Archive for the ‘Seminole Campus’ Category


SPC President Bill Law congratulates one of the Presidential Scholarship recipients.

St. Petersburg College honored its 105 Presidential Scholarship recipients this week.

SPC President Bill Law and the college’s Executive Team welcomed our 2014-15 Presidential Scholars to the college at an event held at the Seminole Campus on Tuesday, Aug. 5.

Student speakers included Salwa Shamsi representing Phi Theta Kappa and Carmen Mendez-Rivera representing the Honors College.

Scholarship recipients were honored on stage and given a certificate for their accomplishments.

The Presidential Scholarship covers up to 15 credit hours per term for one year following high school graduation. Since 2010-11, SPC has awarded over $1.2 million in Presidential Scholarships.

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

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St. Petersburg College is teaming up with the Seminole Community Library to host the Mid-Pinellas Comic Con (and Maker Con), a comic book and popular culture convention at the Seminole Community Library on Saturday, Aug. 9. The inaugural event is free and open to the public from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.


From superheroes and gaming to technology demonstrations, there is a little something to bring out everyone’s inner geek. The fun-filled event features activities, discussion panels and displays that center around comics, gaming, costume and cosplay (costume play) competitions, sci-fi, anime, technology and more.

“This event will be especially attractive to Pinellas residents who may not attend other fan conventions because of the distance or cost,” said Chad Mairn, librarian and Innovation Lab Manager at the SPC Seminole Campus. He has been working closely with Library Director Mike Bryan and college officials to help plan and coordinate the event. He also has worked with Greg Plantamura from the TARDIS Riders in Pinellas group, who assisted with planning the successful Clearwater Library Comic Con last year.

Although this event is being held the weekend after the popular Tampa Bay Comic Con takes place in Tampa, Mairn said that the Mid-Pinellas Comic Con (and Maker Con) will help serve the community by providing more visibility to a variety of popular culture interests.

Representatives from SPC’s pre-admissions department and digital media program will be at the event to talk about the college and its digital media classes. The college offers classes that encompass a variety of topics including video game development and animation, digital imaging, storyboarding and other related topics.

Science and technology fans will get a chance to experience SPC’s new Innovation Lab, which houses a 3-D printer, robotic kits, littleBits synthesizer modules, Pro Tools, Raspberry Pi/Arduino kits, and other technologies. The lab is free and open to the public with a valid library or SPC student ID.

Discussion panels about costuming, horror entertainment, Doctor Who, feminism in comics and other favorite fan topics will be held throughout the day. Participants are invited to listen in as DC Comics artists and writers Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti discuss their work and experiences as industry professionals.

Busch Gardens® Tampa will join in the fun with a Howl-O-Scream discussion panel from 11 a.m. to noon. The Howl-O-Scream team will discuss the Florida’s top-rated Halloween event’s history and provide a behind-the-scenes look at how they make a terrorizing event so successful each year.

Gamers on the Edge, an organization of gamers who help raise money for good causes, has organized two gaming tournaments throughout the day to benefit All Children’s Hospital.

The Seminole Community Library at the St. Petersburg College Seminole Campus is located at 9200 113th St., Seminole. For more information, contact Chad Mairn at 727-394-6917.

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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 future is now on St. Petersburg College’s Seminole Campus.

The recent opening of the Innovation Lab in the library at the campus drew more than 100 people, including a who’s who of college, community and tech leaders.

Creative learning environments like the lab, often called makerspaces, are growing in popularity. In SPC’s lab, instructors, students and library card holders can use the latest technology tools, including a 3D printer, Cublets KT06 modular robots and the Korg littleBits circuits in seconds kit. With the Monolith 3D printer, made locally by Free Fab 3D, users can create virtually any object through a wide variety of computer programs. In fact, much of the printer itself was created on a 3D printer.

The Cubelets modular robotics kit lets users build surprisingly complex robots out of simple parts that fit together like building blocks. The Korg littleBits kit is a do-it-yourself synthesizer used to compose original electronic music in mere seconds.

The lab also includes an iMac and a desktop running Ubuntu Linux, giving users a taste of different operating systems and the programs they offer, such as Apple’s newly released Swift programming language.

One of the computers in the lab is dedicated to podcasting and audio experiments, and has a professional grade microphone and mixer. All of this was made possible by SPC librarian Chad Mairn’s vision, a $3,500 college innovation grant and help from Seminole Campus Provost Jim Olliver.

