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Archive for March, 2012

GODSPELLAfter a nine-year hiatus, the Theater Department has returned to the Clearwater Campus with its second production, GODSPELL. The 1971 musical, based on the Gospel According to St. Matthew, is about Jesus and his apostles and is portrayed through song, dance and improvisation.

Performances of GODSPELL will run through Sunday, April 1 in the Arts Auditorium at the Clearwater Campus. Tickets are $10 general admission at the door and free for SPC students, faculty and staff with a valid SPC ID.

Performances are Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.

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Dennis Prager

Dennis Prager

Dennis Prager, international lecturer, author and radio talk show host, will speak at St. Petersburg College’s Keith Goree Applied Ethics Lecture Series on April 4 at 7 p.m. at the Palladium Theater.  His topic is “Happiness is not a feeling: It’s a moral obligation.”

The event, sponsored by SPC’s Applied Ethics Institute and Student Government Association, is free for SPC students and faculty with ID. A limited number of tickets are available to the public for $20 through the Palladium ticket office.

Prager is host of the “Dennis Prager Show,” he is a nationally syndicated columnist, bestselling author and worldwide lecturer on a variety of topics including personal and social issues, morality and religion. Television appearances include “Larry King Live,” “Hardball,” “Hannity & Colmes,” “CBS Evening News,” “Today” and many other programs. He is a Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and has lectured on all seven continents, in 45 states in the U.S. and in nine Canadian provinces.  In addition to lecturing in English, he has lectured in Russian in Russia and in Hebrew in Israel.

About his topic, Prager says, “Happiness is not merely a selfish pursuit. Acting happy, or at least not inflicting one’s own unhappiness upon others, is no less important in making the world a better place than any other human traits such as honesty, integrity, moral courage or acts of altruism. The pursuit of happiness is noble. It benefits everyone around the individual pursuing it, and it benefits humanity. And that is why happiness is a moral obligation.”

The Keith Goree Applied Ethics Lecture Series is designed to provide thought-provoking presentations on ethics issues that are important to the SPC community. The series was created in honor of Keith Goree, the institute’s former director who died in 2009. Goree taught ethics at the college for more than 20 years and co-authored the ethics textbook that has been used by more than 100,000 students at six universities.

“Keith Goree’s daily life modeled the ideals of compassion, wisdom, justice and humor and, most importantly, courage,” said fellow professor Jane Till.

The mission of the Applied Ethics Institute is to promote the teaching of ethics at all levels of education, in business, in the community at large and on the Internet. Visit the Applied Ethics Institute website for more information about the institute or to schedule a speaker for your organization. For more information about Dennis Prager, visit the Dennis Prager Show website.

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emergency resonder guideEmergency responders need to be ready to face any emergency and they may not always know how to meet the unique needs of every individual. Imagine responding to an emergency and finding that the person in need cannot understand you, or cannot hear you, or is unable to move or be moved.

St. Petersburg College’s Center for Public Safety Innovation (CPSI), in partnership with the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR), created a flip book, online resource and video entitled, “Emergency Response for People Who Have Access and Functional Needs: A Guide for First Responders.”

The resource provides a reference tool for emergency personnel who assist people with access and functional needs during and after an emergency. Although limited quantities of this flip book are available in print, all of the content can be viewed, copied and printed online for free. This online resource can be very helpful at a time when many agencies cannot afford training resources due to tight budgets.

“We are pleased to share this resource with other programs in the College and with the clinicians in our local community that can benefit from the critical information provided,” said Eileen LaHaie, CPSI Executive Director.

“Our thanks to CPSI for their assistance with our February 2012 CME course,” said Glenn Davis, EMS/CME Program Coordinator. “This is an excellent example of the benefits of interdepartmental collegiality. Two departments with similar goals and objectives, working together to benefit a larger number of students.”

The resource provides essential tips for assisting people of all ages with various access and functional needs, including: sensory, cognitive and mobility disabilities, language and cultural differences, transportation limitations and medical needs. It covers how to assist people in private homes, institutions and congregate care facilities.

CPSI recently offered this resource at no cost to another program at St. Petersburg College, the Emergency Medical Services/Continuing Medical Education (EMS/CME) program. The guide also has been included in the EMS/CME program’s February 2012 online ANGEL training for Pinellas County EMS and is well suited for the 1,500-plus local EMS clinicians in Pinellas County.

CPSI has already received requests for the resource from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Florida Division of Emergency Management, Virginia Medical Response Council, Fairfax (Va.) Emergency Management, Kent County (Mich.) Health Department, Los Angeles County Disaster Management and other state and local responder agencies across the country.

