Words From the Class of 2011

During the dwindling days of the spring semester,
writer/photo editor Cindy Davis Meixel asked graduating seniors for their advice and memories, and they graciously answered questions about their favorite food, places, memories, teachers and advice; who got them to graduation day; and how their goals have changed – or stayed the same – during their college experience. Those in photos are not necessarily those quoted.

Dreibelbis makes her way to the Community Arts Center for May commencement ceremonies. Photo by Jennifer A. Cline.

Asked the best food and place to eat in Williamsport, Tessa M. Dreibelbis, a nursing graduate from Centre Hall, said: "I don't go out to eat because I'm a poor college student. I cook a lot at home. But, Bookmarks Cafe has great coffee! I drink a lot of it!"

Markle, left, of Hanover, received a degree in heating, ventilation and air conditioning technology and a certificate in plumbing. Crawford, right, received a degree in residential construction technology and management: building construction technology. Photo by Cindy Davis Meixel.

Asked who he has to thank most for getting him to graduation day, Brandon Markle said: "This guy (pointing to Jason M. Crawford). We were neighbors back home. He encouraged me to come here and kept me motivated for three years."

Pennypacker, right, celebrates after her commencement ceremony with friend Sarah Shott. Photo by Jennifer A. Cline.

"(When I was 12), I wanted to be one of the animal trainers at Sea World," said Jordan A. Pennypacker, of Birdsboro, who received a degree in applied health studies: physical fitness specialist concentration. "But now, I want to work at a weight-loss clinic."

Graduates of the construction management major pause during their procession to the Community Arts Center. Photo by Jennifer A. Cline

Asked the first thing he'll do after he graduates, Shawn Wesche, a residential construction technology and management student from Angelica, N.Y., said, "I'll probably go right back to work." Wade L. Hendrickson, a heating, ventilation & air conditioning technology graduate from Danville, had a more expected response: "I'm going to party at my house with all my friends!"

Carolyn R. Strickland, assistant vice president for academic services, helps Shott to fit her hood. Photo by Joseph S. Yoder.

Advice from Sarah R. Schott, information technology: web and applications development concentration: "Enjoy the time you have at college, because they're the best years of your life. I had heard that from a bunch of people who graduated ahead of me." Schott, of Tresckow, was among May commencement speakers.

Asked about an unforgettable moment, Christina L. Reichenbach, a nursing graduate from Williamsport, said: "Every Wednesday, during my first year of clinicals at Valley View (Nursing Center), there was this lady named Flo who would play an old ragtime piano and make six or seven of us students get up in front of all the residents and do the chicken dance. I'll always remember that."

Yajaira A. Lockhart, a graphic design graduate from Bethlehem, recalls some of the valuable advice she received: "Stay strong and always pray. My family told me that. They were my stability."


The Advanced Technology and Health Sciences Center is the favorite spot of Rachel Andrews, a nursing graduate from Hughesville. "I like to sit upstairs in the atrium." Jonathan Gialouris offered a different perspective: "Some place to eat! Probably Penn Central – I like the pizza there." Gialouris, of Stroudsburg, received a degree in heavy construction equipment technology: operator emphasis.

Amanda K. Fetter, a forest technology graduate from Stevens, shares a moment she hopes her classmates will forget: "Two weeks ago, we were out measuring trees, and we were walking down a steep hill, and I tripped over a log and rolled all the way down. The guys in my class were laughing so hard."

May graduates Corey A. Shank, construction management, and his fiancee Jaime R. Ackerman, business administration: human resources management, offer up a playful moment for a photographer friend with a street-level vantage. Photo by Tom Wilson.
A nursing alumna says it all with a joyful hug and kiss. Photo by Jennifer A. Cline.
Jesse Winckler, who received a bachelor's degree in information technology: network specialist concentration, savors the moment with his niece Kaylin Joy Winckler, daughter of Jason T. Winckler, '06. Photo by Tom Wilson.
May graduates share a final photo-op as students. Photo by Tom Wilson.
Robert P. VanZile sizes up the experience with his son. Photo by Tom Wilson.
A member of the Class of 2011 shares the moment with family. Photo by Tom Wilson.

