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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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Emergency Management General Information Health Information Technology Individualized Programs of Study Natural Science Nursing Nursing & Health Sciences Physician Assistant Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications

‘Working Class: Helping & Healing’ premieres March 21

The latest episode of a locally produced, award-winning public television series emphasizes the importance of caring individuals who provide for the health and well-being of the community.

“Working Class: Helping & Healing,” produced by Pennsylvania College of Technology and WVIA Public Media, premieres on WVIA-TV at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 21 (with rebroadcasts at 1 p.m. Friday, March 22, and 11 a.m. Sunday, March 24). It highlights the importance of science, math, communication and hands-on experience in preparing students for success in health and human service careers.

The film features Penn College faculty, administrators and students who serve the community in helping and healing roles. Among them is Thomas A. Zimmerman, associate professor of psychology, who counseled area residents after the TWA Flight 800 crash in July 1996. He discusses the importance of people coming together to help one another and to heal in the wake of tragedy.

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Nursing & Health Sciences Physician Assistant Students

Physician assistant students complete clinical rotations in Peru

Pennsylvania College of Technology physician assistant students, from left, Valerie L. Kubalak, of Spring Mills; Bailey T. Bachman, of Lewistown; and Megan N. Heckman, of Spring Mills, gained experience in hospitals, language courses and public health fairs during a monthlong clinical rotation in Trujillo, Peru.

Three students in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s physician assistant major returned recently from monthlong clinical rotations in the coastal city of Trujillo, Peru, where they were immersed in medical Spanish and worked in a variety of health care settings.

Bailey T. Bachman, of Lewistown; Megan N. Heckman, of Spring Mills; and Valerie L. Kubalak, also of Spring Mills, were the first Penn College physician assistant students to complete clinical rotations outside of the United States.

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Alumni Applied Health Dental Hygiene Emergency Medical Services/Paramedic Events Exercise Science Faculty & Staff Health Information Technology Nursing Nursing & Health Sciences Occupational Therapy Assistant Physical Therapist Assistant Physician Assistant President Radiography Students Surgical Technology

School of Nursing & Health Sciences hosts celebration

Pennsylvania College of Technology welcomed several School of Nursing & Health Sciences alumni back to campus to speak at an event celebrating the school’s name change, its academic majors, and milestone anniversaries for two programs: occupational therapy assistant (30 years) and physician assistant (20 years). From left are Megan Wright, ’12, a physician assistant practicing physical medicine and rehabilitation; Brian Webster, ’06, a nurse practitioner specializing in emergency and family nursing; President Davie Jane Gilmour; Sandra L. Richmond, dean of nursing and health sciences; and Michele “Mindy” Tedesco, ’88, a registered occupational therapist specializing in home health care.

The School of Nursing & Health Sciences at Pennsylvania College of Technology held a multifaceted celebration on Oct. 4 by hosting an open house of its facilities and welcoming accomplished alumni, who reflected on how their education has shaped their careers.

“We come together … to celebrate the positive impact all 10 of our nursing and health sciences programs have on our students’ lives, the professions in which they work, and the communities they serve,” said Sandra L. Richmond, dean of nursing and health sciences.

Of particular significance during the celebration was a change to the school’s name: from the School of Health Sciences to the School of Nursing & Health Sciences, and the anniversaries of the occupational therapy assistant program, whose first students graduated 30 years ago, and the physician assistant program, which graduated its first students 20 years ago.

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Alumni Faculty & Staff Nursing & Health Sciences Physician Assistant

Director Appointed for Penn College Physician Assistant Program

Joshua A. Bower

Joshua A. Bower has been named director of the physician assistant program at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

Bower is a certified physician assistant, licensed to practice in Pennsylvania. His primary focus is in ophthalmology. Prior to joining the Penn College staff in August, he was a physician assistant for six years at the Eye Center of Central PA.

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Alumni Nursing & Health Sciences Physician Assistant Students

Surgical Technology Board Exam Pass Rate Beats National Average

Penn College student Anna G. Thompson, of Mount Carmel, practices assisting with a laparoscopic surgery in the college’s mock operating room. Over 91 percent of the college’s August surgical technology graduates passed the national certification exam for surgical technologists on their first attempt.

