Sun-Kissed Grads Revel in August Achievement

Pennsylvania College of Technology held its Summer Commencement on Saturday at the Community Arts Center in downtown Williamsport. Michael R. Harer, of Williamsport, who received an Associate of Applied Science degree in surgical technology, was the student speaker for the 11 a.m. ceremony. Nearly 250 degrees were conferred by President Davie Jane Gilmour and state Rep. Garth Everett, a member of the college board of directors. During the ceremony, the college also presented an Alumni Achievement Award to Kevin A. Hickman, a 2008 graduate of the physician assistant program.

– Photos by Cindy Davis Meixel, writer/photo editor, and Tia G. La, student photographer

Stunningly framed on campus following the ceremony is Cynthia M. Wilt, of Hughesville, a surgical technology graduate.

Stunningly framed on campus following the ceremony is Cynthia M. Wilt, of Hughesville, a surgical technology graduate.

Student speaker Michael R. Harer, surgical technology, speaks eloquently about the importance of thanking supporters who helped get the graduates to this day.

Student speaker Michael R. Harer, surgical technology, speaks eloquently about the importance of thanking supporters who helped get the graduates to this day.

Footloose and finals-free

Footloose and finals-free

Physician assistant grads wore pink ribbons to support Megan E. West, a classmate who was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier in the week.

Physician assistant grads wore pink ribbons to support Megan E. West, a classmate who was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier in the week.

West (middle row, fourth from left) of Williamsport, said her fellow graduates have offered tremendous support and all kinds of help in recent days, as well as making sure Saturday's occasion was a celebratory one.

West (middle row, fourth from left) of Williamsport, said her fellow graduates have offered tremendous support and all kinds of help in recent days, as well as making sure Saturday’s occasion was a celebratory one.

Enjoying a drive-by hug from his dog is Jeffrey D. Moore, of St. Marys, health arts: practical nursing emphasis.

Enjoying a drive-by hug from his dog is Jeffrey D. Moore, of St. Marys, health arts: practical nursing emphasis.

Alumni Achievement Award winner Kevin A. Hickman thanks his wife, the former Leah Kirchner (’07, surgical technology), for all of her support in his career and with their three young sons.

Alumni Achievement Award winner Kevin A. Hickman thanks his wife, the former Leah Kirchner (’07, surgical technology), for all of her support in his career and with their three young sons.

Titus B. Green's Wildcat Blue sunglasses and a self-assured smile are the perfect fashion accessories for summer commencement. Green, of Glenside, graduated in collision repair technology.

Titus B. Green’s Wildcat Blue sunglasses and a self-assured smile are the perfect fashion accessories for summer commencement. Green, of Glenside, graduated in collision repair technology.

An unlimited tomorrow follows the accomplishment of today.

An unlimited tomorrow follows the accomplishment of today.

State Rep. Garth Everett, a member of the college’s board of directors, assists in presenting diplomas.

State Rep. Garth Everett, a member of the college’s board of directors, assists in presenting diplomas.

A sweet moment to grab a family selfie

A sweet moment to grab a family selfie

Cindy M. Ruiz, a surgical technology major and student leader in the Minorities Lending Knowledge organization, shares her winning smile on the happiest of occasions.

Cindy M. Ruiz, a surgical technology major and student leader in the Minorities Lending Knowledge organization, shares her winning smile on the happiest of occasions.

Her eye on the prize, a graduate turns her tassel and looks to the future.

Her eye on the prize, a graduate turns her tassel and looks to the future.

Two-year majors stand for the conferral of their associate degrees.

Two-year majors stand for the conferral of their associate degrees.

Physician assistant grad Nasser Tajiani, recipient of the Board of Directors Award, celebrates with his family.

Physician assistant grad Nasser Tajiani, recipient of the Board of Directors Award, celebrates with his family.

Not resting on her laurels, this alumna aims for a higher purpose.

Not resting on her laurels, this alumna aims for a higher purpose.

And the fans go wild!

And the fans go wild!

