25th Anniversary: We’ve Got It Covered

Celebrating the 25th anniversary of One College Avenue, we are taking a look back at a few of our earliest covers – and following up with our “cover models” to see what they are doing now.

Text and original cover photos (except for Summer ’99) by Cindy Davis Meixel, writer/photo editor.

Cover of first One College Avenue

Winter 1991-92: The three students on the first One College Avenue cover were randomly selected from those studying in the library (when the library was in the Lifelong Education Center). With a college jacket (at right) borrowed from The College Store (then called the Bookstore) and a snow-covered tree at the entrance of the LEC, the scene for the first One College Avenue cover was set!

Amy Bischof, ’92. Photo courtesy of Bischof.Amy (Rankinen) Bischof, ’92, architectural technology (left)

“The education I received at Penn College was outstanding. I loved the hands-on learning and was able to take those skills into different aspects of my life. It prepared me to move forward with confidence in my other career pursuits!”

Bischof went on to attain a bachelor’s degree in biology from Penn State and has enjoyed a career in the medical sales industry in Oregon and Ohio. Now residing in Cleveland, she’s devoting most of her time to raising her two sons.

Dayne “Andy” Lash ’92. Photo by Cindy Davis Meixel.Dayne “Andy” Lash, ’92, business management

“Penn College got me started on a long journey that hasn’t ended.”

Lash went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in business and finance from Susquehanna University and worked in accounting and finance, traveling to the Virgin Islands and Japan as well as numerous U.S. states. Lash returned to Penn College for its Fall 2014 Open House to explore more of his academic options, but for now, he is focusing his energies on his 6-year-old son and his ailing father, who lives with his family in Selinsgrove.

Megan Brightbill, ’93. Photo courtesy of Brightbill.Megan (Miller) Brightbill, ’93, dental hygiene, and ’01, dental hygiene: health policy & administration concentration (right)

“My dental hygiene education from Penn College prepared me well for all of the positions I have held in the field. … I still rely on my colleagues at Penn College and occasionally get to interact with some of my previous professors. At Penn College, I didn’t just learn how to be a dental hygienist. I learned what it means to be a hard worker, an empathetic listener and a client advocate. I may not have always appreciated it then, but I can definitely say I am grateful to all of the people I interacted with while I was in school, and the career path my education has led me along has been very rewarding.”

Brightbill earned her Master of Education in health education from Penn State and is the dental hygiene program director and an assistant professor at HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College. She has been married for 21 years to a fellow Penn College grad – Robert A. Brightbill, ’92, building construction technology, who teaches building construction technology at Dauphin County Technical School in Harrisburg.

Fall 1993 Cover

Fall 1993: The Fall 1993 cover celebrated the opening of the Alvin C. Bush Campus Center, a hub for student life as the college continued to evolve from a commuter campus to a residential college campus. Our cover model stood in an open lawn that would later see the construction of the Victorian House.

Nina Jett, ’92, right, with her daughter Yazmin. Photo courtesy of Jett.Nina (Harrell) Jett, ’92, human services

“I’ve been at Milton Hershey School for 19 years as a behavioral support specialist. I’m living my dream job here at MHS. I get to be a part of developing and encouraging our future leaders, teachers, parents, presidents, business owners, etc., on a daily basis. I love working with students from all walks of life.

“I am over-the-top grateful for my time at Penn College. It was my foundation for building a better life for my daughter and I, and generations to come. While at Penn College, I learned to ask for help and to accept help when needed, which continued to aid me as I pursued a Bachelor of Science from Penn State in applied behavioral science (1997), and a master’s degree from Shippensburg in secondary education counseling (2010).”

Jett is seen here with her daughter Yazmin E. Strauss, ’09, mass media communication, who studied in the business administration: marketing concentration at Penn College through 2014. Yazmin works at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

 

“I am over-the-top grateful for my time at Penn College.”

 

Winter 1994-95 Cover

Winter 1994-95: The Winter 1994-95 cover story focused on an inventory of 110 miles of Williamsport’s city streets, a project that gave Penn College students hands-on exposure in managing urban forests. The cover photo was taken in Brandon Park.

