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Faculty member teaches guild workshop on campus

Chef Charles R. Niedermyer II (seventh from left), instructor of baking and pastry arts and culinary arts at Pennsylvania College of Technology, who taught one of this year’s two-day regional workshops for the Bread Bakers Guild of America, is shown with guild participants; student assistants Claudia M. Walling and Tyler C. Geer (far left), both of Williamsport; and some of the artisan baked goods created in the workshop.

An instructor of baking and pastry arts and culinary arts at Pennsylvania College of Technology was invited to teach one of this year’s two-day regional workshops for the Bread Bakers Guild of America.

Chef Charles R. Niedermyer II, a faculty member at the college since 2005, taught “A Modern Approach to Classic Viennoiserie” to 14 guild members Aug. 8-9 in the college’s baking and pastry arts laboratory.

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Baking, Pastry & Culinary Arts Business & Hospitality Business & Hospitality Management

Le Jeune Chef recognized by Wine Spectator magazine

Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Le Jeune Chef Restaurant, which offers casual fine dining to the public, received Wine Spectator magazine’s 2019 “Award of Excellence” as part of the publication’s Restaurant Awards program.

Wine Spectator magazine reaches about 3 million readers worldwide. The magazine’s annual Restaurant Awards program recognizes restaurants whose wine lists offer interesting selections, are appropriate to their cuisine and appeal to a wide range of wine lovers. Honorees are published in its August issue.

Le Jeune Chef, operated by the college’s School of Business & Hospitality, has been recognized by Wine Spectator each year since 1995.

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Nine Penn College students medal at SkillsUSA nationals

SkillsUSANine students from Pennsylvania College of Technology’s SkillsUSA team earned medals in six categories – three silvers and three bronzes – during the National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Kentucky, from June 24-29.

“The students represented themselves and the college well, and it showed with the number of medals we returned home with,” said SkillsUSA adviser James N. Colton II, an assistant professor of welding. “I look forward to next year and the students that we will have competing.”

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Alumni Business & Hospitality Faculty & Staff Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies Information Technology Sports Students Technology Management

Penn College transfer student stays the course

With determination, and some help from campus resources such as the Academic Success Center and Disability Services at Penn College, Jacqueline M. Westervelt, of Rutherford, New Jersey, earned an associate degree in information technology: technical support emphasis in May and expects to graduate in August with a bachelor’s degree in applied management.

The email contained a stark message for the transfer student. After a year of subpar grades, Pennsylvania College of Technology had to place her on academic probation.

Jacqueline M. Westervelt repeatedly scanned the message, hoping that the words would change. They didn’t.

Her dream of earning an information technology degree – already delayed for two years – was in jeopardy. Self-doubt, fueled by past struggles in school, flooded her mind. Tears flowed as she thought that the people who told her she wasn’t college material were right.

Turns out, they were wrong.

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From living space to makerspace, summer visitors have their hands full

Learning the skills and craftsmanship required of a builder in the newest pre-college offering: Building Construction.

A dozen residential Pre-College Programs and a daytime Creative Art Camp brought hundreds of young women and men to Penn College’s campuses in mid-June, providing hands-on entry to the myriad career opportunities reflected in the institution’s postsecondary curriculum. Keeping campers (and PCToday photographers) busy in recent days were these fun learning opportunities, some of which involved culminating projects: Architecture Odyssey, Autism Spectrum Post-Secondary Interest Experience (ASPIE), Automotive Restoration, Aviation, Building Construction (new this year), Creative Art Camp, Engineering, Future Restaurateurs, Graphic Design Summer Studio, Grow & Design Horticulture, Health Careers, Information Technology and SMART (Science and Math in Real-world Technologies) Girls.

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Alumni Business & Hospitality Innovation & Entrepreneurism

Innovation Lab named for corporate partner, alumna

A collaborative learning lab at Pennsylvania College of Technology bears the name of Woodlands Bank, a financial institution that partners with the college in support of students and academic programs, and honors the memory of alumna and Woodlands Bank employee Nicole Guthrie-Jones. Taking part in the lab’s dedication are Woodlands Bank President and CEO Jon P. Conklin and Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour.

A collaborative learning lab at Pennsylvania College of Technology will bear the name of a financial institution that partners with the college in support of students and academic programs.

The Woodlands Bank Innovation Lab in Memory of Nicole Guthrie-Jones was dedicated May 29 as a unique space on campus for cooperative teaching and learning.

Its name also honors a 2001 office technology: executive emphasis alumna of the college who was employed at Woodlands Bank when she passed away in August 2017.

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Career Day sets middle schoolers’ sights on tomorrow

Led by Franklin H. Reber, instructor of building construction technology, and students, Career Day visitors create concrete stepping stones.

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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And they’re off: 900+ job-ready examples of Penn College Pride!

Abigail S. Way, graduating with a bachelor's degree in dental hygiene: health policy and administration concentration, has a smile as bright as her future.