Pennsylvania College of Technology’s 2018 surgical technology graduates passed the national Certified Surgical Technologist Examination on their first attempt with a 91.67 percent pass rate, which far exceeds the national average. The group of 12 graduated in August and took the exam the same month.

The Certified Surgical Technologist exam is conducted by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting.

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Emergency Medical Services/Paramedic Nursing & Health Sciences Physician Assistant Students

Penn College Students Serve Health Care Needs at LLWS

Penn College emergency medical services students Michelle K. Waughen, of Montgomery, and Ali T. Alnasir, of Williamsport, stand ready to provide to provide care to those in attendance at the 2017 Little League World Series. Penn College students pursuing careers as physician assistants and paramedics are providing health care at the 2018 World Series.

Forty-three students in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s physician assistant and emergency medical services/paramedic programs will be on hand to help serve the health care needs of spectators and players at the Little League Baseball World Series, Aug. 16-26.

The event draws tens of thousands of spectators over 11 days as 16 U.S. and international Little League teams vie for the championship in South Williamsport, just a short drive from the Penn College main campus.

“We are proud to have our physician assistant and paramedic students participate with interdisciplinary members of the health care team to assist with providing care to Little League players from around the world,” said Sandra L. Richmond, dean of nursing and health sciences. “This event is an excellent example of the cross-cultural service learning opportunities we provide for our students.”

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Faculty & Staff Nursing & Health Sciences Physician Assistant Students

Girded With ‘Armor of Compassion,’ PA Students Start Clinical

Members of the physician assistant Class of 2019 gather to celebrate their move from classroom to clinical learning.
Members of the physician assistant Class of 2019 gather to celebrate their move from classroom to clinical learning.
Hannah M. Frantz, of Hershey, accepts a hug from Christine Frantz, who presented her pin. White coats were given by instructor Larissa D. Whitney, and each student chose an individual to attach his or her pin.
Hannah M. Frantz, of Hershey, accepts a hug from Christine Frantz, who presented her pin. White coats were given by instructor Larissa D. Whitney, and each student chose an individual to attach his or her pin.
Jennifer L. Mitchell, of Kulpmont, flashes a smile at the audience as she is “pinned” by Elizabeth Bendas.
Jennifer L. Mitchell, of Kulpmont, flashes a smile at the audience as she is “pinned” by Elizabeth Bendas.
Katanga Muanza, of Williamsport, hugs Emil Lukasa after receiving his white coat and pin.
Katanga Muanza, of Williamsport, hugs Emil Lukasa after receiving his white coat and pin.
Elizabeth A. Belz, of Montoursville; Hannah M. Frantz, of Hershey; Dylan C. Griffin, of Milton; and Amber L. Grimm, of Milton, join classmates in reciting the physician assistant oath.
Elizabeth A. Belz, of Montoursville; Hannah M. Frantz, of Hershey; Dylan C. Griffin, of Milton, join classmates in reciting the physician assistant oath.

Students in the physician assistant Class of 2019 celebrated a milestone in their education on July 21 with the program’s traditional “white coat ceremony.” Twenty-seven students marked the completion of three semesters of intensive classroom study that will be followed – beginning with the Fall 2018 semester – with a full year of hands-on patient care at health care sites, under the supervision of clinical preceptors. The white coat, explained the program’s medical director, Dr. Gregory R. Frailey, in welcoming remarks, holds a great deal of symbolism. He dons his white coat each workday as though putting on the armor of compassion. Other speakers included Dr. Anju Sonia Dayal, a part-time instructor of physician assistant; Larissa D. Whitney, instructor of physician assistant; Brian M. McKeon Sr., assistant professor of physician assistant; and class representatives Kelly E. Heckman, of Bellefonte, and Wayne R. Jacobs, of Jersey Shore. The class, led by Physician Assistant Club President Valerie L. Kubalak, of Spring Mills, recited the physician assistant oath, pledging to hold the health, safety, welfare and dignity of all human beings as their primary responsibility, then presented gifts to the full-time physician assistant faculty, including a gift of $1,000 to the Global Down Syndrome Foundation in honor of Carter Whitney.

