News about Business & Hospitality Management

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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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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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.

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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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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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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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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‘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.”

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

Internship Takes Student Behind Scenes of PA Pro Soccer Team

Jared M. Dancho

This spring, a Pennsylvania College of Technology student is taking one more step toward a career dream to work in the sports industry.

Jared M. Dancho, of Catawissa, is studying business administration with a management concentration. With an internship in the Harrisburg City Islanders’ fan development department, he is gaining valuable real-world experience that will help him prepare for work in that field.

“I’ve always wanted to work in sports, and that’s the reason I’m pursuing a management degree,” Dancho said. “I had heard about the City Islanders when I was younger and was always interested in working for a pro soccer team.”

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