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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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AR-140719897

From the Tampa Tribune

The Suncoast News and the Tampa Tribune featured an information session for the Elite Educator Program that was held at the college’s Tarpon Spring Campus on July 10.

The program is a partnership between SPC and Pinellas County Schools to prepare teachers to teach grades K-6 and provides an endorsement in ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages) and Reading.

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Students enrolled in the Spring 2014 Field Biology of Florida course at St. Petersburg College spend time at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park.

SPC students in the Spring 2014 Field Biology of Florida course spend time at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park.

For students enrolled in Jennifer Fernandes’ field biology class, their classroom is everywhere and class activities involve everything from snorkeling reefs in Key Largo to collecting scorpions in the woods.

In SPC’s Field Biology of Florida class (BSC 2250C), hands-on learning is the instructional method of choice. Students spend only the first day in an actual classroom – the rest of their semester is spent in idyllic outdoor environments across the state.

SPC students enrolled in Field Biology of Florida study the relative abundance of plant species using different transect methods.

Students study the relative abundance of plant species using different transect methods.

“Field Biology is taught in a different format than most courses in that all of our lectures are done in the field all over Florida,” said Fernandes, Assistant Professor of Biology who has been teaching the class at the Tarpon Springs Campus since Fall 2010.

While looking for a way to engage her students in active student learning and success, she recognized that students learn best when they get their hands dirty. So she opted to take her instruction out of the classroom and into the environments they would be studying.

“It’s been helpful to really get a hands-on experience way of learning,” said Andrew Hamblin, 28, a public safety administration student who transferred from Hillsborough Community College in time for the Spring 2014 term. He thinks learning from direct experience is more effective than traditional learning because Fernandes is able to point out specifics in terminology and processes rather than just having students read from a book.

“You can see what is written on paper but you can’t really understand how it works in the same way,” Hamblin said.

Class field trips vary in content and location depending on the time of year and weather. The spring term often includes weekend camping trips while summer offers snorkeling and winter brings manatees to study.

“In this type of setting, every single student is engaged and they’re all interested in learning because of the different modality,” said Fernandes, who wanted to create a course that would make science interesting for majors and non-majors alike.

Since taking learning outside the classroom, students have journeyed to:

  • Crystal River
  • Rainbow Springs
  • Honeymoon Island State Park
  • Caladesi Island State Park
  • Weedon Island Preserve
  • Highlands Hammock State Park
  • Turtle Hospital
  • Little Manatee River State Park
  • Kissimmee River Restoration
  • Wekiwa Springs State Park
  • Hillsborough River
  • John Chesnut Sr. Park
Students in the Summer 2014 course during a snorkel trip to Rainbow Springs, where they learned about aquifer and spring ecology.

Students in the Summer 2014 course during a snorkel trip to Rainbow Springs, where they learned about aquifer and spring ecology.

During local trips, students carpool to local parks and preserves. For more distant trips, SPC transports students in college vans to locations like Key Largo, Everglades National Park and Topsail Hill State Preserve.

“This class definitely put all of us students in areas that we were able to better understand what we were being taught in regards to the ecology, the plants and animals, and the different natures of the areas that we visited,” Hamblin said.

Students also engage in active learning through volunteer work, like collecting scorpions for research and creating oyster domes for Tampa Bay Watch, a nonprofit organization dedicated to habitat restoration and protection.

“This way they have a different idea of what science truly is,” Fernandes said. “It’s not something that’s boring. They understand it’s actually very hands-on every day, and it helps them make better decisions in life.”

Because of the logistics involved with teaching the course, the class size is capped at 20 students. An additional benefit of this smaller setting means students work more closely with fellow students and develop better working relationships with their peers.

“Every semester, the students absolutely love the class,” said Fernandes. “The biggest things they say is that they learn so much more than they would in a regular classroom setting; that they actually retain the information and develop friendships in a class that they would never have done before.”

