News about Building Construction

Masonry Students Reinforce Bridge to Happy Valley

Penn College students (at left) Wyatt R. Ford, of Oreland, and Hunter M. Landis, of Middletown, mentor visitors to their assigned work station.

Luse (visible at left background) shares his time-tested craft with tomorrow's designers and builders.

Furnished with trowels and masons' "mud," two Penn State students get to work on laying block.

Penn College student Joe J. Hetrick, of Painted Post, N.Y., staffs another of the stops on the interactive instructional tour.

Scores of Penn State students traveled to Penn College’s Construction Masonry Building on Monday, furthering an annual tradition that adds brick-and-mortar practicality to the architecture majors’ studio work at University Park. Representatives of the college’s School of Construction & Design Technologies, including building construction technology students in instructor Glenn R. Luse’s Masonry Principles class, guided their guests through a variety of tasks and techniques. “The most dynamic group ever! It was like 49 Tasmanian devils tearing up the masonry lab,” Luse said. “I loved the enthusiasm and desire to learn in a hands-on environment. Our masonry students really made this happen. Their interaction skills and abilities to teach made me Penn College Proud!”
Photos by James J. “J.J.” Boettcher, student photographer

Architecture Grads Discuss Emerging Technology’s Impact, Potential

Balzer engages BE scholars and architectural technology students in the Hager Lifelong Education Center ...

... and joins colleague Richline (left) in effecting a students' virtual-reality experience.

Two alumni employees of Larson Design Group – David I. Balzer (’01, architectural technology), director of retail design, and Ty C. Richline (’13, architectural technology, and ’15, building science and sustainable design: architectural technology concentration), who leads virtual-reality initiatives for the firm – visited Penn College last week in the second industry presentation for Built Environment Scholars. A roomful of BE Scholars and architecture majors from various academic years attended the presentation on the role of technology in the built environment. The alumni guests showed examples of how technology could be incorporated into client presentations, utilizing augmented realty, virtual reality and 3-D animations. They also provided a demonstration of VR and Oculus goggle sets, immersing students in an interactive virtual environment. Funded through a National Science Foundation grant, the BE Scholars program is designed to increase retention, degree completion and career readiness for students enrolled in the School of Construction & Design Technologies’ two-year majors.
Photos provided

Penn College Alums Engineer Inspiration at Sight & Sound Theatre

Penn College alums Jeffrey T. Feeman and Franklin N. Carr enhance the experience of thousands of spectators every year at Sight & Sound Theatre in Lancaster, which offers the largest faith-based live productions in the United States and is one of the nation’s top three theatrical destinations. Feeman, a 2013 industrial design graduate, serves the theater as a scenic drafter, while Carr, who earned three building construction-related certificates in 2007 and 2008, is a scenic architect. Both are very thankful that their education led to such fulfilling careers. “You know at the end of the day that the show you made, whatever part you had in that show, is eventually changing lives,” Feeman says in a video added to the college’s YouTube channel. “You know at the end of the day that what you are doing does matter.” Co-worker Carr is equally enthusiastic about his Penn College-born career: “Here at the theater, designing it on the computer and seeing it put together in reality up on the shop floor is really cool.”(Watch for more in the Fall 2018 issue of Penn College Magazine.)

On Eve of March Madness, These Brackets Tell Different ‘Cinderella Story’

Piping for the event's dressing rooms lies on the YWCA floor, awaiting the hands-on expertise of construction majors.

From left, Shaffer, Hillman and Saylor skillfully tackle the task at hand.

Five building construction students pulled kindness, elbow grease and a little magic from their toolboxes over the weekend, helping to set up and tear down for the Junior League of Williamsport’s “Cinderella’s Closet.” Organizers collected thousands of new and gently used prom gowns for the event, in which young women (helped by volunteer Fairy Godmothers) could find the perfect formal attire at affordable prices. Contributing time and talents to assemble/disassemble the pipe-and-drape dressing booths at the Williamsport YWCA during their waning days of Spring Break were James P. Dailey, of Williamsport; Joe J. Hetrick, of Painted Post, New York; Terrance C. Hillman, of Williamsport; Michael V. Saylor, of Gettysburg; and Dakota M. Shaffer, of Williamsport.
Photos by Shaffer and Carol A. Lugg, dean of construction and design technologies

Industry Expert to Discuss Building With Concrete

Gregg A. Lewis

The economic benefit of constructing multifamily residences with Insulating Concrete Forms will be the topic of a free presentation co-sponsored this month by Penn College’s School of Construction & Design Technologies.

