News about Information Technology

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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Penn College Faculty Member Presenting at National Conference

Lisa Bock

A Pennsylvania College of Technology faculty member will share insights and practical tips with recruiters and talent acquisition professionals at a national conference devoted to sourcing.

Lisa Bock, assistant professor of computer information technology, will present “Finding Diamonds: How to Hack the Perfect Recruit” at SourceCon, Feb. 26-28 in Las Vegas. The biannual gathering promotes best practices in sourcing, proactively identifying and recruiting strong candidates for current or future job openings.

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Penn College to Again Make Impression on Farm Show Attendees

Students in Penn College’s hospitality majors join their instructor, Chef Michael J. Ditchfield, on the Culinary Connection stage at the Pennsylvania Farm Show last January.

Hundreds of thousands of visitors will soon flock to the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center to celebrate the commonwealth’s leading industry, and Pennsylvania College of Technology students and employees will be on hand for an interactive peek into the real-world applications of “degrees that work.”

“A beloved tradition of Penn College, the Pennsylvania Farm Show continues to be the highlight of the new year. During the weeklong festivities, members of Admissions, Alumni Relations and Academic Affairs bring Penn College to Harrisburg and showcase all of the amazing opportunities that await students on campus,” said Claire Z. Biggs, coordinator of admissions events and services. “Through our interactive and hands-on activities, we hope that friends of the college will come to learn what makes applied technology education so special.”

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College Joins Global ‘Hour of Code’ to Inspire Future Programmers

Alicia McNett, instructor of computer information technology at Penn College, guides a high school student in programming an Ozobot. The workshop was part of an “Hour of Code” event hosted by Penn College and attended by several high schools. It is part of an international initiative to encourage interest and confidence in the skills needed to join the computer science workforce.

Pennsylvania College of Technology hosted about 130 high school students on Dec. 4 as part of the international “Hour of Code” initiative.

Hour of Code is a global movement by Computer Science Education Week and Code.org, reaching tens of millions of students in more than 180 countries through a one-hour introduction to computer science and computer programming.

At Penn College, students from Commonwealth Charter Academy, Montgomery Area High School, Muncy Junior/Senior High School, North Penn-Liberty High School, Warren County Career Center and Wyalusing Valley High School attended an event that introduced not only coding, but problem solving, creativity and logic.

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‘Augmented Reality Sandbox’ Serves as Multidisciplinary Tool

A sandbox recently installed at Pennsylvania College of Technology is for anything but play. Thanks to the ingenuity of faculty and staff from the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies, the 250 pounds of sand will serve as an educational tool for hundreds of students in several majors.

The unit incorporates a 3-D camera, sensor, projector and computer to reveal virtual topographical contour lines, an elevation color map and simulated water on sand. When the sand is molded by hand, the virtual features change accordingly. The project is modeled after the AR Sandbox, developed by National Science Foundation-funded research at the University of California, Davis.

“It’s an application of augmented reality,” said Bradley M. Webb, assistant dean of industrial, computing and engineering technologies. “It lays computer-generated images over a real-world environment. In this case, the environment is sand. The concept is similar to the Pokémon Go game that was popular a few years ago.”

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Unified Gamers Raise Hundreds of Dollars for Children’s Charity

Co-host Bradley M. Kozuch gives a "two-thumbs-up" review to Saturday's proceedings ...

... in which three distinct groups of gamers indulged their singular passion in the service of medical care for children.

The Game Development Club hosted a 24-hour, live-stream broadcast from the Bush Campus Center TV Lounge on Saturday to raise money for charity through the Extra Life organization. According to the group’s website, “Extra Life unites thousands of gamers around the world to play … in support of their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. Since its inception in 2008, Extra Life has raised more than $30 million for sick and injured kids.” Throughout the stream, numerous Penn College students played video and tabletop games for charity. Information technology science-gaming and simulation majors Timothy M. Kainzbauer, of Mifflinburg, and Bradley M. Kozuch, of Lansford, planned, managed and hosted the stream with helpful contributions from other members of the Game Development Club, as well as students from the Gamers’ Guild and League of Legends Club. Joining forces for a singular cause, the campus gamers raised a total of $437 for the Geisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital. Online donations are still being accepted toward the $1,000 goal.
Photos provided

Award-Winning Documentary Series Explores Why Math Matters

Filming “Working Class: Game On! Why Math Matters” led Christopher J. Leigh, video production coordinator at Penn College, to scale a mountain in the Shawangunk Ridge, an internationally famous rock climbing area within the Mohonk Preserve in New York state. Leigh interacts with members of the Shawanpunk climbing team featured in the documentary.

Mountain climbers, a superhero and the legendary video game pioneer who founded Atari join with faculty to explain the importance of mathematics when Pennsylvania College of Technology’s award-winning public television series returns this fall.

“Working Class: Game On! Why Math Matters” explores the link between math, computers and technology and helps connect the study of math with real-world experiences that engage student interests.

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IT Students Featured on Panel at Industry Festival

Penn College information technology students (from left) Timothy M. Kainzbauer, of Mifflinburg; Matthew J. Danner, of Old Forge; James C. Temoshenko, of Kane; and John J. Aumiller, of Beavertown; conduct a panel discussion at MAGLabs, a festival devoted to video-game fandom, in Alexandria, Va.

Four Pennsylvania College of Technology information technology students shared their expertise during a panel discussion at a recent festival devoted to video- game fandom.

Timothy M. Kainzbauer, of Mifflinburg; Matthew J. Danner, of Old Forge; James C. Temoshenko, of Kane; and John J. Aumiller, of Beavertown, discussed resources and software available to independent game developers during MAGLabs in Alexandria, Virginia. The three-day event brought together video-game celebrities, developers, students and fans to celebrate the industry and showcase ways to impact game culture.

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Eight Penn College Students Medal in National Competition

SkillsUSA

Eight students from the widest variety of academic majors ever to represent Pennsylvania College of Technology at the National Leadership and Skills Conference returned home with medals – including first-time successes in three competitive areas.

The contingent took one of three top places in five categories, and this year marked the first time that Penn College entrants medaled in Computer Programming, TeamWorks and Welding Sculpture.

“This really goes to show how well-prepared the students are from their respective fields and how great our instructors are here at the college. This is, by far, the most diverse group of students I’ve had go to the national competition,” said SkillsUSA adviser James N. Colton II, an assistant professor of welding. “The national skills competition gives us a chance to showcase our technical skills and show everyone why we’re a leader in applied technology.”

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Pennsylvania College of Technology is a special mission affiliate of The Pennsylvania State University