Life is a journey, not a destination. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
In December 1980, I left my job as a newspaper reporter to return to my alma mater, Williamsport Area Community College, where I accepted a position as a “communications clerk.” I did not expect it to be a life changing decision, just temporary employment while I considered my options.
Over the next 38 years, I had the privilege of communicating messages about the college I loved. I expanded my knowledge base from journalism and photography to printing, advertising, magazine publishing, web publishing and television production. I became a leader of the college information and community relations team.
I was part of a group of higher education administrators that planned for the transition of Williamsport Area Community College into Pennsylvania College of Technology, an affiliate of Penn State. I stood by my good friend and colleague Davie Jane Gilmour as she become president of the institution (and my boss).
Together with many friends and colleagues, I proudly watched our college earn a national reputation for excellence while remaining a keystone of the local community. Four years ago, the entire campus and community celebrated a memorable centennial anniversary.
All of this might sound like a dream come true, but the truth is I never even dreamed of the opportunities that blessed my career. As I look back, I am amazed at how much can happen when you simply open your heart and mind and follow the path that appears before you.
This will be my final producer’s blog, as I am retiring on December 31. But, the journey continues.
In 2019, two new films will be released in the Working Class public television documentary series. You can expect an announcement regarding the premiere of Working Class: Helping & Healing early in the year. A few months later, Working Class: Moving Fast & Forward will follow.
Working Class: Helping & Healing highlights the importance of science, math, communication and hands-on experience in preparing students for success in health and human service careers.
Working Class: Moving Fast & Forward features Penn College’s nationally recognized transportation technology programs while exploring the history of transportation and advanced technology career opportunities for the future.
Like earlier films in the series, these will highlight the importance of hands-on experience in academic learning and feature interviews with experts and faculty who contribute to the advancement of education and society.
As I end my career as the executive producer of the Working Class series. I am confident that talented professionals on staff at Penn College and WVIA Public Media will continue to expand the series and share with the audience pertinent career awareness information and inspiring stories of success in education and the workplace.
I am pleased to announce today that the Working Class K-12 Art Challenges will continue in 2019, under the capable and enthusiastic leadership of Penny Lutz, director of the Gallery at Penn College. Penny appeared in the very first episode of the series Working Class: Dream & Do as moderator of a maker space roundtable. She will do a terrific job coordinating the art challenges in the future.
I would like to thank the individuals who have made this initiative possible: Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour, WVIA President and Chief Executive Officer Tom Curra (who is also my Working Class executive producing partner), WVIA’s Chief Development Officer Ron Prislupski, and Chris Leigh, Penn College’s Video Production Coordinator, who created the series with me and led the development of each episode from initial video shoots to final editing.
I offer special appreciation to each member of the Penn College faculty, each K-12 educator, and each industry expert who sat for interviews and gave their time and energies to support the Working Class productions.
I also want to thank the Public Relations and Marketing office at Penn College. Each member of the staff has contributed in one way or another to my career and to the success of the Working Class series. Special thanks goes to Phil Warner, who develops and maintains the Working Class website.
Finally thank you, the audience of educators, parents, students and supporters of education who have actively participated in the success of our Telly Award winning productions. Please continue to support the series and the people who will guide it in the future.
I am grateful for a long, satisfying career that has taken me on an unforgettable journey through life. And now … the journey continues.