News about Faculty & Staff

Working Hand-in-Hand to Make Mementos

With materials arrayed before him and classmates waiting their turn behind him, Ghazi sets the pace for hands-on learning.

With determination and drive – and, of course, safety glasses – woodworker Sidney gets the job done.

Bella helps craft a keepsake.

Marc the Mentor gets a guiding hand from Harrison.

The dean and his morning construction team show off their assembly-line output.

Six youngsters from the Dunham Children’s Learning Center traveled down the hall and rounded the corner into a School of Construction & Design Technologies carpentry lab on Thursday morning, confidently wrapping their smaller hands around a “big people” power tool. Marc E. Bridgens, dean of the school, built an instant rapport with his summertime guests – then helped them assemble Penn College-branded toolboxes as souvenirs of their visit.

Students Gain ‘Tons’ of Hospitality Experience at Iconic Event

Penn College culinary arts and systems students R. Colby Janowitz, of Westminster, Md.; Amaris T. Smith, of Williamsport; and Cy C. Heller, of Milton, work an à la carte lunch in the Turf Room on Oaks Day at Churchill Downs.

Pennsylvania College of Technology students returned from the 2017 Kentucky Derby with a wealth of experience in high-volume hospitality, courtesy of Churchill Downs food operator Levy Restaurants.

“Working at the Kentucky Derby was an insane, amazing, life-changing experience,” said R. Colby Janowitz, who received both a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts and systems and an associate degree in hospitality management from Penn College in May. It was the second trip to the Kentucky Derby for the Westminster, Maryland, native.

Janowitz joined 24 other Penn College students – and faculty member Charles R. Niedermyer, instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts – in the kitchens of Churchill Downs during Derby Week, a series of events that culminates in the storied Kentucky Derby, which this year drew a crowd of 158,000.

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Penn College Welcomes New Employee

PCToday continues its regular feature – welcoming new full-time and regular part-time Pennsylvania College of Technology employees, as reported by the Human Resources Office.

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Subterranean Senatorial History Surfaces in Automotive Lab

Retired from legislative duty in 1912, when a faster monorail system ferried Washington, D.C., VIPs through a 760-foot tunnel, the 1908 Studebaker averaged 225 trips a day at the height of its civil service.

Students (joined at right by Klinger, instructor of collision repair) equip the handsome cherry-bodied vehicle with batteries which, but for increased storage capacity, are largely unchanged from the turn of the 20th century.

Because the car moved backward and forward along its "subway" route, the driver would switch seats to face the direction of travel.

While students donned gloves to work on the vehicle, a similar protective covering was placed on the vehicle's original Firestone tires.

Van Stavoren, an assistant automotive professor, works with restoration students Alex M. Koser (left), of Mount Joy, and Nicholas C. Howland, of Woodbridge, Va.

An electric 1908 Studebaker, one of two original vehicles built to shuttle passengers underground from the Old Senate Building to the U.S. Capitol (including such literal heavyweights as President William Howard Taft) is being prepped by students for a prestigious weekend event. The vehicles were nicknamed “Peg” and “Tommy” during their heyday; the former is on display at the Studebaker Museum in South Bend, Indiana, and the latter is on loan to Penn College from the William E. Swigart Jr. Automobile Museum in Huntingdon. Patricia B. Swigart, vehicle owner and one of the earliest supporters of the college’s automotive restoration technology major, has never seen “Tommy” operated under its own power – a situation that restoration students and faculty hope to remedy at the Elegance at Hershey this Friday through Sunday. Electrical students in Christopher H. Van Stavoren’s Introduction to Restoration Procedures course installed 10 batteries in the vehicle during a Tuesday class in the Parkes Automotive Technology Center. Faculty colleague Roy H. Klinger said the students’ involvement in researching and preserving the Studebaker will be documented by the Historic Vehicle Association, which recognizes the cultural significance of the automobile. Preston T. Rose, a May restoration graduate, researched a 1932 McGee Roadster that was recently displayed on the Washington Monument mall as part of the HVA’s national register of historic vehicles.

Faculty Member Named One of Top 10 Pastry Chefs in America

Niedermyer accepts applause as he's announced among the Top 10 honorees.

A Pennsylvania College of Technology faculty member has received one of the highest honors bestowed on pastry chefs: a spot among Dessert Professional Magazine’s Top 10 Pastry Chefs in America.

Chef Charles R. Niedermyer, of State College, an instructor of baking and pastry arts and culinary arts, was named to the 2017 Top Ten list by Dessert Professional publisher Matthew Stevens and editor Tish Boyle, who selected honorees based on their talent, creativity, contributions to the industry and dedication to creating high-quality confections.

