News about Landscape/Horticulture

Mentorship Award Presented at Penn College Commencement

Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour presented the Mentorship Award to alumnus Jeremy L. Thorne at the college’s Fall 2017 commencement ceremony Dec. 16.

Pennsylvania College of Technology presented a Mentorship Award to alumnus Jeremy L. Thorne, owner and operator of ThorneCare Landscape Solutions LLC, in Sugarloaf.

The award was bestowed upon Thorne by Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour during the Fall 2017 commencement ceremony, held Dec. 16 at the Community Arts Center, Williamsport.

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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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Creativity Reigns in Scholars-and-Scents Display

'Tis the season for yuletide greenery, beautifully incorporated by Rachel L. Hill, of Centre Hall, enrolled in landscape/horticulture technology: plant production emphasis.

Applied management student Brittany L. Mink, of Allentown, who earned a baking and pastry arts degree in 2016, designed this delicate entry in the Wedding Composite category.

Andrea L. Solenberger, of Harrisburg, pursuing a degree in applied management, honored her baking and pastry arts degree with delicious detail.

The black, gold and green of Jamaica's flag is recreated by Jessica T. Haynes, a culinary arts and systems student.

Another baking and pastry arts alum enrolled in applied management – Alexis L. Kepley, of Reading –  stacked "cupcakes" that are too pretty to eat!

End-of-year projects in The Art of Floral Design, an elective taught by alumna/business owner Karen R. Ruhl, form a striking array just inside the Madigan Library entrance. The class (HRT 260) is open to all students, regardless of academic major or experience level, and each final piece is chosen in conjunction with the instructor to ensure that it is “neither too simple nor too complicated to complete in the given time period.” The designs are created using the accumulated fundamental skills learned during the semester, and students choose the container, flowers and foliage required to implement them, as well as meet all the requisite elements and principles. The projects will be on display through Tuesday.

Popular Poinsettia Sale Underway at ESC

Limited assortment of poinsettias available at ESC

Greenhouse filled with seasonal color

The annual poinsettia sale continues at the Schneebeli Earth Science Center, where the opening week’s brisk sales haven’t depleted the inventory (although some colors are limited). Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, and purchases are on a first-come, first-served basis. All transactions are “cash and carry,” and there will be no early sales or holds. (The greenhouse is closed Saturday and Sunday.)
Photos by Jeanie L. Krape, secretary, School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies

A ‘Touch’ of Class

A variety of materials await exploration by Head Start children.

Students in the plant production and landscape emphases of the college's horticulture major collaborate on a project tailored for younger hands.

Kahn (left), who envisioned the mosaic, works with Goldsmith to breathe life into the design ...

... which has beautifully taken shape in the final array.

Penn College’s Horticulture Club has created a sensory path for STEP Inc.’s Early Head Start program on Four Mile Drive in Williamsport. The path comprises several squares with materials to engage the senses of those who touch them. The path features nine distinct textures: a stone mosaic, composite decking, bricks, flagstone, logs, artificial turf, smooth granite, mountain stone with sedums, and ajuga. Club members used PVC pipe to separate the sections so that the children can add paint to it. From left in the group photo are landscape/horticulture technology majors Katherine L. Kahn, Williamsport; Breann R. Goldsmith and daughter, Liberty; Michael D. Ludwig, Glenside; Benjamin A. Mowrer, Manheim; Quinn R. Loudy, Middleburg; Laura J. La Grave, Lewisburg; Griffin T. Fulton, Mertztown; Bryce P. Thompson, Enola; Mark C. Ludwig, Glenside; and Kyle J. Schatz, St. Marys. (Also helping, but not pictured, were Adriana S. Lee, Williamsport; Kendall A. Wanner, Denver; Jacob R. Courtley, Ardara; and Janelle G. Kramer, Minersville.)
Photos by Carl J. Bower Jr., assistant professor of horticulture

Horticulture Students Network at Green Industry Showcase

Attending GIE+EXPO in Louisville are (from left) Carl J. Bower Jr., assistant professor of horticulture; Joseph A. Kern, Mechanicsburg; Kyle J. Schatz, St. Marys; Kendall A. Wanner, Denver; Benjamin A. Mowrer, Manheim; Jacob R. Courtley, Ardara; William X. DeMarco, Glen Mills; 2013 alumnus Jeremy L. Thorne; Trevor C. Gagliano, Hughesville; Bryce P. Thompson, Enola; and Griffin T. Fulton, Mertztown, an NALP student ambassador.

