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 →

Dental Hygienist Visits Children’s Learning Center

Myreta Churba works with youngsters at the college's Dunham Children's Learning Center.

Myreta Churba works with youngsters at the college’s Dunham Children’s Learning Center.

Myreta Churba, a part-time faculty member and 1984 alumna, recently presented dental hygiene lessons at Penn College’s Dunham Children’s Learning Center. Churba is a community outreach dental hygienist with Susquehanna Community Health and Dental Center. In addition to Thursday’s class activities, some children received dental cleanings and screenings on-site if their parents had enrolled them in the program.
Photo by Regina G. Andes, assistant group leader, Children’s Learning Center

College ‘Giving Tree’ Again Provides Outlet for Holiday Generosity

The Penn College "Giving Tree"

The Penn College “Giving Tree”

Interested in helping someone less fortunate in the Williamsport community this holiday season? A Penn College “Giving Tree,” bearing tags of individuals (children 3 months to 12 years, and senior citizens) who could benefit from your generous donation, is located in the Student Activities Office. The process for sponsoring someone is easy; instructions are available alongside the “Giving Tree” (Bush Campus Center, first floor) or on the myPCT portal.

Consider Penn College in Your Year-End Giving Plans

If you are considering making a charitable donation as the 2014 tax year comes to a close, please remember the Penn College employee campaign. Gifts of all sizes help students succeed and will be put to use immediately.

Continue reading →

Penn College Women Set for Basketball Opener

The Pennsylvania College of Technology women’s basketball team starts its season this week while the men’s basketball team got going Saturday and the college’s wrestling team had its first home match of the campaign, also on Saturday.

Continue reading →

Penn College Welcomes New Employee

PCToday continues its regular feature – welcoming new full-time and regular part-time Pennsylvania College of Technology employees, as reported by the Human Resources Office. Continue reading →

Twice-Yearly Conference Affirms Alliance Between College, K-12 Educators

– Dennis L. Correll, associate dean for admissions and financial aid, talks with the educators about important deadlines and other considerations of which students must be reminded.

– Dennis L. Correll, associate dean for admissions and financial aid, talks with the educators about important deadlines and other considerations of which students must be reminded.

Kay E. Dunkleberger, coordinator of disability services, talks with educators.

Kay E. Dunkleberger, coordinator of disability services, talks with educators.

Whit Worman, director of the physician assistant program, leads a tour group.

Whit Worman, director of the physician assistant program, leads a tour group.

Penn College’s Outreach for K-12 Office hosted its biannual College & Career Readiness Conference on Friday, providing a professional development opportunity for K-12 educators, mainly school counselors. The educators were offered tours of various academic programs and small-group conversations on such topics as disability services, the financial aid process, and Penn College NOW, the college’s dual enrollment program. The participants also attended a session titled  “Manufacturing Your Career in Pennsylvania,” a new free resource that teachers and counselors can use to engage students in career opportunities in manufacturing. The goal of the conference is not only to introduce the educators to the college’s academic programs, but also to address topics that will help them as they help to prepare their students to make decisions about their post-high school paths.

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