Johnson College Announces Record-Setting Enrollment for Fourth Consecutive Year

Johnson College has announced a record-setting enrollment for the 2022-2023 academic year. The College outpaced its enrollment for 2021-2022 with nearly 600 students including 273 incoming first-year students and 250 continuing students.

In addition to a record number of incoming first-year and returning Johnson College also welcomed its largest Dual Enrollment-Industry Fast Track class to date. There are 57 students from around the area who have enrolled either part-time or full-time with Johnson College for college credits while also earning their high school diplomas. The College also welcomes 16 students to campus through the RISE (Readiness in Skilled Employment) program.   

With a record number of students enrolled for the fourth year in a row, Johnson College works hard to fill the skills gap in today’s job marketplace – making the College’s recruitment and programmatic focus more on workforce development.

“Year over year, we continue to see an increase in demand for a technical, hands-on approach to education,” said Bill Burke, M.S., Johnson College’s Vice President of Student and Academic Affairs. “In two years or less, our graduates are prepared for a lifetime of opportunities with an extremely high return on investment. The community, industry partners, and area school districts continue to see that value year in and year out as the demand for a Johnson College education grows.”

Net Credit Union Announced as Sponsor of Johnson College’s First-Ever Cornhole Tournament

Johnson College announces NET Credit Union as the sponsor of its first-ever cornhole tournament. This tournament will take place during the College’s inaugural Fall Fest event on October 1, 2022, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Johnson College campus in Scranton, PA.

The tournament will feature both Social ($20/team) and Competitive ($40/team) divisions with double elimination. A team will consist of two players, and anyone from beginners to pros can play. Prizes for the Social division will include: 1st place, $100 cash; 2nd place, $50 in gift cards. Prizes for the Competitive division will include: 1st place, $300 cash; 2nd place, $150 cash. There will be food and non-alcoholic beverages available for purchase. Teams can pre-register online at johnson.edu/cornhole-registration-form/ or register at the door from 11 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

About NET Credit Union

A Credit Union is a place to do your banking. NET is a not-for-profit financial institution, and we operate like a bank except we don’t issue stock on Wall St. Since we don’t have to pay stockholders, we use our income to provide lower loan rates, higher deposit rates, reinvest in our community, give to charities (#netcares), and keep our fees low. There’s so much more you get when you bank on NET.

About Johnson College

Johnson College provides real-world, hands-on learning in a caring environment and prepares graduates to enter into or advance their careers. Johnson College degrees become essential careers. Johnson College was founded in 1912 and is the region’s premier technical college, offering 17 associate degrees and 4 academic certificate programs. A low student-to-teacher ratio supports an emphasis on hands-on instruction. Located in Scranton on a 44-acre campus, the College is an accredited, private, non-profit, co-educational institution with a strong tradition of working with regional businesses and industries to ensure a skilled and qualified workforce. For additional information on Johnson College, please call 1-800-2-WE-WORK, email enroll@johnson.edu, or visit Johnson.edu.

Photo Caption:

Left to right: Dr. Katie Leonard, President & CEO, Johnson; Lauren Pabst, Marketing Manager, Net Credit Union; and Jill Eidenberg, Associate Director of Development, Johnson College, discuss plans for Johnson College’s first-ever cornhole tournament sponsored by NET Credit Union. This event will be held on Saturday, October 1, 2022, during the Johnson College Fall Fest from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the College’s campus in Scranton, PA.

From Nose to Tail: The Benefits of Pet Ownership

  • BY DR. MEG VARNER-SODEN, DVM

Originally published in the August 26, 2022, edition of the Valley Advantage – https://www.thevalleyadvantage.com/community-columns/from-nose-to-tail-the-benefits-of-pet-ownership/article_4415116e-0511-588c-a884-fbcf2ee5886b.html

If you take the time to read this monthly column, you must be an animal lover. Well, you are not alone! A National Pet Owners Survey performed by the American Pet Products Association for 2021-2022 estimated that approximately 70% of US households own at least one pet. The breakdown showed that about 69 million families own dogs, 45 million own cats, 3.5 million households have a horse and 10 million have pet birds.

Those of us who worked in the “trenches” of small animal general practices throughout the early course of the COVID-19 pandemic saw an absolute eruption of puppies and kittens being introduced to households.

Like the term Baby Boomer generation, we now have a generation of dogs and cats that will be known, at least by the veterinary community, as COVID puppies and kittens. Many cases we cared for were first-time pet owners who finally found themselves with enough time and desire to raise a pet while stuck at home. People found themselves greatly drawn to the comfort, engagement, and companionship pets provide.

