State Senate Appropriations Committee chair tours campus

State Sen. Patrick M. Browne, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, visited Pennsylvania College of Technology on Thursday.

Browne, who represents the 16th District – which includes Allentown and other municipalities within Lehigh County – came to campus after presenting an election and legislative update at a breakfast sponsored by the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce.

He was invited by fellow Appropriations Committee member Sen. Gene Yaw, who also serves as chairman of the Penn College Board of Directors. Yaw also hosted the Chamber legislative update event, held at the Genetti Hotel in Williamsport.

Always engaged and advocating for the college, Yaw (right) converses with Browne in the atrium of the Breuder Advanced Technology & Health Sciences Center.

Bradley M. Webb, assistant dean of industrial, computing and engineering technologies, offers insights in the blow molding plastics lab.

The itinerary for Browne and five senate staff members traveling with him included morning visits to the labs for the plastics and polymer engineering technology program and the Plastics Innovation & Resource Center, dental hygiene, welding and metal fabrication, collision repair and automotive restoration, automotive technology, and hospitality and culinary arts.

Hands-on exposure to the dental hygiene lab: Shawn A. Kiser, director of dental hygiene, shows Browne an X-ray that the senator took with the press of a button.

After a lunch meeting at Le Jeune Chef Restaurant that included Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour, the group, which also featured members of Yaw’s senate staff, visited the college’s Lumley Aviation Center at the Williamsport Regional Airport.

The senator makes an afternoon stop at the Lumley Aviation Center.

Before being elected chairman of the Appropriations Committee, which reviews all legislation for fiscal impact and plays a crucial role in developing the state budget, Browne served as majority whip for the 2011-12 and 2013-14 legislative sessions. He was elected to his third full term as senator in November 2014. First elected to the Senate following a special election in April 2005, Browne was re-elected in 2006 and 2010.

The entourage make its way across a foliage-filled campus led by Tom F. Gregory (left), associate vice president for instruction, and John E. Guyer, executive director, Pennsylvania Senate Appropriations Committee.

Browne also serves on the Senate committees for Education, Finance, Health & Human Services, and Local Government. He is also a member of the Senate Majority Policy Committee. Previously, he represented the 131st District for 10 years as a member of the state House of Representatives.

In the extrusion lab, Adam C. Barilla, instructor of plastics technology, engages guests in exploration of materials. Barilla is an alumnus of the plastics and polymer engineering technology major.

An Allentown native, Browne holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Notre Dame and a law degree from Temple University.

Prior to his legislative service, he was employed with the accounting firms of Coopers & Lybrand and Price Waterhouse as a tax manager and senior tax associate.

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