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05.14.2021

Adding hope to math

Mathematics faculty members Ed Owens, associate professor, and Lisa D. Jacobs, instructor, piloted an experiment to help students who were struggling in mathematics courses by adding a lab component to a math class that is required in many majors. In the five years since, the percentage of students passing the course has soared.
Mathematics faculty members Ed Owens, associate professor, and Lisa D. Jacobs, instructor, piloted an experiment to help students who were struggling in mathematics courses by adding a lab component to a math class that is required in many majors. In the five years since, the percentage of students passing the course has soared.
MTH 180 tools
MTH 180 tools
Building science and sustainable design student Christine A. Limbert says the course has helped her to complete calculations in her architectural classes.
Building science and sustainable design student Christine A. Limbert says the course has helped her to complete calculations in her architectural classes.

From the Spring 2021 Penn College Magazine: An experiment launched in 2016 to model a math course on the lecture-lab template of other Penn College courses is multiplying student success. Read “Adding hope to math.”

Business, Arts & Sciences Faculty & Staff Mathematics Penn College Magazine Penn College Magazine Feature Students
01.28.2021

Member of math faculty dies at 54

Laurie K. KissLaurie K. Kiss, an assistant professor of mathematics, died Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, at the age of 54. Kiss, characterized as a “lifelong learner who shared her passion for learning by teaching,” was a member of the Penn College faculty since the Fall 2009 semester. She also served as a co-adviser to the college chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society for associate degree students. An obituary, including a reflective homework assignment for anyone wishing to honor her memory, has been published in The Stoughton (Wisconsin) Courier Hub.

Business, Arts & Sciences Faculty & Staff Mathematics
08.17.2020

Three faculty members honored for ‘Excellence in Teaching’

Three faculty members at Pennsylvania College of Technology were presented with Excellence in Teaching Awards at the start of the 2020-21 academic year.

As part of the Distinguished Teaching Awards program at Penn College, President Davie Jane Gilmour presented Excellence in Teaching Awards to Carl J. Bower Jr., assistant professor of horticulture; Barbara F. Di Marco, assistant professor of mathematics; and Heather S. Dorman, instructor of physician assistant.

Distinguished Teaching Awards are presented to full-time faculty at Penn College who have been nominated by their students and colleagues for excellence in instructional performance. There have been 115 recipients since the program began in 1982: 33 Master Teacher Awards and 82 Excellence in Teaching Awards.

“From day one, teaching has been at the core of who we are,” Gilmour said. “As is obvious through comments from their students and colleagues alike, Carl, Barb and Heather are among the very best at putting that mission into practice.”

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Alumni Business, Arts & Sciences Engineering Technologies Faculty & Staff Landscape/Horticulture Mathematics Nursing & Health Sciences Physician Assistant
08.08.2018

‘Working Class’ Documentary Series Earns Third Telly Award

“Working Class: Game On! Why Math Matters,” produced by Pennsylvania College of Technology and WVIA Public Media, has earned a 2018 Bronze Telly Award.

Selected from more than 12,000 national and international entries, the Telly Awards represent work from some of the most respected advertising agencies, television stations, production companies and publishers from around the world. In 2018, PBS productions earned 33 Telly Awards, including several for “The Vietnam War: A Film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick.”

“Working Class: Game On! Why Math Matters” is the third episode in the “Working Class” public television series to win a Telly Award. The series’ premiere episode, “Working Class: Dream & Do,” earned the award in 2016; “Working Class: Build & Grow Green” received the honor in 2017.

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Electronics & Computer Engineering Technology Faculty & Staff Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies Information Technology Mathematics Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications Students
05.12.2018

Penn College Presents Distinguished Teaching Awards

Three Pennsylvania College of Technology faculty members were honored during Spring 2018 Commencement ceremonies for their outstanding teaching abilities.

Joanna K. Flynn, associate professor of mathematics, was presented with the highest honor accorded to Penn College faculty: the Veronica M. Muzic Master Teacher Award.

Two other faculty members received Excellence in Teaching Award recognition: Edwin G. Owens, associate professor and department head for mathematics, and Thomas J. Mulfinger, associate professor of building construction technology.

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Building Construction Construction & Design Technologies Faculty & Staff Mathematics Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications
09.07.2017

Award-Winning Documentary Series Explores Why Math Matters

Mountain climbers, a superhero and the legendary video game pioneer who founded Atari join with faculty to explain the importance of mathematics when Pennsylvania College of Technology’s award-winning public television series returns this fall.

“Working Class: Game On! Why Math Matters” explores the link between math, computers and technology and helps connect the study of math with real-world experiences that engage student interests.

