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Alumni Chart Career Arc From College to Gas Industry

Brandon J. Howe Mark A. Barbier Daria Fish, community affairs officer for Chief Oil & Gas, explains Marcellus Shale in the Breuder Advanced Technology and Health Sciences Center Endress+Hauser sales engineer Hank Skorija offers his perspective in College Avenue LabsTwo Penn College alumni, whose “degrees that work” led to employment in the natural gas industry, shared their stories with area high school students visiting campus for Friday’s Career Day. At separate sessions in the Thompson Professional Development Center, Anadarko Petroleum Corp. employees Brandon J. Howe, a 2001 graduate in information technology: data communications and networking, and Mark A. Barbier, who earned a degree in environmental technology management in 2009, differentiated between the jobs they’ve held and the professions they’ve chosen. “Be open to opportunities focus more on your career and not your first job out of college,” Howe said. “I took classes in the environmental sciences, I took classes in physics. Take those extra math classes. It’ll give you more opportunities, more resume-building, and will open doors for you.” Barbier, who enrolled in college on the G.I. Bill after several jobs and four years in the Navy, said his education allowed him to broaden his vision and ultimately stay in the area. “I love Pennsylvania, I love the country, I love the hills, I love to fish,” he said. “Penn College is a huge aspectof why I’m still sitting here. It allowed me to continue, to have this career today.” Also taking part in the presentations were Mary Wolf, governmental relations adviser at Anadarko; Scott Staruch, with America’s Natural Gas Alliance; and Tracy L. Brundage, Penn College’s assistant vice president for workforce and economic development. Among industry representatives elsewhere on campus were Chief Oil & Gas and Endress+Hauser, who presented information sessions to some of the 900 visitors. Sponsored by Outreach for K-12, Career Day is offered twice a year to acquaint students with a wide variety of technical careers represented by the college curriculum.