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  • College Appoints New Board of Trustee Member

    Posted January 24, 2022 at 10:20 am

    Image of Leah Spangler.

    Pennsylvania Highlands Community College is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Leah Spangler to its Board of Trustees.

    “I’m very pleased with the appointment of Dr. Spangler to the Pennsylvania Highlands Board of Trustees,” stated Dr. Steve Nunez, President of Penn Highlands Community College. “She has a proven track record of supporting and recognizing the positive impact of education on our community. I look forward to working with her to advance the mission of the College.”

    Dr. Leah Spangler is the founding President and CEO of The Learning Lamp and Ignite Education Solutions, a Johnstown-based nonprofit that works with schools and community organizations to provide all children with the support they need to succeed. She is also an adjunct professor at Saint Francis University and Mount Aloysius College, where she teaches entrepreneurship, nonprofit management, and strategic management. A graduate of Temple and Northwestern Universities, she completed her doctorate in Leadership and Administration at Point Park University.

    The new trustee position fills the vacancy of Dr. Kathy O’Rourke, who retired her position in December of 2021. Dr. O’Rourke was on the Penn Highlands Community College Trustee Board for 12 years as a valued advisor on the Academic Affairs and Student Services Committee.

    “The Board is pleased Dr. Spangler has made the commitment to our Pennsylvania Highlands Community College stakeholders,” stated Greg Winger, Board of Trustees Chairperson at Penn Highlands Community College. “Dr. Spangler brings years of educational expertise and community leadership. We look forward to her contributions and talents serving with our fellow Trustees.”

    In addition to the announcement of Dr. Leah Spangler as a new Trustee, three existing trustees were approved for six-year term reappointments by the Cambria County Commissioners:

    • Mr. Greg Winger
    • Dr. Janet Grady
    • Mr. Alan Cashaw

    About Pennsylvania Highlands Community College (www.pennhighlands.edu)
    Pennsylvania Highlands Community College has served over 60,000 community members throughout western Pennsylvania, including the Laurel Highlands and Southern Alleghenies regions. Offering over 35 degree, certificate, and diploma programs in seven unique pathways, Penn Highlands has the highest graduation rate of all Pennsylvania community colleges.

  • Sheetz Partners With Penn Highlands To Offer Tuition Discounts

    Posted January 11, 2022 at 8:06 am

    A new partnership between Penn Highlands Community College and Sheetz, Inc., a well-established locally owned convenience store chain, will offer education benefits and tuition discounts to its qualified employees. This initiative is designed to help regional Sheetz employees obtain a college credential with significant cost savings.

    This new collaboration features a 5% tuition reduction on credit classes from Penn Highlands Community College as well as an annual tuition reimbursement to eligible Sheetz employees.

    Credit classes may be taken in-person or online at all Penn Highlands Community College locations including Altoona, Ebensburg, Huntingdon, Richland, and Somerset.

    “Every day at Sheetz, we are working to create a place where employees know that they are valued and have a chance to grow,” said Sheetz CEO/President Travis Sheetz. “Creating partnerships with colleges and universities is a big part of that effort and we are so proud to join with Penn Highlands Community College to bring new educational opportunities to our employees.”

    “Penn Highlands Community College and Sheetz, Inc. share the belief that education is one of the best ways to change and improve a person’s life,” stated Dr. Steve Nunez, President of Penn Highlands Community College. “Our affordable, flexible, and quality educational options provide an excellent opportunity for regional Sheetz employees to earn a college credential at a reasonable price in the teaching modality that best suits their needs. We hope this is just the beginning of more employer partnerships.”

    For more information on this partnership with Sheetz or our Corporate Tuition Discount program, please visit www.pennhighlands.edu/corporate-discounts/. Sheetz employees may also speak with their Human Resources representative.

  • College Announces Dean’s List For Fall 2021

    Posted January 4, 2022 at 8:20 am

    Pennsylvania Highlands Community College is proud to announce that the following students have made the Dean’s List for the Fall 2021 semester.

