News about Business & Hospitality

Silver Anniversary, Golden Opportunity

Culinary giants joined forces to mark the 25th anniversary of the Visiting Chef Series at Penn College, an event celebrated in a new video on the college’s YouTube channel. “Louisiana’s culinary ambassador to the world” Chef John Folse, along with his renowned restaurant partner Chef Rick Tramonto, internationally heralded Pastry Chef Donald Wressell and Penn College alum Chef Elaine Gardner worked side-by-side in April with School of Business & Hospitality students to prepare an elegant, five-course fundraising dinner at the college’s Le Jeune Chef Restaurant. “Nothing speaks success more than growth,” Folse says. “So when you see the growth at a facility – the growth of the kitchens; the growth of the student body; the quality of the instructors; the support of the community; tonight, we have another sell-out crowd – what does that say? That says that there’s real wonderful happenings here. … There’s just no doubt about it: There’s something great happening in culinary here at Penn College. I want to be here just to continue to see what’s gonna happen next!”

Penn College’s Le Jeune Chef Honored by Wine Spectator

Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Le Jeune Chef Restaurant is among Wine Spectator magazine’s 2017 “Award of Excellence” winners.

Wine Spectator reaches over 3 million readers with each issue and is the largest paid wine-focused/wine-lifestyle magazine.

Its annual Restaurant Awards, which are published in the August issue, acknowledge the best wine lists in the world. Winning restaurants offer interesting wine selections that are appropriate to their cuisine and appeal to a wide range of wine lovers.

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New Penn College Bachelor’s Degrees to Prepare Innovation Leaders

Innovation, identified as vital to the nation’s economic growth, is the focus of two new bachelor’s degrees at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

The new degrees are part of the college’s quest to prepare graduates for success and to provide the community with a highly qualified workforce.

Innovation – developing new products, services or processes or improving existing ones – is a skill that is in demand in all occupations. It is recognized by the U.S. Economic Development Administration as essential not only to the nation’s economy, but to improving quality of life.

Students may begin coursework toward a degree in applied innovation in Fall 2017, and applications are being accepted for the college’s entrepreneurial innovation major, which will start in Fall 2018.

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Restaurant Again Favored Among Area Newspaper’s Readers

Michael R. Triassi, Le Jeune Chef’s director of sales and restaurant operations, receives a silver Reader’s Choice Award from Becky Fitzwater, an advertising representative for the Milton Standard-Journal.

For the second year, Le Jeune Chef Restaurant has received silver honors in the Milton Standard-Journal’s annual Reader’s Choice Awards. The Standard-Journal ran a Reader’s Choice contest form in its daily newspapers and provided ballots to local businesses for submission by their patrons. Voters could also fill out ballots online and write in additional categories. Becky Fitzwater, an advertising representative for the newspaper, delivered a certificate to the restaurant on Friday, signifying that it was the second-highest vote-getter in the Best Restaurant category. Le Jeune Chef presents a fine-dining experience hosted by Penn College’s School of Business & Hospitality. The restaurant offers a gourmet menu, much of it prepared by students, and features the area’s most extensive wine list. The full list of award winners will be announced in the newspaper in July. To make a reservation, call 570-320-CHEF (570-320-2433). To view menus and special events, visit the restaurant’s website.
Photo by Anna C. Miller, marketing and communications specialist for the School of Business & Hospitality

Students Gain ‘Tons’ of Hospitality Experience at Iconic Event

Penn College culinary arts and systems students R. Colby Janowitz, of Westminster, Md.; Amaris T. Smith, of Williamsport; and Cy C. Heller, of Milton, work an à la carte lunch in the Turf Room on Oaks Day at Churchill Downs.

Pennsylvania College of Technology students returned from the 2017 Kentucky Derby with a wealth of experience in high-volume hospitality, courtesy of Churchill Downs food operator Levy Restaurants.

“Working at the Kentucky Derby was an insane, amazing, life-changing experience,” said R. Colby Janowitz, who received both a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts and systems and an associate degree in hospitality management from Penn College in May. It was the second trip to the Kentucky Derby for the Westminster, Maryland, native.

Janowitz joined 24 other Penn College students – and faculty member Charles R. Niedermyer, instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts – in the kitchens of Churchill Downs during Derby Week, a series of events that culminates in the storied Kentucky Derby, which this year drew a crowd of 158,000.

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Culinary Student Featured on ‘Home & Backyard’ Series

Peirce A. Connelly

Culinary arts and systems student Peirce A. Connelly was featured on Saturday’s episode of WNEP’s “Home & Backyard” television series, sharing well-learned kitchen tips. Host Jackie Lewandowski visited Front Street Station in Northumberland, where Connelly is completing an internship. During the seven-minute segment, the young chef, who’s been working at Front Street Station for more than seven years, discussed the restaurant’s offerings and showed his kitchen know-how while he taught viewers to prepare chicken cacciatore, a Front Street Station specialty. “I am studying under the kitchen manager as well as the owner, learning things ‘that they won’t teach you in culinary school,’ as (the) owner would say. But in all reality, the school most certainly set me up for success,” Connelly said. “I am learning how we do our ordering, purchasing and recovering, prepping for banquets, coming up with specials, as well general line-cook duties. I am very glad that Penn College allowed me to do my internship at the place I had been working.” Connelly’s “on-camera” work as a student has also included helping with demonstrations on the Culinary Connection stage at the Pennsylvania Farm Show. Connelly, of Northumberland, plans to graduate in August.

