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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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Alumni Business & Hospitality Construction & Design Technologies Events Faculty & Staff Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies Nursing & Health Sciences President Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications Sports Students Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies

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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Baking, Pastry & Culinary Arts Brewing & Fermentation Science Business & Hospitality Collision Repair & Restoration Dental Hygiene General Information Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies Nursing & Health Sciences Plastics & Polymer Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies Welding Workforce Development

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.

Alumni Business & Hospitality Construction & Design Technologies Events Faculty & Staff Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies Nursing & Health Sciences Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications Students Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies

Spring 2019 Commencement set for May 17-18

Pennsylvania College of Technology will hold three Spring 2019 Commencement ceremonies May 17-18 at the Community Arts Center, Williamsport.

Three commencement ceremonies will be offered May 17-18 for the 950 students who have petitioned to graduate following the Spring 2019 semester at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

All of the ceremonies will be held at the Community Arts Center, 220 W. Fourth St., Williamsport, with more than 800 students expected to march.

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Baking, Pastry & Culinary Arts Business & Hospitality Events Faculty & Staff Scholarships

Side by side, visiting chefs lead students

Uribe and students Kobi A. Shannon, of Lewistown, and Aaron Timmons, of Greencastle, prepare Romanesco for the main course.

Chef Manuel Uribe, sous chef of Chicago’s Terzo Piano and a faculty member in the Jerome J. Drosos School of Culinary Arts at Triton College, headlined Penn College’s 2019 Visiting Chef Series, lending his knowledge and skill as he guided students in preparing a Mediterranean-themed dinner. He was joined by Rachel Erceg, lead pastry chef for Terzo Piano. In addition to providing valuable hands-on experience for students, the dinner that culminated the chefs’ multiday stay on campus provides scholarship funds for hospitality students.

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Baking, Pastry & Culinary Arts Business & Hospitality Students

College offers streamlined path to baking and pastry arts careers

Hands-on learning for Pennsylvania College of Technology’s three-semester associate degree and new 12-month professional baking certificate will take place in a lab equipped with industry-standard equipment.

Pennsylvania College of Technology is set to provide a quicker pathway to a baking and pastry arts career through a new 12-month certificate in professional baking and a revision to its associate degree in baking and pastry arts that will make a degree obtainable in 16 months.

Allowing students to enter the workforce more quickly helps to meet the needs of the hospitality industry, where there is a high demand for skilled baking and pastry arts professionals, and of students, who will incur a lower financial cost.

Both majors provide a robust yet compact education with extensive hands-on learning. Curriculum has been updated to meet industry needs, helping to ensure students will land jobs.

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Alumni Baking, Pastry & Culinary Arts Business & Hospitality Dental Hygiene Nursing & Health Sciences Physician Assistant

Beneficent college crew continues ‘pay it forward’ tradition

In the church’s kitchen, students form an assembly line to pack giveaway bags with toothpaste and toothbrushes.
In the church’s kitchen, students form an assembly line to pack giveaway bags with toothpaste and toothbrushes.
The crew of helpers: Front row (from left): dental hygiene students Hailey A. Gearhart, of Phillipsburg; Kaeli A. Plezia, of Sellersville; Taylor E. Allison, of Allport; Emily N. Renninger, of East Greenville; Jordyn M. Kahler, of York; and Megan P. Fitzsimmons, of Portville, N.Y., with Nolan Strouse. Back row (from left): dental hygiene student Pavel Dariychuk, of Leola, with Derek W. Baldwin, a physician assistant studies student, Barbara K. Emert-Strouse, Robert Strouse and Scott Neff II, ’16. Also helping was dental hygiene student Christina M. Kiessling, of Muncy.
The crew of helpers: Front row (from left): dental hygiene students Hailey A. Gearhart, of Phillipsburg; Kaeli A. Plezia, of Sellersville; Taylor E. Allison, of Allport; Emily N. Renninger, of East Greenville; Jordyn M. Kahler, of York; and Megan P. Fitzsimmons, of Portville, N.Y., with Nolan Strouse. Back row (from left): dental hygiene student Pavel Dariychuk, of Leola, with Derek W. Baldwin, a physician assistant studies student, Barbara K. Emert-Strouse, Robert Strouse and Scott Neff II, ’16. Also helping was dental hygiene student Christina M. Kiessling, of Muncy.

For the ninth year, faculty member Barbara K. Emert-Strouse, assistant professor of dental hygiene, and her family, joined by several dental hygiene students,  provided a “pay it forward” dinner at Christ Episcopal Church on Mulberry Street. The group served around 180 diners with a menu of meatloaf, mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables, Jell-O with fruit, and cake. They also offered free toothbrushes and toothpaste. The church serves a free “First Saturday” community dinner each month, and the family – including sons Scott L. Neff II, a 2016 culinary arts and systems graduate, and Derek W. Baldwin, a physician assistant studies student – provides one of those monthly dinners each spring. The April 6 dinner and the Penn College crew helping to serve it were featured on WBRE.
Photos provided

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

Catering class creates winning meal at riverfront museum

Student managers for the event, Gray and Jordan, plate the dessert: key lime pie with coconut panna cotta.
Student managers for the event, Gray and Jordan, plate the dessert: key lime pie with coconut panna cotta.
Students Jordan, Showers and Meszaros look over the main course before serving: an herb-and-garlic-crusted loin of beef with classic au jus lié and potato cake.
Students Jordan, Showers and Meszaros look over the main course before serving: an herb-and-garlic-crusted loin of beef with classic au jus lié and potato cake.
Callahan prepares seared scallops.
Callahan prepares seared scallops.
Shannon and Gray plate an intermezzo of tropical citrus sorbet.
Shannon and Gray plate an intermezzo of tropical citrus sorbet.

It is fitting that each year, Pennsylvania College of Technology students enrolled in a catering class bring their talents to a historic building that, when built in the late 1790s, was a tavern and inn. Set along the Susquehanna River in Lewisburg, it served river travelers.

Now the structure is open to the public as the Packwood House Museum, and among the highlights of the year for the organization is a raffle for an elegant “Champagne and Orchids” dinner for eight, created by the Penn College catering class and served in the museum’s dining room.

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