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All-female welding team featured in SkillsUSA publication

From left: Beaver, Perelli and Rhoades
From left: Beaver, Perelli and Rhoades

Three female welding and fabrication engineering technology majors, who competed at SkillsUSA Nationals last summer, are included in the winter issue of SkillsUSA Champions. Erin M. Beaver, of Winfield; Joelle E. Perelli, of Bath; and Natalie J. Rhoades, of Weedville, were among the nearly two dozen Penn College students who traveled to SkillsUSA National Championships in Louisville, Kentucky, by virtue of their earlier gold medals in Pennsylvania competition. The magazine has a print circulation of about 25,000 educators and stakeholders, with a substantial digital circulation to student members.

Civil Engineering & Surveying Construction & Design Technologies Faculty & Staff Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies Students Welding

Project roundtable opens window on work in progress

Carol A. Lugg, dean of construction and design technologies, applauds the organizers of the roundtable. Among her observations? Where many work sites might display signs that say, "Construction zone; keep out," Penn College's message is one of, "Construction zone; come in."
Carol A. Lugg, dean of construction and design technologies, applauds the organizers of the roundtable. Among her observations? Where many work sites might display signs that say, “Construction zone; keep out,” Penn College’s message is one of, “Construction zone; come in.”
Among the panelists giving their audience a front-row seat on the painstaking process from blueprints to execution are (from left) Zerby, Heimbach, Maholtz and Rissel.
Among the panelists giving their audience a front-row seat on the painstaking process from blueprints to execution are (from left) Zerby, Heimbach, Maholtz and Rissel.
Drew R. Potts, assistant professor of civil engineering technology, keeps the dialogue flowing and functional.
Drew R. Potts, assistant professor of civil engineering technology, keeps the dialogue flowing and functional.
David R. Cotner, dean of industrial, computing and engineering technologies, gestures to the expansion underway just beyond the CAL classroom's windows. The project will increase instructional space by approximately 35,000 square feet and allow for enrollment gains in the traditionally popular welding program.
David R. Cotner, dean of industrial, computing and engineering technologies, gestures to the expansion underway just beyond the CAL classroom’s windows. The project will increase instructional space by approximately 35,000 square feet and allow for enrollment gains in the traditionally popular welding program.
Potts moderates the give-and-take that featured engaging commentary by (from left) Dubbs, Rodino, Vassallo, Murphy and Colocino.
Potts moderates the give-and-take that featured engaging commentary by (from left) Dubbs, Rodino, Vassallo, Murphy and Colocino.

Varied construction professionals working on expansion of the Lycoming Engines Metal Trades Center, some with decades of experience on Penn College projects, recently shared their considerable insights during a National Engineers Week panel discussion. Organized by the School of Construction & Design Technologies and its Civil Engineering and Surveying Department, the event connected a standing-room-only crowd of students, faculty and administrators to those working on the project – and navigating such diverse challenges as relocation of parking, management of storm water, the need for consistent communication and knowledge of the electrical service required to power the nation’s only electron-beam welding equipment on a college campus. The panel comprised civil and electrical engineers, surveyors, architects, construction managers, and contractors: Todd Colocino, CMT Laboratories Inc.; Benedict Dubbs, Murray Associates Architects; Jeremy Heimbach, Myco Mechanical; Chad Maholtz, Leonard S. Fiore Inc.; John Murphy, Greenman-Pedersen Inc.; Timothy O. Rissell, executive director of Penn College General Services; Thomas A. Rodino, Marx Sheet Metal & Mechanical Inc.; Dan A. Vassallo, Vassallo Engineering and Surveying Inc.; and Rich Zerby, TurnKey Electric Inc.

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MTC expansion topic for Engineers Week roundtable

Panelists to discuss MTC expansion during Engineers Week roundtable.

Engineers WeekTeam members involved in expansion of the Lycoming Engines Metal Trades Center at Penn College will discuss their roles and responsibilities during a roundtable session from 3:30-5 p.m. Tuesday in Room 104 of College Avenue Labs.

Hosted by the college’s Civil Engineering and Surveying Department and the School of Construction & Design Technologies, the event will connect the campus community to the civil engineers, surveyors, architects, construction managers, contractors and others whose expertise is vital to the ongoing project.

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Penn College first in U.S. higher education to get innovative welder

Through a partnership with Cambridge Vacuum Engineering Inc., Pennsylvania College of Technology will soon have an electron beam welder, similar to the unit shown here, for use in its welding and metal fabrication program.

Pennsylvania College of Technology is partnering with Cambridge Vacuum Engineering Inc. to bring electron beam welding to the curriculum of its welding and metal fabrication program.

