News about Students

College’s brewing major blends pleasure, discipline

Penn College’s unique associate degree in brewing and fermentation science, one of the few programs recognized by the Master Brewers Association of America, prepares students for a variety of rewarding careers in the growing brewing industry. The hands-on program is led by master brewer Timothy L. Yarrington, who has more than 25 years of industry experience. “I want to have some influence on the next generation of brewers and make sure that we never lose that pleasure and that joy of the hard work of learning and the discipline of brewing,” Yarrington affirms in a video added to the college’s YouTube channel. “It’s special, for sure.” One member of that new generation is Eric J. Tuller, a brewing and fermentation student from Montoursville, who has high praise for his academic mentor: He’s “not a guy who’s just sat and learned everything from books without ever pursuing it,” Tuller says of Yarrington. “He’s actually out there in the field doing it. His knowledge has a lot more weight than someone who’s just reading up on it.”

Faculty, students teach at Philadelphia National Candy Show

Chef Charles R. Niedermyer, instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts at Pennsylvania College of Technology, developed the curriculum for and taught at the Confectionary Institute at the Retail Confectioners Association of Philadelphia’s semi-annual Philadelphia National Candy, Gift & Gourmet Show in Hershey. Educational events were coordinated by RCAP board member Laura Tornichio (left), education director for the show.

A baking and pastry arts chef/instructor at Pennsylvania College of Technology wrote the curriculum for the Confectionary Institute at the 138th Philadelphia National Candy, Gift and Gourmet Show in September.

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Lycoming Engines’ instructional support lauded at sign dedication

From left, Michael Kraft, senior vice president and general manager for Lycoming Engines; Pennsylvania College of Technology President Davie Jane Gilmour; and aviation technology student Warren K. Bitterman, of Zieglerville, Montgomery County, all spoke at a dedication ceremony honoring Lycoming Engines’ ongoing support for the college.

Lycoming Engines’ longtime support of Pennsylvania College of Technology and its academic programs was celebrated on campus recently with the unveiling of new signage at the college’s Metal Trades Center.

Members of the Penn College community and representatives of Lycoming Engines – including alumni of the college employed by the company – gathered on Oct. 2 to dedicate the Lycoming Engines Metal Trades Center sign on the front lawn of the facility.

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Aviation students visited by Goodyear’s newest blimp

Students get a closer look at an advertising icon: 246 feet long and (even at 10 tons) lighter than air!

A student learns about the new airship's instrument panel, which features a multiscreen display and a steering system controlled by joystick.

Based in Ohio and launched this summer, Wingfoot Three brings the tiremaker's upgraded fleet to full complement.

The latest addition to Goodyear’s fleet of airships stopped by Penn College’s Lumley Aviation Center this past week while traveling through the area to aid television coverage of Saturday’s Penn State/Ohio State football game. Students were allowed into the cockpit of Wingfoot Three in small groups, and pilots and mechanics answered their questions about equipment and operations. Also on hand was a factory representative from Zeppelin, the dirigible’s German manufacturer, who was there to gather test data during the flights.
Photos by Matthew D. Krepps, instructor of aviation maintenance

Northern Tier nursing students take part in mock disaster

Licensed practical nursing students from Penn College at Wellsboro served as “patients” for a Sept. 30 emergency drill in Tioga County.

A number of students from the Licensed Practical Nursing Program at Penn College at Wellsboro participated in a drill at the Middlebury Township Dairy Farmers of America milk plant on Sept. 30, simulating a hazardous-material spill with multiple casualties.

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Forestry students tour lumberyard in heart of Appalachian hardwoods

Bingaman's Nicholas Bisaccia talks with Penn College forestry students outside the Kreamer facility.

Forest technology majors get a comprehensive tour at the hub of a decades-old operation.

