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Penn College welding faculty, students build ‘Living Chapel’

The Living Chapel measures about 45 feet long by 30 feet wide, with heights ranging between 10 and 15 feet. The structure will remain at the Botanical Garden of Rome until social distancing rules permit a stay at the Vatican before being moved to its permanent location in Assisi, Italy.

A massive structure meant to encourage the “ecological awakening of humanity” can trace its foundation across the Atlantic Ocean to the welding expertise and facilities offered at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

Nine instructors and 15 students spent 10 weeks fabricating the structural framework for the Living Chapel, unveiled this week at the Botanical Garden of Rome during Global Catholic Climate Movement activities. Its formal unveiling via streaming video is scheduled for June 5, U.N. World Environment Day.

When social distancing rules permit, the open-air sanctuary – made of aluminum and recyclable and repurposed materials – will be placed at the Vatican before being moved to its permanent home in Assisi, Italy, the birthplace of St. Francis, the patron saint of ecology, whose small church provided the footprint for the Living Chapel.

“I don’t think it’s sunk in yet, what it’s going to mean to everybody,” said James N. Colton II, assistant professor of welding, who led the Penn College fabrication team. “It’s definitely a big deal.”

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Faculty & Staff Students

Penn College grads commissioned in online ROTC ceremony

Bald Eagle Battalion

Six Pennsylvania College of Technology seniors were among eight Bald Eagle Battalion Army ROTC cadets commissioned as second lieutenants Saturday during a virtual ceremony, the culmination of their four-year transformation from cadets to officers.

With family members and other supporters joining them in person and on computer screens, Penn College students sworn into service are Hayden N. Beiter, of Cogan Station; Casey A. Curtin, of Berwick; Alex Hackenberg, of Middleburg; William M. Johnson, of Glen Mills; Jordan H. Murray, of Chambersburg; and Austin S. Weinrich, of Jenkintown. Curtin is a plastics and polymer engineering technology major; Hackenberg is enrolled in information technology: network specialist concentration; and Beiter, Johnson, Murray and Weinrich are graduating this year in residential construction technology and management: building construction technology concentration.

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Alumni Faculty & Staff Landscape/Horticulture Students Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies

A grateful college brings May flowers

Special delivery, in care of committed caregivers

Plants nurtured throughout the pandemic by the horticultural hands at Penn College’s Schneebeli Earth Science Center brought a burst of National Nurses Week sunshine to UPMC Susquehanna campuses Thursday. About 850 potted flowers and hanging baskets, originally cultivated for a plant sale, were delivered to Williamsport, Divine Providence, Muncy, Lock Haven, Cole (Coudersport) and Wellsboro hospitals for distribution to nurses – among the tireless health care workers on the front line of a global health crisis. A troupe of ESC faculty and staff,  General Services employees and a college alumnus/retiree loaded and unloaded the colorful cargo at hospital campuses in Lycoming and Clinton counties; UPMC handled transport to the Northern Tier locations. Helping to keep the greenhouse stock thriving in students’ absence were horticulture faculty; Wyatt C. Forest, laboratory assistant for horticulture; and Sean C. Golden, a landscape/horticulture technology: plant production emphasis student and work study employee.

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Faculty & Staff Students

A feel-good reminder of community … (You’re welcome)

Prepping screen doors under Habitat supervision are Murren (with drill), Keyser (in glasses), Noll (in hat) and Camut.

Clay County (Florida) Habitat for Humanity welcomed Pennsylvania College of Technology students and advisers earlier this month for a service-oriented alternative spring break. The group volunteered through Collegiate Challenge, which, for more than a quarter-century, has engaged high school and college students in construction of safe and affordable housing throughout the country. The Penn College crew, which undertook a variety of jobs at a property in Green Cove Springs, was led by Sammie L. Davis, coordinator of diversity and student engagement, and Cathy E. Gamez, coordinator for Dauphin Hall. The 16 student members were Sydney M. Camut, Shippensburg, engineering design technology; Matheau A. Davenport, Lewisburg, engineering design technology; Lacey A. Decker, Emporium, pre-dental hygiene; Hunter C. Dubbs, Bendersville, software development and information management; Caleb M. Ely, Springville, engineering design technology; Aleah M. Emlet, Altoona, electronics and computer engineering technology; Dean R. Fulton, Palmyra, business management; Marcie M. Harman, Nescopeck, building science and sustainable design: architectural technology concentration; James C. Keyser II, Dillsburg, plastics and polymer engineering technology; Jesse D. Laird, Newville, nursing; Natasha Martin, Williamsport, applied management; Alaina M. Murren, Aspers, dental hygiene; Nicholas A. Noll, Lock Haven, plastics and polymer engineering technology; Abbigail I. Royer, McClure, human services; Michael V. Saylor, Gettysburg, residential construction technology and management: building construction technology concentration; and Rose M. Warner, Lawton, business administration: banking and finance concentration.