Guests at the morning and evening grand opening parties included SPC President Bill Law, Seminole Vice Mayor Thomas Barnhorn, Seminole City Council member Patricia Plantamura, and Lance Eppley and Fri Rider, the designers of the Monolith 3D printer. Mo Eppley of the St. Pete Makers, also attended. St. Pete Makers is a non-profit group seeking to bring a high-tech makerspace to St. Petersburg.

The innovators demonstrated what the lab’s 3D printer was capable of, showing off many complex designs that were created on the Monolith such as a bearing printed as a single piece. Most importantly, members of the community – young and old – filled the lab and spilled out into the hall during the grand opening parties.

One guest, a 12-year-old Android app developer, volunteered to teach a workshop on mobile development. Mairn was quick to accept and noted that the lab will host a wide variety of workshops and guest speakers. Among them will be the creator of a makerspace in Taiwan who will connect with guests via teleconference on the lab’s smart TV and webcam.

The lab will host its first workshop on June 12, 10 a.m. – noon, on how to create a LibraryBox, a palm-sized computer designed to serve files in areas with no Internet access. The workshop is free and open to the public.

The Innovation Lab is currently seeking volunteers to help run the lab. You can apply online or by contacting Chad Mairn at 394-6917.

Check out our Facebook gallery of the Innovation Lab opening. Read coverage of the Innovation Lab in, the Tampa TribuneTMCnet.com and 83degreesmedia.com.

SPC student Chris Demmons, who writes for SPC’s student newspaper, Sandbox News, provided this report. Read his story in Sandbox News.

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The Seminole Community Library will be the location of the grand opening of the SPC’s new Innovation Lab next week.

SPC employees and the public are invited to the grand opening
Tuesday, June 3
11 a.m. to noon and 6 to 7 p.m.
Seminole Community Library at St. Petersburg College
9200 113th St., Seminole, LI 201.

The lab serves as a creative environment, often called a makerspace, that will provide people with common interests like computers, technology, science or digital arts a location to socialize and collaborate on ideas and learn new skills. Visitors to the SPC location will be able to learn how to program different devices, such as the Raspberry Pi, the Arduino Genuine Mega 2560 Board and the ProtoSnap LilyPad Development Board.

The lab offers:

  • 3-D printer
  • FreeFab3D Monolith 3D Printer built locally using other 3D printers
  • littleBits Synth Kit
  • Arduino Genuine Mega 2560 Circuit Board Experimentation Kit
  • Avid Fast Track Duo Audio Interface with Pro Tools Express
  • An iMac, 2 Linux computers, and 1 Windows computer
  • A variety of Open Source Software applications for 3D printing, design etc.
  • MaKey MaKey: Original Invention Kit
  • Cubelets KT06 Kit
  • ProtoSnap LilyPad Development Board
  • 2 CanaKit Raspberry Pi Ultimate Starter Kits
  • Apollo Precision Tools 53-Piece Tool Kit
  • Parallax Programmable Boe-Bot Robot Kit
  • Elenco Deluxe Learn To Solder Kit
  • Samsung 32-Inch 1080p LED HDTV with Logitech TV Cam HD for Skype Calls
  • Chromecast
  • Online File Distribution System for access to project files, open access resources, etc.
  • Reference collection including books and magazines

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The public is invited to the grand opening of the Innovation Lab
Date: Tuesday, June 3
Time: 11 a.m.-noon and 6-7 p.m.
Where: Seminole Community Library at St. Petersburg College
9200 113th St, Seminole, LI 201

Beginning in June, budding creators and innovators can share ideas, create robots, learn or sharpen programming skills and build objects using 3-D printers at St. Petersburg College’s new Innovation Lab. The space, located in the Seminole Community Library, provides a modern, technologically advanced version of your dad’s garage, so to speak.

The lab’s grand opening is June 3 in room 201 from 11 a.m. – noon and 6 to 7 p.m. at SPC’s Seminole Campus. The event, at 9200 113th St., Seminole, is open to the public.

These creative learning environments, often called makerspaces, are growing in popularity, said Information Services Librarian Chad Mairn, who received a $3,500 Innovation Grant from the St. Petersburg College Foundation to start the lab.

“For years we’ve been more consumption oriented, but now the trend is moving towards creating while discovering things yourself,” said Mairn. “With these technology tools, you can design and build things, learn, and share ideas instead of passively consuming information.”

