crestPennsylvania Highlands Community College will be holding Commencement for the Nineteenth Graduating Class on Saturday, May 10th, in the College’s Richland Campus Auditorium.  The Ceremony will begin at 10:00am.

This year’s Commencement Address will be given by U.S. Rep. Keith Rothfus. Congressman Rothfus will speak to the 250-plus graduates about the many obstacles one must overcome to be successful. The congressman has been focusing his work in Washington on ways to improve and strengthen the economy through job growth and development and improved wages for all western Pennsylvanians.

Also addressing the graduates will be College President Dr. Walter Asonevich, Chairman of the Board of Trustees John Skelley, Cambria County President Commissioner Doug Lengenfelder, Faculty Senate President Wes McMichael, and Student Senate President Justin Capoullez.

In addition to awarding associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates at the ceremony, Pennsylvania Highlands Community College will also present the Distinguished Graduate Award, which honors a student who has contributed his or her time and effort to Pennsylvania Highlands and the community while maintaining a high level of academic performance.

Please join us in congratulating our Nineteenth Graduating Class!

Penn Highlands SquarePennsylvania Highlands Community College will be holding an information session for students and parents interested in the Accelerated College Education (ACE) program.  The session will take place in the College’s Richland Campus Auditorium on Thursday, May 1st, beginning at 6pm.

The ACE program is a partnership between local high schools and Pennsylvania Highlands that allows students to earn college credits while taking courses at their high school.  These credits are offered at a greatly reduced tuition rate and taught by certified teachers to assure that the academic rigor is equivalent to courses taught at Pennsylvania Highlands.

This session will cover the enrollment process; plus, experienced Admissions Counselors will be on-hand to answer any questions that you might have. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to get a jump start on your future!

This event is open to the public. If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact the Admissions Office at 814.262.6446 or admissions@pennhighlands.edu. If you can’t make it to Richland at that time there will be a live stream of the event, available on the College’s website at www.pennhighlands.edu.

Sprint2014-1Pennsylvania Highlands Community College held its 7th Annual Black Bear Sprint to Success 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, April 12th, at the Sprint2014-2College’s Richland Campus.  Over 100 people registered for this year’s race.

Organizers would like to thank Wessel & Company for serving as the event sponsor and recruiting such a large number of participants.  Proceeds from the race will help the Pennsylvania Highlands Foundation provide funding for student scholarships, faculty development, and program support.

Results are as follows:


Top Three Overall
1. Shane May, 17:34
2. Jacob Polca, 17:41
3. Conor Mulcahy, 17:47

14 And Under
1. Reed Uhlar, 20:49
2. Bradley Gearhart, 41:46
3. Errett Kaedan, 50:25

1. Collin Layton, 23:00
2. Nick Felton, 23:35

1. Matthew Adamczyk, 20:16
2. Vinnie Mulcahy, 22:08
3. Ben Long, 22:27
4. Evan Sakmar, 23:40
5. Sean McCool, 24:42
6. Kevin Merriman, 27:34
7. Raymond Weible, Jr. , 29:55
8. Derek Sheaffer, 46:38

1. Brad Eshelman, 18:29
2. Sam Schilling, 19:31
3. Brian Bell, 21:12
4. Ben Wadsworth, 23:35
5. Keith Lenhard, 24:04
6. Tom Newcomer, 25:48
7. Albert Rummell, 27:00
8. Tom Mitchell, 33:15
9. Christopher Bearer, 42:34
10. Charles Porath, 47:34

1. Michael Puruczky, 20:59
2. Mike Kick, 24:39
3. Dwayne Kaufman, 25:16

1. Greg Winger, 21:49
2. Paul Baron, 27:32
3. Ed Dreikorn, 29:42

1. George Hancock, 23:15
2. Roger Haney, 26:04
3. William Haney, 27:17
4. Eric Rummell, 27:55
5. James Cook, 31:57
6. Bob Layton, 34:07

