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Manufacturer opens plant to college’s concrete program

Lehigh Hanson's massive horizontal rotary kilns were among the highlights of a plant visit by concrete science students and faculty.
Lehigh Hanson’s massive horizontal rotary kilns were among the highlights of a plant visit by concrete science students and faculty.

Penn College students and faculty were recently invited by Doug Cassatt, of the Lehigh Hanson Heidleberg Cement Group, to tour the company’s Fleetwood Cement Manufacturing facility. “The students were introduced to the sophisticated process of cement production by an extremely knowledgeable Lehigh Hanson staff, from the raw material in the quarry to the final packing facility where the product is loaded and transported by truck or rail,” said Joseph F. DiBucci, a concrete science technology major and president of the ConCreate Design Club. The plant boasts numerous recycling processes – water pumped from the quarry provides an active supply for the borough, for instance, and 7,000 to 10,000 tires per day are used as a heat source – and $16 million was spent for equipment to cut down or eliminate carbon emissions in the production process. The Berks County facility is equipped with a “state of the art” lab to analyze the chemical makeup so the customer is given the best product possible. “One of the main attractions was the horizontal rotary kilns that broke down the raw material to clinker at a temperature of 2,500 degrees,” added DiBucci, from Glenshaw. “The visit was an eye-opening experience that demonstrated the amount of work that is required to produce cement, the most widely used building material in the world.” The tour was followed by a luncheon and discussion. The college’s School of Construction & Design Technologies offers a two-year degree in concrete science technology, unique to the East Coast.
Photo provided

Building Construction Construction & Design Technologies Events Faculty & Staff Students

Jewelry-makers draw inspiration from concrete lab

Raw materials await artisans' hands
Raw materials await artisans’ hands
Crafting keepsakes
Crafting keepsakes
Students and employees beautifully explored concrete's versatility.
Students and employees beautifully explored concrete’s versatility.

A jewelry workshop, a recent fundraiser for Penn College’s ConCreate Design Club, allowed participants to personalize a small concrete pendant that could be placed on a necklace or keychain. “The workshop was the first one carried out by the club and we plan on having more throughout the year,” said Joseph F. DiBucci, the organization’s founder and president. “The club is focused around teaching students and faculty about the multiple uses of concrete with a more hands-on approach.”
Photos by Tim Wegman, student photographer

Building Construction Construction & Design Technologies Students

Penn College ROTC cadet honored for performance

Penn College Army ROTC cadet Austin S. Weinrich (right), of Jenkintown, receives the RECONDO badge for displaying superior skills at Advanced Camp. Held at Fort Knox, Ky., Advanced Camp is considered ROTC’s most significant training experience. Weinrich was one of 14 cadets out of approximately 600 in the 4th Regiment to receive the RECONDO Badge. Presenting the RECONDO badge is Brigadier General Antonio V. Munera.

An Army ROTC cadet from Pennsylvania College of Technology distinguished himself with an exemplary performance at a key training and evaluation event and by participating in a selective overseas training mission.

Austin S. Weinrich, of Jenkintown, who is seeking a bachelor’s degree in residential construction technology and management: building construction technology concentration, earned the RECONDO badge for displaying superior skills at Advanced Camp, considered ROTC’s most significant training experience.

Held at Fort Knox, Kentucky, the 37-day camp challenges cadets to demonstrate proficiency in basic officer leadership tasks at squad and platoon levels through five phases; ranging from reception, staging and onward movement to redeployment and reintegration. Successful completion is required for commissioning.

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‘PA Build My Future’ extends its reach in Year Two

About 75 current Penn College students, eager cheerleaders all, sacrificed part of Fall Break to advocate for their chosen career paths.

Penn College’s second annual PA Build My Future event, an interactive academic and industry showcase on Thursday, provided more than 900 high-school students with an opportunity to experience the full range of possibilities in the construction and design field. Scores of current students in the School of Construction & Design Technologies joined faculty and administrators, along with many of the college’s commercial benefactors, in guiding visitors toward their potential careers.

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Newswatch 16 visits ‘PA Build My Future’

Student Christine Limbert begins Fall Break by mentoring others.WNEP’s Chris Keating visited campus for Thursday’s PA Build My Future, filing a report on the second annual introduction of secondary students to the wide-open world of construction and design careers. Keating visited indoor and outdoor exhibits facilitated by industry sponsors, Penn College faculty and current students (who gave up a day of Fall Break to excitedly represent their respective majors). Included in the broadcast were Carol A. Lugg, dean of construction and design technologies; building construction technology instructor Levon A. Whitmyer; Christine A. Limbert, of Curwensville, enrolled in architectural technology; and Lucas Vandergrift, a sophomore at Wellsboro High School who was among the day’s 929 students from nearly 30 high schools and career and technical centers.
(“PA Build My Future photo gallery)

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Penn College grants emeritus status to two retired faculty

Sandra Lakey and Thomas J. Mulfinger

Two recently retired faculty members at Pennsylvania College of Technology have been granted “faculty emeritus” status by the institution.

