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right foot flier - FINALSPC students are invited to a free event, Off on the Right Foot: strategies of successful students, to familiarize themselves with college life on Friday, Aug. 22. The event runs from 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Clearwater Campus in ES 104 and was funded by a 2014 SPC Foundation Innovation Grant.

The goal of the pilot program is to help students discover campus resources, attend workshops to learn good study and life skills, and meet other SPC students, faculty and support staff.

The program includes a number of 40-minute workshops on topics that include:

  • Turn a Syllabus Into a Semester Plan
  • Work Smarter: Tips From ‘A’ Students
  • Balancing School and Life Demands
  • Study Skills for Math and Science Courses
  • Match Your Major to Your Dream Job
  • Maximizing Financial Aid and Scholarships

Free breakfast and lunch is provided and a few students will leave with prizes that include a bookstore gift card, a graphing calculator or a Nook tablet.

Advanced registration is strongly encouraged. Walk-ins are accepted if seats are available on the day of the event. For more information, contact Jenica Ibarra, Reference and Instruction Librarian in Learning Resources, at 727-791-2771.

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Tampa Bay area educators attend the Florida Standards training at the Clearwater Campus.

Tampa Bay area educators attend the Florida Standards training at the Clearwater Campus.

St. Petersburg College held a Florida Standards training session earlier this week for nearly 75 teachers and school administrators from the Tampa Bay area. The professional development event, held at the Clearwater Campus, was part of a $7.2 million Florida Department of Education grant.

The grant supports the successful implementation of the Florida Standards, the state’s academic content standards for K-12 students. The standards were designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills they need to be ready for careers and college-level coursework.

Indian River State College is the lead institution on the grant, which was awarded to 11 state colleges and two state universities. Together, the institutions will deliver professional development on instructional tools that implement the Florida Standards.

SPC received $325,000 under the grant to develop training on the Interim Assessment Item Bank, which will give teachers a valid and reliable way to diagnose strengths and weaknesses, predict difficulties, set instructional goals, and monitor learning.

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The Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at St. Petersburg College will host a judicial candidates forum for those vying for seats on the Sixth Judicial Circuit bench. The forum will be from 6 to 8:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 6, in the Ethics and Social Science Building on the Clearwater Campus of SPC, 2465 Drew Street, Clearwater. Advance registration is requested at the institute’s website.

Judicial Forum WEB flyer SMEleven candidates are seeking one of five open contested seats on the Sixth Judicial Circuit bench, which serves Pinellas and Pasco counties. One is incumbent Judge Bruce Boyer. Fourteen other of the circuit’s incumbent judges whose terms expire this year are unopposed and thus automatically re-elected.

Circuit judges serve six-year terms and have no limit on how many terms they may serve. To qualify, candidates must be a member of the Florida Bar and have lived in the state for at least five years.

Judicial races may seem obscure to voters since they are, by law,  non-partisan to prevent politics from tainting the impartiality of the courts. Therefore, candidates bear no party labels and are limited by the Judicial Canon in what they may say in their campaigns. They are forbidden to make predictions or promises about issues that could arise once they are on the bench.

Three local experts with extensive knowledge of the court system will question the candidates, within the limitations cited above. They are:

  • The Hon. Irene Sullivan, retired Circuit Court judge and adjunct professor of juvenile law at Stetson University College of Law, Gulfport
  • Curtis Krueger, courts reporter for the Tampa Bay Times
  • Dr. Susan Demers, Dean of the College of Policy, Ethics and Legal Studies at SPC

The forum will be split into two parts: Groups 1 and 2 comprised of five candidates will be questioned from 6 to 7:10 p.m., and Groups 16, 21 and 35 comprised of six candidates from 7:15 to 8:15 p.m.

The public is encouraged to attend to learn more about the background and qualifications of those seeking to sit on the bench. The forum is being co-sponsored by Tampa Bay Times and the Clearwater Bar Association.

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Fast-Track to FallOn July 21 at five campus locations throughout Pinellas County, St. Petersburg College will host Fast-Track to Fall events to help students finish enrollment requirements before the fall term begins.

During extended hours from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., college staff will be on hand to help students wrap up any outstanding items, including:

  • applying to SPC
  • submitting transcripts
  • taking the College Placement Test
  • registering for classes
  • paying tuition

“The purpose of these events is to let applicants know that they can get everything done in one visit,” said Patrick Rinard, Associate Vice President of Enrollment Services.

The admissions and registration processes recently changed so students can register quickly and more conveniently, Rinard said. Students now see an advisor when they register to make sure they are on track.

10502125_765178160199200_1561435716025633752_n“With all hands on deck, this day should significantly move the needle toward a fall enrollment increase,” Rinard said.

SPC locations hosting Fast-Track to Fall events include:

  • Clearwater Campus, 2465 Drew St., Clearwater
  • Seminole Campus, 9200 113th St. N, Seminole
  • SPC Downtown Center, 244 Second Ave. N, St. Petersburg
  • St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus, 6605 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg
  • Tarpon Springs Campus, 600 Klosterman Road, Tarpon Springs

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Michelle Osovitz stands with students at Mason Metals Studio in Tampa

Michelle Osovitz, far left, joins students at Mason Metals Studio in Tampa.

Looking for a way to make learning about science fun, St. Petersburg College biology professor Michelle Osovitz recently teamed up with other faculty members to immerse students in a world of art and science integration outside the classroom.

With the help of a grant from the SPC Foundation, students learned how to create kinetic or moving jewelry to demonstrate the concepts of science and mathematics involved in making it.

