2008-09 News

Web Extras written by Renee Alexander, mass communications student intern.

Penn College and the Penn College Education Association, representing full-time teaching faculty, librarians and counselors, extended an employment agreement through 2011-12. The fourth extension for a contract approved in 2000, it calls for 4-percent annual increases for the salary system pool in 2009-10 and 2010-11 and a 4.5-percent increase in 2011-12.

Twenty high school juniors and seniors with disabilities participated in a one-credit, eight-week course Promoting Academic Success. The course, supported by a five-year, $2.5 million Office of Vocational Rehabilitation grant, helped students make career decisions and discover what it takes to be successful in college. Six students applied to Penn College as a result of the program, which was continued for Fall 2009.

Career Gear clothes closetCareer Gear clothes closet of professional dress clothing was established to help students make positive first impressions when interviewing for employment. Donations, made to the clothes closet by faculty and staff, were valued at more than $10,000. More than 50 students accessed the free clothing to help them feel empowered to put their best image forward in those crucial job interviews. Read previous One College Avenue about this event.

Clothing Donations Needed

Career Gear clothes closet is a free service for Penn College students who are looking for professional clothing or accessories. This year, approximately 100 students came to the closet to find attire for the Penn College Career Fair. Not only does the closet help students get ready for the Career Fair, but it also helps them prepare for internships and interviews. If a student is in need of professional clothing, by visiting the closet they can receive as much clothing they need for free. They are able to keep the clothing or donate it back after using it.

The Career Gear closet survives solely from donations. Dana Suter, job location and development coordinator and founder of the Career Gear closet, started by e-mailing faculty and staff to solicit donations. After finding out the closet was going to be a success, she reached out to the merchants in the local community. Before she knew it, the closet was growing, and donations are still piling in.

To find out more information about the Career Gear clothes closet or to make donations, contact Dana Suter.

Penn College Career Hub

Penn College Career Hub enhanced opportunities for students and potential employers to connect online. Employers post job openings on the website, which provides powerful programmable search tools to make it easy and convenient for students to find information on a wide variety of openings in their fields of interest. Career Hub website

Penn College Career Hub

The online Career Hub helps Pennsylvania College of Technology students and alumni connect with employers who are looking to hire Penn College students or graduates. The Career Hub attracts employers looking for interns, as well as full and part-time employees.; By creating a profile, a student or graduate can submit a resume and search for local, national, and international openings in their field of interest.

For students, getting connected to the Career Hub is easy; simply logging on to the Website with their student e-mails and network passwords can get them started. Alumni can get started by contacting Alumni Relations or by calling
1-877-PCT-ALUM

The online profile collects basic information that employers need, such as details about academics and employment history, as well as contact information.

The Career Hub provides an online search of employers and job opportunities; it also provides information on employer events and allows interested students and graduates to RSVP to attend. Video tutorials are provided to help users understand the Website.

Penn College Career Hub is free to all students and alumni, who are urged to use this helpful tool to get started in the search for employment opportunities.

Penn College was invited, based on an excellent claims record, to enter into a three-year risk-management plan that results in a three-year fixed rate for liability insurance. United Educators offers the plan, focused on contracts and contractual transfer of liability, as part of a risk reduction program.

Contributions to the Annual Fund were up 7 percent over the previous year, fueled by a significant increase in donations from employees. The fund received 862 gifts and pledges totaling $131,350, including 480 contributions, totaling $81,669, from Penn College employees. The number of employee contributions increased 18 percent, and the total value of employee gifts increased 15 percent over the previous year.

Student-alumni outreach phone-a-thons conducted by Student Ambassadors raised $7,000 in gifts and pledges.

Student Government AssociationThe Student Government Association collected donations of more than $4,500 to support the Student Leader Legacy Scholarship Fund. More than $3,000 was earned through a silent auction; other fundraisers included a “Feed the Pig” piggy bank drive, Homecoming car show, and baking and pastry arts sale. The fund provides an annual award, while building toward a permanent endowment. Justin A. Ball, business administration, earned the award in 2008-09. Read more about this event.

A campus wellness program, including oncampus screenings, Wellness Fair, discounts for employees to fitness services and an on-campus walking program, received enthusiastic support from employees. In addition to spearheading the wellness program, Human Resources officials were able to negotiate a new benefits contract that minimized cost increases and, in some cases, reduced overall costs. Employees have shared the cost of health-insurance premiums with the college since 2006.

In the Community

Getting Involved

Do you want to get involved with the local community but aren’t sure how? It is hard to get involved if you don’t know where to look. Several non-profit organizations in the area, that were part of a public service announcement campaign assignment for mass media communication students, are looking for students to volunteer.

The Greater Lycoming Habitat For Humanity is a volunteer- driven organization. People are always welcome to volunteer to build houses for families in need. No experience is needed to volunteer and there is a great joy in volunteering. You may volunteer as an individual or in a group.

