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Penn College Baja SAE team reigns supreme … again

During the past decade, Pennsylvania College of Technology emerged as a top contender in the prestigious Baja SAE endurance race with several top-10 finishes. During the past month, the Penn College team established itself as the best in the world with two victories.

Penn College topped a 77-car field in Palmyra, New York, on Sunday, June 5, to win the four-hour endurance race at Baja SAE Rochester. Three weeks earlier, the team captured the endurance competition at Baja SAE Tennessee Tech. At both events, Penn College bested the likes of Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Purdue, Cornell, Rochester Institute of Technology and Virginia Tech.

“I’m overwhelmed by the team’s performance,” said John G. Upcraft, instructor of manufacturing and machining and adviser to Penn College’s Baja SAE club since its inception 17 years ago. “Winning the race once was amazing, but winning twice in three weeks over such outstanding schools is unbelievable. I couldn’t be prouder!”

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Automated Manufacturing & Machining Automotive College Relations Engineering Design Technology Engineering Technologies Faculty & Staff Lycoming Engines Students Welding

Penn College electrical students serve area nonprofits

Pennsylvania College of Technology’s commitment to hands-on education aided area nonprofit organizations throughout the spring semester.

Two sections of electrical construction students contributed nearly 400 hours of work, saving the YWCA, Sojourner Truth Ministries and the Avis Area Recreation Association labor expenses in completing a variety of projects.

“The quality of the students’ work was excellent. They did a great job,” said Joseph R. Raup, instructor of the course, Construction Lab IV: Practical Experience. “They had good attitudes throughout the semester and worked very hard.”

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Electrical Engineering Technologies Faculty & Staff Students

Nursing students impart valuable wellness info to college employees

Students in the Community Health Nursing course recently provided a round of one-hour wellness courses for Pennsylvania College of Technology employees.

Four sessions were presented in early April on two topics: “Colon: Love Your Interworks” and “Suffering From Burnout.”

For each session, a team of students presented research; developed websites, handouts and tools to check participants’ understanding; and provided learning activities.

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Faculty & Staff Nursing Nursing & Health Sciences Students

Pinwheels planted to bring awareness to child abuse

During Child Abuse Prevention Month in April, “pinwheel gardens” have been popping up around the country in an effort to bring awareness to child abuse, and a local display of pinwheels recently arose in a field next to the Old Lycoming Township Volunteer Fire Co.

The display is a cooperative effort of the Human Services and Restorative Justice Club at Pennsylvania College of Technology, Old Lycoming Township Police Department, Lycoming County Children & Youth Services, Tiadaghton Valley Regional Police, Pennsylvania State Police, and the Child Advocacy Center of the Central Susquehanna Valley, a division of Geisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital.

Representatives from the organizations gathered on Friday, April 22, to plant 500 of the traditionally blue pinwheels. The number of pinwheels represents the children assisted in the past year by LCYS.

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Business, Arts & Sciences Human Services & Restorative Justice Students

Penn College adds non-destructive testing welding degree

Mark N. Hurd found himself perched about 140 feet above the Hudson River on a cold January day. A steel basket attached to the multijointed arm of a snooper truck stationed on the massive bridge above provided both workspace and sanctuary for the Pennsylvania College of Technology instructor.

For hours, Hurd meticulously employed an ultrasonic testing unit to reveal the quality of butt welds on 10 flanges strengthening the bridge’s steel beams. Those girders would soon support about 140,000 vehicles daily, traveling the 3.1 miles connecting South Nyack and Tarrytown, New York, just north of Manhattan.

“It’s like being an industrial doctor because many of the testing processes, such as ultrasound and radiography, were originally used in the medical field,” Hurd said in describing his work as a quality control inspector at the Tappan Zee Bridge (Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge). “I’ve been in this business for over 30 years, and there’s not a week that goes by when I don’t learn something new or face a new challenge. That’s what keeps it exciting.”

Penn College is providing a career pathway to that excitement with an associate degree in non-destructive testing. Offered for the first time this fall, the two-year program will combine hands-on welding experience in the college’s 55,000-square-foot lab with exposure to several NDT processes, including ultrasonic and radiographic testing.

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Engineering Technologies Faculty & Staff Students Welding

Female automation students making their mark at Penn College

During his 27 years teaching electronics at Pennsylvania College of Technology, Ken J. Kinley has experienced evolutions of curriculum, equipment and facilities. He hopes to add “student demographics” to the list.

Three female students in the early stages of studying robotics and automation at Penn College offer promise for that wish to be realized.

“I believe this is a first – having three female students enroll in robotics and automation about the same time,’’ said Kinley, assistant professor and department head. “I’m happy to see women branch out in nontraditional fields and do very well in the coursework, like these three young ladies.”

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Electronics & Computer Engineering Technology Engineering Technologies Faculty & Staff Students Women in STEM

Radiography student selected for national leadership role

Pennsylvania College of Technology radiography student Jalen S. Seyler was recently selected to the American Society of Radiologic Technologists’ Student Leadership Development Program.

Seyler, of Jersey Shore, is pursuing an associate degree in radiography and a bachelor’s degree in applied health studies. Her term in the Student Leadership Development Program began Jan. 1 and continues to Dec. 31, 2024.

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Nursing & Health Sciences Radiography Students

New architecture bachelor’s degree approved at Penn College

A new Bachelor of Architecture degree at Pennsylvania College of Technology, set to begin accepting students in Fall 2023 (and possibly sooner), will dramatically shorten graduates’ path to professional licensure and markedly broaden their employment opportunities.

