Aspiring Professionals Awarded National HVAC Scholarships

Three Pennsylvania College of Technology students are among the 34 national beneficiaries of $58,000 in financial assistance from a partnership of longtime industry supporters.

Joseph V. Gullace, of Livingston, New Jersey; Christopher J. Milliken, of Bellefonte; and Austin R. Reynolds, of Enola – all enrolled in Penn College’s two-year heating, ventilation and air conditioning technology major – are recipients of the Clifford H. “Ted” Rees Jr. Scholarship. Milliken and Reynolds each received $2,000; Gullace was awarded $1,500.

The Rees Scholarship Foundation has distributed nearly $700,000 since 2003 to honor a former organization president for his efforts to encourage HVAC, refrigeration and water-heating manufacturers’ support for aspiring industry technicians across the country.

The program was formed to assist with recruitment and competency of future technicians through scholarships to qualified students at accredited schools. Penn College’s related majors are accredited by the Partnership for Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Accreditation and endorsed by ACCA.

“Once again, the Rees Foundation has recognized the exemplary achievements of Pennsylvania College of Technology students and has provided generous support for them to help lessen the financial burden of seeking degrees in the HVAC industry,” said Jason W. Killinger, assistant professor and co-department head for HVAC technology. “We are very thankful for their continued investment in our students and helping us educate the next generation of the HVAC industry.”

Selection criteria used by the scholarship committee included academic performance, letters of recommendation, work history and a brief essay.

“I understand that it is impossible to become a good HVAC technician overnight,” Gullace wrote in his scholarship submission. “What will make me a good HVAC technician is a substantial investment of my time and effort.”

“I believe this field will only grow in the future with the new 3D development and computer-enabled systems,” he added, citing the long-term viability and flexibility of his chosen career path. “Who knows? Maybe I will be the person who develops the next big change.”

Reynolds, whose major came into focus while at Cumberland-Perry Area Vocational Technical School, said: “I enjoy being challenged, am task-oriented, enjoy working with my hands and helping people. I specifically like troubleshooting A/C and refrigeration systems.”

He held a paid summer internship with Stouffer Mechanical Contractor LLC, Chambersburg, and has adopted a pay-it-forward attitude toward his scholarship award.

“I hope to someday be in a position to contribute to students in need,” he said.

Milliken came to Penn College from the Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology, where he attained a number of industry-recognized certifications. He plans to put his scholarship dollars toward the purchase of essential – and expensive – tools.

“The fields of electrical and refrigeration interest me in a variety of ways. They require a certain finesse … and pose a challenge to do it correctly,” he wrote. “Because of these certifications I have worked hard to gain, I feel confident that I can continue working toward the next level of training. I look forward to being able to, thanks to this scholarship.”

For more about the School of Construction & Design Technologies’ HVAC majors, call 570-327-4518.

For more about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education, email the Admissions Office or call 800-367-9222.

Pennsylvania College of Technology is a special mission affiliate of The Pennsylvania State University