Regardless of our exact circumstances, most of us were uneasy and anxious about the unknown during the first two years of the pandemic. What better stress relief was there than a warm, furry baby cuddling on your lap or jogging by your side?

Our first question is, “What is the human-animal bond?”

The American Veterinary Medical Association defines the human-animal bond as a “mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship between people and animals that is influenced by behaviors essential to the health and wellbeing of both.”

A national survey conducted in 2021 by the Human Animal Bond Research Institute showed us that the COVID pandemic has led to a significant increase in the daily hours that owners spend with their pets. Sixty-four percent of these respondents stated that they are now more likely to devote more time to their pets after the pandemic.

While a majority of pet owners reported that their health improved due to owning a pet, 87% of respondents acknowledged that their mental health improved the most. Many of these pet owners have even reported discussing the benefits of their human-animal bond with their doctors and/or therapists. This survey also found that human practitioners are increasingly recommending pet ownership to their patients!

“What are some of the proven health benefits of owning a pet?” is our second question.

Research studies and surveys reveal a plethora of physical and emotional health benefits that pets provide to us.

According to the Human Animal Bond Research Institute, these include, but are not limited to:

• Reduction of stress.

• Reduction in feelings of depression and/or anxiety.

• Grief support.

• Improvement in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder severity.

• Support of healthier aging (including Alzheimer’s disease and dementia situations).

• Improvements in autism spectrum disorder.

• Improved cardiovascular health parameters due to increased exercise.

• Improvement in childhood allergy, eczema, and asthma parameters.

The proposed scientific basis behind the magic of the Human-Animal Bond has much to do with its effect on our physiologic responses, such as influencing our hormone levels of oxytocin, cortisol, and epinephrine. Studies have also correlated prenatal and adolescent exposure to pets with a more robust adult immune system. We have also found dogs to have incredible senses that can detect pre-seizure situations and low blood sugar, among other ailments.

Our last question is, “are there ever any negative impacts of owning a pet?”

Surely not 100% of pet ownership is positive at all times. Responsible pet ownership comes with emotional, financial, and sometimes even physical impacts. Pets can develop diseases, suffer from mental health disorders such as aggression and/or anxiety, and also zoonotic diseases, which are a subset of diseases we could contract from pets. Some examples include rabies, ringworm, roundworms, and leptospirosis.

The CDC is an excellent resource for learning more about zoonotic diseases. You can protect yourself and your pet from many of these conditions by being educated and proactive with their wellness care.

So, no matter what type of pet or pets you have, love and care for them as much as they love and care for you. You both will be better for it.

Dr. Meg Varner-Soden, DVM, is the veterinarian at the Johnson College Animal Care Center as well as an instructor for the Johnson College Veterinary Nursing Program. She has been practicing veterinary medicine for 12 years.

PNC Bank Announced as Presenting Sponsor of Johnson College’s Fall Fest Community Event

Johnson College announces PNC Bank as the presenting sponsor of its inaugural Fall Fest. This free-admission community event will be held on Saturday, October 1, 2022, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the College’s campus in Scranton, PA.

The event will feature a variety of activities for all ages. Families can enjoy live music, games, pumpkin decorating, and face painting, and browse an array of items from over 25 local artisan, craft, and food vendors. There will also be an all-ages scavenger hunt and program displays for attendees to learn more about what the College has to offer.

Johnson College alumni can catch up with each other in the alumni tent, which will feature special giveaways.

The Fall Fest will also feature the College’s first-ever Cornhole Tournament, sponsored by NET Credit Union and in partnership with NEPA Cornhole. The tournament will feature both Social ($20/team) and Competitive ($40/team) divisions with double elimination. A team will consist of two players, and anyone from beginners to pros can play. Prizes for the Social division will include: 1st place, $100 cash; 2nd place, $50 in gift cards. Prizes for the Competitive division will include: 1st place, $300 cash; 2nd place, $150 cash. There will be food and non-alcoholic beverages available for purchase. Teams can pre-register online at https://johnson.edu/cornhole-registration-form/ or register at the door from 11 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

Additional sponsors for Fall Fest include Lamar Advertising, Sweda Advertising, Fastenal, Commonwealth Charter Academy, Highmark, L.R. Costanzo Co, Inc., NRG Controls North, Inc., Onvo, Troy Mechanical, Gibbons Ford, Mesko Glass & Mirror, Shea Industries, ShopRite, Lace Works Tap & Grill, Walmart Dickson City, Carpenter’s Local Union 445, Citizens Savings Bank, FNCB Bank, IBEW Local Union #81, and Topp Business Solutions.