The space will provide an area where people with common interests like computers, technology, science or digital arts can socialize and collaborate on ideas and learn new skills. In SPC’s lab, which is open to the public, visitors can learn how to program different devices, such as the Raspberry Pi, the Arduino Genuine Mega 2560 Circuit Board and the ProtoSnap LilyPad Development Board.

Instructional Technologist Nancy Munce shows off the cookie cutter she created in SPC’s Innovation Lab.

Instructional Technologist Nancy Munce shows off the cookie cutter she created in SPC’s Innovation Lab.

“That lab is going to be phenomenal,” said Instructional Technologist Nancy Munce, who used the 3-D printer to create a cookie cutter she designed from scratch. “Those printers are still wickedly expensive; too expensive to have at home. The potential to learn valued skills is remarkable.”

Munce saw Mairn’s enthusiastic Facebook post about the lab and took him up on his offer to get involved. She was looking to prepare cookies for a friend who was graduating from the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

She figured out how to use Adobe Illustrator to create an outline for the cookie cutter and then used a 3-D CAD (computer-assisted design) program for the rest.

“I poked around and somehow figured it all out,” said Munce. “Basically this saved me from having to cut three dozen cookies by hand.”

In addition to the printer, the lab will have:

  • FreeFab3D Monolith 3D Printer built locally using other 3D printers
  • littleBits Synth Kit
  • Arduino Genuine Mega 2560 Circuit Board Experimentation Kit
  • Avid Fast Track Duo Audio Interface with Pro Tools Express
  • An iMac, 2 Linux computers, and 1 Windows computer
  • A variety of Open Source Software applications for 3D printing, design etc.
  • MaKey MaKey: Original Invention Kit
  • Cubelets KT06 Kit
  • ProtoSnap LilyPad Development Board
  • 2 CanaKit Raspberry Pi Ultimate Starter Kits
  • Apollo Precision Tools 53-Piece Tool Kit
  • Parallax Programmable Boe-Bot Robot Kit
  • Elenco Deluxe Learn To Solder Kit
  • Samsung 32-Inch 1080p LED HDTV with Logitech TV Cam HD for Skype Calls
  • Chromecast
  • Online File Distribution System for access to project files, open access resources, etc.
  • Reference collection including books and magazines

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Evelyn Madera

Evelyn Madera was born in New York and lived in one of the poorest, gang-populated neighborhoods in Brooklyn. Her parents came from the Dominican Republic to pursue a better life. But with only an elementary school education, they couldn’t help her understand the value of an education.

“Being a doctor, lawyer or even leaving the neighborhood seemed unrealistic,” she said. “When you don’t have the information you need or any support, you can’t really see past what’s in front of you.”

After getting kicked out of high school for skipping classes she looked for help at local outreach programs in New York.

“They were all the same — full of unwanted students — discarded by society and misunderstood,” she said. “If it weren’t for a few caring people, I would have given up on getting an education.”

These personal life experiences — successes and failures — fueled her passion for helping others. Today, she works with students in the Seminole Campus Student Support Center as a Student Support Advisor. She remembers what it was like to walk in their shoes. She also remembers the people that made a difference in her journey.

Recently her office received an Innovation Grant, the Red Tape Free Zone, which will provide resources to help them connect with students at their point of need. Their mantra: it’s the people, not the program that makes the difference.

Jessie Demarest came to the Student Support Center to borrow textbooks. Evelyn connected her with a tutor and met with her every week to encourage her. Today, she volunteers in the office and is inspired to help others in the same way she was helped.

“It’s just amazing to me to see all this change in myself,” said Jessie. “The tutors help me understand, but the Student Support Center helps me feel like I can handle things. My grades sky rocketed and continue to fly. I’ve even decided to join the student government and plan to represent the Student Support Center there.”

The people who made a difference

Madera’s story is not unique. The same help she got from dozens of SPC faculty and staff when she was a single mom trying to improve her life serve as a reminder of how much of a difference one person can make.

Shirley Crumbly, Women on the Way

The Women on the Way program provided her with a much needed scholarship.

“The Director, Shirley Crumbley, has a big heart and is always reaching out to help the ladies in the program succeed,” said Madera. “She helped me with my essay for a Foundation Scholarship. Her guidance with that first scholarship enabled me to get many other scholarships along the way.”

Larissa Brown, Student Support Services Advisor

As Madera’s father’s medical condition worsened she struggled to hold it all together. Larissa Brown took the time to listen and help her find solutions.

