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Students get alumni lesson in networking, confidence

Pictured in front of pink chrysanthemums at Longwood Gardens are (from left) students Courtney M. Wilcox, of Troy; Jessica M. Duke, of Allentown; Robert J. Williamson, of Fort Washington; and Alexis B. Hassinger, of Bellefonte.
Pictured in front of pink chrysanthemums at Longwood Gardens are (from left) students Courtney M. Wilcox, of Troy; Jessica M. Duke, of Allentown; Robert J. Williamson, of Fort Washington; and Alexis B. Hassinger, of Bellefonte.
Garris visits her alma mater's Schneebeli Earth Science Center.
Garris visits her alma mater’s Schneebeli Earth Science Center.
Against a backdrop of yellow mums are (from left) students Joseph N. Moore, of South Williamsport; Alexis M. Witherite, of Spring Mills; Taylor L. Keiper, of Archbald; and Austin R. Weaver, of New Holland.
Against a backdrop of yellow mums are (from left) students Joseph N. Moore, of South Williamsport; Alexis M. Witherite, of Spring Mills; Taylor L. Keiper, of Archbald; and Austin R. Weaver, of New Holland.
McGinty explains North Creek's automated potting process.
McGinty explains North Creek’s automated potting process.

Twenty members of the Horticulture Club and faculty members Justin Shelinski and Carl J. Bower Jr. enjoyed a pair of Tuesday field trips: Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square and North Creek Nurseries in Landenburg. The group savored a beautiful fall day, saw the Chrysanthemum Festival display at Longwood, and toured North Creek facilities with general manager Tim McGinty and section grower Kassie L. Garris, a 2018 alumna in Penn College’s landscape/horticulture technology: plant production emphasis. (Garris visited campus last week to talk about the postgraduate path she took, from employment at Longwood Gardens to working at North Creek.) McGinty shared that he first met Garris during a Penn College field trip to North Creek two years ago, when the then-student introduced herself to him. “It just goes to show: You never know what your experiences might bring,” Bower said. “The networking you do, whether it is while you are a student or in your professional career, can lead to some great opportunities. I always tell my students to never be afraid to shake someone’s hand, introduce themselves and say they are a Penn College horticulture student … because that can take you far.” North Creek is known for its sustainable horticultural practices and native perennials, added Bower, who said its greenhouses employ some impressive technology and innovations.
Photos by Bower, assistant professor of horticulture

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‘PA Build My Future’ extends its reach in Year Two

About 75 current Penn College students, eager cheerleaders all, sacrificed part of Fall Break to advocate for their chosen career paths.

Penn College’s second annual PA Build My Future event, an interactive academic and industry showcase on Thursday, provided more than 900 high-school students with an opportunity to experience the full range of possibilities in the construction and design field. Scores of current students in the School of Construction & Design Technologies joined faculty and administrators, along with many of the college’s commercial benefactors, in guiding visitors toward their potential careers.

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Newswatch 16 visits ‘PA Build My Future’

Student Christine Limbert begins Fall Break by mentoring others.WNEP’s Chris Keating visited campus for Thursday’s PA Build My Future, filing a report on the second annual introduction of secondary students to the wide-open world of construction and design careers. Keating visited indoor and outdoor exhibits facilitated by industry sponsors, Penn College faculty and current students (who gave up a day of Fall Break to excitedly represent their respective majors). Included in the broadcast were Carol A. Lugg, dean of construction and design technologies; building construction technology instructor Levon A. Whitmyer; Christine A. Limbert, of Curwensville, enrolled in architectural technology; and Lucas Vandergrift, a sophomore at Wellsboro High School who was among the day’s 929 students from nearly 30 high schools and career and technical centers.
(“PA Build My Future photo gallery)

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From living space to makerspace, summer visitors have their hands full

Learning the skills and craftsmanship required of a builder in the newest pre-college offering: Building Construction.

A dozen residential Pre-College Programs and a daytime Creative Art Camp brought hundreds of young women and men to Penn College’s campuses in mid-June, providing hands-on entry to the myriad career opportunities reflected in the institution’s postsecondary curriculum. Keeping campers (and PCToday photographers) busy in recent days were these fun learning opportunities, some of which involved culminating projects: Architecture Odyssey, Autism Spectrum Post-Secondary Interest Experience (ASPIE), Automotive Restoration, Aviation, Building Construction (new this year), Creative Art Camp, Engineering, Future Restaurateurs, Graphic Design Summer Studio, Grow & Design Horticulture, Health Careers, Information Technology and SMART (Science and Math in Real-world Technologies) Girls.

