Penn College Aviation Grad Places Third at SkillsUSA Nationals

An alumnus of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s aviation program was among the medalists in recent competition during SkillsUSA’s 45th annual National Leadership and Skills Conference in Kansas City, Mo.

Linh H. Do, of Lancaster, who graduated cum laude in May with a bachelor’s degree in aviation maintenance technology, won a bronze medal in the championships held June 24-25. He now works at Liberty Helicopters, a company that provides helicopter tours of New York City and the Statue of Liberty, as well as private charters around the Northeast.

“The entire week was very fun and a great experience. “¦ being able to get to know a lot of people from a lot of different states was really cool,” he said.

More than 5,400 career- and technical-education students all of whom qualified by winning gold medals at the state level competed in 91 hands-on skill and leadership categories.

“The contest was well-put-together, and every portion of it we covered in school,” Do said. “I can honestly say that (Penn College’s) aviation program gave me a significant advantage over the majority of the other contestants.”

He was joined at the competition by the college’s other qualifiers: Thomas P. Bendzsuk, Pittsburgh, Automotive Refinishing; Annie M. Kinney, Milton, Commercial Baking; Nathan G. Myers, Colver, Welding; Brett R. Potteiger, Wernersville, Diesel Equipment Technology; and Thomas S. Rafferty, Waterford, Conn., Carpentry.

“The awards ceremony was amazing; to see over 15,000 people in one arena dedicated to SkillsUSA was extremely impressive,” Do said. “I am proud to be able to bring a medal home for Penn College and Pennsylvania.”

The students were accompanied by faculty co-advisers Edward L. Roadarmel, assistant professor of drafting and computer aided design, and Dale J. Kissinger Jr., assistant professor of HVAC technology/plumbing and heating.

SkillsUSA is a national nonprofit organization serving 300,000 teachers and high school and college students who are preparing for trade, technical and skilled services occupations.

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