A 60kV electron beam welder from CVE, a Cambridge, England-based, company with a U.S. sales and support office, will be used by the college in its soon-to-be expanded welding instructional facility in the Lycoming Engines Metal Trade Center.  This is the first electron beam welder placed by the company in any college or university within the United States, and one of only a few in higher-education institutions worldwide.

The welder will be installed in the fall of 2019, immediately enabling the college to enhance the majors offered within the welding and metal fabrication program, providing exceptional opportunities for Penn College students.

The need for electron beam welder technicians is increasing in industry; the partnership with CVE will help Penn College satisfy that demand. Electron beam welding has become a vital technology in the aerospace, automotive, energy, medical, semiconductor and military industries.

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Penn College, leading company form perfect ‘package’

Packaging Progressions Inc. in Souderton – the world’s leading supplier of high-speed interleaving and stacking machines – boasts a multi-generational connection to Penn College. Company founder and chairman Larry Ward (center) graduated from Penn College’s predecessor institution, Williamsport Area Community College, in 1966. Welder/fabricator Brett E. Stanley (left), of Lancaster, graduated from Penn College in 2012, and automation engineer Johnathan T. Capps, of North Wales, earned his degree from the college last May.

On the surface, the three men have little in common. One looks like a vibrant, distinguished grandfather with his neatly trimmed white goatee and confident gait. The second could pass for a lead singer in a rock band with his lip and nose rings, faded T-shirt and long hair. The third appears to be a budding executive with his coiffed hair and button-down shirt complemented by a perfect smile.

They are separated by appearance, age, background and job title. But the three share educational roots at Pennsylvania College of Technology and mission at Packaging Progressions Inc. in Souderton.

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Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies Students Welding

SkillsUSA video features college’s all-female welding team

Produced by SkillsUSA, a “Diversity in Manufacturing” video features the state champion Penn College welding team of Erin M. Beaver, Joelle E. Perelli and Natalie Rhoades. The welding and fabrication engineering majors are helping to change America’s outdated ideas on what manufacturing is and what kind of person can find success, security and satisfaction in a manufacturing-related career. The video, added to the college’s YouTube channel, also includes insights from Volvo Construction Equipment North America.

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State Senate Appropriations Committee chair tours campus

Always engaged and advocating for the college, Yaw (right) converses with Browne in the atrium of the Breuder Advanced Technology & Health Sciences Center.

State Sen. Patrick M. Browne, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, visited Pennsylvania College of Technology on Thursday.

Browne, who represents the 16th District – which includes Allentown and other municipalities within Lehigh County – came to campus after presenting an election and legislative update at a breakfast sponsored by the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce.

He was invited by fellow Appropriations Committee member Sen. Gene Yaw, who also serves as chairman of the Penn College Board of Directors. Yaw also hosted the Chamber legislative update event, held at the Genetti Hotel in Williamsport.

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Celebrating those cheery, eerie Halloween nights

Screaming and sprinting through their fright night in the welding lab, this group aims for (relative) safety in numbers.

“In this town we call home, everybody hail to the pumpkin song,” say the lyrics in a modern-day film favorite, and Penn College students surely welcomed Halloween with a pair of juxtaposed traditions: kid-friendly hours for trick-or-treating at The Village Apartments on Wednesday, balanced by the following night’s shudder-inducing attraction of the ever-expanding “Arc Asylum” haunted welding laboratory.

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Penn College welding expansion project underway

Ground was broken recently for a welding expansion project at Pennsylvania College of Technology. Made possible in part by a $2 million grant provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, the project will increase the size of welding-related instructional space in the Lycoming Engines Metal Trades Center by approximately 35,000 square feet.

Construction has commenced on a project that will expand and enhance the space available for welding instruction at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

The expansion, made possible in part by a $2 million grant provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, will increase the size of welding-related instructional space in the Lycoming Engines Metal Trades Center by approximately 35,000 square feet.

Expanding will allow the welding program to grow the curriculum and enroll up to 60 more students annually. Traditionally, the program has a waiting list for enrollees.

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Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies Students Welding

Penn College Women Welders Help Serve the Greater Good

The all-female team from Penn College that participated in a welding fabrication competition at the SkillsUSA National Championships, shows the rocket stove they built during the event. The stove will be donated to a family in the developing world by WaterStep. From left are Joelle E. Perelli, of Bath; Natalie J. Rhoades, of Weedville; and Erin M. Beaver, of Winfield.

Three talented female welding students from Pennsylvania College of Technology didn’t win their national competition, but the result of their effort will endure much longer than the shine of any medal.

A rocket stove manufactured by welding and fabrication engineering technology students Erin M. Beaver, of Winfield; Joelle E. Perelli, of Bath; and Natalie J. Rhoades, of Weedville, earlier this summer at the SkillsUSA National Championships in Louisville, Kentucky, is in the process of being donated to a family in the developing world.

