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ESC celebrates a special Earth Day, 50 years in the making

On the 52nd annual Earth Day, Pennsylvania College of Technology hailed a phenomenon only slightly younger: the Schneebeli Earth Science Center, home to memories, marvels and the makers of a million tomorrows. Observing the milestone golden anniversary of the Allenwood area campus on a beautiful spring afternoon, attendees reveled in “this special place” known as the ESC.

“It is more than a place or a building, though,” said alumnus Justin W. Beishline, assistant dean of diesel technology and natural resources. “This is a place where you were possibly introduced to your career passion. This is a place where you met mentors who fostered your talent and helped you to become a professional. This is a place where, after you left high school, you met people with similar career aspirations and built lifelong friendships. If you came here right from high school, you left a home of 18 years to forge a new life, and the people at the ESC became your new family for two years.”

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College’s well-versed diesel ambassadors impress Motorama crowd

Among the exhibitors at this year’s Motorama, making a triumphant return to the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg after a COVID-caused hiatus, was Penn College’s Diesel Performance Club and its 1959 B Model Mack drag truck. “The club gets really excited about Motorama and being able to show the truck to future students and alumni,” President Marcayla M. Lutzkanin said, adding that members gladly allow children to have their photos taken inside the vehicle. “Seeing the kids get all excited about being able to sit in the truck by far was my favorite part of the weekend. It is just an amazing feeling to make younger kids’ dreams come true and hopefully encourage them to be involved in trades when they get older and in high school. We created a memory for them that they won’t forget.” Although the organization didn’t bring home any trophies from the event earlier this semester, and members will continue to fine-tune their booth presentation, she said the club enjoys the public interaction and the recruitment potential that the popular venue provides.

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Celebrating a mutually beneficial partnership

Anderson Equipment Co.Connections between Penn College and such corporate partners as Anderson Equipment Co. have always been invaluable, whether through equipment and monetary donations or in the hiring of skilled graduates. Join Justin W. Beishline, the college’s assistant dean of diesel technology and natural resources, and Jerry Skiff, director for service for Anderson – against the video backdrop of engaged faculty and students in the Schneebeli Earth Science Center’s well-outfitted labs – for a cogent assessment of what industry alliances mean when recruiting and educating the employees of tomorrow. “It’s amazing how many people are unaware of the opportunities in this industry,” Skiff says. “There’s a lot of job satisfaction in coming to work in the morning, working on a machine that costs $750,000 to $2 million, and you’re the one that got that machine up and running. Penn College provides those type of technicians for us.”


(EDITOR’S NOTE: Some archival lab footage predates the college’s COVID-19 precautions.)

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Penn College hosts its first-ever CTE diesel competition

Twenty-eight students from a variety of Career and Technical Education schools participated in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s inaugural diesel competition at the institution’s Schneebeli Earth Science Center.

The well-planned Dec. 10-11 event – which shone a spotlight on hands-on learning, as well as illuminating the corporate partners who encourage students and hire graduates – resulted in scholarships to three top performers should they enroll in the college’s heavy equipment technology (Caterpillar, operator or technician emphasis), diesel technology or electric power generation: diesel emphasis majors.

Northern Tier Career Center, which won first place overall and received a $5,000 certificate for training aids from Cleveland Brothers Equipment Co. Inc., also claimed the top-finishing student: Adam Leonard, who won a $10,000 Penn College scholarship. Second place ($7,500) went to Aidan Nunan, from Berks Career & Technology Center (diesel); Bryce Hahn, from North Montco Technical Career Center, was third ($5,000).

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Endowed scholarship established for power generation students

The David and LuAnn Shifter Endowed Scholarship for Power Generation has been established at Pennsylvania College of Technology, increasing a scholarship commitment originally made in 2018.

To be eligible, a student must be enrolled in the electric power generation technology: diesel emphasis program at Penn College and be a new freshman student with demonstrated financial need. The scholarship may be renewable for students who achieve and maintain a 3.0 GPA.

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Five Star International donates truck to college diesel program

Five Star International recently donated a 2016 International Pro Star over-the-road truck to Pennsylvania College of Technology, a much-appreciated addition to the fleet of real-world equipment at the Schneebeli Earth Science Center near Allenwood.

“This truck will help enhance our curriculum for diesel technology students,” said John D. Motto, instructor of diesel equipment technology. “We are excited to bring this level of emission technology to the lab and learning.”

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Excavator loan extends Volvo/Highway Equipment alliance

The loan of a Volvo Construction Equipment excavator to Pennsylvania College of Technology, facilitated by Highway Equipment & Supply Co., builds on the partners’ historic commitment to enhancing the skills of their future employees.

“We are grateful for the continued support of Highway Equipment & Supply and Volvo Construction Equipment,” said Ryan W. Peck, an instructor of diesel equipment technology at Penn College’s 125-acre operations site in Brady Township. “Our students remain excited to have different industry leaders as part of the curriculum and to learn the different facets of technology by Volvo.”