1. Doug Bradley, 36:40


Top Three Overall
1. Catherine Muchesko, 20:22
2. Elizabeth Rummell, 22:32
3. Brenda Szelong, 23:58

14 And Under
1. Allyson Black,  29:02

1. Amber Easterbrook, 26:22
2. Sammy Jo Podrastsky, 28:30

1. Jess Petro, 24:37
2. Tiffany Sakmar, 25:36
3. Kasey Hatfield, 28:36
4. Marlissa Bearjar, 32:53
5. Janelle Mowery, 34:09
6. Kaktelyn Mouser, 46:38
7. Danni Porath, 47:34

1. Danielle Miller, 25:59
2. Michelle Maksymik, 26:33
3. Jennifer Stanek, 27:51
4. Amanda Noon, 28:43
5. Kaye Black, 29:07
6. Kristy Richardson, 29:56
7. Jill Mitchell, 35:05
8. Amber Lenhard, 39:01
9. Kristi Titus, 41:14

1. Robin Hughes, 27:21
2. Sandra Miller, 29:18
3. Tracee Stinson, 29:39
4. Amy Leventry, 29:57
5. Jan Layton, 30:27
6. Karen Teklinsky, 30:46
7. Tisha Phillips, 32:16
8. Leah Spangler, 40:44
9. Michele Rice, 41:54

1. Johanna Felton, 30:57

1. Carol Rummell, 32:34
2. Ruth Ferchalk, 36:14
3. Susan Davis, 37:13
4. Sue Hunt, 37:31


Top Three Overall
1. Michael Pasierb, 37:33
2. Patrick Lehman, 40:06
3. Frank Stohon, 42:17

14 And Under
1. Donovan Lenhard, 50:27

1. Britt Williams, 50:53
2. Chad Gontkovic, 52:04

1. John Zlater, 51:41
2. Michael Benford, 54:42

1. Doug Gilpatrick, 52:22
2. Larry Brugh, 53:06


Top Three Overall
1. Allison Kick, 36:12
2. Kaydee Swires, 42:12
3. Stephanie Stohon, 42:17

14 And Under
1. Abigail Lenhard, 44:05

1. Ashley Wray, 51:27
2. Alyssa Gilpatrick, 52:22

1. Kali Gilpatrick, 51:26
2. Allie Byrne, 51:28
3. Jill Parkins-Gontkovic, 52:08

1. Angela Novak, 42:23
2. Samantha William, 50:55
3. Stephanie Zlater, 51:52
4. Jill Gontkovic, 52:05
5. Jennifer Biggs,  54:40

1. Sharon Swires, 43:44
2. Melissa Nagle, 44:52
3. Paula Byrne, 51:29
4. Stacey Gilpatrick, 52:24

1. Kim Asonevich, 48:39
2. Brenda Orr, 52:50
3. Mindy Nitch, 53:07

1. Hope Slusher, 46:53
2. Susan Babalonis, 50:58
3. Deborah Cook, :57
4. Sharon Custer, 52:58

Penn Highlands SquarePennsylvania Highlands Community College is proud to announce the first two graduates of the Associate of Applied Science in Healthcare Information Specialist degree (formerly known as the Healthcare Technology Specialist degree).  Ashley Kordish (Summerhill, PA) and Stacy Serenko (of Vinco, PA) successfully completed their associate degrees in December 2013.

Both Ashley Kordish and Stacy Serenko are currently employed at the Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center. Kordish serves as a HIS Technician and Serenko serves as a Unit Clerk.  Both students began work while completing their degree program.

The Healthcare Information Specialist degree is made possible through the TAACCCT grant and JobTrakPA.  The Healthcare Information Specialist degree is designed to train students in a high-demand job area.  Graduates who receive their degree can expect to work in a healthcare setting while working with medical records.

Penn Highlands SquarePennsylvania Highlands Community College recognizes the financial burden that attending college could put on some individuals and families.  With that in mind, Penn Highlands is once again offering low cost summer courses to assist students in preparing for the fall 2014 semester.

