Kebba Kanuteh Speech – 2017 Salutatorian

I am severely dyslexic and the school asked me to read my speech!  Let’s keep our fingers crossed! 

Good morning Mr. and Mrs. Garrison, honored guests, the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, family, friends, and fellow graduates.

I am so honored to be receiving this award. In a million years, I never thought I’d be graduating from college. My whole life I have struggled with dyslexia. When I was 10, I was doing poorly in school, so my parents sent me to Gambia in West Africa to live with my grandparents. While I was there, I attended school, but when they found out that I couldn’t read, I was kicked out of school.

I came back to New York at age 15, and I still couldn’t read or write. This frustrated my parents and it made me unhappy to disappoint them.

My frustration grew into depression, and I grew with it to 315 pounds. I was an overweight, illiterate, high school dropout, so I moved to Philadelphia. In 2004, I got a job at the Navy Yard as a janitor. To lose weight, I exercised during my lunch breaks. I ran up and down flights of stairs, from the first floor to the ninth.

Pretty soon a lot of the engineers started joining me in my work-outs. I lost one hundred pounds, and I gained a community of friends. It became my dream to work alongside them, not as a janitor, but as a colleague.

Some people told me that, given my level of education, my dream would be impossible. But the Navy supported me and wanted to help me reach my goal. They provided special dyslexia tutors who taught me to read, write, and solve math problems. After receiving my high school diploma, they sent me here to P.I.T., where I found another community of amazing friends and teachers.

I have learned the importance of a positive attitude, hard work, and connecting with others. My experience has shown me that when you have a positive attitude and let your needs be known, people are willing to help you in every way. It is the magic of love that when you share it, it comes back to you tenfold. That has been the story of my life.

I would like to thank my amazing friends, family, and tutors for encouraging me over the years. I would also like to thank Suzanne Felix for guiding me when I first came to Philly. And also a special thank you to Pat Woody, Glenn Ward, and Joanne Simons at the Navy Yard for hiring me and helping me make my dream come true. Thank you to Diane Seider and Mary Ann Bucklin who were incredibly dedicated and patient tutors.  I also want to thank Tom Perotti for supporting my education at Arizona State University where I will pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering. My friends at the Navy Yard have been an inspiration to me and my dream is to be an inspiration to others.

Finally I would like to thank my dedicated P.I.T. teachers and staff for encouraging me for the past 2½ years. Without all of you, none of this would have been possible. Thank you.

Congratulations to all my fellow graduates!

…And guess what Mom? I can read now.  Happy Mother’s Day and I love you!

Kelly Kenworthy Speech – 2017 Valedictorian

Hello and good morning!

I want to thank everyone for being here today: Mr. and Mrs. Garrison, family, friends, faculty, Board of Trustees, staff and fellow classmates for coming out to celebrate Pennsylvania Institute of Technology’s graduating of the class of 2017…Or should I say one of the most memorable day of our lives.

I just want to say what an honor it is to be standing in front of you today as your valedictorian, I would like to thank PIT for giving me this opportunity.

And I want to thank everyone who has supported me in this journey. I especially want to thank my mom and dad. They have always been my constant support system and my guiding hands. Without them, I would not be the person I have grown up to be. They have taught me to be the best person I can be and never stop believing in myself. And for that I thank them- Love you mom and dad and thank you.

When I was told I was going to be valedictorian, the first thing that came to my mind: what the heck am I going to talk about? So like most people I went on to Google and searched for top valedictorian speeches and I found myself listening to others stories and experiences, then I realized, I should be sharing my experience at P.I.T.

Once upon a time, believe it or not, I was NOT the person who studied every night. I always procrastinated with papers and homework, and I’m not going to lie I still did it at P.I.T. but I realized that I was managing my time and I made it work for me.  Now look I am standing in front of you today after endless amounts of studying and homework one-step closer to my Goals as your valedictorian.  There is no one right way to do something—you have to find the right way for you to succeed!

I am sure almost everyone in this room knows how hard it is to work towards your goals.  But as most of you know, once you reach those goals and accomplishments it makes all that hard work and struggles worth it.  And Sitting in front of me, I see my fellow graduates who have continued to work hard to reach those goals every day while attending classes at P.I.T.