Amanda "Kelcie" Angstadt, baking and pastry arts, was asked what she wanted to be when she 12 years old, and what she wants to be now: "A pastry chef and a pastry chef! When I was little, I was watching a national pastry competition on TV, and I recognized that cooking and baking could be an art. It inspired me. I'd always baked in the kitchen with my mom, but I realized then that I could apply my creativity to it, as well."

"My Dad was my biggest help. He helped me with stressful emotional situations and paid for my tuition," said Lauren K. Harris, a hospitality management graduate from Mont Alto, as she cited who she has to thank for getting her to graduation day.

Tyler Walter, building science and sustainable design, talked about how he and his goals have changed during his college years: "Maturity. When I first came here, I enrolled in AT (architectural technology). I only wanted a two-year degree. But I loved it and continued on to four years. At some colleges, you have to commit to a four-year degree. But, here, you can do 2+2. That allowed me to mature and progress at my own pace. Now, I'm going to grad school at the University of Cincinnati. I just got accepted for their master's of architecture program. And I'm going to be an architect!" Walter hails from New Paris.

The Wildcat spends time with graduating students at a "Senior Send-Off" event in Penn's Inn. Photo by Cindy Davis Meixel.
Dental hygiene graduates acknowledge a friendly face as they enter the Community Arts Center. Photo by Joseph S. Yoder.
Graduating sisters and bandmates Erin M., center, and Valerie A. LaCerra, both receiving bachelor's degrees in applied human services, with their proud mom (and Penn College student) Angela H. Colley. The duo made an impact not only at the college but in the community, as well, with the founding of an annual music festival in Brandon Park. Photo by Tom Wilson.

Tiana J. Soles-Ahner's advice for freshmen: "Know where their classes are. Check it out first – and where the food points are in between classes, because that's important!" Soles-Ahner, of State College, received a degree in baking & pastry arts.

Asked something he'd like to do or see one last time before graduation, Timothy Betts, a plastics and polymer engineering technology graduate from Linden, said: "A large get together with all my friends from the Gamers' Guild. We'd eat food, play games and have a great time." Zachary T. Robey had a more humorous outlook: "One of our cops getting someone right at the entrance. And I'll be glad, 'cause it ain't me." Robey is a heating, ventilation & air conditioning technology graduate from Carlisle.

Daniel O. Gomes offered his favorite places to eat: "CC Commons – at night – there are more options. And, I like the pizza at Joe's Pizza, the hoagies at Hoby's Hoagies, and I like Rocco's, too." Gomes, of Bethlehem, received a degree in electronics and computer engineering technology.

Thomas D. Miller, who received a bachelor's degree in technology management, substitutes a "cap" from his associate degree in forest technology. Photo by Joseph S. Yoder.
Grads search out their names in commencement programs while waiting to enter the ceremony. Photo by Joseph S. Yoder.
A heartfelt moment. Photo by Tom Wilson.

Beth A. Meisenhelder, a graphic design graduate from Tolland, Conn., described her favorite spot on campus: "The ATHS Mac lab – that's where I spend all my time. It's like my home! The computers are big and nice. Other than that, I'd say the library – it's a beautiful building."

Andrew J. Levering sited a Penn College faculty member he will never forget: "Mr. (James) Temple. He was very helpful and a great guy." Levering, of Williamsport, earned a degree electrical technology.


Laura A. Ault, a nursing graduate from Williamsport, recalls a moment she will always remember: "When she (pointing to a fellow classmate) tackled me in class because I spit water on her. We laughed hysterically. We're still friends."

"Lisa Bock was one of my best teachers ... also Professor (Bahram) Golshan and Anita Girton, my adviser," said Robert T. Sulouff, of Northumberland, who received a degree in information technology: technical support technology. "Aaron Hale was also one of my favorites and Shawna (Shawnalee Miller) in Career Services. She was the secretary in TRIO and then worked in Academic Support (Services). She helped me out a lot, and we picked on each other – it was always fun."

May 2011 Commencement Videos

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