Both Penn College teams place in regional student construction competition

November 27, 2018

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Two teams of Pennsylvania College of Technology students finished strongly among the 22 institutions in the 29th annual Associated Schools of Construction Region 1 Student Competition held Nov. 8-10 in Albany, New York.

The college’s Design-Build Team, charged with developing and constructing a STEM expansion at one of New England’s premier boarding schools, placed second. Its Commercial Team, challenged to provide a new Development Center on the Providence College campus, placed third in the competition.

Penn College Commercial Team

Members of Penn College’s third-place Commercial Team are, from left, Justin L. Stanton, of Newfoundland; Daniel A. Rex, of Norristown; Darren L. Dreas, of Macungie; Carl A. Zimmerman, of Hunlock Creek; Calen B. Heeter, of Emlenton; and Joseph R. Dietz, of Bethel Park.

IMAGE: Pennsylvania College of Technology

“Both of our teams were young; many schools bring all seniors, but half of our teams were sophomores,” said Wayne R. Sheppard, assistant professor and department head for construction management, who accompanied the Penn College students to New York state. “That is truly a testimony to the motivation, drive and passion of our younger students, even as it is a credit to the leadership and mentoring of our seasoned leaders. These experiences are great for the students and it is great to support their efforts.”

Members of the Design-Build Team are: Derick S. Gower, of Sunbury; David H. Guarriello, of Bethlehem; co-captain Lauren S. Herr, of Lititz; Adam Z. Hutchinson, of Greensburg; co-captain Chekota J. Newhart, of Troy; and Rachel E. White, of Doylestown.

Comprising the Commercial Team are: Joseph R. Dietz, of Bethel Park; Darren L. Dreas, of Macungie; captain Calen B. Heeter, of Emlenton; Daniel A. Rex, of Norristown; Justin L. Stanton, of Newfoundland; and Carl A. Zimmerman, of Hunlock Creek.

All are in the School of Construction & Design Technologies’ four-year construction management major, with the exception of White. She is enrolled in building science and sustainable design: architectural technology concentration.

For Newhart, Heeter and Herr, the results cap a three-year run of trophies. They competed in the Preconstruction category in 2017 and 2016, finishing first and second, respectively.

“The value I have gained from participating in the ASC competition in both Preconstruction and Design-Build over the last three years could not have been received in the classroom,” Herr said. “The level of intensity, attention to detail, professionalism and decision-making that is required in the 13-hour time slot to turn in a complete proposal is very realistic.”

“Presenting to a panel of ‘owners’ and selling our services is my favorite part of the competition,” she added. “We put in so much work in the proposal binder, but how we present ourselves, address key design and construction strategies, and answer questions, makes such a strong impact on the owners’ decision. My hope is for the returning members of our team to continue competing at ASC and encourage others to do the same.”

“Participating in the Associated Schools of Construction competition the past three years has tested me in a real-world setting and allowed me to apply my knowledge I have learned through my career at Penn College,” Newhart said. “I highly encourage returning students to participate and build upon our success. Our ability to place against the top schools of this region provides testament to the program’s curriculum and faculty.”

Heeter added: “The ASC competition is a great chance to showcase the skills students learn in the (construction management) program. This voluntary competition allows the opportunity for team-building, a chance to practice public speaking and professionalism, and provides real-world experience that cannot be achieved in the classroom. Having the chance to participate in this competition is a real bonus to my education here at Penn College.”

In addition to the competition, during which students are evaluated by industry judges on the quality of their proposals and oral presentations, a job fair connects hundreds of Mid-Atlantic and Northeast students with industry-leading employers.

For more about the construction management major in the School of Construction & Design Technologies, visit or call 570-327-4518.

For information about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education, visit, email or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

Last Updated November 27, 2018