News about Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning

HVAC Graduate Enjoys ‘Cool’ Career with Trane

Eric P. Schmidt was amazed at the possibilities the first time he saw Penn College. “Being in high school, I remember it was pretty amazing because it’s a beautiful campus,” Schmidt recalls in a new video on the college’s YouTube channel. “I remember when I came for freshman orientation, going through the labs and seeing all the stuff – and seeing what we were actually going to get to do hands-on once I got far enough in the program – and it was pretty amazing.” The 2008 HVAC technology graduate has realized many of his personal goals, thanks to his education and successful career with Trane Commercial Systems in Jacksonville, Florida. Schmidt, who works in existing building solutions sales, helps building owners make their HVAC systems more energy-efficient and reduce their carbon footprint.

Take a Minute to Imagine Your Lifelong Career in HVAC

In the Solar Thermal Systems course, renewable energy technologies students at Penn College develop skills in mechanical heating systems and piping while using the sun as a heat source. As Richard C. Taylor, associate professor of plumbing and heating, points out, there is a continual demand for technicians with such proficiency. “When I think about the value of the education here at Penn College in HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) … I see a real need for technicians in our society – in our culture – right now,” he says in a video on the college’s YouTube channel. “When your resume shows education and the other person’s does not, whether it shows the associate degree or, even better, the bachelor’s degree program, it’s an advantage for hiring. And we find that here at Penn College. It’s how our graduates get employment. This field, in particular, is one that’s not going to be decreasing over the years to come.”

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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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.

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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Local Firm’s Anniversary Celebration Includes Scholarship Fund

On hand at Penn College for the recent announcement of the Ken Larson Scholarship are (from left) Robb Dietrich, executive director of the Penn College Foundation; college President Davie Jane Gilmour; Kenneth C. Larson Jr., for whom the scholarship is named; Keith S. Kuzio, president and CEO of Larson Design Group; and Christopher E. Keiser, LDG project manager and chair of the fundraising campaign.

The intertwined histories of an employee-owned architectural engineering survey firm and a national leader in applied technology education have resulted in a new scholarship fund in honor of a company co-founder.

In the midst of marking its 30th anniversary, Larson Design Group recently announced that it has begun fundraising for the Ken Larson Scholarship at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

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Penn College Students Repeat National Scholarship Winners

Penn College students among recipients of scholarships from the national association of Oil and Energy Service Professionals

Pennsylvania College of Technology students have received two of the five $5,000 national scholarships awarded this year by the Oil and Energy Service Professionals and its co-sponsors.

Penn College winners are Michael J. Boylston, of Carmel, New York – his third consecutive OESP scholarship – and Thomas E. “Ted” Daros Jr., of North Salem, New York. Boylston is enrolled in building automation technology and Daros, who was also a 2015 recipient, is a heating, ventilation and air conditioning design technology major.

“It is exciting to see students that have such a passion for the industry,” said Marc E. Bridgens, dean of construction and design technologies. “The support that the Oil and Energy Service Professionals organization provides through these scholarships is a tremendous benefit for these outstanding students. I am sure that the education they receive through the use of these scholarships will be acknowledged for years to come in their HVAC careers.”

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European Trip Blends Sustainability, Antiquity

Pride among the ruins

Enjoying a cross-cultural experience

Thirty-nine students from the ACH 270 (European Sustainable Building, Historical Architecture and Art) class joined two faculty members on a recent nine-day, four-city educational tour of Italy. The students – accompanied on their May 18-26 adventure by Naim N. Jabbour, assistant professor of architectural technology, and Daniel L. Brooks, instructor of architectural technology – visited Venice, Vicenza, Florence and Rome. “As an HVAC graduate, I enjoyed the opportunity to see how another culture views heating and cooling,” said Bradley G. Willis, who earned a bachelor’s degree in heating, ventilation and air conditioning design in May. “For example, while in Italy, I learned cooling set points of 78-80 (degrees Fahrenheit) are acceptable where the U.S. has a preference for the 70-72F range. This experience allowed me have a broader view of the advancement of HVAC systems, as well as cultural differences that affect our global industry.” Another new alumnus, Timothy S. Shook, offered a similar endorsement of the study-abroad program. “Being able to see the ancient buildings in person, after studying them at Penn College, created an unforgettable experience for me,” said the graduate in building science and sustainable design: architectural technology concentration. “An experience including learning, visualizing and fun that will stay with me forever.”
Photos by Willis and Jabbour

Historic Number of Penn College Students Headed to Nationals

SkillsUSA Pennsylvania

Seventeen first-place winners from Pennsylvania College of Technology have advanced to the 52nd annual National SkillsUSA Conference, to be held from June 20-24 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Three other students finished in the top four places in their respective categories during the SkillsUSA Pennsylvania Leadership and Skills Conference held earlier this month in Hershey.

