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Archive for the ‘Midtown’ Category

1780775_10152608847838368_1191305515_nSt. Petersburg College and the Midtown community on Saturday celebrated both the past – the legacies of leaders Douglas L. Jamerson Jr. and Cecil B. Keene Sr. – and the future of education in the community.

An event at the site where the new 49,000-square-foot Midtown campus is beginning to rise honored Mr. Keene’s and Mr. Jamerson’s contributions to education locally and statewide by officially placing their names on SPC buildings.

The new facility, scheduled to open in mid-2015 at the corner of 22nd Street S and 13th Avenue S, will be called the Douglas L. Jamerson Jr. Midtown Center. The three-story building will include classrooms, labs, community space, computer labs, student services areas and a library with a children’s area.

The college’s current facility at 1048 22nd St. S was renamed the Cecil B. Keene, Sr. Student Achievement Center.

1939457_10152608826423368_12299606_nIn his dedication, Board of Trustees Chairman Deveron Gibbons said he had trouble narrowing down his comments “because both of these two men had such an impact on my life.”

“When I think about Mr. Keene,” he said, “what I think about most was his commitment to people and especially to students.”

Mr. Jamerson, he said, was his uncle and his mentor, a man who worked across the state for others. “He was the best legislator of this district I’ve ever seen. He fought with everything he could for St. Petersburg to be a better community.”

The event marked the official beginning of construction on the new Douglas L. Jamerson Midtown Center.

The Rev. Wayne Thompson, before his invocation, said the new building sits next to the spot where he was born, in the former Mercy Hospital. “I was thinking this morning that maybe today I was going to be reborn,” he said. “In many ways, this community is going to be reborn because of this bold initiative by St. Petersburg College and the Board of Trustees.”

SPC President Bill Law said he has been a college president for 25 years. At the end of his career, he said, “When I’m asked what are the five best days you has as a president, this will be one.”

The day was historic, Dr. Law said. “We stand here in celebration in a location that hasn’t always had reason to celebrate.”

1891212_10152608827338368_1189107867_nThe community, he said, “has had to overcome all the constraints of a segregated society. When the legal and societal restraints were removed, Midtown had to find a new center.”

People like Mr. Jamerson, Mr. Keene and Johnnie Ruth Clarke, for whom the adjacent health center is named, always knew that the community was strong and never stopped fighting for it, Dr. Law said. “Our celebration was put in motion years ago by those who could feel the heartbeat of this community.”

Chairman Gibbons recognized past leaders from the college and the city who fought for years to make the Midtown campus a reality, including former board members Terry Brett, Ken Burke, Ken Welch and Dick Johnston; former mayors David Fischer and Rick Baker; and community activist Theresa “Momma Tee” Lassiter.

“You have to know where you’ve been to know where you’re at,” he said. “Here we are now – we’re going to have a place of learning. We’re going to have people who can go to college right here on 22nd Street, on the Deuces.”

Mayor Rick Kriseman praised the college for its commitment to Midtown. He said his administration wants to focus on workforce training and employment in the community. “When it comes to workforce training, there’s no better partner for us than St. Petersburg College.”

See photos from the event on the college’s Facebook page.

Watch the event on SPC’s YouTube channel.

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A ceremony on Saturday, March 1, will celebrate the legacies of educators Douglas L. Jamerson Jr. and Cecil B. Keene Sr. and officially mark the beginning of construction of the new Midtown campus.

midtown

The current Midtown facility will officially become Cecil B. Keene Sr. Student Achievement Center. The new campus will be named the Douglas L. Jamerson Jr. Midtown Center.

Representatives of the Keene and Jamerson families will be recognized.

The program begins at 11 a.m. at the construction site on the corner of 22nd St. South and 13th Avenue.

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AAHM

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

Angie

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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UnknownSt. Petersburg College today announced that it will name its campuses in the Midtown area of St. Petersburg in honor of two community leaders who spent their careers working for educational opportunities throughout the city and the state.

Construction will begin soon on the new Douglas L. Jamerson, Jr. Midtown Center, at 22nd Street and 13th Avenue S. The 45,000-square-foot facility will include classrooms, labs and community space.

The current St. Petersburg College facility at 1048 22nd St S will be renamed the Cecil B. Keene, Sr. Student Achievement Center.

The names were approved by the Board of Trustees Tuesday morning.

Luke Williams, assistant chief of the St. Petersburg Police Department, served on the committee that made the naming recommendations.

