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Alumni Nursing & Health Sciences Surgical Technology

Expecting the unexpected in the OR

Alexis I. AshbyA “typical week” is anything but for alumna Alexis I. Ashby, a certified surgical technologist for UPMC Williamsport, whose Penn College education has prepared her well for the unpredictable ebb and flow of cases through the hospital’s operating rooms. In a newly published blog post, Ashby – who holds an associate degree in surgical technology (2018) and a bachelor’s in applied health studies: surgical technology concentration (2020) – sensitively expresses appreciation for her life and gratitude for the opportunity to improve others’ lives. “I have done tracheotomies in the ICU, emergency bowel resections at 3 in the morning and leg amputations on those too young to be without,” she writes. “As a surgical technologist, you are a part of an amazing system of saving lives and impacting those who are not always aware of your impact on their health and well-being.”

7 days ago
Alumni Collision Repair & Restoration Engineering Technologies Students Welding

‘You never know if you don’t try!’

Russ, outside the Community Arts Center, where she accepted her associate degree in welding technology in May 2019.
Russ, outside the Community Arts Center, where she accepted her associate degree in welding technology in May 2019.
Putting her skills to good use
Putting her skills to good use

A 2019 welding technology alumna, who returned to Pennsylvania College of Technology to explore automotive restoration technology, was featured in a “Work Ethic Wednesday” post on the mikeroweWORKS Foundation’s Facebook page earlier this month.

Madison O. Russ recently became the first-ever restoration intern at Kindig-It Design, a custom car fabrication shop in Salt Lake City, and her tenacity in landing the position caught the eye of Rowe – a TV personality and longtime advocate for hands-on skills – and his staff.

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June 19, 2020
Alumni Building Construction Engineering Technologies Students

National magazine explores college’s concrete science major

The college's program comprises a mixture of theory, management practices and hands-on education.
The college’s program comprises a mixture of theory, management practices and hands-on education.

Penn College’s concrete design technology major, an industry favorite that recently sent its first class of seven graduates into immediate employment, is featured in Concrete Decor magazine. Writer Stacey Enesey Klemenc talked with building construction technology instructor Franklin H. Reber, along with new alumnus Jeremiah Dyer, for “Concrete Science Degree Program Aims to Fill Manager Void,” an online exclusive. “I really enjoy our hands-on training. I think this is what sets us apart from other programs,” Dyer told the publication, the world’s foremost magazine on decorative concrete. “I feel you can read, watch videos or see someone demonstrate how to do something, but there is nothing like doing it. Our program prepares students for what they’ll be doing in the field,” For more on the college’s two-year concrete science degree, visit the School of Engineering Technologies.

June 12, 2020
Alumni Electronics & Computer Engineering Technology Engineering Technologies

A tip from a grad at Google: ‘Ask questions’

Matthew M. StaubA new Penn College blog entry spotlights December 2007 alumnus Matthew M. Staub, whose degree in electronics engineering technology led to employment with Google’s Pixel hardware group. Staub offers insights into his rewarding work as a circuit board design engineer and shares invaluable advice with current students: “It’s OK if you don’t know something. The important thing is the steps you take to figure it out. Start by asking questions. It took me a few years into my education to understand the value in asking questions and to speak up in class.”

June 12, 2020
Admissions Alumni Faculty & Staff Students

College video honored in acclaimed global awards competition

Spring 2020 welding and fabrication engineering technology graduate Nathaniel H. Lyon, of Fredericksburg, strolls through a section of active welding bays in the opening scene of "Looking Good," Penn College's award-winning entry in the prestigious CASE Circle of Excellence Awards.

A video showcasing Pennsylvania College of Technology’s unique educational brand and hands-on, applied technology approach to learning has earned accolades in a renowned international competition sponsored by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

The 60-second “Looking Good” spot – produced by Public Relations & Marketing at Penn College in conjunction with Philadelphia-based creative agency 160over90 – captured a Silver Award in the Video/Student Recruitment-Short category of the 2020 CASE Circle of Excellence Awards.

The peer-selected-and-adjudicated awards highlight superior accomplishments that have lasting impact and demonstrate the highest level of professionalism, while delivering exceptional results in the fields of advancement services, alumni relations, communications, fundraising and marketing at colleges, universities, independent schools, and affiliated nonprofits.

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June 11, 2020
Alumni Automotive Engineering Technologies

Alumnus to lead community college in North Carolina

Christopher L. EnglishA Pennsylvania College of Technology alumnus will serve as the 10th president of Southeastern Community College in Whiteville, North Carolina. The appointment of Christopher L. English, who graduated in May 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in automotive technology management, was approved late last week by the State Board of Community Colleges.

English – vice president of economic and workforce development continuing education at Blue Ridge Community College in Flat Rock, North Carolina – has 20 years of experience in community colleges and has held leadership roles at Blue Ridge Community College and in the North Carolina Community College System.

English earned a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership from Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina; a Master of Arts in Educational Administration from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico; and an Associate of Applied Science in Industrial Technology from Greenville Technical College in Greenville, South Carolina.

Selected after a nationwide search, he will take office no later than Aug. 3.

June 10, 2020
Alumni Faculty & Staff President

President recaps pandemic response, prudently eyes tomorrow

President Davie Jane Gilmour appeared before the state Senate Education Committee on Tuesday, assessing COVID-19’s impact on fulfillment of Penn College’s mission. In both written and oral testimony, she highlighted the extraordinary challenge of moving technology education from in-person, hands-on instruction to one of remote delivery – along with responsible and reassuring communication throughout a very fluid situation. Despite those arduous times, she said, “the irony was never lost on us that, across our 100 certificate, associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, all were directly aligned to essential, life-sustaining services, and that more than 80% of our graduates remained in Pennsylvania, largely working in fields considered essential during pandemic.” The president also outlined the comprehensive protocols in place, along with unique characteristics that allow the college to better mitigate risk for returning students: rural location, proximity to UPMC Susquehanna, large labs and small class sizes, on-campus medical services, and a considerable number of faculty and staff who are health care and/or emergency management professionals.

