Despite an abbreviated program and attendance thinned by rain, Williamsport’s 32nd annual God, Country and Community Flag March was held as planned Sunday night. The parade formed several blocks away at Nichols Place, eventually traveling onto the Penn College campus and ending under the 30-by-60-foot American flag outside the Student & Administrative Services Center. There, a 15-minute ceremony – including the National Anthem; a cross-country recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance; and acknowledgment of Scout troops, veterans organizations and other patriots – celebrated the 238th birthday of America’s high-flying, ever-waving symbol.
Faculty and several staff members across campus joined Penn College’s Outreach for K-12 staff in providing a day of career learning for just over 1,000 middle-schoolers from five area school districts. The event is designed to give participants a taste of a variety of career options, which in turn will help them to make informed decisions about their futures.
More Than 900 Graduate in Spring Commencement Ceremonies
Pennsylvania College of Technology held three commencement ceremonies May 15-16 for more than 900 students who petitioned to graduate following the Spring 2015 semester. The Friday afternoon proceedings at the Community Arts Center honored students from the School of Business & Hospitality and the School of Construction & Design Technologies. The School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies and School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies and the School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies were featured Saturday morning, while students from the the School of Health Sciences and the School of Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications graduated during the afternoon session. Student speakers were Matthew J. Glodowski, of Hainesport, New Jersey, awarded a bachelor’s degree in building science and sustainable design: architectural technology concentration on Friday; Andrew S. Manley, of Cogan Station, who earned two bachelor’s degrees – information technology sciences: gaming and simulation, and software development and information management on Saturday morning; and Bethany M. Reppert, of Minersville, who received a bachelor’s degree in applied human services Saturday afternoon. The college also bestowed three Excellence in Teaching Awards and three alumni awards.
The Wildcat Block Party, a Vine Avenue tradition as spring rounds the corner toward summer, adopted a fitting air of sand and sun on Friday. The festive atmosphere offered boardwalk food, giveaways and music, with such special attractions as a mechanical shark, a tropical obstacle course and a roller rink. Organized by a collaboration that includes the Off-Campus Housing Organization and the Wildcat Events Board, this year’s party even featured a beach between Susquehanna and Park streets!
CAL Doubles as ‘Jay Leno’s Garage’ During Pre-Show Tour
Jay Leno, whose flair for comedy is matched by a passion for collectible automobiles, visited Penn College on Sunday prior to his evening performance at the Community Arts Center. Meeting with students, faculty and administrators in College Avenue Labs, Leno toured the automotive restoration and collision repair facilities, and took a quartet of vintage vehicles for a road test: a 1916 Scripps-Booth Model D, a 1953 Verrill Wolf Wagon, a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle Super Sport and a 1965 Ford Mustang.
The annual Student Activities Awards Banquet recently honored student organizations, student leaders and advisers for their contributions to the Penn College campus and the greater Williamsport community during the 2014-15 academic year. The guest speaker was Barbara Hudock, CEO and founding partner of the Hudock Capital Group, LLC, who shared stories and experiences that have helped shape her leadership over the course of an extremely successful career. More than 50 nominations were received for fewer than 20 honors, including two new awards in this year’s ceremony: Student Leader Committed to Social Justice and Diversity, and Penn College Community Betterment Program of the Year. The annual passing-of-the-gavel ceremony closed out the evening as Zachary T. Peachey was sworn in as the Student Government Association president for the 2015-16 academic year.
European visitors’ recent first impression of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Plastics Innovation & Resource Center will lead to a second look when they promote the facility to a continental conference next year.
The four international guests and their American host talked with employees and students in labs featuring each of the college’s five plastics processes (injection molding, extrusion, blow molding, rotational molding and thermoforming) during a March tour of the PIRC and its Thermoforming Center of Excellence.
The group also learned from Director C. Hank White about the PIRC’s role in helping the industry remain competitive.
In a matter of days, students in hospitality majors produced two eye-popping events that showed off their food artistry. On April 24, the Penn College community – along with high school groups – were invited to Penn’s Inn, where seniors in the culinary arts and systems bachelor-degree major cooked live, offering up free samples of an entrée and a dessert while being judged by industry representatives according to American Culinary Federation standard rules. Also on display were the final projects of students in Advanced Patisserie Operations, Cakes and Decorations, Principles of Chocolate Works and Classical and Specialty Dessert Presentation courses, which were also judged. Chef Frank Priore, executive chef of the Westmoreland Club in Wilkes-Barre; Chef Drew Kendall, store chef for Wegmans in Williamsport; and Christopher R. Grove, ’08, a dining services manager for Penn College, judged the culinary entries, while Chef Callie L. Proctor, ’04 and ’08, bakery manager for Weis Markets; Chef Michael Davis, executive chef for Susquehanna Health; and Chef Samantha L. Liedtka Gundlach, ’10, owner of Samantha’s Kitchen in Lock Haven, judged pastry entries. On April 26, students in two sections of the Pastry Food Show and Buffet Presentation Concepts presented a “Grand Pastry Buffet” for scholarship donors and their recipients. The “Viva Las Vegas”-themed event represents a comprehensive finale to baking and pastry arts students’ college career, requiring skills gained throughout their coursework. Nursing student Julie H. Carr, a recipient of the Student Leader Legacy Scholarship, offered remarks. “I have received financial aid as well as numerous grants in order to pursue my education; however, there were still out-of-pocket expenses that my parents could not cosign a loan for,” Carr told the gathering. “The Penn College Foundation enabled me to finish school and pursue my dreams while still participating and being an integral part of the Penn College community. I cannot thank you and the entire faculty, staff and students enough for enabling me to finally pursue my passion of becoming a nurse and helping others.”
