More than the customary spirit of enthusiasm was on display at Vaughn College on Saturday (Nov. 12) as the College opened its doors to a potential next generation of students.
The first of Vaughn's two fall open houses attracted some 240-plus students and their families, who for more than five hours were treated to all the College has to offer. From opening speeches at 10 a.m. to closing remarks at 3 p.m., enthusiasm was as bright as the cloudless sky on a brilliant autumn day.
"I have been doing my homework on where to go and I was interested in coming to this open house," said 36-year-old Hans Isaac, a potential transfer student interested in Vaughn's mechanical engineering technology program. "I've been in this industry a long time and am really interested in what you offer here."
Isaac and other potential students were greeted with breakfast and opening remarks from Vice President of Enrollment Services and Public Affairs Ernie Shepelsky and Senior Vice President Dr. Sharon DeVivo. Hour-long sessions in all of Vaughn's curriculum concentrations followed, including one in engineering and technology in which Assistant Professor Manuel Jesus posed this question to a packed series of classrooms.
"How many of you like to play video games?" Jesus asked, to enthusiastic reply. "We teach all of the software programs here that are used in video game technology. But they're also used in the aerospace industry and more."
Potential students came from the metropolitan area, but also from as far away as San Francisco, south of Washington, D.C. and even suburban Toronto, Ontario. Seven "Ultimate Open House Experiences" enabled potential students to experience everything from engineering and animation technology to air traffic control, aviation maintenance and flight simulation.
David Belser, a potential aircraft operations student, came from Doylestown, Pa., near Philadelphia.
Referred to Vaughn by his high school guidance counselor, Belser was pleasantly surprised to hear of the College's new relationship with Redbird Flight Simulations of San Marcos, Texas. Beginning in the spring semester, Vaughn students will be able to gain Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) private pilot certification through a combination of on-campus instruction and flying time at Redbird's new state-of-the-art facility.
"I found out about the Redbird relationship and it sounds so cool," Belser exclaimed. "I've always wanted to be a pilot; I just love everything about the job."
VAUGHN COLLEGE FALL OPEN HOUSE: From top, students and their families register at the start of the day then are greeted in the hangar by Vice President Ernie Shepelsky. Professor Shouling He discusses engineering projects at the "Engineering Your Part" experience; while Domenic Proscia, executive director of training, discusses the air traffic control curriculum.