“She was very connected to the resources in the community and was able to find me the help I needed to take care of my dad at home while I was away at school and work,” she said. “As a result, my dad had insurance, a nurse, health supplies, Meals on Wheels and a home health aide.”

When Madera’s father died during her final term before graduation, Brown and the High Achievers Club were there.

“I remembered feeling numb and calling Mrs. Brown,” said Madera. “She was so amazing — she took her time and helped me find a funeral home. She was the advisor for the High Achievers Club and they all went to my house to cook for me and my family after the funeral.”

Neil Keith, SPC Student Support Services Counselor

Testing in the Career Center indicated that Evelyn should consider a career in counseling but she was unsure as she was leaning more towards becoming a college professor. She went to Neil Keith for advice.

“We talked about how I use to stand on the stoop in front of my building in Brooklyn and give little speeches on how gangs were bad and that they should get out of that life,” said Madera. “He asked me how I felt when I did that and that I should listen to that feeling.”

Soon afterwards, she became a peer mentor for SPC’s Summer of Success program where she practiced public speaking and developed lesson plans for student activities on time management, goal setting and organization. After volunteering as a peer mentor for several more terms, she realized she had found her passion.

“We have an obligation to acknowledge the responsibility and power we hold when a student is asking for our help,” said Madera. “We can always make a difference and even if you don’t reach everyone, one person that you reach may reach others and we may never know the true impact.”

Dr. Linda Hogans, Executive Director, Retention Services

When Madera, then a student at SPC, shared her dream to become an advisor with Dr. Linda Hogans, she told her it was possible but only if she would prepare. Dr. Hogans counseled Evelyn to research the requirements necessary to be an advisor and be ready when an opportunity came.

“Sometimes you meet individuals who are in high positions and the way they present themselves seems a little unapproachable,” Madera said. “But Dr. Hogans was far from that. She was so kind and I could tell she really was listening to me.”

While Madera is no longer a student, she continues to drive herself to learn all she can so she can help everyone that passes through her door.

“For my students I just hope that when they meet with me they leave with more answers than they have questions — that they feel empowered to succeed in school and in life,” she said. “I hope that they change the world.”

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St. Petersburg College’s Seminole Campus and the City of Seminole/Seminole Community Library celebrated their partnership with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting for the new Environmental Path. The ceremony also included the planting of two live oaks to signify the enduring partnership and dedication of a bench along the path donated by the Friends of the Seminole Library.

Cutting the ribbon along with Seminole Campus Provost Jim Olliver are Library Director Michael Bryan, Mayor Leslie Waters, Student Government President Jonathan Jacques and a host of faculty, staff, friends and city officials:

ribbon cutting

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Taylor Hajash and his girlfriend, Chelsie.

Taylor Hajash and his girlfriend, Chelsie.

Taylor Hajash, a lifelong video game fan, has become a licensed Nintendo game developer partly due to an award he received in a St. Petersburg College competition.

The path to the license began when Taylor, 25, a student in the Digital Media program, bought a tablet for his girlfriend, Chelsie.

“She was always playing these games she’d purchase and would then get annoyed when, after playing for 15 minutes, she’d have to spend a bunch of money to buy coins or extra lives if she wanted to keep playing,” he said. “I thought that was ridiculous. So I started looking into how to make my own games that she could play.”

As his game began to take shape, he applied to be a licensed Nintendo game developer. Several months and several contacts later, he had no response from the corporate gaming giant.

Then, on April 22, he competed in the 2014 SEmmy Awards, an annual competition open to all SPC and high school students. After winning the award for Best Video Game Creation category for his game Super Cuttlefeesh, a puzzle platform game for cell phones and tablets, he sent pictures of the award and screenshots of his game to Nintendo.

Proposed Super Cuttlefeesh cover art by Taylor Hajash.

Proposed Super Cuttlefeesh cover art by Taylor Hajash.

Within eight hours, Taylor received a phone call from Nintendo’s Indie Development Representative. The representative approved him over the phone to become a licensed game designer for the company.

Taylor said winning the award help open the doors with Nintendo.

“I think I wasn’t high on their priority list and that’s why I wasn’t hearing back from them,” he said. “But as soon as they found out I won an award, they jumped on the opportunity to bring me aboard.”

He has been funding the project himself but is working to get funding for further development.

