News about Emergency Management

Silenced voices echo through survivor’s search for ‘normal’

The emergency management technology student fields a question from the audience.

An emergency management technology major who is a survivor of last year’s Las Vegas shooting shared her story with fellow Pennsylvania College of Technology students and faculty Monday night in the Student & Administrative Services Center’s Presentation Room.

Emergency management, human services, nursing and emergency medical services/paramedic students were among those who listened intently and respectfully to Robyn N. Wolfe’s harrowing story. Her husband, William “Bill” Wolfe Jr., was the sole Pennsylvania fatality in the horrific mass shooting that claimed 58 lives and injured more than 800 people.

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Morgan Foundation grant pushes scholarship fund past $1 million

A second gift of $500,000 from the Tamaqua-based John E. Morgan Foundation has boosted an endowed scholarship fund at Pennsylvania College of Technology to more than $1 million.

The John E. Morgan Scholarship gives first preference to graduates of Tamaqua Area High School who are pursuing “a degree that is not readily available from other institutions, at a comparable price, within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”

Examples of such programs offered at Penn College include, but are not limited to, culinary arts and systems, web and interactive media, building science and sustainable design, health information management, industrial design, plastics and polymer engineering technology, emergency management technology, and aviation maintenance technology.

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Emergency management grad urges career preparedness, too

David E. Bjorkman, instructor of emergency management/social science, introduces his guest speaker to emergency management students.

Hess details various types of disaster recovery planning strategies.

The emergency management lab, on the fourth floor of Klump Academic Center, offers a collaborative work space.

Emergency management technology graduate Elizabeth (Landis) Hess, ’17, returned to the classroom recently to share her advice and expertise with students in the major. Hess is working as a disaster preparedness associate at Delta Development Group, Mechanicsburg. Among her projects, the Penn College alumna is working with public health, state and local stakeholders, and health care coalitions on a variety of emergency management initiatives. During her time in the major, Hess interned over two summers at the Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center under the guidance of its emergency preparedness coordinator. As part of her visit to her alma mater, Hess discussed courses within the emergency management curricula that she has found particularly relevant in the world of work, and encouraged students to take full advantage of internships and other learning opportunities that will enhance their resumes and skill sets. Once on the job, she told her audience to “humble yourself and be willing to learn” as they begin to navigate their careers and to keep an open mind to different paths since emergency management “is a broad field” filled with many possibilities and specialties.

Free Screening of Award-Winning Documentary Scheduled

"Thank You for Your Service"

The failure of U.S. military mental health policy to address the needs of veterans is the focus of an acclaimed documentary to be screened at the Community Arts Center.

“Thank You for Your Service” will be shown on Wednesday, March 21, at 7 p.m. at the Arts Center, 220 W. Fourth St., Williamsport. Doors will open at 6 p.m. A reception – offering conversation, food, support and services for veterans – will follow the movie. Tom Donahue, the documentary’s director, is scheduled to attend.

The free event is presented by Pennsylvania College of Technology, Lycoming College and the Community Arts Center.

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Working Their Way Through College

Students band in Bookmarks Café to finalize projects and cram for finals.

Crosby presents in Penn's Inn.

With holiday lights twinkling in the background, students settle in at Madigan Library – fortified with snacks and other long-haul survival provisions.

The end-of-semester crush is here, and campus is bustling with activities from presentations and projects to finals. Among the many senior capstones presented in recent days was one by Gaven D. Crosby, of Benton. Crosby and seven other seniors in Penn College’s emergency management technology major were charged with applying classroom concepts and best practices to develop a program or research paper that solves an issue or problem in the field. Crosby interned with the Army National Guard Homeland Response Force and collected data to determine the adaptability of the Department of Defense’s chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear response to non-CBRN disasters. Of course, the grand finale of the semester will be Fall Commencement, set for Saturday, Dec. 16.

Thirteen Students Selected for Penn College NOW Scholarships

Penn College presented scholarships to 13 first-year students who took Penn College NOW courses. From left are Tavor T. Wadsworth, of Williamsport; Vincent R. Keene, of Downingtown; Kayley E. Johnson, of Bloomsburg; Monica A. McCarty, Penn College’s dual enrollment specialist; Michael L. Gardner, of Williamsport; Warren E. Knipe, of Liberty; and Tanya Berfield, the college’s manager of college transitions. Additional recipients not in the photo are: Cheyenne N. Greene, of Jersey Shore; Deontae Z. Johnson, of Selinsgrove; Kylee E. Kelley, of Lock Haven; Tyler W. Miller, of Montgomery; Luke B. Walter, of Millmont; Brittany M. Weiskopff, of Blossburg; Clayton T. Welch, of Benton; and Jeremy M. Wolfgang, of Allenwood.

Pennsylvania College of Technology recently recognized 13 first-year students who received Penn College NOW scholarships.

The recipients completed Penn College courses during high school as part of the college’s Penn College NOW dual-enrollment program. The group was honored during an Oct. 27 reception.

To be eligible, students must have successfully completed at least one Penn College NOW course, have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in Penn College NOW classes, enroll in Penn College as a full-time freshman student for the fall semester after high school graduation, and maintain a 2.5 GPA at Penn College as an enrolled student.

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Penn College Emergency Management Interns Help Communities

Penn College emergency management technology students, including Autumn M. Devine (foreground), of Mars, engage in a disaster response exercise at the Emergency Operations Center in Williamsport.