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Electronics & Computer Engineering Technology Faculty & Staff General Information Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies Information Technology Mathematics Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications Students
08.28.2017

Math Matters: Atari Founder, Faculty Contend There’s a Better Way

At a Penn College Career Day, a middle-schooler learns the color-coded programming language that will make an Ozobot dance. (Photo by Tia G. La, student photographer)
At a Penn College Career Day, a middle-schooler learns the color-coded programming language that will make an Ozobot dance. (Photo by Tia G. La, student photographer)

From the Fall 2017 Penn College Magazine: If students don’t like math or aren’t grasping the concept, it’s the responsibility of educators to help them understand before they move on, Atari founder Nolan Bushnell contends. Penn College faculty in mathematics, electronics, and information technology provide insight on why math matters.

Faculty & Staff General Information Mathematics Penn College Magazine Penn College Magazine Feature Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications
05.23.2017

Adjunct Faculty Member Coaching Finals-Bound OM Team

Denise A. Southard (standing in back) and her husband, Bret, pose with some of their Odyssey of the Mind mentees.
Denise A. Southard (standing in back) and her husband, Bret, pose with some of their Odyssey of the Mind mentees.
After capturing first in both regional and state competitions, the Curtin crew heads to OM World Finals.
After capturing first in both regional and state competitions, the Curtin crew heads to OM World Finals.

A Penn College adjunct math faculty member and her team of fourth- and fifth-graders from Curtin Intermediate School are headed to the 2017 Odyssey of the Mind World Finals at Michigan State University this week. Denise A. Southard and her husband, Bret, coach the team of Williamsport youngsters that captured first place in Division I regional and state competitions with their problem, “A Superhero Cliffhanger.” “While there isn’t a direct connection to math, the students are required to build their props,” Denise said. “Their main prop is a storybook made from wood. They had to measure and cut all the wood in the construction of the book. The finished prop is a 5-foot-high book with seven ‘pages.’” The Southards started coaching OM when their daughters were in elementary school. (Their oldest daughter made it to the World Finals once, and their youngest achieved the honor twice.) Although their girls are older and no longer in OM, the couple continues to love being active in the program. “Ultimately, we both love the confidence it gives the students,” Denise said. “We have seen students, who were so shy they could barely talk to other team members, become stars on the stage! They learn how to think ‘outside the box,’ problem-solve and use power tools!” (EDITOR’S NOTE: The team finished 22nd in its division at “Worlds.”)
Photos provided

Faculty & Staff Mathematics Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications
10.28.2016

Penn College Backpacks Donated to Children in Belize

Students and teachers in San Pedro, Belize, recently sent their thanks to Pennsylvania College of Technology and one of its math professors for donated backpacks and other school supplies used during a summer literacy camp at the San Pedro Library.

The donations were coordinated by Curt Vander Vere, assistant professor of mathematics, who distributed the items via a family friend who is working on a master’s degree and teaching at a school in Belize. The supplies included Penn College Admissions backpacks and three boxes of school supplies.

Vander Vere, who guides a study abroad trip to Mexico or Guatemala for Penn College students enrolled in MTH 156 (Mathematics in Non-European Cultures), regularly collects and distributes supplies to children during his professional and personal travels.

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Faculty & Staff Mathematics Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications
09.26.2016

Who Designs the Future?

Graphic design student Ainsley R. Bennett adds shadow to a still-life sketch. Hand-drawing skills remain important in the college’s graphic design and advertising art majors.
Graphic design student Ainsley R. Bennett adds shadow to a still-life sketch. Hand-drawing skills remain important in the college’s graphic design and advertising art majors.
In a Penn College lab, a student polishes graphics for a class project.
In a Penn College lab, a student polishes graphics for a class project.

From the Fall 2016 Penn College Magazine: As detailed in the first episode of the “Working Class” television series, a knack for design and creativity is essential to other fields, including science, math, engineering and technology. Read “Who Designs the Future?

Architecture & Sustainable Design Art & Graphic Design Construction & Design Technologies Engineering Design Technology Industrial Design Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies Mathematics Natural Science Penn College Magazine Penn College Magazine Feature Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications
09.09.2016

‘Working Class’ TV Episode Earns Telly Award

"Working Class"
“Working Class”

The premiere episode of “Working Class,” a public television series produced by Pennsylvania College of Technology and WVIA Public Media, has earned a 2016 Telly Award.

The series was honored with a bronze award statue and certificate.

The Telly Award is acknowledged as a premier award for film and video productions, including outstanding local, regional and cable programming. The 36th annual competition this year considered more than 13,000 entries from all 50 states and five continents.

