News about Business & Hospitality

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

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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Spilling the Beans on Chocolate’s Trek From Cacao to Kitchen

Laura Tornichio-Vidal, northeast territory sales manager for Guittard Chocolate Co., makes a return trip to Penn College to conduct an educational chocolate tasting.

Jahyah J. Barbour, a culinary arts technology student from Chambersburg, and Ashley R. Potrzebowski, a culinary arts technology student from Williamsport, show the star of the afternoon’s presentation …

… a tray of chocolates with such varieties as criollo, trinitario and forester.

Chef Charles R. Niedermyer, instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts, helps to guide the tasting.

Katlyn J. Hackling, who is pursuing degrees in both culinary arts and systems and baking and pastry arts, initiates the first step in chocolate tasting by evaluating its color tone.

The Guittard Chocolate Co.’s Laura Tornichio-Vidal visited the college’s hospitality department on Friday, offering a lesson in chocolate production and tasting. During the hourlong presentation, Tornichio-Vidal – who is the northeast territory sales manager for Guittard – walked students through the complex journey of a cacao bean, from its pollination on a cacao tree by the tiny midge fly, to the care taken by farmers as they harvest, ferment and then sun-dry the beans before delivering them to port, often by mule or handcart. Each harvest is small, grown on farms of 10 acres or less, Tornichio-Vidal explained. She also guided the students through the technique of chocolate tasting – an evaluation that will help them determine what chocolate to employ in various uses. She advised the students to first consider a chocolate’s color, then its “snap” when broken or bitten into, then its aroma, and finally its taste. The students tasted chocolates from Venezuela, Ecuador, Colombia and Madagascar. Guittard donates all of the chocolate used in Penn College’s hospitality majors.

Campus Science Festival Entertains as It Inspires

Prospective members of Penn College's Class of 202? enjoy an educational day out of the classroom and onto an engaging campus.

More than 1,500 fifth-graders from nearly a dozen local and area school districts participated in Thursday’s sixth annual Science Festival at Penn College, gaining hands-on insight into a host of related careers. The youngsters were treated to a variety of captivating campus demonstrations during the day, and families were invited to a Field House full of attractions during the three-hour evening session.

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Families Invited for Night of Hands-On Science

Pennsylvania College of Technology physics professor David S. Richards uses visual aids to talk about past U.S. space missions during a previous Science Festival at the college.

Hands-on science fun is the focus of an evening designed for local families on Thursday, Feb. 16, in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Field House.

The college will team up with Lycoming College and the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce to offer the city’s sixth annual Science Festival from 5 to 8 p.m.

The event features hands-on activities geared toward elementary and middle school students and their families, presented by local businesses and organizations, including school and college-affiliated groups. The event is intended to make learning fun and to stimulate children’s interest in math, science and exciting careers in related fields.

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Penn College Hospitality Students Share Stages With Pro-Level Peers

Students Tessa M. Stambaugh and Arielle E. White plate samples for Farm Show visitors.

Students in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s hospitality-related majors recently showcased their skills on two noteworthy stages, one group working alongside industry leaders at the Pennsylvania Farm Show, and the other interacting and providing demonstrations for professional-level peers at the Philadelphia National Candy, Gift and Gourmet Show.

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College Connections Abound at Competitive Culinary Benefit

Kelly, Logue and Kasler (from left), at home in the Herman & Luther's kitchen ...

... adroitly staking out turf from which to create their masterworks.

From left, judges Daniele, Ditchfield and Nash enjoy the competition.

Tantalizing talent on display

A trio of chefs at Herman & Luther’s – all of them graduates of Penn College’s culinary arts and systems major – competed in a “Chopped”-style event at the rustic venue along Route 87 near Montoursville on Saturday. George E. Logue III, a 2010 alumnus, emerged victorious against challengers Patrick J. Kelly II (2015) and Christopher S. Kasler (2016), with a portion of the proceeds earmarked for suicide prevention. Judges for the sold-out event were Chef Michael J. Ditchfield, instructor of hospitality management/culinary arts, and former adjunct faculty members and restaurateurs Alfredo F. Daniele and Kevin G. Nash.
Photos provided

Alumna Establishes Scholarship for Hospitality Students

An alumna and longtime adviser of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s hospitality department has established a scholarship to benefit students pursuing careers in the same field.

The Diane L. Dorner Scholarship will benefit first- and second-year students in several of Penn College’s hospitality-related majors: culinary arts and systems, culinary arts technology, hospitality management, and business administration: sport and event management concentration.

Dorner graduated from Williamsport Area Community College, Penn College’s immediate predecessor, in 1979 with an associate degree in food and hospitality management. She is district manager for Carrols LLC, a Burger King franchisee that operates more than 700 restaurants in 16 states.

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