Instructor Erich R. Doebler’s Forestry Products class (FOR210) traveled to Bingaman & Son Lumber Inc. in Kreamer on Monday for an industry tour. The group met with Nicholas Bisaccia, an export sales representative, who said the company annually processes 22 million board feet of lumber at that site alone. A similar yard in Clarendon processes more than 10 million board feet each year, noted Doebler, who also provided photos from the trip. Bisaccia spent many years in the pharmaceutical business, but found his true passion for hardwood lumber when he began working for Bingaman a little over three years ago. He explained the process from beginning to end, starting with receiving green lumber from over 100 different sawmills to sorting, grading, stickering, kiln drying and secondary manufacturing. He finished with a tour of a facility that thermally modifies wood to be resistant to natural decay. The process, an emerging technology employed by only a handful of businesses in the U.S., allows Pennsylvania hardwoods to be used in high-performance outdoor applications for which they traditionally have not been selected. Bingaman & Son has over 150 employees at the Kreamer facility, and boasts a number of Penn College forest technology graduates in various roles and positions overall. (Besides the Kreamer and Clarendon yards, the firm operates sawmills in Mill Hall, Nicktown and St. Marys.)

Free oral cancer screening available at Penn College on Oct. 6

Members of the Pennsylvania College of Technology chapter of the Student American Dental Hygienists’ Association, along with dentist and dental hygienist volunteers, will provide free oral cancer screenings on Saturday, Oct. 6, from 9-11 a.m.

The event will be held in the college’s Dental Hygiene Clinic, on the second floor of the Breuder Advanced Technology & Health Sciences Center. This is a walk-in event; no appointments are necessary.

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Sixth annual tradition proves ‘Old habits dye hard’

Student Natascha G. Santaella, of Williamsport, and Gary T. Pandolfi, refrigeration, heating and plumbing mechanic, send color coursing through the Veterans' Fountain.

Student leaders outside the Breuder Advanced Technology & Health Sciences Center, with the newly tinted fountain spraying behind them, are (from left) Santaella; Everett B. Appleby, of Wilkes-Barre; David A. Gadalla, of Mechanicsburg; Patrick C. Ferguson, of Williamsport; Jerry A. Hudak, of Archbald; and Alexandra D. Petrizzi, of Langhorne.

Homecoming and Parent & Family Weekend (Oct. 5-8)Members of the Student Government Association and the Wildcat Events Board presided over the customary dyeing of The Veterans’ Fountain on Monday morning, joined by Student Activities and General Services to give the water its Wildcat Blue hue for Homecoming and Parent & Family Weekend. It’s the perfect time to show Wildcat pride, reconnect with friends, spend time with family and tour campus. Highlights include athletic events with food trucks, breakfast with President Davie Jane Gilmour, an alumni and friends tent party, and family activities on Friday and Saturday nights.

Organizers infuse 5Ks with resourcefulness, relevance

In his comfort zone is the aptly named Major, getting a calming pre-race hug from Corey J. Carr, a heating, ventilation and air conditioning technology student and member of the U.S. Army Reserve.

Feet were on the move Saturday morning in two inaugural 5K events designed to raise awareness for important social issues: veteran suicide and human trafficking.

Pennsylvania College of Technology’s student veterans fraternity, Omega Delta Sigma, held a 5K Silkies Run on campus, starting at the Field House. Across town at Montoursville’s Indian Park, the Race for Freedom 5K was hosted by three Hughesville High School students whose social change project topped the Penn College Youth Leadership program this year.

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Penn College student receives Graham Nursing Scholarship

Pennsylvania College of Technology student Kara N. Libby was one of eight recipients of the 39th annual Lee and Bessie Graham Nursing Scholarship.

The scholarship was presented recently by UPMC Susquehanna Lock Haven Hospital and the Lee & Bessie Graham Nursing Scholarship Trust.

Libby, of Jersey Shore, is pursuing an associate degree in nursing from the college.

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Renaissance Feast returns to ‘Grand Hall’

Brada AEthelwald, target archery marshal for Region 3, explains differences between bows and arrows of then and now.

Enjoying the festive air are (from left) John F. Chappo, assistant professor of history/history of technology, and information technology majors Andrew W. Hofmann, of Cherry Hill, N.J.; Matthew J. Danner, of Taylor; and Scott W. Master, of Gifford.

