News about Architectural Technology

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.”

Foundation’s Generosity Endows Scholarship, Creates Opportunity

A significant grant from the Tamaqua-based John E. Morgan Foundation will allow students from that area to enroll in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s distinctive “degrees that work.”

The nonprofit foundation’s $500,000 contribution establishes the John E. Morgan Scholarship, which will give 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.”

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Collaboration Helps Students Consider Accessibility in Home Design

While studying a floor plan and real world-inspired client case, Penn College students in architectural technology and occupational therapy assistant majors discuss options for making a home handicap-accessible. From left are Mackenzie L. Martin, of Thompsontown, and Jessica L. Osborne, of Cogan Station, both pursuing degrees in applied health studies: occupational therapy assistant concentration; Jeanne L. Kerschner, director of occupational therapy assistant; Cayla L. Erisman, an architectural technology student from Johnstown; and Garrett A. Brown, a student in architectural technology from Pipersville.

Pennsylvania College of Technology students pursuing distinctively different career paths collaborated recently, learning from one another how to design homes that will be both beautiful and functional for anyone who might cross the threshold.

Architectural technology students worked with occupational therapy assistant students to modify building plans to suit real-world client-based scenarios for current or future accessibility needs, including guests who visit.

The collaboration capitalizes on both groups’ expertise: an occupational therapy assistant’s role is to help people who have a disability to do what they want and need to do. For those with physical disabilities, it could involve teaching them how to button a shirt with one hand or providing strategies and tools to get around their kitchens. Architects, meanwhile, know what building modifications are possible and how cost-effective they are.

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Architecture, Construction Students Apprised of Certification Opportunity

Jim Ellwood meets with students in one of Rob A. Wozniak's Codes, Specifications and Estimating classes.

Students in Penn College’s School of Construction & Design Technologies recently had the opportunity to meet Jim Ellwood, educational liaison for the International Codes Council, who visited Building Code-based classes taught by Rob A. Wozniak and Harry W. Hintz Jr. Ellwood introduced students to the ICC certificate opportunity that he started a few years ago while maintaining his other role as a plans examiner.  His goal is to better prepare the upcoming workforce to better understand and use Building Codes. Working with both high schools and colleges, Ellwood travels on his days off to promote use of ICC’s International Residential Code and International Building Code, along with companion study books. Hintz, an instructor of construction technology, has students studying the IRC, and Wozniak, associate professor of architectural technology, has students studying the IBC. By the end of the semester, both groups will have the opportunity to take the test that Ellwood provides. If students pass, they will receive the ICC certificate – another resume-building tool that Penn College students have over competing graduates. While other institutions have inquired, Ellwood mentioned that the college is one of only three in the nation currently involved in this training.
Photo by Wozniak

Penn College/WVIA Documentary Explores Green Career Options

“When you’re in high school, and you’re thinking about a career, you could think about what’s just going to make you a lot of money, or you could think about something that you’re going to be happy doing for the rest of your life.”

This advice, from a Pennsylvania College of Technology graduate working at one of the world’s great gardens, is offered in “Working Class: Build & Grow Green,” an hourlong documentary premiering Thursday, Oct. 27, at 7 p.m. on WVIA Public Media.

The second episode of a Telly Award-winning series produced by Penn College and WVIA, “Working Class: Build & Grow Green” invites viewers to consider a wide range of options available to those who are considering “green” careers, which support wise use of natural resources.

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