Academic School Highlights

Community Connections

Dental hygiene faculty Mary Jo Saxe and Rhonda Seebold designed an international dental hygiene course that included travel to Nicaragua in May with six dental hygiene (bachelor-degree completion) students to provide services to underserved populations

Accounting Professor Philip D. Landers led the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, which offers free tax help to low- to moderate-income people who cannot prepare their own tax returns. Certified volunteers, including accounting and paralegal students, received training to help prepare basic tax returns in the Williamsport community and also ran a one-day satellite operation at the North Campus. [press release]

School of Construction and Design Technologies student projects benefited community organizations, including Historic Bowan Field; the Children's Development Center of Lycoming County; and the East Lycoming, Muncy, Montoursville Area and Williamsport Area school districts, as well as churches and sports clubs. The students also completed campus renovations including replacing sidewalks, constructing storage areas and cabinets, replacing Penn's Inn lighting, and installing toolroom lighting.

Dental hygiene faculty Mary Jo Saxe and Rhonda Seebold designed an international dental hygiene course that included travel to Nicaragua in May with six dental hygiene (bachelor-degree completion) students to provide services to underserved populations.

School of Hospitality faculty and students raised $1,600 for Greater Lycoming Habitat for Humanity through the House for a Home Auction, featuring chocolate houses created by students.

Electronics and computer technology/fiber optics students worked with Workforce Development & Continuing Education to install 2,000 fiber optic connectors at Jersey Shore Steel.

Mass media communication students learned advanced digital editing producing videos for local, nonprofit organizations including the YWCA, the Salvation Army, the American Cancer Society, Hope Enterprises, the Consortium on Mentoring Training, Big Brothers Big Sisters and the West Branch Drug and Alcohol Abuse Commission.

Environmental technology students assessed storm water runoff for the Lycoming County Planning Commission and tested water quality on the Greater Nippenose Valley Watershed, White Deer Hole Creek, Mosquito Valley Creek, Miller Run and Grafius Run.

The Penn College Motor Sports Club coordinated a food drive for the Pennsylvania National Guard and a local food bank.

Business & Computer Technologies

Business & Computer Technologies

The Information Assurance Courseware Evaluation Program evaluated the college's revised information technology bachelor's degree concentration in security specialist; IACE validated and certified that Penn College courseware meets all of the elements of the Committee on National Security Systems National Training Standard for Information Systems Security Professionals, NSTISSI No. 4011.

Terry A. Girdon, business administration professor and department head, was re-elected chair of the Board of Commissioners of the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education specialized accrediting agency. [press release]

Irwin H. Siegel, business administration and business law professor, received a regional Excellence in Teaching award from the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs.

Jessica M. Kessler, legal assistant/paralegal studies, earned a 2007 American FFA Degree, presented by the National Future Farmers of America organization, dedicated to influencing students through education in specific areas of agriculture.

Two information technology students and Phi Beta Lambda chapter members earned high honors in the Awards of Excellence program at the 2007 National Leadership Conference in Chicago. Matthew P. Bower placed first in Visual Basic Programming and sixth in Database Design and Applications. Jason S. Aloise placed sixth in Computer Applications.

Construction & Design Technologies

Construction & Design Technologies

The HVAC Technology program was approved as a training center for certification under the National Oilheat Research Alliance, and faculty member Rick Taylor was approved as an exam proctor for the NORA exams. Penn College is one of the first colleges to receive this approval for certification testing.

HVAC technology students Clayton J. Bretz and Matthew P. Robinson received the $2,000 National Association of Oil Heating Service Managers' Scholarship.

Contractor magazine published, under the headline "Pennsylvania College of Technology grads talented," a letter written by HVAC Technology student DeShawn M. Alexander. [press release]

Donations to the school included HVAC controllers and equipment, valued at more than $53,000, donated by Johnson Controls, and 10 building automation control stations and server with software, valued at $82,000, donated by DVL Automation. Both gifts support the building automation technology program. [press release]

Construction Management Association students built a miniature house for a Habitat for Humanity fundraiser. [press release]

Construction technology students took first place in the two-year division of the postsecondary construction competition at the 2008 International Builders' Show in Orlando, Fla., and a team of six construction management students (voted Best Student Chapter), competed in the 2008 Associated Builders and Contractors international competition in Puerto Rico, placing first in essay, second in estimating, and third overall. [press release]

