Issue Fall 2015

Building the ‘New 15’

Maggie (Powers) Jackson, ’08, is project manager for a $669 million construction project that will result in a limited-access highway that stretches from the current freeway end on Route 15 north of Selinsgrove to the four-lane section of Route 147 south of Montandon.

The groundbreaking for a new bridge this fall will mark the first tangible progress on a highway construction plan that has been decades in the making. A 2008 alumna will oversee it.

Read 'Building the ‘New 15’'

Double Major

A student links the seemingly opposite disciplines of studio art and welding and fabrication engineering technology.

Read 'Double Major'

Bread Baking’s Best

Baking and pastry arts instructor Chef Charles R. Niedermyer, ’00, advances to the finals on a quest to join Team USA at Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie, bread baking’s "world cup."

Read 'Bread Baking’s Best'

Clean Water to Go

The expertise of a Penn College plastics graduate is facilitating access to clean water in rural India for women who no longer have to carry pots of water on their heads.

Read 'Clean Water to Go'

Unique & Chic

Personal expression is among this year’s Penn College wardrobe “must-haves.”

Read 'Unique & Chic'

Printed issue

Front cover. Cover photo by Larry D. Kauffman

Front cover: Maggie (Powers) Jackson, ’08, stands near PA Route 147 in Montandon, where the route transitions from a two-lane road to a four-lane divided highway. Eventually, a new roadway that bypasses a busy business district and winding, mountainous sections of Route 15 will connect here. Jackson is the project manager.

Fall 2015

Koda, the dog. Photo by Dalaney T. Vartenisian

Koda, a Leonberger with a heart to match his stature, joined other tail-wagging visitors in the Madigan Library for pre-finals, stress-relieving therapy in Spring 2015. The college regularly holds activities to ease test anxiety for its students, and visits by certified therapy dogs are a favorite way to "paws" before finals week.

Wyatt E. Fink ridiing Eli the camel. Photo by Caleb G. Schirmer.

Wyatt E. Fink, a culinary arts and systems student from Cogan Station, takes a spin on Eli the camel, a special visitor to campus to celebrate an April Fools’ “Hump” Day.

2014 Carnival. Photo by Larry D. Kauffman

Check the Homecoming Web page for up-to-date information and events, and registration.


NicheMechatronics Lab

Center for Business & Workforce Development, Room 148

Stocked with electric motor controls, industrial pumps and equipment for hydraulics, pneumatics and industrial process control, the Mechatronics Lab is a hive of activity as students use the specialized technology to test the theories they’ve learned in class. In addition to hosting mechatronics engineering technology courses, the room is used for automation classes in electronics and computer engineering technology majors, and for individual student projects. So what is mechatronics? It’s the setup and repair of all mechanical and electrical systems used in industry.

The Industrial Controls Training System teaches the techniques and theory of electric motor controllers. It includes “insertable faults” that test students’ ability to troubleshoot.

Thirteen types of industrial pumps, including vane, flexible impeller, progressive cavity, peristaltic and pneumatic diaphragm, are featured on the Pumps Training System.

A fixer-of-everything, Howard W. Troup, maintenance mechanic/millwright, teaches mechatronics classes, tends to the lab equipment and helps out in the welding, machining and plastics labs. At home, he restores classic cars; his current project is a 1970 Mustang.

Jacob M. Diorio was the first student to earn an associate degree in mechatronics engineering technology. Next, he’ll attain a Bachelor of Science in building automation technology.

With the Mechanical Training System, students prepare various setups using T-slotted extrusion bars on a universal steel base unit that includes a current meter and an electromagnetic clutch-brake.

Other equipment in this room’s industrial arsenal includes trainers in hydraulics, pneumatics, process control and industrial wiring.

Taking off to Mars! Matthew G. Cummings is packing his bachelor’s in electronics and computer engineering technology and moving to Topeka, Kansas, to work as a project engineer for Mars Chocolate North America. Here, the four-year member of the Wildcat archery team fine-tunes an inverted pendulum project.

“Controlling an entire, complex system from one simple touch screen is amazing to me,” said Thomas J. Koren, ’15, electronics and computer engineering technology: robotics and automation emphasis. When Koren was a child, his father noticed his knack for K'NEX projects and told him about enginnering. “This moment … was when I realized that I could get paid for what I did for fun. I pursue this path because I don’t simply want a job to make money, but I want a job that I’m excited to wake up to every morning.”

Charese M. Bova, ’15, electronics and computer engineering technology, is a fan of Tough Mudder obstacle races, which benefit Wounded Warrior Project. “It's really awesome when I see fellow military who’ve been wounded but are still up for the challenge to complete the mudder,” the Army reservist said. “My goal is to participate in a Tough Mudder in every state.”

Koren’s senior project, a computer-controlled conveyor system that sorts bottles, includes four pneumatic arms, 12 pneumatic pins and 10 belts. “For each belt, I can change the speed and direction and enable them separately, which has never been done before with this system,” he said. His human-machine interface “allows people with little electronics experience to have fun and take control of the system. It allows them to intuitively make changes by simply clicking on a graphic layout of the conveyor system on a computer screen.”

Can you identify anyone in the photo?

Vintage photograph

This Williamsport Technical Institute group proudly poses with a baseball trophy.

If you know anything about this photo, including who is in it or why it was taken, please contact Penn College Archives.

Letters to the Editor

Opening Imaginations

I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the article "Living Outside 'You'” in the Spring 2015 issue of One College Avenue that I just received today. I enjoyed reading about George W. Settle III's experiences working at the Home for Hope in Beirut. His time with the young people at the Home for Hope can make a lasting impression for years to come.

I was particularly drawn to the section where he was teaching some of the boys the basics of welding. Just this act alone can open up their imaginations as to being able to build or repair things themselves.

I also want to thank you for including the article and photos of my Peace Corps experience in Jamaica, W.I.

I believe the article says a lot about being able to share with the world what valuable skills one has to offer.

Richard S. Ashworth, ’67
Cobleskill, N.Y.

Conversations at

What a great overview of a wonderful educational establishment. I am proud to have been an active part of it from the North Campus during the transition from WACC to Penn College ... and beyond. I left the campus in 2000, but have been frequently involved as a noncredit instructor since then. Great school. Trying to get my grandson to go there!

Linda Williams, owner, Training Focus (commenting on “100 Moments in College History,” Winter 2014)

Outstanding review of 100 successful years. Congratulations on the anniversary.

Robin Van Auken, Williamsport, (commenting on “100 Moments in College History,” Winter 2014)

A great history and a very promising future. I was very proud to have been associated with Penn College for nine years and have fond memories of the faculty, staff and students there.

Ted Nichols, Pennsylvania Highlands Community College, (commenting on “100 Moments in College History,” Winter 2014)

About One College Avenue

One College Avenue, the college's magazine, is dedicated to sharing the educational development, goals, and achievements of Pennsylvania College of Technology students, alumni, faculty and staff with one another and with the greater community.

In addition to news articles and photographs, regular features of One College Avenue include:

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