“Working Class: Dream and Do,” which premiered in January, appears regularly on WVIA. It also has aired on other Pennsylvania public television stations including WHYY and MindTV in Philadelphia, WQED in Pittsburgh, WLVT in Allentown, and WPSU in State College.

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Architecture & Sustainable Design Art & Graphic Design Construction & Design Technologies Engineering Design Technology Faculty & Staff General Information Industrial Design Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies Mathematics Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications Students
05.20.2016

Yucatan Travelers Share Study Abroad Experiences

A large crowd gathers to hear the presentations. In the background, D. Robert Cooley (light blue shirt), assistant professor of anthropology/environmental science, leads the discussion.
A large crowd gathers to hear the presentations. In the background, D. Robert Cooley (light blue shirt), assistant professor of anthropology/environmental science, leads the discussion.
Intrepid travelers (from left): Erik G. Knecht, of Cranesville; Leo J. Ravina, of Hazleton; Brendon J. Dibble, of Douglassville; Anthony V. Rode, of Palm Coast, Fla.; and Curtis R. Gehman, of Lock Haven.
Intrepid travelers (from left): Erik G. Knecht, of Cranesville; Leo J. Ravina, of Hazleton; Brendon J. Dibble, of Douglassville; Anthony V. Rode, of Palm Coast, Fla.; and Curtis R. Gehman, of Lock Haven.
Dibble discusses his pit-fired ceramics, an attempt he made following the trip to recreate ancient Maya ceramics.
Dibble discusses his pit-fired ceramics, an attempt he made following the trip to recreate ancient Maya ceramics.
Knecht shares stories from the voyage.
Knecht shares stories from the voyage.
Vander Vere listens to his students’ presentations.
Vander Vere listens to his students’ presentations.

Among the engaging end-of-semester activities that occurred across campus in recent weeks were presentations by students in MTH 156 (Mathematics in Non-European Cultures). Gathering in the Bush Campus Center TV Lounge, the students offered insights into their study abroad adventures in Mexico earlier this year. The unique course blends mathematics, anthropology and cultural adventures, and is led by D. Robert Cooley, assistant professor of anthropology/environmental science, and Curt E. Vander Vere, assistant professor of mathematics. This year’s student group represented a diverse range of majors including manufacturing and engineering technology, industrial and human factors design, studio arts, construction management, and pre-physician assistant. The Penn College class traveled to the Yucatan peninsula, specifically the Mexican states of Yucatan and Campeche. This year’s outing marked the fifth time Cooley and Vander Vere have guided students in the exploration of ancient Maya civilization.
Photos by Tia G. La, student photographer

A previous MTH 156 travel experience was showcased in this video on the college YouTube channel:

Events Faculty & Staff Mathematics Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications STEM Students
04.20.2016

Math Professor Co-Authors Paper Published in International Journal

William Ma, professor of mathematics at Pennsylvania College of Technology, jointly authored a paper that was published recently in an international journal, Annales Academiae Scientiarum Fennicae Mathematica.

The paper, titled “Estimates of the Hyperbolic Metric on the Twice Punctured Plane,” was co-authored with two other mathematics educators, Seong-A Kim, of Dongguk University, Seoul, South Korea, and Jinxi Ma, of Beihang University, Beijing, China.

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Faculty & Staff Mathematics Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications
01.13.2016

New Penn College/WVIA TV Series Connects Education, Careers

Students and teachers who connect learning with real work experiences will be featured in a new series premiering this month on public television.

“Working Class” will encourage viewers to make an impact in the world by pursuing careers that reflect their personal talents and interests. The first episode in the series, which is produced by Pennsylvania College of Technology in partnership with WVIA Public Media, will premiere in Northeast Pennsylvania and the Central Susquehanna Valley on Tuesday, Jan. 26, at 7 p.m. on WVIA.

Following the broadcast premiere, series content also will be shared via the Penn College and WVIA websites and on YouTube. Viewers also may follow the series on Facebook and Twitter.

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Architecture & Sustainable Design Art & Graphic Design Construction & Design Technologies Engineering Design Technology Faculty & Staff General Information Industrial Design Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies Mathematics Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications Students
01.08.2016

Math Professors Receive Outstanding Assessment Award

Two Pennsylvania College of Technology mathematics faculty members have been named recipients of the college’s 2015 President’s Award for Outstanding Assessment of Student Learning.

Joanna K. Flynn, assistant professor of mathematics, and Ed G. Owens, associate professor and department head of mathematics, received the honor on Jan. 8 at the all-college meeting opening the Spring 2016 semester.

The President’s Award for Outstanding Assessment of Student Learning recognizes initiative and creativity in facilitating student learning and reflects the college’s commitment to ongoing assessment of student learning outcomes.

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Faculty & Staff Mathematics Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications