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Archive for March, 2011

Race driver and St. Petersburg College student Nick Andries is featured today in the St. Pete TIMES.

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 A St. Petersburg College graduate has been awarded a Fulbright Foundation Award to design and build a media center in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Ty Adams

Tyrone Adams, Ph.D., is the Richard D’Aquin Endowed Professor of Journalism and Communication at the University of Louisiana in Lafayette. He will oversee design and construction of the media center, which will be built as part of the Kazakhstan Institute of Management, Economics and Strategic Research (KIMEP).

The $10,000 salary grant will allow Adams to administer a $4 million budget, which is already in place for the facility.

Adams graduated from what was then known as St. Petersburg Junior College in 1988 with an Associate of Arts degree. From there, he went on to the University of Florida and majored in speech communication, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1990. That was followed by a master’s degree from Florida State University in 1992, and a doctorate in communications in 1995.

He specializes in Educational Leadership, and is considered an expert on new media and Internet communication technologies.

While highly successful in his field, Adams never has forgotten his time at the college, especially Bonnie Jefferis, Professor of Speech Letters at the Clearwater Campus. Her name at that time was Bonnie Clark.

“I fondly recall my first academic beginnings at then-SPJC under the mentorship of Dr. Bonnie Clark,” Adams said. “She always demanded the best academic effort from us, and commanded a presence in her classrooms that made you want to do more to impress her and sharpen your communication skills.

“I could not have done what I am doing today – traveling completely to the other side of the world as an expatriate scholar – had it not been for Dr. Clark and the quality of education that I received at SPC during my early years as a young academic,” he said.

Jefferis said Adams was in her first SPJC class in 1987.

“I convinced Ty and three other students from that class to be the core of the speech team I would start up in the fall of 1987, even though they would only compete one year before graduating,” she recalled. “In November, Ty won four awards at the Brevard Community College tournament: first in novice debate, second in varsity debate, fifth in impromptu speaking, and he was judged to be the third-best debate speaker at the contest.”

Adams and the team went on to a number of successes that year, she said.

“Ty is an exceptional young man, who has worked hard,” she said. “He has a natural aptitude for technology, which has served him well as he was one of the first people to write a textbook on computer-mediated communication. I am very proud of him, and I am excited about his Fulbright opportunity!”

Funding for the media center in Kazakhstan is being provided by Exxon Mobil.

The Kazakhstan Institute of Management, Economics and Strategic Research is the leading all-English host institute for training capitalism and modern media theory among the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). As an independent Republic rich in oil and gas reserves, Kazakhstan is experiencing significant growth.

Adams said he believes Kazakhstan is on the verge of great progress, and he hopes to seek a long-term contract with the institution once it is built.

“There are massive opportunities available to expatriates in these developing countries,” he said. “All you have to do is maintain a strong work-ethic, be culturally flexible, and know how to communicate.”

The Fulbright Foundation is governed by the Council for the International Exchange of Scholars (CIES), and is an official diplomatic arm of the U.S. government, which extends grants to prominent scholars who are willing to go overseas to share their academic expertise about Westernized education models.

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The Sunday edition of the St. Petersburg TIMES carried an article about how St. Petersburg College is dealing with increasing enrollments.

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SPC elementary education alumna Tracy Staley was selected Pinellas County’s 2011 Outstanding Educator in March. Staley teaches math and science at Ponce de Leon Elementary in Clearwater.

Watch Tracy address the Florida Department of Education

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