About 50 graduates of Williamsport Technical Institute, a Pennsylvania College of Technology forerunner, attended a 15th annual reunion on April 17.
The event, held in the college’s Thompson Professional Development Center, provided an opportunity for alumni and their guests to enjoy lunch, reminisce and hear presentations by six students enrolled in aviation maintenance, automotive restoration and construction technology majors.
Gov. Wolf Visits Energy Technology Education Center
In his first visit since taking office in January, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf toured the Energy Technology Education Center on Wednesday in support of postsecondary education that meets the needs of regional and statewide employers. “Our citizens must have access to the education and training that jobs require, particularly as we continue to grow our energy industry,” he said. “Reinvesting in programs (such as ShaleNET) will help prepare people for jobs that pay.” ETEC, a training site for current and prospective gas-industry employees and emergency response crews, is a collaboration among Penn College, Lycoming County and industry partners.
The final activities of Penn College’s illustrious Centennial observance – the filling, sealing and installation of an institutional snapshot from that 2014 celebration – took place this week in a first-floor corner of Madigan Library. Various historical and commemorative items were loaded into the time capsule on Thursday, and the contents were sealed with argon gas the following day. On Wednesday morning, the high-grade, stainless steel container was maneuvered into a glass-block repository built by the School of Construction & Design Technologies. The time capsule and its archival treasure will remain undisturbed until reopened in 50 years. A montage of Centennial activities, colorfully and energetically composed from a year’s worth of photos, has been incorporated into a video on the Penn College YouTube channel.
2014 marks a milestone in the institution's rich history, from the inception of adult classes in the Williamsport Area School District in 1914, through its evolution into Williamsport Technical Institute, Williamsport Area Community College, and present-day Pennsylvania College of Technology. Read about the institution's history →
When April Fool’s Day lands on Hump Day, there’s really only one way to mark the occasion: bring a camel to campus! Orchestrated by the Wildcat Events Board and obtained from Animal Rentals Inc., “Eli” the camel was ridden by 250 people (and photographed by many more) during a four-hour caravan stop outside the Hager Lifelong Education Center. WEB incorporated the attraction into its Wildcat Wednesday series, held to inform the college community about its varied sponsored activities. While not a common sight for the area, especially on the day after an early-spring snowstorm, the event brought smiles to students and employees heading toward a long holiday weekend. The novelty was enough to attract WBRE-TV, which aired a brief report Wednesday evening.
Saturday’s biting breeze and snowy commute confirmed it: It’s still March in Pennsylvania! Far more predictable was what campus visitors found all day at Penn College’s Spring Open House, as helpful and personable students, employees and alumni encouraged potential enrollees and other visitors to explore a national leader in applied technology education.
The 13th annual Sealant Saturday event, held March 21 in Penn College’s dental clinic, was very successful (and busy). Dental hygiene students provided free services to 56 children between the ages of 6 and 15, and placed 290 sealants. All children also received a fluoride varnish treatment. In the real world, a dental sealant costs $35 to 60 per tooth, so, if you do the math, more than $10,000 worth of free care was provided to help the fight against tooth decay! Downstairs, meanwhile, students in a Pediatric Nursing class staffed a variety of stations in the atrium of the Breuder Advanced Technology and Health Sciences Center. Sealant Saturday participants and their siblings were invited to stations with painting, Play-Doh, puzzles, chess, Twister, coloring and gymnastics, filling the ATHS atrium with music and fun. (Requirements were that the activities be age-appropriate and not involve video screens.) Youngsters also received prizes, such as Penn College water bottles and lanyards, courtesy of President Davie Jane Gilmour’s office.
Career Fairs Attract Record Number of Employers
Nationally, employment projections are encouraging for the Class of 2015. Recent career fairs at Pennsylvania College of Technology reflected that positive reality.
Approximately 210 employers offering more than 2,400 jobs and internships participated in the spring career fairs at the college’s main campus and Lumley Aviation Center. The number of employers, including several Fortune 500 companies, was an all-time high, according to Erin S. Shultz, coordinator of career development.
“It was so large we outgrew our capacity and had a waiting list for employers hoping to attend,” Shultz said. “That is a good problem to have! Technical education and hands-on training are in demand, and our students and alumni are highly recruited.”