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03.29.2016

Record Number of Employers Vie for Penn College Students

The number of employers at Pennsylvania College of Technology’s recent Career Fair reflected the strong nationwide employment outlook for the Class of 2016.

A school-record 214 companies participated in the recent Career Fair at the college’s main campus and Lumley Aviation Center. Those employers offered 2,500-plus job and internship opportunities for students from all six of the college’s academic schools.

“The consistent feedback I received this year is that there are not enough students in many of our majors to fill the needs of our employers,” said Erin S. Shultz, coordinator of career development at Penn College. “The shortage speaks to the growing demand for our students in a strengthening job market.”

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Alumni Events Students
11.06.2013

1984 Spotlight – A ‘Model’ Landlord

LaRue C. Shempp
LaRue C. Shempp

You never know who your neighbor is, or in this case, your landlord. Williamsport native LaRue C. Shempp rented to male Williamsport Area Community College students, but also dedicated his life to building one of the country’s most famous model-train collections. After his retirement in 1974, he sold his 323 complete train outfits to the Williamsport Foundation and moved it to what is now the Thomas T. Taber Museum of the Lycoming County Historical Society (just a few blocks from the college’s main campus). Representing an investment of more than $100,000, the expansive collection was coveted throughout the nation and attracted widespread offers for its purchase. Plenty of national publicity followed – newspapers, television shows and radio broadcasts – but Shempp wanted the trains to be enjoyed locally. He remained very active, conducting tours two to three times a week and offering private and group showings to interested WACC students. As an appreciative way of giving back to Shempp, who contributed his life’s passion to his community, students nominated and named him Landlord of the Year in 1980. Check out the full story in the Sept. 4, 1984, edition of Spotlight (available through Madigan Library’s online archives). The collection gave rise to a holiday tradition: The Toy Train Expo, which now bears the name of its late founder Will Huffman. This year’s expo, the 23rd annual, will take place Nov. 23-24 at Park Place, 800 W. Fourth St.

Centennial General Information
09.11.2013

1985 Spotlight – Musings on Music

John Lennon
John Lennon

The debate on the role music has in society has been argued over the decades. Spotlight staff writer Anne Moratelli expressed her thoughts on the topic in a Sept. 24, 1984, issue of the Williamsport Area Community College student newspaper: “Considering the wide variety of music in existence, many of us probably couldn’t choose one particular type as a favorite. The reason for this is that there is so much versatility in many of today’s performers. Many bands are resurrecting the old favorites and giving them a new type of recognition. Music plays an important role in the lives of people today and indeed reflects a mood and gets a message across. Today’s music involves a superb combination of creativity and emotion, sounds that appeal to the audiences, and collaborations created from the mixing of old and new music. Music is important to people in today’s society because expression of feelings and ideas are essential.” Twenty-eight years later, Moratelli’s opinion describes today’s music to a T. Every genre of music evolves with time, yet stays rooted as an outlet for creative expression by anyone. The accompanying drawing of the late John Lennon was done by advertising art major Tom Tedesco for a March 1985 Supersound publication, a supplement to Spotlight that focused on a number of that year’s favorite performers: The Clash, AC/DC, Bob Seger, Heart and Pat Benetar, among them. Online copies of Spotlight and Montage, the WACC yearbook, are available through Madigan Library’s Archives and Special Collections; watch the PCToday calendar for musical events and other scheduled entertainment on campus and at the Community Arts Center (such as the Downtown Billtown Music Festival below).

Centennial
07.21.2013

1974 Spotlight – A Fiscal Helping Hand

Attendees at a campuswide Open House get their questions answered in the Financial Aid Office.
Attendees at a campuswide Open House get their questions answered in the Financial Aid Office.

College can be stressful – not just mentally, but financially. Penn College’s Financial Aid Office offers resourceful and beneficial services to students and parents to help alleviate that stress, and the thought of being without such accommodations would make modern-day enrollees cringe. Not 40 years ago, however, financial aid on campus was in its relative infancy. The Oct. 1, 1974, issue of Spotlight, the student newspaper of Williamsport Area Community College, carried a front-page story that a financial aid director and counselor were available in Klump Academic Center to help students meet their college obligations. Many of the services available then remain familiar today: federal and Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency grants, scholarships and work-study opportunities, among them. The latter program employed 85 students at the start of the Fall 1974 semester, working a weekly maximum of 20 hours each and earning $2.10 an hour. In addition, 25 applicants who met the 3.3 GPA eligibility requirement were each awarded a $100 WACC scholarship under a program begun the previous year. Though the services offered have evolved with time – the Penn College Foundation today administers more than 200 scholarship funds, and approximately $88.2 million in financial aid was awarded to more than three-quarters of all Penn College students in 2011-12 – it is safe to say the student body as a whole is grateful for campus Financial Aid professionals.

