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Alumni Engineering Technologies Plastics & Polymer STEM

Penn College grad ‘shoots for the moon’ with Google

Pennsylvania College of Technology graduate Fletcher Ewing, a native of Selinsgrove, is a senior mechanical engineer for X, The Moonshot Factory in Silicon Valley. Formerly known as Google X, the company’s objective is to build and launch “technologies that aim to improve the lives of millions, even billions of people.” Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ewing is mostly working from his home office for X’s Everyday Robot Project. (Photo provided by Ewing.)

Curiosity drives Fletcher Ewing.

As a kid, it drove him to build and race Soap Box Derby cars. As a college student, it led him to study plastics. As a professional, it inspires him to “shoot for the moon.”

The 1998 Pennsylvania College of Technology graduate and Selinsgrove native is a senior mechanical engineer in Silicon Valley for X, The Moonshot Factory. Formerly known as Google X, the company consists of inventors, engineers and entrepreneurs whose expectations defy gravity. Their objective is to build and launch “technologies that aim to improve the lives of millions, even billions of people.”

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2 days ago
Engineering Technologies Faculty & Staff Students Welding

‘If you want hands-on, you will need masks on’

Webb is interviewed in front of the CNC plasma cutter, among the new equipment in the college's expanded labs.
Webb is interviewed in front of the CNC plasma cutter, among the new equipment in the college’s expanded labs.
Allen explains laser welding, one of the work stations in the college's impressive robotics and automation wing.
Allen explains laser welding, one of the work stations in the college’s impressive robotics and automation wing.

Newswatch 16 reporter Nikki Krize and videographer Tom Durant stopped by the Lycoming Engines Metal Trades Center on Tuesday morning for a story about the expansion of Penn College’s welding laboratories and the campuswide safety protocols (and positive reinforcement of compliance) to maintain hands-on instruction in the face of COVID-19. The improvements, made possible in part by a $2 million grant provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, increased the size of welding-related instructional space by about 35,000 square feet. Krize interviewed Bradley M. Webb, dean of engineering technologies, and welding instructor Michael R. Allen for the piece, which first ran during WNEP’s 5 p.m. newscast.

September 15, 2020
Alumni Building Construction Engineering Technologies

Successful alums share passion for construction

Two Pennsylvania College of Technology alumni, who have maintained the National Association of Home Builders affiliation that they began in college, discuss their professional paths in 20-minute videos geared toward high school students with potential interest in construction careers. In a partnership between NAHB Student Chapters and Cue Career, current college students interviewed young home builders – including Penn College graduates David J. Foreman and Henry A. Rainey.

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September 15, 2020
Engineering Technologies Events Faculty & Staff Students Welding

EDA recognized for $2 million role in welding expansion

Economic Development AdministratonA special virtual event Thursday afternoon honored the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s support of expanded welding facilities at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

A $2 million public works grant from the EDA was the acknowledged catalyst for the additional instructional space in the Lycoming Metal Trades Center – “an incredible facility that will truly transform tomorrow,” as characterized by Bradley M. Webb, dean of engineering technologies – that was dedicated in February.

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September 10, 2020
Alumni Electronics & Computer Engineering Technology Engineering Technologies Information Technology

Penn College grads ‘deliver’ for Amazon

Matthew A. Bamonte and Jiovanni N. Rosario

One is a bit shy, grew up 20 minutes from campus and studied information technology. The other is outgoing, was raised in Pennsylvania Dutch Country and chose electronics.

Both used Pennsylvania College of Technology as a springboard for rewarding careers with prominent subsidiaries of one of the world’s most innovative and omnipresent corporations.

Their paths didn’t cross while attending Penn College, but Matthew A. Bamonte and Jiovanni N. Rosario are kindred spirits, thanks to their roles within Amazon Inc. Bamonte is a learning experience designer for Amazon Robotics in North Reading, Massachusetts, and Rosario works as a control projects engineer for Amazon Web Services in northern Virginia.

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September 9, 2020
Engineering Technologies Faculty & Staff Students Welding

Video conveys Living Chapel’s spectacular nature

Stunning imagery and stirring music combine in a two-minute video posted to the Facebook page for the Living Chapel, an ode to sustainability and spirituality that gleams with the artistry of Penn College welding faculty and students. Soar via drone amid the beauty of the ages, then glide into the Botanical Garden of Rome for a closer look at this monumental achievement.

Living Chapel

September 2, 2020
Engineering Technologies Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning Students

Two HVAC students repeat as national scholarship recipients

Two of five $5,000 scholarships recently awarded by the National Association of Oil and Energy Service Professionals and its co-sponsors have benefited the same pair of Pennsylvania College of Technology students as last year.

Scholarships have again gone to Peter W. Bennett, of Sea Cliff, New York, and Ian H. West, of Hummelstown. Bennett is enrolled in the two-year heating, ventilation and air conditioning technology major; West is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in heating, ventilation and air conditioning design technology.

