News about Construction & Design Technologies

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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Four Camps Added to College’s Exciting Summer Opportunities

A camper pores through images for a make-believe coffee shop during last summer’s Graphic Design Summer Studio at Penn College.

A record number of Pennsylvania College of Technology summer camps, including four new offerings, will allow adventurous young women and men to explore the hands-on careers represented by the institution’s eclectic “degrees that work.”

Students entering grades nine to 12 at the time of participation are eligible for an annual Summer Camp Scholarship to attend Penn College. The registration deadline for all of the camps, whether day camps or residential, is Friday, June 2.

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HVAC Graduate Enjoys ‘Cool’ Career with Trane

Eric P. Schmidt was amazed at the possibilities the first time he saw Penn College. “Being in high school, I remember it was pretty amazing because it’s a beautiful campus,” Schmidt recalls in a new video on the college’s YouTube channel. “I remember when I came for freshman orientation, going through the labs and seeing all the stuff – and seeing what we were actually going to get to do hands-on once I got far enough in the program – and it was pretty amazing.” The 2008 HVAC technology graduate has realized many of his personal goals, thanks to his education and successful career with Trane Commercial Systems in Jacksonville, Florida. Schmidt, who works in existing building solutions sales, helps building owners make their HVAC systems more energy-efficient and reduce their carbon footprint.

Penn College Students Help Build Better Community

Gwendolyn M. Wagner (left) and Katherine L. Mertes (right foreground), both interviewed for broadcast – work with classmates at Calvary Baptist Church.

Proudly exhibiting their community service are (front row) Mason M. Miller, of Chambersburg, and Luse; (middle row) Nicholas J. Hufnagle, Williamsport; Mertes, Williamsport; Alexander J. Kosylo, Pittsburgh; William M. "Billy" Johnson, Glen Mills; Shane A. Hines, Clymer; Austin N. Moscariello, New Columbia; and Wagner, Cressona; (back row) Joseph N. Prigmore, Virginia Beach, Va.; James G Vile Jr., Sheffield; and Weston P. Buck, Woodland.

A view from the top

Students from the School of Construction & Design Technologies’ Concrete Construction class (BCT 238) traveled to Calvary Baptist Church this past week, completing a project begun last fall and attracting the attention of a passing television reporter. WBRE’s Cody Butler stopped by the Washington Boulevard church, where instructor Glenn R. Luse’s masonry students built two 20-foot-long brick and block planters at the main entrance. The planters were covered for winter and students of Harry W. Hintz Jr., instructor of construction technology, completed the project this season. “We fabricated and installed colored and polished concrete copings (caps) on top of their brickwork.  This spring, the concrete class visited the site and made wood templates … of the planters, returned to our lab and duplicated the precise shape of the planters (by) snapping chalk lines on the floor,” said Hintz, an instructor of construction technology. “We then divided the shapes into manageable sections, fabricated forms, installed glass chips and reinforcing steel inside the forms, ordered a very specific concrete mix with color from Centre Concrete, placed and finished the concrete, removed the forms and polished the finished tops with four different wet-sand diamond grit pads, sealed the final pieces and installed them April 5 on top of the brickwork.” Butler’s report, which aired during evening newscasts, has been posted to PAhomepage.com.
Photos by Luse and Hintz

Group Honors Surveyor’s Legacy Through Student Award

Surveying technology faculty and students were among those attending a recent dinner meeting of the Susquehanna Chapter of the Pennsylvania Society of Land Surveyors. Front row (from left): Colton L. Copenhaver, McClure; Madison L. Carts, State College; and Dustin M. Houck, Petersburg. Back row (from left): Mark A. Valchar, Petersburg; Brock L. Gosling, Denver; faculty member Eric D. Henneberger; Derick L. Weaver, student award recipient; Howard L. Knapp V, Titusville; and Shawn L. Sheeley Jr., Kersey.

The Susquehanna Chapter of the Pennsylvania Society of Land Surveyors hosted its Ed Dobeck Memorial Award dinner meeting Thursday at Penn College, an annual event that enables regional land surveyors to welcome surveying technology students into the profession. Eric D. Henneberger, PSLS chapter president and instructor of surveying technology at the college, opened the meeting, and Marc E. Bridgens, dean of construction and design technologies, officially welcomed the students and surveyors. Howard D. Taylor, a Professional Land Surveyor based in Northumberland County, presented a touching tribute to the late Ed Dobeck, a widely respected land surveyor who contributed to PSLS and his community and also mentored many in the room. The 2017 Ed Dobeck Memorial Award recipient is Derick L. Weaver, of Narvon, set to graduate next month with an associate degree in surveying technology. The award, presented each May in advance of commencement, recognizes a surveying student who has demonstrated academic achievement, leadership, extracurricular activity and professionalism.
Photo provided

Architectural Alums Show Students the World That Awaits

Penn College prepared Balzer for a wide range of opportunities, including design of Tech-Zone's flagship store in Charlotte, N.C.

