News about Health Sciences

Four Camps Added to College’s Exciting Summer Opportunities

A camper pores through images for a make-believe coffee shop during last summer’s Graphic Design Summer Studio at Penn College.

A record number of Pennsylvania College of Technology summer camps, including four new offerings, will allow adventurous young women and men to explore the hands-on careers represented by the institution’s eclectic “degrees that work.”

Students entering grades nine to 12 at the time of participation are eligible for an annual Summer Camp Scholarship to attend Penn College. The registration deadline for all of the camps, whether day camps or residential, is Friday, June 2.

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Nursing Students Visited by Versatile Health Sciences Grad

Alumna Trena Dale returns to Penn College.

With help from the Alumni Relations Office, the Penn College Student Nurses’ Association recently hosted alumna Trena Dale. Dale has received two associate degrees from Penn College: a dental hygiene degree in 2001 and a nursing degree in 2011. Dale, now an emergency room nurse at Evangelical Community Hospital, a part-time RN in Geisinger’s Special Care Unit 5 and, occasionally, a substitute dental hygienist, spoke to nursing students about her experiences as a Penn College student, as a new graduate seeking employment, and about her career in dental hygiene and nursing. She shared stories related to her professional role that highlighted the importance of developing relationships with patients, engaging in teamwork, and paying attention to details when communicating in health care environments. “Of course, Trena also took time to share information about the importance of mouth care for patients in the hospital,” said Tushanna M. Habalar, instructor of nursing and SNA adviser. “Trena’s positive demeanor, real-life stories and energy were appreciated by the students and faculty who attended.”

Emergency Scenarios Translate to Real-Life Benefit for Students

Occupational therapy assistant student Rachel N. Zimmerman, of Pine Grove, shows physician assistant student Zachary S. Kimble, of Bellefonte (acting as a hip-replacement patient who later in the simulation would have a stroke) and other students watching how to use a “reacher” to help with dressing. Observing is Christine A. Tilburg, clinical director of physical therapist assistant.

Emergency medical services student Ian P. McClure, of Littlestown, and paramedic technician student Megan E. Bobby, of Dysart, explain the actions they would take when called to the Dental Hygiene Clinic to help a patient experiencing an allergic reaction to Novocain.

Surgical technology students simulate a laparoscopic gall bladder removal.

Around 250 students in the School of Health Sciences – an academic division that spans 11 distinct health care and allied health fields – are participating this week in a series of hands-on emergency health simulations. The school’s fourth annual Interdisciplinary Professional Event involves 24 student teams, each made up of a cross section of health disciplines, discussing and observing one another’s role in their assigned case. Students in the physician assistant major played roles of patients, whose health problems ranged from an allergic reaction to Novocain in the Dental Hygiene Clinic to a loss of consciousness in the Keystone Dining Room, and surgeries to replace hips and remove gallbladders. As “patients” moved through the health care system, they moved, with their observers, from lab to lab in the Breuder Advanced Technology & Health Sciences Center. The purpose of the experience is to prepare the students to deliberatively work together as patients interact with each of them during their health care experience, with an ultimate goal to improve patient care. Also involved were 23 staff and faculty from the school, who planned and managed the event and led groups through their simulations on Tuesday and Thursday.

Online Learning Options at Penn College Offer Enhanced Flexibility

Penn College offers a beautiful, modern campus in Williamsport, but for students who need the flexibility of online programs, the college provides a variety of options.

Pennsylvania College of Technology is renowned for its “degrees that work,” and for those needing additional flexibility to attain a degree from the college, online options abound.

Online learning at Penn College offers more choices to students who are balancing work and family responsibilities. The offerings feature the same academic rigor and accreditation as on-campus programs, but there is no requirement to ever attend class on the campus in Williamsport. Online students may choose to enroll full time or part time.

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Students From Across Region, Range of Health Disciplines Collaborate at Summit

Groups – including the one in foreground, facilitated by Judy Quinti, assistant professor of exercise science – discuss a case in several rooms of the Bush Campus Center.

As part of an event that spanned 11 participating colleges – and the Northeast Pennsylvania Area Health Education Center – and involved 868 health and allied health students and nearly 150 health care professionals as facilitators, the eighth annual Collaborative Care Summit convened at Pennsylvania College of Technology on April 5.

