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Heartfelt commemoration keeps alive a powerhouse legacy

"I will continue to brag that I am Veronica Muzic's daughter," Laycock proudly admits, adding a special wish for her mother: "I hope Part II of your 'new adventure' is the trip of a lifetime."

A “life celebration” of Veronica M. Muzic, an inspiration to students and colleagues throughout nearly five decades as a faculty member and administrator, was held Saturday in Penn College’s Student & Administrative Services Center. The three-and-a-half-hour gathering attracted a cross-section of those who benefited from Muzic’s no-nonsense counsel and dedicated leadership – family, faculty/staff, former students and community members – and who marked the day with remembrance, reverent and otherwise, sprinkling their anecdotes with laughter and honest tears. Among those offering remarks were Marcianne Muzic Laycock, one of the honoree’s two daughters; niece Lisa Halberstadt, who read “When Great Trees Fall” by Maya Angelou (a March 1987 visitor to Williamsport Area Community College as part of a Women’s Series initiated by Muzic); President Davie Jane Gilmour; and Lynn Hanson, now a professor at Francis Marion University and co-director of the Baruch Institute for South Carolina Studies. The event also included music from a Williamsport Symphony Orchestra quartet and informal tours of “Veronica’s Garden” on the building’s second floor. Muzic, who died June 18 at the age of 82, joined WACC as an English instructor in 1968 and was awarded its first “Master Teacher” award in 1982. She retired as vice president for academic affairs/provost, served part time service as a special assistant to the president and holds emeritus faculty status.

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Events General Information Library

Sports exhibit hits home for athletes, fans alike

An entryway display case amplifies the "hometown" message through memorabilia that honors a sampling of local sports figures: baseball's Mike Mussina and Tom O'Malley, basketball's Alize Johnson and Kelly Mazzante, football's Gary Brown, and Special Olympics athletes.

Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America” – a collaboration among the Smithsonian Institution, the World of Little League Museum and Penn College – kicked off a 10-week local engagement Sunday with a public reception on the first floor of Madigan Library. The engaging showcase is part of the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street program, which enlists rural partners in hosting traveling exhibits. In addition to items reflecting the pervasive influence that athletics has on American society, “Hometown Teams” aptly includes representative pieces from collections within the community, some of which have never been displayed publicity. Members of the Historical Organizations of Lycoming County, schools, individuals and groups are among those lending artifacts for the exhibit, which runs through Sept. 8. Among those attending the official opening was Morgan Parrish, reporter for WBRE/WYOU, whose coverage aired during Sunday evening’s newscasts.

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Civil Engineering & Surveying Construction & Design Technologies Faculty & Staff Sports STEM Students

Collaborative ‘Soccer Ball Experiment’ adds to students’ skill sets

About to blast an instrumented ball is Kayla M. Spotts, of Shamokin, among the Wildcat soccer players cooperating in an exercise with civil engineering and surveying students at Penn College.

A uniquely collaborative learning experience at Pennsylvania College of Technology, dubbed the “Soccer Ball Experiment,” helped civil engineering technology and surveying technology students and members of the Wildcat women’s soccer team acquire useful professional tools during the spring semester.

When weather finally allowed, the civil engineering technology and surveying technology students used a variety of instruments – including small unmanned aerial systems (drones), the Global Positioning System, total stations, a tape measure, an accelerometer and smartphones – to collect data while the student-athletes and their coach took turns striking a soccer ball on Penn College’s Madigan Library lawn.

The data was used to measure the accuracy of ball placement with respect to targets on the grass and to describe the dynamic properties (such as position, velocity and acceleration) of the launched ball. In addition to using technical skills to acquire that information, the students completed a reflection assignment that required them to assess how they employed their own collaboration, communication and critical thinking skills.

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From living space to makerspace, summer visitors have their hands full

Learning the skills and craftsmanship required of a builder in the newest pre-college offering: Building Construction.