Hamblin enjoys the camaraderie he experiences in the class.

“When you do other classes, typically you’re just there to do the work and you don’t associate with many of the other students,” he said. “However, this class really kind of brings that all together where you’re talking and discussing all the subjects with all the students.”

“We’re all communicating and helping one another out and having a great time together,” he said.

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Students take a moment to chill in the Chill Zone at the Tarpon Springs Campus during the spring 2014 finals week.

Students take a moment to chill in the Chill Zone at the Tarpon Springs Campus during the spring 2014 finals week.

To help alleviate the stress of final exams, the Learning Resources department at SPC launched the Chill Zone, a relaxation area at the entrance of the Tarpon Springs Campus library, during the spring semester finals week.

The event helped promote student engagement and success by giving students a place to relax during the stressful academic week.

Ethan Hart, associate director of Learning Resources at the Tarpon Springs Campus, wanted to offer a variety of tools to ease students’ stress.

“We wanted to appeal to our students’ different needs by offering art activities, relaxing music, snacks, games and visits by a licensed therapy dog,” Hart said.

The Chill Zone was a hit, thanks in part to funding by the Tarpon Springs Campus Provost Office as well as art materials from the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art. Students congregated in the comfy seating area daily, taking time to visit with friends, catch up on reading or hone their art skills with coloring books.

Bailey, the therapy dog from Suncoast Hospice, also was a fan favorite. Students in the middle of cramming for finals took a much needed break when the friendly Bichon Frise stopped by to say hello.

Student Nick Emery visits the Chill Zone and spends quality time with Bailey the therapy dog.

Student Nick Emery visits the Chill Zone and spends quality time with Bailey the therapy dog.

Students, staff and faculty have been overwhelmingly supportive of the Chill Zone in recent surveys. The Learning Resources department plans to offer this service every term during finals week.

The Chill Zone served as only one of many Spring 2014 initiatives aimed at increasing student engagement by the campus’ Learning Resources department. Other activities included:

  • “Ed App Wednesday” – Each week, Learning Resources staff members highlighted a free, new educational tool useful for students. Armed with cards, posters and QR codes, staff members walked around campus on Wednesdays, letting the campus community know about the resources that were available.
  • Educational outreach – Learning Resources staff set up a table at Student Life and Leadership events like the Earth Day celebration, Welcome Back Week and African-American History month. Staff members brought library books related to the event theme, workshop schedules and an iPad to answer any on-the-spot questions.

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St. Petersburg College welcomes three new members to its leadership team. They include:

  • Dr. Susan Colaric, Associate Vice President for Online Learning and Services
  • Dr. Charles “Scott” Fronrath, Provost, Allstate Center
  • Dr. Marvin L. Bright, Provost, Tarpon Springs Campus
Susan Colaric

Susan Colaric

Dr. Susan Colaric has served as the Assistant Vice President of Instructional Technology at Saint Leo University since 2006. In this role she coordinated the development of online courses and was responsible for faculty professional development related to the appropriate use of technology for teaching and learning.

She has worked in the fields of online and instructional technology for 15 years, has written numerous journal articles and book chapters, and has presented at national and international conferences. Her research over the last decade has focused on faculty use of technology to enhance student learning and the management of distance learning programs.

Colaric earned her doctorate in Instructional Systems from the Pennsylvania State University; she holds a master’s degree in Library Science from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and completed her undergraduate degree at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va.

Charles “Scott” Fronrath

Charles “Scott” Fronrath

Dr. Charles “Scott” Fronrath comes to SPC from Keiser University, where he served as an Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. His responsibilities include leadership and development of baccalaureate and associate degree programs in criminal justice, homeland security, cyber forensics, crime scene technology, forensic investigations, legal studies, business, information technology, and graphic arts and design. He is also an adjunct faculty at Palm Beach State College.

