News about Construction & Design Technologies

Million-Dollar NSF Grant to Foster Students’ Career Preparedness

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning technology is one of six associate degree majors at the heart of a $1 million career-readiness grant awarded to Pennsylvania College of Technology by the National Science Foundation.

How readily does early exposure to job-shadowing and internships translate into career success for today’s college students? That’s the million-dollar question to be answered by a National Science Foundation grant newly awarded to Pennsylvania College of Technology.

Administered by the foundation’s Division of Undergraduate Education’s Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, the $1 million in multiyear funding aims to increase retention, degree completion and career readiness for students representing six STEM-focused, associate-degree majors in Penn College’s School of Construction & Design Technologies.

The students – to be identified as Built Environment Scholars – will be chosen each year on the basis of financial need as identified by a scholarship selection committee among a pool of academically talented applicants.

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Grads Pave Way for Vital New Highway

Jackson and Wise survey the expansive project site ...

... a literally groundbreaking opportunity to untangle a decades-old traffic snarl.

Two Penn College civil engineering graduates – David Wise, ’92, and Maggie Jackson, ’08 – are helping to lead the $670 million Central Susquehanna Valley Transportation Project, one of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s largest undertakings. Wise is a construction manager for PennDOT, and Jackson is the design project engineer. Both rely on their Penn College background as they work on the 13-mile limited access highway that will alleviate a problem faced for 40 years: congestion and heavy truck traffic through Shamokin Dam. “Here’s the largest construction project that I know of in the state and here are two Penn College graduates that are right at the top of the list in making this whole project work, and that’s pretty significant,” said state Sen. Gene Yaw, who also chairs the college’s board of directors. “They should be pretty proud of their own accomplishments because we can do all these things at the college and train them and everything, but I think it’s incumbent upon the individual to go out and use the skills they’ve learned … and these two people obviously have. And we’re really excited about them.”
– Photos by Tom Speicher, writer/video editor

Concrete Science Technology Major to Debut in Fall 2018

The specialized properties of one of the world's most popular construction materials will be conveyed in a new two-year major – concrete science technology – to begin in Fall 2018 at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

A two-year major in the opportunity-rich field of concrete science technology will be offered at Pennsylvania College of Technology – the only program of its kind on the East Coast – beginning in the Fall 2018 semester.

The new associate degree, to be available through the college’s School of Construction & Design Technologies, will prepare students to succeed in the production and analytical evaluation of concrete, as well as the applications, aggregate selection, and admixture techniques and products specific to the concrete industry.

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Eight Penn College Students Medal in National Competition

SkillsUSA

Eight students from the widest variety of academic majors ever to represent Pennsylvania College of Technology at the National Leadership and Skills Conference returned home with medals – including first-time successes in three competitive areas.

The contingent took one of three top places in five categories, and this year marked the first time that Penn College entrants medaled in Computer Programming, TeamWorks and Welding Sculpture.

“This really goes to show how well-prepared the students are from their respective fields and how great our instructors are here at the college. This is, by far, the most diverse group of students I’ve had go to the national competition,” said SkillsUSA adviser James N. Colton II, an assistant professor of welding. “The national skills competition gives us a chance to showcase our technical skills and show everyone why we’re a leader in applied technology.”

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Working Hand-in-Hand to Make Mementos

With materials arrayed before him and classmates waiting their turn behind him, Ghazi sets the pace for hands-on learning.

With determination and drive – and, of course, safety glasses – woodworker Sidney gets the job done.

Bella helps craft a keepsake.

Marc the Mentor gets a guiding hand from Harrison.

The dean and his morning construction team show off their assembly-line output.

Six youngsters from the Dunham Children’s Learning Center traveled down the hall and rounded the corner into a School of Construction & Design Technologies carpentry lab on Thursday morning, confidently wrapping their smaller hands around a “big people” power tool. Marc E. Bridgens, dean of the school, built an instant rapport with his summertime guests – then helped them assemble Penn College-branded toolboxes as souvenirs of their visit.

