News about Business & Hospitality

Culinary Student Featured on ‘Home & Backyard’ Series

Peirce A. Connelly

Culinary arts and systems student Peirce A. Connelly was featured on Saturday’s episode of WNEP’s “Home & Backyard” television series, sharing well-learned kitchen tips. Host Jackie Lewandowski visited Front Street Station in Northumberland, where Connelly is completing an internship. During the seven-minute segment, the young chef, who’s been working at Front Street Station for more than seven years, discussed the restaurant’s offerings and showed his kitchen know-how while he taught viewers to prepare chicken cacciatore, a Front Street Station specialty. “I am studying under the kitchen manager as well as the owner, learning things ‘that they won’t teach you in culinary school,’ as (the) owner would say. But in all reality, the school most certainly set me up for success,” Connelly said. “I am learning how we do our ordering, purchasing and recovering, prepping for banquets, coming up with specials, as well general line-cook duties. I am very glad that Penn College allowed me to do my internship at the place I had been working.” Connelly’s “on-camera” work as a student has also included helping with demonstrations on the Culinary Connection stage at the Pennsylvania Farm Show. Connelly, of Northumberland, plans to graduate in August.

Faculty Member Named One of Top 10 Pastry Chefs in America

Niedermyer accepts applause as he's announced among the Top 10 honorees.

A Pennsylvania College of Technology faculty member has received one of the highest honors bestowed on pastry chefs: a spot among Dessert Professional Magazine’s Top 10 Pastry Chefs in America.

Chef Charles R. Niedermyer, of State College, an instructor of baking and pastry arts and culinary arts, was named to the 2017 Top Ten list by Dessert Professional publisher Matthew Stevens and editor Tish Boyle, who selected honorees based on their talent, creativity, contributions to the industry and dedication to creating high-quality confections.

Read more

Last updated June 6, 2017 | Posted in Alumni, Baking, Pastry & Culinary Arts, Business & Hospitality, Faculty & Staff, Students | This gallery contains 3 photos. | Tagged as | Leave a comment

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.

Niedermyer Among Nation’s Top Pastry Chefs

Chef Charles R. Niedermyer

Chef Charles R. Niedermyer II, instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts, has been named among the 2017 Top 10 Pastry Chefs in America by Dessert Professional Magazine. The magazine’s publisher, Matthew Stevens, and editor, Tish Boyle, selected the honorees based on their talent, creativity, contributions to the industry and dedication to creating high-quality confections. Niedermyer earned a degree in baking and pastry arts from the college in 2000, later followed by a degree in technology management. Before returning to teach at the college, he spent several years practicing his craft in the hotel, restaurant and bakery industries, including work for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. In recent years, he was named a finalist for Team USA, which competed at the Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie (World Cup of Bread) in Paris, and received awards from Penn College for Excellence in Teaching and Excellence in Academic Advising. Dessert Professional Magazine is the nation’s leading food service publication for the chocolate, pastry, cake, artisan bread and frozen desserts industries. Making its Top 10 list is a pinnacle achievement for pastry chefs. Niedermyer will be honored at a reception in New York City in June and featured in the August issue of Dessert Professional.

Students Gain Experience, Help Community Through VITA

Penn College’s Michael D. Shipman, left, instructor of business administration/accounting, reviews tax policy with student Joshua D. Lyman, of Williamsport. Lyman is one of 16 Penn College students certified by the IRS to offer free tax help to the community through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.

Pennsylvania College of Technology students offered free assistance to about 160 taxpayers this spring, helping them to realize close to $170,000 in income-tax refunds.

Sixteen Penn College students took part in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, an initiative of the IRS that offers free tax help to people who generally make $54,000 or less, or those who may need assistance preparing their own returns because of a disability or language barrier.

All but two of the students are enrolled in the course Income Taxation of Individuals, taught by Michael D. Shipman, instructor of business administration/accounting. They are pursuing degrees in accounting, legal assistant paralegal, and business administration: banking and finance concentration.

Read more

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.”

Read more

Penn College Announces Spring Food Show Winners

A water lily-inspired cake by Penn College student Rachel A. Henninger, of Bellefonte, took first place among entries in the Cakes and Decorations course at the college’s Spring Food Show.

Pennsylvania College of Technology announced winners of its Spring Food Show, a showcase of food artistry and expertise by students in the college’s hospitality majors.

The show included final projects by students in Advanced Baking Applications for Culinary Arts, who showed high-end plated desserts; Advanced Garde Manger, who produced cold-food platters and charcuterie boards; Cakes and Decorations, who decorated plant-inspired two-tier cakes; Culinary Senior Project; and Hospitality Beverage Management Service and Controls.