June 10, 2020
Alumni Career Services Nursing & Health Sciences Radiography Students

Penn College Career Services helps students adapt to new reality

Shelley L. Moore

Since the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered society, Career Services at Pennsylvania College of Technology has instilled a credo in students: “improvise, adapt and overcome.”

The department personifies that proactive mindset by serving students, alumni and employers virtually and by offering substantive online resources for the “tomorrow makers” enrolled in more than 100 fields of study.

“What we’ve done has worked out well for the students and is being embraced by employers,” said Shelley L. Moore, director of career services. “Most of the services we have offered in person we’ve been able to shift online for the benefit of our students.”

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June 8, 2020
Alumni Engineering Technologies Students Welding

‘Living Chapel’ to be unveiled in Friday livestream

The Living ChapelThe Living Chapel, a global project in which Pennsylvania College of Technology welding faculty and students were integral partners, will be officially unveiled Friday in a 90-minute streaming event. The launch, in conjunction with the United Nations‘ World Environmental Day, will be broadcast live from the Rome Botanical Garden at 11 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (5 p.m. in Italy) and made available through The Living Chapel’s Facebook page. A PCToday article, video and photos chronicle the college’s exhaustive role in the chapel’s creation, a fabrication challenge that amounted to 3,500-plus hours over 10 weeks. Friday’s full agenda – which includes virtual input from Toronto-based designer Gillean Denny, a Penn State alumna whose discussions with a mentor at her alma mater resulted in Penn College’s involvement – follows: The Living Chapel

June 3, 2020
Alumni Dental Hygiene Faculty & Staff Nursing & Health Sciences

Dental hygiene director named accreditation site visitor

Shawn A. Kiser

Shawn A. Kiser, dental hygiene program director at Pennsylvania College of Technology, was appointed to the position of commission site visitor for 2020-21 by the Commission on Dental Accreditation.

Site visitors assist the commission in a number of ways, including developing accreditation standards, serving on special committees and serving as site visitors to predoctoral, advanced dental and allied dental education programs. Site visitors are fact-finders, who report their findings to the commission, which then decides on a program’s accreditation status. Kiser’s term begins in October.

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June 3, 2020

Alumni say, ‘Congratulations, Class of 2020!’

Members of Penn College’s Class of 2020 get inspiring guidance at the unprecedented end of the academic year in a video tribute, as alumni –a range of graduates from 1973 to 2017, with a breadth of insight to match – provide a congratulatory road map for these Tomorrow Makers’ ongoing journey.

May 28, 2020
Alumni Engineering Technologies Faculty & Staff General Information Students Welding

Penn College welding faculty, students build ‘Living Chapel’

The Living Chapel measures about 45 feet long by 30 feet wide, with heights ranging between 10 and 15 feet. The structure will remain at the Botanical Garden of Rome until social distancing rules permit a stay at the Vatican before being moved to its permanent location in Assisi, Italy.

A massive structure meant to encourage the “ecological awakening of humanity” can trace its foundation across the Atlantic Ocean to the welding expertise and facilities offered at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

Nine instructors and 15 students spent 10 weeks fabricating the structural framework for the Living Chapel, unveiled this week at the Botanical Garden of Rome during Global Catholic Climate Movement activities. Its formal unveiling via streaming video is scheduled for June 5, U.N. World Environment Day.

When social distancing rules permit, the open-air sanctuary – made of aluminum and recyclable and repurposed materials – will be placed at the Vatican before being moved to its permanent home in Assisi, Italy, the birthplace of St. Francis, the patron saint of ecology, whose small church provided the footprint for the Living Chapel.

“I don’t think it’s sunk in yet, what it’s going to mean to everybody,” said James N. Colton II, assistant professor of welding, who led the Penn College fabrication team. “It’s definitely a big deal.”

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Alumni Faculty & Staff

Paramedics serve amid uncertainties during pandemic

Graduates of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s paramedic program continue to serve amid the pandemic. As quickly as the coronavirus has evolved, so has the profession’s daily practice.

In a word, the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in “uncertainty.”

Kyle G. Stavinski, a 2015 graduate of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s emergency medical services major who is a full-time critical care flight paramedic and educator for Geisinger’s Life Flight, part-time paramedic with Susquehanna Regional EMS and a part-time paramedic instructor at the college, says that, while danger has always been inherent to the work of emergency medical technicians and paramedics, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought new causes for uncertainty.

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May 20, 2020
Alumni Students

Alum answers call for students impacted by pandemic

With students and parents alike experiencing the financial fallout of the devastating pandemic, a college alumnus – whose Williamsport Area Community College forestry degree was a crucial initial step toward a successful career in civil engineering – is leading by philanthropic example. John Urick, a 1974 graduate of Penn College’s immediate successor institution, recently routed his stimulus deposit to an Emergency Scholarship Fund administered by the college’s Institutional Advancement Office. Urick has a history of donating to his alma mater, from which a son, granddaughter and three cousins also have graduated. “I feel obligated to help current students in their pursuit of useful life skills,” we writes in a recently published blog entry. “Giving now, though, at this moment, is critical. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, large numbers of students are in jeopardy of not finishing their education because of financial stress caused by losing critical part-time jobs, compounded by some parents their losing jobs. The thought of students’ education being disrupted and their lives changed forever is unbearable to me.” Those inspired to join him in empowering students are encouraged to consider a gift to the emergency fund.

May 16, 2020