News about Building Construction

Enlightening Alumni Among Homecoming VIPs

Alumni often attend Homecoming to reunite with classmates, revisit faculty who steered them toward vocational success and unwind among friends before the alarm clock resounds. Graduates of Penn College and its predecessors frequently return for another reason, as was seen this past week: to share life lessons from the working world.

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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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Concrete Science Technology Major to Debut in Fall 2018

The specialized properties of one of the world's most popular construction materials will be conveyed in a new two-year major – concrete science technology – to begin in Fall 2018 at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

A two-year major in the opportunity-rich field of concrete science technology will be offered at Pennsylvania College of Technology – the only program of its kind on the East Coast – beginning in the Fall 2018 semester.

The new associate degree, to be available through the college’s School of Construction & Design Technologies, will prepare students to succeed in the production and analytical evaluation of concrete, as well as the applications, aggregate selection, and admixture techniques and products specific to the concrete industry.

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Eight Penn College Students Medal in National Competition

SkillsUSA

Eight students from the widest variety of academic majors ever to represent Pennsylvania College of Technology at the National Leadership and Skills Conference returned home with medals – including first-time successes in three competitive areas.

The contingent took one of three top places in five categories, and this year marked the first time that Penn College entrants medaled in Computer Programming, TeamWorks and Welding Sculpture.

“This really goes to show how well-prepared the students are from their respective fields and how great our instructors are here at the college. This is, by far, the most diverse group of students I’ve had go to the national competition,” said SkillsUSA adviser James N. Colton II, an assistant professor of welding. “The national skills competition gives us a chance to showcase our technical skills and show everyone why we’re a leader in applied technology.”

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Working Hand-in-Hand to Make Mementos

With materials arrayed before him and classmates waiting their turn behind him, Ghazi sets the pace for hands-on learning.

With determination and drive – and, of course, safety glasses – woodworker Sidney gets the job done.

Bella helps craft a keepsake.

Marc the Mentor gets a guiding hand from Harrison.

The dean and his morning construction team show off their assembly-line output.

Six youngsters from the Dunham Children’s Learning Center traveled down the hall and rounded the corner into a School of Construction & Design Technologies carpentry lab on Thursday morning, confidently wrapping their smaller hands around a “big people” power tool. Marc E. Bridgens, dean of the school, built an instant rapport with his summertime guests – then helped them assemble Penn College-branded toolboxes as souvenirs of their visit.

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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Native Wood Species ‘Spruce Up’ Campus Dining Unit

A new piece of wooden wall art adds a touch of Penn College character to the Keystone Dining Room, not far from the river, where logs were floated by the millions to Williamsport sawmills.

From left: Peter Kruppenbacher, assistant professor of building construction technology, and students Zachary Ridall, Aaron White and Tyler Arthur, who helped to design the piece.

Students cut, sanded and assembled native wood: pine, spruce, oak, cherry and walnut, to design the wall hanging.

Five students in Peter Kruppenbacher’s Woodworking – Art, Craft and Design course brought the vision of Dining Services Director Crissy L. McGinness to life this semester when they completed a piece of wood wall art for the Keystone Dining Room. McGinness has been working with students from various corners of campus to produce artwork for the college’s dining areas, letting their craftsmanship – and the materials of their fields – add a touch of true Penn College character to the eateries. The latest installment was inspired by photos that McGinness sent to Kruppenbacher. The finished piece includes Pennsylvania wood products: pine, spruce, oak, cherry and walnut. The frame is made of poplar. The bulk of the work was completed by Tyler M. Arthur, a manufacturing engineering technology student from  Fleetwood; Liam M. McCay, an applied technology studies student from Bloomsburg; and residential construction technology and management students Nicholas D. Gieger, of Dingmans Ferry,  Zachary J. Ridall, of Berwick; and Aaron F. White, of Westover. Woodworking – Art, Craft and Design (CCM 140) is an applied arts elective available to students in any major.

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.

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

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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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.

Jordan M. Scott Chosen as ‘Student of the Month’

Jordan M. Scott

Jordan M. Scott, enrolled in residential construction technology and management: building construction technology concentration, has been chosen as the January “Student of the Month” at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

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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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