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President recaps pandemic response, prudently eyes tomorrow

President Davie Jane Gilmour appeared before the state Senate Education Committee on Tuesday, assessing COVID-19’s impact on fulfillment of Penn College’s mission. In both written and oral testimony, she highlighted the extraordinary challenge of moving technology education from in-person, hands-on instruction to one of remote delivery – along with responsible and reassuring communication throughout a very fluid situation. Despite those arduous times, she said, “the irony was never lost on us that, across our 100 certificate, associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, all were directly aligned to essential, life-sustaining services, and that more than 80% of our graduates remained in Pennsylvania, largely working in fields considered essential during pandemic.” The president also outlined the comprehensive protocols in place, along with unique characteristics that allow the college to better mitigate risk for returning students: rural location, proximity to UPMC Susquehanna, large labs and small class sizes, on-campus medical services, and a considerable number of faculty and staff who are health care and/or emergency management professionals.