College to Present Citizenship/Humanitarian Awards to Two Alumni

Published 12.13.2004

Alumni News

Pennsylvania College of Technology will present Alumni Citizenship/Humanitarian Awards to two alumni during Winter Commencement ceremonies Dec. 18 at the Community Arts Center in Williamsport.

This year's honorees attended the Penn College predecessor institutions Williamsport Area Community College and Williamsport Technical Institute. Jacqueline B. Werts received a certificate in practical nursing from W.A.C.C. in 1970. Edwin Reish completed the patternmaking-wood curriculum at W.T.I. in 1956.

The Alumni Citizenship/Humanitarian Award promotes the responsibility of graduates to participate in their communities and recognizes alumni who have provided distinguished community or volunteer service.

Jacqueline B. WertsWerts, a registered nurse, is director of nursing services for the Green Home, Wellsboro. Reish is a licensed wildlife rehabilitator and operator of Farragut Wildlife Rehabilitation Center near Montoursville.

Prior to her employment with the Green Home, Werts held a variety of positions in nursing and nursing administration at Soldiers+Sailors Memorial Hospital, Wellsboro; Robert Packer Hospital, Sayre; and Williamsport Hospital. Her community involvement includes volunteer activities and participation on boards and committees for the American Cancer Society (for whom she has served as Crusade chairperson, Special Events chairperson and Miss Hope chairperson), the American Red Cross, the Wellsboro Area School District, the American Heart Association, Trinity Lutheran School, the Wellsboro Business and Professional Women's Club, and Soldiers+Sailors Memorial Hospital Federal Employees Credit Union.

Her professional affiliations include the Pennsylvania Association Directors of Nursing Administration-Long Term Care Nurses, the American Society of Long Term Care Nurses, the American Organization of Nurse Executives, the American College of Healthcare Nurses, the Pennsylvania Organization of Nurse Executives, the Nurse Executives of the North Central Region of Pennsylvania and the Statewide Nursing Study Task Force. She also was a Nursing Advisory Committee member at Penn College from 1988-99.

Werts has received numerous awards, including the Outstanding Service Award, from the American Cancer Society. She has been honored by Who's Who and the Outstanding Young Women of America.

She received an associate's degree from Corning Community College, a bachelor's degree in education from Mansfield University, a certificate in nursing management from The Pennsylvania State University and a master's in health care administration from King's College. She also received certification in nursing administration from the American Nursing Association and completed an advanced certification course.

Edwin ReishReish, who studied mechanical drafting for four years in junior-high school and at Williamsport Area High School, finished a two-year patternmaking curriculum at W.T.I. in just six months. Between high school and college, he had worked in construction for four years and spent two years in the military, serving in the Korean War.

He helped found the Ralph Alberts Co., which now employs more than 100 people, in the late 1960s. He and Ralph Alberts developed a two-year, GI Bill-approved curriculum to train workers in plastics tooling, which included blueprint reading, math, patternmaking, basic machining and welding at W.A.C.C., as well as plastics training at the company.

In the 1960s and '70s, Reish worked closely with Gentex Corp., Carbondale, on the production of military aviation helmets, developing the process and equipment to automate the manufacturing.

In 1980, Reish began assisting a wildlife rehabilitator. In 1985, he began the process to obtain a wildlife-rehabilitator permit, which he obtained in 1987, along with his wife, Barbara "Tink" Reish. Since that time, he has added many pens for a variety of birds and animals.

Reish and his wife are the only wildlife rehabilitators in this region of Pennsylvania who are certified to provide care for eagles.

From 1993-97, Reish played a key role in the Lycoming Audubon Society/Pennsylvania Game Commission's Peregrine Falcon Reintroduction Project, which has helped to re-establish the breeding population of the endangered raptor species in the Eastern United States.

Over the five years of the project, 25 captive-bred falcons were released into the wild. Several of the birds released in the program are known to have successfully bred and raised young in southern Lycoming County, the Wilkes-Barre area and Toronto.

From 1990-97, Reish also was involved with an osprey program that helped to reintroduce that fish-eating raptor species to northcentral Pennsylvania.

Reish has been a member of the Lycoming Audubon Society since the late 1970s, and he serves on its board of directors. He has been a guest speaker/lecturer for many area Scouting groups, schools and community organizations. He is a member of the Loyalsock Creek Men's Club and Ducks Unlimited.

Penn College also presents Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna and Alumnus/Alumna Achievement awards at its May graduation exercises, as well as Mentorship Awards at its August commencement.

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