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Penn College students dominate manufacturing scholarship list

Pennsylvania College of Technology

A foundation promoting manufacturing careers awarded one-third of its recent scholarships to Pennsylvania College of Technology students.

A dozen Penn College students were among 36 nationwide who received manufacturing scholarships from Nuts, Bolts & Thingamajigs. The scholarships, valued between $1,500 and $2,500, are for Fall 2019.

“I couldn’t be prouder,” said David R. Cotner, dean of Penn College’s School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies, which is home to the recipients’ majors. “To have the college dominate a national scholarship list speaks volumes about the quality of our students and our various academic programs.”

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Nine Penn College students medal at SkillsUSA nationals

SkillsUSANine students from Pennsylvania College of Technology’s SkillsUSA team earned medals in six categories – three silvers and three bronzes – during the National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Kentucky, from June 24-29.

“The students represented themselves and the college well, and it showed with the number of medals we returned home with,” said SkillsUSA adviser James N. Colton II, an assistant professor of welding. “I look forward to next year and the students that we will have competing.”

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Appropriations boost recognizes college’s vital workforce role

The approved 2019-20 state budget delivers appropriation funding to Pennsylvania College of Technology reflecting its long history of success in producing skilled workers, while leveling the playing field with other publicly funded institutions in the commonwealth, the college’s board chair said Friday.

“Finally, Penn College is being recognized for the invaluable hands-on education and training it provides to students, who become highly skilled members of the workforce – addressing the skills gap that continues to impact industry and hinder the economy,” said Sen. Gene Yaw, chairman of the college’s Board of Directors. “All we have ever asked for is to be treated with parity in funding with other state institutions. With this budget, we have made real progress.”

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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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Penn College welding faculty members prep to be pioneers

Jorge Alvarez, field engineer for Cambridge Vacuum Engineering, discusses components of an electron beam welder with Penn College faculty during a recent training session at the company’s U.S. sales office in Agawam, Mass. From left are welding instructors Aaron E. Biddle, Ty E. Rhinehart and Ryan P. Good.

A week after the spring semester ended, six welding faculty at Pennsylvania College of Technology went back to school – as students. That preparation will equip them to be pioneers this fall when the college becomes the first U.S. educational institution to feature an electron beam welder.

Welding instructors Michael R. Allen, Aaron E. Biddle, Ryan P. Good, Jacob B. Holland, Ty E. Rhinehart and assistant professor James N. Colton II spent three days in Agawam, Massachusetts, training with field engineers from Cambridge Vacuum Engineering on an electron beam welder. CVE, an England-based company, is scheduled to deliver a 60kV unit to campus in late October.

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Faculty & Staff Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies Welding

Faculty training heralds electron beam welder’s delivery

Assembling for a group photo during training in Agawam, Mass., are (from left) welding instructors Aaron E. Biddle and Ty E. Rhinehart; James N. Colton, assistant professor of welding; welding instructors Ryan P. Good and Jacob B. Holland; Tony Slater, technical sales manager, Cambridge Vacuum Engineering; CVE field engineers Jorge Alvarez and Daniel Rosania; and Michael R. Allen, welding instructor.
Assembling for a group photo during training in Agawam, Mass., are (from left) welding instructors Aaron E. Biddle and Ty E. Rhinehart; James N. Colton, assistant professor of welding; welding instructors Ryan P. Good and Jacob B. Holland; Tony Slater, technical sales manager, Cambridge Vacuum Engineering; CVE field engineers Jorge Alvarez and Daniel Rosania; and Michael R. Allen, welding instructor.
Faculty were trained on a 60-kilovolt electron beam welder, akin to one that is bound for Penn College this fall.
Faculty were trained on a 60-kilovolt electron beam welder, akin to one that is bound for Penn College this fall.
Welding faculty intently listen to Alvarez ...
Welding faculty intently listen to Alvarez …
... during instruction on the machine's operation and components.
… during instruction on the machine’s operation and components.

Penn College welding faculty recently undertook three days of training at Cambridge Vacuum Engineering Inc. on an electron beam welder that is very similar to the one that will be delivered to campus this fall. Electron beam welding – vital technology in the aerospace, automotive, energy, medical, semiconductor and military industries – is commonly used in the manufacturing of small components. Once installed in the greatly expanded Lycoming Engines Metal Trades Center, it will be the only electron beam welder placed by CVE in any college or university within the United States.

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Penn College bestows Distinguished Teaching Awards

Ryan P. Good, assistant professor of welding, was presented with the highest honor accorded to Penn College faculty – the Veronica M. Muzic Master Teacher Award. He is shown here with Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour.

Three Pennsylvania College of Technology faculty members were honored at Spring 2019 Commencement ceremonies for their prowess as teachers.

Ryan P. Good, assistant professor of welding, was presented with the highest honor accorded to Penn College faculty: the Veronica M. Muzic Master Teacher Award.

Two faculty members received recognition for their outstanding teaching skills by earning Excellence in Teaching Awards: Drew R. Potts, assistant professor and department head of civil engineering technology, and David S. Richards, professor of physics.

