8 Penn College students medal in national competition

PHOTO PROVIDED Penn College students who medaled at the National Leadership and Skills Conference are, from left, Weston L. Laity, of Blandon; Erin M. Beaver, of Winfield; Aaron F. White, of Westover; Anthony J. DiBucci, of Glenshaw; Joseph L. Brubaker, of Port Trevorton; Slavik Y. Borisov, of Lewisburg; Matthew R. Bean, of McElhattan; and Philip A. Kneller, of New Albany.

Eight students from the widest variety of academic majors ever to represent Pennsylvania College of Technology at the National Leadership and Skills Conference returned home with medals — including first-time successes in three competitive areas.

The contingent took one of three top places in five categories, and this year marked the first time that Penn College entrants medaled in Computer Programming, TeamWorks and Welding Sculpture.

“This really goes to show how well-prepared the students are from their respective fields and how great our instructors are here at the college. This is, by far, the most diverse group of students I’ve had go to the national competition,” said SkillsUSA adviser James N. Colton II, an assistant professor of welding. “The national skills competition gives us a chance to showcase our technical skills and show everyone why we’re a leader in applied technology.”

Erin M. Beaver, of Winfield, earned the gold in Welding Sculpture, and Slavik Y. Borisov, of Lewisburg, brought home a silver medal in Welding. Both are enrolled in the college’s four-year welding and fabrication engineering technology major.

Bronze medals were won in CNC Milling by Matthew R. Bean, of McElhattan, manufacturing engineering technology; and in Computer Programming by Weston L. Laity, of Blandon, information technology sciences-gaming and simulation.

Third-place honors also went to the foursome that competed in TeamWorks: Joseph L. Brubaker, of Port Trevorton, electrical technology; Anthony J. DiBucci, of Glenshaw, building construction technology: masonry emphasis; Philip A. Kneller, of New Albany, building construction technology; and Aaron F. White, of Westover, residential construction technology and management.

The team members who traveled to Louisville, Kentucky, with Colton and Michael Damiani, an aviation maintenance instructor, won the right to compete by placing first at the Pennsylvania Leadership and Skills Conference held at Hershey in mid-April.

“I feel very proud about the students’ performance at the national competition,” Colton added. “All the students went out and did the best they could.”

Other Penn College students and the results of their efforts at the June 19-23 nationals:

Andrew B. Williams, of Altoona, heating, ventilation and air conditioning technology, fourth in Extemporaneous Speaking; Zachary D. Seiler, of Kunkletown, automated manufacturing technology, fifth in CNC Turning; Matthew J. Horner, of Marion, engineering design technology, sixth in Technical Drafting; Olivia J. Hawbecker, of Chambersburg, web and interactive media, ninth in Job Interview; and Genevieve M. Kelly, of South Hamilton, Massachusetts, collision repair technology, 19th in Collision Repair.