My grandmother is the reason why I wanted to go into the medical field.  During the last few years of her life, she stayed with my parents and I, and there would be a few occasions when I would be home assisting her and helping her through the day.  Those days made me realize I wanted to go into the health care field because I have a passion for helping people.

As you can tell P.I.T. has a lot of history within these walls and some of you may not know this but P.I.T. used to be an all-girl school called Notre Dame.  My grandmother was in the Notre Dame graduating class of 1952, and I think that’s why I gravitated towards Pennsylvania Institute of Technology.  It’s part of who I am now and who my grandmother was—you could say this building is in my genes.

I started school at P.I.T. about a year and a half ago and it has been an amazing experience.  From countless hours studying in the innovation center to chatting in the café with my classmates, P.I.T. changed everything for me. I have found a career that I love as a medical assistant, made friends I will have for a lifetime, and met teachers who have not only been helpful but also inspirational.

Today we are not saying goodbye to Pennsylvania Institute of Technology, instead, we are moving forward to the next phases of our lives, but what we learned here and the friendships we made will stay with us for a lifetime.

I want to leave you this Quote by Walt Disney; he said it best when he said “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

And that is exactly what we are doing today, we are moving down new paths. Each one of you have worked hard these past few years striving towards your goals and we should all be extremely proud of ourselves!

Congratulations!  We did it!!!!

P.I.T.’s Ghost(s)

happy haunting 2013

How do you feel about things that go “bump in the night?” Did you know that P.I.T. is rumored to have a ghost on campus? It’s really not that unusual. Several other colleges in our region also have reports of ghosts.

P.I.T. has had several reports of people seeing an apparition, believed to be the Mother Superior dating from the building’s days as Notre Dame High School for Girls. These reports claim that she is seen through the windows of the Bell Tower usually at night.

pennsylvania-institute-of-technology-hauntings-in-paAdditional claims have been made of seeing the apparition of a nun on the third floor on the Administration Building walking down the hall from one office area to another. Another report has her appearing around the 2nd floor landing on the back staircase in the Administration Building. No one knows if all these sightings are of the same ghost or multiple ghosts, although the people who see the apparition generally all refer to her as the Mother Superior.

One person has reported hearing crying on the landing between the 1st (reception area) and the 2nd floor. This area is located within the original house built by the Wharton Family. Since the crying was disembodied, there is no way to know if the distraught person was a Wharton family member or friend, a nun, or a former student of the high school.

One member of the facilities staff reported seeing a nun “gliding” across the Administration Building porch. When he tried to catch up to her, she had disappeared. A number of people have also claimed to feel someone brush past them on the front staircase or on the porch in the Administration Building.

A few years ago, one instructor told the story of hearing the door knob to her classroom rattle even though there was no one in the hall. According to her account, when it happened a second time, she called out, “Use the other door, Sister” and the rattling stopped immediately.

Two faculty members meeting in a classroom, with the door closed, had the experience of seeing the classroom door open and then feeling a cold breeze blowing between them. A student who was also in the classroom, witnessed the experience and asked them “What the…was that?”

Faculty have also commented that when alone in a third floor classroom after a night class ended, they have heard footsteps walking up and down the hall, but no one is present. Others have noted that when they were in classrooms located adjacent to the P.I.T. Stop Café during the evening (now used as the student lounge), they could hear running footsteps overhead. Upon checking upstairs, they found that no one was in the hallway and the offices above the classrooms were empty.

hauntings in pennsylvaniaDo other unusual things happen in the building? Yes. But they can often be explained by logical incidents. The confessionals are still located in what used to be the chapel used by the Sisters (now P.I.T.’s Library). Some mornings the doors are slightly open even though the Librarian knows they were closed the previous night. Are the Sisters still using them for confession? Maybe. But maybe the 109 year old locks just don’t hold up to the vibrations of the Media/Elwyn Regional Rail Line.

What do you think? Is P.I.T. haunted?

Nursing Homes, Assisted Living Facilities And Pharmacy Services

Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are often pictured as working at drugstores or in hospitals, but there are a variety of other settings that also require their services. Those who study pharmacy tech in Philadelphia are encouraged to look into geriatrics, a field that is increasingly relying on the expertise of pharmacy technicians. Many pharmacy tech employees provide much-needed assistance in nursing homes or assisted living facilities. These jobs can be challenging, but they are also deeply rewarding.