“Between software, computers, hardware, music and stuff like that, I’ve spent about $15,000 of my own money so far,” Taylor said.

“My biggest hurdle is now behind me,” he said. “I’m hoping to have Super Cuttlefeesh out on the Wii U by the end of summer and start development on my second game shortly after.”

The complete list of SEmmy winners:

Best Website Design
Marina Rambo- “Marina Rambo Web and Graphic Design”
Best Video Game Creation
Taylor Hajash- “Super CuttleFeesh”
Best Editing
Ali Shahriari, Christian Costello, Zack Murray-“ Nuthing’ But Crunch-Doritos Commercial”
Best Camera
Fillipe Bergson- “Hunger”
Best Direction
Ali Shahriari, Christian Costello- “Coming Up Short”
Best Digital Graphics
Heather Rambo, “Painting with a Twist” Brochure
Best Digital Imaging
Scott Dunn-“Swiss Watch”
Best Song
Ryan Blank “Same Things”
Best Thematic Composition for Film or Game
Steven Scott Berry (ft. Doug Leto) “Hype”
Best Interactive Music/Sound “Zone” Design
Dylan Mixer “Kaja”
Best Internet Media-High School
Charles Lambert-“Video Game Hobby “- Dixie M. Hollins
Best Video Production-High School
Michael Stover, Karolina Zuchowski, Marta Wilczynsk- “Masked”- Shorecrest Preparatory School
Best Digital Graphic Design-High School
Elaine Page, “The Fuze Campaign”- Dixie M. Hollins
Chelsea Mcmanus, “Wizard of Oz Diptych” – Dixie M. Hollins
Dylan Maczis, “The Mirror”- Dixie M. Hollins

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Officials from Duke Energy and St. Petersburg College join SPC students Gentian Kruja and Morgan Fouss as they flip the switch on the solar energy panels installed at the Seminole Campus.

It was a beautiful day to showcase solar energy. On Thursday, April 10, officials from Duke Energy and St. Petersburg College flipped the switch on the Seminole Campus’ array of solar photovoltaic panels, highlighting a collaboration that began with a $500,000 SunSense grant from the energy company.

“This partnership is a perfect fit,” said Seminole Provost Jim Olliver. “This project encourages students to get involved with solar energy and supports SPC’s commitment to sustainable design.”

SPC is the first and only state college to receive Duke Energy Florida’s SunSense Schools Post Secondary School Award. Previous recipients include the University of Florida and the University of Central Florida.

The energy company provided $515,803 for two solar installations at SPC – a 50 kW ground-mounted, free-standing structure on the Seminole Campus and a 50 kW array atop walkways at the Clearwater Campus. The installations join two other solar energy projects on SPC’s Clearwater Campus. Find out more about SPC’s use of solar energy and how students are involved.

“Through the SunSense program, this solar project at St. Petersburg College is playing a key role in our efforts to educate our customers on renewable energy production,” Joseph Pietrzak, Senior Program Manager for Duke Energy Florida.

LCD monitors on each campus show how much energy is produced by the arrays, and engineering and environmental technology students use the information for research. Since it was installed in December, the Seminole array has produced 18,488 kWh, enough to power 3.4 million smartphones, offset the use of 1,633 gallons of gasoline and power 770 electric cars. Follow the energy production and installation here.

“It’s going to be a new world,” said James Fenton, director of the Florida Solar Energy Center, created in 1975 by the Florida Legislature to serve as the state’s energy research institute. “This is no longer the most expensive way to make energy.”

Students from Lealman Intermediate School also attended the event and participated in educational solar activities. Students used handheld solar panels to power small motors and measure energy output.

“The young people here are going to be driving these vehicles powered by solar,” said Fenton, referring to the two alternative energy vehicles Duke brought to the event.

“My hope is that other students, current and future, will be inspired to learn more about solar energy and build a better future,” said SPC student Gentian Kruja, president of the Student Chapter of The Florida Engineering Society at SPC. After he graduates next month, Kruja plans to attend the University of Central Florida to study computer engineering.

“Through the data collected, students are not only learning about how different conditions of weather and seasons can affect the energy produced, but also how energy efficiencies are determined,” said Morgan Fouss, who will receive her A.S. degree in Environmental Science Technology from SPC next month and plans to attend law school. “We’re glad this investment was made on our campus and hope it’s just one more step in making SPC and specifically the Seminole Campus a model for sustainability practices.”

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