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Shower of Sparks Brings May Flowers

In the welding lab (from left), Sparkman, Nolan and Carlson display their towering, flowering creation ...
In the welding lab (from left), Sparkman, Nolan and Carlson display their towering, flowering creation …
... before it was transported "over the mountain" and installed at its permanent location outside the ESC.
… before it was transported “over the mountain” and installed at its permanent location outside the ESC.

An instructor and two students in his Gas Metal Arc welding class created an appropriate greenhouse sign for the Schneebeli Earth Science Center, home to Penn College’s horticulture/landscape technology major. The project began when Facebook-posted photos of metal roses crafted in Matt W. Nolan’s welding lab on main campus caught the eye of a faculty colleague at the ESC. “I asked him if he would be interested in creating a new sign for our Greenhouse #3,” said Carl J. Bower Jr., assistant professor of horticulture, noting that the existing sign – a small piece of wood into which the facility’s name was carved – was rather dated. “He and his students came through and created a fitting sign for us.” Nolan was joined on the job by welding and fabrication engineering technology majors Daniel C. Carlson, of Linesville, and Tyler J. Sparkman, of Aliquippa. “Carl said he planted sunflowers in this greenhouse, among other plants, so I thought some steel sunflowers would be perfect. I also wanted to create a piece of art that would stand the test of time much like that old wooden sign was struggling to do!” Nolan said. “The students did such a great job and also created a piece of artwork that showcases the skills they have learned. I’m very proud of Ty and Dan’s hard work on this project, as well as all the welding students in our program.”
Photos by Bower

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SkillsUSA Competitors Strike Gold; 21 Students Headed to Nationals

SkillsUSA Pennsylvania

Nearly all 27 members of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s SkillsUSA team – 21 of them advancing to the 54th annual National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Kentucky – earned medals during recent state competition.

The competitors represent majors across four of Penn College’s academic schools, and the theme for the April 18-20 Pennsylvania Leadership and Skills Conference in Hershey couldn’t have been more fitting for students gaining career-making skills in hands-on fashion: “Champions at Work: Job-Ready, Day One.”

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Events Faculty & Staff Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies Students Welding

Welding Students Earn Top Honors in Proficiency Tests

From left are Michael E. Allen, welding instructor and department head; students Bachman, Brown, Cline and Passarelli; Flood, AWS president; and students Carroll and Rosler.
From left are Michael E. Allen, welding instructor and department head; students Bachman, Brown, Cline and Passarelli; Flood, AWS president; and students Carroll and Rosler.
Flood addresses the Thompson Professional Development Center audience …
... and joins top prize-winner Bachman (with his plaque and Rebel Welding Machine).
… and joins top prize-winner Bachman (with his plaque and Rebel Welding Machine).

Six Penn College students were among those recognized at a recent American Welding Society banquet as the top winners in a peer-to-peer skills competition held this semester in the Avco-Lycoming Metal Trades Center. The annual event was the culmination of precision tasks performed by advanced welding students and judged by retired faculty and industry experts. Aided by X-ray inspection of the contestants’ test-weld coupons, the judging team assessed the students’ aptitude, selected the highest performers, and showered the winners with plaques and prizes. Awarded first through sixth places, respectively, were Gavin P. Bachman, of Slatington; Leif E. Brown, of Huntingdon; Skyler M. Cline, of Erin, New York; Timothy O. Passarelli, of Purcellville, Virginia; Douglas V. Carroll, of Gouldsboro; and Ethan D. Rosler, of Bloomsburg. Cline and Rosler are enrolled in welding and fabrication engineering technology; the others are all welding technology majors. The featured speaker for the evening, which also celebrated the winners of a related high school competition, was 2018 AWS President Dale Flood, of Tri Tool Inc. in Rancho Cordova, California.
Photos by Rachel A. Eirmann, student photographer

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Thirteen Students Selected for Penn College NOW Scholarships