Centennial
06.25.2013

1974 Spotlight – Collective Renown

Interesting attractions nothing new for Penn College library
Interesting attractions nothing new for Penn College library
A fiber work, "Triangulate #5," by artist Jackie Thomas is part of the "Art Alive!" exhibit
A fiber work, “Triangulate #5,” by artist Jackie Thomas is part of the “Art Alive!” exhibit

The Madigan Library offers an array of visual displays throughout the year, both in the library itself and in The Gallery at Penn College on the third floor. This is no new ritual, as the college has been doing so since the Williamsport Area Community College days dating back to the ’60s. A notable presentation, afforded coverage in the Nov. 15, 1974, issue of the Spotlight student newspaper, was titled “The Collectables”: assorted collectible items from local donors. It covered a wide range of interests, showcasing antique purses, buttons and (long before Wildcat Comic Con) comic books. The Gallery’s current display is “Art Alive!” – pieces in a variety of media, created by regional artists.  A Viewer’s Choice prize will be awarded at the conclusion of the exhibit. Voting is open until June 28, so be sure to check it out!

Centennial
06.10.2013

1969 Spotlight – Student Lets Hair Down in Letter to Advice Column

March 21, 1969, Spotlight, page 3
March 21, 1969, Spotlight, page 3

Mullets to mohawks, box cuts to braids. Whatever your hairstyle (or style in general), society has a way of passing judgment … and even parents can find ways to disapprove of your self-expression. In the “Dear Agnes” column of the March 21, 1969, Spotlight newspaper, a frustrated Williamsport Area Community College student named Harry Brown humorously shared the woes of having long hair at a time when it was viewed as improper for men. Every time Harry would make the 220- mile trip home to Pittsburgh, he was greeted by parents who questioned him about a haircut. His mother was embarrassed by his long coif after an encounter with a grocery clerk, who told her, echoing a song of the mid-’60s, “Mrs. Brown, you’ve got a lovely daughter.” Harry’s father would spell his son’s name as “Hairy” to poke fun at his appearance. Finding the bright side, even in irritation, Harry joked about the disadvantages and advantages of having long hair: describing how it got twirled around his fork while eating spaghetti, how it became a convenient pillow for uncomfortable chairs, and how he had to tuck it in his pocket or belt while dancing. Check out the full story at the Madigan Library’s online newspaper archive and see the columnist’s witty response to Harry’s dilemma.

Centennial
05.30.2013

1969 Spotlight – Past as Prologue

John Strawbridge, left, with James Bressler, dean of applied arts at WACC
John Strawbridge, left, with James Bressler, dean of applied arts at WACC

With spring commencement just past, new alumni are putting their degrees to work, and, someday, will have successes to share with Penn College students working toward careers of their own. The March 21, 1969, Spotlight student newspaper published one such story about a graduate contributing to education through art in the Williamsport area and the state capital. When John Strawbridge earned an associate degree in architectural technology from Williamsport Area Community College, Penn College’s immediate predecessor, there was a boom in museum construction and the concept of regional museums to present historical art to local communities. Strawbridge, hired by the Lycoming County Historical Society as an exhibit designer, was assigned to create Native American exhibits that focused on prehistory. He also served as a part-time assistant at the William Penn Memorial Museum, as well as the State Museum of Pennsylvania, in Harrisburg. “WACC’s reputation throughout the country is good,” he said, proud of his alma mater’s down-to-earth vocational instruction. “And I’d recommend the college to anyone who wants a practical education.” Strawbridge went on to an illustrious career in museum curation and wildlife art, one of many alumni who embody the college’s motto of “degrees that work.”