Construction technology team members placing first at the 2008 International Builders' Show were Bryan T. Hay, Bradford E. Ickes, Louis A. Rizzo III, Cory M. Mills and Wesley R. Hazelett. Four-year team members placing 13th were Thomas J. Wisse, George A. King, Matthew Divok, Phillip D. Hannah, Seth L. Culbert and Hilary J. Allegretto. [press release]

Construction Management team members at the 2008 Associated Builders and Contractors international competition were Ryan P. Becker, Courtney L. Shreiner, Katie E. Chearney, James P. Craft, Leonard C. Nicholas and Nicholas L. Fragello. [press release]

Health Sciences

Health Sciences

The School of Health Sciences received two important endorsements in 2007-08: nursing's continued accreditation by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission and reaccreditation of the paramedic program (associate degree in emergency medical services and certificate in paramedic technician) by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Bureau of Emergency Medical Services, as a Basic and Advanced Life Support Training Institute. [press release]

The fitness specialist program was recognized by the National Strength & Conditioning Association through its Educational Recognition Program. [press release]

Penn College's Student Nurse Association was presented with a statewide award for best website for a student nursing organization at the Student Nurse Association of Pennsylvania convention. [press release]

Kimberly M. Heffner, occupational therapy assistant, was awarded a $1,000 scholarship from the Pennsylvania Occupational Therapy Association.

Linda M. Barnes, occupational therapy associate professor, was awarded a Lloyd Bridges Scholarship from Cedam International. She will join a team exploring environmental habitats and performing field surveys in Akumal, Mexico, with the Reef Environmental Education Foundation.

Nursing faculty Jane J. Benedict, Linda L. Crayton and Pam B. Schappert received Certified Nurse Educator certification. [press release]

Dental hygiene students and faculty provided more than $10,000 worth of free care to 67 area children during "Sealant Saturday" at the Penn College Dental Hygiene Clinic. Students and faculty also provided free services to the public at the Lycoming Mall Life Center and free oral-health instruction to children at James V. Brown Library, the Williamsport Head Start Program and several local day-care and after-school programs. They also provided oral-hygiene training sessions for nursing and resident care staff at Center Crest Nursing Home, in Bellefonte, and Hope Enterprises and Sycamore Manor Nursing Home, both in Williamsport. [press release]

The Student Nurse Association collected winter outdoor clothing for the Salvation Army and Lycoming Children and Youth Services, conducted a "support our troops" drive and donated hygiene items and cash to Shepherd of the Streets Ministry.

Physician assistant students assisted with a Lycoming County Health Improvement Coalition project to conduct blood-pressure and glucose testing in the community. They also supported Toys for Tots and were Habitat for Humanity volunteers.

Approximately 60 paramedic and physician assistant students volunteered at the Little League World Series in August. [press release]



School of Hospitality students and faculty helped feed thousands of guests at the 2008 Kentucky Derby. They also teamed with the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce to serve the PA WILDS Conference, hosted a networking event to support the "buy fresh/buy local" campaign for farmers and buyers, assisted with a YWCA fundraising dinner and produced cooking demonstrations featured on in-store video networks in area Weis Markets. [press release]

The "Market" in the Hager Lifelong Education Center was developed for retail sales of items created in the baking and pastry arts program.

Le Jeune Chef Restaurant was one of 748 winners worldwide to receive the Best of Award of Excellence, an award given to restaurants that exceed requirements set forth by Wine Spectator magazine. The magazine noted Le Jeune Chef's strengths in offering California and French selections, as well as more than 630 wines at inexpensive prices.

Culinary Arts and Systems students Erin E. Brown and Mark R. Capellazzi were selected to represent the college at the 2008 National Restaurant Association's Salute to Excellence in Chicago. [press release]

Longtime general manager of Le Jeune Chef restaurant, Peter Hellermann, retired and was honored with a farewell dinner. Proceeds from the event were used to establish a scholarship in his name. Einar H. Sigurdsson took over management of the restaurant in September; he came to the position with 20 years of management experience, including in some of the nation's most high-profile clubs. [press release] [press release]

Industrial & Engineering Technologies

Industrial & Engineering Technologies

The welding department was named a regional partner in a National Science Foundation-funded WELD-Ed initiative, developed in conjunction with Lorraine County Community College (Ohio) to increase opportunities for training welding technicians.

