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Pre-College Programs to enrich participants’ summer experience

Young women enrolled in SMART Girls, among the wide-ranging roster of pre-college programs at Pennsylvania College of Technology, assemble a robot during last summer’s camp.

Building construction has been added to the abounding schedule of pre-college initiatives offered at Pennsylvania College of Technology, hands-on summer activities that mirror the nationally renowned opportunities afforded postsecondary students.

“Our Pre-College Programs offer living and learning experiences in which students have opportunities to explore unique academic interests in a state-of-the-art environment,” said Deborah B. Wescott, manager of conference and guest relations. “It’s a chance to work and make connections with industry leaders, meet and mingle with your peers, and establish a path that could lead to all sorts of future possibilities.”

The signup deadline is May 31 for the institution’s 12 residential programs and its one day camp.

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Faculty & Staff Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies Information Technology Students

Penn College duo addresses cybersecurity skills shortage

Thanks to strong attendance by students, faculty, staff and alumni, Pennsylvania College of Technology was well-represented at a recent major cybersecurity conference: ShmooCon 2019 in Washington, D.C.

A Pennsylvania College of Technology faculty duo detailed at a recent major cybersecurity conference their pioneering efforts to address the critical shortage of professionals in the field.

Jacob R. Miller and Sandra Gorka, associate professors of computer science, presented “Kinder Garten Security: Teaching the Pre-college Crowd” at ShmooCon 2019 in Washington, D.C.

The annual East Coast hacker convention is devoted to technology impacting information security and discussions regarding the field. The conference is offered by The Shmoo Group, comprised of worldwide security professionals who donate their time and expertise for information security research and development.

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Faculty & Staff Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies Information Technology

Faculty’s cybersecurity outreach featured in Washington Post

Miller (left) and Gorka, during an earlier presentation about their National Science Foundation-funded plan to involve pre-college students in cybersecurity awareness.
Miller (left) and Gorka, during an earlier presentation about their National Science Foundation-funded plan to involve pre-college students in cybersecurity awareness.

An effort by two members of Penn College’s information technology faculty to extend cybersecurity education to high school students – and younger – is featured in Jan. 11 editions of The Washington Post. Jacob R. Miller and Sandra Gorka, associate professors of computer science, will attend the ShmooCon hacker convention in the nation’s capital and offer a Jan. 18 presentation about a dual-enrollment program to interest pre-college students in cybersecurity careers. “If you go into a first- or second-grade class and ask, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ it’s doubtful anyone would say information security analyst,” Miller told The Post’s Joseph Marks. “But we want to raise the profile so when they’re thinking of doctors, nurses and firefighters, they’ll also think of IT pros and security in IT. That’s the holy grail of where we want to see this project go.” The college offers four IT baccalaureate degrees: software development and information management, information assurance and cyber security, information technology: network specialist concentration, and game and simulation programming. Students may also seek an associate degree in information technology: technical support technology emphasis.

Business & Hospitality Events Faculty & Staff Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.

Faculty & Staff Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies Information 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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Faculty & Staff Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies Information Technology Students

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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Faculty & Staff Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies Information Technology Students

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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Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies Information Technology Students

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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Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies Information Technology Students

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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Electronics & Computer Engineering Technology Faculty & Staff Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies Information Technology Mathematics Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications Students

‘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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Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies Information Technology Students

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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Faculty & Staff Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies Information Technology Students

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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Faculty & Staff General Information Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies Information Technology Students

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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