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Last updated June 6, 2017 | Posted in Alumni, Baking, Pastry & Culinary Arts, Business & Hospitality, Faculty & Staff, Students | This gallery contains 3 photos. | Tagged as | Leave a comment

Penn College Welcomes New Employees

PCToday continues its regular feature – welcoming new full-time and regular part-time Pennsylvania College of Technology employees, as reported by the Human Resources Office.

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Stunning Tilework Masterfully Adds to ATHS’ Attractive Entranceway

Southern exposure: The artist stands over a striking addition to the ATHS.

Stabley's original sketch lies atop plastic containers of mosaic tile.

The mosaic’s angles mimic the atrium’s skylight.

Stabley works on taping prior to grouting the piece.

Thousands of artistic pieces, set to inspire

Penn College’s main campus is home to yet another magnificent mosaic, designed and crafted by David A. Stabley, instructor of ceramics and wood sculpture. On Friday, Stabley put the finishing touches on the piece, gracing the atrium of the Breuder Advanced Technology & Health Sciences Center. The atrium’s walls recently received a fresh coat of green paint, and the mosaic’s green and brown hues complement the surroundings. The artwork took Stabley less than two weeks to install. He was assisted by Roza Breneisen. Stabley hopes to add mosaic enhancements to the atrium’s second-floor walkway “walls” that bookend the current piece. A number of other Stabley-created mosaic installations can be found around campus, including the Capitol Eatery, and on the walls of the Hager Lifelong Education Center and the Physician Assistant Center.

Faculty Member to Exhibit Chain-Mail Jewelry at June’s ‘First Friday’

Faculty member among First Friday artists

Joseph E. LeBlanc, an assistant professor of physics at Penn College, will be among the local artisans displaying their craft during First Friday (June 2) in downtown Williamsport. LeBlanc, who uses classic weave patterns in his creations, has been making chain mail since 2013. His work can be seen at Gustonian Gifts, 357 Pine St.

Cross-Campus Collaboration Infuses Hundreds of Visiting Pupils

Horticulture instructor Carl J. Bower Jr. guides Warrior Run fourth-graders in a sensory exploration of the ESC’s plant life.

Roy A. Fletcher, assistant professor of business administration/banking and finance, talks with Stock Market Challenge participants from area high schools about the future of artificial intelligence in accounting. The School of Business & Hospitality hosted the grand finale celebration for the Stock Market Challenge, an annual competition for Lycoming County high schools and middle schools that is sponsored by the Williamsport Sun-Gazette.

Faculty members (and Penn College grads) Michael K. Patterson, welding lecturer, center, and Benjamin K. Myers, welding instructor, right, judge a competition among students enrolled in Penn College NOW welding courses. While their teachers attended professional development with Penn College faculty liaisons – a requirement to ensure that Penn College courses taught at high schools meet the same rigor as those taught on campus – the students showed their skill in shielded metal arc welding. Following the contest, they took part in a hands-on demonstration by Fronius USA, which has entrusted several pieces of equipment to the college.

In the closing weeks of the spring semester, the College Transitions Office and academic schools hosted more than half a dozen events for pupils in area elementary, middle and high schools. From a field trip for Warrior Run fourth-graders that spanned the main campus and Schneebeli Earth Science Center, to days set aside for students to visit the college labs that correspond with their Penn College NOW courses, hundreds of students received hands-on lessons in “degrees that work,” thanks to help from college faculty. Events for Penn College NOW students included a Horticulture Day, engineering design visit, Accounting Day, Web Page Design Day and Welding Day.

Niedermyer Among Nation’s Top Pastry Chefs

Chef Charles R. Niedermyer

Chef Charles R. Niedermyer II, instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts, has been named among the 2017 Top 10 Pastry Chefs in America by Dessert Professional Magazine. The magazine’s publisher, Matthew Stevens, and editor, Tish Boyle, selected the honorees based on their talent, creativity, contributions to the industry and dedication to creating high-quality confections. Niedermyer earned a degree in baking and pastry arts from the college in 2000, later followed by a degree in technology management. Before returning to teach at the college, he spent several years practicing his craft in the hotel, restaurant and bakery industries, including work for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. In recent years, he was named a finalist for Team USA, which competed at the Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie (World Cup of Bread) in Paris, and received awards from Penn College for Excellence in Teaching and Excellence in Academic Advising. Dessert Professional Magazine is the nation’s leading food service publication for the chocolate, pastry, cake, artisan bread and frozen desserts industries. Making its Top 10 list is a pinnacle achievement for pastry chefs. Niedermyer will be honored at a reception in New York City in June and featured in the August issue of Dessert Professional.

