News about Collision Repair & Restoration

Corvette Club Adds $10,000 to Its Scholarship Fund at Penn College

A 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle Super Sport, an award-winning restoration project completed by Penn College students, is showcased at the Susquehanna Valley Corvette Club’s "Corvettes on Main Street" event in Muncy in 2016.

Financial aid opportunities for students in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s automotive restoration technology and related majors got a substantial boost through a recent scholarship donation from the Susquehanna Valley Corvette Club.

Club members delivered a $10,000 check to the college, representing proceeds from its popular “Corvettes on Main Street” car show held each fall in Muncy.

Awards from the Susquehanna Valley Corvette Club Scholarship Fund are made each fall to a first-year student from the organization’s 10-county membership area who is enrolled full time in automotive technology, automotive service sales and marketing, collision repair technology or automotive restoration technology.

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Automotive Restoration Students Assisted by RPM Foundation

Two rounds of funding from the RPM Foundation, magnanimously dedicated to cultivating the next generation of automotive restoration and preservation professionals, will assist a number of Pennsylvania College of Technology students with educational and living expenses.

“We are very grateful to the RPM Foundation for their support of our students,” said Elizabeth A. Biddle, Penn College’s director of corporate relations. “These gifts recognize that the future of automotive restoration lies in the hands of capable women and men who have a reverence for historic vehicles and a passion that will sustain their craft for years to come.”

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Antique Autos Motor Onto Campus During Regional Road Trip

Passing beneath a fitting banner, antique cars enter a campus at which the past is prologue.

Collision repair instructor Roy H. Klinger (with microphone) and automotive restoration technology student Teague W. Ohl, of Cogan Station, offer a hands-on demonstration in CAL.

Le Jeune Chef and Les Voitures Anciennes blend at the center of campus.

Part of the group venture to the library, where a pair of museum pieces – "Herbie," the Disney icon, and an 1899 Winton Phaeton – catch their collective eye.

Vintage Tour 2017 follows a scenic route to remember.

The Antique Automobile Club of America’s “Waterfalls, Mountains and Valleys” five-day tour of the Twin Tiers included a Friday stop at Penn College, home to one of the country’s few automotive restoration majors. About 100 drivers in 50 vintage vehicles converged on main campus to visit Madigan Library and College Avenue Labs and enjoy lunch before hitting the open road again.
First two photos by Becky J. Shaner, manager of student/alumni engagement and special events

Eight Penn College Students Medal in National Competition

SkillsUSA

Eight students from the widest variety of academic majors ever to represent Pennsylvania College of Technology at the National Leadership and Skills Conference returned home with medals – including first-time successes in three competitive areas.

The contingent took one of three top places in five categories, and this year marked the first time that Penn College entrants medaled in Computer Programming, TeamWorks and Welding Sculpture.

“This really goes to show how well-prepared the students are from their respective fields and how great our instructors are here at the college. This is, by far, the most diverse group of students I’ve had go to the national competition,” said SkillsUSA adviser James N. Colton II, an assistant professor of welding. “The national skills competition gives us a chance to showcase our technical skills and show everyone why we’re a leader in applied technology.”

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Subterranean Senatorial History Surfaces in Automotive Lab

Retired from legislative duty in 1912, when a faster monorail system ferried Washington, D.C., VIPs through a 760-foot tunnel, the 1908 Studebaker averaged 225 trips a day at the height of its civil service.

Students (joined at right by Klinger, instructor of collision repair) equip the handsome cherry-bodied vehicle with batteries which, but for increased storage capacity, are largely unchanged from the turn of the 20th century.

Because the car moved backward and forward along its "subway" route, the driver would switch seats to face the direction of travel.

While students donned gloves to work on the vehicle, a similar protective covering was placed on the vehicle's original Firestone tires.

Van Stavoren, an assistant automotive professor, works with restoration students Alex M. Koser (left), of Mount Joy, and Nicholas C. Howland, of Woodbridge, Va.

An electric 1908 Studebaker, one of two original vehicles built to shuttle passengers underground from the Old Senate Building to the U.S. Capitol (including such literal heavyweights as President William Howard Taft) is being prepped by students for a prestigious weekend event. The vehicles were nicknamed “Peg” and “Tommy” during their heyday; the former is on display at the Studebaker Museum in South Bend, Indiana, and the latter is on loan to Penn College from the William E. Swigart Jr. Automobile Museum in Huntingdon. Patricia B. Swigart, vehicle owner and one of the earliest supporters of the college’s automotive restoration technology major, has never seen “Tommy” operated under its own power – a situation that restoration students and faculty hope to remedy at the Elegance at Hershey this Friday through Sunday. Electrical students in Christopher H. Van Stavoren’s Introduction to Restoration Procedures course installed 10 batteries in the vehicle during a Tuesday class in the Parkes Automotive Technology Center. Faculty colleague Roy H. Klinger said the students’ involvement in researching and preserving the Studebaker will be documented by the Historic Vehicle Association, which recognizes the cultural significance of the automobile. Preston T. Rose, a May restoration graduate, researched a 1932 McGee Roadster that was recently displayed on the Washington Monument mall as part of the HVA’s national register of historic vehicles.

