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Williamsport Technical Institute Reunion Marks 15th Year

Forty-five graduates of Williamsport Technical Institute, a predecessor of Pennsylvania College of Technology from 1941-65, gather for a group photo on campus.

About 50 graduates of Williamsport Technical Institute, a Pennsylvania College of Technology forerunner, attended a 15th annual reunion on April 17.

The event, held in the college’s Thompson Professional Development Center, provided an opportunity for alumni and their guests to enjoy lunch, reminisce and hear presentations by six students enrolled in aviation maintenance, automotive restoration and construction technology majors.

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Gov. Wolf Visits Energy Technology Education Center
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President Davie Jane Gilmour greets Gov. Tom Wolf upon his arrival.

In his first visit since taking office in January, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf toured the Energy Technology Education Center on Wednesday in support of postsecondary education that meets the needs of regional and statewide employers. “Our citizens must have access to the education and training that jobs require, particularly as we continue to grow our energy industry,” he said. “Reinvesting in programs (such as ShaleNET) will help prepare people for jobs that pay.” ETEC, a training site for current and prospective gas-industry employees and emergency response crews, is a collaboration among Penn College, Lycoming County and industry partners.

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100-Year Memories Safely Cocooned … Until College Sesquicentennial

The General Services crew undertakes a weighty task.

The final activities of Penn College’s illustrious Centennial observance – the filling, sealing and installation of an institutional snapshot from that 2014 celebration – took place this week in a first-floor corner of Madigan Library. Various historical and commemorative items were loaded into the time capsule on Thursday, and the contents were sealed with argon gas the following day. On Wednesday morning, the high-grade, stainless steel container was maneuvered into a glass-block repository built by the School of Construction & Design Technologies. The time capsule and its archival treasure will remain undisturbed until reopened in 50 years. A montage of Centennial activities, colorfully and energetically composed from a year’s worth of photos, has been incorporated into a video on the Penn College YouTube channel.

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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 →

‘Ship of the Desert’ Temporarily Docks in ‘Land of the Wildcat’
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An exuberant Wyatt E. Fink, a culinary arts and systems student from Cogan Station, takes a spin.

When April Fool’s Day lands on Hump Day, there’s really only one way to mark the occasion: bring a camel to campus! Orchestrated by the Wildcat Events Board and obtained from Animal Rentals Inc., “Eli” the camel was ridden by 250 people (and photographed by many more) during a four-hour caravan stop outside the Hager Lifelong Education Center. WEB incorporated the attraction into its Wildcat Wednesday series, held to inform the college community about its varied sponsored activities. While not a common sight for the area, especially on the day after an early-spring snowstorm, the event brought smiles to students and employees heading toward a long holiday weekend. The novelty was enough to attract WBRE-TV, which aired a brief report Wednesday evening.

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Capricious Weather Tempered by Open House Excitement

Ambassador Stephanie E. Falcone spreads the word on social media.

Saturday’s biting breeze and snowy commute confirmed it: It’s still March in Pennsylvania! Far more predictable was what campus visitors found all day at Penn College’s Spring Open House, as helpful and personable students, employees and alumni encouraged potential enrollees and other visitors to explore a national leader in applied technology education.

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Youngsters Stave Off Decay, Burn Off Energy

Brittany N. Hall, of York, with a young patient who just had sealants placed

The 13th annual Sealant Saturday event, held March 21 in Penn College’s dental clinic, was very successful (and busy). Dental hygiene students provided free services to 56 children between the ages of 6 and 15, and placed 290 sealants. All children also received a fluoride varnish treatment. In the real world, a dental sealant costs $35 to 60 per tooth, so, if you do the math, more than $10,000 worth of free care was provided to help the fight against tooth decay! Downstairs, meanwhile, students in a Pediatric Nursing class staffed a variety of stations in the atrium of the Breuder Advanced Technology and Health Sciences Center. Sealant Saturday participants and their siblings were invited to stations with painting, Play-Doh, puzzles, chess, Twister, coloring and gymnastics, filling the ATHS atrium with music and fun. (Requirements were that the activities be age-appropriate and not involve video screens.) Youngsters also received prizes, such as Penn College water bottles and lanyards, courtesy of President Davie Jane Gilmour’s office.

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Career Fairs Attract Record Number of Employers
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Penn College’s Bardo Gymnasium teems with activity during a recent career fair that attracted about 210 employers offering more than 2,400 jobs and internships to students and alumni.

Nationally, employment projections are encouraging for the Class of 2015. Recent career fairs at Pennsylvania College of Technology reflected that positive reality.

Approximately 210 employers offering more than 2,400 jobs and internships participated in the  spring career fairs at the college’s main campus and Lumley Aviation Center. The number of employers, including several Fortune 500 companies, was an all-time high, according to Erin S. Shultz, coordinator of career development.

“It was so large we outgrew our capacity and had a waiting list for employers hoping to attend,” Shultz said. “That is a good problem to have! Technical education and hands-on training are in demand, and our students and alumni are highly recruited.”

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Wedding Cake Competition Pays Tasty, Tuneful Tribute to ‘Love Songs’
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The theme of the day

Penn College’s annual wedding cake competition and display Tuesday offered a look at the talents of students in a Cake Decorating II course taught by Chef Sue L. Mayer, assistant professor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts. The competitors edibly expressed the theme “Love Songs,” with cakes representing memorable lyrics from several eras.

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Visiting Chef Series and Hospitality Students: A Palatable Pairing
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Culinary arts and systems students Sarae D. Davis (left), of Nescopeck, and Brianna R. Helmick, of Hershey, help to assemble a “trout napoleon” for the first course.