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Caterpillar faculty award again presented to John D. Motto

The 2021 recipient of the annual “Pathfinder to Excellence” award, presented by Pennsylvania College of Technology and Caterpillar Inc. to an exemplary faculty member, is no stranger to the distinction: He also won it last year.

John D. Motto, an instructor at the college’s Schneebeli Earth Science Center near Allenwood, was the back-to-back selection for an honor presented since 2003 to someone who “has developed effective teaching techniques, enhanced learning materials, demonstrated a keen sensitivity to students’ needs and maintained high academic standards.”

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TE Connectivity donates components to various college majors

An engineering manager at TE Connectivity facilitated the donation of electronic components to a number of instructional areas at Pennsylvania College of Technology, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in plastics and polymer engineering technology in May 2004.

William J. “Will” Moyer II, based at the company’s Middletown location, worked with Elizabeth A. Biddle, the college’s director of corporate relations, to put a variety of products into the hands of tomorrow’s industry professionals. Campus beneficiaries include students in electronics, mechatronics, electrical, aviation, automotive, diesel, manufacturing/machining, and at the Dr. Welch Workshop: a Makerspace at Penn College.

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Diesel labs, equipment donors prepare students for industry

With a customary Penn College mix of theory and hands-on experience, aided by machinery donations from such industry leaders as Caterpillar and Allison, tomorrow makers in diesel technology, electric power generation: diesel emphasis, and heavy construction equipment technology (with its technician and Caterpillar emphases) are moving confidently toward career satisfaction. “We have it really good,” says Chris S. Weaver, assistant professor and department head for diesel equipment technology. “We have a lot of new equipment and a lot of backing to teach these students what they need to know before they leave here.” Join Weaver for a virtual tour of the Schneebeli Earth Science Center, about 10 miles south of main campus, home to fully loaded labs for diesel truck, heavy equipment and power generation majors.

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Intensive activities spotlight college’s career-building majors

Pre-College Programs“Because tomorrow begins today,” Penn College campuses welcomed scores of high school students for six more Pre-College Programs in recent days. (A variety of programs focused on more of the college’s academic majors were held in June.) The past week’s schedule included three new summer offerings – Diesel Truck & Heavy Equipment, Fundamentals of Emergency Response, and Thingamajig Fabricators – joining returning favorites Automotive Restoration; Design, Build & Grow Landscape & Horticulture; and Graphic Design Summer Studio. All told, the college hosted 211 high schoolers for two sessions of overnight camps this season and 40 middle schoolers during two weeks of My Tomorrow day camps.

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‘Tomorrow,’ the world!

Penn College’s “My Tomorrow” program (June 21-24 and June 28-July 1) opened middle-schoolers’ minds to a variety of vocational possibilities through hands-on activities and faculty-led sessions. The initiative, sponsored by the Soars Family, exposed students to a number of prospective careers – such as engineering, business and hospitality, the arts, and health sciences – as well as giving them a jump on charting their paths to success and satisfaction.

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Penn College team excels at Baja SAE Louisville

After a year’s absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Baja SAE team returned to action with a flourish, posting four top-10 results at Baja SAE Louisville.

The recent Society of Automotive Engineers competition – hosted by the University of Louisville – required students to design and build a single-seat, all-terrain sporting vehicle to meet various challenges. Penn College topped several prominent colleges and universities in the 78-car field, including Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Northwestern, Auburn, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech.

In dynamic events, Penn College finished first (acceleration), fourth (suspension) and eighth (maneuverability) before capping the competition with a third-place showing in the endurance race, considered Baja SAE’s toughest test.

The overall performance was Penn College’s best in the team’s 16-year history.

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Distinguished Teaching Awards presented to faculty

Pennsylvania College of Technology bestowed two Distinguished Teaching Awards on faculty during an event held on main campus.

Mark E. Sones, instructor of diesel equipment technology, was presented with the Veronica M. Muzic Master Teacher Award, the highest honor accorded to a faculty member at the college.

Bridget E. Motel, instructor of dental hygiene, received an Excellence in Teaching Award.

Both presentations were made during an Employee Recognition Week event held in Bardo Gymnasium and livestreamed across campus.

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CSTK donates refrigeration units for diesel technology program

CSTK Bethlehem, an award-winning authorized dealership for Thermo King products, has donated truck and trailer refrigeration units to Pennsylvania College of Technology for instructional use in the college’s diesel technology program.

The SB210 Thermo King unit is located on the front of a trailer and is used for large-volume, long distance refrigeration. It replaces an older Thermo King unit, offering newer technology like an electronic throttling valve, plug-and-play communications, an SR-2 controller for temperature management, and an EMI-3000 reduced maintenance system, all of which are standard on current Thermo King refrigeration units.

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