Archive for July, 2012

Representatives from student government associations college-wide visited the District Office to make presentations about the student budget to President Bill Law on Friday, July 20, 2012.

The college’s student government associations  (SGA) have earmarked money from their 2012-2013 budgets to support two plans for students, one that will provide personal counseling and another that will offer Microsoft Office programs for their personal computers.

Representatives from the college’s campuses outlined their budgets for President Bill Law, Tonjua Williams, Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs, and other SPC representatives at a meeting earlier in July.

Under Law’s leadership, the college allocated 25 percent of the funds from student activities fees. This is the second year student leaders have been involved in the budget process and the development of activities offered to the student body at various SPC campuses.

SGA associations are responsible for more than $1.3 million in the upcoming fiscal year, which is based on projected enrollment figures, according to college officials. That figure was divided among the student government groups based on the student semester hours at each location.

The college allotted each student government group the following amounts:

Allstate Center – $40,998

Caruth Health Education Center – $133,800

Clearwater Campus – $282,266

EpiCenter – Baccalaureate – $70,917

Seminole Campus – $196,622

SPC Downtown – $71,766

SPC Midtown – $12,665

St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus – $302,060

Tarpon Springs – $206,812

Each student government association allocated its funding to match the unique needs of its  campus and student population, student government representatives explained during their presentations. The Allstate Center, for example, opted to put  money toward one-on-one “lunch n’ learn” events with various charitable organizations in the community and a new barbecue grill for cookouts. SPC Downtown will spend $20,560 to help employ a student life assistant and $8,000 to educate students on cultural diversity through activities linked to Hispanic Heritage Month, Fine Arts Day and Black History Month.

Common expenditures for the eight home campuses involved funding for the BayCare Student Assistance Program and the Florida Community College Microsoft Partnership.

The BayCare program offers expanded support services and counseling for students in addition to training for faculty and staff in dealing with student concerns and assistance after incidents that would impact students college-wide. For example, students will be able to have three counseling sessions a year through the program.

The Microsoft partnership provides programs for students that they can load on their own personal computers. Through the partnership, students will be able to use the same technology platforms at home as they do at the college.

Both programs will launch by the start of the fall semester.

Before the presentations, Law spoke to student government members about the opportunity and responsibility that’s provided by managing the budgets. Law told the group they shoulder the burden of student leadership that can be both rewarding and frustrating. But, by overseeing budgets for the different campuses, they would be gaining valuable experience as well as helping benefit the thousands of students their organizations represent.

Dwayne-Ron Sharpe, 21, president of the Clearwater Student Government Association, said working with the budget was at times tedious and difficult as group members determined how to allocate the money. But, he said, that it overall was “a good process” and “a good learning experience.”

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More than one hundred students and their families gathered recently at the Seminole Campus to celebrate the close of the 2012 Summer of Success program. This year’s graduates finished with a 2.75 GPA in the three-hour course that they all took. Of the 105 students in this year’s program, 98 (93 percent) are registered for classes for the fall 2012 term.

Students and staff from each of the four campuses (Clearwater, Seminole, St. Petersburg/Gibbs and Tarpon Springs) were recognized during the ceremony. Dr. Linda Hogans, Director of the Office of Special Programs, also recognized SPC faculty member Dr. Roland Martens, for his ongoing support of the Summer of Success program.

Media resources

Summer of Success provides graduating seniors from Pinellas County high schools with a slice of college life that prepares them for academic success. Through the six-week program, students have the opportunity to:

  • Attend SPC on a scholarship
  • Earn three college credits
  • Improve English, reading and math readiness skills
  • Explore various career opportunities
  • Become familiar with their SPC campus and resources
  • Visit different business and industries
  • Meet new friends

Dates for next year’s program are posted on the Summer of Success website early in 2013.

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FL Blue Ribbon Task Force

The Florida Blue Ribbon Task Force on State Higher Education Reform met at the EpiCenter Thursday. Participants consisted of leaders in higher education and other organizations from around the state.

FL Blue Ribbon Task Force

Andrea Henning, Executive Director of the Collaborative Labs, greets and welcomes participants of the Florida Blue Ribbon Task Force on State Higher Education Reform workshop. Participants were divided into small breakout sessions in the Collaborative Labs to discuss ideas for future plans and to brainstorm. In the foreground are Frank Brogan, Chancellor, State University System of Florida and SPC President Bill Law.

FL Blue Ribbon Task Force

From left: Bernie Machen, President of the University of Florida, sits with John Ramil, Chair of the Board of Trustees for the University of South Florida, and Jane Adams, Vice President of University Relations at UF and Chair of the Florida Chamber Foundation Board of Trustees.

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PBS’ Washington Week with Gwen Ifill will take over the Palladium Theater at St. Petersburg College Aug. 24 for a special telecast before the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Eric Deggans with the Tampa Bay Times reported.  A limited number of free tickets are available online to locals at www.wedu.org/washingtonweek or by calling (813) 739-2909.