Faculty Member Named One of Top 10 Pastry Chefs in America

Niedermyer accepts applause as he's announced among the Top 10 honorees.

A Pennsylvania College of Technology faculty member has received one of the highest honors bestowed on pastry chefs: a spot among Dessert Professional Magazine’s Top 10 Pastry Chefs in America.

Chef Charles R. Niedermyer, of State College, an instructor of baking and pastry arts and culinary arts, was named to the 2017 Top Ten list by Dessert Professional publisher Matthew Stevens and editor Tish Boyle, who selected honorees based on their talent, creativity, contributions to the industry and dedication to creating high-quality confections.

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Last updated June 6, 2017 | Posted in Alumni, Baking, Pastry & Culinary Arts, Business & Hospitality, Faculty & Staff, Students | This gallery contains 3 photos. | Tagged as | Leave a comment

Cross-Campus Collaboration Infuses Hundreds of Visiting Pupils

Horticulture instructor Carl J. Bower Jr. guides Warrior Run fourth-graders in a sensory exploration of the ESC’s plant life.

Roy A. Fletcher, assistant professor of business administration/banking and finance, talks with Stock Market Challenge participants from area high schools about the future of artificial intelligence in accounting. The School of Business & Hospitality hosted the grand finale celebration for the Stock Market Challenge, an annual competition for Lycoming County high schools and middle schools that is sponsored by the Williamsport Sun-Gazette.

Faculty members (and Penn College grads) Michael K. Patterson, welding lecturer, center, and Benjamin K. Myers, welding instructor, right, judge a competition among students enrolled in Penn College NOW welding courses. While their teachers attended professional development with Penn College faculty liaisons – a requirement to ensure that Penn College courses taught at high schools meet the same rigor as those taught on campus – the students showed their skill in shielded metal arc welding. Following the contest, they took part in a hands-on demonstration by Fronius USA, which has entrusted several pieces of equipment to the college.

In the closing weeks of the spring semester, the College Transitions Office and academic schools hosted more than half a dozen events for pupils in area elementary, middle and high schools. From a field trip for Warrior Run fourth-graders that spanned the main campus and Schneebeli Earth Science Center, to days set aside for students to visit the college labs that correspond with their Penn College NOW courses, hundreds of students received hands-on lessons in “degrees that work,” thanks to help from college faculty. Events for Penn College NOW students included a Horticulture Day, engineering design visit, Accounting Day, Web Page Design Day and Welding Day.

Niedermyer Among Nation’s Top Pastry Chefs

Chef Charles R. Niedermyer

Chef Charles R. Niedermyer II, instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts, has been named among the 2017 Top 10 Pastry Chefs in America by Dessert Professional Magazine. The magazine’s publisher, Matthew Stevens, and editor, Tish Boyle, selected the honorees based on their talent, creativity, contributions to the industry and dedication to creating high-quality confections. Niedermyer earned a degree in baking and pastry arts from the college in 2000, later followed by a degree in technology management. Before returning to teach at the college, he spent several years practicing his craft in the hotel, restaurant and bakery industries, including work for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. In recent years, he was named a finalist for Team USA, which competed at the Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie (World Cup of Bread) in Paris, and received awards from Penn College for Excellence in Teaching and Excellence in Academic Advising. Dessert Professional Magazine is the nation’s leading food service publication for the chocolate, pastry, cake, artisan bread and frozen desserts industries. Making its Top 10 list is a pinnacle achievement for pastry chefs. Niedermyer will be honored at a reception in New York City in June and featured in the August issue of Dessert Professional.

Students Gain Experience, Help Community Through VITA

Penn College’s Michael D. Shipman, left, instructor of business administration/accounting, reviews tax policy with student Joshua D. Lyman, of Williamsport. Lyman is one of 16 Penn College students certified by the IRS to offer free tax help to the community through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.

Pennsylvania College of Technology students offered free assistance to about 160 taxpayers this spring, helping them to realize close to $170,000 in income-tax refunds.

Sixteen Penn College students took part in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, an initiative of the IRS that offers free tax help to people who generally make $54,000 or less, or those who may need assistance preparing their own returns because of a disability or language barrier.

All but two of the students are enrolled in the course Income Taxation of Individuals, taught by Michael D. Shipman, instructor of business administration/accounting. They are pursuing degrees in accounting, legal assistant paralegal, and business administration: banking and finance concentration.

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Penn College Students Bat a Thousand in SkillsUSA Competition

SkillsUSA-Pennsylvania

All 25 members of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s SkillsUSA team, including more than half moving on to national competition June 19-23 in Louisville, Kentucky, were medalists during the Pennsylvania Leadership and Skills Conference held late last month in Hershey.