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Read the Spring 2017 Penn College Magazine

Spring 2017 Penn College Magazine cover

The Spring 2017 edition of Penn College Magazine features stories of service from Ecuador, where a 2009 grad is helping coastal communities to recover from a massive earthquake; Guatemala, where nursing students learned and worked in a medical clinic; Florida, where an exercise science alumna is helping clients find health; Europe, where a 1941 drafting graduate served his country and his crewmates; and our own campus, where students and employees work to support Dining Services’ free food pantry and a variety of other community needs. Look for the magazine in building lobbies, or read and share these stories now at magazine.pct.edu.

Alumna/Nutritionist Helps ‘Losers’ Make Winning Life Choices

From her childhood preference for raw onions and other vegetables, Juliette K. Yeager has always been a fan of healthy food. The 2010 graduate has put that love to work as a nutritionist for The Biggest Loser Resort at Amelia Island, Florida. Inspired by the popular TV show, the resort provides a sanctuary for individuals to explore healthy life choices, including proper nutrition. Yeager earned an associate degree in physical fitness specialist (now exercise science) at Penn College before obtaining a bachelor’s degree in nutritional sciences at Penn State in 2012, and it’s easy to see that she made the right career choice. “We had to take three nutrition classes at the time and, within the first few weeks of that first nutrition class, I knew that’s what I wanted to do,” she says. “I value the hands-on experience that I had, as opposed to just sitting in a lecture hall with hundreds of kids and not really seeing it firsthand. We actually dealt with real-life clients as opposed to just textbook learning, but I also enjoyed the fact that there was a classroom component. That education was irreplaceable for me. I use it every day, without a doubt.”

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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Penn College Adds Physical Therapist Assistant Degree

Penn College physical therapist assistant student Kathleen L. Carey, of Montoursville, assesses the deep tendon reflexes of classmate Angela M. Cipolla, of Williamsport, during a practice exercise.

Pennsylvania College of Technology welcomed the first class of students into its new Physical Therapist Assistant Program this spring, following a semester of prerequisite coursework.

The two-year degree program culminates in an Associate of Applied Science degree; students wishing to continue their studies to the bachelor’s level may continue in the applied health studies major.

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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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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.

March 25 Event to Offer Free Preventive Dental Services to Children

Free dental care – including sealants, fluoride varnish treatments, education and screenings – will be available to children ages 7-15 on Saturday, March 25, when Pennsylvania College of Technology will be a host site for the Pennsylvania Dental Hygienists’ Association’s Sealant Saturday initiative.

Sealant Saturday events are held across the state. The Penn College event will take place 9 a.m. to noon in the college’s Dental Hygiene Clinic, which is in Room 227 on the west wing of the Advanced Technology and Health Sciences Center.

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Low-Cost Dental Care Available in Penn College Dental Hygiene Clinic

Kayla M. Brensinger, a dental hygiene student from Altoona, works with a client in Penn College’s Dental Hygiene Clinic. Services available to the community include cleanings, exams, sealants and X-rays.

The dental hygiene clinic at Pennsylvania College of Technology provides preventive dental care at a nominal cost not only to Penn College students and employees, but also to patrons from surrounding communities.

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Student’s Mural Guides Cyclists Along Road to Better Health

John M. Arrigonie, lab supervisor for exercise science, and artist Lindsey Martin pause in front of the in-progress mural, which was completed between Finals Week and Winter Break.

With her own sketch to guide her, Martin adds wisps of color to a previously blank wall.

The finished mural provides a virtual destination for cycling students.

Graphic design student Lindsey Martin helped the exercise science department to transform a room formerly used to teach CPR courses. The classroom – Room 107 in Bardo Gymnasium – is now equipped for a hybrid Group Cycling and TRX Training class, taught by John M. Arrigonie, lab supervisor for exercise science. Martin has also completed murals for Schneider Electric and Whoodles, a dog grooming and training facility. In the Bardo Gym classroom, Martin’s mural is faced by cyclists on stationary bikes, so she was directed to design a scene that included a path. “I wanted it to be very vibrant,” she said, so her tree-lined path leads to a bright sunset over purple mountains.