Read more

Last updated May 9, 2017 | Posted in Alumni, Baking, Pastry & Culinary Arts, Business & Hospitality, Events, Faculty & Staff, Students | This gallery contains 23 photos. | Tagged as |

College’s Hydroponic Garden Yields Vegetables, Inspiration

Plant production students at Penn College are at the forefront of the “buy local, eat fresh” movement, thanks to the hydroponic garden at the college’s Schneebeli Earth Science Center. As assistant professor of horticulture Dennis P. Skinner explains, their cross-curricular collaboration culminates in the dishes crafted by culinary arts students in Le Jeune Chef Restaurant on campus. Along the way, the horticulture/landscape technology majors get a sense of something larger than themselves. “I think that’s one of the things that drives them,” Skinner says. “They want to be part of a community; they want to give back or provide, rather than being takers.”

Interning at an Icon

Chef Virginia Willis, an acclaimed food writer, James Beard Award winner and editor at-large for Southern Living, arrived Thursday and paused for a photo with Chef Charles R. Niedermyer, instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts. Students assigned to “The Mansion,” an exclusive Churchill Downs venue that attracts the rich and famous, will work alongside Willis.

On their first day at Churchill Downs, students unpack chocolate bars as they begin preparing 4,000 bourbon-caramel s’mores.

Students take photos at the iconic site, where they were hired to serve a weeklong internship by Levy Restaurants, which manages food operations at Churchill Downs. Levy representatives visited campus to conduct interviews with the students.

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.

Students in several majors are working hard this week throughout Churchill Downs as the facility – and horseracing fans already onsite – gear up for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby. The students are stationed in kitchens and luxury suites to prepare food and help serve guests. While Derby Week encompasses a variety of events at the Downs throughout the week, including the Kentucky Oaks race for fillies on Friday, the main event, scheduled for 6:46 p.m. Saturday, is expected to attract more than 170,000 guests.
Photos provided

Students Tip Cap(stone) to Scholarship Donors in Sweet Fashion

The 15-member Pastry Food Show and Buffet Presentation Concepts class

A Grand Pastry Buffet was the centerpiece for the college’s annual scholarship reception, which offers an opportunity for recipients of the more than 200 Penn College scholarships to mingle with and thank those who have funded the scholarships. The event, held Sunday, is the final project for students in the Pastry Food Show and Buffet Presentation Concepts course. For the event, the students synthesized skills they’ve learned throughout their collegiate career, each contributing a sugar art centerpiece, a chocolate sculpture, a cake and a platter of bite-sized confections. As a team, they chose the event’s theme – Earth, Air, Water and Fire – and exercised their event-planning know-how. The course is taught by Chef Todd M. Keeley, instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts. Participating students and their hometowns are: Merissa N. Aucker, of Middleburg; Crystal A. Calaman, of Dushore; Danielle L. Cannon, of Drums; Nathan Diaz, of Reading; Alesha A. Dunlap, of Worthington; Alexis L. Kepley, of Reading; Danielle M. McGuire, of Quakertown; Ally T. Monborne, of Williamsport; Natascha G. Santaella, of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico; Lloyd A. Shope, of Blanchard; Andrea L. Solenberger, of Harrisburg; Keegan D. Sonney, of Erie; Sarah I. Tielmann, of Tatamy; Katie M. Weakland, of Pennsylvania Furnace; and Adelyn A. Zimmerman, of Orwigsburg.

Read more

Last updated May 3, 2017 | Posted in Baking, Pastry & Culinary Arts, Business & Hospitality, Institutional Advancement, Scholarships, Students | This gallery contains 24 photos. | Tagged as |

Penn College Spring Commencement Ceremonies Set for May 12-13

Pennsylvania College of Technology will hold three commencement ceremonies May 12-13 at the Community Arts Center in Williamsport for the more than 900 students who have petitioned to graduate following the Spring 2017 semester.

More than 900 students have petitioned to graduate following the Spring 2017 semester at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

Three commencement ceremonies will be offered on May 12-13 at the Community Arts Center, 220 W. Fourth St., Williamsport, with more than 780 students expected to march.

At 3 p.m. on Friday, May 12, a ceremony will be held for students from the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies and the School of Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications.

On Saturday, May 13, two ceremonies are scheduled. At 10 a.m., students from the School of Construction & Design Technologies and the School of Health Sciences will receive their degrees. At 1:30 p.m., a ceremony will be offered for students from the School of Business & Hospitality and the School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies.

Read more

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.”

Read more

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.

Read more

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