News about Forestry

Forestry students extensively tour local veneer operation

South talks with forestry students during Monday's visit.

Students in Erich R. Doebler’s Forest Products class this week visited the Danzer plant on Reach Road, one of the few veneer mills in Pennsylvania. The group met with Paul R. South, a 2016 forest technology graduate of Penn College. He discussed the process of buying logs, specifications, in-demand species and how the log purchasing process is conducted. The students were also given a tour of the facility, where they were able to see the sawmill, as well as the log banding, log cooking, surfacing, slicing, drying and packaging processes. About a half-dozen Penn College alumni are employed by Danzer, formerly known as Keystone Veneers Inc. “This is an exceptionally personal tour,” said the instructor (who also provided the photo), “and something right in our backyard that many do not get the opportunity to experience.”

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.)

Forestry Students Tour Pallet Company

Don Remmey provides an overview of his pallet-making operation for Penn College forestry students ...

... and takes them on a tour of the manufacturing floor.

Instructor Erich R. Doebler’s Forest Products class visited Remmey, The Pallet Company, in Beaver Springs on Monday, gaining firsthand insight into secondary manufacturing and use of low-grade product. Owner Don Remmey provided a tour of the facility, explained the process, and discussed with the class the tribulations of manufacturing products for domestic and international transport. “It was a great opportunity to see potential employment for the students,” said Doebler (who also provided the photos), “and also a way for students to see where the low-grade lumber is utilized here in Pennsylvania.” Remmey manufactures and produces about 2.2 million pallets each year out of its Beaver Springs and Lehighton plants.

News Coverage Spotlights Alumni Firefighters

Matthew J. WatersMatthew J. Waters, who graduated from Penn College in May 2016 with an associate degree in forest technology, was among the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources employees dispatched to fight wildfires in western states this summer. The Selinsgrove resident, who spent nearly two weeks on a crew in Tooele, Utah, was featured in a recent front-page article in The (Sunbury) Daily Item. Waters shared the news in an email to Andrew Bartholomay, assistant professor of forestry, saying, “Just thought this is something cool you can mention to the current students about the different opportunities you have with the Penn College forestry degree.” Another forest technology grad Samuel J. Raisch, ’10, one of two alumni profiled in the college magazine for an Alaskan firefight four years ago, was on a Utah crew, as well. His story was shared via the Williamsport Sun-Gazette; The Daily Item article, provided with permission of the newspaper, is available here: The Daily Item

Penn College Retains National ‘Tree Campus’ Designation

Partners in Penn College's ongoing status as a national Tree Campus mark the designation outside the Schneebeli Earth Science Center, home to the institution's landscape/horticulture technology and forest technology majors. From left are Don J. Luke, director of facilities operations; Justin W. Beishline, assistant dean of transportation and natural resources technologies; Andrea L. Mull, horticulturist/grounds and motorpool supervisor; Carl J. Bower Jr., assistant professor of horticulture; and Andrew Bartholomay, assistant professor of forestry.

For the third consecutive year, Pennsylvania College of Technology has been honored with Tree Campus USA recognition for effective forest management and for engaging employees and students in conservation goals.

The national program was created by the Arbor Day Foundation to honor educational institutions for their commitment to trees and for helping to provide solutions for the global challenges to air quality, water resources, personal health and well-being, and energy use.

Penn College earned the title by meeting Tree Campus USA’s five standards: maintaining a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and a student service-learning project.

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Penn College to Again Make Impression on Farm Show Attendees

Students in Penn College’s hospitality majors join their instructor, Chef Michael J. Ditchfield, on the Culinary Connection stage at the Pennsylvania Farm Show last January.

Hundreds of thousands of visitors will soon flock to the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center to celebrate the commonwealth’s leading industry, and Pennsylvania College of Technology students and employees will be on hand for an interactive peek into the real-world applications of “degrees that work.”