Penn College presented scholarships to 13 first-year students who took Penn College NOW courses. From left are Tavor T. Wadsworth, of Williamsport; Vincent R. Keene, of Downingtown; Kayley E. Johnson, of Bloomsburg; Monica A. McCarty, Penn College’s dual enrollment specialist; Michael L. Gardner, of Williamsport; Warren E. Knipe, of Liberty; and Tanya Berfield, the college’s manager of college transitions. Additional recipients not in the photo are: Cheyenne N. Greene, of Jersey Shore; Deontae Z. Johnson, of Selinsgrove; Kylee E. Kelley, of Lock Haven; Tyler W. Miller, of Montgomery; Luke B. Walter, of Millmont; Brittany M. Weiskopff, of Blossburg; Clayton T. Welch, of Benton; and Jeremy M. Wolfgang, of Allenwood.

Pennsylvania College of Technology recently recognized 13 first-year students who received Penn College NOW scholarships.

The recipients completed Penn College courses during high school as part of the college’s Penn College NOW dual-enrollment program. The group was honored during an Oct. 27 reception.

To be eligible, students must have successfully completed at least one Penn College NOW course, have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in Penn College NOW classes, enroll in Penn College as a full-time freshman student for the fall semester after high school graduation, and maintain a 2.5 GPA at Penn College as an enrolled student.

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Fall Commencement to Be Held Dec. 16 at Community Arts Center

Penn College will hold its Fall 2017 commencement ceremony Dec. 16 at the Community Arts Center.

A commencement ceremony will be held Saturday, Dec. 16, for the nearly 300 Pennsylvania College of Technology students who have petitioned to graduate following the Fall 2017 semester.

The ceremony will start at 11 a.m. in the Community Arts Center, 220 W. Fourth St., Williamsport. More than 225 students are expected to march in the proceedings.

The student speaker will be Garrett Davis Corneliussen, of Hickory, North Carolina, who will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in welding and fabrication engineering technology.

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Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies Students Welding

Welding Projects Well Worth Their Weight

Instructor Colton (left) rises to better assess welding and fabrication engineering technology students Sean A. Moore (center), of York, and Michael J. Dippold II, of St. Marys, as they add more and more weight to their bridge. The pair's creation carried the Thursday afternoon leg of the annual competition, withstanding 494 pounds of pull.
Instructor Colton (left) rises to better assess welding and fabrication engineering technology students Sean A. Moore (center), of York, and Michael J. Dippold II, of St. Marys, as they add more and more weight to their bridge. The pair’s creation carried the Thursday afternoon leg of the annual competition, withstanding 494 pounds of pull.
Adding style to strength, the Moore/Dippold team topped its bridge with Old Glory.
Adding style to strength, the Moore/Dippold team topped its bridge with Old Glory.
Circling the makeshift arena, welding students gather for the competition and cheer on their classmates.
Circling the makeshift arena, welding students gather for the competition and cheer on their classmates.

Combining the thrill of competition with a display of what they’ve learned in class, Penn College welding students recently constructed metal bridges that were strength-tested in front of their peers. This year’s competition involved 55 students from three sections, allowed to work individually or in groups of two. James N. Colton II, an assistant professor of welding, said bridge materials are limited to two pieces of 1/8-inch, two pieces of 3/32-inch and four pieces of 1/16-inch welding wiring. The bridge also has to be within a weight range of 270 to 310 grams and meet all dimensional criteria. This year’s overall winner was built by welding and fabrication engineering technology majors Andrew P. Hatch, of Williamsport, and Michael A. Cramer, of Punxsutawney, and held 565 pounds. (The record – 640 pounds – was set in 2015 by now-alumni Devin A. Whiteman and Colby D. Macomber.)