    Alexandria – David Lee McGuire

    Altoona – Denise Marie Barnes, Natalie Shae Boose, Alicia M. Bryant, Mackenzy Elaine Ferguson, Alicia Ann Friedenberger, Andora K. Gardner, Nicole Horton, Scott Anthony Jurcik, Tara Paige Jurcik, Lori Lee Long, Courtney Michelle Luciano, Judy Katherine Munoz, Cameron Michael Nagle, Michele Elyse Plummer, Carmen Marie Robosson, Makayla Grace Ruggery, Kethan James Satterfield, Allys Marie Schmidhamer, Jonathan Brad Slack, Leah Jane Smith, Tanner John Dayne Umbower, Imani Vaughn

    Apollo – David Michael Sylvia

    Armagh – Ashlyn N. Bowers, Berkley Noel Sutton

    Ashville- Danielle Lin Pearce

    Beaverdale – Christie M. Bonfanti, Kirstin M. Emerick

    Belleville – Gavin Daniel Patterson

    Belsano – Ira Lee Sickles

    Berlin – Emma Rose Martz, Julie Ann Mitchell, Courtney Marie Seaman, Ava Morgan Walker

    Boswell – Emily Michele Bittner, Cory A. Brant, Madison Jade Burkholder, Abby E. Kniss

    Brisbin – Daphne Elizabeth Nevling

    Cairnbrook – Samantha Jean Fama, Christy Lou Fleegle, Brooke Rhianne Marek

    Calvin – Brooke Anne Shee

    Carrolltown – Tanner J. Maurer, Samuel R. Sottile

    Chicora – Richard B. Goodman

    Claysburg – Mackenzie Rose Clemens, Joseph D. Mauk, Justin Michael Mauk, Evan Charles Potter

    Coalport – Crystal M. Jasper

    Colver – Nicole Cowan

    Creekside – Megan L. Uptegraph

    Cresson – Taylor Alexis Doughty, Kaitlyn Marie Eger, Alison E. Gailey, Robert Clair Kearney, Meghan Claire Mostick, Julia M. Taylor, Rachel C. Verchereau

    Davidsville – Connor J. Baca

    Dayton – Eric Dean Eckman, Gavin John Solley

    Derry – Victoria M. Long

    Duncansville – Jade Kathryn Corbin, Kylie Ann Marie LoSasso, Britan Nathanael Swope

    East Freedom – Leah Loreine Giebelstein, Macray James Markovich, Victoria Noelle Sauers, Larett Eugene Weaver

    Ebensburg – Brandy Lee Eckenrod, Cassidy Goshey, Bryce Alan Hessler, Bridget Ann Llewellyn, Austin Gene McCready, Michael Collin Oyaski

    Emeigh – Courtney Breeanna Williams

    Export – Eric Jeffrey Hyland

    Fenelton – Hunter Alan Miller

    Friedens – Kelsey Katherine Emerick, Kaitlyn Leigh Ferko, Jennifer L. Grabill

    Gallitzin – Sherry Christine Hines, Julie Ann Madonna

    Hastings – Alexander David Blake, Tyler J. Charney, MaKala Lee Stafford

    Hillsdale – Jamie Zurenko

    Hollidaysburg – Ibrahim Alawad Aljalki, Emily Grace Campbell, Candice Marie Cicero, David Claar, Ro Dellinger, Damon Joseph Hesley, Joseph M. Mattern