Alumni Dental Hygiene Faculty & Staff Nursing Nursing & Health Sciences Physician Assistant Radiography Students

Health Sciences Team Owns ‘Breakout’ Session

Conquering the interactive challenge of Williamsport Escapes are (clockwise, from bottom left) Zeel Patel, a pre-nursing student from Bensalem; Long; Traister; Cera N. Blunk, a physician assistant major from Schuylkill Haven; Emily K. Conklin, a pre-dental hygiene student from Port Allegany; and Constance J. Plankenhorn, of Williamsport, enrolled in physician assistant studies.
Conquering the interactive challenge of Williamsport Escapes are (clockwise, from bottom left) Zeel Patel, a pre-nursing student from Bensalem; Long; Traister; Cera N. Blunk, a physician assistant major from Schuylkill Haven; Emily K. Conklin, a pre-dental hygiene student from Port Allegany; and Constance J. Plankenhorn, of Williamsport, enrolled in physician assistant studies.

The Health Sciences Living-Learning Community participated in an activity Friday at Williamsport Escapes, which offers a team-building series of brain games at 201 Basin Street. Tanae A. Traister, clinical director of nursing, and Taren A. (Adams) Long, a 2011 radiography graduate, joined four students as they solved clues that allowed them to break out of the facility’s locker-room area. The group was given 60 minutes to escape and managed to get out with two minutes and 57 seconds to spare! Penn College’s Living-Learning Communities provide themed housing arrangements for first-year residents in a variety of academic majors.
Photo provided

Nursing & Health Sciences Physician Assistant Students

Tia G. La Named ‘Student of the Month’

Tia G. La

Tia G. La, a pre-physician assistant major from Guam, has been chosen as the December/January “Student of the Month” at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

A former student photographer for Public Relations & Marketing and a Community Peer Educator with Student Affairs, she also volunteers with Big Brothers Big Sisters and has given of her time at Susquehanna Health (now UPMC Susquehanna).

“Her images are fantastic! Her incredible photographic talent has graced our college magazine, marketing publications, social media, PCToday and other media/marketing outlets,” a staff nominator wrote. “For two full years (summers included), she represented PRM at countless campus and off-campus events, positively interacting with the college family and the community.”

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Faculty & Staff Nursing & Health Sciences Physician Assistant

PA Program Receives College’s Outstanding Assessment Award

Employees of the Penn College’s physician assistant program received the college’s President’s Award for Outstanding Assessment of Student Learning. From left are Katie M. McNamee, secretary to the program; Brian M. McKeon, assistant professor; Heather S. Dorman, clinical director; Lynn Eckrote, director; Victor P. Pupo, instructor; and Dr. Kendra F. Boell, clinical director. Also integral to the effort, but not pictured, is Larissa D. Whitney, instructor of physician assistant.

Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Physician Assistant Program has been named the recipient of the college’s 2017 President’s Award for Outstanding Assessment of Student Learning.

Employees of the program received the honor Jan. 5 at the all-college meeting that opened the Spring 2018 semester.

The President’s Award for Outstanding Assessment of Student Learning recognizes initiative and creativity in facilitating student learning and reflects the college’s commitment to ongoing assessment of student learning outcomes.

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Nursing & Health Sciences Physician Assistant Students

PA Program Again Celebrates Physician Assistant Week

Penn College physician assistant students practice their suturing skills. During National Physician Assistant Week, the Penn College physician assistant program is celebrating the announcement of its continued accreditation through the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant.

Pennsylvania College of Technology has much to celebrate during 2017’s National Physician Assistant Week.

An initiative of the American Academy of PAs, National PA Week takes place Oct. 6-12 each year. This week, more than 115,500 physician assistants celebrate the profession’s contributions to the nation’s health and increase public awareness of the important role PAs play in collaboration with physicians in providing patient-centered health care. Commemorating the first PA graduates from Duke University in 1967, this year also marks 50 years of the PA profession.