Volkswagen Owners Club Funds New Penn College Scholarship

James Yemzow, of the Harrisburg Area Volkswagen Owners Club, accompanied by another HAVOC member, Patricia Shaffer (left) presents a check for the club’s scholarship to Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour.

The Harrisburg Area Volkswagen Owners Club has established a scholarship at Pennsylvania College of Technology for students enrolled in a unique major that features the restoration of classic and antique automobiles.

The new scholarship will benefit students enrolled in the automotive restoration technology Associate of Applied Science major offered by the School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies at Penn College.

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Penn College Students Bat a Thousand in SkillsUSA Competition

SkillsUSA-Pennsylvania

All 25 members of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s SkillsUSA team, including more than half moving on to national competition June 19-23 in Louisville, Kentucky, were medalists during the Pennsylvania Leadership and Skills Conference held late last month in Hershey.

Fifteen team members advanced to nationals with first-place finishes, seven placed second, and three placed third in their respective categories.

“I feel great about the students’ performance at the state competition. It goes to show how well prepared the students are from their respective fields and how great our instructors are here at the college,” said James N. Colton II, assistant professor of welding and the college’s SkillsUSA adviser. “I’m excited for the students going to the national competition in Louisville. I have every confidence they will put their best performance forward.”

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Senator From York County Tours Penn College Campus

President Davie Jane Gilmour escorts Sen. Wagner through the welding labs with the assistance of welding students Thomas (“TJ”) J. Sneeringer (in red) and Joseph (“Joey”) M. Taylor, both of Hanover.

Wagner discusses his waste-management and trucking businesses with diesel technology students alongside a diesel truck outside College Avenue Labs.

In the automotive restoration lab, the senators listen to insights shared by Vanessa Mathurin, of Philadelphia, and Sean M. Hunter, of Livingston, N.J. The students are automotive restoration technology graduates enrolled in applied management.

Touring the extrusion lab, Elizabeth A. Biddle, director of corporate relations, discusses the specialties of the plastics and polymer engineering technology major and the Plastics Innovation & Resource Center.

Sen. Scott Wagner, who represents the 28th District, comprising most of York County, toured the Pennsylvania College of Technology campus on Thursday as the guest of Sen. Gene Yaw, chairman of the college’s Board of Directors. Wagner, who is president and owner of York-based Penn Waste Inc. and KBS Trucking, Thomasville, is a declared candidate for governor. While on campus, he toured the labs for welding, automotive restoration/collision repair and plastics. Wagner once studied at Penn College’s immediate predecessor institution, Williamsport Area Community College, in the diesel program. In the Senate, Wagner chairs the Local Government Committee and is vice chairman of the Labor & Industry Committee. He also sits on the Appropriations, Transportation and Intergovernmental Operations committees.

State Legislators Tour Campus Labs

Jacob T. Motley (far right), an automotive restoration technology student from West Chester, offers an overview of the work being performed on a 1972 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow.

Faculty member Roy H. Klinger talks with (from left) college President Davie Jane Gilmour and Sens. Yaw, Eichelberger and Aument.

Automotive restoration technology major John A. Cheung (right), of Englishtown, N.J., greets the group alongside a 1935 Rolls-Royce 20/25 in the paint bay.

Brett D. Krum (in gray shirt), a restoration student from Bloomsburg, offers details about a 1909 Chalmers.

The senators enjoy checking out a replica of a 1902 Rambler.

Two state senators came to Penn College on Monday, visiting several curricular areas as a guest of Sen. Gene Yaw, their colleague and chairman of the college’s board of directors. Sens. John Eichelberger, R-Blair Township, and Ryan Aument, R-Landisville, enjoyed lunch in Le Jeune Chef Restaurant and toured Madigan Library and instructional space dedicated to 3-D printing, automotive restoration and aviation. Eichelberger and Aument are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the Senate Education Committee (among other legislative assignments).

Restoration Alum’s Business Plan Merits $5,000 Boost

Carmen Cicioni

A 2014 alumnus of Penn College’s automotive restoration technology major was awarded $5,000 this month in a “Shark Tank”-style entrepreneurial event at Penn State Schuykill. Carmen Cicioni, a partner with his father in Car Men Restorations in Ringtown, was one of two presenters to receive the maximum amount in the campus’s inaugural Business Plan Competition. Ten teams vied for seed money to grow or start their small businesses in the contest; seven of them received $1,000 to $5,000 for their inventive ideas.  A number of the participants had attended a 10-week LionLaunch Boot Camp, which offered tips in such areas such as marketing, finance and business law. Each team pitched its idea for four to six minutes, followed by a brief question-and-answer session with a panel of judges. “Overall from start to finish, I had a great experience with the LionLaunch program hosted by Penn State Schuylkill,” Cicioni said. “It was the perfect opportunity as a local entrepreneur and startup business to further develop and put my vision and goals into action.” More information is available on the Penn State Schuylkill website.