Pennsylvania College of Technology held the Triple Crown of commencement ceremonies May 17-18 for more than 900 students who petitioned to graduate following the Spring 2019 semester. The Friday afternoon proceedings at the Community Arts Center honored students from the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies and the School of Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications. Saturday morning featured The School of Construction & Design Technologies and the School of Health Sciences, while students from the School of Business & Hospitality and the School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies graduated during the afternoon session. Student speakers were Hannah G. Maize, of Riverside, who received a bachelor’s degree in plastics and polymer engineering technology (summa cum laude) on Friday; Lauren S. Herr, of Lititz, awarded a bachelor’s in construction management (summa cum laude) at Saturday morning’s session; and David A. Gadalla, of Mechanicsburg, who received a bachelor’s degree in aviation maintenance technology in the weekend’s final ceremony. The college also bestowed three teaching honors – the Veronica M. Muzic Master Teacher Award and two Excellence in Teaching Awards – as well as three alumni awards.

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Alumni Baking, Pastry & Culinary Arts Business & Hospitality Engineering Design Technology Individualized Programs of Study Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications

Three alumni honored at Penn College commencements

Pennsylvania College of Technology presented honors to three alumni during Spring 2019 commencement ceremonies, held May 17-18 at the Community Arts Center, Williamsport.

John Estep, of Troy; Darryl Kehrer, of Fredericksburg, Virginia; and Kristina Wisneski, of Ardmore, were recognized for their exemplary achievements.

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Baking, Pastry & Culinary Arts Business & Hospitality Business & Hospitality Management Faculty & Staff

Faculty-led volunteers prevail at food bank’s ‘Chopped’ debut

Chef Michael J. Ditchfield, instructor of hospitality management/culinary arts, describes his dishes for the audience in the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank’s community learning kitchen.

A team led by Chef Michael J. Ditchfield, Penn College instructor of hospitality management/culinary arts, was named the winner of the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank’s inaugural cooking competition, Chopped.

On Ditchfield’s team were volunteers from three of the Food Bank’s partner agencies: Ron Taylor, a trained chef and a volunteer and member of Diamond Street Christian Church; Karla Sexton, business development/client development officer for River Valley Health and Dental; and Narcisa Ebner, a client of Hope Enterprises’ as well as Food Bank board member Frank Pellegrino. Ditchfield’s “Blue Team” faced off against the “Red Team,” led by Chef Peter Daugherty of The James Restaurant and featuring a similar group of community members.

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Wide-ranging tour enlightens state Senate committee chairs

Haywood marvels at the breathing chest of a "patient" in the School of Nursing & Health Sciences, where Dean Sandra L. Richmond (left) explained the simulation aids available to nursing students.

A bipartisan group of state legislators, all present for President Davie Jane Gilmour’s budget request to the Senate Appropriations Committee in February, got a follow-up look at Penn College during a trip to main campus on Tuesday. Touring a number of instructional labs with Sen. Gene Yaw (chairman of the college’s board of directors), administrators, faculty and staff were Sen. Art Haywood (D-Cheltenham), minority chair of the Health and Human Services Committee; Sen. Thomas H. Killion (R-Middletown), who chairs the Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee; Sen. Daniel Laughlin (R-Erie), chair of the Game and Fisheries Committee; and Sen. Sharif Street (D-Philadelphia), minority chairman of the Banking and Insurance Committee. Along for the visit were H. Fred Walker, director of Erie County Technical School; Kendall Alexander, Haywood’s communications director; and three members of Street’s staff: policy assistant Micah Mahjoubian, legislative aide Angel Betancourt and special assistant Kenneth Carter. Some members of the Senate contingent, who collectively represent highly populated areas from Erie in the northwest to Philadelphia in the southeast corner of the commonwealth, also enjoyed lunch in Le Jeune Chef Restaurant.

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Baking, Pastry & Culinary Arts Business & Hospitality Business & Hospitality Management

Splendid array of student projects seen during ‘Hospitality Visit Day’

An icon of spring escapes underground on a cake by Ashley L. Geist, of Huntingdon.

Students in several hospitality courses showed off final projects to visitors from six high schools, who visited campus April 26 for Hospitality Visit Day. During a session in the Klump Academic Center Auditorium, Amaris T. Smith, of Williamsport, and Nolan S. Lester, of Perkiomenville, presented their senior projects before the high schoolers headed for tours of campus and a visit to the Thompson Professional Development Center for the Grand Pastry Buffet, a capstone project for students completing their degrees in baking and pastry arts. In addition to viewing and tasting the work of baking and pastry arts students, the visitors tasted nonalcoholic mixed drinks prepared by students in the Hospitality Beverage Management Service and Controls class, voting on their favorite. As high schoolers toured the rest of campus, they took in final projects of students in the Cakes and Decorations and Cake Decorating II courses, on display in the Madigan Library.