In-House Versus Consultants

Pharmacy tech jobs involving nursing homes vary greatly depending on the role of the pharmacy at a given facility. Many long-term care facilities and nursing home complexes have in-house pharmacies staffed by those with a passion for keeping residents as healthy and happy as possible. Other facilities do not have the means to maintain in-house pharmacies, and, instead, employ consultant pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. These employees travel from one nursing home to the next. Consultant pharmacy workers often appreciate the flexibility of this type of position, but may not be as enthusiastic about the lack of stability, or, in some cases, the constant traveling. An increasing number of future nursing home pharmacy tech jobs may be based onsite in the future; as the population continues to age, there is a greater need for large assisted living complexes with efficient in-house pharmacies.


Ongoing Relationships With Patients

Pharmacy technicians working at long-term care facilities often build stronger relationships with their patients than their hospital and drugstore-based counterparts. While pharmacy tech employees in traditional settings may see patients only rarely, those working at nursing homes and assisted living facilities encounter the same patients on a regular basis. This is a definite advantage for those who thrive on connecting with others. Some pharmacy technicians, however, prefer limited interactions with patients, and as such, may not be suited to work in long-term care facilities. Additionally, aspiring pharmacy technicians thinking of working in nursing homes should keep in mind that they will communicate directly with other medical professionals on a regular basis. As such, the ability to build strong relationships with both clients and fellow health care workers is essential.

Pharmacy is a very rewarding field that allows technicians to have a positive impact on numerous patients. This impact is especially profound in the nursing home setting, making it an excellent work environment for passionate pharmacy technicians.



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Higher Education to Create a Career in Communications

The world of communications has rapidly expanded in the past decade. New forms have risen, old forms have died off and some forms have evolved. Anyone who’s interested in the technical aspects of communications will benefit from pursuing higher education. Receiving a the right degree is from a technical college in Media is the first step to beginning your communications career.

Which degrees should someone interested in a career in communications pursue? The answer comes down to understanding interests as well as the role the individual would like to step into. Different degrees will impart different skills to graduates that will help as they shape their careers.

Degrees to Get Started in Communications

Ready to get started in the world of communications? Different degrees will prepare graduates for different opportunities.

  • Communications. The degree named after the industry is certainly one of the best degrees for getting started. The study of communications encompasses most popular forms of communication and how they’ve shaped the modern world. Different classes will expose students to various forms, allowing for hands on discovery of what’s interesting and what isn’t. An ideal program will also focus on the business of communications so that graduates understand how to apply what is being learned to their future careers. Many technical colleges that will also import the “behind the scenes” technical understanding of modern communications.
  • Computer Science. Computer science is a broad degree, and those interested in the technical aspects of modern communication will benefit from receiving this degree. New technologies such as cloud computing and virtualization technology have rapidly changed the field of communications. Computer science majors may choose to contribute to the ongoing development of these technologies.
  • Engineering. Modern communication isn’t simply transmitted through analog antennas anymore. The technical infrastructure that makes all forms of communications possible requires maintenance, upgrades and expansions. Engineers might work with businesses to streamline their operations or with utility companies to enhance delivery networks. Engineers are an absolutely vital element of future growth in communications.

Time to Enroll and Pursue a Career

The world of communications is continually evolving and there’s plenty of room for new players. Anyone who wants to get involved will benefit from attending a technical college in Media. After graduation, students will be prepared to pursue internships and careers that will make them influential players in shaping the next evolution of modern communications.

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Selecting a Biomedical Equipment Engineering Program

For those looking to enter into a biomedical equipment engineering program in Philadelphia, there are a few key factors to keep in mind when choosing the right school. Most programs related to this field can be found at quality technical schools, community colleges and four year universities. While each one of these schooling options has it’s own set of pros and cons, potential students must decide for themselves which environment is best suited to their individual needs.

Understanding Degree Options

When choosing biomedical equipment engineering as a career path there are 2 different degree program options available. At a technical school or community college, students have the option of enrolling in an associate’s degree program that will set them on the fast track to working in their field of choice. Here, students will focus on the repair of surgical instruments, as well as the repair of diagnostic and mechanical equipment. In addition to basic electronic technical training, some associate degree students will also have the opportunity to train in information technology (IT) systems and networking.