The emeritus recommendations for Sandra Lakey, associate professor of speech communication-composition, and Thomas J. Mulfinger, associate professor of building construction technology, both were approved by the Penn College Board of Directors on Oct. 3.

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Architectural Technology Building Construction Construction & Design Technologies Students

Students bolster classroom lessons through industrial site visit

ACH119 students visit Centre Concrete on Fairfield Road, Montoursville, for a much-appreciated tour.
ACH119 students visit Centre Concrete on Fairfield Road, Montoursville, for a much-appreciated tour.

Students in Rob A. Wozniak’s Building Materials I class recently visited Centre Concrete in Montoursville, valuably leaving the classroom to reinforce topics learned on campus. “Discussions and demonstrations around the plant included aggregate types, moisture content, tests for concrete slump, temperature, and air and compression, along with applicable discussion on admixtures, batching, travel distance and related costs,” said Wozniak,  an associate professor of architectural technology. “On site, retaining wall block and pervious concrete was also observed and spoken about.” Building Materials I is a required first-semester course in the two-year architectural technology major, as well as in the four-year building science and sustainable design and residential construction technology and management majors. Its focus is on residential building materials and how they are integrated into students’ drawings and designs.
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Building Construction Construction & Design Technologies Faculty & Staff Students

Students, veterans share monumental meet-up

A cornerstone marks Penn College's role in a collaboratively crafted community landmark.
A cornerstone marks Penn College’s role in a collaboratively crafted community landmark.

A Penn College construction class, continuing its involvement with a memorial project along West Fourth Street, was visited Thursday by a trio of appreciative submarine veterans. The mutually rewarding experience was recounted in a letter to Carol A. Lugg, dean of construction and design technologies, from Franklin D. Gillis, a Navy veteran and construction/building science instructional specialist at the college’s National Sustainable Structures Center.

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From living space to makerspace, summer visitors have their hands full

Learning the skills and craftsmanship required of a builder in the newest pre-college offering: Building Construction.

A dozen residential Pre-College Programs and a daytime Creative Art Camp brought hundreds of young women and men to Penn College’s campuses in mid-June, providing hands-on entry to the myriad career opportunities reflected in the institution’s postsecondary curriculum. Keeping campers (and PCToday photographers) busy in recent days were these fun learning opportunities, some of which involved culminating projects: Architecture Odyssey, Autism Spectrum Post-Secondary Interest Experience (ASPIE), Automotive Restoration, Aviation, Building Construction (new this year), Creative Art Camp, Engineering, Future Restaurateurs, Graphic Design Summer Studio, Grow & Design Horticulture, Health Careers, Information Technology and SMART (Science and Math in Real-world Technologies) Girls.

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Career Day sets middle schoolers’ sights on tomorrow

Led by Franklin H. Reber, instructor of building construction technology, and students, Career Day visitors create concrete stepping stones.

College employees rallied to provide nearly 40 educational sessions for middle schoolers from across the region who visited campus on Monday for the college’s twice-a-year Career Day. Facilitated by the college’s College Transitions Office, the event provided 1,267 students with opportunities to explore a wide variety of careers in each of the college’s six academic schools. Visitors included 13 schools and home-schooled students.

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West Branch Builders honor five graduating seniors

Seniors and their faculty mentors (from left) are Langer, Anstadt, Bean, Peck, Blose, Carr, Klodnicki and Whitmyer.
Seniors and their faculty mentors (from left) are Langer, Anstadt, Bean, Peck, Blose, Carr, Klodnicki and Whitmyer.

Five Penn College students were recognized this month by the West Branch Susquehanna Builders Association for classroom success, dedication to the construction industry and the high standards with which they conduct themselves. Honored during a meeting at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore were Hunter M. Bean, of McElhattan, heavy construction equipment technology: operator emphasis; Matthew E. Blose, of Williamsport, residential construction technology and management: building construction technology concentration; Corey J. Carr, of Pulaski, Virginia, heating, ventilation and air conditioning technology; Kurtis J. Klodnicki, of Danville, building construction technology and building construction technology: masonry emphasis; and Eric J. Langer, of New City, New York, electrical technology. Graduating seniors are traditionally nominated for the awards by faculty from their respective academic areas, then  recognized by the association for their hard work and commitment to entering the industry. Levon A. Whitmyer, instructor of building construction technology, introduced the students to WBSBA members and handed out the awards. He also spoke on behalf of Blose, Carr and Klodnicki. Ryan W. Peck, diesel equipment technology instructor, represented Bean; Eric L. Anstadt, a faculty member in electrical technology occupations, offered an endorsement of Langer. Each of the student winners received a cash prize and was awarded a 4-foot level engraved with his name. “The students also got an opportunity to mingle with the members, increasing their professional network as they get ready to enter the construction industry,” Whitmyer said. “A big ‘thank you’ to West Branch for providing the support to help these students be recognized for their dedication to their craft.”
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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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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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