Adjunct Faculty Member Coaching Finals-Bound OM Team

Denise A. Southard (standing in back) and her husband, Bret, pose with some of their Odyssey of the Mind mentees.

After capturing first in both regional and state competitions, the Curtin crew heads to OM World Finals.

A Penn College adjunct math faculty member and her team of fourth- and fifth-graders from Curtin Intermediate School are headed to the 2017 Odyssey of the Mind World Finals at Michigan State University this week. Denise A. Southard and her husband, Bret, coach the team of Williamsport youngsters that captured first place in Division I regional and state competitions with their problem, “A Superhero Cliffhanger.” “While there isn’t a direct connection to math, the students are required to build their props,” Denise said. “Their main prop is a storybook made from wood. They had to measure and cut all the wood in the construction of the book. The finished prop is a 5-foot-high book with seven ‘pages.’” The Southards started coaching OM when their daughters were in elementary school. (Their oldest daughter made it to the World Finals once, and their youngest achieved the honor twice.) Although their girls are older and no longer in OM, the couple continues to love being active in the program. “Ultimately, we both love the confidence it gives the students,” Denise said. “We have seen students, who were so shy they could barely talk to other team members, become stars on the stage! They learn how to think ‘outside the box,’ problem-solve and use power tools!” (EDITOR’S NOTE: The team finished 22nd in its division at “Worlds.”)
Photos provided

Friday Picnic Collegially Ends Week, Starts Summer Hours

Acme Barbecue, a successful alumni-owned business in downtown Williamsport, kept the chowline moving with pork, chicken and all the fixins'.

Ladder golf, cornhole and Frisbee games are among the attractions on the tent-side lawn.

Student Affairs' Staff Infection team took home the Quizzo title after a nip-and-tuck battle with worthy campus challengers. The team was led by co-captains Mallory L. Weymer (right) and Jackie Klahold (center) and anchored by (from left) Lauren Healy, April M. Yancey and Elliott Strickland – who particularly helped out on questions about the '80s. Team member Kathy Zakarian is not pictured. (Photo provided)

Prize canisters fill up with tickets from those seeking to win everything from a concrete bench to meal plans to Williamsport Crosscutters tickets.

Canned goods and other food was collected on the picnic grounds to benefit students in need. (Photo by Dining Services Director Crissy L. McGinness)

Employees and retirees kicked off the unofficial start of summer Friday with a fourth annual campus picnic. Food, games, conversation and sunshine were in abundant supply in and around tents by the Penn College tennis courts, and bingo and Quizzo were available inside the Field House for those seeking a shady place to try their luck and/or flex their memory muscles. Five bins of nonperishable food items were collected, increasing donors’ odds of winning raffle prizes – and boosting the inventory for The Cupboard food pantry.

Penn College Welcomes New Employee

PCToday continues its regular feature – welcoming new full-time and regular part-time Pennsylvania College of Technology employees, as reported by the Human Resources Office.

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Faculty Open Middle Schoolers’ Eyes to Vocational Vistas

Eric K. Albert, associate professor of machine tool technology/automated manufacturing, wraps up a session on additive manufacturing – explaining how the technology is changing the way we make and design products.

Middle schoolers had the run of campus on Monday, when they spent the day exploring “degrees that work” in all six of Penn College’s academic schools. Hosted by the College Transitions Office and guided by a multitude of Penn College faculty who provided 45-minute workshops and demonstrations, the students got a hands-on taste of the wide variety of careers they may choose to pursue.

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Last updated May 17, 2017 | Posted in College Transitions, Events, Faculty & Staff | This gallery contains 16 photos. | Tagged as | Leave a comment

Students’ Civic Projects Funded at Youth Leadership Graduation

Some members of this year's Penn College Youth Leadership Program class gather at the close of their on-campus graduation ceremony.

Pennsylvania College of Technology recently hosted a ceremony for graduates of its annual Youth Leadership Program, announcing winners of the initiative’s Social Change Competition.

Thirty 11th-graders from 10 secondary schools participated throughout the year in the program, designed to educate and motivate them to understand community needs and take an active leadership role in addressing them. This is the seventh year that Penn College has operated the program, which was facilitated by Anthony J. Pace, director of student activities; Sal Vitko, assistant director of student activities for student organizations/orientation; and Shelley L. Moore, director of career services.

As part of the Youth Leadership experience, each school team is challenged to identify a need in its community, develop a plan to address it, propose that plan to judges and, if funded as one of the top proposals, implement it.

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