News about Business & Hospitality

Expert Tips: Make the Perfect Biscuits

Kimberly Asbury's blueberry biscuits

From the Spring 2018 Penn College Magazine: Kimberly Asbury, a 2005 baking and pastry arts graduate and the 2017 International Grand Champion of Biscuits, shares her secrets. Read “Expert Tips.”

Long Days’ Journey to Post Time

Hospitality students are pumped for an exciting week at the Kentucky Derby as they arrive for their first day of work.

Horse-racing aficionados know the Kentucky Derby as “the most exciting two minutes in sports,” but students from Penn College’s School of Business & Hospitality – who have been making the pilgrimage to Churchill Downs for a quarter-century – know firsthand the rigorous and rewarding schedule leading up to those 120 seconds. Go behind-the-scenes with the college’s enterprising entourage as they travel, mince, stand, peel, stay awake and prep for hours … and savor every moment of the exhausting experience.

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Last updated May 14, 2018 | Posted in Baking, Pastry & Culinary Arts, Business & Hospitality, Business & Hospitality Management, Faculty & Staff, Students | This gallery contains 39 photos. | Tagged as | Leave a comment

Spring Commencement: A Mid-May Extravaganza of Emotion

Eyewear for the day, vision for the future

Pennsylvania College of Technology held three commencement ceremonies May 11-12 for more than 900 students who petitioned to graduate following the Spring 2018 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 Hanna Jo Williams, of Marion, New York, awarded a bachelor’s degree in industrial and human factors design and an associate degree in studio arts on Friday; Glendalis Guadarrama, of Avondale, who received a bachelor’s degree in nursing at Saturday morning’s session; and Alexandra M. Lehman, of Williamsport, who earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration: sport and event management concentration to close out the festive weekend. The college also bestowed three teaching honors – the Veronica M. Muzic Master Teacher Award and two Excellence in Teaching Awards – as well as a pair of alumni awards.

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Last updated May 12, 2018 | Posted in Alumni, Business & Hospitality, Construction & Design Technologies, Events, Faculty & Staff, Health Sciences, Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies, Institutional Advancement, President, Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications, Students, Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies | This gallery contains 32 photos. | Tagged as | Leave a comment

Penn College Baja Team Pumped for Kansas Competition

Members of the Penn College Baja SAE team take a well-earned break during their April competition in Maryland. Standing from left are: Myron D. Milliken, Lewistown; Matthew J. Nyman, Lock Haven; Todd R. Mercer, Williamsport; Dylan A. Bianco, State College; Christopher M. Schweikert, Jamison; Mathias Decker, Farmington; Shujaa AlQahtani, Saudi Arabia; Trevor M. Clouser, Millmont; Daniel M. Gerard, Doylestown; Joshua J. Cover, Selinsgrove; adviser John G. Upcraft; and Jonathan R. Sutcliffe, Orangeville. Sitting on the car from left are: Logan B. Goodhart, Chambersburg; Johnathan T. Capps, North Wales; and Mark A. Turek, Red Lion. Sitting on the ground is alumnus Zach Mazur, who started the college’s Baja SAE team in 2005.

During the past few years, the Pennsylvania College of Technology Baja SAE team has been among the world’s best. Now, the dedicated students want to be the best.

Penn College can obtain that lofty ranking when it competes against 99 other schools in the next Society of Automotive Engineers event, scheduled for May 17-20 in Pittsburg, Kansas.

“Our goal is to win the endurance race,” said Logan B. Goodhart, a manufacturing engineering technology major from Chambersburg, who serves as team captain. “Our car has a lot of potential. We just have to play things smart and have a little luck.”

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Penn College Names Web Competition Winners

Lehigh Career & Technical Institute students Alexander Cevicelow (left) and Nicholas Gerancher (right) won the Penn College Web Competition, held recently at Penn College. Watching them complete their website is LCTI graduate and current Penn College web and interactive media student, Malachi J. Atkinson.

A team from Lehigh Career & Technical Institute was recently named the winner in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s first Penn College Web Competition.

High schools were invited to bring teams of two to four students to Penn College’s campus on April 20, where they were provided text and images and tasked with developing a small website, with all code created by the competitors.

