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TRAK Machine Tools Augments Equipment Donations

TRAK Machine Tools Inc. recently donated two more computer-numerical-control milling machines for the college’s automated manufacturing lab. With the machines are, from left, Richard K. Hendricks Jr., automated manufacturing and machining faculty member and department head at Penn College; Elizabeth A. Biddle, director of corporate relations for the college; and Rudy Gebhard, senior sales representative, Southwestern Industries Inc.

Pennsylvania College of Technology students in automated manufacturing and machining majors will benefit from two more pieces of equipment donated by TRAK Machine Tools Inc.

Richard and Marion Leonhard, part owners of the company, have donated two more computer-numerical-control milling machines for the college’s automated manufacturing lab. This latest gift brings to six the number of machines in the lab donated by TRAK Machine Tools.

The equipment is used in courses such as Basic Machine Tool Programming, Programming and Machining, Machine Tool Applications, and Fixture Design and Fabrication. Hundreds of students in the college’s four manufacturing majors will gain experience on the equipment each academic year.

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Alexanders Donate Model T to Automotive Restoration Program

Aubrey Alexander (front row, left) and brother Adam (front row, right) deliver a 1926 Ford Model T to students and faculty outside College Avenue Labs, home to Penn College’s automotive restoration and collision repair majors.

A 1926 Ford Model T, traded to Alexander Nissan in 2013 by its Picture Rocks owner, has been passed on to Pennsylvania College of Technology students for use in a variety of automotive labs.

Blaise Alexander Family Dealerships donated the historic vehicle that was recently offloaded onto main campus, accompanied by brothers Adam and Aubrey Alexander.

“We appreciate this gift to our automotive restoration program from the Alexanders. In addition to value for our students in their curricular work, it serves as a way to engage prospective students in the restoration major,” said Elizabeth A. Biddle, the college’s director of corporate relations. “Our goal is to foster the interest in antique cars and the restoration industry among young people.”

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Dream Matches Real-World Need Addressed by Penn College

For a class assignment, 9-year-old Trevin Allen described his dream of working in plastics at SEKISUI SPI with his father, Lucas, a graduate of Pennsylvania College of Technology. Trevin’s mature goals prompted an invitation from the college, where he experienced various facets of applied technology. From left are Shannon M. Munro, vice president for workforce development; Tom F. Gregory, associate vice president for instruction; and Trevin and Lucas Allen.

The dreams of many 9-year-olds transform them into adult superstars. What kid hasn’t dreamed of making the pivotal play to win the big game, belting out a tune to adoring fans or basking under the bright lights of Hollywood?

Trevin Allen.

No disrespect to athletes, rock stars and actors, but the fourth-grader’s dream – described for a class assignment – actually matches reality’s need: a need addressed by Pennsylvania College of Technology.

Trevin’s aspirations connect applied technology education to rewarding careers in the skilled workforce, which is grappling with a shortage of qualified professionals. His words are timely and impactful beyond his classroom at Bloomsburg Memorial Elementary School.

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Journey to the Winner’s Circle: Kentucky Derby Is a Culinary Marathon for Students

Culinary arts and systems student Jacob W. Parobek, of Seltzer, joins classmates to watch the storied Kentucky Derby from a rainy rooftop.

On Wednesday, three days before the Derby, students, from left, Bridget M. Callahan, of Pottsville; Bailey L. Frey, of Watsontown; Bethany R. Taylor, of Moosic; and Stephanie C. Myers, of Catawissa, step away from the kitchens to take in the world-famous track.

From the Fall 2018 Penn College Magazine: Penn College writer/video editor Tom Speicher embedded with hospitality students as they traveled to the 2018 Kentucky Derby. For a quarter century, Penn College students have joined the Derby’s culinary team. Read “Journey to the Winners’ Circle.”

Fit for a Ring: Grad Earns Super Bowl Ring With Eagles

Chris Rutledge, a 2016 graduate of the college’s web and interactive media major, will be fitted for a Super Bowl ring as the Philadelphia Eagles’ digital project coordinator. Photo courtesy of Rutledge

From the Fall 2018 Penn College Magazine: A web and interactive media graduate’s career takes him to the sidelines of the Super Bowl as the Philadelphia Eagles’ digital project coordinator. Read “Fit for a Ring.”

