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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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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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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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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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Building Construction Construction & Design Technologies Faculty & Staff Students

Penn College two-year team earns national championship at Vegas builders show

The two-year Penn College team displays its championship trophy (earned in the National Association of Home Builders’ student competition) at the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas. From left are instructor Barney A. Kahn IV; students Joe J. Hetrick, of Painted Post, N.Y.; Drew P. Miller, of Williamsport; Hanna M. Gibson, of Allison Park; Nicholas T. Bonsell, of Tyrone; and Nathan I. Tabon, of Allison Park; and instructor Levon A. Whitmyer.

Pennsylvania College of Technology’s two-year entry in the National Association of Home Builders’ student competition brought home a championship trophy from Las Vegas – the institution’s first team to do so since 2011.

Students from the college’s School of Construction & Design Technologies finished first among 14 teams in their category when winners were announced at the association’s recent International Builders’ Show. Members are Nicholas T. Bonsell, of Tyrone; Hanna M. Gibson and Nathan I. Tabon, both of Allison Park; Joe J. Hetrick, of Painted Post, New York; and Drew P. Miller of Williamsport.

“Each member of this team brought interdisciplinary strengths to the competition, and the outcome they were striving for was achieved,” noted Carol A. Lugg, dean of construction and design technologies. “Veteran coach Barney Kahn does a great job of developing and inspiring the team. His dedication to this event is a critical component for their success.”

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Pre-College Programs to enrich participants’ summer experience

Young women enrolled in SMART Girls, among the wide-ranging roster of pre-college programs at Pennsylvania College of Technology, assemble a robot during last summer’s camp.

Building construction has been added to the abounding schedule of pre-college initiatives offered at Pennsylvania College of Technology, hands-on summer activities that mirror the nationally renowned opportunities afforded postsecondary students.

“Our Pre-College Programs offer living and learning experiences in which students have opportunities to explore unique academic interests in a state-of-the-art environment,” said Deborah B. Wescott, manager of conference and guest relations. “It’s a chance to work and make connections with industry leaders, meet and mingle with your peers, and establish a path that could lead to all sorts of future possibilities.”

The signup deadline is May 31 for the institution’s 12 residential programs and its one day camp.

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Building Construction Construction & Design Technologies Faculty & Staff Students

‘World’ welcomes Penn College concrete science students

Pennsylvania College of Technology was well-represented at the recent World of Concrete event in Las Vegas, with six students and two faculty mentors making the trip to enhance their education and network with industry professionals. Pictured during a visit to Hoover Dam are: (front row, from left) students James P. Dailey and Grant J. Straiton, both of Williamsport, and instructor Harry W. Hintz Jr.; and (back row, from left) instructor Franklin H. Reber Jr. and students Keith C. Long, of Pitman; Adam J. Korona, of Reedsville; Joseph F. DiBucci, of Glenshaw; and Jeremiah Dyer, of State College.

Six students and two faculty members from Pennsylvania College of Technology recently attended World of Concrete 2019, the only annual event for the nation’s concrete and masonry industry, at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The 44th annual WOC, held Jan. 22-25, boasted over 1,500 exhibiting companies and more than 58,000 registered industry professionals congregated in a sprawling 745,000 square feet of exhibit space.

Among those making the trip were students James P. Dailey and Grant J. Straiton, of Williamsport; Joseph F. DiBucci, of Glenshaw; Jeremiah Dyer, of State College; Adam J. Korona, of Reedsville; and Keith C. Long, of Pitman.

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Building Construction Construction & Design Technologies Faculty & Staff Students

Concrete industry welcomes tomorrow’s workforce

Apropos the hands-on education in their school of choice, Penn College students were granted access to real-world equipment.
Apropos the hands-on education in their school of choice, Penn College students were granted access to real-world equipment.
Students and faculty oblige their hosts for a fun photo op.
Students and faculty oblige their hosts for a fun photo op.

