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07.24.2021

Magazine chronicles kayak outing’s ‘transformational impact’

Pennsylvania Angler & Boater magazineAn article in the July/August issue of Pennsylvania Angler & Boater features a field trip taken by Rob Cooley’s Outdoor Recreation as a Therapeutic Tool course during the spring semester. The class traveled to nearby Rose Valley Lake, accompanied by Lycoming College’s director of outdoor learning and education, for an enjoyable and insightful day of kayaking. Students making the trip were Colin G. Browne Jr., Cody R. Englehart, Brad S. Grenoble, Payge C. Hess, Kai K. Marshall, Krystle J. Richardson, Nicole M. Smulligan and Devon M. Wasson. Grenoble is an emergency management technology major; the others are enrolled in human services and restorative justice. The magazine piece was facilitated by Douglas M. Hess, manager of the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission’s Benner Spring State Fish Hatchery in Centre County (and Payge Hess’ father). Included are a number of quotes about the day’s positive effects on members of the group, from enjoyment of local wildlife to the accent on their chosen field – such as this from Wasson: “There is something about just being on the water that is so calming to me and brings me that instant stress relief that everyone needs.”

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Business, Arts & Sciences Emergency Management & Homeland Security Faculty & Staff Human Services & Restorative Justice Students
05.04.2021

Experienced emergency manager shares ‘boots on the ground’ insight

The crucial role that Incident Management Teams play in a coordinated response to emergencies was recently highlighted for Pennsylvania College of Technology students by a nationally contracted instructor, mentor and consultant.

Susan Taylor-Hall, the executive associate/director of ETC and Associates (and one of the cross-country luminaries rounded up by instructor David E. Bjorkman) met virtually with emergency management students to enlighten them on a variety of rewarding and challenging careers.

Her message to the class was clearly one of partnership, in which each of the disparate agencies involved in emergent incidents functions as part of a fully engaged team. In that spirit, she told the aspiring practitioners, it is vital to know individuals’ strengths and weaknesses. In the heat of the moment in the Emergency Operations Center, being able to tap into and utilize each person’s particular skill, knowledge and ability is crucial for success.

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Business, Arts & Sciences Emergency Management & Homeland Security General Information Students
03.21.2021

Amid challenging vaccine rollout, emergency manager makes time for tomorrow makers

On the one-year anniversary of the coordinated emergency response to COVID-19, Pennsylvania College of Technology students had the opportunity to hear from the director of the Snohomish County (Washington) Department of Emergency Management, whose jurisdiction includes the country’s first confirmed case of the coronavirus.

Jason M. Biermann spoke with Penn College students on March 2, part of a series of presentations arranged by David E. Bjorkman, instructor of emergency management/social science at the college.

Biermann told his audience that he got involved in emergency management “by accident … literally” when he lost his wallet after getting a flu shot through the local health department. Returning to reclaim it, he noticed a job posting – “hiring for a public health response coordinator” – and pursued it.

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Business, Arts & Sciences Emergency Management & Homeland Security Faculty & Staff Students
03.13.2021

Leader in crisis mediation shares valuable expertise with students

An Emergency Management Leadership Series, featuring topic experts recruited by a Pennsylvania College of Technology faculty member to provide his students with topical and credible perspectives from their chosen career fields, recently kicked off with a presentation by Amazon’s global business continuity and supply chain risk leader.

Andrew Owlett, among the corporate professionals who generously answered a LinkedIn solicitation from David E. Bjorkman, instructor of emergency management/social science, visited with Penn College emergency management and information assurance and cyber security students over Zoom.

While he has only been with Amazon for less than a year, Owlett brings to his position an eye-opening breadth of knowledge accrued since his teenage days – the time he realized that his goal was, quite simply, to help people.

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Business, Arts & Sciences Emergency Management & Homeland Security Engineering Technologies Faculty & Staff Information Technology Students
12.16.2020

Emergency management student thrives outside comfort zone

Juggling full-time college classes by day and full-time emergency medical technician work by night, Brooke M. Strubel is earning her Bachelor of Science degree in emergency management and homeland security in just two and a half years. For a young woman who recommends getting out of your comfort zone to achieve your highest potential, this past year, intensified by a global pandemic, has offered an ideal environment in which to enhance her people-centered skills.

“I never thought that I’d be working during a pandemic … but it’s an experience that I won’t forget,” said the soon-to-be Pennsylvania College of Technology graduate from Strasburg. “Challenges get you out of your comfort zone, and that is the area in which you will find yourself, your passions, your strengths and, yes, even your weaknesses. This is the area in which you will thrive and improve. Everything you learn advances your knowledge and leads to personal and professional growth.”