Penn College Women Welders Help Serve the Greater Good

The all-female team from Penn College that participated in a welding fabrication competition at the SkillsUSA National Championships, shows the rocket stove they built during the event. The stove will be donated to a family in the developing world by WaterStep. From left are Joelle E. Perelli, of Bath; Natalie J. Rhoades, of Weedville; and Erin M. Beaver, of Winfield.

Three talented female welding students from Pennsylvania College of Technology didn’t win their national competition, but the result of their effort will endure much longer than the shine of any medal.

A rocket stove manufactured by welding and fabrication engineering technology students Erin M. Beaver, of Winfield; Joelle E. Perelli, of Bath; and Natalie J. Rhoades, of Weedville, earlier this summer at the SkillsUSA National Championships in Louisville, Kentucky, is in the process of being donated to a family in the developing world.

“You don’t realize what you have until you find out what other people don’t have. That made me appreciate the competition even more,” Rhoades said.

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Pinning Ceremony Held for Summer Nursing Grads

The 37 members of the health arts: practical nursing emphasis Class of 2018 gather for a recent pinning ceremony at the Community Arts Center.

A day before the summer commencement ceremony at the Community Arts Center, graduates of the health arts: practical nursing emphasis major gathered at the venue to receive pins from mentors. During the ceremony, the honorees recited the Nightingale Pledge. Remarks were provided by class members Rachael J. Camacho, of Williamsport, and Chad M. Quail, of Lock Haven, as well as Diane L. Smith, director of nursing, associate degrees, and nursing instructors Kimberly A. Brenchley and Sherry L. Hyland. Class member Kayla J. Billheim, of Allenwood, sang “The Climb.”
Photo by Tina R. Strayer, nursing office assistant, completion degrees

Shell Polymers’ Support to Boost Plastics Education at Penn College

A $250,000 gift from Shell Polymers will enhance Pennsylvania College of Technology’s efforts to produce highly skilled graduates for the plastics industry. The funding will enable Penn College to enhance and upgrade an academic and research lab to be known as the Shell Polymers Rotational Molding Center of Excellence. Marking the occasion are, from left, Dan Moldovan, team leader, Shell Polymers; Adriana Velasquez, technical service engineer, Shell Polymers; Shannon Munro, vice president for workforce development, Penn College; Michael Marr, external relations, Shell Polymers; Elizabeth Biddle, director of corporate relations, Penn College; Todd Whittemore, general manager of polyethylene technology, Shell Polymers; and Laura Chamorro, global marketing manager, polyethylene, Shell Polymers.

A $250,000 gift from Shell Polymers will enhance Pennsylvania College of Technology’s efforts to produce highly skilled graduates for the plastics industry while helping to ease the growing skills gap in plastics manufacturing.

The funding will enable Penn College ­– which also operates the Plastics Innovation & Resource Center (PIRC) to assist plastics companies with research and development and the training of incumbent workers – to enhance and upgrade the academic and research lab that will now be known as the Shell Polymers Rotational Molding Center of Excellence.

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Volvo Applauds Welding Intern’s Accomplishments

Natalie J. RhoadesA welding and fabrication engineering technology student, who recently completed an internship with Volvo Construction Equipment, was given an online shout-out by her summer employer for an “exceptional performance” at SkillsUSA nationals. Natalie J. Rhoades, of Weedville, was one of three women on Penn College’s welding fabrication team that competed in Louisville, Kentucky, in late June. “It’s fantastic to have such talented and dedicated young professionals as Natalie launching their careers with Volvo CE, and we want to congratulate her and her team for their performance,” said Gustavo Casagrandi, vice president of Shippensburg operations. “We believe that supporting young talent will help benefit the entire construction equipment industry and we are happy to play any part we can in helping young people pursue a career in the manufacturing fields.”

Penn College Cyber Security Student Awarded National Scholarship

Alexander M. Fox

A Pennsylvania College of Technology student is one of 17 nationwide recipients of a $5,000 scholarship from Johnstone Supply, a leading cooperative wholesale distributor in the HVACR industry.

