Penn State Wilkes-Barre students attend professional conference

LEHMAN, Pa. — A group of surveying engineering students and faculty from Penn State Wilkes-Barre had the opportunity to attend the Pennsylvania Society of Land Surveyors’ annual conference, held from Jan. 23 to 26 in Hershey. The conference was attended by more than 500 surveyors and industry leaders from throughout Pennsylvania and beyond.

Students Arthur Busch, Hannah Corson, Nathan Crotts, Tyler Pokrinchak and Tanner Smith joined faculty members Dimitrios Bolkas, associate professor of surveying engineering, and Kevin Chappell, adjunct instructor in surveying engineering, at the conference. The students set up and oversaw a booth, hosted a number of sessions and helped with an auction to raise money for scholarship funds. Chappell presented a session, “Using Trimble Business Center for Data Processing,” which focused on using TBC to review, analyze and process different types of survey and geospatial data.

“The students did an excellent job working and helping at the conference,” Bolkas said. “They were able to engage and network with the professionals in attendance and learn more about the profession and the society. They also had the opportunity to find internships in their field.”

He noted that students attending the conference also met and spoke with alumni of the campus’ surveying engineering program, including Terry McMillen, the new president of PSLS.

“I learned a lot about the profession through the eyes of real professionals. It was a good opportunity to network for future positions,” said Hannah Corson, one of the students who attended.

The Pennsylvania Society of Land Surveyors (PSLS) is a professional organization with the goal of supporting, improving and enhancing the profession, its members, and the practice of land surveying. The Penn State Wilkes-Barre students were able to attend the conference with all expenses covered by PSLS.

Additionally, Penn State Wilkes-Barre students Greg Ellsworth, Alexis Farber and Claudia Leu received scholarships from the PSLS Foundation. The foundation helps provide financial assistance to those pursuing an education in land surveying and has contributed more than $300,000 in student scholarships since it was founded.

“We are thankful for PSLS’ continuous support of our students,” Bolkas said. He also recognized McMillen; Amy Hopkins, PSLS immediate past president; Scott Reeser, chair of the education committee; and Cody Johnson, liaison to the universities, whom he said were instrumental in making the trip happen for the students.

The surveying engineering program at Penn State Wilkes-Barre is the only accredited surveying engineering program in Pennsylvania and one of just 33 across the United States.