Forestry grad facilitates equipment donation to alma mater

Published 02.21.2020

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A December graduate of Pennsylvania College of Technology, whose family’s tree care business in suburban Philadelphia fueled his choice of both college and career, recently arranged for the donation of a newly reconditioned chipper to his alma mater’s forestry program.

Thanks to the resourcefulness of Michael S. Shreiner, now employed full time at Shreiner Tree Care in southeastern Pennsylvania, forest technology students at Penn College’s Schneebeli Earth Science Center will have access to a 150XP Bandit Tree Chipper that the 2019 alumnus solicited from the manufacturer.

Michael S. Shreiner, a 2019 forest technology graduate, joins Pennsylvania College of Technology forestry personnel alongside the hand-fed chipper that he delivered to the college in late January. From left are Nathan D. Avery, laboratory assistant for forest technology; forestry instructor Eric C. Easton; Shreiner; and Andrew Bartholomay, assistant professor of forestry.“Industry donations like this are so important to the programs they serve, but what makes this donation special to us is that it was initiated by a student who saw a need for his program,” said Justin W. Beishline, assistant dean of transportation and natural resources technologies. “Michael paved the way for future students to have what he thought would enhance the program. He, Stephenson Equipment and Bandit all went out of their way to make sure our forestry students have the opportunity to learn from one of the best chippers on the market.”

Eric C. Easton, lead forestry faculty member, said the donation – spearheaded by Shreiner and generously provided by Bandit Industries Inc. – is a valuable addition to the equipment available to forest technology majors.

“It will allow our students to gain experience in the operation of an industrial chipper similar to those in the urban forestry field,” he said. “It will be featured in many of our classes as a tool to promote quality management and complete utilization of our forest resources, as the chips can be reused for trail maintenance within the outdoor laboratory at the Earth Science Center.”

Shreiner, who urges his contacts to “Think trees,” realized his vocation as a teenager.

“I understood this process would start by becoming a knowledgeable arborist. This would require a college degree,” he said.  “I started looking for a school that provided a hands-on education as well as a rigorous academic experience. That school would be Penn College.”

Shreiner, employed at his family's tree care business outside Philadelphia, demonstrates the Bandit chipper at the Earth Science Center campus.From his first week of classes, the graduate said, he was impressed with what he was learning through such course topics as dendrology, botany, silviculture, products and harvesting. But during instruction on the use and operation of hand-fed chippers, Shreiner said, he quickly ascertained that a newer version of the equipment was in order.

“It wasn’t cutting it – literally,” he said.

So he drafted a letter to Bandit Industries, an acknowledged leader in the field, to ask about the possibility of a donation.

“To my surprise, they responded and said they would love to donate a chipper!” Shreiner said.

He is grateful to Joe Deriscavage, a Bandit factory representative, for arranging the donation. And he thanked the school administration and his former instructors – especially Easton and Michael A. Dincher, assistant professor of horticulture – for finalizing the equipment delivery.

“This experience has meant a great deal to me knowing that I’ve been able to give back to Penn College, as well as supporting the faculty that taught me so much,” Shreiner said. “My hope is that this new chipper will continue to be part of the real-world educational experience for students.”

For more about majors in the School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies, call 570-327-4516.

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