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Penn College Students Awarded Scholarships After ‘Rodeo’ Victories

As industry judges watch at left, a Precision Heavy Construction Equipment Rodeo competitor uses a skid steer to score some unconventional  %E2%80%9Clay-ups%E2%80%9D at Pennsylvania College of Technology%E2%80%99s Schneebeli Earth Science Center.Two Pennsylvania College of Technology students were awarded a total of $2,500 in scholarships following the annual Precision Heavy Construction Equipment Rodeo a popular event won this year by students from the college’s School of Natural Resources Management.

Penn College students captured the overall title at the Oct. 25 event, which was held at the Schneebeli Earth Science Center, 10 miles south of the college’s main campus in Williamsport.

Cayuga-Onondaga (N.Y.) Board of Cooperative Education Services from Auburn, N.Y, finished in second place; the Lancaster County Career & Technology Center was third. Always an exciting event open to the public and held in conjunction with Open House on the college’s campuses the rodeo has been sponsored by the Service and Operation of Heavy Equipment Association student organization since 1983.

An array of heavy construction equipment is put through a variety of skill events %E2%80%93 including a %E2%80%9CPipe Pick%E2%80%9D using an excavator, in foreground %E2%80%93 during a %E2%80%9Crodeo%E2%80%9D held during Pennsylvania College of Technology%E2%80%99s recent Fall Open House.Derek E. Adams, of Harrisburg, enrolled in heavy construction equipment technology: Caterpillar equipment emphasis, was awarded $1,500, and Shea O. Reiley, a technology management major from Williamsport who serves a president of the sponsoring organization, received a $1,000 scholarship. Reiley earned an associate degree in heavy construction equipment technology: operator emphasis in 2008 and returned to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Penn College’s popular two-plus-two program.

The Natural Resources Management Scholarship is administered by the Penn College Foundation and funded, among other sources, by an annual tournament at the nearby White Deer Golf Course.

The rodeo pits Penn College students against heavy-equipment students from schools in Pennsylvania and New York, all vying for trophies in the individual events, as well as team honors. The students use skills they learned in their curricula to operate a variety of heavy equipment such as a backhoe, excavator, wheel loader and skid steer that are donated by various equipment dealers. Several events are made possible through generous corporate donations, as well.

Penn College students won 10 of the 15 places, as seen in this wrapup of events:

  • Skid-Steer Event Steven Van Norstrand, Cayuga-Onondaga, first; Kyle D. Weaber, Penn College, second; and Brett J. Waple, Penn College, third.
  • Rubber-Tired Backhoe Egg Drop Adams, first; Dan Hickel, Cayuga-Onondaga, second; and Van Norstrand, third.
  • Excavator Pipe Pick (sponsored by the Wayne Township Landfill) Brendan R. McDonough, Penn College, first; Ben Ortelic, Cayuga-Onondaga, second; and Adams, third.
  • Rubber-Tired Backhoe Softball Set Adams, first; Reiley, second; and Lucas Malinowski, Cayuga-Onondaga, third.
  • Excavator Soccer Ball (sponsored by Glenn O. Hawbaker Inc.) Reiley, first; McDonough, second; and Nicholas T. Ellis, Penn College, third.

For more information about the School of Natural Resources Management, visit online or call 570-320-8038. For more about Penn College, visit on the Web , e-mail or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

Photos by Melissa M. Stocum, coordinator of matriculation and retention for the School of Natural Resources Management