Old-MT_SPC_CBK_final“It is only fitting to have these two individuals honored who are from Midtown, who worked for Midtown,” he said. “I knew them both personally. Being a person who grew up in Midtown, I know how important the college and education were to both of them, seeing them and their interactions and engaged actions throughout the community. The community has been made better because of their voices.”

Kevin Gordon, provost of the St. Petersburg College Downtown and Midtown campuses, called both men community icons.

“Each made significant contributions to education, St. Petersburg College and the community,” he said. “This is the perfect way to continue their legacy and uphold the vision they held for Midtown.”

Douglas L. Jamerson, Jr.

Unknown-1Mr. Jamerson grew up in the Midtown area of St. Petersburg. He was the first black graduate of Bishop Barry (now St. Petersburg Catholic) High School. He graduated from then St. Petersburg Junior College, the St. Petersburg College Police Academy and earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of South Florida.

As a state legislator representing his native St. Petersburg for 11 years, Mr. Jamerson championed education reforms. He later served as state Secretary of Labor and as state Education Commissioner.

He won a national award for his efforts to help heal tensions in his hometown following racial unrest in 1996. Though he lived in Tallahassee when he died in 2001 at age 53, Mr. Jamerson was still advocating for schools and communities in Pinellas County.

Myrtle Williams, retired associate provost at St. Petersburg College, said that when she thinks about Doug Jamerson, she thinks of his service to the community.

“What a role model he was for our young men, our African-American men and all men,” she said. “He worked tirelessly for his community.”

An elementary school in North Pinellas bears Mr. Jamerson’s name. Luke Williams said it is appropriate that his name now will appear on a college facility.

“Not only did he want to make sure our younger students had access to education, but he wanted to see that through to all stages in education.”

Board of Trustees chairman Deveron Gibbons said, “Doug Jamerson gave every bit of his heart and soul to the community. He was a real teacher. He took every teachable moment and made it a good moment for everyone else.”

Cecil B. Keene, Sr.

Unknown-2Mr. Keene also was a native of Pinellas County, who grew up in Clearwater.  dedicated his life to education, serving students in Pinellas County and throughout the state of Florida.

He advocated for those who needed help and encouragement to reach their potential and inspired those who thought an education was beyond their reach.

Mr. Keene began his education career in segregated Pinellas County schools, serving as dean of students at Gibbs Junior College from 1958 to 1965, then principal of Pinellas High until 1968 and of Gibbs High until 1971, the year Pinellas County schools integrated.

From 1971 to 1992, he worked as a counselor and special projects coordinator at then St. Petersburg Junior College, focusing on efforts to help expand opportunities for students.

Gov. Bob Martinez appointed Mr. Keene to the Board of Regents of the Florida University System in 1987, where he served until 1993. From 2001 until shortly before his death in 2008 at 84, Mr. Keene was a member of the St. Petersburg College Board of Trustees.

Bernice Keene, Mr. Keene’s wife, said, “There are no words to express how thrilled and honored I am that this honor will be bestowed on my husband, Cecil Keene. It leaves me speechless.

“Education was his passion, not only for his children but for all young people with whom he came in contact,” she said. “He used to call his children’s playmates in from the street to ask them if they had read this book or that book. My entire family is grateful to the college for this remembrance.”

Luke Williams said he was one of those young people who used to play in Mr. Keene’s yard. “Mr. Keene understood that education was a means to an end for all of the children in the neighborhood and beyond,” he said.

Gibbons said he admired Mr. Keene’s dedication. “He was as committed to St. Petersburg College and junior colleges as any individual I’ve ever met.”

Myrtle Williams said Mr. Keene became her mentor at St. Petersburg College. “He really taught me what the value of community college was,” she said. “He instilled in me the desire to stay community focused and to work for all students, particularly our minority students who needed so much. “

The process

The recommendation to name college facilities is made by a committee appointed by the college president. The committee considers contributions to the college and the community.

The committee that recommended these names was:

·        Robert Fine, Vice Chair, Board of Trustees
·        Tonjua Williams, Senior Vice President
·        Kevin Gordon, Provost
·        Sharon Williams, Faculty
·        Luke Williams, St. Petersburg Police Department
·        Candice Billingsley, Student Government Association Representative – Midtown
·        Dwayne McCray, Student Government Association Representative – Midtown
·        Ulysses Burden, Student Government Association Representative – Midtown
·        Deborah Boyle, Chief of Staff

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LumaStream CEO Eric Higgs address Advisory Committee members during a recent breakfast meeting.

