News about Construction & Design Technologies

Civil engineer honored with Alumni Achievement Award

Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour (left) presented the Alumni Achievement Award to Margaret A. Jackson at the college’s Fall 2018 commencement ceremony Dec. 22.

A civil engineer who is serving as a project manager for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s $670 million Central Susquehanna Valley Transportation project was honored with an Alumni Achievement Award at Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Fall 2018 commencement ceremonies, held Dec. 22 at the Community Arts Center.

Margaret A. “Maggie” Jackson, who earned a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering technology from Penn College in 2008, is co-managing PennDOT’s CSVT project, a long-anticipated initiative to enhance the busy Route 15 corridor in Central Pennsylvania. Expected to be completed in the mid-2020s, the project comprises nearly 13 miles of a new four-lane, limited-access highway crossing three counties and a massive, 4,545-foot-long bridge over the West Branch of the Susquehanna River south of Lewisburg.

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Farm Show offers ‘inspiring’ look at college’s varied majors

School of Business & Hospitality majors from Penn College take part in a Student Cooking Challenge at the 2018 Pennsylvania Farm Show. All six of the college’s academic schools will again be represented at the Jan. 5-12 event, the nation’s largest indoor agricultural expo. (Photo by Davey Rudy)

Throngs of visitors will soon converge on Harrisburg to celebrate the commonwealth’s agricultural prominence, and Pennsylvania College of Technology students and employees will be there to help honor the event’s 2019 theme of “Inspiring Pennsylvania’s Story.”

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Concrete industry welcomes tomorrow’s workforce

Apropos the hands-on education in their school of choice, Penn College students were granted access to real-world equipment.

Students and faculty oblige their hosts for a fun photo op.

Penn College construction majors traveled to Malvern this month for an eye-opening perspective on the commercial concrete industry. Instructors Franklin H. Reber and Harry W. Hintz Jr. accompanied students from their Concrete Construction (BCT238) classes on a visit to Forcine Concrete & Construction Co. “The company took a lot of consideration into the presentation of what they do,” said Josh E. Rosenberger, of Chambersburg, a residential construction technology and management: building construction technology concentration major. “We got our hands on everything from power trowels to pump trucks to total stations. We sat through several information sessions throughout the day pertaining to Forcine and its sister company, Durable Surfaces. Coming from a residential background, I was flabbergasted to hear that they pour over 1,000 yards of concrete per day with a crew of five or six.” Students were permitted to operate equipment – both at headquarters and at a nearby site where a pour had just occurred – and were given an extensive tour of the facility. “Forcine Concrete is very encouraged to finally have found a partner in Penn College that is teaching the next generation work skills that we can utilize in our growing industry,” said Derek Cressman, president of Durable Surfaces, who, given the caliber of students that visited, said company officials look forward to maintaining the relationship with the college. Of the students in attendance, five are enrolled in the concrete science technology major that began during the just-ended Fall 2018 semester (and can be completed in only one year beyond a building construction technology degree). The first cohort of students from the new major will enter their internship experience this summer.
Photos provided

Civil engineering major earns one of four $2,000 awards

Derek M. Grose, of Watsontown, a civil engineering technology student at Penn College, has received a $2,000 award from the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Central Pennsylvania Section.

A civil engineering technology student at Pennsylvania College of Technology is one of four to be recognized by the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Central Pennsylvania Section for outstanding academic achievement.

Among those presented with a $2,000 check at the section’s November dinner meeting, marking the 27th time that the awards have been presented, was Derek M. Grose, of Watsontown. Grose earned an associate degree in surveying technology in May and is scheduled to add a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering technology at the end of the Spring 2019 semester.

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PCCA lends helping, heartfelt hand

Representing the Penn College Construction Association, School of Construction & Design Technologies students and faculty deliver on a service project. Seated (from left) are Michael J. Deragon, of Fort Washington; Kachine L. Fry, of Butler; and Anthony B. Harris, of Reading. Back row (from left) are Barney A. Kahn IV, building construction technology instructor; Hayden N. Beiter, of Williamsport; Matthew M. Hober, of Basking Ridge, N.J.; and Jared J. Stiefel, of Norristown.

