For the second year, Penn College's Diesel Performance Club's 1961 Mac B61 was named 'Top Race Vehicle' at the Motorama Speed Show. As the group's advisor, Mark was excited about the many ways students pushed the bar not just to restore the truck, but to maximize speed and performance. "This project is testimony to the dedication and superior abilities of our diesel students," he said.
- Diesel Truck, Heavy Equipment & Power Generation
After nearly 30 years of teaching at Penn College, he still aims to learn something new every day. Mark embraces curiosity, welcomes challenges, and relentlessly seeks smarter solutions. He calls himself a motorhead. We call him a tomorrow maker.
Q&A with Mark
WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO THIS FIELD?
I've been a motorhead my whole life. My father, the man who can fix anything, pushed my curiosity and obsession with how things worked. Part of his business was all levels of truck maintenance and repair. In my junior year of high school, through my father, I met Bill Curry (a Williamsport Technical Institute alumnus and longtime diesel mechanics/automotive instructor, who died in September 2018). My decision was made. I am confident my students share the same motorhead fascinations. I hear it in their conversations. If the students have that fascination, the attributes come very easy for success...attitude, curiosity, desire, pride, and the desire to take on a challenge – and win.
AFTER NEARLY 30 YEARS OF TEACHING, WHAT GETS YOU OUT OF BED AND TO WORK EARLY EACH MORNING?
It’s the students! My father always told me, "If you love what you do, you will never have to work a day of your life." Blessed, like he was, I found that life almost 30 years ago. Loving what I do, sharing the new and old technologies, and going in every morning wondering, “What will I learn today?” Bill Curry told me early in my career, "These students will keep you young.” He was absolutely correct.
WHY PENN COLLEGE?
During tours, recruiting events, and phone conversations, I always say, “I will not profess to say we are the greatest program, but I am confident that there are none better.” Our program is an easy sell. Like I've mentioned before, our industry partnerships keep us current and on top of the ever-changing technology. A great asset is the enormous number of industry, state, and federal certifications you can achieve while here. Largely due to liability, our industry has evolved to where a technician must be certified before he or she may perform many of the required tasks. These certifications save the prospective employer valuable training time and thousands of dollars. Plus they give our graduates an obvious advantage over competing applicants.
HOW DO CORPORATE PARTNERSHIPS BENEFIT STUDENTS?
Our industry is ever-changing. We have done an exceptional job staying parallel to these trends. Our faculty and administration have formed many new industry partnerships with heavy-hitters like Allison, Bendix, Carrier, Cummins, Daimler Truck North America (Freightliner, Western Star, Detroit Diesel), Eaton, FedEx, International Truck, Kenworth of PA, Meritor, Thermo King, UPS, Watsontown Trucking … and I am sure I've missed a few!
The diesel labs at Schneebeli Earth Science Center are home to a diverse fleet of vehicles including a retired UPS truck. Thanks to donations from industry partners, like UPS, you get hands-on experience working with vehicles just like you'll find in the real world.
Diesel Truck, Heavy Equipment & Power Generation
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