“A beloved tradition of Penn College, the Pennsylvania Farm Show continues to be the highlight of the new year. During the weeklong festivities, members of Admissions, Alumni Relations and Academic Affairs bring Penn College to Harrisburg and showcase all of the amazing opportunities that await students on campus,” said Claire Z. Biggs, coordinator of admissions events and services. “Through our interactive and hands-on activities, we hope that friends of the college will come to learn what makes applied technology education so special.”

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Forestry Club Completes Civic Project for Nearby Golf Course

Trees are ground into mulch at the Schneebeli Earth Science Center.

In a mutually beneficial service project, the Penn College Forestry Club removed approximately 45 trees from the White Deer Golf Course entrance and hauled them across Allenwood Camp Lane to the college’s Schneebeli Earth Science Center.  The trees were stacked in a pile for summer storage at the campus – home to many of the majors in the School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies – then, last month, the Lycoming County Landfill sent over its tub grinder for chipping and grinding of the material. The mulch will be used on the ESC’s trail system and for various recreational projects throughout the academic year.
Photo provided

Students Take Direct Route From Competition to Community Service

Representing Penn College at a recent woodsmen’s meet in North Carolina, as well as in a gratifying demonstration of community service on the way home, were (from left) students Kristin E. Cavanaugh, Bellefonte; Aaron V. Jedrziewski, Williamsport; and Jackson H. Gehris, Cogan Station; G. Andrew Bartholomay, assistant professor of forest technology; and students Levi J. Weidner, Mechanicsburg; William A. Morrow, Newville; Tyler W. Lauver, Mifflinburg; Abigail L. Hufnagle, Lewisburg; and Derick S. Gower, Sunbury.

Returning from an Oct. 7 woodsmen’s competition in North Carolina’s Pisgah National Forest, the Pennsylvania College of Technology Forestry Club – conveniently toting the tools that had earlier brought many of the students individual honors – put their skills to work in a much-appreciated display of public assistance.

Eight members of the club’s Woodsman Team had journeyed to The Cradle of Forestry to compete in the 22nd annual John Palmer Intercollegiate Woodsmen’s Meet, the third consecutive year that Penn College students made the trip. While the students comported themselves admirably in their respective events, the collective Good Samaritan act that followed left no axes to grind.

“Interestingly, the chopping didn’t stop with the conclusion of the meet,” said coach and club adviser G. Andrew Bartholomay, an assistant professor of forest technology. “After breaking camp Saturday night and heading home, the team happened upon a large, dead hemlock tree that had fallen and was blocking the Pisgah Highway. Under the headlights of two college vans and several other trapped cars, the Woodsman Team went to work chopping and clearing the obstruction.”

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Penn College’s ‘Working Class’ TV Series Earns Second Telly Award

"Working Class" earns second Telly Award“Working Class: Build & Grow Green,” produced by Pennsylvania College of Technology and WVIA Public Media, has earned a 2017 Bronze Telly Award.

It is the second episode produced for the “Working Class” public television series and the second to win a Bronze Telly. “Working Class: Dream & Do” earned the award in 2016.

Acknowledged as a premier award for film and video productions, the Telly Award honors outstanding local, regional and cable programming. The 37th annual competition in 2017 considered more than 12,000 entries from all 50 states and five continents.

“As a national leader in applied technology education, Penn College has earned a reputation for combining academics with practical, hands-on education that prepares students to enter and advance in the world of work,” said Davie Jane Gilmour, president of the college. “The award-winning ‘Working Class’ series allows us to share our mission and passion for inspired learning with a public television audience.”

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Alumni-Led Industry Tours Reinforce Laboratory Learning

Penn College grad Paul R. South (in red hard hat) leads students on a tour of Danzer Veneers log yard.

Students in the Forest Products (FOR 210) class took field trips Tuesday to Wheeland Lumber Co. Inc. in Liberty and to Danzer Veneer Americas in Williamsport. At Wheeland Lumber, the students toured a high-production sawmill, log yard and millwork facility with Penn College alumni Damen R. (’00, forest technology, and ’03, technology management) and Derek E. (’03, business administration: banking and finance concentration) Wheeland. At Danzer Veneer, students visited the log yard and production facility with Paul R. South, a 2016 graduate in forest technology. “Both tours were educational for the students,” said Erich R. Doebler, laboratory assistant for forest technology, who accompanied the group and provided the photo. “It allows them to see in person and experience the manufacturing environment that is discussed in class.”

