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Diesel Instructor Receives ‘Pathfinder’ Award From Caterpillar


A diesel instructor at Pennsylvania College of Technology has been honored by Caterpillar for inspiring the students who will be tomorrow’s industry technicians.

Brad R. Conklin, a faculty member in the School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies, was given the Pathfinder to Excellence Faculty Award during an October advisory meeting of Caterpillar officials and dealers at the college’s Thompson Professional Development Center.

“Mr. Conklin has been an outstanding addition to the Diesel Equipment Technology program,” said Justin W. Beishline, assistant dean of the school and a 2011 Pathfinder recipient. “His industry experience, coupled with his dedication to student learning and student success, make him a great choice for this award.”

Taking part in the Caterpillar Pathfinder to Excellence Faculty Award presentation are (from left) Randy Fetterolf, Cleveland Brothers Equipment Co.; Melissa Charest, H.O. Penn Machinery Co. Inc.; Karl Quinn, Alban Tractor Co. Inc.; Penn College faculty honoree Brad R. Conklin; Ron Garber, Ransome CAT; Justin W. Beishline, assistant dean of transportation and natural resources technologies; and Ronald Barton, Milton CAT.
Taking part in the Caterpillar Pathfinder to Excellence Faculty Award presentation are (from left) Randy Fetterolf, Cleveland Brothers Equipment Co.; Melissa Charest, H.O. Penn Machinery Co. Inc.; Karl Quinn, Alban Tractor Co. Inc.; Penn College faculty honoree Brad R. Conklin; Ron Garber, Ransome CAT; Justin W. Beishline, assistant dean of transportation and natural resources technologies; and Ronald Barton, Milton CAT.

Conklin, who moved from part-time to full-time status in the Fall 2015 semester, brought 17 years of industry experience when he joined the faculty at the Schneebeli Earth Science Center. He graduated from Penn College in May 2000 with an associate degree in diesel technology: Mack emphasis, and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in applied management.

Presented since 2003 on the basis of student nominations, the Pathfinder award recognizes a faculty member who “develops effective teaching techniques, enhances learning materials, demonstrates a keen sensitivity to student needs and maintains high academic standards.”

Conklin – on hand for what he believed to be a curriculum review about air-conditioning systems on diesel-powered vehicles – was surprised with a plaque and a cash award, funded through matching contributions from the Caterpillar Foundation and its network of regional dealers. A number of dealer representatives, on campus for the following day’s Fall Career Fair, attended the award presentation.

“He demonstrates how to do something beforehand, so we don’t make a mistake later on,” said one student, whose endorsement of Conklin’s hands-on examples resonated throughout his comments. “Very good teaching techniques.”

“He brings up his past career … to show how far you can go working in this field,” the nomination continued. “He definitely shows that there is room for personal growth, as well as educational growth, if we decide to pursue master certification.”

For more about related majors offered by the School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies, call 570-327-4516.

For information about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education and workforce development, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

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