LumaStream CEO Eric Higgs address Advisory Committee members during a recent breakfast meeting.

If you’ve stepped into a Yogurtology in Tampa or strolled outside the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg, you’ve seen the work of Eric Higgs in the lights. As CEO of local LED light manufacturer LumaStream, Higgs tossed aside the 130-year old technology of incandescent bulbs to develop what he calls intelligent lighting systems.

The low-voltage, highly efficient systems save money and the planet, a notion that Higgs says, “is just the right thing to do.”

To accommodate his booming business, Higgs recently moved his manufacturing base from Canada to Midtown St. Petersburg. He hopes to eventually employ hundreds of people, who will be trained by St. Petersburg College through a partnership and a $2.5 million grant from the Department of Labor.

“The target audience is hungry for this,” Higgs told a recent breakfast gathering of St. Petersburg College Advisory Committee members. “Midtown is an ideal location for a light manufacturing hub.”

What Higgs needs are skilled, trained workers. He expects to directly hire about half of those who complete the 20-week training program. SPC provides the instructors and courses and LumaStream provides the space, currently a 23,000 square-foot building on First Avenue South.

Graduates will earn nationally recognized industry certifications that count toward an associate of science degree, meaning they can literally go anywhere. Initial training will focus on CNC machining, a technique that requires technical and sophisticated computer know-how.

The other credential will be for MSSC Certified Production Technician. Participants also will gain business sense.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity for students,” Higgs said. “They will not only learn their specific job but how their job impacts the organization. For instance, if a $5 part gets returned, it can quickly become a $500 part. It’s important that students and everyone in the organization understand that.”

So far, out of more than 120 applicants, 12 will begin training this month.

“They feel they are being honored and this gives them a special opportunity for their career,” Higgs said. “We are promoting the excellence of St. Pete College in our partnership. The college has moved at an astounding pace to make this happen.”

Workforce Director Jason Krupp added: “They are doing amazing things. We are very excited about this partnership. The training is designed to give people jobs quickly.”

Anne Cooper, Senior Vice President for Instruction and Academic Programs, also noted, “Our partnerships allow us to keep our programs on the cutting edge. When we come together, we improve our community.”

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Explore a high-tech career in manufacturingSt. Petersburg College kicks off its advanced manufacturing training programs July 16 with the first of 10 information sessions. The training is part of SPC’s new partnership with local manufacturing company LumaStream that will bring high-tech job opportunities and hands-on manufacturing training to the Midtown area of St. Petersburg.

LumaStream, which manufactures innovative Intelligent LED lighting systems, is moving a production facility to the Midtown area. SPC, as the lead institution in the Florida TRADE Consortium, will use the LumaStream facilities to offer training that can lead to an entry-level job with the company or with another advanced manufacturing institution. Read related news stories.

Prospective students will attend an information session to learn about:

  • Manufacturing careers
  • Training program overview and requirements
  • Training program start dates
  • Florida TRADE

Information Session Schedule

Register online for any of the upcoming information sessions:

  • Tuesday, July 16, 5-7 p.m., SPC Downtown, DC 124
  • Thursday, July 18, 2-4 p.m., SPC Midtown, MT 102
  • Tuesday, July 23, 5-7 p.m., St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus, TE 128
  • Thursday, July 25, 2-4 p.m., SPC Downtown, DC 124
  • Tuesday, July 30, 5-7 p.m., SPC Midtown, MT 102
  • Thursday, Aug. 1, 5-7 p.m., Clearwater Campus, ES 111
  • Tuesday, Aug. 6, 10 a.m.-noon, SPC Downtown, DC 124
  • Thursday, Aug. 8, 5-7 p.m., Seminole Campus, UP 176
  • Tuesday, Aug. 13, 10 a.m.-noon, SPC Midtown, MT 102
  • Thursday, Aug. 15, 5-7 p.m., Tarpon Springs Campus, FA 132

Program Qualifications

  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States or trust territories (If not a citizen, documentation that shows you have the legal right to work in the U.S.)
  • Pass the Florida Ready to Work Assessment

 Contacts

For more information, contact Marta Przyborowski at 727-341-7973 or Dr. Gary Graham at 727-791-2478 or visit the Florida TRADE website at www.fltrade.org.

