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Alumnus Speaks at Career and Technical Education Week Event

John T. Lipko speaks at Pennsylvania College of Technology%E2%80%99s commencement ceremony in December.%0A%0AA recent Pennsylvania College of Technology alumnus who participated in a program that offered college courses in his home high school was invited to speak at the state Career and Technical Education Recognition Breakfast in Harrisburg.

John T. Lipko, who graduated from Penn College with a bachelor’s degree in technology management in December, spoke to an audience of more than 200 high school students, along with school administrators and state legislators, at the breakfast held in conjunction with the state’s Career and Technical Education Week activities at the state Capitol.

Lipko was selected as the keynote speaker by Carol Adukaitis, the 2+2+2 Workforce Leadership Grant Program Manager for the State System of Higher Education, who saw him as an ideal role model for students pursuing career and technical education in secondary school.

Lipko is a 2004 graduate of Mifflinburg Area High School and SUN Area Career and Technology Center. He was among the first students to enroll at Penn College with credits earned in high school.

Through a dual-enrollment program called Penn College NOW (formerly NanoTrek), students at participating high schools may take up to 15 credits toward a Penn College degree in a variety of majors during high school. The classes are equal to those taught to fully enrolled students on Penn College’s campuses, but are taught by high school teachers who have been trained by the college’s faculty.

Lipko excelled at Penn College, where he became a Student Ambassador and a fixture in student-leadership classes and campus activities including service as president of the Penn College student chapter of IEEE (originally the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers); treasurer of the student chapter of the Instrumentation, Systems and Automation Society; a member of the College Town Committee; and a student leader during summer orientation and Welcome Weekend activities.

His community service includes the Susquehanna 500 Mini-Indy race benefiting the American Red Cross, as well as work with Greater Lycoming Habitat for Humanity, the Salvation Army Thrift Store and an alternative spring-break trip to help rebuild areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

Lipko was chosen to represent his graduating class as student speaker at the college’s December 2008 commencement ceremony, during which he also was honored with the President’s Award. Additionally, he was chosen for the college’s Electronics and Computer Engineering Technology Faculty Award when he earned an associate degree in electronics technology: communications/fiber optics in May 2007.

Adukaitis said students at the Career and Technical Education Recognition Breakfast connected with his example: an everyday person who was considering career options in high school and decided to pursue an interest that has led to success.

“He was just the perfect model,” she said. “He really captured what it’s like to be a student who’s sitting there as an 11th- or 12th-grader who’s thinking about what to do, whether to go to school. “¦ I couldn’t have been more thrilled.”

For more information about Penn College NOW and other programs offered through the college’s Outreach for K-12 Office, e-mail , visit on the Web or call 570-320-8003.

For general information about Penn College, visit online , e-mail or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

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