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College Alumni Return to Classroom as Faculty Members

Among the newest faculty members at Pennsylvania College of Technology are a half-dozen alumni who returned to the classroom during the just-ended Fall 2006 semester to share much of what they learned on the other side of the lectern.

“It is very rewarding to see how many alumni are now employed at the college,” said Barbara A. Danko, director of alumni relations. “I believe it is a testament to the faculty here that we have a number of alumni coming back to teach. Clearly, those alumni have a bond with the institution and an understanding of our mission.”

According to the Alumni Relations Office, nearly 120 of the approximately 500 Penn College faculty members are graduates of the college or its predecessors including about 45 in part-time teaching positions.

“I think it certainly helps that we have been in their seats in the past. I know what was expected of me as a student when I was here, and, because of that, I think it is easier for me to give the students the direction they need today,” said Carl J. Bower, a member of the horticulture faculty in the college’s School of Natural Resources Management.

“I feel privileged to work with the professors that taught me so well,” added Bower, who earned a bachelor’s degree and two associate degrees at Penn College. “If you would have told me when I was in school that I would be teaching here, I would have said, ‘You’re crazy.’ It’s a very nice reality check.”

Other recent alumni additions to the Penn College faculty:

  • Michael R. Bierly, collision repair, brings personal knowledge and hands-on experience to the School of Transportation Technology. His background includes ownership of a repair business, teaching of high school and adult programs in collision repair, and math and science instruction with a strong emphasis on work ethics and positive social skills. He holds numerous certifications in his field, as well as a degree in collision repair from Williamsport Area Community College.
  • James N. Colton, welding, earned a bachelor’s degree in welding and fabrication engineering technology from Penn College. With experience using his skills in a variety of venues, he is able to educate and assist students in the School of Industrial and Engineering Technologies in achieving their goals.
  • Dustin Moore, forestry, has an associate degree in forest technology from Penn College and a bachelor’s degree in forest science from The Pennsylvania State University. His extensive knowledge in the field supports his endeavor to aid those pursuing degrees in the School of Natural Resources Management.
  • Christopher S. Weaver, diesel equipment technology, brings 13 years’ experience with heavy-duty trucks and diesel equipment and a certificate in diesel technician from Penn College. A substitute instructor at the college for the past three years, he continues to share his background with students in the School of Natural Resources Management.
  • Claude T. Witts, instructor of diesel equipment technology, is a two-time graduate of Penn College, holding an associate degree in diesel technology and a bachelor’s degree in environmental technology management. Following his service and discharge from the Marine Corps, Witts earned numerous certificates and licenses in the field of heavy equipment and machinery, and brings that knowledge to the School of Natural Resources Management.

Joining them in the fall semester were these impressively credentialed faculty members:

School of Business and Computer Technologi es

  • Scott F. O’Connor, academic director for information technology programs, has a master’s degree in engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a master’s degree in management systems from Clarkson University. He brings to Penn College classroom experience from the SUNY College of Agriculture and Technology and North Country Community College, as well as entrepreneurial and government experience in the office of the Attorney General, the New York State Racing and Wagering Board, and the New York State Department of Transportation.
  • Krish Pillai, assistant professor of computer information technology, earned a bachelor’s degree in technology from the University of Kerala in India, and master’s and doctoral degrees from Southern Methodist University. He brings 14 years of industry experience from the Indian Space Research Organization and Nortel Networks. His move into higher education allows him to prepare new professionals for the challenging work of solving problems thought to be without solutions.

School of Industrial and Engineering Technologies

  • Stacey C. Hampton earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Millersville University and is pursuing a master’s degree in classroom technology from Wilkes University. Her background in adult education, literacy and student support aids her position as coordinator of matriculation and retention.
  • John J. Miknis, instructor of civil engineering technology, holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Cornell University and a master’s degree in environmental pollution control from Penn State. He has worked in project management for the planning, design and construction of residential, commercial and office projects, and for several forms of infrastructure development. Miknis came to teaching to broaden his career and to guide the development and entry of future engineers into what he considers to be a very worthwhile profession.

School of Integrated Studies

  • Jeremiah C. Gee, who has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Nyack College Manhattan Center and went on to earn a master’s in education from Mansfield University, is the school’s assessment coordinator. His experience ranges from tutoring a multicultural student body, to personalizing instruction for ethnically and developmentally diverse populations, to developing instructional programs in both the educational and the corrections system.
  • Michael A. Hill, instructor of biology/anatomy/physiology, has a bachelor’s degree in biology from Lock Haven University and credits toward a master’s degree in biology at Marshall University. With several awards and honors in varying areas of biology, he brings quality of information to the students at Penn College.
  • Kyle D. Hunter holds two bachelor’s degrees one in Bible/youth ministries and one in mathematics as well a master’s in education from Bucknell University. In addition to helping students through his instructor’s position in the math department, he continues to enhance his own education by earning graduate credits in mathematics.
  • Don C. York, assistant professor of mathematics, has a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in mathematics from SUNY Stonybrook. He brings a variety of teaching experience including work with diverse populations and students whose native language is not English from colleges and universities in New Guinea, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and, most recently, the Virgin Islands.

School of Natural Resources Management

  • Misty D. Kennard-Mayer is using her background and familiarity of scientific knowledge and business experience in her position as the school’s coordinator of matriculation and retention. She earned her bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Chico State University, and has completed extensive sampling and testing during her internships with Tetra Tech Inc. and the U.S. Army Reserve.

School of Transportation Technology

  • Jeffrey M. Januchowski incorporates 25 years of automotive technology, along with career and technical education, into a position as an instructor in the automotive technology/Ford ASSET major. He holds an associate degree in automotive technology from Erie Community College, and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree at SUNY Buffalo.

For more information about academic programs offered by Penn College, call (570) 327-4761, send e-mail or visit online .

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