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Last month’s Start Your Own Business Workshop at St. Petersburg College’s Midtown Center provided valuable insights and encouragement to future business entrepreneurs.

The workshop, led by SPC’s Associate Professor of Marketing & Entrepreneurship Amy Sauers, included a keynote address by local entrepreneur Lou Brown, who owns a Midtown real estate business. The event was held June 18.

Brown told attendees, “In entrepreneurship, the rewards are worth the risk.” Attendees were encouraged to have faith and not doubt themselves or their abilities. “Nobody else can be you. It’s up to you to make the experience as positive as you can. You have to be organized to get from point A to point B. Entrepreneurship can be easier if you prepare yourself for getting from point A to point B and follow through,” he said.

Reuben Pressman, a local south St. Petersburg tech entrepreneur who operates several area tech startup companies, shared key insights to his motivation, drive and journey via an engaging Q&A session. Key resources pertaining to business planning and marketing were also examined and discussed.

Nicolle Panuthos, Academic Department Chair for the College of Business & Entrepreneurship Program, provided information pertaining to SPC’s Entrepreneurship Certificate Program, which launched in fall 2010.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

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Business entrepreneurs should take note of an upcoming workshop at St. Petersburg College’s Midtown later this month.

Set for June 18, the Start Your Own Business Workshop. The event is open to the public.

SPC’s Associate Professor of Marketing & Entrepreneurship Amy Sauers will lead the workshop. Local entrepreneurs Lou Brown, who owns a Midtown real estate business, and Reuben Pressman, who operates several area tech startups, will make guest appearances.

Participants will be able to learn about the college’s entrepreneurship and business courses.

The workshop runs from 5-7 p.m. in Room 108 at SPC Midtown.

For more information, please contact Marta Przyborowski at 727-341-7973.

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The St. Petersburg College Board of Trustees met Tuesday, April 16, at the EpiCenter.

The full agenda and meeting video, which is 1 hour, 54 minutes long, is available on the board’s website.

Meeting highlights included:

  • The board began again on the process to choose a construction manager for the new Midtown Campus. In February, the board awarded the contract for the project but, following a protest by another company, discovered a flaw in the procedure. Rather than risk a protracted delay, the board will go through the selection process again with amended procedures.

“We find ourselves today where I think we can overcome our past difficulties, learn from some mistakes we made along the way, get the project back on track and move forward,” President Bill Law said.

Board chairman Deveron Gibbons called the new Midtown Campus “the biggest economic impact to hit this community in over 50 years…and we want to do it right.”

The board expects to have a new recommendation in about 60 days. Watch this portion of the meeting video starting at 0:28:39.

The Tampa Bay Times reported on the problem April 17.

  • Approved the Classification and Compensation study as it relates to administrative and professional employees. Watch that portion of the meeting video starting at 0:47:40.
  • Recognized:
    • Basketball player Lynae Richardson, winner of the Sandy Miller Scholar-Athlete Award
    • Women’s basketball coach Denisha Davidson, 2012-13 Southern Conference Coach of the Year
    • The Model United Nations students, faculty and staff who competed in New York City last month and placed among the top in the country
    • The team from the J.E. Hanger College of Orthotics and Prosthetics at SPC who participated in Wounded Warrior Kilimanjaro Research Expedition

Watch this part of the meeting beginning at the 0:02:32.

  • Dr. Anne Cooper and Dr. Tonjua Williams presented information about the Survey of Entering Student Engagement, which shows how the college is doing in comparison to 245 other institutions. Watch this part of the meeting beginning at 0:48:48.
  • Emergency Management Coordinator Bill Grey gave a presentation on the college’s Campus Safety and Security preparations. Watch this part of the meeting beginning at 1:02:36.
  • Dr. Doug Duncan gave a preliminary look at the budget for 2013-14, which the board will discuss at its May meeting. Watch this part of the meeting at 1:24:11.

The next Board of Trustees meeting is at 8:30 a.m. May 21 at the Clearwater Campus.

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SPC Midtown Student Awards Ceremony

St. Petersburg College’s Downtown and Midtown campuses highlighted student success this month at ceremonies that recognized more than 30 students for their involvement in various clubs and organizations.

Students received plaques and certificates at a ceremony at SPC Downtown on April 9. Two students also were presented with the Yvonne Ulmer Scholarship and received $250 each.

On April 16, college officials recognized three students at SPC Midtown for their involvement in the campus’ Student Government Association. Two students received $250 each and were presented the Dr. Hildegarde Shirley Scholarship.