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Business, Arts & Sciences Emergency Management & Homeland Security Emergency Medical Services/Paramedic Nursing & Health Sciences Students
05.05.2020

Emergency management major anticipates surge in career field

Although the COVID-19 pandemic is upending the norm in most sectors of society, students and faculty in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s emergency management and homeland security major remain steady, observant and engaged in their education as they watch the historic crisis unfold and their career field move to center stage.

“I do tell students jobs will be aplenty as there will be a lot of money thrust at health care, public health, emergency management, homeland security, other critical infrastructure sectors and private sector consulting for preparedness measures moving forward,” said David E. Bjorkman, instructor of emergency management/social science.

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Emergency Management & Homeland Security Faculty & Staff Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications Students
10.28.2019

College’s emergency management program ‘Wows’ podcast hosts

David E. Bjorkman (right) visits the KEMA podcast booth.
David E. Bjorkman (right) visits the KEMA podcast booth.

David E. Bjorkman, instructor of emergency management/social science at Penn College, was a recent guest on the Keystone Emergency Management Association’s podcast. Bjorkman serves as secretary for the association, which is holding its second annual Emergency Preparedness Conference through Tuesday at the Blair County Convention Center in Altoona. In a 10-minute interview with co-hosts Paul Falavolito and Amy Amer, the faculty member provided an overview of the college’s four-year emergency management technology degree – career opportunities, the realistic disaster simulations in which students participate, the overwhelming acceptance by veteran first responders to this “new generation” of emergency personnel and the college’s participation with KEMA’s mentorship committee.
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Emergency Management & Homeland Security Faculty & Staff Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications
05.22.2019

Career Day sets middle schoolers’ sights on tomorrow

College employees rallied to provide nearly 40 educational sessions for middle schoolers from across the region who visited campus on Monday for the college’s twice-a-year Career Day. Facilitated by the college’s College Transitions Office, the event provided 1,267 students with opportunities to explore a wide variety of careers in each of the college’s six academic schools. Visitors included 13 schools and home-schooled students.

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Art & Graphic Design Automated Manufacturing & Machining Automotive Building Construction Business & Hospitality Civil Engineering & Surveying College Transitions Communication & Literature Construction & Design Technologies Digital Media & Marketing Emergency Management & Homeland Security Events Faculty & Staff Ford Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies Landscape/Horticulture Nursing Nursing & Health Sciences Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications Students Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies
04.25.2019

Mock crisis authentically adds to interdisciplinary preparedness

Students from Penn College’s School of Nursing & Health Sciences and School of Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications joined area law enforcement, emergency management and health care professionals in a recent simulation at UPMC Susquehanna Williamsport Regional Medical Center and a variety of other locations.

The college’s paramedic program has participated in the drill since its inception, and this year, the School of Nursing & Health Sciences decided to participate schoolwide to provide an interdisciplinary learning opportunity. The school had conducted its own Interdisciplinary Professional Experience on campus for several years.

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Dental Hygiene Emergency Management & Homeland Security Emergency Medical Services/Paramedic Nursing Nursing & Health Sciences Occupational Therapy Assistant Physical Therapist Assistant Physician Assistant Radiography Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications STEM Students Surgical Technology
02.13.2019

Video spotlights emergency managers’ behind-the-scenes coordination

A wide variety of rewarding career options await graduates of Penn College’s emergency management program, the focus of a new video on the college’s YouTube channel. The bachelor’s degree prepares students for management positions in government, public health, health care agencies, and a broad spectrum of industries in which planning for potential emergencies is paramount. “A lot of people, when they come into emergency management, know and think of county-level emergency management, state-level emergency management; they think of FEMA or Homeland Security,” says David E. Bjorkman, an emergency management/social science instructor in the college’s School of Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications. “Emergency management and disasters touch every aspect of community life. Every organization. No one is immune to any disasters.” The piece was crafted by Tristan D. Scott, a student videographer/editor, under direction of  Christopher J. Leigh, video production coordinator.

Emergency Management & Homeland Security Faculty & Staff Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications Students
02.06.2019

‘Working Class: Helping & Healing’ premieres March 21

The latest episode of a locally produced, award-winning public television series emphasizes the importance of caring individuals who provide for the health and well-being of the community.