The School of Industrial and Engineering Technologies received significant endorsements in 2007-08, including American Design Drafting Association accreditation for the computer aided drafting department, National Institute of Machining Standards accreditation for manufacturing majors, and Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Technology Accreditation Commission accreditation for plastics, civil engineering technology and surveying programs.

Renovations to the East Wing of the Breuder Advanced Technology and Health Sciences Center resulted in expanded facilities for the plastics and polymer technology department and the Plastics Manufacturing Center. Building on the success of the program's Rotational Molding Center and Plastics Manufacturing Center - both Centers of Excellence - the college also received a $75,000 investment from the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania to develop a Thermoforming Center of Excellence by assessing educational needs and forming relationship networks among companies and academic institutions in the industry. [press release]

Students Matthew D. Dalesio and Richard M. Peterson were finalists in the Quad College Business Plan Competition.

Penn College received the 2007-08 Outstanding Student Chapter Award from the Society of Professional Engineers. [press release]

Plastics and Polymer Engineering Technology student Jon P. Lazurus presented a paper, "The Effects of E-Beam Irradiation on the Melt Properties of PolyLactic Acid" at ANTEC 2008, a national plastics industry conference, in Milwaukee, Wis.

Penn College's student chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers hosted the 2008 IEEE Region 2 Student Activities Conference in April; 195 student members, advisers and administrators from 20 colleges and universities attended.

Kirk M. Cantor, plastics technology professor, served as co-chair of the Plastic Extrusion Asia 2008 Conference; he also presented a paper "Developing a Head Pressure Index" and presented seminars on blown-film extrusion while visiting Thailand and Southeast Asia.

Tim E. Weston, plastics technology assistant professor, presented "Sustainability:" and "Educational Alliances: The Pennsylvania State University and Pennsylvania College of Technology" at the first Pennsylvania Plastics Symposium.

Electronics faculty Karl Markowicz and Scott Neuhard achieved status as authorized OSHA General Industry Outreach Trainers, and Mark Rice received A+ and Network+ Certification.

Electronics faculty Jeffrey B. Weaver and Jeff L. Rankinen were recipients of Tyco Electronics AMP NETCONNECT Premises Cabling Systems Installation, Troubleshooting and Certification Instructor Training. Rankinen also coauthored the seventh edition of "Introduction to Engineering Technology," a textbook published by Prentice-Hall.

Donations to the school included six Allen-Bradley Contrologix PLCs and six Kinetix 6000 three-axis motion control systems, valued at more than $134,000. This equipment was donated by Schaedler Yesco Distribution to support the electronics and computer engineering technology majors. [press release]

Students in the Pennsylvania Society of Land Surveyors Student Chapter painted the basement vestibule at the Thomas Taber Museum and checked the alignment of bases at Brandon Park Little League Fields in Williamsport.

Integrated Studies

Integrated Studies

The School of Integrated Studies received two important accreditations during the year. Graphic communications management became one of only five programs nationwide to be accredited by the Accrediting Council for Collegiate Graphic Communications Inc. The Children's Learning Center, a facility that serves students in the early childhood education program, earned accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children. [press release]

Karen Woland Payne, director of the Children's Learning Center, was named 2008 Outstanding Early Educator by the Central Susquehanna Association for the Education of Young Children. She also joined Gov. Ed Rendell in making a public speech on the importance of early childhood intervention and education programs during a stop the governor made in the region to promote statewide funding for community agencies focused on children. The college's Children's Learning Center provides a real-life learning experience for students in the early childhood education program. [press release]

The Gallery at Penn College held nine diverse exhibits, as well as a showing of senior-level graphic design students' portfolios. Introduced during the year were the Penn College Proud Showcase, featuring artwork or collections of college employees, students or alumni, and the Current View Artist Series, sponsored by the media arts department to showcase contemporary artists. Artists featured in 2007-08 included:

  • Jason Godeke
  • Florence Putterman
  • Kim Banister
  • Chris Armstrong
  • David Armstrong
  • Maureen Drdak
  • Gary Mesa-Gaido
  • Brian D. Cohen
  • Fred T. Gilmour

Brian A. Flynn, graphic design assistant professor, was one of 10 artists - all others were from Europe - who participated by invitation in a woodcarving symposium and exhibition in Estonia. [press release]