CPSI’s mission is to develop and deliver high quality training for emergency and first responders, military personnel, and the general public. CPSI responds to local and national training needs, working closely with long-time partners, including the U.S. Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense, Department of State and others, to deliver training throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Central America. CPSI has three distinct divisions: the Multijurisdictional Counterdrug Task Force Training (MCTFT) program, the National Terrorism Preparedness Institute (NTPI), and the Florida Regional Community Policing Institute (FL RCPI).

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Internationally known drummer, songwriter and producer Steve Luongo will host a drum clinic and music insider lecture at 7:30 p.m., Monday, March 26 at the Palladium at St. Petersburg College. Entitled “My Career in Show Business,” the event is the first in a series that stems from a recent partnership between the college’s Music Industry/Recording Arts program and Aphex, an audio enhancement technology company based in Burbank, Calif.

MIRA interns will help produce Luongo’s show, just as they did for the recent Billy Joel appearance. Luongo, who has played with the Who’s John Entwistle, Mountain’s Leslie West, Cream’s Jack Bruce, Todd Rundgren, Alan Parsons, Billy Squier, and AC/DC’s Brian Johnson and Cliff Williams, will give a solo performance on drums and provide an insider’s look at the music business. He hopes to give newcomers to the industry an edge when they enter this highly competitive business.

The partnership, a first for both organizations, will help broaden MIRA’s curriculum by allowing MIRA students to become certified in using Aphex’s products in a professional setting. The unique partnership also means the company will install its audio products at the Palladium Theater and MIRA’s production suite and will host a series of clinics and workshops with artists, leading engineers, and other manufacturers.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Aphex,” said Mark Matthews, lead instructor SPC’s Music Industry/Recording Arts program. “The company’s philosophy is perfectly aligned with our commitment to helping future sound professionals develop ‘real world’ skills in a collaborative environment. I know Aphex will benefit equally from working side by side with a younger generation of sound pros.”

“Using both MIRA classroom settings as well as the beautiful Palladium Theater in St. Pete for practical applications of engineering techniques, we aim to create unique and exciting real-world lessons for these passionate students of music and recording,” said Aphex CEO, David Wiener.

The event is free for SPC students and staff with ID, and $12 for the general public.

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billy joel

Billy Joel performs before an SPC-only sellout crowd of 850 at the Palladium Monday night. See the full photo gallery on our Facebook page.

A candid and irreverent Billy Joel delivered lessons in music and life Monday night to an SPC-only, sold-out crowd of 850 at the Palladium. These intimate college settings, dubbed “An Evening of Questions and Answers … and a Little Music,” have replaced Joel’s concert performances recently, giving music students an inside look at what it takes to make it.

“When I was starting out, there was no one to ask how to do my job,” Joel said in his opening. “I said if I ever get the chance, I’m going to help someone out. I’ve made every mistake in the business, and I’m still here.”

During the nearly three-hour performance, Joel bounded between the the Palladium’s Steinway Concert Grand and an electric piano to punctuate his points with song. Running the sound boards and lighting alongside Joel’s team were students from SPC’s Music Industry/Recording Arts program.

“They’re getting to work with world-class people,” said Mark Matthews, lead instructor for MIRA. “Theory is great, but there’s no substitute for an experience like this. This is big. He wants to focus on the students.”

Responding to a question about advice for budding songwriters, Joel broke out Procol Harum’s Whiter Shade of Pale, urging lyricists to concentrate on writing words and finding musicians who are willing to use them.

While Joel’s singing impressions (and there were many) were spot on, there was no mistaking who was behind the microphone. Launching into Just the Way You Are, a song written for his first wife, Joel said, “The most meaningful songs are those written about a real person, from one person to another, because other people will hear that as a real human statement.”

At 62, the six-time Grammy Award winner has not produced a rock or pop hit for nearly 20 years, but has returned to the music that first inspired him as a piano student. His 2001 release, Fantasies & Delusions, featured a collection of his classical piano pieces that debuted at No. 1 on the classical charts.

“I had this passionate affair with rock and roll for 40 years or longer … and now I’ve returned to the girl next door” he said of the classical music he now writes.

Having a strong musical foundation with an instrument is key to success, even for singers, he said.

“When you see kids on Amerian Idol, I can tell some of them they don’t know how to play an instrument because they don’t know how to phrase with the music … they’re not attached to something that makes music that’s not their own voice,” said Joel, whose music will be featured on Wednesday’s episode of the hit show. “I believe it’s always good to learn some theory, some music history and some basis of an instrument,” Joel said to a round of applause. “I was a piano player before I was known as a lead singer.”

MIRA student Chris Hill introduces Billy Joel

MIRA student Chris Hill introduces Billy Joel

For MIRA student Chris Hill, who introduced Joel on stage, Joel’s piano playing partly inspired him to study music at SPC. Hill, who has a bachelor’s degree in business, found his previous profession lacked passion.