Posing and proud

Posing and proud

Confidently following a path along West Fourth Street

Confidently following a path along West Fourth Street

Enjoying a lighthearted moment with a college photographer is physician assistant graduate Eric M. Danz, of Hershey.

Enjoying a lighthearted moment with a college photographer is physician assistant graduate Eric M. Danz, of Hershey.

A glorious setting for a prestigious event

A glorious setting for a prestigious event

Physician assistant grad Nnenna K. Uguru (center) of Philadelphia, is blessed with supportive family and friends.

Physician assistant grad Nnenna K. Uguru (center) of Philadelphia, is blessed with supportive family and friends.

An on-the-go selfie captures the morning's top story, as it happens.

An on-the-go selfie captures the morning’s top story, as it happens.

Cody L. Breon, physician assistant graduate (with his back to the camera), receives a hug from his father, Brady L., assistant professor in the paramedic program.

Cody L. Breon, physician assistant graduate (with his back to the camera), receives a hug from his father, Brady L., assistant professor in the paramedic program.

Congratulating the student speaker en route to her own spotlight moment

Congratulating the student speaker en route to her own spotlight moment

Emulating the full-of-promise wanderlust of Disney's "Moana," a new grad says it with flowers.

Emulating the full-of-promise wanderlust of Disney’s “Moana,” a new grad says it with flowers.

Sunshine and success

Sunshine and success

Alumni honoree Hickman celebrates with his wife, Leah (at right), and Kimberly R. Cassel, director of alumni relations.

Alumni honoree Hickman celebrates with his wife, Leah (at right), and Kimberly R. Cassel, director of alumni relations.

A memory at their fingertips

A memory at their fingertips

Here she comes, world!

Here she comes, world!

Cap, gown and seasonal accouterments

Cap, gown and seasonal accouterments

Lauren E. Reed (right), a 2006 radiography alumna, added an applied health studies degree Saturday. Cheering her on outside the theater are Georgia T. Gray, clinical supervisor of radiography, and Cletus G. Waldman Jr., clinical director of radiography.

Lauren E. Reed (right), a 2006 radiography alumna, added an applied health studies degree Saturday. Cheering her on outside the theater are Georgia T. Gray, clinical supervisor of radiography, and Cletus G. Waldman Jr., clinical director of radiography.

A nursing graduate shares some heartfelt sentiment.

A nursing graduate shares some heartfelt sentiment.

Whether obliging cellphone photographers ... or sharing a laugh, the president makes each graduate's experience individually significant.

Whether obliging cellphone photographers … or sharing a laugh, the president makes each graduate’s experience individually significant.

A former captain of the women’s soccer team, Jordan A. Courter, of Mill Hall, occupational therapy assistant, is brimming with joy.

A former captain of the women’s soccer team, Jordan A. Courter, of Mill Hall, occupational therapy assistant, is brimming with joy.

With sunflowers on her shoulders (and a diploma, too!), Megan L. Bartlett, a health arts: practical nursing emphasis graduate from Montgomery, savors the day with family and friends.

With sunflowers on her shoulders (and a diploma, too!), Megan L. Bartlett, a health arts: practical nursing emphasis graduate from Montgomery, savors the day with family and friends.

On a special day, a Psalm-quoting grad offers thanks to a gracious presence.

On a special day, a Psalm-quoting grad offers thanks to a gracious presence.

It's always a solemn moment when the college president asks student veterans to stand and be honored.

It’s always a solemn moment when the college president asks student veterans to stand and be honored.

Overflowing with flowers is Elizabeth S. Digan, of Trout Run, occupational therapy assistant.

Overflowing with flowers is Elizabeth S. Digan, of Trout Run, occupational therapy assistant.

A large screen above the stage gives audience members a closer view of the big moment.

A large screen above the stage gives audience members a closer view of the big moment.

It’s all smiles processing into the Community Arts Center.

It’s all smiles processing into the Community Arts Center.

A postgraduate call to action, courtesy of Pixar's "Up"

A postgraduate call to action, courtesy of Pixar’s “Up”

Stopping by the main campus entrance for one last keepsake is radiography graduate Taylor E. Mcniff, of Marietta.