Dr. Fronrath has 17 years of law enforcement experience. His teaching experience includes police tactics and officer survival techniques for a variety of law enforcement agencies throughout Florida. He has been very involved in the community and serves on several boards, committees, and labor unions, including the Police Benevolent Association, International Union of Police Association, Florida Law Enforcement Canine Association, the National Police Canine Association, and National Fire, Emergency Medical Services, Inlet Grove Community High School Governing Board, and the Palm Beach County School Advisory Council. He also serves as an evaluator for the Department of Justice; Bureau of Justice Assistance, and several criminal justice organizations.

As an educational leader in today’s progressive career driven society he believes the optimal goal must be to empower students to take control of their educational journey and provide for them a focus that ensures necessary skill development designed to help them obtain a meaningful career.

He holds a Doctorate of Education from Nova Southeastern University in Organizational Leadership and Human Resource Management and a master’s degree in Criminal Justice with a specialization in Public Administration.

His first day at SPC is June 23, 1014.

Marvin L. Bright

Marvin L. Bright

Dr. Marvin L. Bright is from the Virginia Community College System where he serves as the Chief Officer of Student Success Initiatives. The Virginia Community College System (VCCS) oversees a network of 23 community colleges in Virginia.

Prior to this role, Dr. Bright served as the Chief Administrative Officer of Tidewater Community College’s Norfolk campus where he provided leadership as the Provost responsible for advancing the College’s mission and strategic plan by articulating the resources needed to ensure that the campus efficiently and effectively developed and delivered requisite programs and services.

With more than 20 years of experience in higher education, Dr. Bright has held several administrative positions in academic and student services, including Associate Vice President of Student Affairs, Dean of Students, Director of Athletics, Associate Professor and Counselor.

Dr. Bright’s philosophy on student success is simply put: that students derive the greatest benefit from their college experience when their levels of campus engagement – academic, civic, global awareness, civility, and respect for diversity – are mutually supportive of and relevant to a particular educational outcome.

A community college graduate himself, Dr. Bright also holds a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies from Towson University, a master’s in Educational Psychology from Temple University and a Doctorate in Higher Education Administration from Morgan State University.

His first day at SPC is July 14, 2014.

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Conferlete Carney, Provost, SPC Tarpon Springs Campus

Conferlete Carney, Provost, SPC Tarpon Springs Campus

After almost 18 years of service on behalf of students, Tarpon Springs Provost Conferlete Carney will bid farewell to St. Petersburg College when he retires June 30.

Under Carney’s leadership, the college has undergone many large-scale system implementations and projects, including:

Ann Larsen, Director, Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art, described Carney as a tremendous support during the LRMA accreditation process.

“Dr. Carney has been a real champion for the value of the arts to a complete education, and has supported our efforts to grow LRMA as a learning laboratory for all fields of study at SPC,” Larsen said.

Carney, who has served as Provost at the Tarpon Springs Campus since 2008, describes his time at SPC as a meaningful experience both personally and professionally.

“I get intrinsic joy out of having worked on major projects and seeing them come into fruition,” Carney said. “My experience here has been very rewarding.”

It was at SPC that he found a rewarding second career in higher education as Director of Administrative Information Systems (AIS) in 1996. He moved up to become Vice President of Information Systems and Institutional Research two years later.

In 2001, Conferlete assumed the additional responsibility of Vice President of Business Services, Budgeting and Planning, a role in which he was responsible for the college’s financial reporting, budget planning and institutional effectiveness.

Conferlete said he had a vision many years ago that he would one day work on a college campus.

“It was like a premonition,” he said. “I saw myself walking on the sidewalk towards this building with a briefcase in my hand, and I knew it was in higher education but I didn’t know where it was.”

As it turns out, the building he saw was the Allstate Center, which is where the SPC data center was located at that time.

“When I got the job at the Allstate Center, I knew that was the job that I had seen a few years before in the vision,” he said.