WTI Reunion Takes Grads on Round Trip Through History

Enjoying the Aviation Center surroundings are John Hertel, (left) ’48, agricultural equipment and repair, and ‘49, electric and acetylene welding, and Ralph Mills, ’58, plumbing.

The Lumley Aviation Center proved to be a popular venue for Friday’s 17th annual reunion for graduates of Williamsport Technical Institute, a Penn College predecessor from 1941-65. Alumni and their guests, totaling about 75 attendees, enjoyed swapping stories, savoring lunch and listening to remarks by President Davie Jane Gilmour. Presentations on forestry, industrial design, athletics and veterans affairs were also on the agenda. Forest technology students Nicholas J. Fedele and Nancy M. Summers shared their passions for the major, as did Erich R. Doebler, laboratory assistant for forest technology. Discussing exciting activities in industrial design were students Dwight D. Alexander, Sean P. Christy and Brett F. Warkoski, and their professor, Thomas E. Ask. Offering insights into the college’s evolving athletics efforts were John D. Vandevere, director of athletics; Lauren S. Herr, a women’s soccer student-athlete enrolled in construction management; and Chris H. Howard, head baseball coach. Chet Beaver, financial aid specialist for veterans services, detailed progress of the Penn College Patriot Scholarship and introduced student veterans on hand to assist with luncheon logistics. Following lunch, Walter V. Gower, assistant dean for transportation and natural resources technologies, took participants on a tour of the hangar, where many reveled in viewing aviation equipment and chatting with students performing various tasks on the tarmac.

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Last updated April 25, 2017 | Posted in Alumni, Aviation, Construction & Design Technologies, Construction Management, Forestry, Industrial Design, Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies, Sports, Students, Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies | This gallery contains 1 photo. | Tagged as |

Moral Code: Give Back to What You Love

Author and Penn College colloquium speaker Rick Bass. Photo courtesy of Lowry Bass

From the Spring 2017 Penn College Magazine: Author Rick Bass, an activist who spoke during the college’s Technology & Society Colloquia Series, encourages young people to stand up for the environment and communities they cherish. Read “Moral Code.”

Penn College Students Finish Well at Regional Woodsmen’s Meet

Penn College students Anthony A. Hampton (left), of Clearfield, and James C. Synol, of Bloomingdale, N.J., placed first in the Pole Fell during the Mid-Atlantic Woodsmen’s Meet at Penn State Mont Alto.

A team of Pennsylvania College of Technology students recently competed in the 16th annual Mid-Atlantic Woodsmen’s Meet, charting Top Four performances in nine of the day’s events.

Penn College was one of six participants in the April 8 competition, held this year at Penn State Mont Alto in Franklin County: Others, in addition to the host institution, were Allegany College of Maryland, Haywood Community College, Montgomery Community College and Dabney S. Lancaster Community College.

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WVIA to Rebroadcast Series Episode on ‘Green’ Careers

"Working Class"

Working Class: Build and Grow Green,” the second episode of a Telly Award-winning series co-produced by Penn College, will be rebroadcast at 7 p.m. Thursday on WVIA. The hourlong documentary invites consideration of a range of options by those looking into “green” careers, exploring opportunities such as architecture and sustainable design; building construction and construction management; building automation; electrical technology and power generation; heating, ventilation and air conditioning; forestry; and horticulture. The episode can also be viewed on the series’ comprehensive website, which additionally features a producer’s blog, video segments, K-12 educational resources and an art challenge.

Penn College Students Pass Pesticide Application Exam

Sixteen Pennsylvania College of Technology students have passed the Pennsylvania Pesticide Applicator Certification exam administered in November by the state Department of Agriculture.

“After passing this exam, the students have set themselves apart from their competition in the workplace,” said Carl J. Bower, a horticulture instructor in the college’s School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies. “Many employers want to see that you have already completed this training and are ready for the field. These students prove that.”

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