National Publication Tours College’s Career-Making Labs

The visiting journalist observes manufacturing engineering technology majors - and SAE Baja teammates - Logan B. Goodhart (left), of Chambersburg, and Jonathan R. Sutcliffe, of Orangeville.

Students learn under the banner of Fronius USA, which has generously entrusted Penn College with equipment to benefit hundreds of welding majors this academic year.

Faculty member Roy H. Klinger gives Carlson a tour of the college's automotive restoration labs.

Elsewhere in College Avenue Labs, the guest gets faculty feedback from J.D. Mather, assistant professor of engineering design technology ...

... and Richard K. Hendricks Jr., instructor of automated manufacturing and machining.

Amanda Carlson, associate editor of Practical Welding Today magazine, visited campus on Wednesday for an upcoming story focusing on how colleges are preparing students for modern manufacturing careers. Carlson toured several college labs, including machining, advanced manufacturing, rapid prototyping and welding.  She also spent time talking with faculty and staff and members of the college’s SAE Baja team. It’s anticipated that Carlson’s story incorporating her Penn College experience will appear in the May/June issue of the publication.

Holiday Happenstance Puts College Card Into Grad’s Hands

In this Instagram post, Kelvin A. Ortiz-Gomez holds an odds-defying holiday card from his alma mater.

Admissions Representative Sarah R. Shott spearheads the holiday card-signing, enlisting college co-workers to share positive and personal messages to U.S. troops.

For the past few years, admissions representative Sarah R. Shott has headed up a campus initiative in which Penn College employees write grateful messages in holiday cards for American servicemen and women. This season, 1,500 cards were signed and sent to A Million Thanks, an organization that distributes them (along with hundreds of thousands of other cards and letters) in packages for troops around the world. One of those greeting cards was astonishingly delivered to Kelvin A. Ortiz-Gomez, who earned his associate degree in collision repair technology a year ago and is now serving in the Army. “Would like to give a shoutout to @PennCollege,” he said via social media, “especially Disability Services for this holiday card I received, which is funny because it’s been a year since I graduated from Penn College and I was given this bag randomly.”

Restoration Freshman in National Race for Help With College Costs

Anthony D. Di Liberto

Anthony D. Di Liberto, a first-year student in Penn College’s automotive restoration technology major, is one of three students nationwide vying for tuition assistance from the RPM Foundation. Online voting among Di Liberto, of New Milford, New Jersey, and his two challengers (Jacob San Martin, of McPherson College, and Jonathon Camper, of the College of Charleston) will end at 3 p.m. Oct. 21. The highest vote-getter will get a share of the money collected at the Autobahn Indoor Speedway in West Nyack, New York, two days later, when fans of the Jalopnik daily automotive blog can pay to race against the website’s staff and contributors. Half of all proceeds from the go-kart races will go to the foundation, which is helping support the next generation of automotive restoration and preservation craftspeople through formal training and mentorship. People like Di Liberto, whose contest profile says, “I take great pride in knowing that, upon my graduation in May of 2018, I will begin to pursue my dream job of working full time in a hot rod or speed and custom shop, building one-of-a-kind works of art.”

Restoration Majors Mentor Tomorrow’s Automotive Artisans

Di Liberto captivates his audience ...

... and Von Zwehl coaches a potential successor during an AACA youth program in Hershey.

Behind the wheel and on top of the world

Members of the Penn College Classic Cruisers club and students in the college’s automotive restoration technology major traveled to Hershey last weekend to proudly represent their school and again help the Hershey chapter of the Antique Automobile Club of America with its youth event. Honoring this year’s racing theme for the program, which was held during the AACA Eastern Regional Fall Meet, the college took along a donated Formula Ford Continental Series racer and a former mini-Indy stock car. The youth program was run by Penn College students Anthony D. Di Liberto, of New Milford, New Jersey;  Luke C. Miller, of Grasonville, Maryland; Andrew B. Moyer, of Hughesville; Preston T. Rose, of Berryville, Virginia; and Dillon K. Von Zwehl, of Mahweh, New Jersey. They expertly guided the youngsters through disassembly of the mini-Indy car so that the restored go-kart can be reassembled next year. Members and alumni prepared video for the club’s Facebook page, demonstrating a virtual paint simulator and other tools of their craft; also participating in Hershey events were Brett A. Reasner, dean of transportation and natural resources technologies, and faculty members Roy H. Klinger and Chad H. Rudloff.
Photos by Rose, an automotive restoration technology major

Restoration Student Bridges Art, Automobiles in Dream Career

A mechanic, pinstriper and sign painter, Anthony D. Di Liberto is merging his twin passions of cars and art as a first-year student in Penn College’s automotive restoration technology major. The young man with old-school dedication to his craft is featured in a YouTube video filmed before he graduated from New Milford High School in New Jersey. “Going to school and learning different aspects of restoration, meeting people and making connections is something I’m really looking forward to,” he says in the video, part of eGarage’s “Stories in Motion” series. “There’s a lot that goes into it. There’s a science, there’s a right and a wrong. I’m a firm believer in ‘You’ve got to know the rules to break the rules.’ You really have to put in the time … evaluate yourself and be honest with yourself … and know that, what you’re doing, you’re proud of.”