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‘College Town’ Web Site Debuts

“Making our town your town” is the slogan for the new College Town Web site , developed by college students in the Williamsport area, working as part of the Williamsport-Lycoming Chamber of Commerce College Town Committee.

The College Town Committee developed the Web site as part of an ongoing effort to bring the community and businesses of Williamsport together with the city’s three institutions of higher education: Pennsylvania College of Technology, Lycoming College and Newport Business Institute. The site will provide an outlet for current and prospective students, parents, local business owners and members of the community to learn more about the “College Town” aspects of Williamsport.

'College Town' Web site debutsFeatures on the site include a calendar of events, an interactive map of the city and links to information on local services. Also displayed will be information on alumni of the year, students of the month, students in the community and student testimonials. Future additions will include surveys and featured “student-friendly” businesses.

Penn College students, led by Daniel Little, a senior from Beacon Falls, Conn., who is a Penn College student representative on the College Town Committee, developed and designed the Web site. Working with him were Penn College students Robin Carey, Shaun Scheimreif and Juli Reppert.

“I thought the leadership exhibited by the student representatives on this was terrific,” said Ron Frick, chairman of the Williamsport-Lycoming Chamber of Commerce’s College Town Committee. “Not only did Robin and Dan do an excellent job in putting together a beta test site for the committee, they also partnered with college staff member Elaine Lambert to present their ideas to the committee in a well-organized and professional manner.”

“We are excited about the possibilities this site will provide for folks looking at Williamsport and Lycoming County for things to do and places to locate their business,” he added. “We think this could be another tool in our efforts to retain and attract people and businesses to Williamsport.”

Lambert, director of college information and community relations at Penn College and a member of the College Town Committee, described the Web-site project as a learning experience “not only for the students, but also for the community leaders who worked with them and were impressed by the students’ commitment to the project.”

“When people work together for a common good, good things happen,” she said. “In this case, many students, parents, community members and potential visitors to the city will benefit from the collaboration that created the College Town Web site.”

Little, who chaired the Web-site development project and developed programming to make special features work on the site, will graduate in May with a bachelor’s degree in computer information technology-data communications and networking; he already has earned associate’s degrees in computer information systems-networking and technical support and computer information systems-programming and database processing.

“Working on College Town has been one of the best experiences of my life,” he said. “In the two years that I have been a part of College Town, not only have I learned about our town and surroundings, but I have also connected with a lot of people.”

Carey, a senior from Altoona who will graduate in May with a bachelor’s degree in graphic design, designed the College Town logo and home page and developed the visual content and layout of the entire site.

“This is an exciting project,” she said, “because we all have a variety of talents, and we are bringing that together to get a finished project. It is a great experience, because we’re pulling and learning from each other. This opportunity is giving us the chance to develop team communication skills, as well as friendships.”

Scheimreif, a senior from New Columbia/White Deer, is the Web-site administrator. Sheimreif will graduate with his bachelor’s degree in computer information technology-internetworking application development in May. He contributed to the design and creation process and, as a part-time employee of the Chamber, will continue to manage the Web site’s content and collaborate with team members.

“I’m excited to be working on a project that will bring together students, businesses and residents to create a better community,” he said. “I’m also happy to be working with such an excellent team of creative people. Hopefully, this effort will result in students wanting to stay in the area. I wish that something like this had been created already.”

As an intern with the Chamber several years ago, Scheimreif also had a large part in the initial design and development of the Chamber’s PennSiteSelect Web site and database.

Putting the ideas and concepts for the site into print is Reppert, a senior from Lebanon who will graduate from Penn College in May with a bachelor’s degree in technology management. She already earned associate’s degrees in both broadcast communications and mass communications and will pursue an associate’s degree in mass media communication in the fall.

Reppert developed the “Making our town your town” slogan and aided in the design descriptions of the site and logo.

“I love working with such a fun and creative team,” she said. “I’m glad I had the chance to help develop a site that has such a wonderful purpose. I am happy that I played a role in developing the beginning of something that will continue to help improve the city of Williamsport and Lycoming County.”

Williamsport City Councilman J. Michael Wiley, a member of the College Town Committee, said: “It has been a real pleasure working with Pennsylvania College of Technology students who are volunteering their time and energy to the College Town Committee. They have approached the design of the College Town logo and Web page with a great deal of energy and creativity and have worked well on other projects with the committee members and volunteers.”

“They have been an integral part of the Committee’s work, and their contribution to our community is greatly appreciated,” Wiley added. “We are fortunate to have students from all three institutions within the City working so well together and contributing to help to make Williamsport an even better center for learning.”

Other members of the College Town Committee are Jessica Abernathy, City of Williamsport; Laura Flynn, Our Towns 2010/Chamber; Jason Hopple, Le Jeune Chef Restaurant; Bonita Kolb, Lycoming College; Gloria Miele, Peter Herdic House; Ann Marie and Birch Phillips Jr., Phillips Supply House; Amanda Dalla Piazza, Larson Design Group; Matt Stendardi, Lycoming College; Mary Weaver, Newport Business Institute; John Yahner, Williamsport Sun-Gazette; and Lycoming College students Michael Ruddy, Lisa Stutzman and Greg Coale.

Ruddy, from Dunmore, will graduate in May with a double major in financial management and managerial economics.

“Working with the College Town Committee has allowed me the opportunity to see the very root of how our institutions and community leaders work together, striving to make this a better community for all of us,” he explained. “It shows a true passion and selflessness for Lycoming County.”

Stutzman, a senior from Williamsport, in conjunction with Abernathy, director of marketing and communications for the City of Williamsport, helped plan and offer “FAM (familiarization) tours” of downtown Williamsport for the colleges’ Resident Assistants and student leaders. She will graduate in May with a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry and plans to attend Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in the fall.

Coale, a junior from Highland, Md., will graduate in May 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. He describes his opportunity of working on the committee as being “nothing but a nonstop learning experience.”

“Every member is there for a reason, and we all have something to bring to the table,” he said. “I think all of the student representatives have learned a great deal and, at the same time, we are getting things accomplished.”

To further enhance the Web site, Reppert and fellow Penn College student writer/photographer Phillip Warner, a graphic-design major from Lebanon, organized a photo shoot to showcase students from all three local institutions.

Students whose pictures will appear on the Web site include Reppert, Tony Eisenhour, Devin Gebhart, Josh Mont, Lewis Rabayda, Ange Rymer and Emily Weaver from Penn College; Ruddy, Stutzman, Coale, Austin Ashley, Erica Makos and Michelle Morone from Lycoming College; and Chris Caskey, Dianna Day, Rachel Earnest, Kelsey Helminiak and Mike Miller from Newport Business Institute.

View the site here and get more information on the students involved in its development and design, including testimonials on their participation in the project .

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