With Thursday’s approval by the Penn College Board of Directors, the Construction and Architectural Technologies Division can pursue prestigious accreditation from the National Architectural Accrediting Board: a multiyear undertaking and a long-held objective of the institution’s architecture faculty.

“It’s a tremendous step forward for us,” said Geoffrey M. Campbell, assistant professor and department head, who presented the proposal to the board with Ellyn A. Lester, assistant dean of construction and architectural technologies. “This has always been the goal. Any architecture program would prefer to be an NAAB-accredited program, and that’s always been what we were hoping for.”

The new major adds a fifth year to the current bachelor’s framework, effectively providing students with a steppingstone to career advancement that doesn’t involve postgraduate study.

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Architecture & Sustainable Design Engineering Technologies Faculty & Staff Students

Penn College plastics grad hits ‘bull’s-eye’ with career choice

As an archer, James R. Fanelli aimed straight. As an aspiring plastics professional, he zigzagged between continents. The Pennsylvania College of Technology alumnus hit “bull’s-eye” with both approaches.

One led to a championship, the other to a rewarding career.

The 2010 graduate is a senior tooling plastics engineer for Medtronic, a leading global health care technology company. Fanelli supports the development and production of components and devices utilized during open, laparoscopic and robotic-assisted surgical procedures, from access and instrumentation tools to internal tissue and skin stapling technology.

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Alumni Engineering Technologies Plastics & Polymer Sports

Student’s new game provides portable family play

Pennsylvania College of Technology student Trey L. White practices the tools of innovation even in his down time.

That’s how the Jersey Shore area resident came up with the Chillin’ Chair Challenge, a product that he dreamed up in February and is already available for purchase.

The Chillin’ Chair Challenge is a compact, lightweight tossing game that attaches to the back of a camping chair – or any other chair.

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Business, Arts & Sciences Engineering Design Technology Engineering Technologies Innovation & Entrepreneurism Students

‘Tomorrow,’ the world!

Penn College’s “My Tomorrow” program (June 21-24 and June 28-July 1) opened middle-schoolers’ minds to a variety of vocational possibilities through hands-on activities and faculty-led sessions. The initiative, sponsored by the Soars Family, exposed students to a number of prospective careers – such as engineering, business and hospitality, the arts, and health sciences – as well as giving them a jump on charting their paths to success and satisfaction.

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Logues donate professional-grade brewing system to college

George “Herman” Logue Jr. and George Logue III recently donated an entire brewing system and accessories to the brewing and fermentation science program at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

The equipment, which represents the functional design of large industrial brewing systems, will be used by the college for instructional purposes in its brewing & fermentation science certificate major.

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Alumni Baking, Pastry & Culinary Arts Brewing & Fermentation Science Business, Arts & Sciences Makerspace

With flying colors: Student takes lead in repainting aircraft

As if the industrious fulfillment of her proud Pennsylvania College of Technology days isn’t a sufficient bequest, Kate M. Ruggiero punctuated her academic performance with a larger-than-life mic drop: impressively taking the lead in repainting a single-engine Cessna 175C airplane donated to the Lumley Aviation Center eight years ago.

Ruggiero earned an associate degree in aviation technology from Penn College in December, crossing the stage in a COVID-delayed ceremony on May 15, and will move from Easton to Michigan in early July to start a job as an aircraft paint specialist – working on corporate and private jets for Duncan Aviation in Battle Creek.

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President’s Legacy Campaign gift benefits student scholarships

Pennsylvania College of Technology President Davie Jane Gilmour has made a substantial commitment to the college’s Legacy Campaign for Penn College fundraising effort. The donation will benefit several key scholarship initiatives for students.

Gilmour, who recently announced plans to retire as president on June 30, 2022, is making a six-figure gift that will support the existing Tomorrow Makers Scholarship, as well as two new endowed funds she is creating: the Gilmour Global Experiences Endowment and the Gilmour Student Competition Endowment.

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Faculty & Staff Legacy Campaign President Scholarships Students

Groundwork for growth

Students join program staff and family members in a planting project at Trailing Pines Tree Farm in Muncy.
Students join program staff and family members in a planting project at Trailing Pines Tree Farm in Muncy.
Students Jennamarie E. Jones and Cassie J. Keister, both of Mifflinburg, prepare to plant a seedling with the help of a young friend.
Students Jennamarie E. Jones and Cassie J. Keister, both of Mifflinburg, prepare to plant a seedling with the help of a young friend.
Sydney A. Bruno, of Williamsport, gets to know one of the creatures the tree farm aims to conserve.
Sydney A. Bruno, of Williamsport, gets to know one of the creatures the tree farm aims to conserve.

Following the footsteps of their predecessors, members of the physical therapist assistant Class of 2022 recently visited Trailing Pines Tree Farm in Muncy, where they planted 150 seedlings as part of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership. The certified tree farm is owned by Paul Huffman, a 1987 graduate of Williamsport Area Community College, a forerunner of Penn College. The farm is dedicated to wildlife management and conservation. The college’s physical therapist assistant program’s Class of 2021 (set to graduate in August) has been to the farm twice, and this was the first visit for the Class of 2022. Service learning is part of the physical therapist assistant program’s curriculum, with the goal of fostering altruism – putting patients and others above self – and community involvement.
Photos courtesy of Victoria Hurwitz, director of physical therapist assistant

Nursing & Health Sciences Physical Therapist Assistant Students