Master gets a taste of "Capitol" punishment.

Displays and demonstrations add to the ambiance.

Dining Services’ Renaissance Feast, beckoning sirs and mistresses with a hearty “Come sit you down and have a good laugh,” was held in the Capitol Eatery’s “Grand Hall” on Wednesday evening. The Penn College community was invited to attend in costume and enjoy a tasty –  and utensils-optional! – menu that included carved turkey, beer-braised short ribs, roasted root vegetables, corn on the cob, smoked white cheddar mashed potatoes, roasted potato medley, apple pecan bread and berry-filled croustade. In addition, members of the Society for Creative Anachronism were on hand to share their historical expertise about the period.
Photos by Rachel A. Eirmann, student photographer

Who’s eager for interactive excitement? VR!

Simon P. Couls Jr., information assurance and cyber security, exhibits excitement (and refreshment) in the line.

Jack M. Banker, electronics and computer engineering technology, motions wildly as he fights enemies in Superhot VR.

Industrial design student Tyler M. Schmill laughs heartily while slashing through Fruit Ninja VR.

Waiting in line, students clearly enjoy watching the room’s action on a monitor.

Engaging in Skyrim VR battle is Anthony Ionata III, an industrial design major, whose repeated "This is so awesome!" was a telling indicator of the studio's reception.

Penn College’s new Virtual Reality Studio was officially opened Thursday afternoon and was an immediate hit, as patrons – animatedly visiting other worlds without leaving campus – lined up in the rear second-floor hallway of Madigan Library for 10-minute sneak peeks. The Office of Instructional Technology, in collaboration with the library, designed and built the studio to allow students, faculty and staff to connect learning, exploring and interacting with information and media in a simulated hands-on environment. “We wanted to lower the barrier of entry to using VR and provide a space where students and faculty can explore and create without having to pay the high price tag of a VR system themselves,” said Tracey Amey, library director. “Health Sciences students can explore what happens to cells as they travel through the body. Engineering students can experience flying into space beside astronauts in a manned space rocket, and gaming and simulation students and faculty have a new 3D environment in which they can create.” The studio is a space for experimenting with realistic and immersive content in a three-dimensional environment experienced or controlled by movement of the body. It is equipped with the HTC Vive Pro VR system, the latest generation of VR technology, and an Alienware Aurora computer to ensure the best in performance and functionality. The VR Studio is also equipped with a 55-inch monitor mounted inside and a 42-inch monitor outside to allow visitors to watch the action. Flyers with QR codes enable visitors “to learn about the equipment, safety instructions and other helpful information” and to “see the Madigan Library Research Guide and learn more about Virtual Reality.” Students can reserve time in one-hour increments at the circulation desk from 3-10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays; faculty can book the studio upon request through OIT.

Ethan M. McKenzie chosen as September’s ‘Student of the Month’ 

Ethan M. McKenzie

Ethan M. McKenzie, a software development and information management major from Muncy, has been selected as the September “Student of the Month” at Pennsylvania College of Technology. 

A Student Government Association senator-at-large, representing Diversity & Community Engagement, McKenzie also has a seat on College Council and works as a student assistant in Madigan Library.

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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.

Concrete students stay on task, rain or shine

As Hintz and some of his students provide shelter from the storm, trowel-wielding construction majors smooth the freshly poured and leveled concrete.

Reber (in plaid shirt at left) supervises students running a screed board across the new sidewalk.

Sticking to the game plan in spite of earlier-than-expected showers, Concrete Construction students made “teamwork” their byword on Wednesday morning. With Centre Concrete’s conveyor truck in place south of the Bush Campus Center – and typical hands-on assistance from instructors Franklin H. Reber and Harry W. Hintz Jr. – the classes employed curricular know-how, common sense and a number of tarps to shield the new sidewalks from the elements during and after the pour. Providing opportunities to sharpen classroom skills in practical laboratory settings is a decades-old tradition across Penn College’s many disciplines, and this semester’s addition of a two-year degree in concrete science has only made that institutional hallmark more enduring.

Penn College is a special mission affiliate of Penn State