News about Human Services

Challenge Accepted! College Wins Community Cup, Helps Raise $17,000 for Salvation Army

An aerial view shows runners bundled up and starting out.

The Salvation Army of Williamsport will receive about $17,000 to be used for essential services to local families, thanks to Saturday’s Community Challenge.

Pennsylvania College of Technology’s commitment to the event resulted in the college winning the Community Cup, a traveling trophy presented to the organization with the greatest participation. Penn College logged 30 registered guests and 22 volunteers, including students enrolled in the Community and Organizational Change course and a number of student-athletes. The Penn College cross-country team served as an event sponsor.

“The volunteers from the human services program and athletics were incredible and helped to make a very special event,” said Michael J. Reed, dean of sciences, humanities and visual communications, who serves as vice chairman of the local Salvation Army Board of Directors.

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Human Services Class Assists Community Challenge

Community Challenge trophies and ornaments, crafted by Penn College ceramics instructors David A. and Deborah L. Stabley stand ready for the Nov. 11 trail races.

Racing to the finish, students in a human services class at Pennsylvania College of Technology are focused on completing an important assignment – helping to coordinate the third annual Community Challenge, benefiting the Salvation Army of Williamsport, which assists about 400 area families each month.

Set for Saturday, Nov. 11, the year’s Community Challenge features 5K, 10K and half-marathon trail races at the Williamsport Municipal Water Authority’s watershed property, 1600 Mosquito Valley Road, DuBoistown. Nearly 225 runners, ages 4 through 74, have already signed up to participate, with registration open until midday Wednesday, Nov. 8.

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Minority Student Scholarship Established at Penn College

Current, former students establish minority scholarship fund.

Current and former Pennsylvania College of Technology students who were members of the student organization Minorities Lending Knowledge have established The Start to Finish Minority Student Scholarship at the college.

The students are: Kacie L. Weaver, of Harrisburg, a 2016 alumna who earned a bachelor’s degree in applied human services; Kyani L. Lawrence, a former applied human services student from 2013-16 who transferred to a college in her hometown of New Rochelle, New York; and Wilmer I. Clase, of Lancaster, a building science and sustainable design: architectural technology concentration student who is set to graduate with a bachelor’s degree this month.

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Community Challenge Raises $12,000 to Support Salvation Army

At the Nov. 12 5K run/walk held at Williamsport Area High School, some of the students enrolled in Penn College’s Community and Organizational Change course gather with Major Donald Spencer (center), director of the Salvation Army of Williamsport.

This year’s Community Challenge supporting the Salvation Army of Williamsport raised $12,000, thanks to the efforts of numerous volunteers and participants including many from Pennsylvania College of Technology.

On Nov. 12, the final event in the Community Challenge series, a 5K run/walk was held at Williamsport Area High School. Penn College had over 30 volunteers at the event including students enrolled in the college’s Community and Organizational Change course who devoted part of their fall semester to the nonprofit endeavor.

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Student-Organized ‘CommUNITY Day’ Exceeds Expectations

Penn College Police Officer Jen J. Bowers interacts with a costumed campus visitor.

Picking their "spots" near the drive-in

Guests try their hand at mechanized competition, courtesy of the Students Wildcats of Robotic Design.

Members of the Williamsport Bureau of Fire display Engine 14-1 from the Old Lycoming Township Volunteer Fire Department.

Power Rangers and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle get comfortable for a photo.

A “CommUNITY Day,” intended to celebrate diversity and foster residents’ connectedness with police, firefighters and emergency medical personnel, was held Saturday afternoon in the parking lot just north of Penn College’s Bush Campus Center. Organized by nine human services students in D. Robert Cooley’s Service Learning in Sociology class, the event was free and open to the public. “We surpassed our goal of having 200 children attend,” said Ashley N. Irish, of Williamsport, an alumnus now enrolled in applied human services. “We had our intended interactions between the community and local agencies –  including Williamsport police and fire, Penn College Police and EMS. Through our event, we raised over $350 for the American Rescue Workers.” Attractions included games, raffles, an auction, food and music, and a “trunk-or-treat” display of decorated cars and trucks.
Photos by Tia G. La, student photographer

Human Services Class Lends Expertise to Community Challenge

Some of the students in the Community and Organizational Change course discuss logistics in support of the Community Challenge. From left are Holly N. Engel, Montoursville; Sabrina A. Schubert, Clarks Summit; Brooke L. Gray, Muncy; Mandy M. Myers, Duke Center; Travis R. Neyhart, Jersey Shore; and Tierney N. Lookingbill, York. All of the students are enrolled in the applied human services major.

Students in a human services class at Pennsylvania College of Technology are lending their expertise to an important local cause – the Community Challenge supporting the Salvation Army of Williamsport.

This year’s Community Challenge offers two events: the Salvation Army 10K & 20K Trail Race, set for Saturday, Oct. 1, at 9 a.m., and the Salvation Army Community Challenge 5K Run/Walk, scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 12, at 10 a.m.

Ten students in the college’s Community and Organizational Change course are devoting their fall semester to the nonprofit endeavor that raises funds to support the local Salvation Army’s tutoring, mentoring, food distribution, and financial planning and budgeting courses.

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Faculty Member Attains Psychologist Licensure, Logs Clinical Service

Susan Slamka

Susan Slamka, assistant professor of human services/psychology at Pennsylvania College of Technology, has attained licensure as a psychologist in Pennsylvania and recently completed one year of full-time clinical service at the Children’s Development Center, a division of Hope Enterprises Inc., in Williamsport. The accomplishments were achieved during Slamka’s 2015-16 sabbatical.

