Four 'Sustainable' Seniors on Their Way to Architectural Grad School

Published 05.11.2015

Architecture & Sustainable Design
Alumni News
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Construction & Architecture

Four seniors from Penn College's building science and sustainable design bachelor-degree major will be heading off to graduate school, the largest number since the program’s inception in 2011.

Four soon-to-be alumni of Penn College's four-year building science and sustainable design major are heading to graduate school. From left are Cody J. Wood, of Berwick; Reece A. Gonsar, of Halifax; Kendel F. Baier, of Jersey Shore; and Ryan J. Litzinger, of Patton. (Photo by Carol A. Lugg, assistant dean of construction and design technologies)“The faculty are very proud to see so many of our students making plans to continue their education after completing our program," said Geoffrey M. Campbell, assistant professor and department head for architectural technology. "There have been many architectural technology two-year program graduates over the years who have continued on to earn professional architecture degrees and to become registered architects."

“Our four-year program in building science and sustainable design is, however,  fairly new and, since the first graduating class in 2011, this will be the largest group of graduates to gain acceptance into NAAB-accredited architecture programs.  We’re excited for them, and we wish them great success!” (NAAB is the National Architectural Accrediting Board.)

The students all expressed enthusiasm for the next step, with a reflective look on their years at Penn College. Three of the students, Reece A. Gonsar, of Halifax; Cody J. Wood, of Berwick; and Ryan J. Litzinger, of Patton, are headed to Temple University to pursue a Master of Architecture degree from the Tyler School of Art.

Wood looks forward to relocating to a larger city, but, with a nod to his academic roots, said: "The new opportunities that will be provided to me by attending school in the city are very intriguing.  I'm thankful to have graduated from a hands-on school like Penn College for the valuable experience I have gained during my undergraduate education.”

Gonsar also offered an endorsement of the education he received at Penn College, adding, “I feel confident that Penn College has prepared me for graduate studies.”

Kendel F. Baier, from Jersey Shore, is bound for the University of North Carolina-Charlotte to pursue a Master of Urban Design degree.

“I am really looking forward to attending graduate school at UNC-Charlotte for urban design this fall," she said. "Many aspects of the Building Science and Sustainable Design program have inspired and motivated me to further my education. Learning how cities can be designed to better the environment in my Sustainable Sites class really pushed me to venture into this new field. I am committed to my goal of finding success as an urban designer while pursuing constant success in my future profession.”

Litzinger, who earned an Associate of Applied Science degree from Pennsylvania Highlands Community College in Architectural/Civil: CAD and Design, entered the 2+2 bachelor's major at Penn College in Fall 2013.

“Ryan’s transition into the building science and sustainable design degree was very seamless,” said Naim N. Jabbour, assistant professor of architectural technology and Litzinger’s academic adviser. “He adjusted well into the various academic areas, as well as with his classmates and instructors. This is a testament to his dedication, commitment and exceptional work ethic.”