It's batter up – 120 feet up, in fact – at the Louisville Slugger Factory and Museum, fronted by a scale replica of Babe Ruth's 34-inch power-hitter.

A contingent of Penn College landscape/horticulture technology students and a faculty member recently joined hundreds of industry leaders and up-and-comers for The Green Industry & Equipment Expo in Louisville, Kentucky. A premier networking and educational conference for entrepreneurs and professionals in the landscaping and green industry, GIE+EXPO featured a trade show and 20-acre outdoor demonstration area, along with educational opportunities through Hardscape North America and the National Association of Landscape Professionals. In addition to the eight students accompanying Carl J. Bower Jr., assistant professor of horticulture, Griffin T. Fulton, of Mertztown, attended as one of 10 NALP student ambassadors. Chosen from across the country, the ambassadors help run the event, work the registration table, introduce speakers and are heavily involved with the many networking opportunities at the show. “My time at the Green Industry Expo as a student ambassador exceeded my expectations farther that I would have ever imagined. Being able to work through (NALP) was key for networking and being able to establish relationships with big names within the industry that will last a lifetime,” Fulton said. “Throughout my three days at the trade show, I also was able to connect with students in the industry, as well as throughout the country. The education and friendships I established at GIE+EXPO will last a lifetime, and I look forward to going back next year!” The group also visited the Louisville Slugger Factory and Museum while there.
Photos provided

Student Makes National Connections at Four-Day Conference

Katherine L. "Katie" Kahn, shown during a community-service project in Williamsport ...

... got backstage tours of large-scale nursery operations ...

... with attending an eye-opening October conference in Michigan.

Katherine L. “Katie” Kahn, a landscape/horticulture technology: plant production emphasis major from Williamsport, received a scholarship through the International Plant Propagators Society to attend its 2017 Eastern Regional Annual Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan, last month. The four-day conference consisted of behind-the-scenes tours of some of the biggest nurseries and botanical gardens in the region – including Rosebay Nursery, Midwest Groundcovers, Blue Horizon Nursery, Frederik Mijers Gardens, Spring Meadows Nursery, Hortech and Walters Gardens – as well as informational/educational sessions and a live auction of unique plants. “Going to the IPPS conference was an incredible experience. I can’t even begin to explain how much I learned while attending these sessions,” she said. “Most were taught by college professors or professionals in the field doing research. We also were introduced to new varieties of plants hardy in our zone. I met a ton of amazing people who opened my mind to the world of production. Going to an IPPS conference as a student means getting job offers. I made an abundance of new connections from all over the country.”
Photos provided

Horticulture Students Take Enviously Green Field Trip

Autumn colors greet Longwood visitors from the outset.

Every inch, a showplace

Classmates pause in the midst of their inspiring journey.

A "thousand-bloom" chrysanthemum soon will take center stage to dazzle conservatory guests.

Blue skies and abundant sunshine punctuate the North Creek stopover.

On a recent Tuesday (and an unseasonably warm one, at that) 23 landscape/horticulture technology students traveled to Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square to enjoy the legendarily beautiful surroundings, and to go behind-the-scenes in the nursery and the production greenhouses.  The group – accompanied by Carl J. Bower Jr. and Dennis P. Skinner, assistant professors of horticulture – also toured North Creek Nursery in Landenberg, a wholesale producer of perennial plugs and grasses, specializing in native plants.
Photos provided

Cross-Campus Collaboration Infuses Hundreds of Visiting Pupils

Horticulture instructor Carl J. Bower Jr. guides Warrior Run fourth-graders in a sensory exploration of the ESC’s plant life.