In a bachelor’s degree program that focuses on biomedical equipment engineering, students can expect the same basic training found in the associate’s programs, as well as the addition of training in medical procedures and lab support. In many cases, students that go through the extra training of a bachelor’s program have access to more employment opportunities. This is due in large part to the additional time and medical training required to graduate with a degree.

Investing Time in Hands On Training

It is important for those entering this particular field to get as much hands on training as possible while enrolled in school. Experts recommend that students enroll in a program that offers clinical experiences and on-site opportunities as part of their curriculum. With the help of hands on training students will gain much needed exposure to a wide variety of medical equipment, better preparing them for their future as a repair technician.

Internship programs are another way for students to gain the hands on experience that they need to land a job after completing their studies. These types of programs are a great way for students to interact with trained professionals in the industry. Internship opportunities also help to prepare future equipment repair technicians for what it takes to work in a hospital setting, patient interaction and exposes them to many different types of medical equipment.


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A Computer Science Degree is More Versatile Than Most People Realize

A degree in computer science is clearly valuable in today’s growing technological age. However a computer science degree is likely even more versatile than anyone realizes.  Most people know that there are plenty of jobs in programing, computer operating, and web design. Many people do not realized the unexpected fields for graduates with a degree in computer science. However the fact is that as more and more sectors depend on computers to keep up, more permanent positions open up for people to integrate and run and update the technology on a daily basis.

Unexpected Places to Use a Computer Science Degree

  • Medicine – There is a growing need for creative minds with computer science degrees to come up with innovative new ways for technology to further human comfort and save lives.
  • Hospitatily – Hotels, cruises and resorts of all types rely on technology to keep things running smoothly. A degree in computer science can open the door in this unexpected field.
  • Government Sectors – There is always the need for talented graduates from all fields, but computer science is a degree that can open more doors in the federal department than most.
  • Technology Specialist at Educational Facilities – The education sector from grade school to grad school are always looking for ways to keep ahead of the curve with developing technology. After all how can they prepare a new generation of students to join the workforce if they do not have an expert on staff?
  • Junior Business Analyst – A degree in business is not the only way to get into this profession. A computer science degree is valuable in the business world.
  • The film and Music Industry - Providers of entertainment always need experts in the field of computer science, and a creative mind with the right degree can quickly make themselves invaluable.

If a student has an aptitude for computers, yet does not know exactly which career they want to pursue, a computer science degree in Philadelphia can open more doors in more areas then they may expect. The best part is that they can enjoy learning more in their field as they try to pinpoint their specific career goals.

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Three Benefits to Majoring in Engineering

When students go to college, they want and expect to get a high-value degree that will secure an entry level job. There are some majors, though, that are better at achieving this than others. In particular, there are three benefits to majoring in engineering as opposed to other easier programs.

Engineers Have In-demand Skills

Engineers have skills in math and science that are not easy to attain. These skills are in-demand all over the globe, especially in developing economies where civil engineers and electrical engineers are coveted for their ability to build infrastructure. Whether it’s developing drones, building bridges, automating factories with robotics or simply building roads, capable engineers with solid credentials are always in demand. New and emerging technologies, such as biomedical equipment engineering media, require the best and brightest engineers.

Engineers Are Qualified for Other Careers

Engineers, given their talents and experience, are normally qualified for other careers in fields such as quality assurance, teaching and business administration.  Engineers and process excellence professionals are natural allies, because engineering and quality assurance initiatives go hand-in-hand in the workplace. Engineers also make excellent math and science teachers at various levels of education, given their specific skill sets and practical experience. Engineers, with their mental aptitude and versatility, can excel in a variety of lucrative fields.

Engineers Have Practical Skills

Once an engineer graduates from college, they have practical skill sets that can help them succeed in entry level jobs. Everything from Excel skills to computer aided drafting skills can help engineers integrate into the workforce faster, compared to other students with basic writing and math skills. For instance, engineers have the ability to enter into a biomedical equipment engineering media position, given their unique knowledge and practical skills. Engineers have got lucrative skills that can greatly enhance their quality of life.

