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Penn Highlands Anniversary Logo1Pennsylvania Highlands Community College began the celebration of its twentieth year with a picnic at its Richland Campus.  The picnic, held on Friday, September 5, 2014, marks 20 years to the day that the first classes were held at what w

as formerly known as Cambria County Area Community College. Those in attendance included Cambria County Commissioners Mark Wissinger and Tom Chernisky, Congressman Keith Rothfus, Senator John Wozniak, and Representative Bryan Barbin.

“Realistically, a twenty year old College is still in its infancy,” said Pennsylvania Highlands President Dr. Walter Asonevich.  “We are well aware of the tremendous strides we have taken to get to where we are right now, but we are also cognizant of the potential that exists for this College as we head into our next twenty years and beyond.  There is obviously much reason to celebrate.”

The former Cambria County Area Community College started offering classes on September 5, 1994, utilizing space at a number of locations throughout Cambria County, including Hiram G. Andrews, Central Park Complex, Bishop Carrol High School, Concurrent Technology Corporation and Greater Johnstown Career and Technology Center.  “We taught classes all over the county,” said current Professor of Business Management, Sandy Schrum.  “Our cars were our offices and we would get office furniture and supplies donated from other businesses. It definitely felt like we were trying to overcome overwhelming odds at the time, but seeing how far we have come is so rewarding.”

Pennsylvania Highlands Community College now boasts a 125,000 square foot main campus in Richland and has other locations in Ebensburg, Huntingdon, Somerset and Blair Counties. Serving approximately 2,000 students per year, the College has educated over 27,000 students since its inception and has 105 full-time and over 100 part-time employees.

“It’s awesome to see our growth.” said current employee and former student, Scott Beamer.  “I used to have to visit two or three different locations to take classes.  There was a time when every department in the College, from the President’s Office to the Marketing Department shared two rooms at the Hiram G. Andrews Center.  Look at us now.”

Commissioner Wissinger, who was a commissioner when the College started in 1994, reflected on the growth of the College and its impact on the community, “We took a leap of faith in starting the College, but I remember Ron Budash saying if you build it they will come.  What the College has been able to accomplish in twenty years is phenomenal.  I look forward to the next twenty years.”

The growth of the College is a testament to the support the Cambria County community has provided.  “This College is a perfect example of what can happen when people within a community put their faith behind something and work to see it through.” said College President, Dr. Walter Asonevich.

To commemorate the anniversary, Penn Highlands’ students, faculty, staff and Board members will join together to participate in twenty acts of kindness throughout the community.  These will include volunteering at local nonprofits, collecting items for the elderly, veterans, food banks and animal shelters, participating in United Way Day of Caring and hosting groups at the College.

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Penn Highlands Ebensburg StackedThere is no better time than the present to start planning for your future! The Pennsylvania Highlands Community College Ebensburg Center will be holding a presentation, entitled “Getting Ready for College,” for high school juniors and sophomores and their families on Thursday, July 24th at our Ebensburg facility on Route 22. The presentation will be given twice, from 2 to 3pm and from 5 to 6pm.

The presentation will focus on providing information on how to plan and properly prepare for college. In addition, it will help you understand what to expect and look for when applying for and visiting potential colleges.  Each session of the presentation will be followed-up with a question and answer segment, allowing you to ask our experienced professionals any questions that you might have.

There is no cost to attend and light refreshments will be served, but remember that seating is limited for each session of this impactful presentation!  Please call 814.471.0010 if you plan to attend so that your spot is reserved.

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The Pennsylvania Highlands Community CollegePTK Logo Phi Theta Kappa Beta Epsilon Omega Chapter will be hosting an End of the Year Bash to honor local veterans on May 3rd, beginning at noon. This event will feature the Johnstown Classic Rockers and performers from the College’s Got Talent Competition.  Admission to the event is free; however, donations will gladly be accepted for our local veterans. The event will be held in the Richland Campus Auditorium at 101 Community College Way.

The Johnstown Classic Rockers have been one of the most popular groups in the area since they were formed in 1996. The group is comprised of an all-star collection of musicians and vocalists from some of the area’s most popular bands and performs music from the ’50s to the ’80s era.  Some of their music styles encompass everything from classic rock, blues, and R & B to rockabilly and theatrical rock.  They perform songs from such popular artists as Elvis, The Kinks, Janis Joplin, and even Alice Cooper to name a few.

Vocalists include Ron Piljay, Tom Pavic, and Melissa Nagle.  Musicians include Norm Chynoweth on keyboard, Ken Deater on drums, Mel Deneen on guitar, Jerry Sandusky on saxophone, and Steve Spack on bass.  The band members combine theatrics and showmanship to create a dynamite show.  The Johnstown Classic Rockers have played popular venues including the Johnstown Folk Fest, Thunder in the Valley, and the Arcadia Theater. Audience members can expect to be entertained and ‘wowed’ by this group, who are considered by many to be the top classic rockers in the entire region.

