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Career Day sets middle schoolers’ sights on tomorrow

Led by Franklin H. Reber, instructor of building construction technology, and students, Career Day visitors create concrete stepping stones.

College employees rallied to provide nearly 40 educational sessions for middle schoolers from across the region who visited campus on Monday for the college’s twice-a-year Career Day. Facilitated by the college’s College Transitions Office, the event provided 1,267 students with opportunities to explore a wide variety of careers in each of the college’s six academic schools. Visitors included 13 schools and home-schooled students.

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Mock crisis authentically adds to interdisciplinary preparedness

Samer R. Doss, a PA student from Montoursville, listens to the heartbeat of dental hygiene student Megan P. Fitzsimmons, of Portville, N.Y.

Students from Penn College’s School of Nursing & Health Sciences and School of Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications joined area law enforcement, emergency management and health care professionals in a recent simulation at UPMC Susquehanna Williamsport Regional Medical Center and a variety of other locations.

The college’s paramedic program has participated in the drill since its inception, and this year, the School of Nursing & Health Sciences decided to participate schoolwide to provide an interdisciplinary learning opportunity. The school had conducted its own Interdisciplinary Professional Experience on campus for several years.

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Emergency Management Faculty & Staff Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications Students

Video spotlights emergency managers’ behind-the-scenes coordination

A wide variety of rewarding career options await graduates of Penn College’s emergency management program, the focus of a new video on the college’s YouTube channel. The bachelor’s degree prepares students for management positions in government, public health, health care agencies, and a broad spectrum of industries in which planning for potential emergencies is paramount. “A lot of people, when they come into emergency management, know and think of county-level emergency management, state-level emergency management; they think of FEMA or Homeland Security,” says David E. Bjorkman, an emergency management/social science instructor in the college’s School of Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications. “Emergency management and disasters touch every aspect of community life. Every organization. No one is immune to any disasters.” The piece was crafted by Tristan D. Scott, a student videographer/editor, under direction of  Christopher J. Leigh, video production coordinator.

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‘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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Emergency Management Faculty & Staff Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications

Emergency management instructor honored for advocacy

David E. Bjorkman

David E. Bjorkman, instructor of emergency management/social science at Pennsylvania College of Technology, was honored by the Keystone Emergency Management Association at its inaugural Emergency Preparedness Conference, held recently at the Blair County Convention Center in Altoona.

Bjorkman received the Spirit of KEMA Award. The award was established by the KEMA Board of Directors to recognize KEMA members who have worked tirelessly to advance the association, promote its mission, advocate on its behalf and forge partnerships that seek to elevate the emergency management profession.

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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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Alumni Emergency Management Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications Students

Emergency management grad urges career preparedness, too

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

Emergency Management Events Faculty & Staff Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications

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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Emergency Management Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications Students

Working Their Way Through College

Students band in Bookmarks Café to finalize projects and cram for finals.
Students band in Bookmarks Café to finalize projects and cram for finals.
Crosby presents in Penn's Inn.
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.
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.

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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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Emergency Management Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications Students

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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