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Penn College Students Chosen for Salute to Excellence Tribute

Two Pennsylvania College of Technology students were selected to attend the National Restaurant Association’s Salute to Excellence, scheduled in Chicago on May 16.

The event kicks off the National Restaurant Association’s 90th annual Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show.

Penn College students Ashley M. Wolfe, of South Williamsport, and Kyle Kishbaugh, of Nescopeck, were chosen to attend following a rigorous selection process by faculty and staff in the college’s School of Hospitality. Both students plan to graduate this month: Wolfe, with an associate degree in baking and pastry arts, and Kishbaugh, with a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts and systems.

Through the School of Hospitality, both Wolfe and Kishbaugh have made dual trips to Louisville, Ky., to prepare high-end food for thousands of fans at the Kentucky Derby and the Ryder Cup golf matches.

Wolfe also completed an internship in the college’s fine-dining restaurant, Le Jeune Chef, which is a working lab for School of Hospitality students, and represented the college by cooking on-stage at the Pennsylvania Farm Show. She also was inducted into Phi Theta Kappa, an honor society for associate-degree seekers.

“Through Phi Theta Kappa, I got the chance to volunteer a few hours painting walls at the local YMCA, represent Phi Theta Kappa during one of the college’s open houses, and have a chance to meet new friends outside of my major,” she said.

Kishbaugh spent 2007-08 as a student teacher in the food preparation department at Columbia-Montour Area Vocational-Technical School in Bloomsburg. He has helped Penn College faculty member and “You’re the Chef” TV series co-host Chef Paul Mach cater three private events at Hunt Country Vineyards in Branchport, N.Y., and was a Penn College student ambassador and presidential scholar on campus, assisting with college tours and events.

Off-campus, Kishbaugh is a deacon at Berwick Christian Church, where he has volunteered with Group Workcamps to repair homes in several states.

The Salute to Excellence is hosted by the National Restaurant Association and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. The daylong event includes a student forum, which features interactive presentations and small-group sessions, and the Salute to Excellence Awards Gala and Banquet. The event brings the country’s most promising restaurant, culinary and food-service management students together with top educators and industry leaders.

“The opportunity to attend the Salute to Excellence means that I get the chance to experience a once-in-a-lifetime event,” Wolfe said. “This is such a highly regarded award, and I am so fortunate to have received it. I am very much looking forward to meeting many new people and having the chance to network with individuals already established in the industry.”

Kishbaugh expressed similar enthusiasm.

“The opportunity to attend the Salute to Excellence will be a huge networking tool for me, especially since I will be graduating in May,” he said. “Also, I think that I would be a good representative of Penn College and would help to show the great learning facility that we have at Penn College.”

To learn more information about the academic programs offered by the School of Hospitality at Penn College, visit online or call 570-327-4505. For information about Penn College, visit on the Web , e-mail or call toll-free 800-367-9222.