Archive for the ‘Downtown’ Category

PrintSt. Petersburg College has been named Good ’Burger’s People’s Choice winner in education by the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce. The award, which recognizes SPC for making a positive impact in the community, was presented at a ceremony at Jannus Live in St. Petersburg on Aug. 28.

“This award solidly aligns with our mission of helping to transform communities,” said SPC Downtown Center Provost Kevin Gordon, who accepted the award Thursday on behalf of the college. “We look forward to continued partnerships in all facets of the community and are honored by this recognition.”

A committee of 10 volunteers selected SPC from more than 70 entrees nominated by St. Petersburg Chamber members.

Right: Kevin Gordon, Provost of the SPC Downtown Center, accepts the Good 'Burger award on behalf of St. Petersburg College.

Right: Kevin Gordon, Provost of the SPC Downtown Center, accepts the Good ‘Burger award on behalf of St. Petersburg College.

The Good’ ’Burger Awards were created last year with a name that honored a former mayor of St. Petersburg who often referred to city citizens as “burgers,” short for St. Petersburgers. The awards themselves were established last year to honor city Chamber members who contribute to making the community stand out.

Other winners of the 2014 Good ’Burgers Awards include:

  • Arts and Culture: The Dali Museum
  • Eats & Treats: Chick-fil-A 4th Street
  • Community Service & Non-Profits: Community Action Stops Violence (CASA)
  • Hotspots & Hangouts: Ferg’s Sports Bar & Grill
  • Sports: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Cool Companies (Large): Crown Automotive
  • Cool Companies (Medium): Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater
  • Cool Companies (Small): The Bicycle Store of St. Petersburg
  • Most Valuable Burger: Dr. Jonathan M. Ellen – All Children’s Hospital

The awards replaced the formal dinner banquet programs that were offered in previous years as a fun and engaging way to honor and recognize members.

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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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The Tampa Bay Innovation Center, an innovation and entrepreneurship center for technology businesses, plans to open the TEC Garage, its new incubator, on the ground floor of SPC Downtown, ITBusinessNet.com reported. The tentative opening date is August. TEC Garage, which stands for Technology and Entrepreneurship Center, will house 15 to 30 startups and occupy 6,200 square feet of SPC Downtown.

“This area is a growing hub for entrepreneurship and St. Petersburg College’s Downtown Center is a great location for a business incubator,” said Tonya Elmore, president of Tampa Bay Innovation Center, in the report. “We want to give our local entrepreneurs every resource and tool they need to thrive, and believe this program will help create and keep jobs right here in our community.”

News about the incubator also was posted in Yahoo! Finance and the Tampa Bay Business Journal.

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Students fish seining (netting) and going through their catch at Howard Park.

Students fish seining (netting) and going through their catch at Howard Park.

From cave rappelling to fossil gazing, the Science Adventurer’s Club at St. Petersburg College makes experiential learning fun and interactive for all students.

The Science Adventurer’s Club is one of three student science clubs at the Clearwater Campus. In this environment, students who are interested in natural sciences can participate in research projects, field trips, lectures and community service activities. They do not have to be science majors to participate—all that is required is a passion for learning an interest in all things science.

The club got its start about three years ago when students were dissatisfied that there wasn’t an extracurricular opportunity for students to enjoy science together in a social environment.

“On several occasions, students in my science classes made comments about how they wished there was some place they could hang out and speak with other students about science,” said Monica Lara, Instructor of Natural Science at the Clearwater Campus. She is one of the club’s four faculty advisors, along with Clearwater Campus instructors Carl Opper, Erin Goergen and Mike Stumpe.

Science clubs at SPC include:

  • Environmental Consulting Society – SPC Downtown
  • Environmental Science Club – Seminole Campus
  • Sustainability Club – Tarpon Springs Campus
  • Science Adventurer’s Club – Clearwater Campus
  • Undergraduate Science Research Society – Clearwater Campus
  • Tri-Beta National Biological Honor Society – Clearwater Campus

Lara’s teaching assistant, Michael Goltz, who often was present when these conversations took place, asked whether she would be willing to serve as a club advisor if students started a new club. Goltz, who ended up serving as the club’s first president, has remained connected to the club even though he is now a student at the University of South Florida.

“I agreed to it because I thought it would be a lot of fun and that there had been a lot of people hinting that it was something they would be interested in,” Lara said. “It supplements a lot of what we discuss in class and helps it make more sense.”

Lara said the club also fosters a collaborative culture among the students. In this environment, students primarily learn from each other. As they share their experiences, they teach one another best practices on how to go about taking on various tasks and projects.

“We do have some fun, adventurous trips, but the main focus is that students have to do the science,” she said. Through the club’s many field trips, including rappelling into the Dames Caves in Citrus County, students learn about geology, sea level rises and drops, ecology and conservation.

In addition to field trips, students also participate in volunteer projects such as science fairs, beach and reef cleanups, and Marine Science Day at the University of South Florida. These opportunities and experiences allow students to network with professionals in the field and prepare them for the workforce or graduate level work.

Students also benefit from the club’s partnership with Lara’s out-of-class research group and Reef Monitoring, a 501(c)(3) non-profit research organization that she helped establish with SPC instructor Heyward Mathews in 2005.

