News about Business & Hospitality

Alumna’s Return Yields Product Insight, Student Aid

Kate Hunter, a 2000 culinary arts alumna, offers career insight to students in culinary arts and baking and pastry arts majors.

Chef Paul Mach records the mathematical results of students’ bacon-cooking tests.

Chris Eckard, of Anchor Food Professionals, talks through boiling point and resulting evaporation – and loss of yield – of cream.

Dylan H. Therrien, left, of Reading, was named a 2017-18 recipient of the Jones Dairy Farm Culinary Scholarship. With him (from left) are: Elizabeth A. Biddle, director of corporate relations for Penn College; Kate Hunter, ’00, manager of Peak Sales and Marketing; and Chef Charles R. Niedermyer, instructor and department head of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts.

Dylan H. Therrien, a culinary arts and systems student from Reading, learned during a visit to campus by Kate Hunter, a 2000 graduate of the college’s culinary arts technology and food and hospitality management majors, that he will receive the Jones Dairy Farm Culinary Scholarship for 2017-18. Jones Dairy Farm, a six-generation family-owned leader in breakfast sausage, established the scholarship for Penn College students in 2015. Hunter is a manager for Peak Sales & Marketing, a broker for Jones Dairy Farm products. In addition to presenting congratulations to Therrien, Hunter brought a lesson in calculating yields, using bacon from Jones Dairy Farm that was cooked and tested by students in Chef Paul Mach’s Classical Cuisines of the World course. The students calculated how much bacon and fat remained after cooking and the resulting per-slice and per-ounce cost of the cooked product. Joining Hunter was Chris Eckard, of Anchor Food Professionals, who added further insight related to dairy products, such as cream and butter. Critically evaluating cost vs. quality among competing products will serve students well in working kitchens, Mach explained.

Mentored Students Dazzle at Silver-Anniversary ‘Chef’ Dinner

The star-studded Spring 2017 Visiting Chef lineup (from left): Tramonto, Folse, Gardner and Wressell.

World-class chefs spent several days on the Penn College campus to impart their wisdom while they guided students in the production of the 25th Anniversary Visiting Chef Dinner, held April 7. Chefs Rick Tramonto, John Folse, Donald Wressell and Elaine Gardner spent time in classrooms, where they shared their culinary journeys and offered professional insight, and in the School of Business & Hospitality’s kitchens, where they offered hands-on lessons while producing the $125-a-plate fundraising dinner, which helps to provide scholarships for students in the college’s baking and pastry arts, culinary arts, and hospitality management majors. Tramonto and Folse, who separately have received the highest honors in culinary arts and have authored several award-winning cookbooks, offered additional talks for the public in the Madigan Library, where they endeavored to inspire students to pursue both big dreams and a career of service to others. Together, the pair are the founders of Home on the Range: Folse Tramonto Restaurant Development LLC. Their first joint venture, Restaurant R’evolution, opened in New Orleans’ French Quarter in 2012 and was named Restaurant of the Year by New Orleans Magazine. In 2014, they opened Seafood R’evolution in Ridgeland, Mississippi. Wressell, who was pastry chef for the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills for 19 years, has led gold-medal U.S. teams in the World Pastry Team Championship and Le Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie in France, and has brought home many medals himself. Gardner is the chef at Dizengoff in Philadelphia and was, while working at Zahav, featured in a PhillyVoice article that highlighted “six talented Philly sous chefs making their bosses look good.”

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Alumni-Led Industry Tours Reinforce Laboratory Learning

Penn College grad Paul R. South (in red hard hat) leads students on a tour of Danzer Veneers log yard.

Students in the Forest Products (FOR 210) class took field trips Tuesday to Wheeland Lumber Co. Inc. in Liberty and to Danzer Veneer Americas in Williamsport. At Wheeland Lumber, the students toured a high-production sawmill, log yard and millwork facility with Penn College alumni Damen R. (’00, forest technology, and ’03, technology management) and Derek E. (’03, business administration: banking and finance concentration) Wheeland. At Danzer Veneer, students visited the log yard and production facility with Paul R. South, a 2016 graduate in forest technology. “Both tours were educational for the students,” said Erich R. Doebler, laboratory assistant for forest technology, who accompanied the group and provided the photo. “It allows them to see in person and experience the manufacturing environment that is discussed in class.”

Accounting Student Selected Ambassador for Professional Group

Kalee A. Holdren

Pennsylvania College of Technology student Kalee A. Holdren was selected from among her peers to serve as the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ student ambassador to the college.

As a student ambassador, Holdren encourages other Penn College students to become members of PICPA, promotes the institute’s programs and scholarships, and works with Penn College Accounting Society President Morgan E. Blackwell, of Beech Creek, to encourage students to attend PICPA events on or near campus and to involve the Accounting Society in the institute.

