News about Human Services

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

Human Services Students Host Ten Thousand Villages Sale

Unique handmade gifts from diverse cultures are available at the Ten Thousand Villages Festival Sale, set for Nov. 19-21 at Pennsylvania College of Technology's Bush Campus Center.

Students in a human services class at Pennsylvania College of Technology will host a fair-trade sale Nov. 19-21 in the lobby of the Bush Campus Center.

The annual sale, which is open to the public, helps working poor in other countries.

Facilitated by students in the Community and Organizational Change course, the Ten Thousand Villages Festival Sale will feature 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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Academic Mentors Provide Resource for Student Success

Joshua I. Bobenrieth, a recent electronics and computer engineering technology graduate from Port Allegany, meets with his academic mentor, Karen E. Wright, a graduation assistant in the Registrar's Office.

For a first-year college student, stepping onto a new campus and beginning classes can be overwhelming. For a returning student, an unsuccessful first semester can add a lot of pressure, especially if the student is not certain how to avoid making the same mistakes.

At Pennsylvania College of Technology, an academic mentoring program is designed to help those students.

Joshua I. Bobenrieth, of Port Allegany, graduated in May with a degree in electronics and computer engineering technology, a faculty award and a plan to continue his education in aerospace engineering. But in his first semester, he was anything but confident.

“I was having a hard time adjusting to college life,” he said. “After a few weeks, I was stressed and needed help, so I asked my instructor and was directed to the mentor program.”

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The Power of an Ally: Academic Mentors Provide Another Resource for Success

Joshua I. Bobenrieth meets with his academic mentor, Karen E. Wright, a graduation assistant in the Registrar's Office.

Human services student Stacey L. French, right, praises the support of her mentor Katie L. Mackey, coordinator of commuter services, who encouraged her when she could just as easily given up.

A student faced with leaving school remains, thanks in large part to an academic mentor who went the extra mile to seek help from other staff. Academic mentors are Penn College employees who volunteer to meet regularly with students who seek guidance and moral support. Read the full story in the Fall 2014 One College Avenue.

Nicole M. Sailor Selected as SGA’s ‘Student of the Month’

Nicole M. Sailor

Nicole M. Sailor, an applied human services major from Williamsport, has been chosen as the Student of the Month at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

Scheduled to graduate in May 2015, Sailor has been a student member and subgroup leader of the Early Childhood Education Center’s Middle States Steering Committee for reaccreditation. She also works in the college’s Madigan Library, has been active in the Human Services Club, and was selected by faculty to be a mentor to incoming students.

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Revealing a ‘Hidden’ Problem: Students Share Facts About Homelessness

With her classmates assembled behind her, Lacy D. Schnoonover talks with WBRE Eyewitness News reporter Valerie Tysanner.

Did you know that the average age of a homeless person is 9? These and other facts about homelessness are compiled by applied human services students in the Spring 2014 issue of One College Avenue, the college’s official magazine. Students in the Service Learning in Sociology course researched homelessness and organized an overnight awareness event on the streets of Williamsport.

Bethany M. Reppert 2013’s Final ‘Student of the Month’

Bethany M. Reppert

Bethany M. Reppert, an applied human services major from Pottsville, has been chosen as the Student of the Month at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

Reppert is a member and secretary of the Students Making a Contribution organization, a student mentor and a part-time employee at the college’s Madigan Library.

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Students Organize Fair-Trade Sale in Solidarity With World’s Working Poor

Amie J. Glace, an applied human services major from Montoursville, models a scarf and maraca that were  available at the Ten Thousand Villages sale.

Among the applied human services majors operating the sale are, from left, Tyler R. Mausteller, of South Williamsport; Annie M. Wolf, of Williamsport; Kacie L. Weaver, of Harrisburg; Amie J. Glace; and Nicole M. Sailor, of Williamsport.

Kacie L. Weaver displays a scarf that was among the fair-trade sale items.

One of many novel items is displayed by Nicole M. Sailor.

