Computer Information Technology Grad Makes an Impact at IBM Security

As a high school senior at Scranton Preparatory School who loved both computers and cooking, Salvatore Zaydon was torn on what he wanted to do after graduation. However, after seeing a Johnson College Open House banner and deciding to attend the event, he knew he belonged on campus.  “As soon as I met Mr. Polinsky, I said ‘Alright, I know I want to go to Johnson,’” the 25-year-old Dickson City native says. “He was a fun, bubbly guy who you could tell had a bunch of knowledge but also had a lot of fun while teaching it.“

Zaydon graduated in 2013 with an Associate of Science degree in Computer Information Technology. After Johnson College, he moved on to SUNY Polytechnic Institute where he earned his Bachelor’s in Computer Information Systems in 2015. He now works as a Software Engineer for Learning Services at IBM Security where he helps customers and business partners learn how to best utilize their IBM Security software.

“Johnson College gave me a focus,” explains Zaydon, “It helped me figure out what I enjoyed and what I actually wanted to do. I knew I liked computers but I didn’t know what aspect I enjoyed. It was nice to be able to get that foundation and figure out what I wanted to build upon in the future.”

His interest in computers and technology started at a very young age. He recalls fondly that when the computer in his family home would break, he was the one who would fix it as his siblings stood by baffled.  “[Fixing computers] surprisingly came fairly easily to me, and I enjoyed doing it. I figured, I wanted to go online and play a game so, I may as well try and fix the problem,” he says.

Finding solutions to technological problems is something that he continues to do in his career today. Zaydon says that he loves his job because it allows him to find solutions to one of the computer industry’s biggest roadblocks- security. “It’s pretty cool because you see a vulnerability that comes out and someone, like a bank, gets hacked and you’re sitting there saying ‘we could have avoided that,’” he says.

Zaydon’s passion for and extensive knowledge of computers has also allowed him to give back to organizations that have made an impact on his life. As an Eagle Scout, Zaydon now tries to stay active with his former Troop 322 (chartered by the Dickson City Community Ambulance Association) as a troop leader and the troop’s Webmaster.

When discussing what values and advice he would share with Johnson College students today, Zaydon recalls something he was taught by Johnson College’s Computer Information Technology Department Chair and Instructor, Joe Polinsky, “If you get to the end of a project or have a problem and hit your solution, but there is still a little bit more that you can do to make it even better- do it. It’ll look better, and you’re doing a disservice to yourself if you do the bare minimum.” These values have certainly benefited him as he began his professional career, first in Philadelphia and now in Harrisburg.

For more information on the Computer Information Technology program, please click here

Spring 2018 Semester President’s List Announced

Katie Leonard, President & CEO of Johnson College, has announced the President’s List of students who have completed the Spring 2018 semester with a grade point average of 3.90 or higher.

Sarah Carey,  Architectural Drafting & Design Technology

Jerry Coyle,  Computer Information Technology

Brandon Emmett,  Biomedical Equipment Technology

Valerie Frank,  Architectural Drafting & Design Technology

Andrew Giardina,  Advanced Manufacturing Engineering Technology

Adrian Gonzalez,  Radiologic Technology

Jordan Hoinsky,  Electrical Construction & Maintenance Technology

Brandon Hudacko,  Heating Ventilation & Air Conditioning Technology

Jovanne Morales, Veterinary Technology

Matthew Robinson, Computer Information Technology

Natalie Serrano, Heating Ventilation & Air Conditioning Technology

Heather Smith, Physical Therapist Assistant

Maura Speicher, Physical Therapist Assistant

Benjamin Terry, Electronic Engineering Technology

Earlbeck Technologies Partnership Supports Welding Training in Northeast and Central PA

Standing (L-R) – Kellyn Nolan, Chief Academic Officer; Dan Cristiano. Account Manager at Cristiano Welding Supply; Anthony DeLucca, Welding Technology Instructor; Allie Earlbeck, Director of Operations at Earlbeck Gases & Technologies; Don Hodges, Director of Training and Testing at Earlbeck Gases & Technologies; and Mike Novak, Chief Administrative Officer. Seated (L-R) – Katie Leonard, President & CEO, and Jim Earlbeck, President of Earlbeck Gases & Technologies.

