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Wednesday service set for retired ‘Master Teacher’

Frederick J. RankinenA memorial service will be Wednesday for Frederick J. Rankinen, Penn College’s first department head for civil engineering technology, who died Saturday, April 20, at the age of 80. A faculty member from 1968 until his retirement in 2001, he was the 1992 recipient of Penn College’s “Master Teacher” award. Rankinen’s son, Jeffrey L., is an associate professor of electronics in the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies, and his brother, Richard W., retired as an associate professor of forestry in 2006. The service will be at 11:30 a.m. at Nippenose Bible Fellowship, 92 Schoolhouse Road, Jersey Shore. The family will receive friends from 10:30 a.m. until the time of service at the church. A complete obituary was published in Tuesday’s editions of the Williamsport Sun-Gazette.

Construction & Design Technologies Faculty & Staff Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning Students

Supplier sponsors students’ attendance at training

The students tear down a semi-hermetic compressor during the hands-on portion of the class.
The students tear down a semi-hermetic compressor during the hands-on portion of the class.
Bernard Servello, technical training specialist for Emerson, explains compressor cooling.
Bernard Servello, technical training specialist for Emerson, explains compressor cooling.
Ostrowski (left) and Woelfel (right), join Manbeck at the COSS training. Both students are actively involved in the Penn College student chapter of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America : Ostrowski as president and Woelfel as vice president.
Ostrowski (left) and Woelfel (right), join Manbeck at the COSS training. Both students are actively involved in the Penn College student chapter of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America : Ostrowski as president and Woelfel as vice president.
Dave Dunn, technical training specialist for Emerson, explains compressor applications for R290 propane refrigerant.
Dave Dunn, technical training specialist for Emerson, explains compressor applications for R290 propane refrigerant.
Makdad (center), with Hassinger (left) and Manbeck
Makdad (center), with Hassinger (left) and Manbeck

Through support from Makdad Supply Co. Inc., two Penn College students and an instructor recently attended an Emerson Compressor Operation and Service Seminar at the Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology. While heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration contractors from across the region attended the event – an in-depth, three-day program packed with everything an HVACR service technician needs to know to install, service and maintain Copeland compressors – Makdad sponsored seats for HVACR majors from CPI and the two students from Penn College. Among attendees were Ronald J. Ostrowski III, of Shavertown, and Zeph L. Woelfel, of Kersey, graduating next month with associate degrees in heating, ventilation and air conditioning technology, and Stephen D. Manbeck, an assistant professor of HVAC technology. Company owner Jack Makdad met with Manbeck and CPI’s Ken Hassinger to discuss how to provide similar training, as well as access to a variety of vendors and industry resources. The institutions already share a strong connection through the Penn College NOW dual-enrollment program. That initiative allows high school seniors to earn up to five college credits while enrolled at CPI, credits that help them get a head start on an associate degree at Penn College.
Photos provided

Construction & Design Technologies Construction Management Students

CMA tours ‘capitol’ projects during travels to D.C., suburbs

A complete remodel of the 1800s-era Franklin School, being transformed into a "Planet Word" museum of language
A complete remodel of the 1800s-era Franklin School, being transformed into a “Planet Word” museum of language
With the U.S. Capitol and Washington Monument behind them, the group poses atop Hensel Phelps' renovations to the Martin Federal Reserve Building in downtown Washington, D.C.
With the U.S. Capitol and Washington Monument behind them, the group poses atop Hensel Phelps’ renovations to the Martin Federal Reserve Building in downtown Washington, D.C.
Getting a look inside the Reagan National Airport's new terminal, an Allan Myers project
Getting a look inside the Reagan National Airport’s new terminal, an Allan Myers project
Clark Construction is undertaking this mixed-use county/municipal/retail building in Silver Spring, Md.
Clark Construction is undertaking this mixed-use county/municipal/retail building in Silver Spring, Md.

Penn College’s Construction Management Association recently took 24 students to Washington, D.C., for a tour of six major works-in-progress, including expansion projects at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Ronald Reagan National Airport.
Photos by Wayne R. Sheppard, assistant professor and department head for construction management

Civil Engineering & Surveying Construction & Design Technologies Students

Second-year surveying student honored at chapter event

Johnson (left) accepts his award from Ziegler.
Johnson (left) accepts his award from Ziegler.
Students gather for a face-to-face meeting with their chosen field.
Students gather for a face-to-face meeting with their chosen field.
Among attendees are (at right) Carol A. Lugg, dean of construction and design technologies, and JoAnn Dobeck.
Among attendees are (at right) Carol A. Lugg, dean of construction and design technologies, and JoAnn Dobeck.
First-year surveying technology majors (from left): Brayden M. Ross, of Williamsport; Bret A. Yetter, of Liverpool; Zane G. Dutton, of Blanchard; and Andrew C. Hamilton, of Meadville
First-year surveying technology majors (from left): Brayden M. Ross, of Williamsport; Bret A. Yetter, of Liverpool; Zane G. Dutton, of Blanchard; and Andrew C. Hamilton, of Meadville

The Susquehanna Chapter of the Pennsylvania Society of Land Surveyors recently hosted its Ed Dobeck Memorial Award dinner meeting, an annual event that enables regional land surveyors to welcome Penn College surveying technology students into the profession.

