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Diesel instructor receives Caterpillar ‘Pathfinder’ award


A member of the diesel equipment technology faculty has been honored by Pennsylvania College of Technology and Caterpillar Inc. with the annual “Pathfinder to Excellence” award.

John D. Motto, an instructor at the college’s Schneebeli Earth Science Center near Allenwood, is the latest recipient of an award presented since 2003 to someone who “develops effective teaching techniques, enhances learning materials, demonstrates a keen sensitivity to student needs and maintains high academic standards.”

John D. MottoAmong the comments from student nominators:

  • “He holds a very high standard in his lab and in the classroom. He is also a great teacher and helps you with any problem that you have.”
  • “He will not move on in his class unless each of his students understands the information and then some. He isn’t a leader because he demands it; he is a leader because he leads by example.”
  • “He gives us pointers with things that he made mistakes with – and teaches us them so we don’t make those mistakes when we go out in the field.”
  • “There is caring for your students, and there is Motto. No one holds a candle to him.”
  • “With the generators in lab, there is enough power … to do serious damage to a person. When we have to wear (personal protective equipment), he wants to personally see that they are 110% intact. That may not seem like much, but our lives are in Motto’s hands.”

A former adjunct instructor who joined the faculty full time in 2018, the honoree holds two degrees from Penn College: diesel technology (2011) and applied management (2018).

He will receive a commemorative plaque and a cash award, funded through the Caterpillar Foundation and its supportive network of regional dealers.

For more about diesel truck, heavy equipment, power generation and related majors in the School of Engineering Technologies, call 570-327-4520.

For more about the college, a national leader in applied technology education, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

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