News about Construction & Design Technologies

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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Get a Jump on Your Future at Penn College’s April 1 Open House

The modern Pennsylvania College of Technology campus will host prospective students and their families for an Open House on Saturday, April 1, during which visitors can explore 100-plus academic majors in a variety of career fields.

For more than 100 years, Pennsylvania College of Technology and its predecessors have tailored their curricular offerings to students’ dreams and employers’ needs. That responsiveness to businesses and their future employees – and the flexibility to foresee tomorrow’s jobs – will be on ample display at the college’s April 1 Open House.

All of the institution’s newest opportunities, as well as the rewarding careers in time-tested fields, will be available to visitors at the college.

“Open House is such a great opportunity for students and their families to experience what makes Penn College such a unique place to learn,” said Claire Z. Biggs, coordinator of admissions events and services. “Through countless activities, prospective students will get an insider’s glimpse of life as a Penn College student.”

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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.”

Campus Science Festival Entertains as It Inspires

Prospective members of Penn College's Class of 202? enjoy an educational day out of the classroom and onto an engaging campus.

More than 1,500 fifth-graders from nearly a dozen local and area school districts participated in Thursday’s sixth annual Science Festival at Penn College, gaining hands-on insight into a host of related careers. The youngsters were treated to a variety of captivating campus demonstrations during the day, and families were invited to a Field House full of attractions during the three-hour evening session.

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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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Students Perform Well in Prestigious Builders’ Competition

Members of the two- and four-year Penn College teams gather outside the International Builders’ Show in Orlando. From left are Carlos Rojas, Williamsport; Nicholas D. Gieger, Dingmans Ferry; Chad W. Hawkins, Williamsport; Robert G. Jackson III, Butler; Casey L. Grim, Red Lion; Hanna J. Williams, Marion, N.Y.; Everett B. Appleby, Wilkes-Barre; Jordan M. Scott, Cogan Station; Lindsay A. Lane, McKean; Ryan Z. Zwickle, Slatington; and Liam R. McGarvey, Cogan Station.

A pair of teams comprising students from construction-related programs at Pennsylvania College of Technology admirably met the challenge of competition at the recent National Association of Home Builders International Builders’ Show in Orlando, Florida.

A team representing associate-degree majors placed fifth in a field of 15 entrants from across the country in the Residential Construction Management Competition, and their colleagues from bachelor-degree majors finished 16th out of 35 institutions.

“The teams worked all of the fall semester on the problems given to them,” said Levon A. Whitmyer, instructor of building construction technology, noting that competition preparation is undertaken 100-percent outside of students’ class time. “The problems typically are future, real-world projects within the construction industry.”

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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.

Student Group Organizes Informative ‘Construction Safety Expo’

The Construction Management Association, a student chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors of America, is hosting a Construction Safety Expo from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3, in the Bush Campus Center on Pennsylvania College of Technology’s main campus in Williamsport.

“The safety expo is an opportunity to hear from industry experts and learn about many of the contemporary safety challenges facing companies today,” said Wayne R. Sheppard, assistant professor and department head for construction management at the college. “It is a great opportunity for students and faculty, as well as anyone from industry who wants to hear about trends and changing regulations.”

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Homeowners Invited to Undergo Student-Led Energy Audits

auditStudents in the Renewable Energy Technologies course are looking for homes in which to perform energy audits, identify energy-saving measures and recommend renewable systems. To qualify, a home must be a freestanding single-family dwelling. Students will come to the house and evaluate it as part of their course requirements. They will produce a report that will document how airtight the home is and where it leaks air, recommend ways in which energy use and comfort can be improved, and show how renewable energy (photovoltaic and solar thermal systems) can be integrated. Those interested in volunteering their homes are asked to email Dorothy J. Gerring, associate professor of architectural technology, and include an address, phone number and email. What secrets does your house keep?  The students will find out using a blower door test and infrared thermal imaging. The images above show the corner/ceiling of a client’s bedroom: on the left is what it actually looks like; on the right is a thermal image.  The images were taken on a cold winter day, so the interior of the house was warm (yellow colors in second image) and the places where there is missing or compromised insulation in the ceiling and air infiltration on walls are cold (which shows as blue in the right-hand photo). “My husband, Jeff, and I were pleased to have our home chosen by a team of two students for the energy audit,” said Kimberly M. Antion, secretary to the School of Construction & Design Technologies. “The students conducted themselves very professionally while in our home.  They explained what they were going to do and asked questions of my husband and me when necessary.  The blower-door test produced some startling results that Jeff and I are now in the process of remediating. We are both glad that we had this energy audit done on our home. It will not only save us energy dollars, but also contribute to reducing the carbon footprint.”

Foundation’s Generosity Endows Scholarship, Creates Opportunity

A significant grant from the Tamaqua-based John E. Morgan Foundation will allow students from that area to enroll in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s distinctive “degrees that work.”

The nonprofit foundation’s $500,000 contribution establishes the John E. Morgan Scholarship, which will give first preference to graduates of Tamaqua Area High School who are pursuing “a degree that is not readily available from other institutions, at a comparable price, within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”

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Collaboration Helps Students Consider Accessibility in Home Design

While studying a floor plan and real world-inspired client case, Penn College students in architectural technology and occupational therapy assistant majors discuss options for making a home handicap-accessible. From left are Mackenzie L. Martin, of Thompsontown, and Jessica L. Osborne, of Cogan Station, both pursuing degrees in applied health studies: occupational therapy assistant concentration; Jeanne L. Kerschner, director of occupational therapy assistant; Cayla L. Erisman, an architectural technology student from Johnstown; and Garrett A. Brown, a student in architectural technology from Pipersville.

Pennsylvania College of Technology students pursuing distinctively different career paths collaborated recently, learning from one another how to design homes that will be both beautiful and functional for anyone who might cross the threshold.

Architectural technology students worked with occupational therapy assistant students to modify building plans to suit real-world client-based scenarios for current or future accessibility needs, including guests who visit.

The collaboration capitalizes on both groups’ expertise: an occupational therapy assistant’s role is to help people who have a disability to do what they want and need to do. For those with physical disabilities, it could involve teaching them how to button a shirt with one hand or providing strategies and tools to get around their kitchens. Architects, meanwhile, know what building modifications are possible and how cost-effective they are.

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Penn College to Showcase ‘degrees that work’ at State Farm Show

Student Kassandra Sellinger, a culinary arts and systems student from Linden, and Chef Mike Ditchfield perform a cooking demonstration on the Culinary Connection stage at the Pennsylvania Farm Show in January 2016.

Nearly 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive entries and 300 commercial exhibits – and more than 100 rewarding career pathways uniquely represented by Pennsylvania College of Technology – will be on display as America’s largest indoor agricultural exposition celebrates its 101st anniversary next month.

In what has become a New Year’s custom, the college will show off its prestigious “degrees that work” from Jan. 7-14 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg, where visitors can get a participatory glimpse at a rewarding future.

“Attending the PA Farm Show is a beloved tradition for Penn College. During the weeklong event, Admissions, Alumni Relations and Academic Affairs will showcase all of the amazing opportunities that await students on our campuses,” said Claire Z. Biggs, coordinator of admissions events and services. “We hope that, through our hands-on activities, students, alumni and families will learn why we have so much Penn College Pride! We can’t wait to meet all of the Farm Show guests this year and share what makes applied technology education so special.”

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