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Balloon Festival’s Website Highlights Student’s Work

Before completing her bachelor’s degree in web and interactive media from Pennsylvania College of Technology in May, Rebecca M. Gardner had already added a successful website rebuild to resume, and happy clients to boot.

In the months since, her work has been put to good use in promoting the annual hot air balloon festival organized by the Rotary Clubs of Lycoming County.

BalloonFest, Air Show & So Much More is scheduled for Sept. 16 at the Lycoming County Fairgrounds in Hughesville.

“It is such a huge help to respond to people, ‘Just go to our website; everything is there!’” said Sandy Spencer, chairperson of the festival committee.

The prior festival website had been created by the volunteers over time, with many people contributing and updating.

“We needed something that would be simple for us to use, easily updated, responsive for tablet and smartphone, and something our website visitors could easily navigate. We also wanted to be able to accept payments online,” Spencer explained.

The rotary clubs were connected with Gardner, who took on the work as a senior project.

Gardner delivered an attractive, responsive website that incorporates a wealth of well-organized information and allows visitors to purchase tickets and reserve balloon rides directly through the site. There are also services available for vendors and campers. She additionally designed a logo for the festival.

“The classes that I took at college prepared me by giving me the fundamentals, such as knowing how to use content management systems, organizing content and how to successfully manage a project,” Gardner said.

Throughout the project, she met with the volunteers throughout the redesign process, providing agendas and making clear what she needed.

“It was a pleasure working with Rebecca, and she truly listened to what we wanted and did her best to make it simple for us,” Spencer said. “We have had to make some adjustments, but we’ve been able to do that; she gave us all of the tools to work with. … It will also make it simple to update applications, dates, forms and more in upcoming years.”

Summative learning experiences like the capstone project are part of all of Penn College’s baccalaureate majors.

“The web and interactive media capstone project is a complete client project in web design and development for a nonprofit organization in the Greater Williamsport/Lycoming County area,” said capstone course instructor Denise Leete, associate professor of computer science. “Students take the projects from concept to the final presentation. Rebecca executed her project in three stages with feedback and discussion at each stage of the project. Overall, Rebecca completed an exquisite project; she did an excellent job developing a site that met the needs of her client.”

“I loved working with the Rotary Club,” Gardner said. “If I needed anything, they were always very quick to respond. … I can use this experience to prepare myself for future projects and working with new clients.”

To learn more about the web and interactive media major at Penn College, call 570-327-4505.

For information about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education and workforce development, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

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