The School of Business & Hospitality welcomed three guests during the latest edition of its Visiting Chef Series last week. Brian McClure, beverage director of The Greenbriar, a luxury resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, worked with the school’s faculty to develop a menu that exemplified how wine can be paired with foods that are salty, sweet, sour, bitter or umami. He then visited the school last week to share his expertise with students and with guests at the Visiting Chef Dinner, where he introduced each course and its accompanying wine and circulated to speak with guests about the pairings. Also sharing their know-how with students were Laura Tornichio-Vidal, northeast territory sales manager for Guittard Chocolate (which donates all of the chocolate the school uses each year) and Amy Rosenfield, owner of Mon Aimee Chocolat, a retail specialty shop in Pittsburgh (and the regional distributor for Guittard). The pair offered two chocolate-tasting sessions to School of Business & Hospitality students and employees, helping them to discern flavors and textures in chocolate and how they  might be paired with other flavors. The five-course Visiting Chef Series dinner on Friday, prepared and served by students and faculty, raised funds for student scholarships.

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Student-Athletes Mentor Girls at ‘Women in Sports Day’ Event
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Kaitlyn M. Young, of Harrisonburg, Va., shares the proper way to set a volleyball ...

Student-athletes from several Penn College teams shared their knowledge and love of sports with two-dozen girls who attended clinics in Bardo Gymnasium on Saturday. Groups of first- through sixth-graders rotated among three stations set up throughout the gym, having fun – and learning fundamentals – from their encouraging and enthusiastic “coaches.” Representing the Lady Wildcats during the inaugural Women in Sports Day were Chelsea M. Burger, Danielle M. Mowery, Anna-Marie Raybuck, Hanna C. Schoenly and Jamie L. Steer, basketball; Robyn E. Beddow, Jordan A. Courter, Hailee L. Hartman and Hanna M. Williams, soccer; and Sophie M. Coldsmith, Keri D. Fargus and Kaitlyn M. Young, volleyball.

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Hands-On Campus Workshop Supplements Gallery Exhibition

Amanda McCavour (seated) provides artistic assistance to workshop participant Sally Ickes, of Danville.

A recent talk and “meet the artist” reception showcased the work of Amanda McCavour, a Toronto-based textile artist whose wall pieces and installations are on exhibit in The Gallery at Penn College through March 5. McCavour also led an extensive workshop in the Thompson Professional Development Center on the day following her Jan. 29 appearance, allowing her students to expressively experiment with machine and hand embroidery. Located on the third floor of Madigan Library, the gallery is open from 1-4 p.m. Sundays, 2-7 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays.

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Penn College Makes Friends, Memories at State Farm Show
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Culinary arts and systems majors Brianna E. Bucklin (left), of Whitehall, and Victoria L. Zablocky, of Jersey Shore, serve vegetable-filled hush puppies and slaw to audience members.

Penn College’s exciting two- and four-year majors were on display throughout the Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg (Jan. 10-17), where representatives of the Admissions Office and the college’s six academic schools entertained, educated – and even fed – the throng attending the traditional agricultural expo.

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On Cusp of Second Century, College Congratulates Final Centennial Class
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Faculty onlookers share in the joy of the class speaker's splendid day, captured with the help of chief student affairs officer Elliott Strickland.

Pennsylvania College of Technology held its Winter Commencement on Saturday at Williamsport’s Community Arts Center, honoring Fall 2014 graduates  and ringing down the curtain on a yearlong 100th-anniversary celebration. Student speaker Nicole Marie Reyes-Molina, of Lancaster, a deaf student who received an Associate of Applied Science in building construction technology: masonry emphasis, represented the year’s final Centennial class during the 11 a.m. event. Nearly 300 degrees were conferred by college President Davie Jane Gilmour and state Sen. Gene Yaw, chair of the Penn College Board of Directors, who was surprised with a leadership award during the ceremony.

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A Frosty Farewell to Fall
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The Victorian House, dressed for the season

Penn College offers something to enjoy in all seasons, but takes on a particularly pleasant air as winter approaches. Several inches of snow fell across the area overnight, prompting a two-hour delay Thursday morning and offering a glacial glimpse at what’s ahead.

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Centennial Recedes Into History, but Philanthropy Shines On
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A spectacular cake, literally "geared" toward the Centennial celebration, is just one of the eye-catching treats.

The Centennial Legacy Celebration, recognizing the donors who help further Penn College’s mission – and showcasing the talented students in the School of Business & Hospitality – was held Saturday evening in the Hager Lifelong Education Center. Invited guests enjoyed dinner in Le Jeune Chef Restaurant, bookended by appetizers and a Grand Pastry Buffet in the Keystone Dining Room. The phenomenal success of the Centennial-related Penn College Scholarship Campaign was noted by President Davie Jane Gilmour, who said more than $6.1 million has already been pledged … and more gifts are expected before a final total is announced in mid-January. “This additional scholarship support will help the college pursue its vision of being a national leader in applied technology education,” she told donors, “and it was only made possible thanks to your generous support and commitment to Penn College. The impact of your generosity is already being felt by students, as the (Penn College) Foundation has awarded  more than $600,000 in scholarships this academic year – a 150-percent increase from the start of the campaign!” Support came from many members of the college community, who donated to an existing scholarship or established one of the 71 new funds added over the past three and a half years. The broad-based demonstration of support involved 653 alumni, 439 employees and retirees, 598 friends of the college and 197 industry partners.

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