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Accounting Students Help Community With Tax Returns

This tax season, 13 Pennsylvania College of Technology accounting students helped clients file close to 150 federal income tax returns.

The free service is part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program sponsored by the IRS. It is designed to help taxpayers who have relatively uncomplicated returns to prepare their returns and file electronically.

The returns yielded almost $200,000 in refunds for the taxpayers who participated.

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Visitors Feast on Data, Delectables During Hospitality Capstones

Students in the Pastry Food Show and Buffet Presentation Concepts course, which presents the Grand Pastry Buffet, take a pre-event photo with two of their faculty members: Chef Charles R. Niedermyer, (left) and Chef Todd M. Keeley, instructors of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts.

Students in hospitality majors presented a variety of eye-catching senior projects across campus on the final day of the Spring 2018 semester. The annual Grand Pastry Buffet, a capstone project that requires baking and pastry arts students to combine the skills they’ve learned throughout their associate-degree careers, was held in the Thompson Professional Development Center for high school students who are interested in hospitality careers. The high schoolers’ day started with a visit to the Klump Academic Center Auditorium, where they received an overview of the program and listened to research presentations by senior students pursuing bachelor’s degrees in culinary arts and systems. They also toured campus and hospitality labs and ate lunch in Le Jeune Chef Restaurant. Also culminating the semester was a display of final projects by students in the Cakes and Decorations course in the Madigan Library.

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Last updated May 9, 2018 | Posted in Baking, Pastry & Culinary Arts, Business & Hospitality, Events, Students | This gallery contains 32 photos. | Tagged as | Leave a comment

Hospitality Students’ Passion Feeds ‘Visiting Chef’ Experience

Magdalen C. Bennett, of Erie, pipes a sea scallop-lobster mousse onto a salmon filet for the first course.

Leaders in their field, Chefs Robin Rosenberg and John G. Scourlas shared their time, talent and words of wisdom with Pennsylvania College of Technology hospitality students during the Spring 2018 edition of the college’s Visiting Chef Series. The chefs spent three days on campus visiting students in classrooms, working alongside them in the School of Business & Hospitality’s kitchens, and serving the elegant Visiting Chef Dinner. Proceeds from the dinner are used to fund scholarships for students in the college’s four culinary arts, baking and pastry arts and hospitality management majors. In comments to the dinner’s guests, Rosenberg, vice president and chef de cuisine of Levy Restaurants, said he was inspired by the passion he encountered in Penn College students. Rosenberg leads teams to create high-end dining experiences for thousands of guests at sports and entertainment venues and events across the nation, including the Super Bowl and the Grammy Awards. Scourlas, the award-winning senior pastry chef for Levy Restaurants, is part of that team, based at the Georgia World Congress Center, one of the five largest convention centers in the U.S.

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SkillsUSA Competitors Strike Gold; 21 Students Headed to Nationals

SkillsUSA Pennsylvania

Nearly all 27 members of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s SkillsUSA team – 21 of them advancing to the 54th annual National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Kentucky – earned medals during recent state competition.

The competitors represent majors across four of Penn College’s academic schools, and the theme for the April 18-20 Pennsylvania Leadership and Skills Conference in Hershey couldn’t have been more fitting for students gaining career-making skills in hands-on fashion: “Champions at Work: Job-Ready, Day One.”

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Penn College Students’ Cakes Place in Top 3 at Atlantic Bakery Expo

Penn College students took first- and third-place awards in the Student Tiered Wedding Cake category at the 2018 Atlantic Bakery Expo. Three Penn College students competed. From left are Taylor M. Bickhart, of Middleburg, who received third place; Sarah A. Waclo, of York; and Jacqueline R. Dull, of Mohnton, who took first place. Their respective cakes are behind them.

Two Pennsylvania College of Technology students finished in the Top Three in their category during the 2018 Cake Extravaganza at the Atlantic Bakery Expo in Atlantic City.

Jacqueline R. Dull, a baking and pastry arts student from Mohnton, received first place in the student tiered wedding cake category, and Taylor M. Bickhart, a baking and pastry arts student from Middleburg, placed third in the same category.