“The Business Case for Building Multifamily Buildings With Concrete,” featuring Gregg A. Lewis, executive vice president of the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, will be at 10 a.m. Feb. 28 in Penn’s Inn (Bush Campus Center, second floor).

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Construction Scholars Learning From the Pros

Anthony H. Visco Jr. – an alumnus, adviser and longtime friend of the college – gives students a front-row peek at their imminent careers. (Photo provided)

The semester’s first official industry presentation for Built Environment Scholars, featuring local architect Anthony H. Visco Jr. (a 1967 graduate of Williamsport Area Community College and a member of Penn College’s Architectural Technology Advisory Board), was held recently in the School of Construction & Design Technologies.

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Penn College Racks Up Successes at Home Builders’ Show

Penn College was one of five recipients of a National Housing Endowment grant, which was formally awarded during the 2018 National Association of Home Builders International Builders’ Show in Orlando, Fla. Accepting the check are (from left) instructor Levon A. Whitmyer; students Hayden N. Beiter, of Williamsport; Michael J. Deragon, of Fort Washington; Caleb M. Burk, of Sunbury; Nathaniel M. Barbolish, of Nicholson; Aaron F. White, of Westover; Ryan Z. Zwickle, of Slatington; Justin W. Bates, of Hawley; Casey L. Grim, of Red Lion; Henry A. Rainey, of Jersey Shore; Katherine L. Mertes, of Williamsport; and Hanna J. Williams, of Marion, N.Y.; and instructor Barney A. Kahn IV.

Orlando, Florida, was fertile ground for Pennsylvania College of Technology this season: Students, alumni and faculty all returned in triumph from an international builders’ show held at the Orange County Convention Center.

For starters, the college was presented with a $73,838 Homebuilding Education Leadership Program grant – the culmination of a yearlong effort led by building construction technology instructor Levon A. Whitmyer, with support from instructor Barney A. Kahn IV and Carol A. Lugg, now dean of construction and design technologies.

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PCCA Mentors Cub Scouts in Constructive Outreach

Jersey Shore Cub Scouts join their student/faculty hosts in displaying their woodworking success.

Cub Scout Pack 116 from Jersey Shore visited Penn College’s Carl Building Technologies Center on Wednesday evening, building birdhouses with the help of the Penn College Construction Association. The association’s student members overwhelmingly responded to the community-service opportunity, and the Scouts will earn badges after they apply a finish to their handiwork. The pack leader said the birdhouses will be donated to the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
Photo provided

Penn College to Again Make Impression on Farm Show Attendees

Students in Penn College’s hospitality majors join their instructor, Chef Michael J. Ditchfield, on the Culinary Connection stage at the Pennsylvania Farm Show last January.

Hundreds of thousands of visitors will soon flock to the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center to celebrate the commonwealth’s leading industry, and Pennsylvania College of Technology students and employees will be on hand for an interactive peek into the real-world applications of “degrees that work.”

“A beloved tradition of Penn College, the Pennsylvania Farm Show continues to be the highlight of the new year. During the weeklong festivities, members of Admissions, Alumni Relations and Academic Affairs bring Penn College to Harrisburg and showcase all of the amazing opportunities that await students on campus,” said Claire Z. Biggs, coordinator of admissions events and services. “Through our interactive and hands-on activities, we hope that friends of the college will come to learn what makes applied technology education so special.”

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Thirteen Students Selected for Penn College NOW Scholarships

Penn College presented scholarships to 13 first-year students who took Penn College NOW courses. From left are Tavor T. Wadsworth, of Williamsport; Vincent R. Keene, of Downingtown; Kayley E. Johnson, of Bloomsburg; Monica A. McCarty, Penn College’s dual enrollment specialist; Michael L. Gardner, of Williamsport; Warren E. Knipe, of Liberty; and Tanya Berfield, the college’s manager of college transitions. Additional recipients not in the photo are: Cheyenne N. Greene, of Jersey Shore; Deontae Z. Johnson, of Selinsgrove; Kylee E. Kelley, of Lock Haven; Tyler W. Miller, of Montgomery; Luke B. Walter, of Millmont; Brittany M. Weiskopff, of Blossburg; Clayton T. Welch, of Benton; and Jeremy M. Wolfgang, of Allenwood.

Pennsylvania College of Technology recently recognized 13 first-year students who received Penn College NOW scholarships.

The recipients completed Penn College courses during high school as part of the college’s Penn College NOW dual-enrollment program. The group was honored during an Oct. 27 reception.

To be eligible, students must have successfully completed at least one Penn College NOW course, have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in Penn College NOW classes, enroll in Penn College as a full-time freshman student for the fall semester after high school graduation, and maintain a 2.5 GPA at Penn College as an enrolled student.

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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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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


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