Penn College construction majors traveled to Malvern this month for an eye-opening perspective on the commercial concrete industry. Instructors Franklin H. Reber and Harry W. Hintz Jr. accompanied students from their Concrete Construction (BCT238) classes on a visit to Forcine Concrete & Construction Co. “The company took a lot of consideration into the presentation of what they do,” said Josh E. Rosenberger, of Chambersburg, a residential construction technology and management: building construction technology concentration major. “We got our hands on everything from power trowels to pump trucks to total stations. We sat through several information sessions throughout the day pertaining to Forcine and its sister company, Durable Surfaces. Coming from a residential background, I was flabbergasted to hear that they pour over 1,000 yards of concrete per day with a crew of five or six.” Students were permitted to operate equipment – both at headquarters and at a nearby site where a pour had just occurred – and were given an extensive tour of the facility. “Forcine Concrete is very encouraged to finally have found a partner in Penn College that is teaching the next generation work skills that we can utilize in our growing industry,” said Derek Cressman, president of Durable Surfaces, who, given the caliber of students that visited, said company officials look forward to maintaining the relationship with the college. Of the students in attendance, five are enrolled in the concrete science technology major that began during the just-ended Fall 2018 semester (and can be completed in only one year beyond a building construction technology degree). The first cohort of students from the new major will enter their internship experience this summer.
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Building Construction Construction & Design Technologies Faculty & Staff Students

PCCA lends helping, heartfelt hand

Representing the Penn College Construction Association, School of Construction & Design Technologies students and faculty deliver on a service project. Seated (from left) are Michael J. Deragon, of Fort Washington; Kachine L. Fry, of Butler; and Anthony B. Harris, of Reading. Back row (from left) are Barney A. Kahn IV, building construction technology instructor; Hayden N. Beiter, of Williamsport; Matthew M. Hober, of Basking Ridge, N.J.; and Jared J. Stiefel, of Norristown.
Representing the Penn College Construction Association, School of Construction & Design Technologies students and faculty deliver on a service project. Seated (from left) are Michael J. Deragon, of Fort Washington; Kachine L. Fry, of Butler; and Anthony B. Harris, of Reading. Back row (from left) are Barney A. Kahn IV, building construction technology instructor; Hayden N. Beiter, of Williamsport; Matthew M. Hober, of Basking Ridge, N.J.; and Jared J. Stiefel, of Norristown.

A holiday wish by the Ronald McDonald House in Danville Inc. –  a home away from home for families with ill children – has been granted by the Penn College Construction Association, which purchased the materials, then designed, constructed and donated a picnic table for the facility’s playground. “PCCA did an amazing job and created a picnic table and seating for our families to enjoy during the warm weather. However, the faculty and students’ kindness goes beyond the picnic table,” RMH executive director Michael J. Turlis said. “They donated a place where families can sit and experience time outside away from the hospital and to gather their thoughts. They donated a place where a family can have a meal together, which allows them to keep a sense of normalcy during a very difficult time of their lives.  They donated a place where families will gather to help each other cope. For these reasons, we cannot express our gratitude enough to the Penn College Construction Association!”
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Building Construction Construction & Design Technologies Faculty & Staff Students

A lion’s share of knowledge

Tape measure at the ready, Andrew R. Hurd, a building construction technology student from Spring Mills, assesses a visitor's block-laying performance.
Tape measure at the ready, Andrew R. Hurd, a building construction technology student from Spring Mills, assesses a visitor’s block-laying performance.
Luse shares pointers with Julia R. Straub, a Penn State student well-acquainted with construction through her family's experience in the field. "I've been playing with plumbing since I was 8," she said, "but they never let me do the dirty work." Until now, that is!
Luse shares pointers with Julia R. Straub, a Penn State student well-acquainted with construction through her family’s experience in the field. “I’ve been playing with plumbing since I was 8,” she said, “but they never let me do the dirty work.” Until now, that is!
Highly visible in neon T-shirts, building construction technology majors Ian R. Myers (left), of Morrisdale, and James G. Vile Jr., of Sheffield, supervise several courses of brickwork.
Highly visible in neon T-shirts, building construction technology majors Ian R. Myers (left), of Morrisdale, and James G. Vile Jr., of Sheffield, supervise several courses of brickwork.
Keith C. Long, of Pitman, leads Penn State students through a longstanding crowd-pleaser: archway construction. Long is enrolled in building construction technology: masonry emphasis.
Keith C. Long, of Pitman, leads Penn State students through a longstanding crowd-pleaser: archway construction. Long is enrolled in building construction technology: masonry emphasis.

More than 30 landscape architecture students of David Goldberg and Marc Miller, assistant professors in Penn State’s Stuckeman School, visited the Construction Masonry Building on Thursday. The day’s guests received hands-on instruction in a variety of technique and materials, circulating among work stations and mentored by adept Penn College construction students. Instructors Robert P. Gresko and Glenn R. Luse rotated along with them, sharing encouragement and expertise, and industry supporters aided the cause – including Spec Mix, which is also supplying mortar for the nearby expansion of welding labs. Architecture majors from University Park visit the college’s School of Construction & Design Technologies twice a year, getting practical exposure to the craft involved in bringing their visionary plans into focus.