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Four Camps Added to College’s Exciting Summer Opportunities

A camper pores through images for a make-believe coffee shop during last summer’s Graphic Design Summer Studio at Penn College.

A record number of Pennsylvania College of Technology summer camps, including four new offerings, will allow adventurous young women and men to explore the hands-on careers represented by the institution’s eclectic “degrees that work.”

Students entering grades nine to 12 at the time of participation are eligible for an annual Summer Camp Scholarship to attend Penn College. The registration deadline for all of the camps, whether day camps or residential, is Friday, June 2.

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Penn College Displays Excitingly Enhance STEM Expo

Instructor (and 2013 alumna) Kendra N. Tomassacci shares her passion and expertise in computer aided drafting and design.

Penn College was well-represented at the recent Girls Exploring Tomorrow’s Technology event at West Chester East High School, offering hands-on glimpses into “Taste of Sweet & Savory Technology” and “3-D Printing in Engineering and Industrial Design.” Students, faculty and staff from the schools of Business & Hospitality and Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies, as well as the college’s Admissions Office, gave fifth- to 10th-grade girls a memorably experiential entree into career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

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Online Learning Options at Penn College Offer Enhanced Flexibility

Penn College offers a beautiful, modern campus in Williamsport, but for students who need the flexibility of online programs, the college provides a variety of options.

Pennsylvania College of Technology is renowned for its “degrees that work,” and for those needing additional flexibility to attain a degree from the college, online options abound.

Online learning at Penn College offers more choices to students who are balancing work and family responsibilities. The offerings feature the same academic rigor and accreditation as on-campus programs, but there is no requirement to ever attend class on the campus in Williamsport. Online students may choose to enroll full time or part time.

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Alliance With Chocolate-Maker Sweetens Students’ Education

A partnership with Guittard Chocolate Co., the oldest continuously family-owned and -operated chocolate-making business in the United States – and exclusive chocolate provider to the college’s School of Business & Hospitality – is giving Penn College students and eye-opening and mouth-watering appreciation for quality. “I love their chocolate,” said Natascha G. Santaella, an applied management student from Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. “I know the difference between like having a really good chocolate and having just like an OK chocolate.” Laura Tornichio-Vidal, northeast territory sales manager, who provided students with a primer on production and tasting in a February visit to campus, said Guittard prides itself on collaborating with the top schools across the country. “What I really appreciate about working with Penn College is that the program is top-notch from beginning to end,” she explained.

Penn College Students to Feed Hungry Fans at Kentucky Derby

Penn College student Kori A. Treaster, of Lewistown, staffs a kitchen at Churchill Downs as she helps prepare food for guests at the 2016 running of the Kentucky Derby. Treaster and 27 other Penn College students will return for Derby Week in May.

Twenty-eight Pennsylvania College of Technology students have been selected by Levy Restaurants to help serve an expected crowd of more than 160,000 at the 2017 running of the storied Kentucky Derby on May 6.

The Derby, an icon of Southern tradition, is the longest-running sporting event in the United States, first run at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1875 before a crowd of 10,000. The race has continued each year since, despite world wars and the Great Depression.

Penn College students, who will be accompanied by Chef Charles R. Niedermyer, instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts at the college, have served Derby Week internships for more than 25 years. Churchill Downs Executive Chef David Danielson and representatives of Levy Restaurants, which manages food operations at the track, came to campus in February to interview students.

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Speaker Recommends ‘Cyberhygiene’ to Foil Hackers’ Dirty Work

The crime scene at our fingertips, whether the instrument or the victim of attack

A mix of students, community members and past Colloquia speakers are on hand for Ebersole's instructive talk.

The speaker shows a "ransomware" pop-up, which extorts money from an Internet user facing encryption of computer files. Although the message purports to be from the FBI, Ebersole promised that authorities wouldn't deal so cavalierly with those accessing child pornography. They "won't be emailing you and asking you to pay the paltry sum of $200."

An Internet crimefighter and part-time accounting instructor at Penn College, speaking Tuesday in Klump Academic Center Auditorium, advocated “cyberhygiene” to protect our billions of connected devices – and our personal information – from being compromised. William E. Ebersole delivered the final lecture in the 2016-17 Technology & Society Colloquia Series, “Cyberattacks: The Weapon of Choice of Criminals, Terrorists and Spies.” Recalling the mid-1980s movie, “War Games,” in which a teenager nearly brings about nuclear catastrophe by accidentally accessing a military supercomputer, he said real-life hackers are much more focused, persistent, deliberate and sophisticated. And after several examples of their nefarious handiwork, including a widespread credit-card breach at Target stores and a three-day interruption of electrical and telephone service in Ukraine, Ebersole provided valuable counteractive tips. That advice included using strong passwords and changing them often, limiting what information is posted online, watching for unauthorized devices connected to home networks, being vigilant about children’s web activity, and keeping current on upgrading software and installing security patches. Ebersole had high praise for the college’s information assurance and cyber security curriculum, which he said is helping to feed the growing need for competent technicians. Whatever their major, though, he emphasized that all students can practice safe computing, and he especially urged them to consider the ramifications on viable job-seekers from the Internet’s long-term memory. “Don’t put something crazy on social media to knock you out of the picture,” he said.