Vinay Bahl, associate professor of sociology, contributed a chapter titled "Negotiating the Shifting Boundaries of Nativeness and Modernity in Immigrant South Asian Women's Clothes" in the recently published book "The Cultures of Economic Migration: International Perspectives." [press release]

Charles F. Kemnitz, communication and English associate professor, published a short story, "The Fifth Daughter," in New Stories from the Southwest. [press release]

David S. Richards, physics associate professor, received the Distinguished Service Award from the Central Pennsylvania Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers. [press release]

Natural Resources Management

Natural Resources Management

The Schneebeli Earth Science Center was featured in a national trade magazine, Conifer Quarterly, Winter 2007 edition; faculty member Carl J. Bower Jr. details the addition of a conifer garden to the facility's 5-acre arboretum. [press release]

The "Tribute to Knowledge" freestanding arch built by horticulture students was featured in the Building Stone Magazine, Summer 2007 Edition.

Penn College was certified as a Roadranger Academy training facility for Eaton commercial truck products, one of only three in Pennsylvania. [press release]

William P. Kilcoyne Jr., diesel equipment technology faculty, received Caterpillar Inc.'s annual "Pathfinder to Excellence" award in teaching. [press release]

Steven R. Parker, environmental technology faculty, received U.S. Department of Homeland Security certification as a master trainer in avian influenza response.

Donations to the school included a CAT D6K, valued at $200,000, donated by Caterpillar, and a Skid Steer MC80, donated by Volvo, valued at $28,500. Both gifts support the heavy construction equipment technology program. [press release]

Injecting Williamsport's Liberty Elm trees to protect them from disease was one of many projects conducted by students to enhance the area's natural beauty. Other projects, including some that involved high school and pre-school students, benefited Ways Garden, Brandon Park, Roosevelt Middle School, Williamsport Area High School and the Williamsport YMCA.

To help an area business "go green," landscape/horticulture technology and forest technology students launched a project with Construction Specialties Group to reduce the company's environmental impact and make their green space more employee-friendly.

Transportation Technology

Transportation Technology

The School of Transportation Technology received two important grants in 2007-08: renewal of the National Center Aircraft Technician Training grant and the Ford Excellence Fund grant. The school also received notification of the accreditation of the aviation maintenance technology majors by NCATT. [press release]

Eight aviation students received the Federal Aviation Administration's diamond award for continuing education; 23 aviation students tested the new Pennsylvania Aviation Mechanics Association/SAE certification - a pilot evaluation of student skills. As part of a senior capstone course, students also restored a Lycoming-owned aircraft, Archer. [press release]

William F. Stepp, aviation associate professor, earned Aircraft Electronics Technician and NCATT certifications and the FAA diamond award for continuing education.

Colin W. Williamson, dean of the School of Transportation Technology, was appointed to the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation Board of Trustees and was certified by the Society for College and University Planning.

Donations received by the school included two automobiles from American Honda Motor Co., valued at more than $45,000. [press release]

Aviation Education Day was attended by 160 students from eight schools. The Lumley Aviation Center also hosted an Inspection Authorization Renewal course for individuals needing FAA engine inspection authorization or updated training.


SkillsUSA competition tested the nation's best in 2007 and 2008, including Penn College's Carl F. Gravely, who placed second in the 2007 Industrial Motor Control contest, and Matthew W. Pfeiffer, who placed second in the 2007 Diesel Equipment Technology competition. Gold medal winners in the 2008 national qualifiers were: Sarah J. Dries, Food & Beverage; Matthew R. Ernst, Collision Repair Technology; Carl F. Gravely, Industrial Motor Control; Matthew D. Romanowski, Masonry; Westley A. Smith, Welding; and Neil F. Baughman, Aviation. Silver medal winners in 2008 were: David M. Huston, Automated Manufacturing Technology; Christopher J. Schaffer, Automated Manufacturing Technology; Michael A. Love, Automated Manufacturing Technology; James K. Hanjaras, Culinary Arts; Annie M. Kinney, Commercial Baking; and Nathan A. Ritter, Precision Machining. Bronze medal winners in 2008 were: Killian J. Bottorf, Technical Drafting; Matthew W. Ilgenfritz, Automotive Refinishing; Matthew J. Kwisnek, Diesel Equipment Technology; and Nicholas R. Rieber, Automotive Service Technology.

Academic School Highlights