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Penn College Student Places Second in National Competition

A student in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Electric Power Generation Technology major placed second at the 40th annual SkillsUSA-VICA National Leadership Conference held June 22-25 in Kansas City, Mo.

Matthew R. Smith of Hampstead, Md. one of nine Penn College students in the national competition brought home a silver medal in the Diesel Equipment Technology category.

The second-place finish continues Smith’s winning streak from his days at the Carroll County (Md.) Career and Technology Center: As a secondary student, he finished third at nationals in Related Technical Math in 2002 and earned first-place honors in the diesel category there last year.

Smith is employed this summer by Alban Engine Power Systems, a Caterpillar affiliate near Baltimore, working on generators.

Diesel Equipment Technology contestants cycled through 14 stations, including the testing and troubleshooting of engines, vehicle inspection, fundamental failure analysis, brake systems, air-conditioning, general shop and job interview skills, and a written test. They were among more than 4,200 vocational students who working against the clock and one another joined in the excitement of hands-on competition in 77 trade, technical and leadership fields.

SkillsUSA is the national organization for students in trade, industrial, technical and health occupations education. It sponsors the annual championships to recognize achievements of vocational students, and to encourage them to strive for excellence and pride in their chosen occupations.

Other Penn College competitors, who reached nationals by placing first in their respective categories at April’s Pennsylvania Skills USA-VICA conference in Pittsburgh, were:

Matthew E. Reiff, Warren, Welding; Jeremy D. Dille, Industry, HVAC; Jennifer R. Brinkley, Worthington, Extemporaneous Speaking; Raul Guzman, Teaneck, N.J., Auto Service Technician; Michael D. Powell, Gansevoort, N.Y., Architectural Drafting; and Christopher B. Israel, New Bloomfield, William A. Peck, McVeytown, and John K. Russ, Waynesboro, Automated Manufacturing.

The students were accompanied by faculty advisers Edward L. Roadarmel, assistant professor of drafting/CAD technology; and Larry B. Leavitt, associate professor of automotive technology.

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