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08.17.2021

Penn College engineering design grad seizes ‘second chance’

When told that he would be moving from Vietnam to the United States, Long H. Nguyen embraced the adventure as a second chance at life. More than 13 years later, it’s obvious the Pennsylvania College of Technology graduate has taken full advantage of that precious opportunity.

Nguyen recently earned his second Penn College degree and received a promotion at his employer of five years – the Andritz Group, an international technology company. The honors graduate is a design engineer at Andritz’s global foundry and manufacturing facility for Durametal refiner plates in Muncy.

“Why try to follow the path that everyone else follows? You’ve got to make your path,” Nguyen said.

His path was 8,700 miles away in the United States.

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Alumni Engineering Design Technology Engineering Technologies
08.16.2021

Community survey to aid presidential search committee

Members of the Penn College family are invited to participate in a survey about the ongoing national search for the successor to President Davie Jane Gilmour, who announced her retirement plans in May. The brief survey will solicit confidential input from students, faculty/staff, alumni, parents, administrators, board members and the community to aid the search committee’s mission.

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Alumni Faculty & Staff Students
08.16.2021

Director of College Health Services appointed

Pennsylvania College of Technology has named Wendie L. Snyder, an alumna with 25 years’ experience in a variety of roles in the health care profession, director of College Health Services.

Snyder, who began her duties Aug. 11, comes to Penn College from Geisinger Health System, where she had been an operations manager for outpatient surgery clinics including dental medicine; oral maxillofacial surgery; vascular surgery; and plastic, reconstructive and cosmetic surgery. She also has served as clinic nurse supervisor for the plastic surgery outpatient clinic at Geisinger and registered nurse manager for the general surgery outpatient clinic at Evangelical Community Hospital, Lewisburg.

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Alumni Faculty & Staff Nursing Nursing & Health Sciences Students Surgical Technology
08.12.2021

Penn College acknowledges campus’s Indigenous origins

A new institutional Land Acknowledgement Statement recognizes that Indigenous peoples were the original stewards of the land on which Pennsylvania College of Technology sits.

“We acknowledge that the land on which we live, work and learn is the ancestral home of the Six Nations of the Haudenosaunee, Iroquoian-speaking Susquehannocks and the Lenni Lenape (Delaware). We, too, recognize their Woodland Period ancestors,” the acknowledgement reads. “We are grateful for their stewardship and management of this land over thousands of years and promote this recognition in honor and respect of that caretaking.”

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Alumni Faculty & Staff General Information Students
08.12.2021

College dedicates Fish Real Estate Leadership Challenge Course

The Fish Real Estate Leadership Challenge Course, the creation of which involved the same collaborative spirit that it will nurture in those who use it, was dedicated Aug. 11 on the wooded southcentral side of Pennsylvania College of Technology.

The Challenge Course – a remarkable project funded by Brent and Daria Fish in memory of Brent’s father, William H. Fish – “will foster leadership and team-building skills for generations of students, faculty, alumni and industry partners,” said Loni N. Kline, vice president for college relations. Brent is president of Fish Real Estate, and Daria is head of corporate communications for OxiWear.

An interdisciplinary focus was reflected throughout the development and construction process, which involved the college’s General Services Department, architectural technology and concrete science classes, a helping of off-campus inspiration, and a picnic table donated by the Sigma Pi philanthropic fraternity.

The intricate design includes a bridge that honors the Fish family’s appreciation for the outdoors: stainless steel railings resembling fly-fishing rods, with hooks dangling from lines that drop to a dry creek bed below.

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Alumni Architecture & Sustainable Design Building Construction Business, Arts & Sciences College Relations Engineering Technologies Events Faculty & Staff Human Services & Restorative Justice President Students
08.07.2021

Yesterday’s ‘overcomers’ prepped for tomorrow’s challenges

Pennsylvania College of Technology held its Summer Commencement at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Community Arts Center in downtown Williamsport, a ceremony that marked the sacrifices – and ultimate triumph – by classmates whose final year was anything but typical. Larcynina De Guzman Bitner, of Mill Hall, who earned a Bachelor of Science degree in physician assistant, was the student speaker. President Davie Jane Gilmour conferred degrees and presented an Alumni Mentorship Award to 2016 human services graduate LaQuinn N. Thompson; and a number of award recipients were announced among the newest alumni.