Alumni Architecture & Sustainable Design Centennial Construction & Design Technologies
04.24.2013

1969 Spotlight – A Tradition of Giving

1969: WACC students and faculty/staff line up for blood drive
1969: WACC students and faculty/staff line up for blood drive

The latest Red Cross Bloodmobile at Penn College collected 229 units over two days, a gratifying amount that still did not top the 320 pints donated by Williamsport Area Community College students and employees on March 5, 1969. As reported in the Spotlight campus newspaper, an open challenge to students was initiated by the Service and Operation of Heavy Construction Equipment organization, along with posters advertising the Bloodmobile. Nearly 400 students and faculty responded to the challenge, and, while 53 were rejected as donors,  the principle behind the effort remained. WACC united for a cause in the Student Government-sponsored blood drive, surpassing expectations and topping the Lycoming County record by 13 pints. “This should demonstrate to us that much can be accomplished in our society if we care enough to direct our efforts to the good things we believe in,” college President Kenneth E. Carl wrote in a published letter to students. “I’m confident that society will benefit from the contributions that you will make in the future.”

Alumni Centennial
03.19.2013

1969 Spotlight – Nostalgia, by Definition

1969 Spotlight crossword
1969 Spotlight crossword

Spotlight, the longtime student newspaper of Penn College predecessor Williamsport Area Community College, ran this crossword puzzle on April 18, 1969. How many clues can you answer? Hint: You can view old issues of Spotlight online by visiting the Madigan Library’s Archives and Special Collections. The crossword is also published in the Spring 2013 print issue of One College Avenue magazine, scheduled to be mailed this week. Copy it, complete it and report your success by email!

Learn more about the Centennial →

Alumni Centennial
02.11.2013

1966 Spotlight – preHarmony.com?

COMETAD in operation
COMETAD in operation

Nearly 50 years ago, before the Internet removed much of the awkward mystery from blind dating, four computer science students at Williamsport Area Community College devised an electronic method for ascertaining potential partners’ compatibility. As reported in the March 30, 1966, edition of the Spotlight student newspaper, COMETAD (which presumably combined a computer prefix with the reverse spelling of “date”) converted applicants’ personality questionnaires onto punch cards that – for a minimal fee – could help like-minded people make a love connection. This romantic piece of college history, delivered just in time for Valentine’s Day, is among the nostalgic nuggets unearthed in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of Penn College and its forerunner institutions.

Learn more about the Centennial →

Alumni Centennial
01.14.2013

1980 Spotlight –Thoughts on a January Thaw

The recent taste of spring, a snowmelt respite before the return of more typically frigid days, provides a perfect occasion to share this Jan. 21, 1980, item from the Spotlight student newspaper – an evocative blend of poetry and photography that sums up the wondrous variety of Pennsylvania’s seasons. Its author, Mollie Eliot, graduated from Williamsport Area Community College that May with a degree in journalism. She is employed as a certified peer specialist by The Main Link, providing mental-health recovery services at drop-in centers in Towanda and Sayre.

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Alumni Centennial
12.12.2012

1950s Spotlight – Holiday Decorations Through the Years

Williamsport Technical Institute holiday decorations
Williamsport Technical Institute holiday decorations
The Penn College entrance dons its holiday best.
The Penn College entrance dons its holiday best.

Just as attention to quality education has remained an institutional hallmark for nearly a century, decorating the campus for the ho-ho-holidays has enjoyed its own continuity throughout history. In the archival photograph at far left, an illuminated Santa – his sack bursting with gifts for the Williamsport Technical Institute family – delivers “Season’s greetings” from a 1950s campus rooftop. In the adjacent photo, the main entrance to Penn College takes on the warm glow of bright lights and festive greenery.

Learn more about the college’s history →

Alumni Centennial
10.26.2012

Open House in the 1960s Spotlight

As Pennsylvania College of Technology continues its multiyear Countdown to the Centennial, PCToday helps share the institution’s remarkable story through the eyes and words of those who lived it. Follow the “Spotlight” logo in the coming months for a memory-filled look back to the days of Williamsport Area Community College, thanks to the campus newspaper that historically (and sometimes humorously) reflected the tenor of the times. As the campus prepares to welcome more than 1,100 prospective students who are registered for Open House on Sunday, we take a trip through The Spotlight for a look at Open Houses past.

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Alumni Centennial
10.12.2012

1975 Spotlight

Forestry Student Named to U.S. Advisory Council

Robbin SmithAs Pennsylvania College of Technology continues its multiyear Countdown to the Centennial, PCToday helps share the institution’s remarkable story through the eyes and words of those who lived it. Follow the “Spotlight” logo in the coming months for a memory-filled look back, thanks to the campus newspaper that historically (and sometimes humorously) reflected the tenor of the times. In this initial item, read a letter written by Robbin S. (Schreiner) Smith that details her experience at Williamsport Area Community College and what she is doing today. You can also read the original Spotlight story.

View WACC spotlight →

 

Alumni Centennial