    Hollsopple – Ethan Jacob Barkley, Ann Nicole Hardison, Maciah Robyn Holsopple

    Homer City – Braden Boothby

    Hooversville – Hannah Lynn Brehm, Dashanti Lamont Garlitz

    Houtzdale – Alex Francis Capitos

    Hudson – Phillip Thomas Grainger

    Huntingdon – Celeste Lilly Crayosky, Colby Paul Grubb, Amber Joy Newby

    Imler – Aleeta Marcelle Diehl

    Indiana – Jonathan Clark Gibbons

    Irvona – Matthew Alan Gaul

    Jenners – Joseph B. Hornick

    Johnstown – Taylor N. Ahlborn, Gillian Elizabeth Ambroe, Emma R. Bakos, Evan James Barkhimer, Jacinda Lee Berry, Deanna Lynne Bezek, Justin Dylan Bezek, Alexa Brooke Bilonick, Shayna Alexandra Blackford, Allyson Boring, Elizabeth Irene Breen, Alexus M. Carr, Stephanie Dawn Cassanese, Liam T. Coyne, Michael Steven Cratty, Megan Rose Cunningham, Isabella Marie Dadura, Aaron J. Deffenbaugh, Matthew Edward Dugan, Lori Rose Eamigh, Sierria Lynn Echon, Kayla Christine Eppley, Emily E. Euen, Cathryn Ann Foust, Mary Jeannette Gordon, Olivia Ada Kayin Grant, Corey Lynn Hrivnak, Bryce Michael Huss, Vanessa Marie Johnson, Cassie Elaine Kauffman, Alyssa Nicole Keiper, Brian Scott Kennedy, Katilynn E. Keyser, Joyce A. Kinsey, Susan Marie Kinsey, Nathan James Kniss, Samantha Morgan Kusner, Kaitlyn Anne Lensbouer, Robert S. Lichtenfels, Emily Rose Lowery, Qiana M. Lucas, Shane A. Malinish, Amber L. Mangus, Teresa A. Marion, Jeffrey Raymond Matevish, Keria R. McCulloch, Dustin James McLaughlin, Kathleen Rebecca McNally, Kayleigh Rae Mikolich, Taylor Anne Mock, Casey Nicole Moskal, Priscilla Ortiz, Brady T. Oswalt, Pooja Anil Parekh, Levi Samuel Peruso, Haleigh Marie Polacek, Mackenzie L. Quinn, Muhammad Mustafa Quraishy, Jason Paul Rilogio, Ray Anne Patrice Rosenbaum, Shane J. Ross, William F. Roth, Matthew Joseph Russo, Rylee Morgan Sabo, Jenna J. Sarlouis, Joshua Aaron Schalles, Jennifer L. Schario, Libby Anne Senft, Robert S. Sewak, Emily Paige Sherry, Megan Ann Shoemaker, Adam Dwight Steigert, Joseph J. Stringent, Emma Katherine Stuart, Linus F. Stuart, Alana Faith Taylor, Myah Nichole Teeter, David Michael Truscello, Rocco William Truscello, Jacob David Urban, Tanner Jackson Wagner, Anthony Walters, Alexander Michael Wherthey, Zachary David Whitcomb, Keeauna N. Williams, Renu Williams, Tirzah N. Wilson, Steven Joseph Winfield, Mark M. Zarate, Alexandra E. Zoldos

    Kunkletown – Nicole Schifano

    Latrobe – Samuel Alan Marsh

    Lewistown – Connor Nicholas Fultz

    Lilly – Isabella Jean Borlie, Julia Ann Podrasky

    Loretto – Austin Paul Conrad, Jeannie M. Crane, Ryan Joseph Lenz

    Manchester – Jocelyn Marie Mattis

    Mapleton Depot – Beth Ann McNerlin

    Martinsburg – Nicholas Allen Bechtel, Kolten Conrad, Kayla Ann Imler, Chason N. Kratzer

    McVeytown – Zayden C. Clark

    Meyersdale – Lakyn Elizabeth Roadman

    Mineral Point – Melanie Elizabeth Adams, Aileen Ashurst, Aaron J. Dreikorn, Aaron Michael Fenchak, Kenneth Glenn Findley, Lauryn Mae McCullough, David J. Morley

    Mount Union – Emma A. Smith, Celia R. Stever

    Munster – Madison Marie Wirfel-Latocha

    Nanty Glo – Michaella N. Smick, Haley Michael Rhine

    New Enterprise – Donna Jean Delbiondo

    New Florence – Grace Isabella Blankenbicker

    New Paris – Lauryn Elizabeth Calhoun

    Northern Cambria – Ariel Martina Dospoy, Adrianna Rose Farrell, Emma LeAnn Hasson, Alyssa Erin Hoffman, Elicia Marie Keith, Abigail Theresa Montanaro, Rebecca Nicole Perrone, Angel Lynn Raehl, Sydney Madison Sheredy, Whitney Nicole Strong