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Alumni Building Construction Construction & Design Technologies Students

Concrete science student honored with national fellowship

Joseph F. DiBucci

A student in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s innovative two-year concrete science technology major has received a prestigious $10,000 industry fellowship.

Joseph F. DiBucci, of Glenshaw, was awarded the Richard D. Stehly Memorial Fellowship from the ACI Foundation, a nonprofit subsidiary of the American Concrete Institute. Named for the institute’s former president, the fellowship spotlights undergraduate students enrolled in a concrete-related curriculum with an emphasis on structural design, materials or construction.

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Construction & Design Technologies Construction Management Students

BCM students organize instructive (and intensive) competition

The winning team (from left): Stanton, Shadle, Martin and Kravitz. (Photo by Wayne R. Sheppard)

The first Penn College Construction Management Competition, a two-day event primarily orchestrated and judged by three students about to graduate, has crowned its first champions.

“One of our key objectives in hosting this competition was to encourage the underclassmen to get more involved and learn how to perform under pressure with more realistic directives than in the classroom,” said co-organizer Lauren S. Herr, of Lititz. “Although we only had three teams compete, I think we accomplished our goal. Each contestant took something away from the competition, whether it was how to properly communicate an RFI (Request for Information), or how to better manage their time as a team.”

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Architectural Technology Building Construction Construction & Design Technologies Events Faculty & Staff Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning Students

Women in Construction builds confidence in tomorrow’s workforce

A half-dozen high school students hobnob with the Wildcat outside the ACC Auditorium.

About 35 area high school girls met their potential destiny during Penn College’s annual “Framing Your Future” event Friday, gaining hands-on exposure to the vast career opportunities represented by the School of Construction & Design Technologies. The college’s Women in Construction club inspired the ninth through 12th graders and coordinated the activities, which included a networking lunch and group sessions in the architecture/sustainable design, building construction and HVAC/plumbing labs.

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Architectural Technology Construction & Design Technologies Faculty & Staff Students

Students turn cardboard into pleasingly practical ‘box seats’

Students in building science and sustainable design (or its architectural technology concentration) present their diverse "cardboard chair" projects in the LEC on Friday morning. Front row (seated, from left): Kyle L. Bromwell, Cambridge, Md.; Tomas N. Brooks, West Chester, Melissa A. Tarhovicky, East Stroudsburg; and Jeffrey L. Sementelli, Howard. Back row (from left): Zachery Mangan, Manheim; Seth R. Henry, Wernersville; Austin C. Benham, Camp Hill; Dakotah J. Hewston, Dingmans Ferry; Danielle R. Bonis, Norwalk, Conn.; Michael Tanner Reif, Felton; Riley Ferro, Berwick; Evan J. Klinger, Bloomsburg; James J. "J.J." Heft, Montrose; Bridget A. Kranz, Patton; and Cole J. Moriarty, Winston-Salem, N.C. (Photo by Rob A. Wozniak, associate professor of architectural technology)
Students in building science and sustainable design (or its architectural technology concentration) present their diverse “cardboard chair” projects in the LEC on Friday morning. Front row (seated, from left): Kyle L. Bromwell, Cambridge, Md.; Tomas N. Brooks, West Chester, Melissa A. Tarhovicky, East Stroudsburg; and Jeffrey L. Sementelli, Howard.
Back row (from left): Zachery Mangan, Manheim; Seth R. Henry, Wernersville; Austin C. Benham, Camp Hill; Dakotah J. Hewston, Dingmans Ferry; Danielle R. Bonis, Norwalk, Conn.; Michael Tanner Reif, Felton; Riley Ferro, Berwick; Evan J. Klinger, Bloomsburg; James J. “J.J.” Heft, Montrose; Bridget A. Kranz, Patton; and Cole J. Moriarty, Winston-Salem, N.C. (Photo by Rob A. Wozniak, associate professor of architectural technology)