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Baking, Pastry & Culinary Arts Business & Hospitality Business & Hospitality Management

A hands-on entree to global study

University of Rome student Lorenzo Stefanelli (left) and his professor, Chef Felice Santodonato, demonstrate a recipe for risotto.
University of Rome student Lorenzo Stefanelli (left) and his professor, Chef Felice Santodonato, demonstrate a recipe for risotto.
Santodonato and Giacomo Berselli, president of Marco Polo Study Abroad, explain a cooking method during a demonstration and tasting for students.
Santodonato and Giacomo Berselli, president of Marco Polo Study Abroad, explain a cooking method during a demonstration and tasting for students.
Students Jacob W. Parobek, of Seltzer (center), and Kobi A. Shannon, of Lewistown, observe Santodonato.
Students Jacob W. Parobek, of Seltzer (center), and Kobi A. Shannon, of Lewistown, observe Santodonato.
Santodonato provides instruction to student Noah E. Siegle, of Milesburg.
Santodonato provides instruction to student Noah E. Siegle, of Milesburg.
Santodonato and Berselli join Chef Mary G. Trometter, assistant professor and department head of hospitality management/culinary arts, in the Le Jeune Chef kitchen.
Santodonato and Berselli join Chef Mary G. Trometter, assistant professor and department head of hospitality management/culinary arts, in the Le Jeune Chef kitchen.

Chef Felice Santodonato and Giacomo Berselli, president of Marco Polo Study Abroad, made a visit to campus April 24-25 to work alongside hospitality students and provide information on a study abroad course in Italy beginning in 2020. On Wednesday, Santodonato, of Ceccano, Italy, provided students a demonstration and tasting of “Cucina Ciociara,” the cuisine of his region. Santodonato is a professor of science and culture of enogastronomy at the University of Rome. He was assisted by his student Lorenzo Stefanelli. On Thursday, the pair worked alongside students in Le Jeune Chef Restaurant to prepare an Italian meal for the public. In the May 2020 semester, the college will offer the course Global Food and Hospitality: Cuisine, Culture and Perspectives, a 14-day experience in Italy that includes hands-on cooking classes in four locations, as well as visits to hotels, vineyards, other agricultural sites, and vinegar and cheese producers, as well as cultural tours.

Business & Hospitality Business & Hospitality Management Students

Sport and event management students create event for peers

Pennsylvania College of Technology students pursuing bachelor’s degrees in business administration: sport and event management concentration conceived, managed and hosted a “Professional Coffee & Conversation” event to provide an opportunity for their peers to meet potential employers. From left are Stevie A. Petrison, of Landenberg; Carson P. Garvis, of Taneytown, Md.; Kayla M. Spotts, of Shamokin; Frank F. Tuason, of Stanford, Conn.; Victoria A. Sosar, of Berwick; Matthew E. Heller, of Nicholson; Brett R. Bowersox, of Sunbury; and Crystal L. Harker, of Beaver Falls.

A group of Pennsylvania College of Technology students put their lessons to work recently as they conceived, planned and managed an event that provided an opportunity for their peers to interact with regional employers.

Billed as “Professional Coffee & Conversation,” the event featured a panel discussion by eight employers, who answered students’ questions about job interviews and resumes, communication in the workplace, the top qualities they’re looking for in employees, and more. Following the panel discussion, nine employers staffed tables to interact with students, while coffee and other refreshments were available. Most were offering internships, part-time or summer jobs, or full-time work.

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Accounting & Finance Business & Hospitality

‘Stock Market Challenge’ winners honored

Williamsport Sun-Gazette publisher Robert O. Rolley congratulates participants.
Williamsport Sun-Gazette publisher Robert O. Rolley congratulates participants.
Roy A. Fletcher, assistant professor of business administration/banking and finance, talks with the group about both the history and future of artificial intelligence in the financial markets.
Roy A. Fletcher, assistant professor of business administration/banking and finance, talks with the group about both the history and future of artificial intelligence in the financial markets.

The School of Business & Hospitality recently hosted the Stock Market Challenge grand finale for 50 high school and middle school students. The program is run through the Pennsylvania Council of Financial Literacy and was sponsored by the Williamsport Sun-Gazette, Woodlands Bank and Fairfield Auto Group. The top three high school and middle school teams were honored. High school: First, Montgomery High School, $305,335.04 total equity, taught by Ryan Monoski; second, Muncy High School, $267,453.26 total equity, taught by Beth Baker; third, Hughesville High School, $221,979.39 total equity, taught by Brian Machmer. Middle school: First, McCall Middle School (Montoursville Area), 110,418.31 total equity, taught by Patty Confer; second, Williamsport Area Middle School, $108,195.92, taught by Matthew Palmatier; and third, Loyalsock Township Middle School, $100,494.35, taught by Matthew Reinhart.