A dozen residential Pre-College Programs and a daytime Creative Art Camp brought hundreds of young women and men to Penn College’s campuses in mid-June, providing hands-on entry to the myriad career opportunities reflected in the institution’s postsecondary curriculum. Keeping campers (and PCToday photographers) busy in recent days were these fun learning opportunities, some of which involved culminating projects: Architecture Odyssey, Autism Spectrum Post-Secondary Interest Experience (ASPIE), Automotive Restoration, Aviation, Building Construction (new this year), Creative Art Camp, Engineering, Future Restaurateurs, Graphic Design Summer Studio, Grow & Design Horticulture, Health Careers, Information Technology and SMART (Science and Math in Real-world Technologies) Girls.

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Alumni Corporate Relations Events Faculty & Staff President Scholarships Students

Annual Golf Classic reaches another milestone in student aid

Trick shot performer Chuck “The Hit Man” Hiter dazzles a Williamsport Country Club crowd by maintaining his balance – and his eye on the ball – from a precarious perch.

A visit from “the world’s most sought after golf trick-shot performer” at the Penn College Foundation’s 33rd Annual Golf Classic provided another record-setting year in scholarship support for Pennsylvania College of Technology students.

The June 17 event, featuring Chuck “The Hit Man” Hiter, was the most successful in college history – topping $125,000 in revenue.

Compass Group North America was the title sponsor for the tournament, the net proceeds of which benefit the Penn College Foundation Golf Classic Scholarship. Fisher Mining Co. was the tournament sponsor, and a number of other businesses generously signed on as additional sponsors.

“I always look forward to doing any kind of outing,” said Hiter, who treated players and guests to an exhibition on the Williamsport Country Club’s first tee. “But with what this college does on the vocational side, awarding technical degrees for which there’s definitely a great need, it’s especially a pleasure to support a benefit like this.”

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General Information

Renamed in memoriam, Flag March again capped by campus celebration

Scouts lead the procession with a banner reflecting the event's new name.

The 36th annual Anthony DiSalvo Flags Across America March, reborn in tribute to its late founder and christened with a cool breeze and ample sunshine, traveled Friday evening from nearby Nichols Place to the 60-by-30-foot “Old Glory” that adorns Penn College’s main entrance. During a ceremony outside the Student & Administrative Services Center, participants joined in a national recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance at 7 p.m., listened to stirring patriotic music, honored the veterans among them, and heard from elected officials and Scouting leaders. Trophies were presented in a number of categories, carrying on a tradition begun by DiSalvo – celebrated as a “veteran, a patriot and a Boy Scout” – and the crowd enjoyed hot dogs and bottled water at the proceedings’ close.

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Events Gallery

‘Hundred Dresses Project’ grows tenfold through community engagement

A young visitor enjoys an “interactive dress” on which felt shapes can be added to create a design; some of the shapes offer positive words: honesty, respect, kindness, empathy and patience.

“The Hundred Dresses Project” has expanded to more than 1,000 dresses in The Gallery at Penn College, where a reception was held Thursday evening to honor the artistry, empathy and outreach stirred by the engaging endeavor. On display through July 23, the exhibit features more than 150 dress prints created by professional artists and over 1,000 dress prints made by youngsters in six area school districts. The outreach to area schools was initiated by Penny Griffin Lutz, gallery director, and supported by a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. The creator of “The Hundred Dresses Project” – artist Crystal Cawley – traveled from Maine to offer a gallery talk at the reception and facilitate a Friday workshop on paper and fiber art. An educator at Maine College of Art, she described the inspiration and origins behind the project and discussed the importance of creating art to “cope with hardship,” as the young heroine did in the classic children’s book, “The Hundred Dresses,” and the ability of art to create kindness and community. Outreach efforts will continue with performances of “The Hundred Dresses” by Studio 570 in the gallery on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, June 13-30. “The Hundred Dresses” exhibit can be viewed during the gallery’s summer hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays, and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays. (The gallery is closed Saturdays and Mondays, and will be closed July 3-7.)