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Events Faculty & Staff Students

I spy something awry

A cast of true characters

The Oxymorons improv troupe recently returned to campus for an espionage-tinged Murder Mystery Dinner in the Mountain Laurel Room of Penn College’s Thompson Professional Development Center. “Leap of Fate,” a fittingly named Student Engagement event held on February’s quadrennial extra day, involved a cadre of cutthroat spies clawing to the pinnacle of their profession. Chef Michael J. Ditchfield and three of his culinary arts technology students (Jacob G. Clarke, of Wilmington, Delaware; Keowa M. Clemens, of York; and Kaitlyn M. June, of Muncy) prepared this year’s winning menu of dishes named for principals in the evening’s shenanigans.

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College Transitions Faculty & Staff STEM Students

Science Festival ignites youngsters’ STEM-related curiosity

A youngster eyes a possible future in medical imaging at a display hosted by Penn College’s radiography major.

More than 1,500 fifth-graders from local and regional school districts took part in Wednesday’s ninth annual Science Festival at Penn College, encouraged by presenters, sponsors and vendors to dive hands-first into a sea of possibility. Inquisitive girls and boys witnessed a variety of campus demonstrations in Klump Academic Center, Bardo Gymnasium and the Field House during the day, exploring the fertile fields of science, technology, engineering and math. In addition to enlightening the youngsters in attendance, the event – a precursor to an evening session for families – generated front-page coverage in Thursday’s Williamsport Sun-Gazette.

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Faculty & Staff General Information Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies Students Welding

Welding lab gets cross-country exposure through FOX News

The journalist tells viewers that Penn College welding students have to complete a minimum of 144 hours of hands-on lab experience.

The media spotlight on Penn College’s expanded welding lab shone brightly – and nationally – this week, attracting a visit from Philadelphia-based FOX News reporter Katie Byrne. The multimedia journalist spent much of Tuesday morning in the Lycoming Engines Metal Trades Center, talking with students and administration from the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies. She also captured considerable video footage of the enhanced instructional space, resulting in online and broadcast versions of her story. The latter was distributed to FOX affiliates throughout the country, airing on Byrne’s home station (FOX29) Friday evening and during weekend newscasts on the FOX News cable network.

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Events Faculty & Staff Students

Yellow rays of hope

Cheerleaders and their beloved mascot add the week's signature hue to their customary team colors.

“Yellow It Out,” an annual initiative aimed at suicide prevention and awareness, was marked with a number of campuswide events that brightly illuminated a most noteworthy topic. Events included Tuesday’s dialogue with an expert on “Dealing With Stereotypes,” men’s/women’s basketball games against Lancaster Bible College on Wednesday, and informational tables and other displays of advocacy – from apparel to outdoor lighting – throughout the week.

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Alumni Collision Repair & Restoration Corporate Relations Events Faculty & Staff Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies President STEM Students Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies Welding

College celebrates expanded welding lab, industry partners

Pennsylvania College of Technology President Davie Jane Gilmour deftly wields a plasma cutter to sever a metal ribbon during a dedication ceremony for a greatly expanded welding facility at the college.

An expanded and enhanced welding lab – at 55,000-plus square feet, believed to be the largest such facility in higher education nationwide – was dedicated on Feb. 6 at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

The Welding Expansion Project, funded in part by a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, added 35,000 square feet of instructional space to the lab in the college’s Lycoming Engines Metal Trades Center, allowing for enrollment of up to 60 more welding students annually – more than 300 in total.