A holiday wish by the Ronald McDonald House in Danville Inc. –  a home away from home for families with ill children – has been granted by the Penn College Construction Association, which purchased the materials, then designed, constructed and donated a picnic table for the facility’s playground. “PCCA did an amazing job and created a picnic table and seating for our families to enjoy during the warm weather. However, the faculty and students’ kindness goes beyond the picnic table,” RMH executive director Michael J. Turlis said. “They donated a place where families can sit and experience time outside away from the hospital and to gather their thoughts. They donated a place where a family can have a meal together, which allows them to keep a sense of normalcy during a very difficult time of their lives.  They donated a place where families will gather to help each other cope. For these reasons, we cannot express our gratitude enough to the Penn College Construction Association!”
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Stormwater-response projects signal students’ time to shine

Campus RainWorks 2018Four teams of students from Rob A. Wozniak’s Architectural Design Studio II (ACH261) class, one of which has officially entered its project in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s seventh annual Campus RainWorks competition, this week presented inventive and attractive proposals for green infrastructure to better manage stormwater.

All of the students are enrolled in architectural technology or building science and sustainable design: architectural technology concentration. Each group gave a 20-minute presentation of its project, followed by Q&A from an impromptu panel of judges.

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Both Penn College teams place in regional student competition

The second-place Design-Build Team that represented Penn College is (from left) David H. Guarriello, Bethlehem; Adam Z. Hutchinson, Greensburg; Chekota J. Newhart, Troy; Lauren S. Herr, Litiz; Rachel E. White, Doylestown; and Derick S. Gower, Sunbury.

Two teams of Pennsylvania College of Technology students finished strongly among the 22 institutions in the 29th annual Associated Schools of Construction Region 1 Student Competition held Nov. 8-10 in Albany, New York.

The college’s Design-Build Team, charged with developing and constructing a STEM expansion at one of New England’s premier boarding schools, placed second. Its Commercial Team, challenged to provide a new Development Center on the Providence College campus, placed third in the competition.

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A lion’s share of knowledge

Tape measure at the ready, Andrew R. Hurd, a building construction technology student from Spring Mills, assesses a visitor's block-laying performance.

Luse shares pointers with Julia R. Straub, a Penn State student well-acquainted with construction through her family's experience in the field. "I've been playing with plumbing since I was 8," she said, "but they never let me do the dirty work." Until now, that is!

Highly visible in neon T-shirts, building construction technology majors Ian R. Myers (left), of Morrisdale, and James G. Vile Jr., of Sheffield, supervise several courses of brickwork.

Keith C. Long, of Pitman, leads Penn State students through a longstanding crowd-pleaser: archway construction. Long is enrolled in building construction technology: masonry emphasis.

More than 30 landscape architecture students of David Goldberg and Marc Miller, assistant professors in Penn State’s Stuckeman School, visited the Construction Masonry Building on Thursday. The day’s guests received hands-on instruction in a variety of technique and materials, circulating among work stations and mentored by adept Penn College construction students. Instructors Robert P. Gresko and Glenn R. Luse rotated along with them, sharing encouragement and expertise, and industry supporters aided the cause – including Spec Mix, which is also supplying mortar for the nearby expansion of welding labs. Architecture majors from University Park visit the college’s School of Construction & Design Technologies twice a year, getting practical exposure to the craft involved in bringing their visionary plans into focus.

Penn College helps high schoolers build their future

With a skilled worker shortage presenting a tremendous opportunity for rewarding careers in the construction and design industry, Penn College’s inaugural “PA Build Your Future” event introduced those varied vocational possibilities to hundreds of high school students from throughout the state. Industry exhibitors – as well as college faculty, staff and students – offered participants “hands-on” experiences as a way to explore an exciting future. “If I’m running a company and I’m hiring and I need someone that’s an electrical assembler, I need to hire that person and have him or her start immediately and be as efficient as possible and get up to speed,” says Jeffrey C. Comitz, an applications engineer for Thermal Product Solutions (and a 2016 graduate in heating, ventilation and air conditioning design technology). “The days of, ‘Oh, OK, we’ll teach ’em, they’ll get it eventually’ … they’re over.”

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Future-seekers meet their match at Fall Open House

Savoring an autumn outing and academic exploration

Fall Open House visitors had unfettered access to Penn College’s vibrant campuses Sunday, as today’s faculty/staff, alumni and students provided them with a tantalizing view of a very real and credible tomorrow. All six academic schools put out the welcome mat through information sessions, tours and laboratory demonstrations, and guests were encouraged to explore the institution’s myriad complementary services and activities.