Culinary Giants Join Forces for 25th Anniversary Visiting Chef

In early April, Pennsylvania College of Technology will celebrate the 25th anniversary of its Visiting Chef Series with the return, for the seventh time, of “Louisiana’s culinary ambassador to the world,” Chef John Folse, along with Folse’s renowned restaurant partner Chef Rick Tramonto, internationally heralded Pastry Chef Donald Wressell, and Chef Elaine Gardner, a 2011 Penn College graduate who has already made a name in Philadelphia’s food industry.

During their stay, the chefs will offer book talks for the public, share insights in classrooms and work alongside students to prepare an elegant, five-course fundraising dinner in the college’s Le Jeune Chef Restaurant.

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‘Italian Pasticceria’ Sale Set for Wednesday

Say "Hello" to continental confections!

Cannoli among the day's featured desserts

Fresh fruit tarts are also on the menu.

Chef Charles R. Niedermyer II’s Advanced Baking and Pastry Operations class will hold an “Italian Pasticceria” sale from 10 a.m.-noon Wednesday, March 29, in Le Jeune Patissier at the Market (in the West Third Street hallway of the Carl Building Technologies Center). Student managers for the sale are baking and pastry arts majors Crystal A. Calaman, of Dushore; Nathan Diaz and Alexis L. Kepley, of Reading; Alesha A. Dunlap, of Worthington; and Ally T. Monborne, of Williamsport. More details, including a product list and details/deadlines for ordering a specially decorated double-layer cake, follow: Italian Pasticceria

‘How Do You Solve a Problem With No One Right Answer?’

A new “Your Class in 60 Seconds” video visits the Supervisor and Human Relations course of Summer L. Bukeavich, a faculty member in Penn College’s School of Business & Hospitality. Through a mix of individual instruction, small-group interaction and class discussion, students apply what they learn to build the best possible solution to the situation at hand. “Our instructor challenges us, giving us difficult personnel problems we have to solve,” says Alexander C. McDonnell, a business administration: management concentration major from Brookhaven. “Unlike lecture, managers are thrown into trying situations. Through this class, we simulate various workplace scenarios and prepare to tackle these supervisory issues with a hands-on approach. We learn. We play games. We argue. We debrief and we become comfortable in uncomfortable situations.”

Get a Jump on Your Future at Penn College’s April 1 Open House

The modern Pennsylvania College of Technology campus will host prospective students and their families for an Open House on Saturday, April 1, during which visitors can explore 100-plus academic majors in a variety of career fields.

For more than 100 years, Pennsylvania College of Technology and its predecessors have tailored their curricular offerings to students’ dreams and employers’ needs. That responsiveness to businesses and their future employees – and the flexibility to foresee tomorrow’s jobs – will be on ample display at the college’s April 1 Open House.

All of the institution’s newest opportunities, as well as the rewarding careers in time-tested fields, will be available to visitors at the college.

“Open House is such a great opportunity for students and their families to experience what makes Penn College such a unique place to learn,” said Claire Z. Biggs, coordinator of admissions events and services. “Through countless activities, prospective students will get an insider’s glimpse of life as a Penn College student.”

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Hollywood-Themed ‘Murder Mystery Dinner’ Held in PDC

Cast members riotously play their parts ...

... and interact with dinner patrons enlisted to help get to the heart of the mystery.

Cydney L. Ginter, a legal assistant/paralegal major from Altoona – assuming a "Princess Leia" persona for the event – takes part in a spirited "Rock, Paper, Scissors" duel.

Ditchfield (background), instructor of hospitality management/culinary arts, and students from the School of Business & Hospitality

April R. and Stephen A. Manley, sporting name tags identifying them as Betty Boop and Christopher Walken, decipher clues at the table. (Stephen is the executive chef at the college's Le Jeune Chef Restaurant.)

The Penn College community recently joined the Student Activities Office for “Lights! Camera! Murder!” a Hollywood whodunit in the Thompson Professional Development Center’s Mountain Laurel Room. Attendees of the mystery dinner, many of them adopting celebrity or character aliases for the evening, were called upon to navigate an intricate web of deception and crack the red-carpet killing. To supplement the crime-solving fun, Chef Michael J. Ditchfield and his catering students from the School of Business & Hospitality put together a movie-themed menu that included “Pirates of the Caribbean Shrimp Salad,” Chicken Oscar and “50 Shades Chocolate Decadence Cake.”
Photos by Tia G. La, student photographer