“Working Class: Helping & Healing,” produced by Pennsylvania College of Technology and WVIA Public Media, premieres on WVIA-TV at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 21 (with rebroadcasts at 1 p.m. Friday, March 22, and 11 a.m. Sunday, March 24). It highlights the importance of science, math, communication and hands-on experience in preparing students for success in health and human service careers.

The film features Penn College faculty, administrators and students who serve the community in helping and healing roles. Among them is Thomas A. Zimmerman, associate professor of psychology, who counseled area residents after the TWA Flight 800 crash in July 1996. He discusses the importance of people coming together to help one another and to heal in the wake of tragedy.

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Emergency Management & Homeland Security General Information Health Information Technology Individualized Programs of Study Natural Science Nursing Nursing & Health Sciences Physician Assistant Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications
12.03.2018

Emergency management instructor honored for advocacy

David E. Bjorkman, instructor of emergency management/social science at Pennsylvania College of Technology, was honored by the Keystone Emergency Management Association at its inaugural Emergency Preparedness Conference, held recently at the Blair County Convention Center in Altoona.

Bjorkman received the Spirit of KEMA Award. The award was established by the KEMA Board of Directors to recognize KEMA members who have worked tirelessly to advance the association, promote its mission, advocate on its behalf and forge partnerships that seek to elevate the emergency management profession.

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Emergency Management & Homeland Security Faculty & Staff Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications
11.06.2018

Silenced voices echo through survivor’s search for ‘normal’

An emergency management technology major who is a survivor of last year’s Las Vegas shooting shared her story with fellow Pennsylvania College of Technology students and faculty Monday night in the Student & Administrative Services Center’s Presentation Room.

Emergency management, human services, nursing and emergency medical services/paramedic students were among those who listened intently and respectfully to Robyn N. Wolfe’s harrowing story. Her husband, William “Bill” Wolfe Jr., was the sole Pennsylvania fatality in the horrific mass shooting that claimed 58 lives and injured more than 800 people.

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Emergency Management & Homeland Security Emergency Medical Services/Paramedic Faculty & Staff Human Services & Restorative Justice Nursing Nursing & Health Sciences Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications Students
10.19.2018

Morgan Foundation grant pushes scholarship fund past $1 million

A second gift of $500,000 from the Tamaqua-based John E. Morgan Foundation has boosted an endowed scholarship fund at Pennsylvania College of Technology to more than $1 million.

The John E. Morgan Scholarship gives first preference to graduates of Tamaqua Area High School who are pursuing “a degree that is not readily available from other institutions, at a comparable price, within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”

Examples of such programs offered at Penn College include, but are not limited to, culinary arts and systems, web and interactive media, building science and sustainable design, health information management, industrial design, plastics and polymer engineering technology, emergency management technology, and aviation maintenance technology.

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Architecture & Sustainable Design Art & Graphic Design Aviation Baking, Pastry & Culinary Arts Business & Hospitality College Relations Construction & Design Technologies Emergency Management & Homeland Security Health Information Technology Industrial Design Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies Nursing & Health Sciences Plastics & Polymer Scholarships Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies
09.26.2018

Emergency management grad urges career preparedness, too

David E. Bjorkman, instructor of emergency management/social science, introduces his guest speaker to emergency management students.
David E. Bjorkman, instructor of emergency management/social science, introduces his guest speaker to emergency management students.
Hess details various types of disaster recovery planning strategies.
Hess details various types of disaster recovery planning strategies.
The emergency management lab, on the fourth floor of Klump Academic Center, offers a collaborative work space.
The emergency management lab, on the fourth floor of Klump Academic Center, offers a collaborative work space.

Emergency management technology graduate Elizabeth (Landis) Hess, ’17, returned to the classroom recently to share her advice and expertise with students in the major. Hess is working as a disaster preparedness associate at Delta Development Group, Mechanicsburg. Among her projects, the Penn College alumna is working with public health, state and local stakeholders, and health care coalitions on a variety of emergency management initiatives. During her time in the major, Hess interned over two summers at the Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center under the guidance of its emergency preparedness coordinator. As part of her visit to her alma mater, Hess discussed courses within the emergency management curricula that she has found particularly relevant in the world of work, and encouraged students to take full advantage of internships and other learning opportunities that will enhance their resumes and skill sets. Once on the job, she told her audience to “humble yourself and be willing to learn” as they begin to navigate their careers and to keep an open mind to different paths since emergency management “is a broad field” filled with many possibilities and specialties.

Alumni Emergency Management & Homeland Security Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications Students