The special summer rate for these college preparatory classes is $49 per credit. These classes are three credits, which would only cost the student $147, with no additional fees added.  The college prep classes being offered include:

  • Basic Algebra
  • Basic English
  • Basic Math
  • Critical College Reading
  • Introduction to Composition
  • Pre-Algebra

If students are unsure of which college prep classes to take, the College has a placement testing system that will help determine what courses will help them follow a comfortable and proper path.

These college prep classes will be offered at each of the College’s five locations: Richland, Blair, Ebensburg, Huntingdon, and Somerset. The courses will begin mid-summer, with dates varying by location, and will wrap up in the middle of August. The timing of these courses will lead student’s right into the fall academic semester, giving them a strong academic foundation to build on.

Interested students may contact the College by calling 1.888.385.PEAK or visiting the College’s website.


President Dr. Walter Asonevich addressing the community at the College's annual State of the College event.

President Dr. Walter Asonevich addressing the community at the College’s annual State of the College event.

Pennsylvania Highlands Community College President Dr. Walter Asonevich highlighted the College’s far reaching educational offerings and continued focus on providing an affordable, high quality education at the third annual State of the College Address on Tuesday.

The address featured a map designating the 17 counties of the commonwealth that have been impacted by Pennsylvania Highlands.  These areas included the four counties that currently have a Penn Highlands’ facility, locations that are served via the College’s Accelerated College Education program, areas served via online programming, and counties that have inquired about having a local facility. “I believe we have a very successful blueprint for providing smaller rural communities with access to higher education,” said Asonevich.  “Our regionalization has been very systematic and has been done to ensure that our students will reap the benefits of a quality education that remains affordable.”

Asonevich also highlighted the partnerships the College has utilized to provide hands-on learning to many students, including the Welding program’s work with JWF Industries and the Restaurant/Culinary Management program’s partnership with the Greater Johnstown School District.  He discussed the College’s commitment to providing coursework and programming that is relevant to local job opportunities and the many ways in which Penn Highlands engages local employers in the development of these programs.  Asonevich also shared that these processes are in place in the College’s Continuing Education offerings as employers can work with this department to customize trainings for their current employees.  “We are very receptive to hearing from local businesses and ensuring that we are meeting their needs when it comes to the skills they want their employees to possess.” he said.

In discussing his College’s place in the community, Asonevich took great pride in highlighting the variety of community service projects completed annually by Penn Highlands’ students, faculty, and staff.  “We are proud to be a part of each of the communities we serve and understand how opportunities such as community service projects are teachable moments.”

“Classroom learning is important, but we are also hoping to instill in our students a sense of community that will become a part of their personal and professional lives.  That is another way for us to measure our success in educating our students.” he said.

For more information about Pennsylvania Highlands, please contact us at 1.888.385.PEAK or go to www.pennhighands.edu.

Penn Highlands SquareThe Student Senate of Pennsylvania Highlands Community College has been highly active recently with the creation of a leadership program for Pennsylvania Highlands’ students.  Students that complete the leadership program will be awarded a certificate for their participation.

The leadership program, led by Student Senate President Justin Capouellez and members of the Penn Highlands Board of Trustees, includes ten classroom sessions and will culminate in group presentations focusing on what the students have learned and how they will utilize this information as they move forward in their education and careers.  A small panel of presenters and Trustees will judge the presentations.

HR Consultants, a firm specializing in leadership development will lead five of the sessions with other sessions being facilitated by community leaders.  Bill Polacek, CEO of JWF industries will share his personal experiences with the students, speaking about the expectations, demands, challenges and responsibilities of leadership.

“My hope is that future students will take this initiative and continue to move it forward,” said Capoullez.

For more details on this student-driven leadership program, please contact Student Activities at 814.262.6463 or studentactivities@pennhighlands.edu.


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