News about Information Technology

Students crack ‘code,’ open window onto IT careers

Students from South Williamsport Junior/Senior High School use a “Tower of Hanoi” to learn the foundations of computational thinking – which requires no computer.

High school students draw paths for their Ozobots.

Alicia McNett, instructor of computer information technology, offers encouragement to a group of students from Milton High School.

Spyke M. Krepshaw, instructor of web and interactive media, confers with students from South Williamsport.

A high-schooler draws multicolor paths to direct her color-sensing Ozobot.

Penn College took part in a worldwide movement on Monday as host of an Hour of Code event for students from five high schools. A collaborative effort between the college’s School of Business & Hospitality and School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies, the event provided lessons in coding without technology and programming Ozobots, led by faculty members Anita R. Wood, associate professor of computer information technology; Spyke M. Krepshaw, instructor of web and interactive media; and Alicia McNett, instructor of computer information technology, as well as a campus tour. Wood emphasized to students that computer programmers are not necessarily smarter than others, but they are persistent in trying to solve puzzles and problems. The Hour of Code movement started as a one-hour introduction to computer science designed to demystify “code,” to show that anybody can learn the basics, and to broaden participation in the field of computer science. Most events take place during or near Computer Science Education Week. The week is held annually to recognize the birthday of computing pioneer Adm. Grace Murray Hopper on Dec. 9, 1906. More than 219,000 events were registered in more than 180 countries in 2018. Schools participating at the Penn College event were Commonwealth Charter Academy, Hughesville High School, Milton High School, South Williamsport Junior/Senior High School and York County School of Technology.

Penn College faculty present findings at IT conference

Jacob R. Miller and Sandra Gorka, associate professors of computer science at Pennsylvania College of Technology, reported on the college’s implementation of a National Science Foundation grant at the 19th Annual Conference on Information Technology Education in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Pennsylvania College of Technology faculty shared their experiences implementing a National Science Foundation grant at the 19th Annual Conference on Information Technology Education in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Jacob R. Miller and Sandra Gorka, associate professors of computer science, presented a “lightning talk” and poster session on an NSF-funded grant aiming to extend the cybersecurity student pipeline to high schools.

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High school students celebrate STEM Day at Penn College

Students from Columbia-Montour Area Vocational-Technical School program paths for small robots called Ozobots using colored markers – a way to code without a computer. The activity was one of several that high school students explored at Pennsylvania College of Technology on Nov. 8 as part of a National STEM Day celebration.

To celebrate National STEM Day, Pennsylvania College of Technology welcomed nearly 100 high school students to campus on Nov. 8.

“STEM” is short for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“In an ever-changing, increasingly complex world, it’s more important than ever that our nation’s youth are prepared to bring knowledge and skills to solve problems, make sense of information, and know how to gather and evaluate evidence to make decisions,” says the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation & Improvement. “These are the kinds of skills that students develop in science, technology, engineering and math.”

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Penn College student updates iconic Maya calendar converter

For his senior project at Pennsylvania College of Technology, Ethan M. Yoder, a software development and information management student from Denver, Lancaster County, is updating an iconic Maya calendar converter program.

Archaeologists traversing the ruins and rainforests of Mexico and Central America to unearth clues about the Maya culture have an ally more than 3,000 miles away at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

And he doesn’t even own a shovel.

From the comfort of a campus computer lab, Ethan M. Yoder digs deeply into his expertise to modernize a valuable tool that helps researchers assign historical context to discoveries. The software development and information management student is updating the iconic “bars and dots” Maya calendar converter for his senior project.

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Penn College IT students participate in major conference

Five information technology students from Pennsylvania College of Technology attended the recent COMMON Fall Conference & Expo in Pittsburgh. COMMON is the world’s largest association of IBM and IBM-compatible information technology users. From left are Jacob A. Bamonte, of Milton; Mike D. Moran, of Williamsport; Grant W. Hile, of Dillsburg; Ekaterina A. Molostvova, of Pottsville; and Nichalus S. Kibler, of New Columbia.

Five Pennsylvania College of Technology information technology students enhanced their education and future career prospects by attending the recent COMMON Fall Conference & Expo in Pittsburgh.

The students participated in sessions covering a variety of IT topics, networked with industry professionals and obtained COMMON certification. COMMON is the world’s largest association of IBM and IBM-compatible information technology users.

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Ethan M. McKenzie chosen as September’s ‘Student of the Month’ 

Ethan M. McKenzie

Ethan M. McKenzie, a software development and information management major from Muncy, has been selected as the September “Student of the Month” at Pennsylvania College of Technology. 

A Student Government Association senator-at-large, representing Diversity & Community Engagement, McKenzie also has a seat on College Council and works as a student assistant in Madigan Library.

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Penn College Cyber Security Student Awarded National Scholarship

Alexander M. Fox

A Pennsylvania College of Technology student is one of 17 nationwide recipients of a $5,000 scholarship from Johnstone Supply, a leading cooperative wholesale distributor in the HVACR industry.

Alexander M. Fox, an information assurance and cyber security major from Bangor, received the honor exclusive to students who are employees or children of employees of Johnstone Supply. Thanks to the John M. Shank Memorial Scholarship Fund, named for the founder of Johnstone Supply, the company annually supports the educational pursuits of students in a variety of fields.

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‘Working Class’ Documentary Series Earns Third Telly Award

From left, Jacob R. Miller, Elaine J. Lambert, Edwin G. Owens, Lauren A. Rhodes, Christopher J. Leigh, Edward J. Almasy and Spyke M. Krepshaw were integral in the production of “Working Class: Game On! Why Math Matters,” a Telly Award-winning episode of the documentary series produced by Penn College and WVIA Public Media.

