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College celebrates graduation with technology

May 13,2017 09:34

CARA MORNINGSTAR/Sun-Gazette Graduates from the Pennsylvania College of Technology class of 2017 gather Friday in the Community Arts Center in Williamsport for the graduation ceremony. The Pennsylvania College of Technology held the 2017 ...

May 13, 2017

Cara Morningstar

CARA MORNINGSTAR/Sun-Gazette Graduates from the Pennsylvania College of Technology class of 2017 gather Friday in the Community Arts Center in Williamsport for the graduation ceremony.
The Pennsylvania College of Technology held the 2017 spring commencement ceremony at the Community Arts Center in Williamsport on Friday.

“Spring is a time of rebirth and renewal, and I must say, I feel rejuvenated every May,” said Davie Jane Gilmour, Penn College president.
But Penn College celebrates a little differently than other schools.
“Now this is the time when most college presidents would stop you to say, ‘please put away your phones and turn off the noise,’ “ Gilmour said. “This is Penn College, and we are a college of technology. So I’d like you to turn on your phones … and I’m going to take the first selfie of the day.”
The crowd cheered as Gilmour posed on stage for her own selfie in celebration of technology with the graduates.
Elliott Strickland, chief student affairs officer, introduced the commencement speaker, Lauren Jayde Crouse, class of 2017.
“It’s not often that a student like Lauren comes around,” he said. “She’s one of the most evolved students we’ve ever had … Because of her involvement and service, she’s been consistently recognized by faculty and her peers.”
Crouse also received the President’s Award for leadership and service along with Morgan Nicole Keyser.
“It amazes me all the hard work that we all put in to be where we are today,” Crouse said.
She said she had considered dropping out her freshman year and that it had been a different time in her life. She credited her success to getting involved, and she said she would not be standing in front of everyone had she not done that.
She challenged everyone in the room to try to be a small light for everyone else.
Gilmour also presented an award she said she prefers to keep a surprise for as long as she can, the 2017 Veronica M. Muzic Master Teacher Award, to J.D. Mather, associate professor of engineering design and technology.
“It’s the most prestigious of our faculty tributes,” Gilmour said.
She said the award has only been awarded 30 times with Mather being the 31st recipient.
“I’ve just been blindsided,” said Mather. “I want to thank my students … Really, this is their award.”
Gilmour also presented the 2017 Excellence in Teaching Award to Nicholas Stephenson, graphic design instructor. She said a second teacher will also receive the award in the ceremony on Saturday to be announced online at www.pctoday.pct.edu.
“Teaching here at Penn College is an absolute joy,” Stephenson said.
The Alumni Achievement Award went to Thomas J. Giannattasio, class of 2006, product manager for InVision.
“Back in high school I was not the most studious person, I suppose. … The only award my high school gave me was class clown,” he said. “Penn College sort of changed my trajectory.”
Penn College will be holding two more ceremonies on Saturday.
The first ceremony for the School of Construction and Design Technologies and the School of Health Sciences will be at 10 a.m. with student speaker Madison L. Carts.
The second ceremony for the School of Business and Hospitality and the School of Transportation and Natural Resources Technologies will be at 1:30 p.m. with student speaker Robert E. Wood.
Both additional ceremonies also will be at the Community Arts Center.

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