Studio owner Lorrie Mason demonstrates mathematical calculations of kinetic ring construction to SPC students Riccardo Carelli and Lexi Creasy at Mason Metals Studio in Tampa.

Studio owner Lorrie Mason demonstrates mathematical calculations of kinetic ring construction to SPC students Riccardo Carelli and Lexi Creasy at Mason Metals Studio in Tampa.

Osovitz, who teaches in the bachelor’s program at the Clearwater Campus, said she wants students – regardless of their major – to realize that science doesn’t have to be feared or loathed.

“We are actively enhancing the learning experience at SPC by creating an environment both inside and outside the classroom that fosters application of scientific principles in creative arts disciplines,” Osovitz said.

A kinetic spinner ring is actually a combination of two rings – one band that moves or spins around the other one freely. Because they move, they are called kinetic rings. To make the rings, students incorporated numerous scientific concepts, including:

  • geology in working with gemstones
  • chemistry in determining the properties of the copper, silver and steel
  • mathematics in designing and creating the jewelry
  • scientific methods in the overall project

Integrating art and science enhances students’ experience and can make the field of science less intimidating, Osovitz said. Applying what students have learned to create art allows them to develop critical thinking skills, exercise creativity and increase long-term retention.

According to Osovitz, studies have shown that students who engage in interactive projects that combine science and art tend to understand scientific principles better.

As part of the jewelry making project, students kept an art notebook to record calculations, information about various metal properties and sketches. Upper level students were encouraged to incorporate their art into term papers or poster presentations.

Examples of kinetic "spinner" rings created by SPC students.

Examples of kinetic “spinner” rings created by SPC students.

Students who completed the design modules were invited to Mason Metals Studio in Tampa on June 4 to complete their jewelry pieces.

The initiative was funded by an SPC Foundation Grant for Creative Integration of Art and Science. Osovitz joined fellow science faculty members Erin Goergen, Shannon McQuaig and Monica Lara in applying for the grant, which seeks to teach students technical skills in microbiology, biochemistry and molecular biology. McQuaig led students in a project earlier this year about pigments found in bacteria.

“We are all passionate about incorporating creativity and artistic thinking in the teaching of our science courses,” Osovitz said. “As a result, it has become apparent that incorporating art into the science curriculum will not only benefit our students but the professional development of our faculty as well.”

“We are encouraging collaboration across disciplines including physical and life science as well as the art department here at Clearwater,” said Jonathan Barnes, academic chair of Humanities and Fine Arts at the Clearwater Campus.

“On a personal level, it helps us to think about the way we present complex scientific principles in the classroom in a way that our students can relate to,” said Osovitz.

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SPC will host a celebration recognizing the work of state Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, on a tuition equity bill that allows children of undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition. The event is scheduled for June 24 at 10 a.m. at SPC’s Clearwater Campus Ethics & Social Science Building, Room 104.

Latvala and Rep. Jeanette Nuñez, R-Miami, sponsored the hotly debated bill, which had been introduced in various versions in the Legislature since 2003. On June 9, Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed the bill into law, which potentially saves students an annual average of $15,278 at state universities and $6,438 at Florida colleges, according to a legislative analysis. The in-state tuition rate is about one-quarter the amount paid by non-Florida residents.

To qualify for the waiver of out-of-state fees, undocumented immigrants and others must have attended a Florida secondary school for at least three straight years before graduating. They then have 24 months to apply to a college.

New and current SPC students with questions about the impact of the new legislation can contact a student advisor. Students can work through the college’s normal intake processes to establish residency for tuition purposes. Required documentation will include a Florida high school transcript reflecting three consecutive years’ attendance and proof of graduation within the past two years.

SPC will honor Latvala for his efforts on the new legislation at the college’s Clearwater Campus, the same location where he announced in February that he would sponsor the bill. Speakers will include SPC President Bill Law and SPC Clearwater Campus Provost Stan Vittetoe. SPC students and alumni will attend and discuss how the law will impact them and their families.

Student success has been a top priority for administrators and staff at SPC and recent data shows those efforts are paying off. For the past three spring semesters, success rates for students in all courses have increased. Gains among first-time-in-college students are more dramatic, with African-American and Hispanic/Latino males making the greatest academic improvements.

Comparing data from Spring 2012 to this year’s spring semester, success rates were up by 15.8 percent for Hispanic/Latino males. The rate for African-American males climbed 16 percent during the same timeframe. The college has tracked a narrowing or elimination of the gap between success rates for these student ethnic groups compared to white students.

SPC is ranked within the top 100 colleges and universities for the enrollment of Hispanic students in undergraduate programs, according to information from The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education Magazine.

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world cup fifa flierSt. Petersburg College invites the public, students and staff to watch the FIFA World Cup™ from 3-6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 17. The free event will be at the Clearwater Campus, 2465 Drew St., Clearwater.

The FIFA World Cup™ is a sports competition between teams from countries around the world. Google Data from January 2010-May 2014 shows the World Cup has resulted in more Google searches than the Super Bowl, the 2012 Summer and 2014 Winter Olympics, and the Tour de France.

Come see what the excitement is about at the watch party as Brazil and Mexico battle it out on the field. Experience the cultures of both countries through culturally-themed activities and a performance by Mahetzy, a folkloric Mexican dance company.

Stop by SPC booths to learn about educational opportunities, financial aid, scholarships, career information and academic advising. A bilingual staff member will also be available throughout the event.

Representatives from the Tampa Bay Rowdies soccer team will hand out giveaways and speak about the team.

Bring your national colors and family members to celebrate this international sporting event. For more information, call the SPC Student Life and Leadership Office at 727-791-2622.

Download the flier.

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