College Receives Grant to Support Veterinary Animal Care Clinic   

Johnson College has been awarded a $2,500 grant from the Robert H. Spitz Foundation, managed by the Scranton Area Community Foundation. This grant will support low-cost spay and neuter surgeries as well as vaccines for low-income pet owners in our community.  

As many people struggle to feed their families every week, family pets, while loved dearly, are not always updated on rabies vaccines and spay/neuter procedures until finances are available. This grant will help these families take proper care of and responsibility for their pets covering blood work, surgery, anesthesia, and pain medication. The grant will also provide low-cost rabies vaccines.

Johnson College’s Veterinary Nursing Program prepares students to join an animal care team as entry-level technicians. Their tasks can include collecting samples, performing lab tests, taking radiographs, preparing the surgical suite, assisting in surgery, monitoring anesthesia, and providing general nursing care to patients. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredits the program. Students become Certified Veterinary Nurses upon passing the Veterinary Technician National Exam.  

“This grant will greatly support both our Veterinary Nursing Program students and low-income pet-owning families within our community,” said Dr. Katie Leonard, President & CEO of Johnson College. The care and treatment of these pets will give our students hands-on training to prepare them for their national exams and to enter the workforce.”

For more information about Johnson College’s Veterinary Nursing Program, visit

The Scranton Area Community Foundation has served as administrator for the Robert H. Spitz Foundation since 2016. To date, the Robert H. Spitz Foundation has provided over $4.6 million in grant funding to the community. Learn more about the Robert H. Spitz Foundation at

Pictured left to right: Cathy Fitzpatrick, Grants and Scholarship Manager, The Scranton Area Foundation, Karen Baker, Senior Director of College Advancement, Johnson College, Dr. Katie Leonard, President & CEO, Johnson College; and Laura Ducceschi, President and CEO, The Scranton Area Foundation.

Forklift Operator Training Enrolling for December 17

Johnson College’s Continuing Education program is offering a Forklift Operator Training Course on Saturday, December 17, 2022, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Diesel Truck Technology Center on the College’s campus in Scranton. The cost of the course is $200, but if you are a current Johnson College student or alum the cost is only $100. Space is limited! Visit or contact our Continuing Education team at 570-702-8979 or to learn more and enroll.

The forklift operator training is designed to familiarize students with OSHA Powered Industrial Truck Operator Training Requirements (29CFR Standard 1910.178 and ASME B56.1), provide current training requirements under the newly adopted standards, and assist participants in becoming an authorized operator of forklifts through theory and tactile testing. Nine hours of instruction including pre-operational inspection, picking up, traveling, and placing loads, parking procedures, refueling, and practical operation.

Innovation and Creation STEM Program Celebrates Afterschool Programs

West Scranton Intermediate and NativityMiguel School of Scranton students from Johnson College’s Innovation and Creation STEM afterschool programming joined a national celebration of afterschool programs called Lights On Afterschool on October 20, 2022.

The sixth through eighth-grade students showed their support of the National Afterschool Alliance’s Lights On Afterschool event by participating in challenges that used littleBits electrical circuits to illuminate their projects. The first set of students used the littleBits to demonstrate Morse Code through lights. The second set of students participated in an architectural design and drafting challenge using Legos and littlBits circuitry to create structures that incorporated a lighting component. The projects encouraged them to communicate with each other while expanding their knowledge in both STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and history.

Through Johnson College’s Innovation and Creation STEM program, students are exposed to careers and fields they might not have previously known about. They are given the opportunity to engage in STEM-related learning in a way that promotes innovation, creation, problem-solving, and many other essential skills. Students complete projects using a variety of modern robotic, electronic, and engineering equipment that is provided to them by the College.

Additionally, students learn about the steps they can take to expand their STEM education, including Johnson College’s Dual Enrollment and Industry Fast Track programs. Through these programs, students are eligible to earn college credits while they are attending high school.

To learn more about Johnson College’s Innovation and Creation STEM programming, contact Tim Frank at (570) 702-8963 or

About Afterschool Alliance

The Afterschool Alliance is a nonprofit public awareness and advocacy organization working to ensure that all children and youth have access to quality afterschool programs. The Lights On After School event is used to draw attention to the opportunities and support that afterschool STEM programming provides to students including academic support, job and college readiness, opportunities for hands-on learning, and so much more. More information is available at

Pictured left to right: Onix Crespo and Ellie Parker of NativityMiguel School of Scranton.

Johnson College Receives Grant from the Moses Taylor Foundation

Johnson College has been awarded a $250,000 grant from the Moses Taylor Foundation to support the development of a new Biomedical Equipment Technology laboratory to be housed in the new campus gateway building, Ideal Saldi Hall.