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Alumni Business & Hospitality Innovation & Entrepreneurism

Innovation Lab named for corporate partner, alumna

A collaborative learning lab at Pennsylvania College of Technology bears the name of Woodlands Bank, a financial institution that partners with the college in support of students and academic programs, and honors the memory of alumna and Woodlands Bank employee Nicole Guthrie-Jones. Taking part in the lab’s dedication are Woodlands Bank President and CEO Jon P. Conklin and Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour.

A collaborative learning lab at Pennsylvania College of Technology will bear the name of a financial institution that partners with the college in support of students and academic programs.

The Woodlands Bank Innovation Lab in Memory of Nicole Guthrie-Jones was dedicated May 29 as a unique space on campus for cooperative teaching and learning.

Its name also honors a 2001 office technology: executive emphasis alumna of the college who was employed at Woodlands Bank when she passed away in August 2017.

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Korean War veterans honored during on-campus ceremony

Fred Agnoni, of South Williamsport, a teenage Army officer in the Korean War, holds his hat to his heart during the Reading of the Orders by retired Army Maj. Gen. James Joseph. Agnoni is standing between fellow veterans Richard E. Barkman (left), of Jersey Shore, and Edward E. Adams, of Muncy.

About 70 Korean War veterans from Lycoming County received the Republic of Korea’s “everlasting gratitude” during an Ambassador for Peace Medal ceremony in the Klump Academic Center Auditorium on Friday. U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey facilitated the event, presenting the medals to the veterans (or their families) in advance of the Memorial Day weekend. “We cherish in our hearts the memory of your boundless sacrifices in helping us reestablish our Free Nation,” reads the commendation that adorns each award’s personalized case, expressing a nation’s appreciation for the American servicemen and women who served during the 1950-53 war. In addition to this PCToday photo gallery, the event was featured in news broadcasts on WBRE/WYOU and WNEP.

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Career Day sets middle schoolers’ sights on tomorrow

Led by Franklin H. Reber, instructor of building construction technology, and students, Career Day visitors create concrete stepping stones.

College employees rallied to provide nearly 40 educational sessions for middle schoolers from across the region who visited campus on Monday for the college’s twice-a-year Career Day. Facilitated by the college’s College Transitions Office, the event provided 1,267 students with opportunities to explore a wide variety of careers in each of the college’s six academic schools. Visitors included 13 schools and home-schooled students.

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And they’re off: 900+ job-ready examples of Penn College Pride!

Abigail S. Way, graduating with a bachelor's degree in dental hygiene: health policy and administration concentration, has a smile as bright as her future.

Pennsylvania College of Technology held the Triple Crown of commencement ceremonies May 17-18 for more than 900 students who petitioned to graduate following the Spring 2019 semester. The Friday afternoon proceedings at the Community Arts Center honored students from the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies and the School of Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications. Saturday morning featured The School of Construction & Design Technologies and the School of Health Sciences, while students from the School of Business & Hospitality and the School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies graduated during the afternoon session. Student speakers were Hannah G. Maize, of Riverside, who received a bachelor’s degree in plastics and polymer engineering technology (summa cum laude) on Friday; Lauren S. Herr, of Lititz, awarded a bachelor’s in construction management (summa cum laude) at Saturday morning’s session; and David A. Gadalla, of Mechanicsburg, who received a bachelor’s degree in aviation maintenance technology in the weekend’s final ceremony. The college also bestowed three teaching honors – the Veronica M. Muzic Master Teacher Award and two Excellence in Teaching Awards – as well as three alumni awards.

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

Faculty-led volunteers prevail at food bank’s ‘Chopped’ debut

Chef Michael J. Ditchfield, instructor of hospitality management/culinary arts, describes his dishes for the audience in the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank’s community learning kitchen.

A team led by Chef Michael J. Ditchfield, Penn College instructor of hospitality management/culinary arts, was named the winner of the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank’s inaugural cooking competition, Chopped.

