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Innovation Lab named for corporate partner, alumna


A collaborative learning lab at Pennsylvania College of Technology will bear the name of a financial institution that partners with the college in support of students and academic programs.

The Woodlands Bank Innovation Lab in Memory of Nicole Guthrie-Jones was dedicated May 29 as a unique space on campus for cooperative teaching and learning.

Its name also honors a 2001 office technology: executive emphasis alumna of the college who was employed at Woodlands Bank when she passed away in August 2017.

A collaborative learning lab at Pennsylvania College of Technology bears the name of Woodlands Bank, a financial institution that partners with the college in support of students and academic programs, and honors the memory of alumna and Woodlands Bank employee Nicole Guthrie-Jones. Taking part in the lab’s dedication are Woodlands Bank President and CEO Jon P. Conklin and Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour.
A collaborative learning lab at Pennsylvania College of Technology bears the name of Woodlands Bank, a financial institution that partners with the college in support of students and academic programs, and honors the memory of alumna and Woodlands Bank employee Nicole Guthrie-Jones. Taking part in the lab’s dedication are Woodlands Bank President and CEO Jon P. Conklin and Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour.

Woodlands Bank has supported Penn College in a variety of ways, including:

  • Established a scholarship in 2013 to benefit accounting and business majors at the college.
  • Is a loyal supporter of the Penn College Foundation’s annual Golf Classic and the Foundation Dinner and Auction.
  • Its president and CEO, Jon P. Conklin, serves as a member of the Foundation Board of Directors.
  • The company benefits Penn College construction students by participating in the BCM (Construction Management) Golf Outing.

“Our students aspire to be successful alumni, like Nicole Guthrie-Jones, whose legacy continues to inspire today,” said Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour. “Infinite possibilities await with your support of our students through the Woodlands Bank Innovation Lab. Thank you for honoring Nicole’s impact and investing in our students as they pursue an applied technology education – one that truly transforms tomorrow.”

“We at Woodlands Bank are honored to be able to dedicate this unique and dynamic space at Pennsylvania College of Technology that allows for an interactive learning experience for both instructors and students alike,” Conklin said. “And more importantly, we couldn’t be happier to dedicate the space in the name of Nicole Guthrie-Jones, a dedicated and trusted employee of the bank whose impact on the bank and her co-workers was immeasurable. We are proud to be able to assist in seeing that her legacy at her alma mater is associated with a space like this one which, in many ways, reflects her vibrant and contagious personality.”

The Woodlands Bank Innovation Lab is the product of research conducted by multiple faculty, staff and students. It features the ability for students to control each work station individually, the instructor to share a single station with others or the entire room, or the instructor to take over the entire room. It also features software that is BYOD (bring your own device)-compatible, so participants are not limited solely by the technology in the room.

The ideas generated by the lab have spread to other campus spaces, prompting the college to install cameras and televisions to allow distance learning students to attend and interact with on-campus lectures, for instance. The types of instruction made possible by the lab resound with millennial and Gen Z students, who appreciate the technology and the level of communication and engagement it fosters.

“The Woodlands Bank Innovation Lab in Memory of Nicole Guthrie-Jones is a shining example of the collaborative learning approach that we have adopted in our accounting, business and information technology majors,” said Brian D. Walton, assistant dean of business and hospitality. “Spaces like this allow us to transform our physical classrooms into more team-based learning units, encourage faculty to integrate technology and students to learn how to work effectively in teams.”

Penn College offers bachelor’s degrees in applied innovation and entrepreneurial innovation and a certificate in applied innovation leadership. For more, visit the innovation webpage.

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

– Photos by Cindy Davis Meixel, writer/photo editor

Kyle A. Smith welcomes Nicole Guthrie-Jones’ family and Woodlands Bank colleagues.
Kyle A. Smith welcomes Nicole Guthrie-Jones’ family and Woodlands Bank colleagues.

Brian D. Walton provides an overview of the innovative teaching and collaborative learning that the lab affords.
Brian D. Walton provides an overview of the innovative teaching and collaborative learning that the lab affords.

Not your traditional “ribbon cutting”: President Gilmour (at podium) utilizes a tablet to turn on the lab’s monitors – to the applause of the audience.
Not your traditional “ribbon cutting”: President Gilmour (at podium) utilizes a tablet to turn on the lab’s monitors – to the applause of the audience.

Stevie A. Petrison, a senior in sport and event management from Landenberg, offers a student perspective.
Stevie A. Petrison, a senior in sport and event management from Landenberg, offers a student perspective.

Gathering near the hallway signage for the lab are immediate family members of Nicole Guthrie-Jones, including husband and daughters (at center), parents and a niece (at right), and brother and sister-in-law (at left).
Gathering near the hallway signage for the lab are immediate family members of Nicole Guthrie-Jones, including husband and daughters (at center), parents and a niece (at right), and brother and sister-in-law (at left).

Guthrie-Jones’ daughters get comfortable in the lab honoring their late mother.
Guthrie-Jones’ daughters get comfortable in the lab honoring their late mother.

Petrison converses with Woodlands bank executives: Brian Brooking (left), vice president of mortgage and consumer lending, and Richard A. Kuczawa, Lock Haven Community Office manager.
Petrison converses with Woodlands bank executives: Brian Brooking (left), vice president of mortgage and consumer lending, and Richard A. Kuczawa, Lock Haven Community Office manager.

A daughter of the honoree attentively listens to Conklin.
A daughter of the honoree attentively listens to Conklin.

Comments

Patti Jones,

From the bottom of our hearts, the family of Nicole Guthrie-Jones thanks you for dedicating the new Woodlands Bank Innovation Lab at Penn College in her memory. This unique facility would make Niki very happy. More than anything, she liked working with people and being part of a team. She was always proud to be part of something for the greater good, and the collaborative nature of this lab will bring people together and do just that. Words cannot express how much we appreciate this thoughtful and lasting tribute.

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