“I’m trying to stay calm.” Hill said before the show. “The first album I ever bought was The Stranger on LP. I can remember how big he was … and still is.”

The Stranger, released in 1977, was Joel’s fifth effort and the one that catapulted his career. That level of patience from the music industry is now long gone.

“Today, if you don’t have a hit the first time out, you won’t get another record,” Joel said. “Record companies don’t spend money developing musicians anymore.”

The real game changer, however, has been the advent of digital music production.

“You can record at home now,” Joel said. “Digital equipment makes it possible to have a professional recording in your house. A garage band now can be a superstar band. It’s not just a joke anymore, it’s reality.”

His advice to up and coming musicians: “Make a demo tape, and put your best stuff up front. Send it to record companies and if you get asked, play for them where they can see you. You may have to do a little travelling.”

While Joel was one credit shy of graduating from high school, the game changer in his own life was a teacher. Cutting class to play piano in his high school auditorium, Joel impressed his chorus teacher who overheard him.

“This guy was a really good teacher and I really respected him,” Joel said. “This was the first time an adult said this to me: ‘You should consider becoming a professional musician.’ It was like a door opened and the light shone. Kaboom! … And then it all became possible. So other than musicians I admired, that teacher changed my life.”

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Scholarship Hustle

Dollars for Scholars of St. Petersburg will hold its Inaugural Scholarship Hustle for about 140 runners at Fred Howard Park in Tarpon Springs on Sunday, March 25 at 7:30 a.m. Runners can still register online or register on the day of the event at the site.

“It is such a beautiful venue to come and spend the day,” said Michelle Piccione, founder of Dollars for Scholars at the Health Education Center. “This is perfect for our inaugural event.”

The event will consist of a 5K Degree Seeker run and one-mile Academic family walk/run. The race will begin in the park and continue across the causeway with a breathtaking view of the water on both sides, around the tropic palm tree island, back across the causeway and end in the park.

SPC President Bill Law will speak at the start of the event and then will join the race as runner No. 1. Proceeds from the event will help provide scholarships to SPC students.

“All of the money is going into the alumni association and straight into scholarships,” she said. “At the Dollars for Scholars Thrift Store, we’ve already raised enough money to pay for this event, so 100 percent of every penny that comes in on this is going into scholarships.”

A $300 cash prize will be awarded to the best male and female overall runners, and two runners-up each will have a $500 scholarship award named after them or a person of their choice. Trophies three-deep then will be awarded for the male, female and all-age categories. Gift cards and certificates also will be awarded, and all participants will receive a medal of completion. No double trophies will be awarded.

For questions, contact Michelle Piccione at 727-742-8565.

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Alistair Glover

Alistair Glover

For the second year in a row, an SPC student has won Florida’s 2012 Coca-Cola New Century Scholar. Alistair Glover, 24, a chemistry student in the Honors College, will receive a $2,000 stipend with the award.

Last year, Spenser Reed, another Honors College student at the Clearwater Campus, was named the New Century Scholar for Florida. In 2010, Tara Brown-Ogilvie was named a Coca-Cola Silver Scholar and Samantha Mitchell was named a Coca-Cola Gold Scholar.

“I’m both excited and honored to be receiving an award of this magnitude,” Glover said. “I think this will open up a lot more doors when it comes time to transfer.”

Glover is president of the Student Government Association at the Clearwater Campus and will graduate in May. He hopes to enroll at Harvard University but is also considering the University of Chicago or Dartmouth University, and plans to dual-major in chemistry and economics.

Taylor Howe, an 18-year-old student at the Tarpon Springs Campus, was named a 2012 Coca-Cola Silver Scholar and will receive a $1,250 scholarship.

Taylor Howe

Taylor Howe

To be selected for the scholarships, both students had to make it on the Phi Theta Kappa All-Florida Academic Team. Phi Theta Kappa is an international honor society for two-year colleges. Members of PTK must demonstrate honor and service to others and maintain a 3.5 GPA or higher.

The New Century Scholars program honors the top scoring Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team nominee from each of the 50 states in the U.S.

The Coca-Cola New Century Scholars program is sponsored annually by the American Association of Community Colleges, The Coca-Cola Foundation, the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, and Phi Theta Kappa.

This year’s All-Florida Academic Team Awards ceremony will be at Valencia College’s West Campus: Special Events Center in Orlando on Thursday, April 5 at noon-1:30 p.m. Winners and two guests each may attend the awards ceremony free.

“I am honored that I am able to pick up the torch and demonstrate to the rest of the Florida state academic community that SPC is still a strong institution,” Glover said. “I’m happy to be bringing those ideas forward.”

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