Slamka completed the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology and the Pennsylvania Psychology Law Exam, both required for licensure as a psychologist in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

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Student Affairs Personnel Assume Director Posts at Penn College

Two promoted to director-level posts

Two Student Affairs employees at Pennsylvania College of Technology were promoted to director-level positions at the start of the 2016-17 academic year.

Anthony J. Pace was named director of student activities, and Katie L. Mackey is the new director of campus and community engagement.

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Kacie L. Weaver Named Penn College ‘Student of the Month’

Kacie L. Weaver

Kacie L. Weaver, an applied human services student from Harrisburg, has been chosen as the March “Student of the Month” at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

“Kacie is one of those people you meet in life and you’re immediately captivated by her aura of care. She’s the kind of person this world needs more of,” her nominator wrote. “From friends, family to complete strangers, Kacie is always there for support, encouragement or just a simple remark to make you laugh.”

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WBRE Promotes Students’ Fair-Trade Sale

Artisans' vibrant handiwork on display

A cashbox for a cause

The junction of playfulness and intricacy

Unique seasonal items included on the sale tables

Eyewitness News’ Cody Butler visited the Bush Campus Center on Wednesday for the Ten Thousand Villages fair-trade sale that continues through Friday. The sale, facilitated each year by students in the Community and Organizational Change course, benefits the working poor in more than three-dozen nations. Butler’s report, including an interview with student Trista B. Musser, of Selinsgrove, was broadcast Wednesday evening. The sale continues from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday and from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday.
Photos by Dalaney T. Vartenisian, student photographer

Human Services Students to Host Ten Thousand Villages Sale

Handcrafted ornaments like these will be among the offerings at the Ten Thousand Villages sale at Penn College from Nov. 18-20.

Students in a human services class at Pennsylvania College of Technology will host a fair-trade sale Nov. 18-20 in the lobby of the Bush Campus Center. The annual sale helps working poor in other countries.

Facilitated by students enrolled in the course Community and Organizational Change, the Ten Thousand Villages Festival Sale features unique handmade gifts, jewelry, home decor, art and sculpture, textiles, serveware, and personal accessories representing the diverse cultures of artisans in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.

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Students Partner With Nonprofit to Address Community Needs

A warm welcome at Firetree Place

Students gather for a photo along with their professor, D. Robert Cooley (upper right).

Eager and energetic young friends have fun at Firetree Place.

Applied human services seniors Stacey L. French (center background) and Tima Cummings (foreground) assist with creative and crafty endeavors.

Every cool party has to have a sound system! Christopher J. Morrin (upper right) brought along two of his homemade sound systems. Here, he poses with other Penn College friends – including members of the Wildcat basketball teams.

Eighteen Penn College students in the Service Learning in Sociology course sponsored a free community day on Saturday at Firetree Place, 600 Campbell St., Williamsport. The four-hour event, “Fall Into Firetree Place,” featured arts and crafts, music, food, face-painting, games, and appearances by Penn College’s dance team, men’s and women’s basketball teams, and the Wildcat mascot. “The SOC410 students begin their semester with a sociological evaluation of our local community and identify a significant sociocultural challenge,” said the students’ instructor, D. Robert Cooley, assistant professor of anthropology/environmental science. “Then, they establish a partnership with a local human service organization and develop a semesterlong service learning project to address this problem in a way that meets the needs of the client, the community, and also allows the students to apply the specialized skills they have learned in their classroom work.” Marking its first anniversary this month, Firetree Place is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing educational and personal enrichment to area youth, families and seniors through comprehensive programs, camps, workshops and seminars.

Human Services Faculty Members Present at Conference

Two human services faculty members at Pennsylvania College of Technology recently presented student-advising ideas at the 37th  annual National Institute on the Teaching of Psychology, held at St. Pete Beach, Florida.

Deb Q. Bechtel, instructor of human services/social science, and Susan Slamka, assistant professor of human services/psychology, presented “It Takes a Village: Suggestions for Advising Students at the Program Level” during one of the conference’s poster presentation sessions.

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Human Services Students Donate Funds to Veterans Group

From left: Jenice L. Phillips-Harrold, Williamsport; Amanda R. Tyler, Brockport; Erin L. Sullivan, Elizabethtown; Chad E. Hahn (presenter), Hughesville; Paul Spurgin (recipient), Keystone Wounded Warriors; Travis S. Draper, Williamsport; LaQuinn N. Thompson, York; April M. Tucker, Muncy; Jessica J. Eisely, Middleburg; Brittany E. Goldinger, Bainbridge; Chelsea D. Woodland, State College; Meagan R. Kolk, Blossburg; Deborah E. Wells, Montoursville; and Stacey L. French, Montoursville. Goldinger is a human services major; the rest are enrolled in applied human services.

Students enrolled in a Community and Organizational Change class at Pennsylvania College of Technology raised more than $3,000 for a worldwide fair-trade organization and donated a portion of their sales to a veterans group based in Berks County.

The human services class conducted a Ten Thousand Villages sale last month and was permitted to donate 10 percent of its sales total to another nonprofit of its choice. The class chose Keystone Wounded Warriors Inc., of Blandon.

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Handcrafted Goods Available at Student-Arranged Sale

Ten Thousand Villages sale transforms CC lobby into an international bazaar.

Holiday ornaments among sale items ...

... along with jewelry ...

... and a line of basketry all the way to the elevator.

Sale continues through Friday

The annual fair-trade sale organized by human services students in the Community and Organizational Change course is being held through Friday in the lobby of Penn College’s Bush Campus Center. The Ten Thousand Villages Festival sale features artisanal items from various other countries’ working poor.
Photos by Abdullah H. Muaddi, student photographer

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