For additional information prior to the event, please contact Student Activities at 814.262.6463 or studentactivities@pennhighlands.edu.

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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:

MALE RUN

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

15-19
1. Collin Layton, 23:00
2. Nick Felton, 23:35

20-29
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

30-39
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

40-49
1. Michael Puruczky, 20:59
2. Mike Kick, 24:39
3. Dwayne Kaufman, 25:16

50-59
1. Greg Winger, 21:49
2. Paul Baron, 27:32
3. Ed Dreikorn, 29:42

60-69
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

70+
1. Doug Bradley, 36:40

FEMALE RUN

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

15-19
1. Amber Easterbrook, 26:22
2. Sammy Jo Podrastsky, 28:30

20-29
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

30-39
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

40-49
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

50-59
1. Johanna Felton, 30:57

60-69
1. Carol Rummell, 32:34
2. Ruth Ferchalk, 36:14
3. Susan Davis, 37:13
4. Sue Hunt, 37:31

MALE WALK

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

30-39
1. Britt Williams, 50:53
2. Chad Gontkovic, 52:04

40-49
1. John Zlater, 51:41
2. Michael Benford, 54:42

50-59
1. Doug Gilpatrick, 52:22
2. Larry Brugh, 53:06

FEMALE WALK

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

15-19
1. Ashley Wray, 51:27
2. Alyssa Gilpatrick, 52:22

20-29
1. Kali Gilpatrick, 51:26
2. Allie Byrne, 51:28
3. Jill Parkins-Gontkovic, 52:08

30-39
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

40-49
1. Sharon Swires, 43:44
2. Melissa Nagle, 44:52
3. Paula Byrne, 51:29
4. Stacey Gilpatrick, 52:24

50-59
1. Kim Asonevich, 48:39
2. Brenda Orr, 52:50
3. Mindy Nitch, 53:07

60-69
1. Hope Slusher, 46:53
2. Susan Babalonis, 50:58
3. Deborah Cook, :57
4. Sharon Custer, 52:58

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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.

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Pennsylvania’s community colleges kicked off Community College Month in Pennsylvania yesterday with a rally in the Main Capitol Rotunda, and the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges’ annual Lobby Day event. The House and Senate have both passed resolutions proclaiming April to be Community College Month, and yesterday, community college students and staff from across the Commonwealth met with their legislators to discuss the critical role that community colleges play in supporting their local communities throughout the State. The colleges also had displays set up in the East Wing Rotunda, with students displaying the various skills they have acquired at their community colleges, including broadcast TV production, medical assisting, culinary arts, and more.

The Lobby Day events concluded with a rally in the Main Rotunda of the Capitol Building, featuring community college Presidents, trustees, staff, and students from across Pennsylvania.  The festivities, however, began in earnest on Monday, March 31st, with the 45 members of the 2014 All-PA Community College Academic team being honored on the floor of the House. The All-PA Team consists of outstanding community college students from across the Commonwealth, and the program is administered by Phi Theta Kappa, the national two-year college honors society.

Later that evening, the students were honored at the 20th Annual All-PA Awards Banquet. From Pennsylvania Highlands Community College, both Emily Smay and Grant Speigle received All-PA Academic Team honors.

Emily Smay (of Summerhill, PA) has already graduated from Pennsylvania Highlands Community College with an Associate of Applied Science in Business Management, but earning one degree was just the beginning for her. She is currently completing her second degree and will soon be receiving her Associate of Applied Science in Accounting.

Grant Speigle (of Davidsville, PA) will be graduating from Pennsylvania Highlands Community College with an Associate of Science in Criminal Justice.

For 20 years, the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges has joined with Phi Theta Kappa to honor students who have been nominated by their colleges to the All-Pennsylvania Academic Team.

 

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Penn Highlands Square

The Office of Career Planning and Employer Services will be holding it’s bi-annual College Transfer Fair on Monday, March 31, 2014, from 10am to 2pm.  This event will be held at the College’s Richland Campus.

Pennsylvania Highlands Community College students will have the opportunity to meet with over 40 representatives from regional colleges and universities, giving students the ability to learn more about their transfer options.  Some of the colleges attending include the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, University of Pittsburgh, Penn State-Altoona, Juniata College, Shippensburg University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Ohio State University, Saint Francis University, and Mount Aloysius College.

For a complete listing and additional information, please contact the Career Planning and Employer Services at 814.262.3850 or careerservices@pennhighlands.edu.

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