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BE Scholars visit Larson Design Group

Built Environment Scholars tour LDG's Williamsport headquarters ...

... getting a real-world feel for their eventual careers.

The School of Construction & Design Technologies’ second-year cohort of Built Environment Scholars visited Larson Design Group on Tuesday. The 14 students – accompanied by Carol A. Lugg, dean, and Naim N. Jabbour, assistant dean – toured LDG’s newly renovated state-of-the-art office space in Water Tower Square, and had a discussion with project designer (and 2006 architectural technology alumna) Kara Demmien and Vice President Robert Gehr. Topics included the state of architectural practice today, as well as possible future trends, the importance of creating collaborative open environments, and the significance of an interdisciplinary team approach within the construction and design industry. The first-year students have been awarded scholarships through a $1 million National Science Foundation grant that aims to increase retention, graduation and career readiness for enrollees in Penn College’s STEM-focused majors. The 2018-19 class represents architectural technology; building construction technology; civil engineering technology; heating, ventilation and air conditioning technology; and surveying technology.
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Morgan Foundation grant pushes scholarship fund past $1 million

A second gift of $500,000 from the Tamaqua-based John E. Morgan Foundation has boosted an endowed scholarship fund at Pennsylvania College of Technology to more than $1 million.

The John E. Morgan Scholarship gives first preference to graduates of Tamaqua Area High School who are pursuing “a degree that is not readily available from other institutions, at a comparable price, within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”

Examples of such programs offered at Penn College include, but are not limited to, culinary arts and systems, web and interactive media, building science and sustainable design, health information management, industrial design, plastics and polymer engineering technology, emergency management technology, and aviation maintenance technology.

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Hundreds of secondary students attend PA Build My Future

Drilling five wood screws into a board, a student from Northern Tier Career Center attempts to “beat the clock” in a timed Pennsylvania Builder Association contest.

​PA Build My Future – coordinated by Penn College’s Building Construction Technology Department, College Transitions, and the School of Construction & Design Technologies – hosted approximately 800 secondary students and their chaperones on campus Thursday. The day was designed to allow scores of businesses to engage the students through hands-on activities that display the breadth of opportunities in the construction and design industry, from skilled trades to management. Indoor exhibits were in the Carl Building Technologies Center, Hager Lifelong Education Center and Lycoming Engines Metal Trades Center; outdoor exhibits were offered on campus parking lots. WNEP’s Kristina Papa visited campus for the event, which is an outgrowth of a Homebuilding Education Leadership Program grant through the National Housing Endowment. Her report aired during Thursday evening newscasts, beginning at 5:30 p.m.

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Start building a Penn College future at Oct. 28 Open House

The Madigan Library (left) and Bush Campus Center are two of the facilities that visitors to Pennsylvania College of Technology may tour during Fall Open House on Sunday, Oct. 28.

Students looking for a bold next step in their educational journey are encouraged to attend an Oct. 28 Open House at Pennsylvania College of Technology, where “future made by hand” is a template for success.

“Visiting a college campus should be an experience. At Open House, students are able to touch, see and explore their future,” said Claire Z. Biggs, assistant director of admissions. “From the state-of-the-art labs to the knowledgeable faculty and staff, Penn College is the place to be if you want to be a tomorrow maker.”

The college will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for prospective students and their families to explore more than 100 bachelor’s, associate and certificate programs. Free bus service will be available on the main campus in Williamsport, and shuttles will transport guests to and from the nearby Lumley Aviation and Schneebeli Earth Science centers throughout the day.

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The third time’s a charmer!

Enjoying the autumnal alumni evening (from left): Timothy D. Haldeman, ’11, manufacturing engineering technology; Michael D. Ferraiolo, ’10, aviation technology, and ‘11, aviation maintenance technology, and guest, Melyssa McHale; and Whitnie-rae (Mays) Haldeman, ’12, advertising art, and ’14, applied technology studies.

The disparate threads of Homecoming and Parent & Family Weekend were woven together again this fall, producing another seamless tapestry of fun and reconnection for graduates, current students and families. The third annual combined celebration kicked off with a Friday bonfire, tent party and Hall of Fame Banquet; continued Saturday with a presidential breakfast, Williamsport bus and trolley excursions, lab tours, a golf outing and on-campus sporting events, arts and crafts, and an alumni reunion at downtown nightspots; and concluded Sunday with more athletics and a fond farewell (until next year)!

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Penn College is a special mission affiliate of Penn State