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As Semester Ticks Away, Students Get Down to Business

Jacqueline R. Dull, of Mohnton, presents a variety of macaron-topped cupcakes, a sample of the offerings from her company, Simply Sweet.

Rachel A. Henninger, of Bellefonte, presents Rise & Shine Bakery, an artisan bread bakery.

Amber Kreitzer, of Port Trevorton, used a variety of artisan beer flavors to inspire her Boozy Sweets. Samples included Maple Brown Ale Cupcakes, Mint Chocolate Stout Macarons and Peanut Butter Hefeweizen Truffles.

The students practice the customer service skills they honed during a semester of patisserie sales in Le Jeune Patissier.

Bethany R. Taylor, of Moosic, employs a marketing pitch we can get behind: Life is short; eat more cookies!

The campus was treated to tasty giveaways Wednesday as students in the Advanced Baking and Pastry Operations course presented their final project: A trade show, with each student presenting a business, complete with concept, marketing materials, vendor booth and, of course, product samples.
Photos by Kimberlee R. Rusczyk, manager of social media/online marketing

USA Science Festival: Where ‘D.C.’ Stands for ‘Definitely Cool’

Interactive inspiration for tomorrow's innovators

A national leader in applied technology education returned to the nation’s capital this past weekend, serving up a second helping of “A Taste of Technology” at the USA Science & Engineering Festival. Students again led the presentations of a popular program subtitled, “Sweet and Savory Science,” joined by Penn College faculty members Chef Frank M. Suchwala, associate professor of hospitality management/culinary arts; Chef Mary G. Trometter, assistant professor of food and hospitality management/culinary arts; Chef Todd M. Keeley, instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts; and Brian M. McKeon Sr., assistant professor of physician assistant. The college’s 400-square-foot exhibit featured three stations, enlisting the public’s hands-on help (and rewarding their taste buds on the other side of the demos).

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Penn College Announces Cake Competition Winners

First place in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s annual wedding cake competition is awarded to Jacqueline R. Dull, a baking and pastry arts student from Milton.

With a pink cake that was adorned with roses and pearls, student Jacqueline R. Dull, of Mohnton, received first place in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s annual wedding cake competition.

Dull is a sophomore in the college’s baking and pastry arts major. She and the other competitors are enrolled in the Cake Decorating II course, taught by Chef Todd M. Keeley, instructor of baking and pastry arts. As a final project for the class, each student submitted a three-tiered, fondant-covered wedding cake with handmade embellishments.

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Hospitality Students Hired for Kentucky Derby Internships

A group of Penn College students (shown here, including alternates) have been hired by Levy Restaurants to help prepare food for VIP venues at Churchill Downs during the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 5. They will be accompanied by Chef Charles R. Niedermyer (back right), instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts.

Twenty-eight Pennsylvania College of Technology students and 11 graduates have been selected to help prepare and serve food in the high-end venues of Churchill Downs during the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 5.

The Derby, known as the most exciting two minutes in sports, is steeped in tradition – like mint juleps, spectacular hats and the playing of “My Old Kentucky Home.” A behind-the-scenes tradition for more than 25 years has been the involvement of Penn College students.

The event provides a one-of-a-kind learning experience for the aspiring hospitality professionals, who are pursuing degrees in baking and pastry arts, culinary arts, and hospitality management. Some of this year’s staffers are returning for the second, third or fourth time in their collegiate careers.

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Penn College Again to Exhibit at Nation’s Largest Science Festival

Penn College will reprise its “A Taste of Technology: Sweet and Savory Science” presentation at the 2018 USA Science & Engineering Festival, scheduled for April 7-8 in Washington, D.C.

Pennsylvania College of Technology will reprise its participation at the 2018 USA Science & Engineering Festival – the largest event of its kind nationwide – showcasing how science, technology, engineering and math play an integral role in culinary activities.

Faculty and students from Penn College will once again present hands-on demonstrations during the crowd-pleasing “A Taste of Technology: Sweet and Savory Science” for the thousands of people looking to experience STEM fields at the biennial festival. The event is set to take place April 7-8 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

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Pennsylvania College of Technology is a special mission affiliate of The Pennsylvania State University