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August 20, 2020
Alumni Automated Manufacturing & Machining Electronics & Computer Engineering Technology Engineering Design Technology Engineering Technologies Students

Intern trio provides vital service for Penn College renovations

Three Pennsylvania College of Technology automation engineering technology students interned for the college this semester, helping to revamp a machining facility and equip a new electronics lab. From left are Levi E. Pomeroy, of Dillsburg; Brian J. Daniels, of Lake City; and Conner J. Nickerson, of Bethlehem.

For a few worrisome weeks, three Pennsylvania College of Technology students thought they would join the ranks of countless others whose summer internships were casualties of the COVID-19 pandemic. But the college “engineered” a solution, a favor the students more than returned.

Brian J. Daniels, Lake City; Conner J. Nickerson, Bethlehem; and Levi E. Pomeroy, Dillsburg; spent the summer helping faculty and staff revamp the college’s machining facility and equip a new electronics lab, benefiting their future and the hands-on education of the next generation of “tomorrow makers” at the college.

“I don’t think a lot of work in those labs could have happened without them,” said Stacey C. Hampton, assistant dean of industrial and computer technologies. Hampton devised the internship with Howard W. Troup, instructor of automated manufacturing and machining, and Ken J. Kinley, assistant professor of electronics and computer engineering technology.

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August 20, 2020
Alumni Business, Arts & Sciences Engineering Technologies Faculty & Staff Landscape/Horticulture Mathematics Nursing & Health Sciences Physician Assistant

Three faculty members honored for ‘Excellence in Teaching’

Three faculty members at Pennsylvania College of Technology were presented with Excellence in Teaching Awards at the start of the 2020-21 academic year.

As part of the Distinguished Teaching Awards program at Penn College, President Davie Jane Gilmour presented Excellence in Teaching Awards to Carl J. Bower Jr., assistant professor of horticulture; Barbara F. Di Marco, assistant professor of mathematics; and Heather S. Dorman, instructor of physician assistant.

Distinguished Teaching Awards are presented to full-time faculty at Penn College who have been nominated by their students and colleagues for excellence in instructional performance. There have been 115 recipients since the program began in 1982: 33 Master Teacher Awards and 82 Excellence in Teaching Awards.

“From day one, teaching has been at the core of who we are,” Gilmour said. “As is obvious through comments from their students and colleagues alike, Carl, Barb and Heather are among the very best at putting that mission into practice.”

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August 17, 2020
Architecture & Sustainable Design Building Construction Civil Engineering & Surveying Engineering Technologies Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning Scholarships STEM Students

Ten first-year students chosen as ‘BE Scholars’ at Penn College

Ten students embarking on their first semester at Pennsylvania College of Technology have been chosen as Built Environment Scholars in a program that rewards academic talent in science, technology, engineering and mathematics-related career fields.

Each was awarded a scholarship ranging from $4,250 to $7,000, funded through a $1 million National Science Foundation grant to increase retention, graduation and workforce preparedness for students in many of Penn College’s STEM-focused construction and engineering majors.

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August 13, 2020
Alumni Electronics & Computer Engineering Technology Engineering Technologies Faculty & Staff

Penn College grad helps ‘power’ New Jersey

Lester Wrobel graduated from Pennsylvania College of Technology in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in electronics and computer engineering technology. Today, he is a principal technology engineer for Public Service Enterprise Group, the largest gas and electric service provider in New Jersey.

The parental warning is etched in Lester Wrobel’s memory. In the midst of dropping him off at Pennsylvania College of Technology, his parents delivered a stark message before returning to their New Jersey home: “If you fail, head west, because we won’t be opening the door for you.”

During the next few years, there were moments when Wrobel seemed destined for a westward journey. Lack of focus and subpar grades blocked the on-ramp to Interstate 80 east. But with supportive Penn College faculty and his fortitude, Wrobel persevered to earn more than an invitation home. He helps power his parents’ house, along with 2.3 million other electric customers throughout New Jersey.

“I would compare it to the fundamentals of electricity,” Wrobel said, pointing to the irony. “There always needs to be a return path in an electrical circuit for the light to be on.”

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August 11, 2020
Building Construction Diesel & Power Generation Engineering Technologies Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning Heavy Equipment Students Welding

Penn College students receive Mike Rowe scholarships

Nine Pennsylvania College of Technology students were selected to receive scholarship assistance for 2020-21 from the mikeroweWORKS Foundation, established by skilled-labor advocate Mike Rowe.

The mikeroweWORKS Foundation recognized the potential of nine Pennsylvania College of Technology students to shrink the skills gap by awarding them Work Ethic Scholarships for the 2020-21 academic year.

The foundation, created by skilled-labor advocate Mike Rowe, distributes the scholarships annually to students who “embrace personal responsibility, delayed gratification, a positive attitude and a strong work ethic” in preparing for a career in the skilled trades. Over $1 million was distributed to 223 recipients nationwide. Nearly 1,000 students applied for the scholarships.

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August 4, 2020