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Archive for the ‘graduation’ Category

1460212_10152417494753368_424884594_nMore than 1,700 students graduated from St. Petersburg College at the end of the fall 2013 semester with approximately 600 taking part in two commencement ceremonies Saturday.

The crowd gathered at the First Baptist Church of Indian Rocks cheered as SPC President Bill Law related details about the graduating class:

  • 141 received more than one credential
  • 114 were between the ages of 50 and 60
  • 17 were older than 60
  • The college’s youngest graduate was 17 and the oldest was 72
  • For every two male graduates, there were three female graduates
  • Four graduates received diplomas on their birthday
  • Since the college started in 1927, it has awarded 137,455 degrees

Graduates applauded their classmates Hector Hernandez, Katharine Cuervo, Desdemona Nugent and Kristina Sampson. The four were nominated as student speakers representing SPC’s associate of arts and associate of sciences graduates as well as graduating bachelor’s degrees students.

Hernandez, who plans to pursue an engineering degree at the University of South Florida, shared with the audience that his journey to graduation had not been easy. But, he said, “Quitting was not an option. None of us are quitters.” Don’t be afraid of the obstacles, he told his fellow graduates. His voice rising, he said, “It’s about how hard we can get hit and move forward!”

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Receiving her bachelor’s degree in Health Services Administration, Cuervo also talked about the difficulty of being in college. She returned to college at 50 and was “full of self-doubt,” she said. Now graduating, she said, “I feel like I can conquer the world. Never let anyone tell you your dreams are impossible or impractical.”

Nugent, who earned her associate of arts, has participated in student government as well as Phi Theta Kappa and the college’s Music Industry Recording Arts program.  “If you stay true to who you are, you’ll discover who you are and what you want in life,” she said during her speech.

Sampson described herself as going from an 18-year-old flunkee to a 31-year-old mother and teacher with a 4.0 GPA. “I don’t know the plot of our next chapter. We all have the ability, talent and knowledge to make our lives bestsellers,” she said. She received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education with a reading endorsement.

Watch both graduation events are available as well as the nursing graduating class’ pinning ceremony:

Photos from the morning and afternoon graduation ceremonies are available on the college’s Facebook page.

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St. Petersburg College’s fall graduation ceremonies will be at 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14 at the First Baptist Church of Indian Rocks, 12685 Ulmerton Road, Largo. About 600 graduates are expected.

Four graduates have been selected to speak at the ceremonies, two at the a.m. ceremony and two at the p.m. ceremony. Speaking at the morning ceremony are Hector Hernandez, Clearwater Campus, representing the A.A./A.S. graduates and Katharine Cuervo, representing the B.S./B.A.S. graduates. Cuervo will receive a B.A.S. degree in Health Services Administration.

Desdemona Nugent, St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus, will represent the A.A./A.S. graduates at the afternoon ceremony. Kristina Sampson will represent the B.S./B.A.S. graduates. Sampson is receiving a B.S. degree in Elementary Education with a Reading emphasis.

Each ceremony should last no longer than an hour and a half.

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You are invited to St. Petersburg College’s fall graduation ceremonies at 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14, at the First Baptist Church of Indian Rocks, 12685 Ulmerton Road, Largo. About 600 graduates are expected.

Four graduates have been selected to speak at the ceremonies, two at the a.m. ceremony and two at the p.m. ceremony. Speaking at the morning ceremony are Hector Hernandez, Clearwater Campus, representing the A.A./A.S. graduates and Katharine Cuervo, representing the B.S./B.A.S. graduates. Cuervo will receive a B.A.S. degree in Health Services Administration.

Desdemona Nugent, St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus, will represent the A.A./A.S. graduates at the afternoon ceremony. Kristina Sampson will represent the B.S./B.A.S. graduates. Sampson is receiving a B.S. degree in Elementary Education with a Reading emphasis.

Each ceremony should last no longer than an hour and a half.

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About 300 St. Petersburg College students donned caps and gowns for the 122nd Commencement Exercises held Saturday morning at the First Baptist Church of Indian Rocks.

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Toney D. Bradley

One of the emotional moments of the ceremony came as Toney D. Bradley accepted a diploma on behalf of his son, London D. Bradley, who died May 3, just before the spring SPC graduation.