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Faculty & Staff Nursing Nursing & Health Sciences Physician Assistant Students

Students Aid Flu-Shot Clinic at College Health Services

Under the watch of Barbie D. Harbaugh, instructor of nursing, Bryce J. Merrill administers a flu shot to Kaitlyn E. Miller, a student in applied health studies, radiography concentration.
Under the watch of Barbie D. Harbaugh, instructor of nursing, Bryce J. Merrill administers a flu shot to Kaitlyn E. Miller, a student in applied health studies, radiography concentration.
Kaitlyn L. Andersen, of Mastic, N.Y., enrolled in the Fundamentals of Nursing course, swabs the arm of classmate Emily L. Tashner-Thompson, of Muncy.
Kaitlyn L. Andersen, of Mastic, N.Y., enrolled in the Fundamentals of Nursing course, swabs the arm of classmate Emily L. Tashner-Thompson, of Muncy.
Jessica M. Dreese, a student in Adult Health Nursing I, immunizes nursing student Ciara N. Bond.
Jessica M. Dreese, a student in Adult Health Nursing I, immunizes nursing student Ciara N. Bond.
Nursing student Michael G. Covone, like his classmates, uses both technical and communication skills while providing a flu vaccine to graphic design student Alexandria C. Wood.
Nursing student Michael G. Covone, like his classmates, uses both technical and communication skills while providing a flu vaccine to graphic design student Alexandria C. Wood.
Students in one of four Adult Health Nursing I labs take their turn administering flu shots in College Health Services. From left are Covone, a student from Bellefonte; Harbaugh; and students Merrill, of Williamsport; Danita M. Robinson, of Watsontown; Ryan E. Reid, of Linden; Dreese, of Selinsgrove; Crystal S. Pearson, of Muncy; and Jessica L. Yoder, of Watsontown.
Students in one of four Adult Health Nursing I labs take their turn administering flu shots in College Health Services. From left are Covone, a student from Bellefonte; Harbaugh; and students Merrill, of Williamsport; Danita M. Robinson, of Watsontown; Ryan E. Reid, of Linden; Dreese, of Selinsgrove; Crystal S. Pearson, of Muncy; and Jessica L. Yoder, of Watsontown.

Students in nursing and physician assistant majors put their skills to use this week in College Health Services, where they administered flu shots to the college community. The students were overseen by instructors as they provided the vaccines.

Faculty & Staff Nursing & Health Sciences Physician Assistant Students

PA Students, Program Director Interviewed at Little League

WNEP interviews PA students, director at LLWSWNEP’s Kristina Papa, among the journalists covering the Little League Baseball World Series in South Williamsport, recently talked with physician assistant majors Michelle D. Detwiler and Angela R. Vought and program director Lynn Eckrote about School of Health Sciences students’ experience during the 11-day sporting event. Detwiler, of Milton, and Vought, of Elysburg, are among nearly 50 PA and emergency medical services/paramedic technician students represented on the LLWS medical team. Papa’s report premiered during Tuesday’s 5 p.m. newscast.

Alumni Faculty & Staff Nursing & Health Sciences Physician Assistant

Physician Assistant Alumnus Honored by Penn College

Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour presents the Alumni Achievement Award to Kevin A. Hickman, a 2008 physician assistant graduate.

A 2008 graduate of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s physician assistant major was honored with the college’s Alumni Achievement Award at Summer 2017 commencement ceremonies, held Aug. 5 at the Community Arts Center, Williamsport.

Kevin A. Hickman, of Avon, Connecticut, and a Luzerne County native, received the award in recognition of his contributions to the physician assistant field and his alma mater.

Hickman serves as director of Physician Assistant Services for Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, in Hartford, Connecticut. The medical center employs over 200 physician assistants and advanced practice registered nurses, and is part of Trinity Health Of New England, a regional health system serving Connecticut and western Massachusetts.

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