“Working Class: Game On! Why Math Matters,” produced by Pennsylvania College of Technology and WVIA Public Media, has earned a 2018 Bronze Telly Award.

Selected from more than 12,000 national and international entries, the Telly Awards represent work from some of the most respected advertising agencies, television stations, production companies and publishers from around the world. In 2018, PBS productions earned 33 Telly Awards, including several for “The Vietnam War: A Film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick.”

“Working Class: Game On! Why Math Matters” is the third episode in the “Working Class” public television series to win a Telly Award. The series’ premiere episode, “Working Class: Dream & Do,” earned the award in 2016; “Working Class: Build & Grow Green” received the honor in 2017.

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SkillsUSA Competitors Strike Gold; 21 Students Headed to Nationals

SkillsUSA Pennsylvania

Nearly all 27 members of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s SkillsUSA team – 21 of them advancing to the 54th annual National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Kentucky – earned medals during recent state competition.

The competitors represent majors across four of Penn College’s academic schools, and the theme for the April 18-20 Pennsylvania Leadership and Skills Conference in Hershey couldn’t have been more fitting for students gaining career-making skills in hands-on fashion: “Champions at Work: Job-Ready, Day One.”

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Penn College IT Student Wins National Contest

Joseph M. Dreese, of Millerstown, recently won a nationwide contest for information technology innovation. Dreese is scheduled to graduate in May from Penn College with a bachelor’s degree in information assurance and cyber security.

A Pennsylvania College of Technology information technology student has earned accolades from COMMON, the world’s largest association of IBM and IBM-compatible information technology users.

Joseph M. Dreese, of Millerstown, won COMMON’s 2018 Student Innovation Contest for his “Phishing with a License” project. The competition recognizes innovation in information systems, enterprise computing, computer science, information technology or a related field. Dreese’s prize includes an all-expense-paid trip to COMMON’s POWERUp18 Conference, where he will present his work. The IT showcase is scheduled for late May in San Antonio.

“We are very proud of Joe for this impressive recognition,” said Lisa Bock, associate professor of computer information technology, who encouraged Dreese to enter the contest. “I know he put countless hours into the submission, and his research and analysis were outstanding.”

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Penn College Preparing Genial Cyberwarrior for Battles to Come

Adam E. Reinard

Growing up less than 20 miles from main campus, Adam E. Reinard was well acquainted with Pennsylvania College of Technology as a regional resource featuring such highly regarded majors as plastics and nursing … but without one that immediately appealed to him.

With proven aptitude in math and science, and the strong desire to help people through the development of life-saving medications, Reinard, of Hughesville, instead enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh with hopes of becoming a research pharmacist.

Time went on and his objective changed, as did his back-up plan to be a chemistry teacher. After working for a couple of years to narrow his career focus and resolve to jump-start his postsecondary education, he eventually found that his “little hometown college” offered the opportunity to make a big impact.

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K-12 Challenge: Make a Game, Gain New Skills

Seeking a spring challenge for budding student gamers, artists and engineers? Pennsylvania College of Technology and WVIA Public Media – producers of the “Working Class” documentary series – invite K-12 students, teachers and parents to create their own original board games or video games in the Game On! Art Challenge.

The challenge is inspired by “Working Class: Game On! Why Math Matters,” which can be viewed on WVIA On Demand, YouTube and the series website.

A member of the Penn College faculty who appeared in “Game On! Why Math Matters” encourages teachers and parents to view students’ interest in games as a way to connect them with academics and future careers. Making those connections is a theme of the “Working Class” documentaries.

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Alumni Sweethearts Celebrate Inspiring Mentors, Enduring Love

Alumni Sweethearts Chris Y. and Beth L. (Rozman) Cummings enjoy a Victorian House stay during their return to campus.

A couple who met at freshmen orientation – during the summer of 1998 – returned to campus this past weekend as the 2018 Alumni Sweethearts.

Chris Y. and Beth L. (Rozman) Cummings, of Elizabethtown, enjoyed an overnight stay in the Victorian House and dinner at Le Jeune Chef Restaurant as winners of Alumni Relations’ seventh annual Alumni Sweethearts contest. Due to the start of Spring Break, the alumni enjoyed a particularly quiet weekend at their alma mater.

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Weston L. Laity Selected as February’s ‘Student of the Month’

Weston L. Laity

Weston L. Laity, an information technology sciences-gaming and simulation major from Blandon, has been chosen as the February “Student of the Month” at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

President of the Association of Professional Programmers since his freshman year, Laity’s leadership has brought many positive changes to the student organization: greater attendance at events, higher profit from fundraisers and more students at the club’s weekly meetings.

“Seeing and hearing Weston and his passion for APP has inspired me to run for an executive position in his club next semester,” a student nominator said. “Weston’s passion for the club makes me want to also be a greater part of it. … (He) has inspired me to work harder than before, so I can help people just like he does.”

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Club’s Initiative Connects Students to Game Developers

Fittingly clad in Sherwood Forest green, developer Andrew Schneider pays a virtual visit this month to a gaming lab in the Breuder Advanced Technology & Health Sciences Center.

Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Game Development Club recently hosted a virtual visit from Andrew Schneider, creator of “Nocked! True Tales of Robin Hood,” who was among the game designers that members met while attending last month’s Music and Gaming Festival in National Harbor, Maryland.

The award-winning guest speaker was the first of many, with one planned every other Friday as part of the club’s industry-connections initiative.

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