Third-year students in Architectural Design Studio V, challenged to create fully functional chairs that hold the weight of an adult without the use of adhesives, impressively delivered on their assignment in presentations Friday morning. Four teams collaborated on the chairs, which were evaluated in the architectural jury room on such criteria as function, aesthetics and ergonomics. Corrugated cardboard was chosen as a valuable raw material, as it carries the best recycling rate of any packaging material in use. In 2015, for instance, more than 23 million tons were recovered and reused – 74 percent of all cardboard produced that year. Geoffrey M. Campbell, assistant professor of architectural technology, and Rob A. Wozniak, associate professor of architectural technology, critiqued the chairs with guest judges Melinda D. Heckman, admissions counselor; Christa Matlack, women’s soccer coach; and Tom Wilson, writer/editor-PCToday. Chairs and explanatory posters could be seen in the architectural wing on the second floor of the Hager Lifelong Education Center during Spring Open House, and will be displayed in the lobby of The Gallery at Penn College during a mid-May exhibit of capstone projects by seniors in the building science and sustainable design major.

Alumni Architectural Technology Construction & Design Technologies Students

Architectural grads share designs for career fulfillment

Sullivan, whose military service took him from 103-degree Qatar to the snows of Alaska – and several gratifying adventures in between – tells students of "the whole world of opportunity" that awaits.
Sullivan, whose military service took him from 103-degree Qatar to the snows of Alaska – and several gratifying adventures in between – tells students of “the whole world of opportunity” that awaits.
From a Sharon High School Tiger to a Penn College Wildcat, Basile has been well-served by feline instinct and the determination to claw through walls. "I'll always be proud of Penn College," he said. "Everything that I've done is based on what I learned here and in my life experience."
From a Sharon High School Tiger to a Penn College Wildcat, Basile has been well-served by feline instinct and the determination to claw through walls. “I’ll always be proud of Penn College,” he said. “Everything that I’ve done is based on what I learned here and in my life experience.”
Jokingly referred to by Wozniak as "the twins," Schreffler (left) and Miller have gone from college roommates to co-workers. The firm that employs them does a number of educational projects, including an eco-friendly elementary school in Boiling Springs that includes a treehouse overlooking the library.
Jokingly referred to by Wozniak as “the twins,” Schreffler (left) and Miller have gone from college roommates to co-workers. The firm that employs them does a number of educational projects, including an eco-friendly elementary school in Boiling Springs that includes a treehouse overlooking the library.
Comprising an informative alumni array for the first of two Q&A panels are (from left) Basile, Demmien, Patel, Walter, Sullivan, Miller, Chapman, Hoffman and Schreffler.
Comprising an informative alumni array for the first of two Q&A panels are (from left) Basile, Demmien, Patel, Walter, Sullivan, Miller, Chapman, Hoffman and Schreffler.

Eight graduates of Penn College and a well-traveled Williamsport Area Community College alumnus returned to campus Wednesday for “Architectural Alumni + Student Day,” a career information and networking opportunity for students. Classes in architectural technology, building science and sustainable design, and residential construction technology and management: architectural technology concentration convened in the Bush Campus Center to hear individual presentations by the nine alumni, panel discussions, question-and-answer periods, and a Career Services overview. The day also included lunch and an optional campus tour. Revisiting through an event facilitated by associate professor Rob A. Wozniak, were: Brig. Gen. Frank Sullivan, ’73, executive director of the Pennsylvania Military Community Enhancement Commission, Harrisburg; Larry A. Basile, ’91, vice president of sales for SupplySource, Williamsport; Amanda J. (Miller) Harry and Erica L. Schreffler, ’12, architectural project coordinators at Crabtree, Rohrbaugh and Associates, Architects, Mechanicsburg; Bradley A. Hoffman, ’94, director of engineering, Conewago manufacturing LLC/Conewago Enterprises Inc., Hanover; Kara A. (O’Brien) Demmien, ’06, project manager, Larson Design Group, Williamsport; Daniel R. Chapman, ’02, territory sales senior manager, Construction Specialties, Muncy; Dhaval J. Patel, ’11, lead virtual design and construction/building information modeling coordinator, McClure Co., Harrisburg; and Tyler L. Walter, ’11, architect, Stantec, Arlington, Virginia. Also part of the audience were a Warrior Run School District faculty member and a number of his drafting and design students from Lycoming Career & Technology Center.