Roy A. Fletcher, assistant professor of business administration/banking and finance, talks with Stock Market Challenge participants from area high schools about the future of artificial intelligence in accounting. The School of Business & Hospitality hosted the grand finale celebration for the Stock Market Challenge, an annual competition for Lycoming County high schools and middle schools that is sponsored by the Williamsport Sun-Gazette.

Faculty members (and Penn College grads) Michael K. Patterson, welding lecturer, center, and Benjamin K. Myers, welding instructor, right, judge a competition among students enrolled in Penn College NOW welding courses. While their teachers attended professional development with Penn College faculty liaisons – a requirement to ensure that Penn College courses taught at high schools meet the same rigor as those taught on campus – the students showed their skill in shielded metal arc welding. Following the contest, they took part in a hands-on demonstration by Fronius USA, which has entrusted several pieces of equipment to the college.

In the closing weeks of the spring semester, the College Transitions Office and academic schools hosted more than half a dozen events for pupils in area elementary, middle and high schools. From a field trip for Warrior Run fourth-graders that spanned the main campus and Schneebeli Earth Science Center, to days set aside for students to visit the college labs that correspond with their Penn College NOW courses, hundreds of students received hands-on lessons in “degrees that work,” thanks to help from college faculty. Events for Penn College NOW students included a Horticulture Day, engineering design visit, Accounting Day, Web Page Design Day and Welding Day.

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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College’s Hydroponic Garden Yields Vegetables, Inspiration

Plant production students at Penn College are at the forefront of the “buy local, eat fresh” movement, thanks to the hydroponic garden at the college’s Schneebeli Earth Science Center. As assistant professor of horticulture Dennis P. Skinner explains, their cross-curricular collaboration culminates in the dishes crafted by culinary arts students in Le Jeune Chef Restaurant on campus. Along the way, the horticulture/landscape technology majors get a sense of something larger than themselves. “I think that’s one of the things that drives them,” Skinner says. “They want to be part of a community; they want to give back or provide, rather than being takers.”

Real-World Projects Allow Students to Leave Lasting Impact

From left, landscape/horticulture technology majors Gabriela J. Grandy, Belleville; Natasha M. Martin, Avis; and Noah L. English, Bloomsburg, straighten a cherry tree at the ESC.

At WAHS, students planted trees, shrubs and perennials to enhance this semester's community-service project

Completing the high school's legacy garden that incorporated students' skills, from design to ordering to installation

During a soggy Arbor Day week, one in which a damaging storm uprooted trees at Penn College and across the region, students fittingly did their part to beautify their natural surroundings. Horticulture instructor Carl J. Bower Jr. and his students performed maintenance on some of the trees in the Schneebeli Earth Science Center arboretum, and, at Williamsport Area High School (in a project that attracted front-page coverage in Tuesday’s Williamsport Sun-Gazette), Michael A. Dincher, assistant professor of horticulture, and students in his Landscape Construction (HRT 224) class put the finishing touches on a legacy garden near the Millionaires’ stadium.
Photos by Bower and Justin Shelinski, laboratory assistant for horticulture

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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Horticulture Student, Graduate Featured in Trade-Show Video

A YouTube video newly posted by The Harvest Group of landscape business consultants documents an informal conversation with a current Penn College student and a graduate of the same Landscape/Horticulture Technology Program, conducted at a National Association of Landscape Professionals event last semester in Louisville, Kentucky. In the segment, “Harvesters” Bill Arman and Ed Laflamme ask two students – including Penn College’s Justin M. Rinehimer, of Mountain Top – why they are studying landscaping and what they’ll look for in a prospective employer when they graduate. One such business owner might well be interviewee Jeremy L. Thorne, a 2013 Penn College alumnus with a pair of horticulture-related degrees, who was an NALP ambassador as a student and has volunteered with the industry association ever since.

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