Majoring in engineering is something that can take students from the classroom to a quality career, which is one of the main reasons for selecting this subject to study in. Engineers have in-demand skills and a variety of career options available to them.

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Advanced Studies in Medical Billing and Coding Can Lead to a Rewarding Career in the Healthcare Industry

Medical billers and coders work for insurance companies, medical offices, hospitals, clinics and pharmacies. Sometimes they work as full-time employees, but some work as self-employed freelancers.  Whether they work for themselves or for a company or hospital, they might work in an office setting or telecommute from home. Their jobs are pivotal for the healthcare industry as they make sure providers receive payments for services rendered.


Job Role

Medical billing and coding are often link together, but these are two distinct and crucial jobs. Medical coding involves extracting information from patient healthcare visits and creating a claim so the provider can receive payment.  The process involves applying the appropriate healthcare codes, which are crucial for accurate claim payment.


Conversely, a medical biller’s role is to interpret medical codes and send the claim to the appropriate insurance company, agency or private payer. Sometimes these roles are split and several people carry out the processes. Other times, one person bears the responsibility of the roles.



While in past years a high school diploma was sufficient for people interested in the medical billing and coding field, in the 21st century, advanced training is crucial for improving knowledge and job potential.  Candidates interested in this field can pursue various degrees that can lead to successful transition in this career area. For example, some colleges in Philadelphia offer associates degrees or certification specifically in medical billing and coding.



Medical billers must be well versed in the healthcare industry.  They must be familiar with health insurance plans, insurance companies, and prescription discount programs. Medical coding is their bread and butter, so they must be familiar with current procedural terminology (CPT) and international determination of diseases (ICD) codes. It is also crucial that they are well versed in the  Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS).  Medical billing and coding specialists also must be knowledgeable about the various healthcare laws, including HIPAA regulations, the False Claims Act, and the Fair Debt Collections Act.



Medical billers and coders insure that claim information is accurate and help make sure claim payment is expeditious. These detailed-oriented individuals find and eliminate errors and inconsistencies,. They keep information flowing between healthcare providers and payment systems.  This process is crucial because it helps ensure that patients continue to receive timely healthcare services.


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3 Hot Careers for Graduates with a Computer Science Degree

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the information technology field is one of the fastest growing fields in the world. As a result, those with a computer science degree in Media are poised to take a position as pace setters across various industries. Continue reading to learn about five of the hottest careers for graduates with a computer science degree in Media.

Systems Engineer or Systems Analyst

This career is also known as a Computer Systems Analyst. In this role, the professional typically will:

  • Review an organization’s procedures and computer systems;
  • Communicate with vendors, partners, programmers and analysts;
  • Suggest recommendations to improve processes;
  • Oversee the installation an upgrading of computer systems .

Even though a computer science degree is technical, this role is more analytical and has a major focus on the business aspects of technology. Some of the most common roles include analyzing the costs of changing systems and projecting process timelines as well as the impact it will potentially have on employees. Systems Engineers interact regularly with different department managers and incorporate the feedback gathered into documentation for internal users. These professionals also advise their team, developers, and programmers on the best practices for using the technology.

Customer Relationship Management Business Analyst

A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Analyst is a significantly less technical role, which may even require a masters in business or marketing. This position also requires a professional with a strong background in statistics. However, it does require someone with specific technical knowledge, such as CRM experience and database mining. The most common responsibilities of a CRM manager are to review customer relationship data, suggest strategy changes to increase customer loyalty, help the organization define procedures based on the information in the CRM, and create new internal procedures. Most of the work done by a CRM Analyst will be used in the marketing, sales, and support departments. In the most simple sense, CRM Analysts serve as the liaison between the IT department and sales and marketing teams.

E-Commerce Analyst

An E-Commerce Analyst is responsible for analyzing customer data gathered from e-commerce data bases to spot trends or behavioral patterns. These professionals may also be responsible for setting up or configuring dashboards or reporting interfaces for simplified access to data. These business analysts also create profiles for customers, so the organization can target their marketing and advertising efforts to increase effectiveness. The educational background for an E-Commerce Business Analyst can range from individuals with a Computer Science degree in Media to those who specialize in statistics, finance, communications, and marketing. While most employers require a bachelor’s degree, some management positions do require a master’s degree.

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