The new laboratory will provide critical hands-on learning on the latest technology available and in use throughout the region in healthcare facilities. The program trains students as entry-level biomedical technicians with medical terminology and human physiology principles, as well as the maintenance and support, planning, and installation of medical equipment according to standards and guidelines.

The future promises revolutionary advancements in the biomedical equipment technology industry. New technology such as 3D printing, computer miniaturization, and nanotechnology, will provide exciting new opportunities for biomedical equipment technology graduates.

The construction of the new gateway building is one of the four pillars of the College’s comprehensive, 5-year capital campaign, Innovation at Work. The building will highlight students’ future career potential by showcasing various industry training opportunities within classroom and laboratory spaces such as a Biomedical Equipment Technology laboratory.

In recognition of its support, the new biomedical equipment technology laboratory will be named in honor of the Foundation. Campus visitors will have the opportunity to see students actively learning within the new lab through large glass viewing areas.

The two-year Biomedical Equipment Technology associate degree program prepares students as entry-level biomedical technicians with skills training that include medical terminology and human physiology principles, as well as the maintenance and support, planning and acquisition, and installation of medical equipment according to standards and guidelines.

For more details about the “Innovation at Work” campaign, visit

The Moses Taylor Foundation is a private foundation dedicated to building healthy communities and providing opportunities for people in Northeastern Pennsylvania to lead healthier lives. Since its formation, the Foundation has grown to support approximately $4 million in annual grantmaking in Bradford, Carbon, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, Schuylkill, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming Counties. For more information, visit

Pictured left to right: Dr. Katie Leonard, President & CEO, Johnson College; Danielle Breslin, Executive Director, Moses Taylor Foundation; and Karen Baker, Senior Director of College Advancement, Johnson College.

OBDII Emissions Training Class Enrolling for November 14

Johnson College’s Continuing Education Program is currently enrolling students in its OBDII Emissions Training class. The class will be held in the Moffat Student Center on the Johnson College campus on Monday, Nov. 14, and Tuesday, Nov. 15 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., and conclude with testing on Thursday, Nov. 17 at 6 p.m. Space is limited. To learn more or enroll call 570-702-8979 or email

The OBDII computer monitors a vehicle’s emission control systems in real time and is capable of informing a motorist or technician of a systemic issue the moment it occurs. The system operates through a series of indicator lights, drive cycles, trouble codes, and readiness monitors. During an inspection, an emission analyzer scan tool plugs into the diagnostic connector that is attached to the OBDII computer and communicates with the vehicle. The OBDII computer relays to the scan tool whether it has discovered errors in the emission control systems. The emission analyzer then determines whether the vehicle is being operated in compliance with emission standards. For more information visit

The OBDII Emissions Training class fee of $180 is paid to Johnson College and a study material and testing fee of $39.99 is paid directly to the PA Training Portal.

College to Host Fall Open House on November 5, 2022

Johnson College will hold an on-campus Fall Open House on Saturday, November 5, 2022, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. To register to attend the Open House, visit or contact Johnson College’s Enrollment Department at 570-702-8856 or

Open House will include discussions about the admissions process, information about financial aid for those who qualify, and student services such as student life, student support, and career services. Plus, same-day acceptance will be available for many programs if students bring their high school or college transcripts. Tours of each technical area will be conducted and program directors and instructors will be available to review the specifics of their programs.

From Nose to Tail: The Importance of a Healthy Skin & Coat

By Kimberly Konopka, ’07, BS, AS, CVT, ESM

Originally published in the September 23, 2022, edition of the Valley Advantage

Did you know that the largest organ in cats and dogs is their skin and hair coat? It makes up close to 10 to 15% of their total body weight.

It is important for pet owners to help keep this organ in top shape because it is vital in performing many basic functions in keeping their pets healthy. These functions include:

Defense and Immunity — The skin and coat provide protection, acting as a shield to the internal organs from outside stressors such as chemicals, UV light or other environmental threats. The nerves within the skin also aid in sensing temperature variation, pain or pressure. Compromised skin health may lead to harmful bacteria causing diseases and infections.

Thermoregulation — Dogs and cats do not have sweat glands, so a healthy hair coat helps to maintain proper body temperatures and acts as an insulation layer. The movement of the hair follicles brings the hairs closer together to insulate against the cold, or the opposite allows air to move freely between the looser hairs to allow for a cooling effect.

Storage — The skin acts as a warehouse for storing several vital proteins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, and collagen fibers. Many of these are necessary for cellular production and maintenance of those cells, along with various other functions.