More details can be found at johnson.edu/FallFest. Proceeds from Fall Fest, presented by PNC Bank, will benefit the Johnson College Annual Fund, which helps to maintain important scholarships, programs, and facilities to continue providing hands-on learning to Johnson College students.

About PNC Bank

PNC Bank, National Association, is a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. PNC is one of the largest diversified financial services institutions in the United States, organized around its customers and communities for strong relationships and local delivery of retail and business banking including a full range of lending products; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management and asset management. For information about PNC, visit www.pnc.com.

About Johnson College

Johnson College provides real-world, hands-on learning in a caring environment and prepares graduates to enter into or advance their careers. Johnson College degrees become essential careers. Johnson College was founded in 1912 and is the region’s premier technical college, offering 17 associate degrees and 4 academic certificate programs. A low student-to-teacher ratio supports an emphasis on hands-on instruction. Located in Scranton on a 44-acre campus, the College is an accredited, private, non-profit, co-educational institution with a strong tradition of working with regional businesses and industries to ensure a skilled and qualified workforce. For additional information on Johnson College, please call 1-800-2-WE-WORK, email enroll@johnson.edu, or visit Johnson.edu.

Photo Caption

Left to right: Nicole Costanzo, Senior Vice President, PNC Bank; Michael Dennen, Senior Vice President, PNC Bank; and Dr. Katie Leonard, President & CEO, Johnson College review plans for Johnson College’s upcoming inaugural, on-campus community event, Fall Fest presented by PNC Bank. This event will be held on Saturday, October 1, 2022, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the College’s campus in Scranton., PA.

Johnson College Receives Grant from PPL Foundation For Stem Outreach Program

Johnson College is pleased to announce it has received a $5,000 grant from the PPL Foundation. These funds will support a STEM outreach program to teach 75 high school students about renewable energy and build their own solar cell phone chargers. 

The goal of the workshop is to introduce participants to solar power concepts with an object that is suitable for everyday use.  Participants will build a solar-powered cell phone charger and learn about solar cells, lithium-ion batteries, and various electronic modules that construct a cell phone charger. The workshop gives the participant an understanding of all the components required to produce a portable solar-powered cell phone charger. The program also introduces the students to occupations in Electrical Engineering and Electrical Construction.

“The PPL Foundation grant gives local high school students the opportunity to experience the real-world, hands-on learning Johnson College is known to provide its students,” said Dr. Katie Leonard, Johnson College President & CEO. “Our STEM Outreach Program provides local students an introduction to in-demand careers within essential industries throughout our region and beyond.” 

The PPL Foundation awards annual grants through a competitive application and review process. 

About Johnson College: Johnson College provides real-world, hands-on learning in a caring environment and prepares graduates to enter into or advance their careers. Johnson College degrees become essential careers. Johnson College was founded in 1912 and is the region’s premier technical college, offering 17 associate degrees and 4 academic certificate programs. A low student-to-teacher ratio supports an emphasis on hands-on instruction. Located in Scranton on a 44-acre campus, the College is an accredited, private, non-profit, co-educational institution with a strong tradition of working with regional businesses and industries to ensure a skilled and qualified workforce. For additional information on Johnson College, please call 1-800-2-WE-WORK, email enroll@johnson.edu, or visit Johnson.edu.

About the PPL Foundation: Through strategic partnerships, the PPL Foundation supports organizations working to create vibrant, sustainable communities; promote diversity, equity, and inclusion; and empower each citizen to fulfill her or his potential. The PPL Foundation contributes more to a wide variety of nonprofit organizations in eastern and central Pennsylvania. To learn more, visit pplcares.com.

Photo Caption: Johnson College receives a $5,000 grant from the PPL Foundation to teach high school students about the benefits of STEM-related programs. Left to right: Alana Roberts, Regional Affairs Director, PPL Electric Utilities; Dr. Katie Leonard, President & CEO, Johnson College; Kellyn Williams, Dr. Kellyn Williams, Associate Vice President of Special Programs, Johnson College.

Gibbons Ford Contributes $10,000 to Johnson College’s Innovation at Work Capital Campaign   

Johnson College received a $10,000 contribution from Gibbons Ford in support of the College’s comprehensive, five-year capital campaign, Innovation at Work.

Gibbons Ford is a long-standing industry partner with Johnson College. They support the College and its students by making monetary and in-kind contributions, participating in the Automotive Technology program advisory committee, hosting student interns, and inviting students to participate in live program labs inside their dealership in Dickson City, PA.