Photo galleries from ceremonies are on the Downtown and Midtown campuses’ Facebook pages.

The following students received an award:

Plaques

  • John McBennett, Persistence Award, Student Project 2012-2013, SPC Downtown
  • Lekita Hamilton, Outstanding Leadership Award, Psychology Club 2012-2013, SPC Downtown
  • Meeshalle Jackson, President, Student Government Association 2012-2013, SPC Downtown
  • Pablo Gonzalez, Treasurer, Student Government Association 2012-2013, SPC Downtown
  • Tait Sorenson, Historian, Student Government Association 2012-2013, SPC Downtown
  • Adriano Luna, Vice President, Student Government Association 2012-2013, SPC Downtown
  • Alfred Redick, Legislative Liaison, Student Government Association 2012-2013, SPC Downtown
  • Petya Getsova, Secretary, Student Government Association 2012-2013, SPC Downtown
  • Xing Han, Jurisprudence, Student Government Association 2012-2013, SPC Downtown
  • Troy Phillips, President, Student Government Association 2012-2013, SPC Midtown
  • Jesse Williams, Treasurer, Student Government Association 2012-2013, SPC Midtown
  • Andrew Vilchez, MAX Man Award “Service is an Attitude” Outstanding Leadership under Fire 2012-2013, SPC Downtown

SPC Downtown Student Leadership Awards Ceremony

Certificates

  • Dwayne McCray, Student Government Association 2012-2013, SPC Midtown
  • Julia Haddad, Senator, Student Government Association 2012-2013, SPC Downtown
  • Gregory Creft, Senator, Student Government Association 2012-2013, SPC Downtown
  • Steven Klapach, Senator, Student Government Association 2012-2013, SPC Downtown
  • Randy Hotaling, Senator, Student Government Association 2012-2013, SPC Downtown
  • Barry Haugabook, Senator, Student Government Association 2012-2013, SPC Downtown
  • Jeni Kennedy, Senator, Student Government Association 2012-2013, SPC Downtown
  • Anthony Martinez, Representative, Student Government Association 2012-2013, SPC Downtown
  • Kyle Orion Eaton, Senator, Student Government Association 2012-2013, SPC Downtown
  • Zachary Nelson, Senator, Student Government Association 2012-2013, SPC Downtown
  • Cynthia Hartley, Senator, Student Government Association 2012-2013, SPC Downtown
  • Giovanni Donald, Senator, Student Government Association 2012-2013, SPC Downtown
  • Meeshalle Jackson, Environmental Consulting Society 2012-2013, SPC Downtown
  • Adriano Luna, Environmental Consulting Society 2012-2013, SPC Downtown
  • Alfred Redick, Environmental Consulting Society 2012-2013, SPC Downtown
  • Tait Sorenson, Environmental Consulting Society 2012-2013, SPC Downtown
  • Randy Hotaling, MAX Club President 2012-2013, SPC Downtown
  • Adriano Luna, MAX Club Treasurer 2012-2013, SPC Downtown
  • Gregory Creft, MAX Club Secretary 2012-2013, SPC Downtown
  • Christopher Wallace, MAX Club Historian 2012-2013, SPC Downtown
  • Andrew Vilchez, Parliamentarian, Student Government Association 2012-2013, SPC Downtown
  • Pablo Gonzalez, Soccer Club President 2012-2013, SPC Downtown
  • Julius Gardner, Psychology Club 2012-2013, SPC Downtown
  • Nelson Mercedes, Psychology Club 2012-2013, SPC Downtown
  • Andrew Suslavich, Psychology Club 2012-2013, SPC Downtown
  • Lekita Hamilton, Psychology Club 2012-2013, SPC Downtown
  • Jasmine Pena, Psychology Club 2012-2013, SPC Downtown
  • Latoya Scott, Psychology Club 2012-2013, SPC Downtown
  • Megan Eli, Psychology Club 2012-2013, SPC Downtown
  • Zach Nelson, Psychology Club 2012-2013, SPC Downtown

Scholarships

  • Bingqing Fang, Yvonne Ulmer Scholarship, Math, SPC Downtown
  • Devin Plant, Yvonne Ulmer Scholarship, Writing, SPC Downtown
  • Dominique Bostic, Dr. Hildegarde Shirley Scholarship, Math, SPC Downtown
  • Laquana Davis, Dr. Hildegarde Shirley Scholarship, Writing, SPC Downtown

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