Events Faculty & Staff Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies President Students Welding

Welding Lab Horrifyingly Reborn in ‘Arc’ of Triumph

Wail to the chief! A perennial good sport for student-focused activities, college President Davie Jane Gilmour elicits kindly shudders during a midterm "makeup" exam.
Wail to the chief! A perennial good sport for student-focused activities, college President Davie Jane Gilmour elicits kindly shudders during a midterm “makeup” exam.
Arms linked in solidarity, an entourage recoils at a jump scare.
Arms linked in solidarity, an entourage recoils at a jump scare.
Benevolent bloodletting is the order of the night, as an all-in-fun trail of terrors snakes through the welding lab.
Benevolent bloodletting is the order of the night, as an all-in-fun trail of terrors snakes through the welding lab.
Brewing up their special brand of sorcery, witches add to the seasonal chill.
Brewing up their special brand of sorcery, witches add to the seasonal chill.
Two of the attraction's frightful sights help attendees face their fears.
Two of the attraction’s frightful sights help attendees face their fears.

“Arc Asylum 3.0,” the American Welding Society student chapter’s third annual house of horrors, filled everyday instructional space with extraordinary shrieks and nervous laughter. Amid the dark hideaways and creepy corners of the lab (Room A136 of the Avco-Lycoming Metal Trades Center) – and including some top-tier talent in their gallery of ghouls – the Penn College students again took full advantage of the layout’s macabre potential. “Everyone involved did a fantastic job in pulling the event off without a hitch. Dr. Gilmour volunteered to help work the haunted house, dressed in a great costume including all the touches like fake blood and a face-peeling zipper effect,” welding instructor Jacob B. Holland said. “Our AWS chapter raised a significant amount of money, since we increased our attendance by 50 percent over last year. There were a lot of happy customers that loved the scares we were able to provide them. We look forward to attempting to be even bigger and better next year!” A portion of the proceeds were donated to the Out of the Darkness Walk for suicide prevention, and contributions were accepted for The Cupboard campus food pantry.
Photos by Tia G. La, student photographer

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Enlightening Alumni Among Homecoming VIPs

Alumni often attend Homecoming to reunite with classmates, revisit faculty who steered them toward vocational success and unwind among friends before the alarm clock resounds. Graduates of Penn College and its predecessors frequently return for another reason, as was seen this past week: to share life lessons from the working world.

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Automated Manufacturing & Machining Faculty & Staff Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies Students Welding

New Metal Fabrication Degree Doubles Down on Student Skills

Penn College is promoting versatile manufacturing skills with a new associate degree in metal fabrication technology. The unique, two-year program provides students with foundational skills in machining and welding, which prepares them for a variety of rewarding manufacturing careers. “One reoccuring theme that I heard from students when I was in welding was they wanted to learn how to machine. And then when I taught classes in machining, I heard them saying they wanted to learn how to weld,” says Howard W. Troup, maintenance mechanic/millwright specialist in the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies. “I would ask employers that were looking for either a welder or a machining person, ‘What if you had a person that had both those skill sets?’ And their eyes would just light up and they would say, ‘That would be fantastic!'”

General Information Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies Welding

Board Re-Elects Officers, Views Design for Welding Expansion

In the lone action item on Thursday’s agenda, the Pennsylvania College of Technology Board of Directors retained its slate of officers for 2017-18. The board also was presented with design plans for the grant-funded expansion of the college’s popular welding program.

Sen. Gene Yaw was re-elected chair of the board. Robert N. Pangborn, vice chair, and Joseph J. Doncsecz, treasurer, retain their roles, as well. Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour will continue to function as secretary to the board. Suzanne T. Stopper remains assistant treasurer, and Valerie A. Baier continues as assistant secretary.

The board heard a presentation from Dave Cotner, dean of industrial, computing and engineering technologies, and Benedict H. Dubbs, owner of Murray Associates Architects, Harrisburg, on the design for the expansion of the college’s welding facility, made possible in part by a $2 million grant provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration. The expansion increases the size of welding-related instructional space in the Avco-Lycoming Metal Trades Center to approximately 40,000 square feet.