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Faculty & Staff Forestry Landscape/Horticulture Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies

Penn College’s ‘Tree Campus USA’ designation renewed

Observing Penn College’s repeat Tree Campus USA designation amid examples of healthy campus greenery are (from left) Don J. Luke, director of facilities operations; Eric C. Easton, forestry instructor; Carl J. Bower Jr., assistant professor of horticulture; Andrea L. Mull, General Services horticulturist/grounds and motor pool manager; and Justin W. Beishline, assistant dean of transportation and natural resources technologies.

For the fourth year in a row, Pennsylvania College of Technology has been honored with Tree Campus USA recognition for establishing and sustaining healthy community forests.

The national program was created a dozen years ago by the Arbor Day Foundation to honor educational institutions for helping to foster the next generation of environmental stewards.

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Career Day sets middle schoolers’ sights on tomorrow

Led by Franklin H. Reber, instructor of building construction technology, and students, Career Day visitors create concrete stepping stones.

College employees rallied to provide nearly 40 educational sessions for middle schoolers from across the region who visited campus on Monday for the college’s twice-a-year Career Day. Facilitated by the college’s College Transitions Office, the event provided 1,267 students with opportunities to explore a wide variety of careers in each of the college’s six academic schools. Visitors included 13 schools and home-schooled students.

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Faculty & Staff Landscape/Horticulture Students Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies

ESC crews belatedly (and beneficially) celebrate Arbor Day

General Services horticulturist Brooke M. Barton removes a weeping white pine from the west side of main campus.
General Services horticulturist Brooke M. Barton removes a weeping white pine from the west side of main campus.
Conrad J. Young (left), of Slatington, enrolled in landscape/horticulture technology: landscape emphasis, and Erick V. Kennedy, a landscape/horticulture technology: plant production emphasis major from Williamsport, replant the tree in the Earth Science Center ...
Conrad J. Young (left), of Slatington, enrolled in landscape/horticulture technology: landscape emphasis, and Erick V. Kennedy, a landscape/horticulture technology: plant production emphasis major from Williamsport, replant the tree in the Earth Science Center …
... where it will thrive in the facilitys well-tended conifer garden.
… where it will thrive in the facilitys well-tended conifer garden.
Dincher's Arboriculture (URF201) class beautifies Williamsport streets through an urban forestry project.
Dincher’s Arboriculture (URF201) class beautifies Williamsport streets through an urban forestry project.

With Friday’s observance of Arbor Day dampened by inclement weather, horticulture students and faculty from Penn College’s Schneebeli Earth Science Center marked the occasion by undertaking a pair of projects under more pleasant conditions Monday. One of those collaborative enterprises involved relocating a weeping white pine from outside Dauphin Hall. The tree, salvaged when a planter near the residence hall was removed, found a new home in the ESC conifer garden. In another industrious endeavor, involving students of assistant professor Michael A. Dincher, 24 new bare-root street trees were planted in Williamsport neighborhoods.
Photos provided by Carl J. Bower Jr., assistant professor

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Scholarship luncheon provides firsthand look at donors’ impact

Ferki tells guests, “Scholarships act as a gateway to inspire growth in a student’s academics and passion for his or her industry.” She is the recipient of the SEKISUI SPI Workforce Development Scholarship and the Penn College Foundation Scholarship.

The empowering combination of applied technology education and financial support was celebrated Sunday afternoon, as Pennsylvania College of Technology hosted its second annual Scholarship Luncheon in the campus Field House.

“I am overwhelmed by the collective energies in this room to transform tomorrow,” President Davie Jane Gilmour said, addressing students, families and donors alike. Announcing that the coming academic year will include the largest total amount of scholarships awarded in any one year during the college’s history, she thanked attendees for their significant role in helping students succeed.