“The best thing we can invest in is our future and the students at Johnson College are that future,” said Darryl Jayne, General Manager, Gibbons Ford.

“Generous contributions to our capital campaign from industry partners like Gibbons Ford, help the College continue to deliver to students the real-world, hands-on experience for which we are known,” said Dr. Katie Leonard, President & CEO, Johnson College. “Working with industry gives our students a competitive edge in the workplace as they are exposed daily to new technologies, emerging fields of study, and the most sophisticated equipment.”

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 johnson.edu/innovationatwork.

Photo Caption: Left to right: Darryl Jayne, General Manager, Gibbons Ford, Ashley Bechaver, IT & Human Resources, Gibbons Ford, John Grow, Dealer Principal, Gibbons Ford, Dr. Katie Leonard, President & CEO, Johnson College, and Karen Baker, Sr. Director of College Advancement, Johnson College.

Nose to Tail: Keeping pets safe in water

BY AMANDA MELNYK ’09, AS, CVT

Originally published in the July 22, 2022, edition of the Valley Advantage.

https://www.thevalleyadvantage.com/community-columns/from-nose-to-tail-keeping-pets-safe-in-water/article_a7e27e7c-55e2-5bae-b518-f4fcbd8162e4.html

Summer is upon us, and one of the great benefits of living in NEPA is being outdoors and enjoying all the natural beauty our area offers.

Not only do we love to spend time in nature, but so do our furry counterparts! Although nature has countless benefits, there can be danger lingering in our water sources. This life-threatening concern for our beloved pets is known as Cyanobacteria (previously known as blue-green algae), also referred to as HABs or harmful algal blooms. As a concerned pet parent, you need to know how to deal with this problem, so let’s get to the details!

Our first question is, “What is Cyanobacteria?”

Although referred to as algae, Cyanobacteria or HABs, are a type of microscopic bacteria that occur throughout the country. There are multiple species of Cyanobacteria, and these organisms can resemble algae when clumped together in bodies of water. It is important to note that some species have the potential to become HABs that produce toxins, while others do not, and concentrations vary throughout the year and therefore may not always be harmful.

The algae that become toxic undergoes a period of rapid growth in calm/still bodies of water when an abundance of nutrients is available during the warmer months when water temperatures are high. More than 30 species of Cyanobacteria can produce four types of toxins that can damage the nervous system, skin, kidneys or liver. Unfortunately, results are most commonly fatal.

“How do I know where it is safe for my pet,?” is our second question.

These toxic algae blooms can be found in many places, including fresh water, salt water, backyard pools and ponds, if not cleaned regularly. Observing the following signs is helpful when looking for a safe place to cool down with your pet, but lab analysis is needed to confirm HABs in a suspected body of water. Due to the severity of HABs to your pet’s health, it is better to avoid the area altogether.

That being said, some toxic algae blooms can be blue-green, some red and brown and others can resemble paint floating on top of the water.

Another way to help identify this toxin is a slimy or foamy “scum” or mat appearance on the surface of the water or shoreline. Also, keep in mind that some (not all) toxic algae may produce a foul odor. Dead fish or other dead wildlife in a body of water can also be a warning sign. Other helpful advice is to keep an eye out for HABs watch, advisory or warning signage from official agencies.

Our third question is, “What do I do if I suspect my pet ingested or came in contact with HABs?”

First, if applicable, thoroughly rinse your pet off in fresh water, but also be sure to wear gloves to protect yourself! Next, seek veterinary help immediately. Symptoms can arise anywhere from 15 minutes to several days post-exposure. Some symptoms may include staggering, drooling, diarrhea, vomiting, weakness, difficulty breathing or seizures. It is crucial that you seek professional veterinary care! Afterward, it is recommended to report the suspected bloom to your state’s health department to aid other animals and their owners avoid this frightening event.

Multiple resources are available if you want to learn more about Cyanobacteria and how to keep you and your pets safe while having fun in the water this summer. We suggest reviewing the HABs page on Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection website, dep.pa.gov. The Pennsylvania HABs Task Force, which includes representatives from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency. You can also contact your veterinary offices, which can supply valuable information.

Have fun this summer, be safe and always look before you — or your pets — leap into the water.

Amanda Melnyk, ’09, AS, CVT, ’is a full-time CVT instructor at Johnson College’s veterinary nursing program as well as a clinical rotation instructor at Johnson College’s Animal Care Center on campus. She has been a part of the veterinary field for 14 years.

Johnson College Continuing Education Announces Late Summer and Fall Courses

Johnson College’s Continuing Education Program recently announced its late summer and fall course offerings. The courses are for adults who want the opportunity to improve their skills, which will also help them stay ahead of the competition, learn new technologies, and advance in their current careers.