Accounting & Finance Alumni Architectural Technology Baking, Pastry & Culinary Arts Building Construction Business & Hospitality Civil Engineering & Surveying Collision Repair & Restoration Construction & Design Technologies Corporate Relations Electrical Engineering Design Technology Faculty & Staff Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning Industrial Design Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies Landscape/Horticulture Plastics & Polymer President Scholarships Students Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies Welding

Scholarship luncheon provides firsthand look at donors’ impact

Ferki tells guests, “Scholarships act as a gateway to inspire growth in a student’s academics and passion for his or her industry.” She is the recipient of the SEKISUI SPI Workforce Development Scholarship and the Penn College Foundation Scholarship.

The empowering combination of applied technology education and financial support was celebrated Sunday afternoon, as Pennsylvania College of Technology hosted its second annual Scholarship Luncheon in the campus Field House.

“I am overwhelmed by the collective energies in this room to transform tomorrow,” President Davie Jane Gilmour said, addressing students, families and donors alike. Announcing that the coming academic year will include the largest total amount of scholarships awarded in any one year during the college’s history, she thanked attendees for their significant role in helping students succeed.

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Construction & Design Technologies Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning

HVAC students help ‘Cinderella’ prep for big dance

Proudly sporting affiliation with ACCA
Proudly sporting affiliation with ACCA
From left are Klose, Gaffney, YWCA boutique manager Kahlie DeHotman and Keiser.
From left are Klose, Gaffney, YWCA boutique manager Kahlie DeHotman and Keiser.
Making quick work of a drapery job
Making quick work of a drapery job

Students from Penn College’s School of Construction & Design Technologies – all members of the campus chapter of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America – once again lent their skills to “Cinderella’s Closet,” which offered a donated selection of very affordable prom gowns, shoes and accessories to high school juniors and seniors. Helping with dressing booths for the March 23-24 event at the YWCA Northcentral PA were Alex A. Klose, of Bethlehem, and Griffin L. Keiser, of Lewisburg, both enrolled in heating, ventilation and air conditioning design technology, and Patrick C. Gaffney, of Plymouth Meeting, an HVAC technology major.
Photos by Carol A. Lugg, dean of construction and design technologies

Automotive College Transitions Construction & Design Technologies Faculty & Staff Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies Information Technology Nursing Nursing & Health Sciences Students Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies

Dual-enrollment students attend Penn College NOW visit days

Daniel J. Harris, instructor of HVAC technology, talks with a group about classes in air conditioning and refrigeration while showing them a lab.

More than 400 high school students, all enrolled in Penn College classes at their respective high school or career and technology center, visited campus on Friday. A visit to campus is a required part of every course offered through the college’s Penn College NOW dual-enrollment program. The program offers Penn College classes at more than 50 partner secondary-education facilities throughout the state. College Transitions and First Year Initiatives hosts visits for participating schools throughout the year. To ensure that courses offered through Penn College NOW maintain the same rigor as those offered on campus, secondary teachers work with Penn College faculty liaisons who train them to teach the course curriculum, visit each school at least once a year, and grade high school students’ final projects. In addition to hosting Penn College NOW student visits – including a March 19 trip, also documented in this photo gallery – College Transitions and First Year Initiatives conducts frequent group visits for other secondary students, providing college and career exploration, including a campus tour. On April 2, Lycoming Career and Technology Center plans to bring 200 students to campus for sessions with Career Services, the Academic Success Center and more.

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Automotive Baking, Pastry & Culinary Arts Building Construction Business & Hospitality Construction & Design Technologies Emergency Medical Services/Paramedic Events Faculty & Staff Nursing & Health Sciences Students Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies

Girl Scouts ‘spark curiosity’ in daylong campus event

Learning about car care from Christopher H. Van Stavoren, assistant automotive professor

The Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania and the PPL Foundation held a free STEAM Lab at Penn College from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, providing more than 250 girls and young women – from kindergarten through 12th grade – with a hands-on look at Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics pursuits while learning and working with Penn College instructors and students. Attendees worked side-by-side with Penn College faculty/staff and students to earn badges and take part in workshops. Girl Scouts also heard from campus leaders about the future of STEAM and garnered “Spark Curiosity” patches for their participation.

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Building Construction Construction & Design Technologies Faculty & Staff Students

Penn Staters go off-campus for hands-on fun

Applying what she's learned

Architecture students from Penn State spent Friday in Penn College’s Construction Masonry Building as part of the university’s Masonry Design Competition. As a precursor to that activity – sponsored by the Pennsylvania Concrete Masonry Association and funded through a National Pennsylvania Concrete Masonry Association Foundation grant – the students are taught a variety of helpful masonry skills by Penn College construction majors. The annual visit, facilitated by faculty members Clifford J. Jones and Glenn R. Luse, coincided with a meeting of masonry instructors from Pennsylvania and Maryland. Students from Penn State’s landscape architecture program make a similar trip to campus each fall.

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