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Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies Students Welding

Penn College Welding Student Saves Tractor Pull

The welding skills of Robert S. Barnes, a Penn College student from Montoursville, saved the day for participants and spectators at a recent tractor pull event in the area. (Photo by James "J.J." Boettcher, student photographer)

Robert S. Barnes is a self-described perfectionist. The welding student at Pennsylvania College of Technology says he strives to make the next bead better than the last until it’s perfect.

The result of one of his recent welds was perfect. So was his timing. Barnes employed his skills to ensure the continuation of a tractor and truck pull competition during Heritage Days at Antes Fort. Thanks to his effort, participants and a couple thousand spectators were treated to a complete event with little delay.

“He saved us probably an hour before we could get a trailer in and weld the broken piece ourselves,” said Dan Wenner, president of Antes Fort Tractor and Truck Pullers Inc. “We still had a couple hours to go in the event.”

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Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies Students Welding

Foundation Honors Two Penn College Students

Penn College welding and fabrication engineering technology majors Alexander M. Barlow (left), of Hanover, and Nathaniel H. Lyon, of Fredericksburg, were awarded $1,500 scholarships each from Nuts, Bolts & Thingamajigs, the foundation of the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association.

A foundation dedicated to manufacturing careers has honored two Pennsylvania College of Technology welding students with scholarships.

Nuts, Bolts & Thingamajigs, the foundation of the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, awarded $1,500 scholarships to Alexander M. Barlow, of Hanover, and Nathaniel H. Lyon, of Fredericksburg. Both students are seeking bachelor’s degrees in welding and fabrication engineering technology.

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Faculty & Staff General Information Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies Students Welding

Department of Commerce Invests in College’s Welding Expansion

A $2 million federal grant from the Economic Development Administration will help Penn College expand its welding facilities and increase the number of students enrolled in welding majors at the college.

The U.S. Department of Commerce has recognized Pennsylvania College of Technology’s vital contribution to the skilled workforce with a $2 million grant earmarked for expanding the college’s Avco-Lycoming Metal Trades Center.

The Economic Development Administration grant, combined with a $3 million match from the college, will approximately double the size of welding instructional space to more than 40,000 square feet and support an additional 60 students annually. There are currently about 350 welding students at Penn College.

“We are honored to be awarded this grant that will facilitate expansion of one of our most popular programs,” said Paul L. Starkey, vice president for academic affairs/provost. “For generations, our welding department has produced graduates essential to the manufacturing workforce. Today, the need for skilled technical workers is acute. The grant ensures that more students will be given the opportunity to earn rewarding careers and fill that void. I’m thankful for the staff and faculty who worked very hard to make the possibility of expansion a reality.”

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Eight Penn College Students Medal in National Competition

SkillsUSA

Eight students from the widest variety of academic majors ever to represent Pennsylvania College of Technology at the National Leadership and Skills Conference returned home with medals – including first-time successes in three competitive areas.

The contingent took one of three top places in five categories, and this year marked the first time that Penn College entrants medaled in Computer Programming, TeamWorks and Welding Sculpture.

“This really goes to show how well-prepared the students are from their respective fields and how great our instructors are here at the college. This is, by far, the most diverse group of students I’ve had go to the national competition,” said SkillsUSA adviser James N. Colton II, an assistant professor of welding. “The national skills competition gives us a chance to showcase our technical skills and show everyone why we’re a leader in applied technology.”

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General Information Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies Welding

Grant for Welding Expansion OK’d Pending Award, Conditions

Pennsylvania College of Technology’s welding program could be in line for expansion, pending award of a $2 million federal grant and the college satisfying various conditions associated with the funding.

The Penn College Board of Directors approved acceptance of the grant – from the Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce – provided it is awarded to the college, and all of its conditions are met.

If awarded, the EDA grant would require a cash match of $3 million, allowing the college to expand its welding facility by 22,000 square feet.

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