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Wide-ranging tour enlightens state Senate committee chairs

Haywood marvels at the breathing chest of a "patient" in the School of Nursing & Health Sciences, where Dean Sandra L. Richmond (left) explained the simulation aids available to nursing students.

A bipartisan group of state legislators, all present for President Davie Jane Gilmour’s budget request to the Senate Appropriations Committee in February, got a follow-up look at Penn College during a trip to main campus on Tuesday. Touring a number of instructional labs with Sen. Gene Yaw (chairman of the college’s board of directors), administrators, faculty and staff were Sen. Art Haywood (D-Cheltenham), minority chair of the Health and Human Services Committee; Sen. Thomas H. Killion (R-Middletown), who chairs the Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee; Sen. Daniel Laughlin (R-Erie), chair of the Game and Fisheries Committee; and Sen. Sharif Street (D-Philadelphia), minority chairman of the Banking and Insurance Committee. Along for the visit were H. Fred Walker, director of Erie County Technical School; Kendall Alexander, Haywood’s communications director; and three members of Street’s staff: policy assistant Micah Mahjoubian, legislative aide Angel Betancourt and special assistant Kenneth Carter. Some members of the Senate contingent, who collectively represent highly populated areas from Erie in the northwest to Philadelphia in the southeast corner of the commonwealth, also enjoyed lunch in Le Jeune Chef Restaurant.

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Miller partners with Penn College for welding expansion project

Commemorating the Miller-Pennsylvania College of Technology partnership are (from left) Loni N. Kline, vice president for institutional advancement, Penn College; Jim Wynegar, corporate account manager, ITW Welding North America; Elizabeth A. Biddle, director of corporate relations, Penn College; Michael R. Allen, instructor and department head, welding, Penn College; Justin Heistand, district manager, ITW Welding North America; and Rick Conrad, field application engineer, ITW Welding North America, and a 2002 Penn College alumnus.

This fall, when Pennsylvania College of Technology opens its expanded welding lab facility – one that will enable enrollment of up to 60 more future welders annually – students in the popular program will hone their skills on industry-standard equipment they are sure to encounter on the job.

A partnership between Penn College and Miller, a Wisconsin-based manufacturer of original equipment used in the welding industry, will ensure that students in the college’s welding majors gain familiarity with equipment that is used throughout the welding industry.

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Penn College welding student ‘sparks’ inspiration

Destiny R. Barto, of Liberty, who calls Wyalusing her hometown, overcame multiple obstacles to pursue her bachelor’s degree in welding and fabrication engineering technology at Penn College. She is set to graduate May 17.

A cacophony of sounds reverberates throughout the expansive lab. Sparks emanating from rows of booths color the facility. Motion is constant as students and teachers navigate to the next project while a parade of visitors watches the action unfold.

Bustling activity, bright lights and loud noises usually are disconcerting for Destiny R. Barto. But on this morning, like many of her days at Pennsylvania College of Technology, she has shelter from all distractions. The pink hood enveloping her head provides a sanctuary, as she grasps a welding rod and strikes an arc on a long piece of metal.

The resulting path of weld beads is much smoother than the one she followed to arrive at this moment. Obstacles littered that path from the day she was born in Elmira, New York.

“I really have to stop and think about what I have done in order to feel accomplished,” she said. “Most of the time, I’m focused on the things I have to do. There’s a lot to do.”

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AACA’s Hershey Chapter revisits college’s hands-on world

As is generally the case, students are the best college ambassadors when company comes to call.

Members of the Hershey Region of the Antique Automobile Association of America, among the generous champions of Penn College’s automotive restoration technology major, recently returned to main campus as the first stop on this season’s “Point Run” schedule. The group enjoyed a buffet lunch, toured several instructional areas, and met with student members of the Penn College Motorsports Association and the Classic Cruisers Club.

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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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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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Penn College welding students cap unique remodeling project

A group of Penn College welding students and their faculty adviser crafted the focal point for a remodeling project undertaken by a McEwensville homeowner residing in a former church.

A dedicated group of Pennsylvania College of Technology welding students added the “crown” to a stunning remodeling job for a McEwensville homeowner.

Seven members of the college’s American Welding Society student chapter and faculty adviser Steve J. Kopera volunteered their time and expertise to craft and install a 6-by-9-foot “tree of life” metallic sculpture at a former church.

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Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies Students Welding

Student’s Native American-themed sculpture headed for competition

The local journalist focuses on her subject ...
The local journalist focuses on her subject …
... who combines art and aspiration in her welding work.
… who combines art and aspiration in her welding work.

Anne Reiner, founder of the On the Pulse local news site, recently interviewed Penn College welding major Erin M. Beaver, of Winfield, for a piece about the sculpture she is crafting for next month’s state SkillsUSA competition. Part of an all-female team that competed at SkillsUSA nationals last year, the senior draws upon a reverence for Native American culture (and an equally strong vocational passion) in crafting her latest creation.