So, how can you, a pet owner, contribute to skin and coat health?

The pet’s diet is the first influence on skin and coat health. As the saying goes, “you are what you eat,” and this also holds true for animals. Good quality pet food lays the foundation for proper pet health. These diets contain omega-3s, good sources of quality proteins, vitamins, and minerals, and provide the appropriate number of calories to meet the pet’s energy needs. To be sure you’re feeding your pet the right food, ask your veterinarian. Some pets do require additional supplements or have special dietary needs.

Proper grooming and bathing are also essential factors in maintaining healthy skin and coat. Some pets can’t or don’t groom themselves well and may need a little assistance keeping themselves less disheveled. Grooming your pet on a regular basis helps remove any dirt, debris, and dead skin cells.

As a pet owner, this is also an opportunity to closely examine your pet’s skin for abnormalities or parasites. The frequency of bathing will be dependent on the pet’s needs. Different hair coat types, such as heavy undercoats compared to the hairless varieties of dogs and cats, will have very different bathing schedules and shampoo requirements. Of course, the pet’s lifestyle will also influence bathing or grooming needs. Pets should only be bathed utilizing a shampoo formulated for the specific species. Pets are not small humans, and the pH of their skin varies significantly from ours. Human shampoos, including baby formula shampoo, should not be used on your pet as it is too harsh for their skin. If you are concerned about your pet’s hair coat, discuss the concern with your veterinarian, as there may be an underlying nutritional deficit or medical condition.

Ever wonder why your pet is so itchy?

There are many causes of itchy skin in pets, both external and internal. Unfortunately, it may be a very frustrating and time-consuming process to determine what is causing the condition.

External causes of acute or chronic itching include, but are not limited to, dry winter air or lack of humidity, environmental allergens such as grass or pollen from trees, or even an allergy to fleas or other biting insects.

Internal causes may include a food sensitivity/allergy or a systemic disease process.

Any of these concerns can cause skin problems such as hair loss, a greasy coat, excessive dandruff, rashes, odorous/dirty ears, or even open sores. Chronic itchy skin requires veterinary attention and generally serious detective work on the owner’s part. Keeping a journal of occurrences and possible triggers may help the veterinarian determine the cause. The veterinarian may arrive at a diagnosis and treatment quickly, but sometimes it may be very challenging and even require special care from a veterinary dermatologist. Occasionally, a food trial is necessary to eliminate a possible food allergy or sensitivity. Food trials require much effort and patience on the part of the pet owner, take a minimum of 90 days to complete and need a veterinary prescribed diet to be the only food source during this time.

Your pet’s skin and hair coat are a good indicator of their overall health. If the coat or skin becomes something other than smooth, shiny, and dandruff free, you may want to contact your veterinary care professional.

Kimberly Konopka, ’07, BS, AS, CVT, ESMT, is the program director of the Veterinary Nursing program at Johnson College. She has been in the field of veterinary medicine for 15 years.

Peoples Security Bank & Trust Pledges $150,000 to Innovation at Work Capital Campaign  

Peoples Security Bank & Trust has pledged $150,000 to Johnson College in support of its $5 million comprehensive, five-year capital campaign, Innovation at Work.

Peoples Security Bank & Trust has provided continued support for student programs and scholarships at Johnson College through its monetary contributions.  

“Peoples Security Bank & Trust is inspired by Johnson College’s vision to be an innovative, experiential, and multi-disciplinary technical hub for the next generation of trailblazing leaders across all industry sectors,” said J. Patrick Dietz, Johnson College Board Chair and Senior Vice President of Peoples Security Bank and Trust. “The college has an extensive history of both nurturing and advancing the career paths of some of the brightest young minds, and the Bank is pleased to bestow a gift that will help to unlock the full potential of the Innovation at Work capital campaign, broadening access to valuable resources and programming for all students.”

The Innovation at Work campaign consists of four components that will create an environment for continued growth and success: the construction of Ideal Saldi Hall, a new gateway building that will become the official entrance to the campus and include new lab and classroom spaces; the expansion of Woolworth Hall, which houses on-campus lab space for programs including Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning and Electrical Construction Technology; the creation of a Transportation Education Center; and support of the College’s Annual Fund and student scholarships. For more details about the Innovation at Work campaign, visit

Pictured left to right: Joseph Ferretti, Executive Vice President, Peoples Security Bank & Trust; Karen Baker, Senior Director of College Advancement, Johnson College; Dr. Katie Leonard, President & CEO, Johnson College; and J. Patrick Dietz, Johnson College Board Chair and Senior Vice President, Peoples Security Bank and Trust.