It also was through an SPC-sponsored leadership initiative that he earned his doctoral degree in higher education administration and met Angela Picard, the woman who would later become his wife.

“We met as part of the doctorial cohort,” Carney said about a program initiative at the University of Florida that aimed to help develop future leaders in higher education. Nationally, higher education is experiencing a leadership gap due to the retirements of many higher education leaders and SPC, at the time, initiated the program to help selected administrators earn their doctoral degrees. “My wife was a part of that initial cohort and I met her through the program and we got married.”

Before starting his career at SPC, Carney retired from a 27-year career at GTE Corporation, where he held a wide range of management and executive positions in advanced switching, networking and information processing technologies.

Although he retires June 30, he will begin leave on June 6 and will begin traveling with his wife. He plans to spend much of his time traveling, indulging in hobbies such as stargazing and visiting Civil War historical sites, and renovating his condo in New York.

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Elizabeth Indianos holding her award for Best Screenplay at the 2013 LA Femme International Film Festival.

Elizabeth Indianos holding her award for Best Screenplay at the 2013 LA Femme International Film Festival.

LIBERTAIRE, a screenplay written by St. Petersburg College fine arts professor Elizabeth Indianos, has been selected to be made into a movie.

“I’ve signed with a producer and am just now waiting for things to happen,” said Indianos, who signed with Hollywood producer Leslie LaPage.

LaPage is a producer dedicated to empowering women with quality films directed and produced by professional women. She also has produced, directed and line produced for film, TV, music videos, commercials and theatrical productions.

Indianos met LaPage when she won Best Screenplay at the 2013 La Femme International Film Festival in Los Angeles, an annual women’s film festival LaPage launched in 2005.

It’s a dream come true for Indianos, who consulted on her screenplay with Robert McKee, a Fulbright Scholar whose Story Seminar writing classes are world-renowned. She also worked with editor Annette Kaufman, whom she credits with helping hone every nuance of her written works.

LIBERTAIRE is the story of Joe Pulitzer and Auguste Bartholdi, a French sculptor and a newspaperman who fight discrimination an indifference for a woman no one wanted: Lady Liberty.

Excited about the opportunity to see one of her award-winning screenplays to come to life as a film, Indianos has been working with Hollywood film attorney Keith Burglund to help facilitate the process.

“This has been my first experience doing this, but it has been wonderful because we really see eye-to-eye and had a shared vision about things,” she said about working with Burglund.

Although no production date has yet been announced, LaPage is now working to find the talent, director, and film incentives in different countries to get the process started.

Indianos is eager to see the film’s production process begin. Once everything is in place, she hopes to serve as a consultant during the making of the film.

The movie poster for LIBERTAIRE.

The movie poster for LIBERTAIRE.

LIBERTAIRE was selected as one of the Top 10 movie scripts and won Best Screenplay in the Historical Category for the fourth annual Sundance Table Read My Screenplay contest. Since then, the screenplay won additional awards across the country at the 2013 Williamsburg International Film Festival in Brooklyn, N.Y., and was a finalist at the 2013 Sacramento International Film Festival and the 2013 Beverly Hills Film Festival.

LIBERTAIRE also made it in the top 10 percent of all 7,197 entries for the 2012 Nicholls Fellowship in Screenwriting, which is sponsored by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The screenplay also has been nominated twice for a Culture and Heritage Award by Fresh Voices, a consortium of industry professionals that strives to discover, encourage and promote the most promising voices in storytelling.

In addition to LIBERTAIRE, Indianos also has written Waiting for Guacamole, a play inspired by Samuel Beckett’s play Waiting for Godot. It is not a modern retelling of Beckett’s play, rather a comedic drama inspired by and loosely based upon the literary classic. Forty paintings in the form of banners also contribute to the storytelling and the story’s conclusion.

Waiting for Guacamole was recently exhibited in a faculty art show at the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art at the SPC Tarpon Springs Campus.

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