The American Red Cross is another one of local the non-profits looking for volunteers or donors. By donating your time or blood you are giving back to the community. To become a volunteer at the American Red Cross you must fill out a volunteer application. The American Red Cross puts on a number of events to raise money for the organization.

Girls on the Run, is a life-changing, non-profit, prevention program for girls in third through eighth grades. If you want to help raise a little girl's self confidence, this is the place to volunteer. This organization wants girls to grow up loving themselves for who they are, while learning about the healthy ways of living. There are several ways you could help this program: being a coach, becoming a volunteer, sponsoring scholarships, or donating healthy snacks.

The Center is located close to the Penn College campus and has volunteer programs that would help you get involved with the local youth. Adult educational programs are available, along with recreational programs. Get involved in a student’s life with the after-school programs. Help a child with their homework, or tutor them on a subject that is difficult for them. Artistic programs also are now available to help the youth grow.

You can get more information about volunteering for these programs by visiting their websites.

Community service is an integral part of campus life and a great benefit to local residents. By sharing their knowledge and experience outside the classroom and workplace, students often find the inspiration to commit to a lifetime of active volunteerism and service.

Little League World Series – Paramedic studentLittle League World Series – Paramedic students (working with Susquehanna Health/ Susquehanna Regional EMS) and physician assistant students provided medical services to spectators, players and coaches at this international hometown event. Read more about this event.

Extreme Makeover: Home EditionExtreme Makeover: Home Edition – Students had the unique opportunity to share their construction-related skills as part of the popular television series, which builds homes for deserving families. The students traveled to Franklin County to help build a home at the invitation of Dan Ryan Builders, a company that employs a number of Penn College graduates and interns. Read the One College Avenue article about this event.

Habitat for HumanityHabitat for Humanity – Working with Greater Lycoming Habitat for Humanity in Williamsport, students developed drawings for a new home project on Memorial Avenue; installed wiring, framing, insulation, roofing and siding on a Mahaffey Street home; and did concrete work on three other homes. In addition, students in the School of Hospitality raised $1,600 for the organization through an annual House for a Home auction of chocolate houses.

Radio and television public-service announcements, training videos and documentaries were created by mass media students for local nonprofit organizations, including Habitat for Humanity, the North Central Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Red Cross, Girls on the Run and The Center.

Penn College launched its social-networking presence in January 2009. Facebook

Sealant SaturdaySealant Saturday – Attracting the largest turnout in the state, dental hygiene students and alumni completed exams and fluoride treatments on 65 children and placed 322 sealants in this one-day event. Read more about this event.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance – VITA student volunteers, collaborating with the Salvation Army, completed and/or e-filed 375 federal, 380 state and 350 local earned-income tax returns – a 24 percent increase in service from the previous year. Read more about this event.

Residence Life and General Services coordinated and promoted Penn College’s entry into the national Recyclemania competition. This year, the campus recycled 7.47 pounds of recyclables per capita (based on a full-time equivalent value of 7,034 students, faculty and staff), an increase over last year’s 6.53 pounds of recyclables per capita.

Governor’s Awards / Pennsylvania Council on the Arts – School of Hospitality students prepared a pre-awards reception at the Community Arts Center for the annual statewide cultural celebration, which was hosted in Williamsport in 2008.

Let’s Can Hunger – Students in Free Enterprise partnered with the City of Williamsport in this national project, collecting and donating more than 8,000 pounds of items to northcentral Pennsylvania food banks. Read more about this event.

State Health Improvement Plan/Lycoming County Health Improvement Coalition – Nursing, paramedic and physician assistant students volunteered for a three-day initiative, staffing free flu clinics, which provided 571 flu and 61 pneumonia vaccinations to local residents. Clinics were held at fire halls and community centers in Hughesville, Muncy, Montgomery, Williamsport, Hepburnville, Jersey Shore and Waterville.

Local construction projects – Students erected a sign and memorial, including brick work, a flag pole and a brass bell at the Woodward Township Volunteer Fire Co.; moved bleachers to provide a self-draining pad at the West End Baseball Association field; poured and finished decorative concrete at the Original Little League, the Clinton County Recreation Authority and the West End Babe Ruth Little League; installed a stone retaining wall, fencing and sidewalk at a New Tribes Mission building; and designed plans for a new Community Dog Park in South Williamsport.

Culinary/hospitality students presented a brunch/tea event to support the American Rescue Workers, Men’s Center.

Members of the American Welding Society student chapter designed, built and repaired steps for the holiday Polar Express Railroad event.

Plastics students thermoformed lenses for Pullman car lights for River Valley Transit.

IEEE (formerly the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) student chapter members assisted with a memorial benefit that included a covered-bridge tour through Northumberland, Union and Montour counties to support the catastrophic loss fund of the American Red Cross of Upper Northumberland County.

Graphic design students worked with area businesses, creating corporate identity materials, including logos, letterhead, advertisements and brochures.

Applied human services students organized events to support area children and youth as part of their capstone projects. Jodie L. Kilmer organized art classes for children assisted by Court Appointed Special Advocates of Lycoming County. Julie A. Bair organized a conference for teen parents and pregnant teens in the Education Leading to Employment and Career Training program in Lycoming County high schools.