Fifteen team members advanced to nationals with first-place finishes, seven placed second, and three placed third in their respective categories.

“I feel great about the students’ performance at the state competition. It goes to show how well prepared the students are from their respective fields and how great our instructors are here at the college,” said James N. Colton II, assistant professor of welding and the college’s SkillsUSA adviser. “I’m excited for the students going to the national competition in Louisville. I have every confidence they will put their best performance forward.”

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Penn College Announces Spring Food Show Winners

A water lily-inspired cake by Penn College student Rachel A. Henninger, of Bellefonte, took first place among entries in the Cakes and Decorations course at the college’s Spring Food Show.

Pennsylvania College of Technology announced winners of its Spring Food Show, a showcase of food artistry and expertise by students in the college’s hospitality majors.

The show included final projects by students in Advanced Baking Applications for Culinary Arts, who showed high-end plated desserts; Advanced Garde Manger, who produced cold-food platters and charcuterie boards; Cakes and Decorations, who decorated plant-inspired two-tier cakes; Culinary Senior Project; and Hospitality Beverage Management Service and Controls.

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Last updated May 9, 2017 | Posted in Alumni, Baking, Pastry & Culinary Arts, Business & Hospitality, Events, Faculty & Staff, Students | This gallery contains 23 photos. | Tagged as | One Comment

College’s Hydroponic Garden Yields Vegetables, Inspiration

Plant production students at Penn College are at the forefront of the “buy local, eat fresh” movement, thanks to the hydroponic garden at the college’s Schneebeli Earth Science Center. As assistant professor of horticulture Dennis P. Skinner explains, their cross-curricular collaboration culminates in the dishes crafted by culinary arts students in Le Jeune Chef Restaurant on campus. Along the way, the horticulture/landscape technology majors get a sense of something larger than themselves. “I think that’s one of the things that drives them,” Skinner says. “They want to be part of a community; they want to give back or provide, rather than being takers.”

Interning at an Icon

Chef Virginia Willis, an acclaimed food writer, James Beard Award winner and editor at-large for Southern Living, arrived Thursday and paused for a photo with Chef Charles R. Niedermyer, instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts. Students assigned to “The Mansion,” an exclusive Churchill Downs venue that attracts the rich and famous, will work alongside Willis.

On their first day at Churchill Downs, students unpack chocolate bars as they begin preparing 4,000 bourbon-caramel s’mores.

Students take photos at the iconic site, where they were hired to serve a weeklong internship by Levy Restaurants, which manages food operations at Churchill Downs. Levy representatives visited campus to conduct interviews with the students.

Culinary arts and systems students R. Colby Janowitz, of Westminster, Md; Amaris T. Smith, of Williamsport; and Cy C. Heller, of Milton, work an à la carte lunch in the Turf Room on Oaks Day.

Students in several majors are working hard this week throughout Churchill Downs as the facility – and horseracing fans already onsite – gear up for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby. The students are stationed in kitchens and luxury suites to prepare food and help serve guests. While Derby Week encompasses a variety of events at the Downs throughout the week, including the Kentucky Oaks race for fillies on Friday, the main event, scheduled for 6:46 p.m. Saturday, is expected to attract more than 170,000 guests.
Photos provided

Students Tip Cap(stone) to Scholarship Donors in Sweet Fashion

The 15-member Pastry Food Show and Buffet Presentation Concepts class

A Grand Pastry Buffet was the centerpiece for the college’s annual scholarship reception, which offers an opportunity for recipients of the more than 200 Penn College scholarships to mingle with and thank those who have funded the scholarships. The event, held Sunday, is the final project for students in the Pastry Food Show and Buffet Presentation Concepts course. For the event, the students synthesized skills they’ve learned throughout their collegiate career, each contributing a sugar art centerpiece, a chocolate sculpture, a cake and a platter of bite-sized confections. As a team, they chose the event’s theme – Earth, Air, Water and Fire – and exercised their event-planning know-how. The course is taught by Chef Todd M. Keeley, instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts. Participating students and their hometowns are: Merissa N. Aucker, of Middleburg; Crystal A. Calaman, of Dushore; Danielle L. Cannon, of Drums; Nathan Diaz, of Reading; Alesha A. Dunlap, of Worthington; Alexis L. Kepley, of Reading; Danielle M. McGuire, of Quakertown; Ally T. Monborne, of Williamsport; Natascha G. Santaella, of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico; Lloyd A. Shope, of Blanchard; Andrea L. Solenberger, of Harrisburg; Keegan D. Sonney, of Erie; Sarah I. Tielmann, of Tatamy; Katie M. Weakland, of Pennsylvania Furnace; and Adelyn A. Zimmerman, of Orwigsburg.

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Last updated May 3, 2017 | Posted in Baking, Pastry & Culinary Arts, Business & Hospitality, Institutional Advancement, Scholarships, Students | This gallery contains 24 photos. | Tagged as | Leave a comment