    Patton – Paige A. Jones, Samantha Sue Leamer, Nicolas Scott Painter, Kelsey Louise Rematt, Nathaniel M. Smith, Isabella Madalynn Stanko

    Penn Run – Seth E. Fyock

    Pennsylvania Furnace – Alex Hayden Mikula, Brooke Labrie

    Petersburg – Tricia May Farine

    Philadelphia – Uniqua Johnson

    Portage – Skyler Daniel Baran-Wozniak, Makayla Ashley Chappell, Justin M. Hazlett, Molly Gretchen Hochrein, Joshua A. Krumenacker, Jeremy Zane Piatak, Lindsey Sease, Malea Shaffer, Rhonda Smith, Corey Robert Sossong, Kayley Nichole Sossong, Abby Elizabeth Thrower

    Revloc – Danielle A. Hardsock

    Roaring Spring – Katelynn Frye Carter, Waverly Elaine Harshbarger, Ariadne Grace Madden, Miranda Antoinette Madden, Stacey L. Zimmerman

    Robertsdale – Devin Jeffrey Swope

    Robinson – Katie Dianna Peters

    Rockwood – Molly R. Hostetler

    Saint Marys – Jonathan William Krug, Allison Rae Vollmer

    Saint Michael – Christopher Kyle Kurchak, Jennafer Anne Ofsanko

    Salix – Levi Grigg, Olivia Mae Guillarmod, Noah Michael Webb

    Scottdale – Lee Eric Newcomer

    Seward – Cheyanne M. Gregorich, Tessa G. Rudnik

    Shade Gap – Taylor L. Hoffman

    Shirleysburg – Jennifer Lynn Kreider, Kendra R. Wertz

    Sidman – Livia Faith Hamara, Megan M. Luckenbaugh

    Six Mile Run – Seth Bussard

    Smithmill – Nathaniel Robert Beers

    Somerset – Brittney Joann Benford, Hailey J. Dewitt, Megan Elizabeth Gerhardt, Cheyenne Nicole Hull, Charenda Raven McGee, Erin Elizabeth Pyle, Cheyenne Raley, Brittani Sarver, Emilie Shea Walker

    South Fork – Allison Denise Gustkey

    Stoystown – Hunter Luke Martin, Courtney Josephine Pryal, Casey A. Romus

    Summerhill – Kylee Lynn Fabo, Christina Nichole Goral, Carlie Hope McGough, Nicole Marie Wright

    Tyrone – Kaleigh Kathryn Andrews, Morgan Elizabeth Crocefoglia, Tyler Haven Riggleman

    Warrenton – Drew Avery Tapscott

    Williamsburg – Matthew Cole DeHoyos

    Windber – Jessica Rose Baeder, Kacey Marie Berdomas, Tyler Nicholas Brown, Christopher Richard Capo, Haley Nicole Crum, Allison Mae Dusack, John Jarrett Evans, Karli Shay Hanik, Adriane Sophia Hautz, Gabriel Byron Helsel, Trinity Paige Krause, Dylan Jack Napora, Cy Jacob Saylor, Kayla Shuster, Jennifer Jo Stiffler, Jamin Anthony Tomaselli, Mason Andrew Toth, Taylor Rae Wahl

  • Christmas Was Magical

    Posted January 3, 2022 at 8:54 am

    The original column appeared in the Tribune-Democrat, written by Dr. Steve Nunez. Click here to see original sourced column.

    When I was a child growing up in southwest Virginia, I had access to very few external sources of entertainment.

    Of course, there was no internet. We did watch TV, but the clarity of the two TV channels we did get was unpredictable and was based on the fine-tuning of the large antenna we had bolted to our deck and the direction of the wind on any given day.

