Archive for October, 2016

Dr. Kevin Slonka, Assistant Proessor of Computer Science

Dr. Kevin Slonka, Assistant Professor of Computer Science

Pennsylvania Highlands Community College would like to congratulate Dr. Kevin Slonka, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, for his work on the research paper entitled Phishing Our Clients: A Step Toward Improving Training via Social Engineering. The paper was selected as the Best Research Paper at the 2016 International Association for Computer Information Systems (IACIS) Conference.

Dr. Slonka, who also works as a Senior Systems Engineer at Precision Business Solutions, collaborated on this research paper with Brian Shrift, President of Precision Business Solutions. Their research paper was chosen using a double blind process from a poll of more than 130 research papers.

The IACIS 2016 Conference provides a showcase for the latest research in practice and pedagogical topics that focus on how information systems are used to support organizations or enhance the educational process. To highlight that small businesses are susceptible to security threats, the researchers conducted a study where their clients were phished.

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Pennsylvania Highlands Community College recently honored former Cambria County President Commissioner Kathy Holtzman through the creation of an endowed scholarship and the naming of the College’s Richland Campus Board Room.

Mrs. Kathy Holtzman was a leader in the development of Pennsylvania Highlands Community College. In 1994, as President Commissioner of Cambria County, she enacted the Sponsorship Articles of Agreement between the County and Cambria County Area Community College (now Penn Highlands), laying the foundation to provide higher education to countless residents throughout the area. Mrs. Holtzman’s service to the College continued as she served as a member of the College’s Board of Trustees from 2012 to 2015.

Dr. Melissa Murray, Associate Vice President of External Affairs, stated that in recognition and gratitude of her public service, dedication to education, and betterment of the community, the College’s Foundation was able to work with the Holtzman family to raise over $11,000 for the creation of the Kathy Holtzman Memorial Scholarship. Much of the funds were raised during the Foundation’s annual jazz reception event, “Corks & Kegs”, where over 120 community members gathered. Prior to the event, College President Dr. Walter Asonevich gathered with Kathy’s family and local legislators to celebrate the naming of the “Holtzman Board Room”, an honor unanimously approved by the Board of Trustees during their August 2016 meeting.

Brenda Zartman, Kathy’s daughter, and Lea Gendelman, Kathy’s granddaughter, played a large part in the success of the event and the creation of the scholarship.

“Kathy Holtzman spent the majority of her lifetime in the interest of education and public service, and our family is overwhelmed by the recognition offered by Pennsylvania Highlands Community College,” Gendelman said. “We are honored that the Board chose to recognize her contributions to the College with the dedication of the Holtzman Board Room, and we are thrilled that the Foundation Board is enabling us to continue her legacy by allowing more students to pursue higher education through the Kathy Holtzman Memorial Scholarship.”

Contact the College’s Foundation for additional information on how to donate to the Kathy Holtzman Memorial Scholarship at 814.262.6499 or You can also donate online by accessing the Foundation page via this link.

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Robert K. Ehrmann, Managing Director at the Penn State Center for Nanotechnology Education and Utilization (CNEU), will be presenting to current and prospective students who are interested in the CNEU Program on Monday, October 24th at the Pennsylvania Highlands Community College Richland Campus. The presentation will take place at 11 AM in Room C218.

Students will have the opportunity to learn about educational and career opportunities available through an agreement between Pennsylvania Highlands and the Penn State Nanofabrication Manufacturing Technology (NMT) Partnership.

Nanotechnology is a growing field in the United States, and the partnership between PSU and Penn Highlands will provide an opportunity for students in the region to develop valuable technical and scientific skills in this thriving field.

Students enrolled in Environmental Science, Pre-Engineering, General Studies, and Technology Management can qualify for the Nanofabrication Manufacturing Technology Capstone Semester at Penn State University Park.

Interested students will work with College faculty to select specific courses and develop the skills required for admission into the program. These include college level algebra, chemistry, physics, writing, computer skills, and interpersonal skills.

For details on program options at Pennsylvania Highlands Community College, call 1.888.385.PEAK or visit online at For more information on the Penn State Nanofabrication Manufacturing Technology Partnership with Pennsylvania Highlands, visit


PRESENTER BIOGRAPHY: Robert K. (Bob) Ehrmann is the Managing Director at the Penn State Center for Nanotechnology Education and Utilization (CNEU). The CNEU is the home to the NSF National Nanotechnology Applications and Career Knowledge (NACK) Center which has a national mission to facilitate the development of nanotechnology education programs at community and technical colleges across the nation. The CNEU is also the home of the Pennsylvania Nanofabrication Manufacturing Technology (NMT) Partnership, the nation’s leading program in associate and baccalaureate level nanotechnology education. The Partnership offers the NMT Capstone Semester which is an integral part of 53 degree programs at 29 post-secondary institutions across Pennsylvania.