Presidential Road Trip Ensures Wildcats’ Spot in Grad Lineup

Evan M. Woods (left) and Kyle H. Fox receive their diplomas Sunday from President Davie Jane Gilmour.

Two Penn College baseball players, unable to attend commencement due to North Eastern Athletic Conference playoffs in Lewisburg, were awarded their diplomas prior to Sunday’s championship game. President Davie Jane Gilmour traveled to Bucknell University’s Depew Field, where the Wildcats –  including catcher Evan M. Woods, of Clymer, New York, and pitcher/infielder Kyle H. Fox, of Fleetwood – were set to take on Penn State Berks in the tournament finale. Woods graduated with high honors and an associate degree in heating, ventilation and air conditioning technology; Fox graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in manufacturing engineering technology.
Photo by Elliott Strickland, chief student affairs officer 

Penn College’s ‘Working Class’ TV Series Earns Second Telly Award

"Working Class" earns second Telly Award“Working Class: Build & Grow Green,” produced by Pennsylvania College of Technology and WVIA Public Media, has earned a 2017 Bronze Telly Award.

It is the second episode produced for the “Working Class” public television series and the second to win a Bronze Telly. “Working Class: Dream & Do” earned the award in 2016.

Acknowledged as a premier award for film and video productions, the Telly Award honors outstanding local, regional and cable programming. The 37th annual competition in 2017 considered more than 12,000 entries from all 50 states and five continents.

“As a national leader in applied technology education, Penn College has earned a reputation for combining academics with practical, hands-on education that prepares students to enter and advance in the world of work,” said Davie Jane Gilmour, president of the college. “The award-winning ‘Working Class’ series allows us to share our mission and passion for inspired learning with a public television audience.”

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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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Native Wood Species ‘Spruce Up’ Campus Dining Unit

A new piece of wooden wall art adds a touch of Penn College character to the Keystone Dining Room, not far from the river, where logs were floated by the millions to Williamsport sawmills.

From left: Peter Kruppenbacher, assistant professor of building construction technology, and students Zachary Ridall, Aaron White and Tyler Arthur, who helped to design the piece.

Students cut, sanded and assembled native wood: pine, spruce, oak, cherry and walnut, to design the wall hanging.

Five students in Peter Kruppenbacher’s Woodworking – Art, Craft and Design course brought the vision of Dining Services Director Crissy L. McGinness to life this semester when they completed a piece of wood wall art for the Keystone Dining Room. McGinness has been working with students from various corners of campus to produce artwork for the college’s dining areas, letting their craftsmanship – and the materials of their fields – add a touch of true Penn College character to the eateries. The latest installment was inspired by photos that McGinness sent to Kruppenbacher. The finished piece includes Pennsylvania wood products: pine, spruce, oak, cherry and walnut. The frame is made of poplar. The bulk of the work was completed by Tyler M. Arthur, a manufacturing engineering technology student from  Fleetwood; Liam M. McCay, an applied technology studies student from Bloomsburg; and residential construction technology and management students Nicholas D. Gieger, of Dingmans Ferry,  Zachary J. Ridall, of Berwick; and Aaron F. White, of Westover. Woodworking – Art, Craft and Design (CCM 140) is an applied arts elective available to students in any major.

Minority Student Scholarship Established at Penn College

Current, former students establish minority scholarship fund.

Current and former Pennsylvania College of Technology students who were members of the student organization Minorities Lending Knowledge have established The Start to Finish Minority Student Scholarship at the college.

The students are: Kacie L. Weaver, of Harrisburg, a 2016 alumna who earned a bachelor’s degree in applied human services; Kyani L. Lawrence, a former applied human services student from 2013-16 who transferred to a college in her hometown of New Rochelle, New York; and Wilmer I. Clase, of Lancaster, a building science and sustainable design: architectural technology concentration student who is set to graduate with a bachelor’s degree this month.

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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.

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Where Child’s Play Meets Meaningful Work

With a work ethic befitting her T-shirt (which reads “Try to Keep Up”) a girl lays brick after brick.