Students in the Community and Organizational Change class taught by Deb Q. Bechtel, instructor of human services/social science, successfully organized and staffed a Ten Thousand Villages sale Wednesday through Friday in the Bush Campus Center. The annual sale features unique, handmade gifts such as jewelry, home decor and personal accessories. Ten Thousand Villages is one of the world’s largest fair-trade organizations, striving to improve the lives of tens of thousands of disadvantaged artisans in 37 countries throughout the world.
Photos by Craig R. Urey, student photographer

Students’ Community Service Serves Often-Invisible ‘Community’

Takin' it to the streets are (standing from left) faculty member D. Robert Cooley and applied human services students Tyler R. Mausteller, of South Williamsport; Gretchen T. Chambers, of St. Peters; Eve A. Allen, of Williamsport; Andrea K. Grande, of Williamsport; Ashley N. Myers, of Williamsport; and Brittany L. Ohnmeiss, of Muncy. Kneeling are Lacy D. Schoonover (left), of Williamsport, and Rachel K. Young, of Montgomery.

Applied human services majors in D. Robert Cooley’s Service Learning in Sociology class raised public awareness – and more than $1,200 – to help Family Promise of Lycoming County Inc. aid local residents experiencing the challenges of homelessness. The students set up a temporary “city” of cardboard boxes outside the Lycoming County Court House on Friday evening/Saturday morning, collecting more than $600 in cash. An online campaign at raised roughly the same amount. They also collected a large supply of clothing, toiletries and food items for Family Promise, whose executive director Melissa Magargle brought her two daughters and stayed the evening. From 6-10 p.m., the group enjoyed live acoustic music by Students of Musical Development (a Penn College campus organization); singer/songwriter Shawn Strickland; and Craig A. Miller, assistant professor of history and political science. “It was fantastic,” said Cooley, an assistant professor of anthropology/environmental science. “We also helped two homeless people who came to our event get shelter for the night. An individual from the community who had once experienced homelessness in Wlliamsport, but who now is employed and has a home with his family, spent the night with us, too, and shared his story.”

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Last updated November 4, 2013 | Posted in Human Services, Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications, Students | This gallery contains 11 photos. | Tagged as |

Penn College Human Services Students Focus on Homeless Plight

Students in the Sociology 410 class are joined by supporters (including the Penn College Wildcat) prior to the Oct. 19 Mummers' Parade ...

Human services students at Pennsylvania College of Technology are inviting the community to join them in sleeping on the streets in a cardboard “box city” on Friday, Nov. 1, in downtown Williamsport.

Starting at 5 p.m., students enrolled in Sociology 410 (Service Learning in Sociology) will gather in front of the Lycoming County Courthouse at West Third and Pine streets. The students will create a temporary “city” of cardboard boxes to symbolize the challenges of homelessness. Visitors are welcome to make a donation and get a box of their own to decorate and add to the “city.” Donations of canned goods, toiletries and gently used clothing will be accepted at the event and turned over to Family Promise of Lycoming County Inc. to assist clients through the winter season.

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Student Intern Organizes Self-Defense Workshop at Brown Library

Women from the campus community are welcome to attend a free self-defense workshop, part of a Penn College student’s internship at the James V. Brown Library, to be held from 6:30-8 p.m. Aug. 15-16 in the library’s Lowry Theatre. The event was organized by Bethany M. Reppert, an applied human services major from Pottsville, whose internship capstone involves presenting a program for adults. Reppert partnered with the Golden Dragon Training Center for the two-part presentation, which is divided into a Thursday class on safety tips and a Friday demonstration of self-defense techniques. Interested participants can register and learn more through the library website.

Classmates Hone Collaboration, Communication in Purposeful Outdoor Exercise

Students literally learn the ropes under the ever-watchful eye of their faculty "spotter, an assistant professor of human services/social science who is retiring in August after more than 25 years of teaching.

Traversing the low ropes in a trust- and team-building challenge.

Sure-footed sneakers

A "family tree?" Mother Nature provides convenient support for twins Kelcie L. (left) and Kaitlyn A. Murray, applied human services majors from Scranton.

A grateful grasp of a helping hand

In a summer class that began as many of their friends were leaving campus for a breather, 11 students in LaRue R. Reese’s Outdoor Recreation as a Therapeutic Tool class – a mix of applied human services and occupational therapy assistant majors – traveled to Montoursville’s Indian Park on Thursday. Reese, wrapping up more than a quarter-century as a faculty member, terms it a “toolbox course – they gain a whole bunch of tools they can employ in their career.” Among the activities was the Mohawk Walk, in which the students rely on one another to navigate taut ropes suspended just above the ground.

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