Horticulture students researched plants and gardening techniques for a Lycoming County Historical Society presentation at Durrwacther House Women’s Museum and planted trees at the South Williamsport Area Recreation Park.

Forestry students constructed and placed goose and wood duck nesting structures on State Game Lands 252.

Students in the School of Transportation Technology were involved in the restoration of a PT-1 for the Piper Museum and a Berkley vehicle for Penn State’s Thomas Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute.

The Gallery at Penn College and the Children’s Learning Center offered a weeklong Artist in Residence experience for the children with Miguel Tio. Read more about this event.

Information Technology Services donated 130 computers no longer in use on campus to local nonprofit community-service organizations.

Penn College took a leadership role in countywide planning and training programs to prepare a public response to community health and pandemic concerns. Student Health Services hosted four North Central Taskforce Point of Dispensing Managers’ Conferences to consider how to effectively recruit volunteers, open and effectively manage a POD Unit. In addition, a Health and Safety Plan “North Pharm” Strategic National Stockpile Exercise, involving seven counties, was conducted on campus. Termed a “complete success,” the exercise engaged 35 management group members to ensure functional use of the POD, 128 volunteers to open up and efficiently run the POD, and an estimated 2,000 individuals to walk through and access the POD.

Twelve student organizations signed on for Operation Snowflake, a community-service program in which students shoveled walks for elderly members of the community during the winter months. Read more about this event.

Blood driveStudent Health Services continued to collaborate with the American Red Cross to help maintain regional blood supplies. Red Cross officials said college drives are among the most successful drives in Lycoming County. In four campus blood drives, 722 pints of blood were donated, providing blood products for 2,166 individuals in our region.

Environmental technology students performed water-quality testing on Mosquito Valley Creek.

Penn College PolicePenn College Police continued to collaborate with municipal and state police, as well as the Lycoming County DUI Task Force, the Attorney General’s Office Drug Task Force, the Lycoming County Hostage Negotiation Team and the North Central Terrorism Task Force, to provide service to local residents. U.S. Marshal David Reagan, Middle District of Pennsylvania, recognized Officer Eric Spiegel for his work with the U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force. Police also assisted with security for the Little League World Series and collaborated with several on-campus departments, Susquehanna Health, the City of Williamsport Bureaus of Fire and Police, the State Fire Commissioner’s Office and the Lycoming County Department of Public Safety to conduct a tabletop-exercise scenario of a train derailment on campus in order to test the college’s Emergency Response Plan.

e2Campus emergency notification system was introduced by Information Technology Services to provide information via a wide variety of communication mechanisms including e-mail, website and text messaging.

BannerPresentation of a banner signed by Penn College students and alumni serving in Afghanistan highlighted an April 2009 reception honoring veterans. The college also hosted a Post 9/11 GI Bill Chapter 33 information session and offered quarterly e-mail correspondence with current information on benefits and support to student veterans.

Executive offices were moved to the third floor of the Student and Administrative Services Center. The move was made to accommodate the expansion of classrooms and faculty offices in the Hager Lifelong Education Center, as part of Stage X renovations, and to provide more convenient access to parking and services.

The Penn College NOW dual-enrollment program, now in its fifth year, served 163 students from 10 secondary schools. High school and career/ technical center students enrolled in Penn College NOW classes earned a total of 662 credits that were applicable to six Penn College majors.

Modular classrooms were added to the center of campus to provide temporary instructional facilities for science classes during the completion of the Stage X building program in 2009-10.

Greek Life

Greek organizations established a governing body (the Inter-Greek Council), created a constitution, elected officers and developed their first programming in 2008-09.

Four fraternities – Chi Phi, Phi Mu Delta, Sigma Nu and Sigma Pi – with a total membership of 76 – were recognized in 2009. Two sororities – Alpha Sigma Alpha and Sigma Sigma Sigma – accepted an invitation to colonize and begin their recruitment process in Fall 2009. Read more about Greek Life.

Penn College Greek Life

Recently, one new fraternity and two sororities have been added to Greek Life at Penn College. Fraternities include Phi Mu Delta, Sigma Nu, Chi Phi and (the newest) Sigma Pi. The two sororities that have joined Penn College are Alpha Sigma Alpha and Sigma Sigma Sigma.

To become a part of these organizations, students must meet the criteria of the organization of interest in addition to Penn College requirements for maintaining a minimum GPA of 2.25 while being enrolled full time (a minimum of 12 credits). Each pledge also is required to follow the creed and value statements of their fraternity or sorority.

Erin Datteri, assistant director of student activities for Greek life and leadership, said, "This is a great opportunity to get involved. I work with them all the time, and the students are trying to do something well for campus. It is certainly challenging, but these organizations lead to student advantages and create a better college experience."

To learn more about each fraternity or sorority, visit the Penn College Greek Life website or contact Erin Datteri.

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