On Ditchfield’s team were volunteers from three of the Food Bank’s partner agencies: Ron Taylor, a trained chef and a volunteer and member of Diamond Street Christian Church; Karla Sexton, business development/client development officer for River Valley Health and Dental; and Narcisa Ebner, a client of Hope Enterprises’ as well as Food Bank board member Frank Pellegrino. Ditchfield’s “Blue Team” faced off against the “Red Team,” led by Chef Peter Daugherty of The James Restaurant and featuring a similar group of community members.

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Events Faculty & Staff Workforce Development

Summit takes renewed look at apprenticeships’ workforce edge

Keynoter Eric M. Seleznow

More than 100 industry officials, thought leaders and partners – representing 69 employers – attended Thursday’s second annual Apprenticeship Summit to discuss how best to close skills gaps, retain workers and attract new employees. The keynote speaker was Eric M. Seleznow, senior adviser with Jobs for the Future, a nonprofit that collaborates with national authorities on education, workforce development, business, technology, government and philanthropy. Other presenters at the summit, themed around “Best Practices in Apprenticeship,” included Joe Miller, senior human resources professional with First Quality Enterprises; Angela Hummel, talent development leader at Angela Hummel Consulting; and Eric M. Ramsay, director of the apprenticeship and training office for the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. Among the Penn College representatives on the agenda were President Davie Jane Gilmour; Shannon M. Munro, vice president for workforce development; and Christopher P. Ray, Workforce Development’s executive director for business development.  The day also featured workshops, networking opportunities, a showing of two recent college videos on apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs, and lunch in CC Commons.

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Wide-ranging tour enlightens state Senate committee chairs

Haywood marvels at the breathing chest of a "patient" in the School of Nursing & Health Sciences, where Dean Sandra L. Richmond (left) explained the simulation aids available to nursing students.

A bipartisan group of state legislators, all present for President Davie Jane Gilmour’s budget request to the Senate Appropriations Committee in February, got a follow-up look at Penn College during a trip to main campus on Tuesday. Touring a number of instructional labs with Sen. Gene Yaw (chairman of the college’s board of directors), administrators, faculty and staff were Sen. Art Haywood (D-Cheltenham), minority chair of the Health and Human Services Committee; Sen. Thomas H. Killion (R-Middletown), who chairs the Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee; Sen. Daniel Laughlin (R-Erie), chair of the Game and Fisheries Committee; and Sen. Sharif Street (D-Philadelphia), minority chairman of the Banking and Insurance Committee. Along for the visit were H. Fred Walker, director of Erie County Technical School; Kendall Alexander, Haywood’s communications director; and three members of Street’s staff: policy assistant Micah Mahjoubian, legislative aide Angel Betancourt and special assistant Kenneth Carter. Some members of the Senate contingent, who collectively represent highly populated areas from Erie in the northwest to Philadelphia in the southeast corner of the commonwealth, also enjoyed lunch in Le Jeune Chef Restaurant.

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

Splendid array of student projects seen during ‘Hospitality Visit Day’

An icon of spring escapes underground on a cake by Ashley L. Geist, of Huntingdon.

Students in several hospitality courses showed off final projects to visitors from six high schools, who visited campus April 26 for Hospitality Visit Day. During a session in the Klump Academic Center Auditorium, Amaris T. Smith, of Williamsport, and Nolan S. Lester, of Perkiomenville, presented their senior projects before the high schoolers headed for tours of campus and a visit to the Thompson Professional Development Center for the Grand Pastry Buffet, a capstone project for students completing their degrees in baking and pastry arts. In addition to viewing and tasting the work of baking and pastry arts students, the visitors tasted nonalcoholic mixed drinks prepared by students in the Hospitality Beverage Management Service and Controls class, voting on their favorite. As high schoolers toured the rest of campus, they took in final projects of students in the Cakes and Decorations and Cake Decorating II courses, on display in the Madigan Library.

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