Ten students and two staff mentors from Penn College traveled to South Carolina this month, a nearly 600-mile journey as part of Habitat for Humanity's Collegiate Challenge. The group worked on a house in the Marion County community of Mullins, where the local Habitat organization is using autoclaved aerated concrete – an eco-friendly building material, resistant to extreme weather conditions – for the first time. Students who made the Alternative Spring Break trip are Hunter C. Dubbs, Bendersville, software development and information management; Aniah T. Ellerbee, Tannersville, building construction technology; Cas D. Henderson, Hazel Hurst, business administration: banking and finance concentration; Abby K. Kohler, Mar Lin, pre-practical nursing; Stacy L. Lash, Pottsville, applied human services; Adri S. Lee, Williamsport, landscape/horticulture technology: plant production emphasis; Kimberly P. Masullo, Effort, building construction technology; Alaina M. Murren, Aspers, dental hygiene; Princy Prasad, Philadelphia, pre-physician assistant studies; and Michael V. Saylor, Gettysburg, residential construction technology and management: building construction technology concentration. They were accompanied by Sammie L. Davis, coordinator of diversity and cultural life (who provided the photos), and Cathy E. Gamez, hall coordinator for Rose Street Commons. "Habitat for Humanity is a great way to get out of your comfort zone and learn something new," Prasad said. "I went from learning biology and anatomy to learning how to bore a hole into a block!" Penn College is one of three institutions involved in the ongoing construction project; crews from Siena and Hamilton colleges also worked at the site over their respective hiatus from classes.
The group, en route to South Carolina
On the lawn of Marion Baptist Church, home base for the Penn College group during its stay
Kohler (left) and Lash mix mortar.
Murren (foreground) and Lee work on the home's interior.
With the help of site leaders Max and Jake, Ellerbee plots the window location.
From left: Saylor, Lee and Prasad lend their helping hands.
A drone's-eye view of the job site
Adding their pride (and their handwritten sentiments) to the project
The Wildcat contingent leaves a gift to Marion County Habitat for Humanity, painted on a concrete sample.
Davis (left) and Gamez lead by example.
Masullo (left) and Lash include smiles in their toolbox.
Saylor hangs a college pennant in the store, a tradition that Habitat officials equate to cutting down the net after a basketball tournament.