The audience and graduates gave Toney Bradley a standing ovation as he walked across the stage, dressed in a cap and gown, in honor of his son.

London Bradley, who was 21 and a competitive basketball player, died from complications from sickle cell disease, his father said. He was a seemingly healthy young man with big plans for the future, his father said. “I’ve told every young person I meet to get tested for sickle cell trait,’’ Toney Bradley said. “They need to know if they are affected.”

Toney Bradley said he received his son’s diploma in the mail a few weeks after his death, but President Bill Law asked if he would like to walk in the summer ceremony in his son’s memory.

“It’s been an honor,” Toney Bradley said. “I’m inspired to do better myself on behalf of my son.”

To learn more about London Bradley, see the story the Tampa Bay Times wrote about him after his death.

Student speakers Lisa Stevens and Christopher Blaine also drew applause from the crowd.

Stevens, a Tarpon Springs Campus student representing the A.A./A.S. graduates, told the audience,” I came here as an underachieving adult. I leave here as someone who has realized her full potential.”

Seminole Campus student and combat veteran Christopher Blaine represented the baccalaureate graduates and received his bachelor’s degree in Public Policy and Administration. “The true reward from this experience is opportunity,” he said. “We must always be thinking about how we can help others create opportunities of their own.”

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

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St. Petersburg College’s summer graduation is at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 20 at First Baptist Church of Indian Rocks, 12685 Ulmerton Road, Largo. About 300 graduates will participate. Student speakers will be Lisa Stevens, Tarpon Springs Campus, representing the A.A./A.S. graduates, and Christopher Blaine, Seminole Campus, representing the baccalaureate graduates. Blaine will be receiving his B.S. degree in Public Policy and Administration.

Faculty and platform guests who have signed up to participate in the processional should arrive at the church Fellowship Center by 9:15 a.m. in full academic regalia. Graduates with honors cords should arrive by 9 a.m. All other graduates should arrive by 9:15 a.m. The ceremony should last less than two hours.

Have a graduation story to share? Post your pictures and graduation information on St. Petersburg College’s Facebook page or tweet it using #spcgrad. We’ll include your submissions in the college’s coverage of the ceremony.

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SPC’s graduates took to the field at the 121st Commencement Ceremony at Tropicana Field Saturday, May 4.

More than 2,500 students graduated from SPC this term, the college reported. Graduates ranged in age from 17 to 77 and included 128 veterans, President Bill Law told the crowd gathered for the event.

With this graduating class, the college has awarded 134,639 degrees since the college was founded in 1927, Law also said.

Before diplomas were handed out, the college named its Apollo and Alumni Achievement award winners.

Five outstanding SPC students were finalists for the annual Apollo Award, the highest honor a two-year graduate can achieve. Four students also were finalists for the annual Alumni Achievement Award, the highest honor for a four-year SPC graduate.

Seminole Campus student Brandon Lee Fong received the Apollo Award while Tarpon Springs Campus student Elizabeth Van Scoyoc was named the Alumni Achievement Award winner.

Quoting Socrates, Fong in his speech told the audience that one can never have enough knowledge. He congratulated SPC for living up to the title of “community” college through its efforts to help area residents.

Van Scoyoc spoke about her young daughter and how being a mother had prompted her to push forward with her education. SPC employees and groups helped her achieve her goals through their support, she said. Her future plans, she said, include law school.

Also honored at the ceremony were Maria Thurber, the college’s first ever Gates Millennium Scholar, and State Rep. Ed Hooper who was recognized as SPC’s Outstanding Alumnus.

See photos from the graduation on the college’s Facebook page and tweets at #spcgrad. Watch the ceremony on SPC’s YouTube channel.

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Have a graduation story to share? Post your pictures and graduation information on St. Petersburg College’s Facebook page or tweet it using #spcgrad. We’ll include your submissions in the college’s coverage of the May 4 spring commencement ceremony. This story and photo is from SPC faculty member Elaine Anthony and her two daughters.

