Campus News Highlights 2011-12

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Out of This World

Students from Montgomery Elementary School look at a planet in a new way during a presentation by physics professor David S. Richards. Photo by Jennifer A. Cline.The traveling exhibit "Out of This World: The Landscapes of Our Solar System"drew the largest attendance to date to The Gallery at Penn College, a total of more than 1,200 people. The 41-piece exhibit by 12 internationally known space artists ran March 13-April 19. Six hundred of the visitors were elementary, middle and high school students from surrounding districts who, in addition to viewing the artwork, participated in a presentation by David S. Richards, Penn College physics professor.

Hollywood Comes to Penn College

On a campus crowded with characters both iconic and obscure, the Wildcat is enduringly popular. Photo by stueent Anthony P. LeVan Jr.The inaugural Wildcat Comic Con brought nearly 600 individuals from surrounding counties (and from out of state) to the Penn College campus. The two-day convention included talks by such Hollywood greats as actor Walter Koenig, who portrayed Lt. Pavel Chekov in "Star Trek"; Academy Award-winning character designer Tom Woodruff Jr., whose works were featured in such films as "Aliens"and "Spider-Man"; and actor, film producer and author Frank Beddor, who produced the hit movie "There’s Something About Mary."

Reaching Out

Electronics instructor Edward J. Almasy employs dice to explore statistical principles with science festival visitors. Photo by Whitnie-rae Mays.Five of Penn College’s academic schools were represented at a Math and Science Festival, sponsored by Technology Futures of North Central PA and held at the college Field House. The festival was geared toward elementary and middle school students, designed to develop their interests in hundreds of potential math- and science-related careers.

Digital Future

Campers pause during a hands-on workshop at the 'Designing a Digital Future' career camp. Photo by Tom Wilson.During a two-day stay on campus, 30 high school students taking part in the college’s first "Designing a Digital Future"career camp created a fully functional video game and designed Web pages and mobile apps using lessons gained from faculty in the college’s School of Business and Computer Technologies. Downtime featured dodgeball and video-game tournaments.

New Academic Majors Approved for Fall 2012

Software Development and Information Management: Focused on programming and application-development skills and with additional focus on system development, databases and Web development, the degree prepares students for careers in programming, software application development, database design and administration, data-driven Web application development, Web and mobile programming, programming analysis, and system analysis.

A 1937 Packard was temporarily loaned to the college in Spring 2012, demonstrating the caliber of classic car that might come through the automotive restoration major. Photo by Michael S. Fischer.Automotive Restoration Technology: Students will practice their skills on vehicles built between 1900 and 1975 – including those from world-renowned museum collections such as the Antique Automobile Club of America Museum in Hershey. This will allow students to learn the techniques and workmanship sought after by the most discriminating collectors and museums.

New minors were approved in criminal justice and human resource management.

Renovations Add to Hands-On Experiences

A mock courtroom adds to the experience of paralegal students. Photo by Larry D. Kauffman.Two new computing labs (Web and Interactive Media and Financial Markets Investment), a boardroom/classroom, a paralegal classroom/mock courtroom, and a flexible classroom space in the Breuder Advanced Technology and Health Sciences Center were completed, dedicated and put into full use by students in the School of Business and Computer Technologies.

Programs Recognized

A new Web and Interactive Media Laboratory is put into use. Photo by Larry D. Kauffman.Penn College majors received accreditation, reaccreditation, continued accreditation or recertification from:

  • Commission on Accreditation of Health Information and Informatics Management Education
  • Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs
  • Partnership for AirĀ­-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Accreditation
  • American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation
  • Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education
  • Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant Inc.
  • National Strength and Conditioning Association
  • American Design Drafting Association
  • Council for Standards in Human Service Education
  • National Automotive Technician’s Education Foundation

Alumni Give Time

Class of 2011 construction management alumnus Lee D. Michels returns to welcome visitors to the college’s Spring 2012 Open House. Photo by Cindy Davis Meixel.Seventy-four alumni returned to Penn College during 2011-12 to volunteer their time speaking in classrooms, helping first-year students move in, sharing their knowledge with prospective students during Open House and offering their expertise during an Etiquette Dinner for graduating students.

Industry: We Need More Qualified Employees

J.D. Mather, assistant professor of drafting and computer-aided design, discusses rapid prototyping with educators and industry representatives during Haas Automation’s Pennsylvania Haas Technical Education Center CNC Technology Training Conference. Photo by Whitnie-rae Mays.When distributors for the largest machine tool builder in the United States gathered at Penn College for a Haas Technical Education Center CNC Technology Training Conference, the issue on their minds was the challenge of finding qualified employees to help revitalize U.S. manufacturing.

This was shown to be especially crucial on a state level when a recent study, shared at the conference by Lauren Bryson, statewide Industrial Resource Center Network director, showed that Pennsylvania manufacturing jobs are going unfilled because employers cannot find workers with the necessary skills to support industry needs.

More than 100 educators and industry representatives attended hands-on training during the event, co-sponsored by the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh Haas Factory Outlets, and toured Penn College labs where the skills the industry seeks are taught. The college is a Haas Technical Education Center.

Other corporate partnerships resulted in a $5,000 annual scholarship and summer internships for current students by Republic Services, expanded recruitment by John Deere, and the establishment of a building-to-endowed scholarship and loan of vehicles from the Rolls-Royce Foundation.

Health Services Expands

Student Adam S. Feather receives attention from nurse Teri L. Newcomer in the renovated College Health Services. Photo by Larry D. Kauffman.Nearly 8,000 employees and students used College Health Services in 2011-12. In November 2011, the department extended its scope to offer comprehensive services for all employees and students at the college. Renovations were completed in January 2012.

Students Serve

A youngster at Campbell Street Community Center tries to out muscle students Darren S. Kanagy (left) and Brandt D. Hey. Photo by Matthew C. Helf.A Students sponsored a Fall Community Fair at Campbell Street Community Center in Williamsport. The event is among a long list of community outreach efforts by students in 2011-12, ranging from legal-services clinics by paralegal students (in conjunction with North Penn Legal Services); building and landscaping projects at local churches, Little League fields, parks and other community venues; to meals for the less fortunate; and service at health fairs and flu clinics.

High-Tech High-Schoolers Visit

Opening ceremonies precede a day of robotic competition in the Field House. Photo by Scott D. Neuhard.Faculty, staff and students from the School of Industrial and Engineering Technologies – with additional support from departments across campus – hosted more than 350 high school students during the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Tech Challenge State Robotics Championship in the Field House on Feb. 25. The college’s academic programs and facilities dovetailed with the incredible display of teamwork, ingenuity and knowledge throughout the day, from which qualifying teams advanced to national competition in St. Louis.