The Tampa Bay Times also posted an interview with Ifill. She said her mind is on Florida and St. Petersburg, where her Washington Week show will tape the Friday before the Republican National Convention in Tampa. “Well, of course (the political parties) are going to make it a publicity show, but we’re going to make it something more,” Ifill said. A post about the interview also is on PalladiumPaul’s blog that gives you all the information on the Palladium Theater at St. Petersburg College.

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The Sarasota Herald-Tribune published an article July 21 about SPC graduate Natasha Clemons, the mother of a Bradenton man who died in an officer-involved shooting on June 11 in Sarasota County. Clemons’ classmates and professor, Dr. Sandra Campbell, helped her afterward. They pulled together to purchase her a new lab coat for work that lists her as having received her bachelor’s degree in nursing.

In the article, Clemons said when she walked down the aisle at SPC’s graduation ceremony she planned to carry a photo of her son. Clemons, 40, is the second in her immediate family to receive a college diploma. Her late son graduated from Eastern New Mexico University in December.

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The second annual Jeff Norton Awards will be held Aug. 20 at the Palladium Theater at St. Petersburg College, BroadwayWorld.com posted. The event celebrates the best of professional theater in Tampa Bay. Awards will be presented to audience favorites in the categories of Outstanding Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Director, Lighting/Sound Designer, Costume Designer, and Set Designer.

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Antonia Lewandowski, adjunct instructor in Communications at the Seminole Campus, was selected to attend one of six Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshops as a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Scholar last month.

Lewandowski participated in “Along the Shore,” a week-long examination of Brooklyn’s industrial and environmental history sponsored by the City University of New York’s College of Technology. Three of the 50 participants who received the award were from Florida.

The program featured walking tours and daily lectures by environmentalists, city planners, architects and community organizers. The program focused on the philosophy and practice of restoration and preservation of landmark sites, culminating in a blog.

NEH is a federal agency that supports summer study opportunities each year so that faculty can work in collaboration with experts in humanities disciplines. Each participant receives a $1,200 stipend to help cover travel, study and living expenses.

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SPC graduates walk past applauding faculty at the end of Saturday’s graduation ceremony, the college’s 119th Commencement Exercises.

Surrounded by families, friends and flashing phones and cameras, St. Petersburg College’s summer 2012 graduates filed out of the First Baptist Church of Indian Rocks Saturday.

Approximately 300 SPC graduates participated in the college’s 119th Commencement Exercises. The college had more than 1,200 graduates this semester, according to SPC graduation organizers. Many received associate of arts degrees while others earned bachelor’s degrees in areas ranging from international business to nursing. About 2,000 people – among them proud parents, friends, siblings and children – attended the event along with SPC faculty and staff.

SPC President Bill Law congratulated the students and their families on their achievements both during the ceremony and in a letter printed in the graduation program. “You’ve invested much in your education; now, take pride in the contributions you will make to your professions, families and communities,” Law said in the letter.

Commencement speakers Deniann Grant and Juan Otazu

Graduates heard words of advice and encouragement from two commencement speakers. Deniann Grant, who will be transferring to the University of Florida, served as the former president of the St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus’s Student Government Association in 2011-12 and the Chief Executive Officer for the transitional team of MYRA (Make Your Radio Active) Radio Network. Juan Otazu, a retired master sergeant who served in the U.S Air Force for 24 years, graduated this semester from SPC with a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

“Here at SPC there’s a place for everyone,” Grant told the crowd, explaining how the college offers an affordable education for thousands of students from a variety of backgrounds. Attending SPC, she said, allowed her to grow as a person and a leader.

“It’s passion not a pedigree that will win in the end,” Otazu said in his speech. Speaking about his own experiences to earn his degree, he had the audience laughing and clapping as he told them not to be afraid to start from the bottom and to persevere as they moved forward in life.

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St. Petersburg College’s plans to house the college’s Midtown Education Center in a building at 22nd Street and 13 Avenue S were featured in a Tampa Bay Times article about hope for renewal in St. Petersburg’s Midtown area.

The college is establishing a 45,000-square-foot building for the center, the article stated.

SPC’s plan is one of two “high-profile positive indicators” of  a rebirth of the area, said City Council member Karl Nurse in the report. The Harlem, N.Y.-based restaurant Sylvia’s Queen of Soul Food also is likely coming to Midtown, the article stated.

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St. Petersburg College President Bill Law was quoted in an article on news-press.com about a plan from Florida’s 28 state and community colleges to make the state the first in the country to reach the national goal of doubling graduation rates by 2020.

To reach that goal, the Florida College System will be asking for a 35 percent increase in state funding, according to the article. A proposal for the plan is expected in the fall, Valencia College President Sandy Shugart told the Florida Board of Education on Tuesday.

Law and Shugart said they thought Gov. Rick Scott would approve since their plan stemmed from discussions with him.

The four-year strategic plan would make Florida the top-ranked college system for affordability, job placement, accountability and partnerships with high schools and universities, the article stated.

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