From left: Kjersten Strang, Elaine Anthony and Heidi Anthony

Elaine Anthony – Veterinary Technology Instructor since March 1984:

As a longtime advocate of the college, I am pleased that my daughters chose to be part of SPC, a school that is so valuable to the community. I graduated from SPJC in 1980 and began teaching here in 1984. The SPC faculty and staff have become my family. They watched my two daughters as they grew up and will be there when they cross the stage to graduate.

Heidi Anthony:

This year I will be graduating from St. Pete Collegiate High School with my high school diploma and my Associates of Arts degree from St. Petersburg College. From the time I was in sixth grade, I longed to attend Collegiate. My dream came true. St. Pete Collegiate has done so much for me and I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to be part of such an amazing school. My experience at Collegiate and SPC exposed me to intelligent and dedicated professors and has given me a true sense of enthusiasm about higher education. Soon I will be heading up to the University of Florida where I will be majoring in Health Sciences. Down the road, I intend to go to veterinary or medical school. While I’m very excited to begin this new chapter of my life, I will always be grateful for my experience at St. Pete Collegiate, a school that made a true difference in my life.

Kjersten Strang:

This year I will be graduating from St. Pete College with my Bachelors Degree in Biology. The professors at SPC have truly made an impact on me. I was able to work closely with a number of very talented and brilliant professors, which really personalized my experience at SPC. St. Pete College offers small class sizes and individualized attention, which is something I really valued. I look forward to pursuing my Masters Degree to become a nurse practitioner in Women’s Health.

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More than 1,200 students are expected to take part in St. Petersburg College’s spring commencement ceremony next month.

The event is set for Saturday, May 4, at 10 a.m. at Tropicana Field. Of those graduating, 397 will receive baccalaureate degrees.

Graduation Day instructions

The Tropicana Field entrance is on 16th Street. Parking is free to faculty and staff who show their college ID to parking attendants.

Volunteers and marshals should arrive at 8 a.m., park in Lot 5 and enter through Lower Gate 6. Graduates should enter the field at Lower Gate 6. Honor graduates should arrive at 9 a.m.  All other graduates must arrive by 9:15 a.m. Only platform guests for the ceremony should use Gate 4. Faculty who plan to march in the processional and sit on the field should enter through Gate 3. All others can enter the stadium through gates 3 and 5.

The ceremony is expected to last two hours.

More information is available on the college’s website.

Award finalists and outstanding alumnus

This year State Rep. Ed Hooper will be recognized as SPC’s Outstanding Alumnus.  In the late 1970s and early 1980s, he attended the college where his studies centered on firefighting and emergency medical services. In 1999, he was named Professional Firefighter of the Year. In 2006, he was elected to the Florida House of Representatives where he continues to serve today. Prior to his election to the Florida House of Representatives, he served as a Clearwater City Commissioner from 1996-2000.

Five outstanding SPC students have been selected as finalists for the annual Apollo Award, the highest honor a two-year graduate can achieve. Also selected are four finalists for the annual Alumni Achievement Award, the highest honor for a four-year SPC graduate. The winner in each category will be named and honored at the ceremony.

Apollo Award finalists are:

Craig A. Corlis – A Seminole Campus student, he is a May 2013 graduate in Computer and Web Programming. He was president of Phi Theta Kappa and an executive board member of Student Government. He created and implemented the Peer Mentoring Program in the Seminole Learning Commons, which offers students help with computer issues and other problems that might be impeding their academic progress. Recently, he was named to the All Florida Academic Team.

Brandon Lee Fong – A Seminole Campus student, he is a May 2013 A.A. degree graduate. He participated in SPC’s Early College program allowing him to earn his college degree concurrently with his high school diploma. He was a member of the SPC Honors College and was published in META, the college’s interdisciplinary journal. He has more than 100 volunteer hours at All Children’s Hospital and additional volunteer hours at his church.

Grace Gryncewicz – A Tarpon Springs Campus student, she is a May 2013 A.A. degree graduate. She participated in SPC’s Early College program allowing her to earn her college degree concurrently with her high school diploma. She helped organize two clubs on the Tarpon Springs Campus: one for Early College students and another for all students needing assistance in finding classes and figuring out computer systems. She volunteers regularly at a therapeutic horseback riding organization.

