• New Simulation Lab Benefits Student Experience In Healthcare Programs

    Posted April 25, 2018 at 9:05 am

    Healthcare faculty and their students are celebrating an addition to their learning experience with a brand new simulation lab. This lab will benefit students in various current and forthcoming healthcare programs at Penn Highlands Community College, including Medical Assisting Technology and Pharmacy Technician.

    A simulation lab replicates many healthcare environments such as a doctor’s office. Simulations done through this lab will allow students to role-play and act out situations they may encounter in the healthcare industry.

    The new lab at Penn Highlands consists of many essential supplies and equipment. This includes EKG machines, venipuncture training arms, vital signs equipment, a pulmonary function monitor, infant mannequins and scales, a surgical skills trainer kit, infection control supplies and personal protective equipment, respiratory supplies, assistive devices (wheelchair, crutches, walker, cane), and so much more.

    Students will be able to practice and perfect their skills in a safe and controlled environment. The simulation lab will help students learn to avoid medication errors, develop critical thinking and clinical decision-making skills, promote effective communication, and encourage teamwork.

    “Our Medical Assisting students have waited patiently for this wonderful opportunity, and we are very grateful for the generosity of those that have contributed to the enhancement of our students’ learning experience,” stated Tammy Calpin, Assistant Professor of Medical Assisting Technology and Practicum Coordinator at Penn Highlands.

    Fellow faculty member Gaynelle Schmeider, Associate Professor of Health Care Professions and Health Sciences Department Chair, shared her excitement for the college’s addition.

    “This new Health Sciences simulation lab will have a positive impact on technological advancements in learning for years to come,” said Schmeider. “I’m so excited because of the impact it will have for both our current and future students.”

    The Lee Initiatives Grant provided partial funding for the simulation lab. Currently, the Richland Campus is the only college facility to house a simulation lab, but plans are in the works to bring a similar simulation lab to the Penn Highlands Blair Center in the near future.

    Faculty, staff, and students unveiling the new simulation lab at the Penn Highlands Richland Campus.

  • Media Production Students Honored With Top Prize In Statewide Film Competition

    Posted April 23, 2018 at 8:29 am

    Media production students from Pennsylvania Highlands Community College took home first place in a statewide film competition that included entries from independent filmmakers and school groups throughout the state. This competition, held and judged by the Greater Erie Film Office, looked at creativity and innovation, cinematography, acting, sound design, and editing within each film.

    The “Secret in the Pines” film takes place at an orphanage in the 1930s and 1950s. It involves a young woman who returns to the orphanage to confront the administrator that abused her as a child.

    The short film was a project for the MPR 250 Video Production course at Penn Highlands. It was honored with the award at the recent Film and New Media Dinner Party held in Erie, PA. This project was based off an award-winning screenplay written by Heidi Dugan and Stella Rugiero, both from Erie County, PA.

    Students involved in the production include Timothy Borish (director), Joseph Castania (camera), Katelyn Carnell (audio and camera), Nick Letosky (music and planning), Mark Harkcom (make-up), and Ryan Stout (make-up). Students participating as actors included Andrea DiSalvo, Aaron Capouellez, Jennifer Yoder, Del Broughton, Autumn Hause, and Jordan Stanko.

    “This is the college’s third year entering the competition,” stated Rick Bukoski, Assistant Professor of Communication and Media Studies. “The first year we won third place, and the second year we won second place. On this third try, we won first place. We felt we were on a good trend and were very pleased with this entry. It’s a wonderful opportunity for students to be involved in creating a film from screenplay to final product in about a month’s time.”

    Bukoski discussed how it was especially challenging to create a film involving several young children who played orphans at an orphanage, but the students were up to the challenge.

    Beginning this fall semester, a new group of media production students will be involved in the statewide film competition.

  • Twenty-Third Graduating Class To Be Honored At Commencement Ceremony

    Posted April 17, 2018 at 10:39 am

    Pennsylvania Highlands Community College will be holding a Commencement Ceremony for their Twenty-Third Graduating Class on Saturday, May 12th, in their Richland Campus Auditorium. The Ceremony will begin at 10:00am.

    Student Senate President Kane Stiffey, of Johnstown, will be giving this year’s commencement address. Mr. Stiffey will obtain two degrees during the ceremony, an Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences and an Associate of Science in Business Administration. He has been very active during his time at Pennsylvania Highlands as both a College Student Trustee and the Student Senate President.

    Kane Stiffey will share his story to over 250 graduates who are planning to be in attendance. Also addressing the graduates will be Penn Highlands Community College President Dr. Walter Asonevich, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees Greg Winger, Cambria County President Commissioner Thomas Chernisky, and Faculty Senate President Yvette Madison.

    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.

    For those unable to attend the event, Pennsylvania Highlands Community College will be streaming the event live via the college’s Facebook account. Click here to access.

    Please join us in congratulating our Twenty-Third Graduating Class!

  • Marketing & Communications Team Honored With National Award

    Posted April 16, 2018 at 11:41 am

    The Marketing and Communications team at Pennsylvania Highlands Community College recently earned national recognition for its efforts in marketing through video production.