A child smooths yellow-dyed concrete to cast a stepping stone.

“Jordan B.” carefully adds a brick to an archway. Twenty of 20 arches built throughout the morning remained intact when the wooden form was extracted.

Girls who didn’t hesitate to get their hands dirty share a sandy high-five.

After a morning of hands-on learning that would make any parent proud, the group gathers for a photo.

A group of more than 35 youngsters gathered in the Construction Masonry Building on Thursday for Penn College’s celebration of Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. Before spending the afternoon shadowing their parents, the children learned about careers in masonry, courtesy of the School of Construction & Design Technologies. With help from a legion of students, faculty members Glenn R. Luse, instructor of construction masonry, and Franklin H. Reber, instructor of building construction technology, taught the visitors to make colored concrete stepping stones, lay a straight and sturdy wall of brick, artistically apply stone to a wall, and construct gravity-defying brick archways. Following cleanup and the distribution of certificates in the CMB by dean of construction and design technologies Marc E. Bridgens, student ambassadors led the group on a tour of campus before they headed to lunch in the Capitol Eatery. The event is sponsored by the President’s Office and Human Resources.

WTI Reunion Takes Grads on Round Trip Through History

Enjoying the Aviation Center surroundings are John Hertel, (left) ’48, agricultural equipment and repair, and ‘49, electric and acetylene welding, and Ralph Mills, ’58, plumbing.

The Lumley Aviation Center proved to be a popular venue for Friday’s 17th annual reunion for graduates of Williamsport Technical Institute, a Penn College predecessor from 1941-65. Alumni and their guests, totaling about 75 attendees, enjoyed swapping stories, savoring lunch and listening to remarks by President Davie Jane Gilmour. Presentations on forestry, industrial design, athletics and veterans affairs were also on the agenda. Forest technology students Nicholas J. Fedele and Nancy M. Summers shared their passions for the major, as did Erich R. Doebler, laboratory assistant for forest technology. Discussing exciting activities in industrial design were students Dwight D. Alexander, Sean P. Christy and Brett F. Warkoski, and their professor, Thomas E. Ask. Offering insights into the college’s evolving athletics efforts were John D. Vandevere, director of athletics; Lauren S. Herr, a women’s soccer student-athlete enrolled in construction management; and Chris H. Howard, head baseball coach. Chet Beaver, financial aid specialist for veterans services, detailed progress of the Penn College Patriot Scholarship and introduced student veterans on hand to assist with luncheon logistics. Following lunch, Walter V. Gower, assistant dean for transportation and natural resources technologies, took participants on a tour of the hangar, where many reveled in viewing aviation equipment and chatting with students performing various tasks on the tarmac.

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Last updated April 25, 2017 | Posted in Alumni, Aviation, Construction & Design Technologies, Construction Management, Forestry, Industrial Design, Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies, Sports, Students, Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies | This gallery contains 1 photo. | Tagged as | Leave a comment

Moral Code: Give Back to What You Love

Author and Penn College colloquium speaker Rick Bass. Photo courtesy of Lowry Bass

From the Spring 2017 Penn College Magazine: Author Rick Bass, an activist who spoke during the college’s Technology & Society Colloquia Series, encourages young people to stand up for the environment and communities they cherish. Read “Moral Code.”

Penn College Students Finish Well at Regional Woodsmen’s Meet

Penn College students Anthony A. Hampton (left), of Clearfield, and James C. Synol, of Bloomingdale, N.J., placed first in the Pole Fell during the Mid-Atlantic Woodsmen’s Meet at Penn State Mont Alto.

A team of Pennsylvania College of Technology students recently competed in the 16th annual Mid-Atlantic Woodsmen’s Meet, charting Top Four performances in nine of the day’s events.

Penn College was one of six participants in the April 8 competition, held this year at Penn State Mont Alto in Franklin County: Others, in addition to the host institution, were Allegany College of Maryland, Haywood Community College, Montgomery Community College and Dabney S. Lancaster Community College.

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