    Even VCRs were a thing of the future and my brother and I used a cassette player/recorder to capture the audio of our favorite TV shows, such as “Hogan’s Heroes.” What we watched on TV was equally dictated by what we could receive via antenna and whatever my dad wanted to watch – often something sports-related.

    Radio was something we listened to regularly – mostly to the latest rock-n-roll hits, but also any college basketball games we could find.

    Therefore, by default, my two siblings and I had to find other ways to entertain ourselves. We all became voracious readers.

    I found myself reading a lot about U.S. history, most often focused on World War II or the Civil War. Eventually, I discovered J.R.R. Tolkien, and his books opened a universe where I could escape the confines of southwest Virginia and mingle with not only other humans, but elves, dwarves, and orcs.

    My family also played a lot of games – most often various card games, but also a litany of board games. Monopoly was a family favorite.

    At some point, my interests in science fiction/fantasy books coincided with my adoration for board games.

    Friends introduced me to the world of Dungeons and Dragons (D&D to those in “the know”) – a role-playing game that required a hefty amount of imagination and peanut butter sandwiches and cups of Kool-Aid to provide the necessary fuel to persevere through dark dungeons, fight vicious dragons and laugh long and hard with friends (Can’t picture it? Watch “Stranger Things”).

    Mom never complained (openly) about the hoard of kids (or wizards, fighters, and clerics) that would descend on the household on many Saturdays; she almost seemed to enjoy it.

    When I was a child, Christmas was magical. I still remember opening presents – my mom, dad, sister, brother, and myself all surrounding the tree on Christmas morning.

    Dad would hand out one present at a time to each person and we all had to take turns opening them.

    It was grueling to watch everyone else open their presents while my eyes were firmly fixed on my next present tucked away in the corner of the room. “Come on, Dad – just give it to me already!”

    As an adult, I appreciated Christmas, but the experience was different. I lived through my kids – their anxiousness and anticipation for Christmas Day and the annual visit from Santa. and I learned to appreciate giving gifts to others – how fun and satisfying it was (is) when you pick just the right present for your loved one.

    But I will always remember the magic of going to bed as a child on Christmas Eve, barely able to sleep, and waking up the next day to a family room full of presents.

    And I still smile broadly with the memories of opening five Christmas presents delivered by Santa – five D&D books – that provided me (and my friends) with years of entertainment exploring dungeons, fighting goblins, finding gold, and building lasting memories – all within the comfort of my home.

    I hope you can play a game or two over the holidays with your family.

    See you at Penn Highlands.


    Written By Dr. Steve Nunez, College’s Fifth President. This monthly series appears in The Tribune-Democrat, and will allow Dr. Nunez to provide his perspective on the value of education and of a community college.

  • First National Bank Donates $2,000+ Through EITC Program

    Posted December 6, 2021 at 9:55 am

    Dr. Steve Nunez, College President, and Kathy Morrell, Executive Director of Institutional Advancement, recently accepted a donation from First National Bank. The donation was presented by Greg Winger, Senior Vice President/Regional Commercial Banking Manager at First National Bank. The $2,250 Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program donation was given to the College Foundation to help support the College’s Accelerated College Education (ACE) Program.

    In 2014, the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) granted Pennsylvania Highlands Community College national accreditation for its Accelerated College Education (ACE) concurrent enrollment program. Penn Highlands is one of only two colleges in the state that has earned this accreditation, which ensures that the courses offered in high schools are equivalent to courses offered on the sponsoring college’s campus or facilities.

    Because of donations through the EITC Program, ACE students are charged a reduced tuition rate. During the 2020-21 academic year, the cost per credit for this program was $63, allowing over 1,300 students to enroll in ACE courses at 47 different school districts across 11 Pennsylvania counties.

    (Left To Right) Kathy Morrell, Executive Director of Institutional Advancement at Penn Highlands Community College; Dr. Steve Nunez, President at Penn Highlands Community College; Gregory Winger, Senior Vice President/Regional Commercial Banking Manager at First National Bank. Check was delivered to the College’s Foundation for the EITC program and was presented at the Pennsylvania Highlands Community College Richland Campus.