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Alumni Faculty & Staff Landscape/Horticulture Students Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies

Students travel to Colorado for national landscape competition

With Colorado’s natural beauty as a backdrop, the Pennsylvania College of Technology landscape/horticulture technology contingent relaxes after national competition. From left are students Kendall A. Wanner, of Denver, Pa., and Adri S. Lee, of Williamsport; alumnus Ronald A. Burger; students Kendra M. Snyder, of Montoursville, and Drew J. Marsh, of Marble; assistant professor Carl J. Bower Jr.; and students Joseph A. Kern, of Mechanicsburg, William X. DeMarco, of Glen Mills, and Alexis M. Witherite, of Spring Mills.

Seven Pennsylvania College of Technology horticulture students, a supportive alumnus and a faculty member recently traveled to Colorado State University for the 43rd  annual National Collegiate Landscape Competition.

A number of Penn College students were among the top performers in their respective categories, and the team finished 33rd among 64 schools. Brigham Young University-Provo was the overall winner.

Making the March 19-24 trip to Fort Collins, Colorado, were students William X. DeMarco, of Glen Mills; Joseph A. Kern, of Mechanicsburg; Adri S. Lee, of Williamsport; Drew J. Marsh, of Marble; Kendra M. Snyder, of Montoursville; Kendall A. Wanner, of Denver, Pennsylvania; and Alexis M. Witherite, of Spring Mills. Lee and Marsh are enrolled in landscape/horticulture technology: plant production emphasis; the others are in the major’s landscape emphasis.

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Pre-College Programs to enrich participants’ summer experience

Young women enrolled in SMART Girls, among the wide-ranging roster of pre-college programs at Pennsylvania College of Technology, assemble a robot during last summer’s camp.

Building construction has been added to the abounding schedule of pre-college initiatives offered at Pennsylvania College of Technology, hands-on summer activities that mirror the nationally renowned opportunities afforded postsecondary students.

“Our Pre-College Programs offer living and learning experiences in which students have opportunities to explore unique academic interests in a state-of-the-art environment,” said Deborah B. Wescott, manager of conference and guest relations. “It’s a chance to work and make connections with industry leaders, meet and mingle with your peers, and establish a path that could lead to all sorts of future possibilities.”

The signup deadline is May 31 for the institution’s 12 residential programs and its one day camp.

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Faculty & Staff Landscape/Horticulture Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies

Horticulture faculty member attends tree-research summit

Bower (in hat) joins colleagues in an example of pollarding, a method of pruning that keeps trees smaller than they would normally grow.
Bower (in hat) joins colleagues in an example of pollarding, a method of pruning that keeps trees smaller than they would normally grow.

A member of Penn College’s landscape/horticulture faculty traveled to the Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories in Charlotte, North Carolina, as part of a two-day summit made possible by the Arbor Day Foundation. Carl J. Bower Jr., an assistant professor of horticulture, was among representatives of colleges and universities – from as far away as Alaska – who learned more about trees on their campuses and how to better care for them. During the Feb. 12-13 event, Bartlett employees discussed and demonstrated pruning techniques, tree support systems and tree risk management.  In addition, participants got a look into the lab’s research on root development and specialty pruning. “A highlight was learning how schools connected with their students to understand the value of the trees on their campuses,” said Bower, a 1993 alumnus of Penn College and a faculty member since 2001. The foundation sponsors the Tree Campus USA program, which has recognized Penn College in each of the past three years for effective forest management and engagement of employees and students in conservation goals.
Photo provided

Alumni General Information Landscape/Horticulture Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies

State ag secretary champions Penn College education

A parent’s proud endorsement of a Penn College education, which propelled his son into an imminent career as a landscape designer, kicks off a Pennsylvania Farm Show video from state Sen. Gene Yaw. The legislator – who chairs the college’s board of directors – sat down with state Agriculture Secretary Russell C. Redding, father of a 2016 landscape/horticulture technology alumnus. Elliot C. Redding carried his two-year degree to Penn State, where he will graduate with a bachelor’s degree later this year. Watch PCToday for photos from the 103rd annual expo, at which the college was a weeklong presence.

Events Landscape/Horticulture Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies

Popular poinsettia sale begins at ESC greenhouse

Poinsettias add splash of seasonal color at ESC.
Poinsettias add splash of seasonal color at ESC.
Variegated plants are among the limited inventory.
Variegated plants are among the limited inventory.

