John Gisonna

  • Monroe, NY
  • Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning Design Technology

John knew a bachelor’s degree was the end-goal, and that Penn College was the destination. So, he researched and mapped out the transfer pathway that would allow him to accomplish just that.

John Gisonna

Q&A with John

Why did you decide to transfer to Penn College?

My whole plan from the beginning was to come to this school. I knew I wanted to work with my hands at a very early age. I didn’t want to be behind a desk forever. So, the plan was to come here. So, I had to get good grades at Delhi. My mom told me I had to get a minimum of 3.5. I actually graduated with a 3.47, which I was pretty proud of.

How were you aware of Penn College?

SUNY Delhi has an articulation agreement with Penn College. They pretty much accept anything C or better. My mom and I did a lot of homework on HVAC. This was one of the only schools throughout the whole country that offers a 4-year degree in HVAC. I think the only other one is in Michigan. And, I can’t go to Michigan. It’s too far. 3-½ hours is far enough.

Did you visit Penn College before you transferred here?

I actually visited Penn College before I went to Delhi. I visited again on my way to finishing Delhi. I did the whole Connections (student orientation) thing. That was a big help. That helped me find my roommates and everything.

Besides Connections, what helped you in your transfer process?

The best way to say it is: I was just who I was as a person. I was very friendly to everyone. I said hello. I did do a lot of the events at PC3 (start of semester event series). I did the games. We actually took second place in my building for Wildcat Wars. So that was fun. I have a little competitive edge. I had a good time with that., did as many events as I could, and met a lot of people. You just have to be true to who you are as a person.

What do you like about your professors or campus?

What’s not to like? The Penn College campus is beautiful. The buildings are beautiful. There are more places to eat. I really like CC Commons. It’s a great spot to meet people playing pool and everything. I probably eat there at least once a day. It’s good quality.

My teachers are really nice, really helpful. They helped me adjust.

What residence hall are you in?

I’m in Lancaster. It’s beautiful. I love my dorm. It’s a little more expensive, but it’s huge.

Do you feel Penn College is preparing you for your career?

I’m gaining more knowledge in the design aspect of my major and of HVAC in general. I never really thought ever of designing all the duct work and ventilation in a building this size. You’re using your brain, doing calculations. Everything is by the code and the code books. It’s definitely preparing me well. I’m looking forward to going to the Career Fairs. I have to get my resume set up. I’m not 100% there yet.

What would you recommend to new incoming transfer students?

You just need to put yourself out there more. Don’t be afraid of anything. Even if it has the slightest appeal to you, just go and do it. You never know who you’ll meet there. I work out every day in the gym, and I just met a kid from Newburgh, the town over from me in New Jersey. That was bizarre to me. I thought I was the only one from my area here.

How about the financial aid process or placement testing?

I didn’t have to do any placement testing because I had the agreement between SUNY Delhi and here, which was big for me. Essentially, all my credits transferred over, which was great. The financial aid process was somewhat easy. I filled out a bunch of scholarship applications and was awarded some.

What are you looking forward to about your future?

I’m looking forward to graduating with a bachelor’s degree. I can honestly say I never imagined myself with a bachelor’s degree. I’d love to own my own business one day. I’d love to design. I like doing stuff with my own hands, being able to figure something out or fix the problem, making someone else happy. I’m excited to work.