Start-Up Announcements Supplement Presidential Address

Published 08.15.2013

President News
Faculty & Staff

In conjunction with her collegewide remarks to begin a new academic year Thursday, Pennsylvania College of Technology President Davie Jane Gilmour shared with faculty/staff a number of announcements related to college operations, activities and initiatives.

Assessment Award
Quality Through Assessment is among the committees/work groups that continue to meet through the summer; it reviewed the process and materials related to the assessment award and recommended significant changes that I approved.

First – The award will be application-based and will follow a revised timeline: applications will be due Nov. 18.

Second – Accepting nominations proved to be problematic in that the nominators lacked the familiarity with and access to the data required. Thus, the change to applications-only.

That change further differentiated this award from the two faculty awards that had shared the same time frame. Thus, the secondary change – to the fall submission with the announcement of the awardee at January’s all-college meeting.

Since the award can represent work completed up to the four previous years, there should be little problem with submissions by that November date.

Check the Academic Affairs portal site/awards for the related materials.

This fall, we will launch a redesigned Centennial website. The original site was published by College Information and Community Relations in 2010 and featured images from our “Were You There?” historical retrospective. CICR later upgraded that site to share additional information, including alumni stories and videos of oral-history interviews conducted with past and present leaders. By Labor Day – just a few weeks from now — CICR will launch a redesigned site – at the same address – that will include more historical information and a calendar of 2014 Centennial events. This fall, in time for Homecoming 2013, we will also publish the third Centennial book – this one, titled “Marketing With a Mission” — is full of images that speak to public relations and marketing activities throughout our history. The book will be offered for sale in The College Store in October.


  • A Penn College NOW Steering Committee has been established, including faculty participation, in order to look at expanding programs and marketing. This is an important part of our ongoing commitment to work with high school students, introducing them to college-level course work.

  • Implementation of the Marketing Communications Plan for Associate Degrees – which included a campaign to attract General Studies prospects this spring/summer.

  • We have been marketing beyond Pennsylvania, including Newsweek Asia and the Time magazine (Aug. 12) issue that will feature colleges and universities; spreading our message with new vehicles for new venues.

Wildcat Comic Con at Penn College on Saturday, Sept. 28
The Wildcat Comic Con provides a unique opportunity for attendees to participate in fun activities, workshops and the Hall of Merchants/Artist Alley, as well as meet leaders and artists of the comics industry. Come and hear what Dr. Michael Bitz shares about the exciting development and success of the Comic Book Project – an international literacy initiative. Or, learn what it takes to be a comic book artist or writer.

There is something for everyone…from education to careers to fun for the entire family. Only the first 500 who register are guaranteed a free swag bag. At just $20 per ticket for an entire day of workshops, activities, contests and more…it offers more value than the money spent for a two-hour movie and popcorn! Children 12 years of age and younger are free.

Faculty and staff who volunteer to help with Wildcat Comic Con – for at least two hours – will receive a free ticket to the entire event, along with a free Comic Con volunteer T-shirt. We only have a few openings left for volunteers…so contact Joann Eichenlaub to volunteer today!

Academic Affairs

  • You are all aware of the reorganization of Academic Affairs. That work is almost complete. Summer Commencement was the last in the eight-school format. Much work has been done all across campus to bring the new organizational structure into being. Thank you all for your work on this. Special thanks to Jim Cunningham for leading the “behind the scenes” team.

  • There are a number of folks in new roles in Academics. We bade farewell to our good friend Eugene McAvoy this summer. Paul Watson succeeds Eugene as the dean of academic services and first year programs. Tom Heffner returns to the college as assistant dean-programs in the School of Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications. Bill Mack will spend the following year working on several special projects in academics as he also recuperates from health issues. In Bill’s absence, Dave Cotner is the dean of industrial, computing and engineering technologies, with Stacey Hampton and Nate Smyth serving as assistant deans. Finally, Carol Lugg is now leading Transfer Initiatives, a new focus for the college to expand relationships with community colleges and other institutions. We welcome these good folks to their new roles and wish them great success.

  • General Services has been very busy this summer executing an impressive number of renovations. These include (but certainly aren’t limited to!) the following:

    • The move of in-house printing to the east wing of the ATHS and a reconfiguration of Mail & Document Services.

    • The renovation of the photography lab in the Campus Center into two state-of-the-art Mac labs for the Graphic Design and Web & Interactive Media programs.

    • The conversion of LEC 132 into a beautiful new Culinary Arts lab.

    • The complete overhaul of the west wing of the first floor of the ATHS to create a host of new nursing labs and classrooms.

Penn College Day
Penn College Day at Knoebels Amusement Resort will be Sunday, Sept. 8. The college will host a midafternoon break from 2 to 3 p.m. where drinks and ice cream will be available. Interested employees may purchase discounted tickets in advance at The College Store.

NCAA Athletics
We received very exciting news this summer that Penn College has been accepted into the North Eastern Athletic Conference, which is a NCAA Division III conference. We will begin provisional membership in 2014-15 and will gain full membership upon gaining NCAA recognition.

The NEAC represents an excellent region for Penn College in terms of student recruitment and competition. It includes five public and eight private institutions from Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. The conference offers NCAA automatic qualifiers in men’s baseball, basketball, golf, soccer and tennis, as well as women’s basketball, soccer, softball, tennis, volleyball and lacrosse. Other sports sponsored are men’s and women’s cross-country, men's lacrosse, men's and women's swimming, and men's volleyball.

Current NEAC members are Bryn Athyn College, Cazenovia College, College of St. Elizabeth, Keuka College, Gallaudet University, Lancaster Bible College, Penn State Abington, Penn State Berks, SUNY Cobleskill, SUNY Morrisville, SUNY Institute of Technology at Utica/Rome, Wells College and Wilson College. Associate members are Cedar Crest College, Hilbert College, Medaille College and Rutgers University-Camden.

In the provisional year of competition within the NEAC, Penn College teams will be eligible for playoffs and championships, though they will not be eligible for NCAA championship play. Until the college becomes a full NCAA member, it will continue to hold membership in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association, which will allow its teams to still compete for national championships. While we are looking forward to our membership in the NEAC, we are excited to begin our last year of competition in the Penn State University Athletic Conference, where the Wildcats will look to earn our sixth consecutive PSUAC Chancellor’s Cup.

Penn College is committed to diversity, inclusiveness, tolerance and civility. I’m excited to announce two new programs that are bringing together students, faculty, staff and alumni in an effort to help the college community live these ideals. This Saturday, the college will be sponsoring our inaugural Multicultural Welcome Reception at 1:30 p.m. in The Gallery at Penn College. This event will facilitate a connection between our first-year students and their parents, who are from historically underrepresented and underserved population, with key faculty and staff. This event, which includes a reception and information sessions, is an intentional effort to ensure these students’ first year gets off to a strong start.

At Homecoming this year, we are unveiling our first “We Rise” Alumni & Student Dinner, which will take place at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, in the Thompson Professional Development Center. This event will bring together multicultural alumni and students in a social and networking environment. This is a targeted effort to connect historically underrepresented students with successful alumni who understand their experiences at Penn College.

A special "Thank you" goes out to Malinda Love, assistant director of student activities for diversity and cultural life, and to the Multicultural Outreach Committee and Student Activities Office for these great new initiatives.