Alexander M. Fox, an information assurance and cyber security major from Bangor, received the honor exclusive to students who are employees or children of employees of Johnstone Supply. Thanks to the John M. Shank Memorial Scholarship Fund, named for the founder of Johnstone Supply, the company annually supports the educational pursuits of students in a variety of fields.

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Finding – and Beautifying – Common Ground

Among the Wildcat student-athletes aiding the cause are (from left) Kaylee N. Burk, of Hermitage, an engineering design technology major and member of the archery team; and, from the women's cross-country squad, Rosey Yanira Pichiya Thomas, Port Allegany, pre-nursing, and Kathryn A. Plankenhorn, Montoursville, physician assistant studies.

A cross-section of the Penn College community – including student-athletes, Circle K members, alumni and neighbors – collected 28 bags of recylables and 20 bags of trash during a cleanup on Saturday. In alliance with the Heart of Williamsport, the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership, and the college’s Diversity & Community Engagement office, 120 participants fanned out to residential areas and to Elm and Memorial parks for a hands-on display of civic pride.  Fittingly, as the volunteers walked a total of 438,082 steps, the event committee shared with them a list of outdoor recreational sites within reasonable access from campus.

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College’s Phi Mu Delta Chapter Nationally Honored

President Jordan D. Suter accepts a Chapter Excellence Award from Jackie Hackett, assistant executive director for undergraduate engagement, Phi Mu Delta national fraternity.

Celebrating the honor are (back row, from left) Robert A. Warner III, Carlisle, automotive service technician; Timothy J. Schafer Jr., Lancaster, automotive technology management; and chapter President Jordan D. Suter, Lock Haven, manufacturing engineering technology. Kneeling are Cody Daniels (left), Jermyn, information assurance and cyber security; and Gregory C. Hidlay, Catawissa, information technology: network specialist concentration.

Phi Mu Delta fraternity selected the Mu Xi Chapter at Pennsylvania College of Technology as one of four national Chapters of Excellence during the Centennial Conclave at the University of Vermont last month. The award honors those chapters that have committed to the fraternity’s highest ideals and have created an environment in which its members can thrive. Chapters must be strong in all areas of chapter management, scholarship, recruitment and service to the community, and are then asked to make a formal presentation. This year’s other winners were Longwood, Ohio Northern and Susquehanna universities. Among other business at the biannual business meeting, Penn College’s Timothy J. Schafer Jr. was elected to the National Council.
Photos provided

Crowd Delighted by Boundless Makerspace Possibilities

Interest runs high in The Dr. Welch Workshop: A Makerspace at Penn College, where attendant Jeremiah C. Johnson (right) met with students and employees during an Open House.

The hands-on allure of the facility is evident as attendees move among the equipment ...

... and sign up for access to the varied tools at their disposal.

Among the engaged college staff is admissions counselor Lee Dawson, whose duties fittingly include working with prospective students in the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies.

Johnson talks with an Open House attendee whose T-shirt indicates he's in the right place.

Wednesday evening’s open house at The Dr. Welch Workshop: A Makerspace at Penn College met with an overwhelming turnout, as curious employees and industrious students crammed into a laboratory that will soon be overflowing with creativity. The makerspace, dedicated last week and featured in a PCToday photo gallery, was designed by students as a springboard to crosscurricular innovation and collaboration. Weekly trainings and demonstrations in a variety of equipment and techniques – from casting to prototyping, cosplay to 3D printing – are scheduled 5 to 6 p.m. Thursdays from Aug. 30 to Nov. 15. (There will be no class on Oct. 18.) Interested Penn College students and faculty/staff can access the full schedule on the myPCT portal; no reservations are required.
Photos by J.J. Boettcher, student photographer

Alumnus Flavorfully Travels From Protégé to Pioneer

Manuel S. Baez Jr.Alumnus Manuel S. Baez Jr., executive chef at Big Water Grille in Incline Village, Nevada, is profiled in the Aug. 23 edition of the Tahoe Daily Tribune. The article traces his involvement with cooking from childhood through his 2011 degree in culinary arts technology to the multicultural influences he brings to the restaurant’s patrons. The article also references alumna Kristi (Ritchey) Genova – featured in Penn College’s magazine and in a YouTube video (and as a returning Visiting Chef) – who has encouraged and enhanced his career.

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