    The National Council for Marketing and Public Relations (NCMPR) awarded Penn Highlands Community College a silver Paragon Award in the Video Shorts category, which included promotional or marketing videos less than two minutes in duration. Penn Highlands received this coveted, national honor among two-year colleges at NCMPR’s annual awards event recently held in Las Vegas, Nevada.

    The video short that received this honor highlighted the story of Sadie Carney, a Penn Highlands graduate and aspiring doctor. Click here to see her journey and watch the award-winning video.

    “To be recognized nationally for the work we do in promoting Penn Highlands is a tremendous honor,” stated Raymond Weible, Jr., Director of Marketing and Communications at Penn Highlands Community College. “This award, along with those we earned at the regional level, shows the commitment and effort put forth on a daily basis to highlight the college as a premier institution in western Pennsylvania.”

    The department has earned eight regional awards since 2015. This is its first national award.

    The Paragon Awards presented by NCMPR recognize outstanding achievement in design and communication at community and technical colleges. This national competition is the only one of its kind that honors excellence exclusively among marketing and PR professionals at two-year colleges.

    Marketing & Communications at Penn Highlands Community College consists of three team members: Raymond Weible, Jr., Director of Marketing and Communications; Sean McCool, Creative Services and Marketing Specialist; and Andrew Podolak, Marketing and Communications Assistant.

    Penn Highlands collaborated with Wade James of Adliv Collective during the production of the video that garnered this achievement. Adliv Collective provides professional photography and videography services in Johnstown, PA.

    NCMPR is the only organization of its kind that exclusively represents marketing and public relations professionals at community and technical colleges. They are one of the fastest-growing affiliates of the American Association of Community Colleges, representing more than 1,550 members from over 650 colleges across the United States, Canada, and other countries. The organization consists of seven (7) districts, with Penn Highlands being a member of District 1.

    About NCMPR
    The National Council for Marketing & Public Relations is a professional organization for individuals involved in marketing, communications, public relations and enrollment management at community, junior, and technical colleges. NCMPR provides professional development opportunities, advocates on behalf of the profession and the institutions it serves, and recognizes professional excellence. For more information, visit

  • Four Students Named To All-PA Academic Transfer Team

    Posted April 11, 2018 at 12:18 pm

    The Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges (PACCC) honored the 24th Annual All-Pennsylvania (All-PA) Academic Transfer Team at an awards banquet held on Monday, April 9th in Harrisburg. The awards recognize an exceptional group of community college students who have achieved excellence and demonstrated a commitment to their colleges and communities.

    The 2018 awardees include 46 outstanding community college transfer scholars from across the Commonwealth. Students must have completed at least 36 credits at a community college and must have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher to be considered for these awards.

    “The Commission applauds these outstanding student scholars on their terrific academic achievements,” said Elizabeth Bolden, President and CEO of PACCC. “By enrolling in a high-quality program at a community college, these students are building a foundation for a successful career and furthering their postsecondary study.”

    Pennsylvania’s community colleges partner with the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) universities to provide scholarships to All-PA Transfer Team members at PASSHE institutions, providing two years of tuition at any PASSHE school.

    Of the awardees, four of those honored were from Pennsylvania Highlands Community College. Those honored include the following outstanding students.

    Shaina Aurandt, of Cresson, will graduate this May with a degree in Psychology and has a career goal of working with individuals who struggle with mental health and/or mental disabilities. Shaina played volleyball for Penn Highlands, and is a member of Penn Highlands’ Phi Theta Kappa Chapter and the National Society of Leadership and Success organization.

    Autumn Hause, of Johnstown, will graduate this May with a degree in Psychology and plans to transfer to Indiana University of Pennsylvania. As a transgender (non-binary) student, Autumn is planning a career to promote activism and advocacy in regard to mental health and rights for the LGBTQ+ community. Autumn would like to lessen the stigmatization of mental illness in America and help LGBTQ+ individuals find happiness, stability, and success. Autumn is currently the President of the Penn Highlands’ Phi Theta Kappa Chapter, and also serves on the Student Senate, Sigma Alpha Pi, Gender-Sexuality Alliance, Psychology Club, College Senate, Diversity Committee, Ethics Committee, and FilmFest Committee.

    Colton Helbig, of Patton, will graduate in May 2019 with a degree in Computer Science and has a career goal of becoming an Information Security Analyst. Cyber attacks are an unfortunate reality, and Colton would like to prevent them from happening. In high school, Colton participated in the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science (PJAS) and now judges those competitions to help students continue to improve in their research and encourage them to keep loving science and research. Colton is a member of both Penn Highlands’ Phi Theta Kappa Chapter and the National Society of Leadership and Success. Outside of college, Colton helps students at Cambria Heights High School with the PJAS science fair.

    Annette Thompson, of Altoona, will graduate this May with a degree in Business Management and plans to transfer to Slippery Rock University. Annette is a 35-year-old wife and mother that wears many hats. Besides being a mother and student, Annette owns and operates Rugrats Resale, a series of seasonal consignment sale events in State College and Altoona. She is also a licensed Pennsylvania realtor. In the future, Annette would like to run her own business while teaching business part-time at a high school or college.

    Pennsylvania Highlands Community College congratulates these students on their academic achievements and looks forward to what each of their futures will hold.