“You don’t realize what you have until you find out what other people don’t have. That made me appreciate the competition even more,” Rhoades said.

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Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies Students Welding

Volvo Applauds Welding Intern’s Accomplishments

Natalie J. RhoadesA welding and fabrication engineering technology student, who recently completed an internship with Volvo Construction Equipment, was given an online shout-out by her summer employer for an “exceptional performance” at SkillsUSA nationals. Natalie J. Rhoades, of Weedville, was one of three women on Penn College’s welding fabrication team that competed in Louisville, Kentucky, in late June. “It’s fantastic to have such talented and dedicated young professionals as Natalie launching their careers with Volvo CE, and we want to congratulate her and her team for their performance,” said Gustavo Casagrandi, vice president of Shippensburg operations. “We believe that supporting young talent will help benefit the entire construction equipment industry and we are happy to play any part we can in helping young people pursue a career in the manufacturing fields.”

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Penn College Students Dominate Scholarship List

Recent scholarships from the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies reflects Pennsylvania College of Technology’s standing as a national leader in applied technology education.

Penn College students received nine of 22 awards from the PMMI Scholarship in Memorial of Claude S. Breeden, Glenn Davis and Art Schaefer. The $4,000 scholarships honor students who maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher, plan for a career in packaging and processing machinery manufacturing, and show industry involvement through internship and career development activities.

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Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies Students Welding

Penn College Women Welders Aim for National Recognition

An all-female team from Penn College will compete for gold in welding fabrication at the SkillsUSA National Championships in late June. From left are Natalie J. Rhoades, Weedville; Joelle E. Perelli, Bath; and Erin M. Beaver, Winfield. The three students are seeking bachelor’s degrees in welding and fabrication engineering technology.

Pennsylvania College of Technology students vying for gold at the SkillsUSA National Championships is common. An all-female welding team representing the school at the prestigious competition is not.

Thanks to three talented female welding and fabrication engineering technology students, it may be in the future. The trio aim to be trendsetters at the college and nationally.

“I told them that they shocked Pennsylvania when they went to Hershey and won gold. I truly believe that if they stay focused and put in the time and effort, they could very well shock the nation,” said Jacob B. Holland, the welding instructor instrumental in forming the all-female team for SkillsUSA’s welding fabrication competition.

Erin M. Beaver, of Winfield; Joelle E. Perelli, of Bath; and Natalie J. Rhoades, of Weedville, defeated all-male counterparts at the district and state levels to advance to the SkillsUSA National Championships in Louisville, Kentucky, June 25-29. The annual event showcases the best career and technical education students, who compete in about 100 categories from computer programming to culinary arts.

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Two Alumni Honored at Penn College Commencements

Pennsylvania College of Technology presented honors to two alumni during Spring 2018 commencement ceremonies, held May 11-12 at the Community Arts Center, Williamsport.

Andrew S. Wisner, of Cumming, Georgia, formerly of York, received the Alumni Achievement Award on May 11, and Bradley G. Willis, of Harrisburg, formerly of Phillipsburg, New Jersey, was presented with the Volunteer of the Year Award during morning exercises on May 12.

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Penn College Baja Team Pumped for Kansas Competition

Members of the Penn College Baja SAE team take a well-earned break during their April competition in Maryland. Standing from left are: Myron D. Milliken, Lewistown; Matthew J. Nyman, Lock Haven; Todd R. Mercer, Williamsport; Dylan A. Bianco, State College; Christopher M. Schweikert, Jamison; Mathias Decker, Farmington; Shujaa AlQahtani, Saudi Arabia; Trevor M. Clouser, Millmont; Daniel M. Gerard, Doylestown; Joshua J. Cover, Selinsgrove; adviser John G. Upcraft; and Jonathan R. Sutcliffe, Orangeville. Sitting on the car from left are: Logan B. Goodhart, Chambersburg; Johnathan T. Capps, North Wales; and Mark A. Turek, Red Lion. Sitting on the ground is alumnus Zach Mazur, who started the college’s Baja SAE team in 2005.

During the past few years, the Pennsylvania College of Technology Baja SAE team has been among the world’s best. Now, the dedicated students want to be the best.

Penn College can obtain that lofty ranking when it competes against 99 other schools in the next Society of Automotive Engineers event, scheduled for May 17-20 in Pittsburg, Kansas.

“Our goal is to win the endurance race,” said Logan B. Goodhart, a manufacturing engineering technology major from Chambersburg, who serves as team captain. “Our car has a lot of potential. We just have to play things smart and have a little luck.”

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