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Alumni College Relations Events Faculty & Staff President Students
08.07.2021

Alumni Achievement Award presented to human services grad

LaQuinn N. Thompson, a 2016 alumnus of Pennsylvania College of Technology, was honored with an Alumni Achievement Award at the college’s Summer 2021 Commencement ceremony at the Community Arts Center.

The Alumni Achievement Award is presented to a graduate of the past 10 years in recognition of noteworthy career accomplishments that demonstrate the importance of a Penn College education. Thompson, who was born and raised in York, earned a bachelor’s degree in applied human services from Penn College.

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Alumni Business, Arts & Sciences Human Services & Restorative Justice Sports
08.07.2021

Student awards presented to summer graduates

Pennsylvania College of Technology has presented student achievement awards to its Summer 2021 graduates.

A commencement ceremony was held Saturday, Aug. 7, at the Community Arts Center, Williamsport. Penn College is a special mission affiliate of The Pennsylvania State University.

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Alumni Students
08.05.2021

State General Services executive team tours main campus

Rissel (far right) leads the group through the library.
Rissel (far right) leads the group through the library.
Topper (left) and Hess listen to Kruppenbacher in a construction carpentry lab.
Topper (left) and Hess listen to Kruppenbacher in a construction carpentry lab.
Reasner (left foreground) and Van Stavoren (right) talk with the day's guests in an automotive lab. From left are Tomlinson, Fiore, Hess and Topper.
Reasner (left foreground) and Van Stavoren (right) talk with the day’s guests in an automotive lab. From left are Tomlinson, Fiore, Hess and Topper.
Led by Marty (right), the tour moves through College Avenue Labs' automotive restoration area.
Led by Marty (right), the tour moves through College Avenue Labs’ automotive restoration area.
Tomlinson tries his hand at a virtual-reality paint sprayer, which helps future technicians perfect their coverage skills without waste and mess.
Tomlinson tries his hand at a virtual-reality paint sprayer, which helps future technicians perfect their coverage skills without waste and mess.

Curtis Topper, Pennsylvania Department of General Services secretary, toured Penn College on Thursday with an administrative team that includes a Williamsport Area Community College alumnus overseeing the commonwealth’s automobile fleet. Among those on board was Kenneth Hess, deputy secretary for procurement, whose road to an MBA at Bucknell University began with an associate degree in business management from Penn College’s WACC predecessor in 1981. Hess spoke glowingly of his time on campus and how proud he is to see his alma mater grow into such a significant educational and economic force, statewide and nationally. He and Topper were joined by Jim Fiore and Randall Tomlinson, director and assistant director of vehicle management, respectively, as the group absorbed an illuminating sample of Penn College’s curricular offerings and how they dovetail with state government’s interests – the promise of electric vehicles, perhaps most notably. The group visited Madigan Library and an enticing variety of instructional areas, and enjoyed lunch at Le Jeune Chef Restaurant. Taking part were President Davie Jane Gilmour; Michael J. Reed, vice president for academic affairs/provost; Loni N. Kline, vice president for college relations; Ethan M. McKenzie, college relations fellow and 2021 alumnus; Patrick Marty, chief of staff; Timothy O. Rissel, executive director of Penn College General Services; Bradley M. Webb, dean of engineering technologies; Ellyn A. Lester, assistant dean of construction and architectural technologies; Brett A. Reasner, assistant dean of transportation technologies; and Brian D. Walton, assistant dean of business and hospitality. Showcasing their areas were a quartet of highly engaged faculty: Shaun D. Hack, collision repair instructor; Jason W. Killinger, assistant professor of HVAC technology; Peter Kruppenbacher, assistant professor of building construction technology; and Christopher H. Van Stavoren, assistant professor of automotive.

Alumni Faculty & Staff General Information
08.05.2021

PennStater features ‘Living Chapel’ in latest issue

Passante (left) talks with students during a visit to campus in early 2020. At right are Sara D. Stafford, of West Chester, who earned a welding technology degree in May 2020 and is working toward her bachelor's in applied management, and Axel A. Murillo, a welding and fabrication engineering technology major from Watsontown.
Passante (left) talks with students during a visit to campus in early 2020. At right are Sara D. Stafford, of West Chester, who earned a welding technology degree in May 2020 and is working toward her bachelor’s in applied management, and Axel A. Murillo, a welding and fabrication engineering technology major from Watsontown.

