News about Architectural Technology

Teens Assess Construction Careers During Comprehensive Campus Visit

The college's mascot points out some of the career possibilities in the School of Construction & Design Technologies.

More than 90 area high school students attended Friday’s “Design and Build Your Future With Careers in Construction” program at Penn College: a full day of exploring construction and design career pathways, meeting Penn College students who have participated in internships, and learning about potential employment needs in the region. The day – which began with a general “Let’s Build” introduction before focusing on specific professions – was designed for 10th- through 12th-graders with demonstrated interest in architecture and sustainable design; civil engineering or surveying; construction management; heating, ventilation and air conditioning; and building construction.

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Students Take Direct Route From Competition to Community Service

Representing Penn College at a recent woodsmen’s meet in North Carolina, as well as in a gratifying demonstration of community service on the way home, were (from left) students Kristin E. Cavanaugh, Bellefonte; Aaron V. Jedrziewski, Williamsport; and Jackson H. Gehris, Cogan Station; G. Andrew Bartholomay, assistant professor of forest technology; and students Levi J. Weidner, Mechanicsburg; William A. Morrow, Newville; Tyler W. Lauver, Mifflinburg; Abigail L. Hufnagle, Lewisburg; and Derick S. Gower, Sunbury.

Returning from an Oct. 7 woodsmen’s competition in North Carolina’s Pisgah National Forest, the Pennsylvania College of Technology Forestry Club – conveniently toting the tools that had earlier brought many of the students individual honors – put their skills to work in a much-appreciated display of public assistance.

Eight members of the club’s Woodsman Team had journeyed to The Cradle of Forestry to compete in the 22nd annual John Palmer Intercollegiate Woodsmen’s Meet, the third consecutive year that Penn College students made the trip. While the students comported themselves admirably in their respective events, the collective Good Samaritan act that followed left no axes to grind.

“Interestingly, the chopping didn’t stop with the conclusion of the meet,” said coach and club adviser G. Andrew Bartholomay, an assistant professor of forest technology. “After breaking camp Saturday night and heading home, the team happened upon a large, dead hemlock tree that had fallen and was blocking the Pisgah Highway. Under the headlights of two college vans and several other trapped cars, the Woodsman Team went to work chopping and clearing the obstruction.”

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LDG Hosts First-Year Architectural Technology Students

Penn College students listen to a presentation from Eric Gaydos, an architectural technician in LDG's Retail Design division.

Larson Design Group recently opened its doors to Penn College students for a day of learning about architecture. The students are enrolled in Introduction to Architecture (ACH 101) – taught by Rob A. Wozniak, associate professor, and Geoffrey M. Campbell, assistant professor – that provides an overview of the field through tours of architectural and construction-related businesses. Course topics include career paths, educational opportunities, registration requirements, and architects’ responsibilities. “We’ve hosted classes from Penn College many times over the past few years,” Kara Demmien, project designer in LDG’s Retail Design Group and a leader of the firm’s Williamsport office, said in a blog post. “It feels great to contribute to the learning of future architects. Plus, we hire many Penn College graduates, and we’ve found that they make wonderful employees.”

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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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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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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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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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.”

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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College Honored for Role in Students’ Building-Code Certification

ICC

Two groups of Pennsylvania College of Technology students were recently on hand when the School of Construction & Design Technologies was honored by the International Code Council for participation in the Certification of Achievement program, which puts a recognized career-building tool into the hands of construction-related majors.

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Students Perform Well in Prestigious Builders’ Competition

Members of the two- and four-year Penn College teams gather outside the International Builders’ Show in Orlando. From left are Carlos Rojas, Williamsport; Nicholas D. Gieger, Dingmans Ferry; Chad W. Hawkins, Williamsport; Robert G. Jackson III, Butler; Casey L. Grim, Red Lion; Hanna J. Williams, Marion, N.Y.; Everett B. Appleby, Wilkes-Barre; Jordan M. Scott, Cogan Station; Lindsay A. Lane, McKean; Ryan Z. Zwickle, Slatington; and Liam R. McGarvey, Cogan Station.

A pair of teams comprising students from construction-related programs at Pennsylvania College of Technology admirably met the challenge of competition at the recent National Association of Home Builders International Builders’ Show in Orlando, Florida.

A team representing associate-degree majors placed fifth in a field of 15 entrants from across the country in the Residential Construction Management Competition, and their colleagues from bachelor-degree majors finished 16th out of 35 institutions.

“The teams worked all of the fall semester on the problems given to them,” said Levon A. Whitmyer, instructor of building construction technology, noting that competition preparation is undertaken 100-percent outside of students’ class time. “The problems typically are future, real-world projects within the construction industry.”

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WVIA to Rebroadcast Series Episode on ‘Green’ Careers

"Working Class"

Working Class: Build and Grow Green,” the second episode of a Telly Award-winning series co-produced by Penn College, will be rebroadcast at 7 p.m. Thursday on WVIA. The hourlong documentary invites consideration of a range of options by those looking into “green” careers, exploring opportunities such as architecture and sustainable design; building construction and construction management; building automation; electrical technology and power generation; heating, ventilation and air conditioning; forestry; and horticulture. The episode can also be viewed on the series’ comprehensive website, which additionally features a producer’s blog, video segments, K-12 educational resources and an art challenge.

Homeowners Invited to Undergo Student-Led Energy Audits

auditStudents in the Renewable Energy Technologies course are looking for homes in which to perform energy audits, identify energy-saving measures and recommend renewable systems. To qualify, a home must be a freestanding single-family dwelling. Students will come to the house and evaluate it as part of their course requirements. They will produce a report that will document how airtight the home is and where it leaks air, recommend ways in which energy use and comfort can be improved, and show how renewable energy (photovoltaic and solar thermal systems) can be integrated. Those interested in volunteering their homes are asked to email Dorothy J. Gerring, associate professor of architectural technology, and include an address, phone number and email. What secrets does your house keep?  The students will find out using a blower door test and infrared thermal imaging. The images above show the corner/ceiling of a client’s bedroom: on the left is what it actually looks like; on the right is a thermal image.  The images were taken on a cold winter day, so the interior of the house was warm (yellow colors in second image) and the places where there is missing or compromised insulation in the ceiling and air infiltration on walls are cold (which shows as blue in the right-hand photo). “My husband, Jeff, and I were pleased to have our home chosen by a team of two students for the energy audit,” said Kimberly M. Antion, secretary to the School of Construction & Design Technologies. “The students conducted themselves very professionally while in our home.  They explained what they were going to do and asked questions of my husband and me when necessary.  The blower-door test produced some startling results that Jeff and I are now in the process of remediating. We are both glad that we had this energy audit done on our home. It will not only save us energy dollars, but also contribute to reducing the carbon footprint.”

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