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Students Among Top 10 Finishers in ‘Career Days’ Competition

Traveling to Kansas for Student Career Days were, front row, from left: Matthew D. Lowe and Dustin E. Zook, Lancaster; Daniel A. Endy, Pottstown; Cory M. Ferreri, Reading; and Jackson J. Albert, Liverpool. Back row, from left: Horticulture instructor Carl J. Bower Jr.; Tyler D. Gerz, Lancaster; Samuel W. Hanmer, Harrisburg; Amy J. Metrick, Butler; alumnus Ronald Burger; Kelsey R. Bromm, Fountainville; Christina M. Snyder, Lebanon; Brittany J. Antolick, Jersey Shore; and Jeremy L. Thorne, Sugarloaf. Twelve students from Pennsylvania College of Technology’s School of Natural Resources Management joined by an alumnus and a faculty member attended the recent Professional Landscape Network’s Student Career Days competition in Manhattan, Kan.

Horticulture instructor Carl J. Bower Jr. and 1978 alumnus Ronald Burger accompanied the group to the 36th annual event, sponsored by PLANET and held March 22-25 at Kansas State University.

“Student Career Days is a wonderful example of the talent of the young people in the green industry today; the networks, the competition and learning that take place are unrivaled anywhere,” Bower said. “The excitement and energy shown not only by our students, but by the almost 800 students that attend are enough to get anyone motivated by what is possible in their careers.”

Penn College students, all of them landscape/horticulture technology: landscape emphasis majors at the college’s Schneebeli Earth Science Center south of Williamsport, placed in the Top 10 in six of 28 competition categories:

Jeremy L. Thorne, Sugarloaf, finished third in Compact Excavator Operation and 10th in Tractor Loader Backhoe Operation; there were 43 students in each. He and classmate Samuel W. Hanmer, Harrisburg, combined to place seventh of 50 participants in the team Truck and Trailer Operation competition.

The group stands beneath the Gateway Arch in St. Louis during a stopover on the way home.Among other Penn College students, Daniel A. Endy, Pottstown, was second of 78 contestants in Construction Cost Estimating; Samuel W. Hanmer, Harrisburg, was seventh of 50 participants in Truck and Trailer Operation; Jackson J. Albert, Liverpool, and Cory M. Ferreri, Reading, teamed to finish 10th out of 53 in the Hardscape Installation competition; and Tyler D. Gerz, Lancaster, was 10th of 57 competitors in Skid Steer Operation.

Teamwise, Penn College finished 31st among the 62 schools in the overall competition.

“Having Ron accompany us on the trip was such a positive thing on so many levels,” Bower said of Burger, who holds a degree in nursery management from Penn College’s immediate predecessor, Williamsport Area Community College. “I appreciated the help that he was able to offer as a mentor to the students, and the students were so thankful for his encouragement of their contests and their general career paths. Ron was energized by the students, contests and the overall competition. We all thank him for taking time out of his schedule to accompany us.”

More details of Student Career Days, a three-day competition among students enrolled in horticulture programs at colleges and universities across the country, is available on the Web .

For more about horticulture/landscape technology and other “degrees that work” offered in the School of Natural Resources Management, visit online or call 570-320-8038.

For information about Penn College, visit on the Web , email or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

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