Maureen A. Beckert, ’94. Photo courtesy of Beckert.Maureen A. Beckert, ’94, landscape/nursery technology

“I remember that day of the picture vividly! ... I have wonderful memories of my Penn College days and am still great friends with many people I met there. My years there were one of the happiest times of my life; I enjoyed my classes, meeting new people and being in the surrounding countryside. Williamsport is the area I continue to go to when I want to relax and gather my fragments, so to speak. I was just on campus this summer and was happily surprised at all the beautiful changes to campus. Lots has changed since my graduation!”

Beckert continues to work in the horticulture field, with job roles including estate gardener, crew leader and on-site supervisor. She resides with her family in Mechanicsburg.

 

“My years there were
one of the happiest times of my life.”

 

Fall 1997 Cover

Fall 1997: The Fall 1997 issue took a look at the year-old student ambassador program, profiling two members and featuring quotes from their leader, the late Chester “Chet” D. Schuman, then director of admissions.

Thomas M. Van Horn, ’97. Photo courtesy of Van Horn.Thomas M. Van Horn, ’97, electronics technology: engineering technology emphasis, and ’00, graphic design

“The years I spent as a student, as an RA, and as one of Chet’s student ambassadors helped create a foundation on which I could build a great career, and I will always be thankful for the education I received at Penn College.”

Van Horn leads the Creative Innovations Lab for PricewaterhouseCoopers and lives in St. Petersburg, Florida. He began working with the company 13 years ago as a graphic designer.

Gemma Bruner, ’99. Photo courtesy of Bruner.Gemma (Hostetter) Bruner, ’99, dental hygiene

“I worked as a dental hygienist for eight years after college and spent some time doing preschool programs about proper hygiene. After my third child, I decided to put my career on hold to raise my kids. I keep my license active in case the perfect job would come along, but I’m enjoying being a wife and mother, … coaching for Girls On the Run programs, and teaching interpretive dance along with volunteering at my children’s school. Now that my oldest is in high school, I get to interact with many more kids looking into colleges. And still, all these years later, I find it very easy to point people toward Penn College.”

Bruner lives with her family in Lancaster.

Summer 1998 Cover

Summer 1998: The Summer 1998 One College Avenue took readers to Philadelphia, where an information technology alumnus was keeping city government computers and networks “wired for information.”

Timothy L. Young, ’92. Photo courtesy of Young.Timothy L. Young, ’92, computer information systems, and ’95, computer information technology: data communications/networking

“I was very lucky to be with Penn College during 1991-1995; those years were a pivotal turning point for all technology, with the new emphasis on computer networking and personal computers. And I’m grateful that Penn College computer science staff had the foresight to provide those cutting-edge skills, offered as a brand-new baccalaureate degree at that time. I still think of you all as family, having had so many wonderful times with the great people that I went through courses with and the extracurricular clubs to participate in. Penn College was a turning point of my life!”

Still working for the City of Philadelphia, Young is a LAN administrator responsible for a network serving four city departments.

“I had no idea that I’d stick with the city this long, but the discipline and aptitude I was brought up on with Penn College has, thankfully, kept me gainfully employed and respected within the city community!”

 

“I still think of you all as family, having had so many wonderful times.”

 

Summer 1999 Cover

Summer 1999: The Summer 1999 issue traveled to Honduras with a “missionary kid” who had lived there for eight years during his youth and decided to return to lend his construction skills following the devastation of Hurricane Mitch.

Kevin Lefever, ’98. Photo courtesy of Lefever.Kevin Lefever, ’96, building construction technology, and ’98, construction management

“Giving back is a strong family value. Helping out in Honduras after Hurricane Mitch was a natural extension of that value. Now, through my work as a builder, I get to give back on a daily basis by improving our communities through the construction of homes, hospitals and much more. Penn College helped prepare me for this role I enjoy so much.”

A construction manager with Turner Construction Co., Lefever recently wrapped up work on a high-rise health care project on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and is continuing work on several other projects in the New York City area. He lives with his family in Brooklyn.

 

“As a builder, I get to give back on a daily basis. … Penn College helped prepare me for this role.”