The courses and start dates include:

Pennsylvania Emissions Inspector Training and Testing on August 10 and August 24, 2022.

Pennsylvania State Vehicle Safety Inspection on August 9, 2022.

Fundamentals of Welding on August 9, 2022.

Fundamentals of Welding and Intermediate Gas Metal Arc Welding GMAW on August 9, 2022.

Medical Assistant Program on August 30, 2022.

Forklift Operator Training on September 24, 2022.

Basic Maintenance on November 1, 2022.

For more details on each course and how to register, visit johnson.edu/continuingeducation or contact the Continuing Education team at 570-702-8979 or continuinged@johnson.edu.

From Nose to Tail: Summertime with Our Pets

By Jamie Laubenstein ‘07, CVT

Originally published in the June 24, 2022, edition of the Valley Advantage.

https://www.thevalleyadvantage.com/community-columns/from-nose-to-tail-summertime-with-our-pets/article_f72d6d7f-7e5a-5072-8140-aa58e5f3464c.html

In  the warmer summer months, we find ourselves spending more time outside. Whether we are hosting a summer barbecue, hiking or cooling off in the water, many of us include our furry friends in all our activities.

Enjoying summer celebrations can be made even better by taking extra precautions to ensure our canine and feline companions are having as much fun as we are.

Our first question this month is, “Can my pet eat the food we prepare during our backyard barbecue?”

Gathering around the grill for some delicious barbecue is an excellent idea for us but not for our four-legged companions. While barbecue sauce elevates our culinary experience, it often contains onions and garlic, which can be toxic to dogs. Sharing even a tiny amount of food or scraps can be enough to cause diarrhea or vomiting in most dogs.

We should also avoid giving our pets corn on the cob and ribs. Bones should not be given to our furry friends because they can potentially cause gastrointestinal blockage.

However, some foods — if prepared without oils and are deboned— like chicken, turkey, salmon, and some vegetables, including sweet potatoes can be shared, in moderation, with our pets.

“I’ve taken my dog on hikes with me, but can I take my cat?” is our second question.

Getting outside to explore the trails or cooling off at a lake is often enjoyed by our canines and, yes, our feline companions, too. Did you know that you can train your cat to hike with you on a harness, just like dogs?

Often, this is made easier if you start training when your cat is very young and use a combination of leash walking with an open window carrier. Exploring the environment is excellent physical and mental stimulation for our pets.

Keeping cats and dogs on a harness and leash helps protect them from being injured by wildlife (porcupine quills) and prevents them from harming small native animals, including chipmunks and birds.

Hydration is just as crucial for our hiking companions, too. Bring extra water and a collapsible bowl on every trip.

Remember to keep your pets on appropriate flea, tick and heartworm preventatives to avoid unwanted parasite infestations.

Our third question is, “How do I know when my pets are stressed when fireworks are going off in our neighborhood, and what can I do to calm them down?”

Our pets can tell us how much stress they feel simply by us watching their behavior during these activities. Stressed-out animals exhibit behaviors such as hiding, pacing, being excessively clingy, vocalization, and having accidents (urinating/defecating) in unusual areas of the house. These behaviors can occur at any time in your pet’s life, and it is not uncommon for pets to become less tolerant of outside activities as they age.

Not to worry, there are things you can try at home to help manage and decrease that stress and anxiety. It’s important to understand that the loud and sudden boom of the firework, like thunder, often causes the most stress to our pets.

The best practice is to be proactive around the holidays and have a plan in place before the noise gets your pet upset. Having a room in your house prepared for your pet before the loud noises start is vital. The room should be quiet and dimly lit.

You can also try playing calming music to soothe your pet and help take their focus off the sound of the fireworks. Distraction aides like Kong puzzle toys filled with a tasty treat and/or thunder shirts, designed to release endorphins, may also help your pet.

Contacting your veterinarian about different medication protocols for such events is also an excellent idea. Your vet can help you combine several of these suggestions to manage your pet’s anxiety appropriately.

Summertime with our pets can be extremely rewarding, filled with moments that make wonderful memories. By being proactive and creative, we can share all the parts of the summer, including barbecues, exploring and outdoor festivities with our cherished companions in a way that is rewarding to them, too.

Jamie Laubenstein, AS, CVT, ’07 Johnson College alum, is a full time CVT Instructor at the Johnson College Veterinary Nursing program as well as a clinical rotation instructor at the Animal Care Center on campus. She has been part of the veterinary field for 19 years.