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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.