Aerial view of campus with Williamsport, the Susquehanna River and Bald Eagle Mountain as a backdrop

Lycoming College Prep completes successful first year with gift from AT&T

Lycoming College Prep completes successful first year with gift from AT&T

Cristian Davila from YES Prep Public Schools in Houston, Texas prepares for a science demonstration as part of the LC Prep program which recently concluded on the Lycoming College campus.

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Twenty rising high school seniors from across the county recently completed a two-week residential program at Lycoming College. The program was made possible by a generous gift from AT&T. Designed to introduce first generation students to a residential liberal arts college and campus life, the program offered non-credit academic courses lead by Dr. Caroline Payne, Professor of Political Science, and Dr. Jeremy Ramsey, Professor of Chemistry, and workshops on preparing for college and the admissions application process.

Bryan Gomez from YES Prep Public Schools in Houston, Texas and President Kent Trachte at the closing dinner.

Bryan Gomez from YES Prep Public Schools in Houston, Texas and President Kent Trachte at the closing dinner.

The students included representatives from six of the county’s high schools, along with peers from Philadelphia, New York City, Texas and California, who are enrolled in KIPP and YES Prep, national public charter school networks with which Lycoming has partnered.

“While here, they got a hands-on introduction to the liberal arts and college life. And through it all, they bonded with each other, and with us,” said Andrew W. Kilpatrick, Dean of First-Year Students at the college and the inaugural director of the program. “They learned about the objectivity of chemical demonstration and explored the subjectivity of international affairs and debate. They got dirty digging at the archeological site, where they imagined what life was like, and marveled under the stars at Rider Park. They learned about brain functions and put Piaget’s theory of cognitive development in action by playing with, Professor of Psychology Dr. Sue Kelley’s children,” said Kilpatrick.

The program went well beyond the academic and addressed the importance of giving to others. Under the guidance of Administrator Kirstin Burkhart, students hosted a picnic and games for the residents of West House Personal Care Home in Williamsport. The program also provided time for recreation, religious worship, and cultural events. Kayaking down the Susquehanna River with Canoe Susquehanna in Lewisburg, was balanced with Yoga classes at Trudy’s Barefoot Yoga Studio in Montoursville, nature hikes and a performance of “Urinetown” presented by the Community Theatre League.

Participants also benefited from an open forum with Lycoming College WISE Interns, who are completing internships in the Williamsport area this summer. The interns shared how these opportunities came about and how they will impact their future careers.

Students were treated to a closing banquet and award ceremony hosted by the Lycoming College President Dr. Kent Trachte and his wife, Dr. Sharon Trachte. David Kerr, Regional Vice President of External Affairs for AT&T Pennsylvania, also spoke to the students on career readiness, digital reputation and leadership.

During the two week intensive, held July 12-26, currently enrolled Lycoming students, Bryan McGinnis, Huy Pham and recent graduate Julie Polcrack (’14) served as mentors for the participants and served as facilitators.

“This new program helped to open the doors of opportunity for many high-achieving, first-generation students,” said Kilpatrick. “We are very grateful to AT&T for their generosity and to the many faculty and administrators at Lycoming College who gave so freely of their time and expertise.”

Lycoming College is a four-year, residential liberal arts and sciences school dedicated to the undergraduate education of 1,400 students. Its rigorous academic program, vibrant residential community and supportive faculty foster successful student outcomes. Lycoming offers 36 academic majors and is recognized as a Tier 1 institution by U.S. News & World Report. Founded in 1812 and located near the banks of the Susquehanna River in Williamsport, Pa., Lycoming is one of the 50 oldest colleges in the nation. For more information, visit