“I enjoy getting that experience as it is helpful in preparing me for a potential career in science,” said Shannon Senokosoff, 29, a biology major and vice president of the Natural Science Adventurer’s Club. Since graduating with a degree in art from the University of South Florida, he was not satisfied working as a motion graphics designer and decided to go back to school and pursue his passion for biology at SPC.

Students in the Science Adventurer’s Club go rappelling during a field trip to the Dames Caves.

Students in the Science Adventurer’s Club go rappelling during a field trip to the Dames Caves.

“Getting out there, getting involved in the community through volunteer work and conservation, it puts you in a position where you’re interacting with people that might have positions in different organizations like the Florida Wildlife Commission,” Senokosoff said. “It helps build those connections.”

Lara said the hands-on experiential learning serves as a way to get students to understand what science is really about by doing it and not just hearing about it in a classroom.

“Getting those kinds of experiences – that experiential learning – really sticks with them for the rest of their lives,” she said.


Want to learn more?

The Science Adventurer’s Club meets every other Tuesday at 5 p.m. in the marine biology lab (NM 161) at the Clearwater Campus.

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St. Petersburg College Downtown recently hosted 77 fourth graders and 8 chaperones from Maximo Elementary as part of an effort to expose elementary school students to the prospects of college.

As part of the visit, students were greeted in the American Stage Theatre where they took part in an interactive activity, highlighting the different roles of theater production.


Students participated in six interactive sessions to expose them to career and program options, student life and leadership, advising, financial aid, and learning support resources. In addition, students took part in an engaging classroom science demonstration on blood, its components and functions, facilitated by SPC students Sara Gillmore (Biology Major) and Joe Meindl (Secretary-Treasurer of the DT Medical Club). The visit included lunch on campus, during which students were addressed by Provost Kevin Gordon and Associate Provost Mark Strickland.

The event, aimed at making college more familiar and accessible to students, also included a visit to the Palladium Theater, including a behind-the-scenes tour and a visit with costume, hair and make-up artists from St. Petersburg Opera’s production of “Susannah”.

“Many, many of our fourth-grade students now have the opportunity to think of the college experience as one that they might actually have one day,” said Sheila Kane, Maximo Elementary’s Family and Community Liaison. “The chance to spend a day on campus seeing and interacting with college students made that a reality, not just something people talked about, but something they could really see themselves doing!”

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All St. Petersburg College campuses will celebrate African-American History Month with events and awards ceremonies throughout February.


Angie Shaghaghi

Among the highlights will be an appearance by Tarpon Springs native Angie Shaghaghi, a successful entrepreneur who has appeared on a number of Food Network shows, including Chopped, Cutthroat Kitchen and Hey, Can You Cook?

She will be the keynote speaker at the north county Mac J. Williams Excellence Awards at 7 p.m. Feb. 20 in the Clearwater Campus Arts Auditorium. The Mac J. Williams awards honor outstanding high school students.

Shaghaghi runs a business called Creative Cooks, which teaches cooking classes to children in public/private after-school programs, community centers, nursing facilities and homes.

Other highlights include:

  • African-American History Month Quad Event, all day, Feb. 13, St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus
  • Jump Start Your African-American Genealogy, 1 p.m. Feb. 13, Clearwater Campus
  • Munch & Learn: Race & Ethnicity: Perceptions, Prejudice 7 Power, 12:30 p.m., Feb. 18, Seminole Campus
  • Taste of Soul, noon, Feb. 19, Tarpon Springs Campus
  • The Rhetoric of Dr. Martin Luther King, 12:30 p.m., Feb. 19, Clearwater Campus
  • Poetry Slam, 5:30 p.m., Feb. 19, Clearwater Campus
  • South county Mac J. Williams Excellence Awards, 7 p.m., Feb. 24, Palladium
  • Soul Food Festival, noon, Feb. 25, SPC Midtown
  • Black Trivia Competition, 6 p.m. Feb. 25, Clearwater Campus
  • Soul Food Festival, noon and 4 p.m., Feb. 26, SPC Downtown

For complete listings, see www.spcollege.edu/aahm.

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Model legislatureA new program at St. Petersburg College is engaging interested students in interactive instruction on how Florida state and local governments work.

The free SPC Legislative Workshop, which will take place at SPC Downtown and the Clearwater Campus on Friday, allows students to learn about the state and national governments and how they operate, by playing the roles of state legislators.

Students also gain a greater understanding of what legislators do, and learn valuable leadership and communication skills.

The workshop is a part of the Florida Model Legislature program, and is a precursor to a two-day SPC Model Legislature next month.

“The Florida Model Legislature program is a wonderful way for our students to experience one of SPC’s goals of civic engagement through practical experience with our state legislative system,” said Anja Norman, Academic Department Chair for Social and Behavioral Science at the Clearwater Campus.

Earlier this year, a group of SPC students attended the Florida Model Legislature in Tallahassee. Because it was such a positive and engaging experience, the Clearwater Campus Student Government Association wanted to provide the same opportunity for students collegewide who could not travel to the state capitol. The SGA put money aside to provide their fellow students with the opportunity on campus.

“We found this event to be so invaluable and educational that it was worth bringing to our college,” said Andrew Malyj, Chairman, SPC Model Legislature. “What better way to enhance the educational experience for our students at SPC and increase student success in the areas of civics, ethics, leadership and communication?”

The workshop prepares students for the SPC Model Legislature that will take place at the Clearwater Campus Nov. 15-16. In order to participate in the November Model Legislature, students must have completed this Legislative Workshop.

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