Twelve students enrolled in emergency management technology at Pennsylvania College of Technology recently applied their skills during rewarding internships in Pennsylvania and New York.

The internships supplement the hands-on education the students receive in the classroom and at community-based training exercises.

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In Penn College Fashion, Student Puts Know-How to Use

Shakeem J. Thomas

Pennsylvania College of Technology students regularly apply their skills to help others – even before graduation.

That’s the case with Shakeem J. Thomas, an emergency management technology student from Brooklyn, New York, who’s lending a hand in the nearby Queens neighborhood of Broad Channel where residents are still recovering – five years later – from Hurricane Sandy. Working with CAC BHL Joint Venture, LLC, a company contracted under New York City’s “Build It Back” program, Thomas is helping with the rebuilding effort.

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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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Foundation’s Generosity Endows Scholarship, Creates Opportunity

A significant grant from the Tamaqua-based John E. Morgan Foundation will allow students from that area to enroll in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s distinctive “degrees that work.”

The nonprofit foundation’s $500,000 contribution establishes the John E. Morgan Scholarship, which will give first preference to graduates of Tamaqua Area High School who are pursuing “a degree that is not readily available from other institutions, at a comparable price, within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”

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Pacts Ease Path to Further Education in Emergency Management

Students in Penn College’s emergency management technology major practice their future career roles at a City of Williamsport emergency operations center during a simulated tornado disaster.

Pennsylvania College of Technology recently approved articulation agreements with three institutions to help associate-degree graduates further their education with a bachelor’s degree in emergency management technology.

The agreements provide a clear transition to Penn College for graduates of the State University of New York Broome County Community College’s associate degree in homeland security; Delaware Technical and Community College’s associate degree in homeland security and emergency management; and Raritan Valley Community College’s emergency services associate degree.

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Emergency Management Interns Help Communities

Penn College emergency management technology students, including Emily V. Lenhart (right), of New Tripoli, participate in a tornado disaster exercise at the Emergency Operations Center in Williamsport.

Six students enrolled in emergency management technology at Pennsylvania College of Technology are honing their skills and helping their communities while serving in internships this summer.

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Grads Keep Cool, Maintain Public Safety in Crises

The School of Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications’ emergency management technology major is the focus of a new video on Penn College’s YouTube channel. The four-year degree prepares graduates for careers ranging from disaster planning specialist to public health preparedness coordinator through a comprehensive understanding of the phases of emergency management.

Emergency Management Students Evaluate Comprehensive Drill

As role-playing humans and dummy patients cover the ground after a simulated drone attack, students Brittany L. Neupauer and Christopher H. Warney, both of Williamsport, assess the response.

As emergency personnel in hazmat gear go through their paces, Brandon A. Schrimp, of Williamsport, puts his observations on the record.

Shakeem S. Thomas, of Brooklyn, N.Y., jots down his impressions inside Williamsport Regional Medical Center.

Daniel S. Lewis (left), of Hamilton Square, N.J., and Schrimp compare notes in the field.

Eleven upper-level emergency management technology students took advantage of the opportunity to observe a large-scale, mass-casualty and decontamination drill on the Williamsport Regional Medical Center campus Thursday morning. Tasked with observing the response systems, victim assessment and aid procedures used by first responders, the Penn College students deployed to the incident scene, two decontamination sites and an in-hospital receiving/treatment site where they collected data. That information will be aggregated into an after-action report noting “what worked” and “what needs work” in preparing for an efficient response to a real event should one occur in the region, said Thomas A. Zimmerman, associate professor of psychology, who led a group of students through the simulation. The students were welcomed by James W. Slotterback, emergency preparedness coordinator for the Susquehanna Health System, who emphasized that the students’ valuable observations will be added to the evaluations and observations of several emergency management agencies, drill facilitators and response team leaders participating in  Thursday’s exercises. Dr. Gregory R. Frailey, WRMC’s medical command physician and director, also welcomed the students and explained that the drill was the next phase in a planning process that began in September. During their observation, Zimmerman said, students had the opportunity to interact with responders, security personnel, evaluators from the Pennsylvania Department of Health in Harrisburg and many others.

Emergency Management Majors Coordinate Response in Disaster Drill

Richard A. Knecht (background), director of Lycoming County Emergency Management Agency, watches as students Christopher H. Warney, of Williamsport, and Jamie L. Steer, of South Williamsport, take action.

Shakeem J. Thomas (right), of Brooklyn, N.Y., joins Warney (left) and Corbin P. Snyder, of Harrisburg, in a busy downtown conference room.

With a map of greater Williamsport nearby, Snyder and Christina R. Inman, of Sugar Grove, keep on top of the situation.

Monitoring the ever-changing flow of information are (from left) Steven J. Moon, of Williamsport; Brandon A. Schrimp, of Williamsport; and Cory Crider, of Sicklerville, New Jersey.

Effectively teaming up are Madison H. Januchowski, of Montoursville, and Daniel S. Lewis, of Hamilton Square, New Jersey.

In collaboration with the Lycoming County Emergency Management Agency, Penn College emergency management technology students recently participated in a disaster exercise at the city’s Emergency Operations Center in response to a tornado impacting the greater Williamsport area. Students role-played as EOC staff members in response to the “disaster” and simulated the coordination that would occur among emergency management; first responders; nongovernmental organizations; businesses; and local, county, and state government agencies.

Penn College is a special mission affiliate of Penn State