A morning panel offers pointers on such student issues as gaining trust from a first employer and architects' "pet peeves" about working with general contractors. From left are Shimmel, Visco (who was succeeded by Bird for the afternoon session), Mowrey, Engel, Balzer, Lutz, Murr and Tabolinsky.

Nine graduates of architectural technology and/or building science and sustainable design returned to campus Monday to inspire students by sharing their respective pathways from college to career. The full-day program in Penn’s Inn, arranged by the academic department and the Alumni Relations Office as the first in a hoped-for series of such events, provided students in the School of Construction & Design Technologies with an inspiring glimpse at the successful projects and practices of those who once wore their shoes. On the agenda were individual presentations, panel discussions and a networking lunch. Sharing their expertise and experiences were David I. Balzer, ’01, a project manager and recently licensed architect with the Williamsport-based Larson Design Group; Richard W. Bird II, ’90, corporate director of engineering, Muncy Homes, Muncy; Zachary K. Engle, ’11 project designer/Building Information Modeling manager, CORE Design Group, Hanover and York; Peter J. Lutz, ’75, architect/president/founder, CORE Design Group; Earl L. Mowrey, ’73, owner/designer/builder, Mowrey Contractor, Montoursville; Andrei K. Murr, ’14, LEED Green Associate/estimator, Construction Specialties Inc., Muncy; Allan R. Shimmel, ’12, LEED GA/senior computer-aided design technician/project manager, Fernsler Hutchinson Architecture, State College; Danielle F. Tabolinsky, ’14 LEED GA/project estimator, Koroseal Interior Products, Montoursville; and Anthony H. Visco Jr., ’67 architect, Anthony H. Visco Jr. Architects, Williamsport. “This school gave me the head start, the ability to do anything,” Balzer said, name-checking the former and current faculty who exposed him to CAD, construction knowledge, ethics and model-building, among other skills. “I hire mostly Penn College graduates,” he added. “I prefer them because I know what they can do.”

Alumni Sweethearts Enjoy VIP Service on Campus

As winners of the sixth annual Alumni Sweethearts contest at Penn College, Robert and Megan (Miller) Brightbill enjoyed an overnight stay in the college’s Victorian House and dinner in Le Jeune Chef Restaurant.

Two graduates who work as educators in Harrisburg returned to their alma mater recently as Pennsylvania College of Technology’s 2017 Alumni Sweethearts.

Robert A. and Megan L. (Miller) Brightbill said they were treated like VIPs during their visit, which featured an overnight stay in the college’s Victorian House and dinner in Le Jeune Chef Restaurant as winners of Alumni Relations’ sixth annual Alumni Sweethearts contest.

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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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Take a Minute to Imagine Your Lifelong Career in HVAC

In the Solar Thermal Systems course, renewable energy technologies students at Penn College develop skills in mechanical heating systems and piping while using the sun as a heat source. As Richard C. Taylor, associate professor of plumbing and heating, points out, there is a continual demand for technicians with such proficiency. “When I think about the value of the education here at Penn College in HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) … I see a real need for technicians in our society – in our culture – right now,” he says in a video on the college’s YouTube channel. “When your resume shows education and the other person’s does not, whether it shows the associate degree or, even better, the bachelor’s degree program, it’s an advantage for hiring. And we find that here at Penn College. It’s how our graduates get employment. This field, in particular, is one that’s not going to be decreasing over the years to come.”

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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High School Girls Encouraged to Explore Careers in Construction

Construction management major Lauren S. Herr, of Lititz, is among the organizers and mentors for Penn College’s March 20 “Framing Your Future” event for high school girls.

High school girls who want to explore opportunities in the construction industry are invited to a “Framing Your Future” event on Monday, March 20, hosted by Pennsylvania College of Technology’s School of Construction & Design Technologies.

The day – open to young women in grades nine through 12 – will kick off at 9 a.m. in Penn’s Inn, on the second floor of the Bush Campus Center.

Female students will acquaint participants with the construction-related majors available at Penn College, followed by an Etiquette Luncheon, at which industry mentors will introduce each table of girls to networking and proper dining in a business atmosphere. The afternoon will conclude with a panel of women representing current students, alumnae and industry, followed by a virtual field trip to a construction site before the day wraps up at 3 p.m.

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2017 ‘Sweethearts’ Chosen From 11 Alumni Couples

This year's Alumni Sweethearts: Megan L. (Miller) and Robert A. Brightbill

Congratulations to Megan L. (Miller) and Robert A. Brightbill, winners of Penn College’s 2017 Alumni Sweethearts contest. The Harrisburg couple met at Penn College in the early ’90s and have been married for 22 years. Robert is a 1992 building construction technology graduate and Megan earned dental hygiene degrees in 1993 and 2001. As part of the sixth annual Sweethearts contest, the Brightbills received 292 votes (or “likes”) for their photo on Alumni Relations’ Facebook page. Ten other couples vied for the honor. Megan and Robert will return to campus soon to enjoy dinner for two in Le Jeune Chef Restaurant and an overnight stay in The Victorian House. Watch PCToday for more coverage of their visit to campus.