The Living Chapel, an intercontinental project that featured elemental collaboration by Penn College welding faculty and students, is spotlighted in the July/August issue of PennStater magazine. Although an official publication of the Penn State Alumni Association, with content traditionally accessible only to members, “This Sacred Space” – written by managing editor Robyn Passante – has been made available to all. Passante’s extensive article chronicles the once-secretive and forever-surreal creation of the chapel, as proliferation of COVID-19 altered plans and perspectives among the many hands involved in the ecological installation.

Alumni Engineering Technologies Faculty & Staff Students Welding
07.28.2021

Penn College summer commencement set for Aug. 7

Pennsylvania College of Technology will hold a Summer 2021 Commencement ceremony on Saturday, Aug. 7, for the more than 200 students who have petitioned to graduate.

The in-person ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. at the Community Arts Center. The event is open to students who are registered to participate and ticketed guests. Unvaccinated individuals must wear face masks. The event will be livestreamed.

The student speaker for the ceremony will be Larcynina De Guzman Bitner, of Mill Hall, who will be awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in physician assistant. Bitner, a Dean’s List student, is originally from the Philippines, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and a Doctor of Medicine degree and completed a medical internship.

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Alumni Events Students
07.28.2021

Students craft videos for Camp Victory

Students in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s physical therapist assistant major put their skills to use by providing video activities for Camp Victory, known as “a special camp for special kids.”

The camp, in Millville, was built for children with diverse needs – those living with chronic health problems, physical or mental disabilities or the aftermath of catastrophic illness.

In a typical summer, the facility is busy hosting camps for a variety of partner groups. This year, those camps are being held virtually.

“Our goal is to bring a little bit of camp fun to the campers at home,” explained Camp Victory Director Kate Stepnick, a 2007 graduate of the college’s bachelor’s degree in human services and restorative justice, then known as applied human services. “We know they are missing camp, and this gives them a way to participate in camp activities even from far away.”

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Alumni Nursing & Health Sciences Physical Therapist Assistant Students
07.27.2021

Intensive activities spotlight college’s career-building majors

Pre-College Programs“Because tomorrow begins today,” Penn College campuses welcomed scores of high school students for six more Pre-College Programs in recent days. (A variety of programs focused on more of the college’s academic majors were held in June.) The past week’s schedule included three new summer offerings – Diesel Truck & Heavy Equipment, Fundamentals of Emergency Response, and Thingamajig Fabricators – joining returning favorites Automotive Restoration; Design, Build & Grow Landscape & Horticulture; and Graphic Design Summer Studio. All told, the college hosted 211 high schoolers for two sessions of overnight camps this season and 40 middle schoolers during two weeks of My Tomorrow day camps.

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Alumni Art & Graphic Design Automated Manufacturing & Machining Business, Arts & Sciences Collision Repair & Restoration Diesel & Power Generation Emergency Medical Services/Paramedic Engineering Technologies Faculty & Staff Heavy Equipment Landscape/Horticulture Nursing & Health Sciences
07.27.2021

Penn College ‘manufactures’ learning opportunity for teachers

Suzanne Mayberry wants to connect her high school students with manufacturing. Thanks to Pennsylvania College of Technology, she has more tools to accomplish that goal.

Penn College recently hosted a Manufacturing Externship Camp for Mayberry and 16 other secondary school teachers and guidance counselors throughout the state. Funded by a National Science Foundation grant, the weeklong educational experience used tours, presentations and hands-on activities to expose the nontechnical educators to the realities of modern manufacturing and the sector’s rewarding career opportunities.

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Alumni Automated Manufacturing & Machining Engineering Technologies Faculty & Staff STEM
07.22.2021

Enterprising grad revisits rewarding path to ‘I made that!’

After leaving naval service with $200, a used car and a bag of clothes, Larry A. Ward found things he clearly loved to do.
After leaving naval service with $200, a used car and a bag of clothes, Larry A. Ward found things he clearly loved to do.

An entrepreneurial alumnus – a titan of the packaging industry who generously endowed the Larry A. Ward Machining Technologies Center at Pennsylvania College of Technology – returned to campus Wednesday to share his insight and inspiration during a pair of afternoon presentations in College Avenue Labs.

Ward passionately spoke to 17 high school teachers and counselors attending Teacher Externship Camp, a National Science Foundation-funded activity that provides participants with a real-world view of the advanced manufacturing field. He also met with young men and women in the Thingamajig Fabricators pre-college program, co-sponsored by the Nuts, Bolts and Thingamajig Foundation and PMMI, which introduces students to the breadth of manufacturing from brainstorming an idea to selling an end product.

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Alumni Automated Manufacturing & Machining Engineering Technologies Faculty & Staff Students