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Events Faculty & Staff Students

Homesick blues vanish amid nonjudgmental nuzzling

The event's warm intent is embodied in the welcoming temperament of Winnie, a golden retriever owned by Drew R. Potts, assistant professor of civil engineering technology.

The winter version of Student Affairs’ popular “Hot Dog, You’re Back!” mixer, recently held in the Field House, provided an opportunity for Penn College students to get reacclimated in the company of friendly pets and the faculty/staff bipeds who cherish them. The now-biannual event has proved to be among the campus’s most popular since it debuted in 2010.

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Events Faculty & Staff Students

Civic action, campus speaker keep ‘dream’ alive

Selfless volunteers prep vegetable bags for distribution through the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank.

Penn College students, faculty and staff were among nearly 430 volunteers at a “Pack and Share” event in the Lycoming College Recreation Center during the Jan. 20 kickoff of “Dream Week,” using their Martin Luther King Jr. holiday from offices and classrooms to better their community. During the three-hour service project, volunteers partnered with the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank to pack more than 2,300 meal kits for those in need. Several of the college’s student leaders were interviewed for a video posted to the On the Pulse local news site. The commemoration continued Thursday night, as Mike Africa Jr. – member of the MOVE organization, hip-hop artist and motivational speaker – delivered a keynote address in the Klump Academic Center Auditorium. His “Never Give Up” message, also featured in Friday’s editions of the Williamsport Sun-Gazette, encouraged neighborly collaboration as the key to societal change.

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Baking, Pastry & Culinary Arts Business & Hospitality Management Faculty & Staff Students

Course teaches students about food sustainability, security

Pennsylvania College of Technology applied management student Mallory A. Hoffman (left), of Pottsville, and culinary arts student Alexa D. Scatamacchia, of Fleetwood, prepare their team’s dish in a combined cooking competition and lesson in equitably distributing nutritious food at the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank’s Williamsport branch.

In a bright, clean kitchen across town from their usual classrooms and laboratories, students majoring in culinary arts and other fields at Pennsylvania College of Technology learn more about food security, one of many considerations students discover as they explore the topic of food “sustainability.”

Food Sustainability is a course designed for students in the college’s hospitality majors, but available to anyone.

“Sustainable foods are grown or raised naturally,” explained student Janelle R. Becker, of Fort Loudon, who is pursuing a degree in culinary arts. “They are not only renewable but regenerative: They help the environment. It is important to not only help people, but also the earth, to make sure we always have the resources available that we have now.”

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Admissions Alumni Business & Hospitality Construction & Design Technologies Events Faculty & Staff Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies Nursing & Health Sciences Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications Students Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies

Farm Show activities illustrate Penn College’s hands-on magnetism

Sixth-graders from Fleetwood Area Middle School in Berks County proudly show off their keepsake aircraft, some of the 70 or so built at the college's booth that day.

Penn College’s inspiring majors made their customary splash throughout the Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg (Jan. 4-11), as a rotating regiment of subject experts satisfied each day’s crowds – intellectually and nutritionally – at the nation’s largest indoor agricultural expo. In addition to the photo gallery below, the college’s involvement was covered by the Pennsylvania Cable Network and the Williamsport Sun-Gazette, which featured the schools of Nursing & Health Sciences and Business & Hospitality in its editions.

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Baking, Pastry & Culinary Arts Business & Hospitality Business & Hospitality Management

Penn College announces winners of annual Food Show

Winners of the Chef Eugene Mattucci Best of Show award at Pennsylvania College of Technology’s annual Food Show are, from left, Victoria J. McLamb, of Williamsport; Keowa A. Clemens, of York; and Sherly F. Mendez, of Tobyhanna. The students teamed up to create a “Fiesta!”-themed cold platter and charcuterie board display.

Pennsylvania College of Technology recently named the winners in its annual Food Show, during which students showcased final projects for the fall semester for judges and visitors from seven secondary schools.

Taking home the Chef Eugene Mattucci Best of Show Award was a three-student team that produced a “Fiesta!” cold platter and charcuterie board display. The piece was their final project for the Advanced Garde Manger course and included a chopped fiesta quinoa salad; haymarket pate en croute with ground pork, pork belly, veal shoulder, and Mexican herbs and spices; apricot and green chile chutney; Monterey Jack cheese; and smoked duck ham.

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