Stopping by the main campus entrance for one last keepsake is radiography graduate Taylor E. Mcniff, of Marietta.

Closed to traffic, West Fourth Street is a river of grads and their well-wishers after the ceremony.

Closed to traffic, West Fourth Street is a river of grads and their well-wishers after the ceremony.

Creatively decorated mortar boards add to the festivity (and humor) of the day – including one at center stating, “I did it so my dog can have a better life.”

Creatively decorated mortar boards add to the festivity (and humor) of the day – including one at center stating, “I did it so my dog can have a better life.”

Primped and primed, soon-to-be-alumni gather in a Genetti Hotel ballroom.

Primped and primed, soon-to-be-alumni gather in a Genetti Hotel ballroom.

Mark P. Niedermyer (near center at rear), who graduated in 1998 in physical sciences, enhances his family's Penn College connection by earning a physician assistant degree at Saturday's commencement exercises. Among the family members joining the celebration are brothers Michael M. (left), with degrees in landscape/nursery technology (1998) and residential construction technology and management (2009), and Chef Charles R. (second from left), an alumnus and faculty member in the School of Business & Hospitality.

Mark P. Niedermyer (near center at rear), who graduated in 1998 in physical sciences, enhances his family’s Penn College connection by earning a physician assistant degree at Saturday’s commencement exercises. Among the family members joining the celebration are brothers Michael M. (left), with degrees in landscape/nursery technology (1998) and residential construction technology and management (2009), and Chef Charles R. (second from left), an alumnus and faculty member in the School of Business & Hospitality.

It never hurts to add a "shout-out" to those who've championed you.

It never hurts to add a “shout-out” to those who’ve championed you.

Nicole L. Willets, of Williamsport, an occupational therapy assistant graduate, strikes a pose with her family outside the Arts Center.

Nicole L. Willets, of Williamsport, an occupational therapy assistant graduate, strikes a pose with her family outside the Arts Center.

Carolyn R. Strickland, vice president for enrollment management and associate provost, adeptly announces each of the graduate’s names.

Carolyn R. Strickland, vice president for enrollment management and associate provost, adeptly announces each of the graduate’s names.

After turning Harer’s tassel, the president gives the student speaker a congratulatory hug.

After turning Harer’s tassel, the president gives the student speaker a congratulatory hug.

Acknowledging the effort in crossing the finish line

Acknowledging the effort in crossing the finish line

All dressed up ... with a very definite "somewhere" to go

All dressed up … with a very definite “somewhere” to go

A day for the generations! Ian P. McClure and family were among those returning to campus for postcommencement photo ops. The Littlestown resident earned his degree in emergency medical services.

A day for the generations! Ian P. McClure and family were among those returning to campus for postcommencement photo ops. The Littlestown resident earned his degree in emergency medical services.

In a tie-dyed throwback to the 1960s, a graduate says, "So long" to Penn College.

In a tie-dyed throwback to the 1960s, a graduate says, “So long” to Penn College.

Andrew K. Kriebel, of Harleysville, a Phi Theta Kappa member who graduated in heavy construction equipment technology: operator emphasis, exudes satisfaction.

Andrew K. Kriebel, of Harleysville, a Phi Theta Kappa member who graduated in heavy construction equipment technology: operator emphasis, exudes satisfaction.

Pomp and pageantry, on a stage big enough to handle all of the day's emotion

Pomp and pageantry, on a stage big enough to handle all of the day’s emotion

A selfie-made moment!

A selfie-made moment!

And at the end of the journey? Dancing!

And at the end of the journey? Dancing!

 

Comments – One Comment

Congratulations to all of the graduates in the Class of 2017, but especially to the Occupational Therapy Assistant students. You have humbled me with your patience and support during our major staff transition this past semester. You will be truly missed.

Also, congratulations, Michael Harer! Your student speech was phenomenal. I am lucky to have had the opportunity to hear it, but even more honored to have had the ability to get to know you over the last two years. Best wishes for your bright future.

Posted by Jeanne Kerschner at August 7, 2017 at 8:01 am

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Pennsylvania College of Technology is a special mission affiliate of The Pennsylvania State University