The annual Poinsettia Sale at Penn College’s Schneebeli Earth Science Center greenhouse is underway, and runs until all plants are sold. The hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays (closed Saturday and Sunday), and all sales are on a first-come, first-served basis. Inventory is limited this year and is expected to sell out fast! There will be no early sales or holds, and everything is “cash and carry.”

Faculty & Staff Landscape/Horticulture Students Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies

Landscape students attend national networking events

Students in the Penn College horticulture/landscape technology group traveling to Louisville, Kentucky, for the Green Industry & Equipment Expo and LANDSCAPES 2018, a premier networking and educational conference, undergo a flurry of interviews during fast-paced roundtable meetings with employers.

Six landscape/horticulture technology students and a Pennsylvania College of Technology faculty member recently traveled to Louisville, Kentucky, for a pair of prominent industry events.

The Penn College group attended the Green Industry & Equipment Expo (GIE+EXPO), the nation’s largest trade show in that field, and LANDSCAPES 2018, a premier networking and educational conference.

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Alumni Landscape/Horticulture Students Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies

Horticulture students enjoy bountiful PSU field trip

Students tour the arboretum's Children's Garden.
Students tour the arboretum’s Children’s Garden.
Back row (from left): Burk; Smithmyer; students Benjamin A. Mowrer, Manheim; Jack R. Mannke, Glen Mills; Kendall A. Wanner, Denver, Pa.; Rachel A. Walton, Orwigsburg; Jeremy M. Smith, (in green hat, partially hidden), Erie; Anthony M. Schauble, (visible above the rest, with blonde hair), Nazareth; Joseph A. Kern, Mechanicsburg; James S. Essig, Bernville; Alex D. Reichner, Sunbury; Jaclyn N. Wolf, Gettysburg; and Aaron A. Sledge (Spring 2018 alumnus, now studying plant science at Penn State). Front row (from left): Diana M. Willman, Dillsburg; Amanda N. Suda, Harrisburg; Oceana R. Copley, Williamsport; Laura L. La Grave, Lewisburg; Drew J. Marsh, Marble; Kendra M. Snyder, Montoursville; Rachel L. Hill, Centre Hall; and Adriana S. Lee, Williamsport.
Back row (from left): Burk; Smithmyer; students Benjamin A. Mowrer, Manheim; Jack R. Mannke, Glen Mills; Kendall A. Wanner, Denver, Pa.; Rachel A. Walton, Orwigsburg; Jeremy M. Smith, (in green hat, partially hidden), Erie; Anthony M. Schauble, (visible above the rest, with blonde hair), Nazareth; Joseph A. Kern, Mechanicsburg; James S. Essig, Bernville; Alex D. Reichner, Sunbury; Jaclyn N. Wolf, Gettysburg; and Aaron A. Sledge (Spring 2018 alumnus, now studying plant science at Penn State). Front row (from left): Diana M. Willman, Dillsburg; Amanda N. Suda, Harrisburg; Oceana R. Copley, Williamsport; Laura L. La Grave, Lewisburg; Drew J. Marsh, Marble; Kendra M. Snyder, Montoursville; Rachel L. Hill, Centre Hall; and Adriana S. Lee, Williamsport.
Burk explains the arboretum's infiltration basin.
Burk explains the arboretum’s infiltration basin.
A visit to Scott's Landscaping
A visit to Scott’s Landscaping

Carl J. Bower Jr. recently took 18 of his landscape/horticulture technology students on a field trip to several sites in and around State College, including the one-acre Penn State Student Farm/Campus Supported Agriculture, the university’s greenhouse production facility, the Penn State Arboretum and one of the Forestry Building’s green roofs. After a visit to the Berkey Creamery, the group met up with Scott A. Burk, president of Scott’s Landscaping and Wheatfield Nursery (and a member of the college’s Landscape/Horticulture Technology Advisory Committee), and 2002 graduate Frederick B. Smithmyer, operations manager at Scott’s. They talked about various landscape projects on the University Park campus, including several green roofs and the arboretum, and finished the day with a tour of Wheatfield Nursery and Scott’s Landscaping, where the group encountered even more Penn College alumni.
Photos by Bower, assistant professor of horticulture