Mr. Ehrmann previously worked for 23 years for Corning, Inc. where he held multiple positions in engineering, product development as well management positions in engineering, production and project management. Mr. Ehrmann earned a BS degree in Ceramic Engineering from Rutgers University as well as an MBA from West Virginia University.


A member of the Penn State Center for Nanotechnology Education and Utilization presents in November, 2014 at our Richland Campus.

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Penn Highlands SquarePennsylvania Highlands Community College is celebrating fall with several free events for the public during Haunted Week. Haunted Week will take place from Monday, October 24th, through Thursday, October 27th, beginning with a Community Trick or Treat.

The Community Trick or Treat will be held on Monday, October 24th, from 5:30pm to 7pm, at the College’s Richland Campus. The event is held for families with children who are 12 years old and under. Faculty, staff, and current students will be on-hand to give out free treats and candy to children, their families, and their friends. There will be a special area dedicated to creating Halloween crafts for the kids, as well as a “Haunted Hallway” for those looking for a little scare.

Last year, we had over 500 happy visitors. This year, we are prepared for that number to continue to grow as we create a community tradition.

Other Haunted Week events include (all at the Richland Campus):

  • Tuesday, October 25, 12:30pm to 2pm:  Select works by Edgar Allen Poe will be read and performed by students in the Cyber Lounge (i.e. “The Raven” and “The Cask of Amontillado”). Other works, including originals and from authors such as H.P. Lovecraft and Bram Stoker, are welcome. Fans may dress in their best 1840s period attire.
  • Thursday, October 27, 1pm to 2pm:  Early Childhood Education students will be holding a Halloween-themed book reading and craft period for preschool-aged children.  Space is limited, so reserve your spot by emailing Sherry Shurin at
  • Thursday, October 27, 6pm to 8pm:  Star in your very own Scooby-Doo Halloween mystery with “Scooby Doo and YOU!” Say a handful of lines in front of our green screen, then let our Media Production students do the rest.  Share on social media and become famous. Questions? Email Rick Bukoski at

Further details can be obtained by contacting Pennsylvania Highlands Student Activities at 814.262.6463 or

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The Medical Assisting Technology (A.A.S.) associate degree program at Pennsylvania Highlands Community College has earned CAAHEP (Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs) accreditation. CAAHEP, the largest programmatic accreditor in the health sciences field, reviews and accredits over 2,000 educational programs in 28 health science occupations. CAAHEP is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

This programmatic accreditation for Medical Assisting Technology indicates that the associate degree program is held to higher standards than most. In order to achieve formal accreditation, the Medical Assisting program underwent heavy review and an intensive site visit from an independent, external team. This team evaluated various metrics, including, but not limited to: retention, placement in the field, employer satisfaction, instructional methodology, and faculty credentials. To maintain accreditation status, the Medical Assisting program must continue to meet these benchmarks.

Gaynelle Schmieder, Associate Professor of Health Care Professions and also filling the role of Medical Assisting Program Director, discusses the significance of this achievement.

“The CAAHEP accreditation process benefited our Medical Assisting program exponentially,” Schmeider said. “It helped us identify strengths, weaknesses, and focal points for improvement; all to ensure our graduates are prepared and confident to begin their careers when they leave Penn Highlands.”

Penn Highlands’ students will benefit the most from CAAHEP accreditation. Those that graduate from Penn Highlands with a Medical Assisting Technology degree will automatically be qualified to sit for the AAMA (American Association of Medical Assistants) exam and become certified medical assistants.  Medical assisting, a multi-skilled allied health profession, allows medical assistants to function as members of the health care delivery team by performing both administrative and clinical procedures.

Pennsylvania Highlands certainly recognizes the critical need for highly skilled and trained medical professionals,” said Dr. Walter Asonevich, College President. “We are committed to ensuring academic excellence by offering programming that meets and exceeds national standards and places our graduates in the best possible employment situations.”

Funding to support preparations for meeting the CAAHEP accreditation standards was provided by a grant from Lee Initiatives. The Medical Assisting program at Penn Highlands Community College requires students to obtain at least 61 credits before they receive an associate degree.


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Matt Hoffman, Assistant Vice President of Information Technology

Matt Hoffman, Assistant Vice President of Information Technology

Pennsylvania Highlands Community College is proud to announce the appointment of Mr. Matthew Hoffman as the College’s Assistant Vice President of Information Technology.

Mr. Hoffman will manage the College’s Information Technology Department. In his role, he will provide leadership, vision, and support for classroom technologies, prioritize all projects related to Information Technology, grow and mentor all Information Technology staff, and more. He holds a Master of Science in Information Technology System Design and Programming Specialization from Capella University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Corporate Communications from Robert Morris University.

Mr. Hoffman comes to us from Concurrent Technologies Corporation with a strong leadership and management background in Information Technology.

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