Johnson College signed an agreement with Earlbeck Technologies on Monday, May 14th. The partnership will provide prospective students with industry recognized certifications. Trainings to be offered starting in June 2018 include hourly certificates that allow the student to gain basic, entry-level knowledge of welding principles and provides existing welders the opportunity to upskill. Class sessions will be conducted at Johnson College and will also expand the College’s footprint as they will be offering the same classes in York, PA at the Earlbeck facility. This is a true collaboration between higher education and industry.

Industry partnerships are of utmost importance to Johnson College’s recently appointed president and CEO, Katie Leonard. “We have never had a partnership in the past that was this collaborative and formal which means we are both in this together, to train the welding workforce together.” Through a similar partnership with a two-year college in Maryland, and by utilizing its current welding curriculum, Earlbeck has successfully trained thousands of students.

Jim Earlbeck, president of Earlbeck Technologies said, “This new partnership brings together education and industry in a new way by blending Johnson’s traditional curriculum with desired industry skills.” With Earlbeck as a respected industry leader, President Leonard said this collaboration is “The perfect marriage for industry training” because according to an article in the Wall Street Journal, skilled welders have the potential to make up to $150,000 due to a large shortage of qualified workers. According to the American Welding Society, the welding industry will face a shortage of about 400,000 welders by 2024.

For 99 years, Earlbeck Gases & Technologies has been an industry leader of welding supply distribution. Technical support and customer education have always been its priority. The business provides manufacturers in Maryland and Pennsylvania with welding process optimization and it prides itself in its ability to provide customer education and technical support.
The alignment of education and industry not only benefits potential students with job skills, but also provides local organizations a facility to utilize to train skilled workers. This new agreement provides job-ready training to those seeking employment or those currently employed seeking to upskill. Local businesses can connect with Johnson College and Earlbeck when seeking a skilled workforce, and also has the opportunity to seek assistance with consulting, training, and certification testing for other facets of business.

President Leonard said she hopes to see a “Continued pattern of sustained growth for many years to come” when it comes to the Earlbeck Technologies relationship.

Those interested in taking welding courses at Johnson College can contact the Center for Professional Development at 570-702-8981 or email

Andrew Mazza Foundation Diesel Jam to be Held June 10th

Johnson College and The Andrew Mazza Foundation are proud to announce the 1st Andrew Mazza Diesel Jam to be held at Johnson College on Sunday, June 10, 2018. Diesel Jam will be a celebration of the diesel truck community, featuring a truck show, mobile dyno runs, vendors, food, and live entertainment. It will be an all-day (rain or shine) family friendly event. All trucks are invited to participate.

This event will support the Diesel Truck Technology Program at Johnson College and The Andrew Mazza Foundation. Diesel Truck Technology is a 2-year program designed to prepare students as entry-level technicians with the latest information on diagnosis, repair procedures, preventative maintenance, and necessary safety applications in diesel technology. The program graduates more than 20 students each year who have an immediate impact on the diesel truck industry, especially in Northeast Pennsylvania.

The Andrew Mazza Foundation, started in 2016, supports and enriches the community through Andrew’s passions and hobbies. Proceeds raised from Diesel Jam will go to enhance and expand the Diesel Truck Technology Program at Johnson, provide students with scholarships, and serve the community in which Andrew called home.

Early truck and mobile dyno registration can be completed through Johnson College’s Website at  until June 1, 2018.  The fee to register a truck is a $25 donation. Registration will be limited on the day of the event and will increase to $30 per registration, an additional fee is required to register for the mobile dyno. More information is available by contacting Dawn Ziegler at (570) 313-0369, emailing or on Facebook at Johnson College or The Andrew Mazza Foundation.