“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. “This is, by far, the most diverse group of students I’ve had go to the competition. The national competition gives us a chance to showcase our technical skills and show everyone why we’re a leader in applied technology. I hope next year we can increase the number going to nationals and continue to make the college proud.”

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Unexpected Reunion

John Michael Sabga, left, and Tarik Laroche

From the Spring 2016 One College Avenue magazine: Long before becoming Wildcat soccer teammates, John Michael Sabga and Tarik Laroche shared a “football” field in Trinidad. Read more in “Unexpected Reunion.”

Penn College Salutes ‘Women in Construction’

“Women in Construction Week” offers a reminder of the career opportunities represented within Penn College’s School of Construction & Design Technologies.

Pennsylvania College of Technology’s School of Construction & Design Technologies is celebrating Women in Construction Week, with multiple activities planned to highlight the women enrolled in construction-related majors at Penn College.

Women in Construction Week (March 6-12) is an opportunity for the National Association of Women in Construction to showcase women’s contributions to the construction industry.

Carol A. Lugg, assistant dean of construction and design technologies at the college, hopes to raise awareness locally on behalf of the NAWIC’s national efforts. From 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 16, the Carl Building Technologies Center will host regional high school girls interested in career opportunities in the construction industry at an event that will include a presentation and laboratory tours by current Penn College students pursuing construction majors.

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Two HVAC Students Among Recipients of Industry Scholarships

From left: Stephen D. Manbeck, assistant professor of HVAC technology; scholarship recipients Bryce T. Crowley and Andrew T. Kappelmeier; and Richard C. Taylor, associate professor of plumbing and heating. (Photo by Carol A. Lugg, assistant dean of construction and design technologies)

Two Pennsylvania College of Technology students were recently awarded scholarships from industry partners.

Andrew T. Kappelmeier, of Landenberg, and Bryce T. Crowley, of Smethport, both enrolled in the two-year heating, ventilation and air conditioning technology major, are among the 2015 recipients of the Clifford H. “Ted” Rees Jr. Scholarship.

Kappelmeier is a first-year student, and Crowley is completing the associate-degree major with plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in building automation technology: heating, ventilation and air conditioning technology concentration.

Both students expressed appreciation for the financial awards: Crowley commented, “This scholarship certainly helps with school expenses,” and Kappelmeier – who plans to specialize in refrigeration – said, “These scholarships will definitely help me pursue my educational goals.”

Kappelmeier was also awarded tuition assistance and tools through the Educational Foundation of the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors – National Association, which administers the scholarship for Ridgid, a sponsor since 2011.

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Penn College HVAC Faculty Member Awarded Industry Grant

Kenneth E. Welker Jr.

A member of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning technology faculty at Pennsylvania College of Technology has been awarded a $2,500 industry grant to continue work toward his bachelor’s degree.

Kenneth E. Welker Jr., an HVAC technology lecturer and former toolroom attendant in the college’s School of Construction & Design Technologies, is the first recipient of a Dan Holohan Grant from the Oil & Energy Service Professionals.

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Alumni Sweethearts Return to Campus

Bradley T. and Janae B. (Rohrer) Rydbom

Pennsylvania College of Technology’s reigning Alumni Sweethearts, Bradley T. and Janae B. (Rohrer) Rydbom, visited campus this past weekend to stay overnight in the Victorian House and dine in Le Jeune Chef Restaurant.

The Rydboms were selected as the 2015 Alumni Sweethearts, the fourth annual winners of the honor, following a Facebook contest through Alumni Relations featuring 40 wedding photographs submitted by couples who graduated from the college. Their wedding photo received nearly 350 votes (or “likes”).

The couple was greeted by blue skies and greenery on one of the first nice days of spring, and enjoyed a walk around campus – one of their favorite activities when they were dating as students. Among the new features they appreciated seeing were the stainless steel “living walls” and the “These Trees” and “Student Bodies” Centennial art installations.

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Facebook Balloting Chooses 2015’s ‘Alumni Sweethearts’

Bradley T. and Janae B. Rydbom, married Sept. 20 in Strasburg, are this year's Penn College Alumni Sweethearts.

Congratulations to Bradley T. and Janae B. (Rohrer) Rydbom, selected as Penn College’s Alumni Sweethearts for 2015. Dozens of married graduates submitted their wedding photos to Alumni Relations on Facebook, with the winner determined by the number of “likes” received by the end of Valentine’s Day Eve. (The Rydboms gathered a total of 362!) Janae, a 2014 alumna of the two-year occupational therapy assistant major, and Brad, whose two diplomas include a 2012 bachelor’s degree in heating, ventilation and air conditioning design technology, will return for an overnight stay in The Victorian House and dinner in Le Jeune Chef Restaurant. Watch PCToday for more in advance of their trip back to campus.