Maria Ann Kelly – A St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus student, she is a May 2013 A.A. degree graduate. She was a member of Phi Theta Kappa, serving as Vice President of Service. She was named to the All Florida Academic Second Team and won the Steve Meier Award for Honors in Action. She is a writer who has won awards for stories and articles including the Carolyn Parker English Award and PTK’s Best Short Story Award. She is a volunteer tutor in the Writing Lab helping students with their writing assignments.

Maria Daniela Thurber – A St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus student, she is a May 2013 A.A. degree graduate. She was a member of Honors College, Phi Theta Kappa where she served as Vice President of Leadership, Student Government and the Hispanic Leadership Council. She was a member of SPC’s Model United Nations Team and represented the college at a national conference in Washington. She volunteers as a peer tutor in the Learning Support Commons and Writing Studio on her campus.

Alumni Achievement Award finalists are:

Sheryl H. Goff – A Seminole Campus student, she will receive a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy and Administration. She was a member of Phi Theta Kappa and SPC’s Academic and Student Affairs Advisory Committee. She works as a volunteer with Planned Parenthood’s teen outreach programs hoping to instill self-confidence and a desire to get a good education.

Alexandra Param-Hansen – A St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus student, she will receive a B.S. degree in Education. She served as a tutor in the Ready-Set-Read program organized by the College of Education to help underprivileged children improve their reading skills. She volunteers as a mentor to teenage girls through Girls Inc. and is a Girl Scout leader. She also is a volunteer at her church.

Trinh Tuyet Mai Pham – A student at the EpiCenter, she will receive a bachelor’s degree in Business. She is a member of Sima Beta Delta, an honorary fraternity for business majors, and has participated in Women on the Way. She won second place in global competition for a business simulation project. She volunteers as a teacher in a Vietnamese church.

Elizabeth Van Scoyoc – A Tarpon Springs Campus student, she will receive a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy and Administration. She was a member of Phi Theta Kappa, Student Government, Honors College and the Golden Key Honor Society. She is a volunteer tutor at Tarpon Springs Elementary and the Citizens Alliance for Progress Center.

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SPC Fall 2012 graduation ceremonies

The student speakers at SPC’s 120th Commencement ceremonies spoke about dreams, aspirations and hope. Their words earned cheers and, in one case, a standing ovation.

About 600 students walked out of the First Baptist Church of Indian Rocks with diplomas on Saturday, Dec. 15.

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Melissa Dohme

Among them was Melissa Dohme, the survivor of a brutal domestic violence attack earlier this year. Dohme earned an associate degree and graduated with high honors. She didn’t talk in detail about what had happened to her. Instead she focused on her recovery, being named Clearwater campus’ student of year and the future.

Dohme told the audience that she went from learning how to walk again to being able to walk across the stage at the ceremony. She did it in high heels and without a cane. The crowd responded by getting to their feet and applauding.

It is these moments that define who we are and what we can become, Sam Frontera told his fellow graduates during the 9:30 a.m. ceremony. He received a bachelor’s degree in Technology Management. During the afternoon ceremony, Health Services Administration graduate Patricia Colin and Ryan DeJesus, who earned an associate degree, addressed the crowd. “It is never too late to reinvent yourself,” Colin said. “Aspire to leave your own legacy. Don’t strive to be the next Steve Jobs. Be the next you,” DeJesus said.

SPC President Bill Law congratulated the graduates and their families during the commencement ceremonies. But, before the diplomas were handed out, he talked about the shooting at an elementary school in Newton, Conn. Twenty-six people were killed including 20 children.

“These are all of our children,” Law said. “We should all hug each other a little tighter today.”

Area news agencies were at the morning commencement ceremony and reported on Dohme’s graduation including Bay News 9, the Tampa Bay Times, ABC Action News and 10 News – WTSP.com.

Watch the morning and afternoon graduation ceremonies on the college’s YouTube channel or see photos on SPC’s Facebook page.

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When Melissa Dohme stands before her fellow St. Petersburg College graduates on Dec. 15 and talks about perseverance and determination, she won’t just be uttering the usual ceremonial ideals.

She will stand as a living example.

Dohme , 21, suffered 18 deep stab wounds to her head, neck and face in January. Her ex-boyfriend has been charged with the attack. Within days of her release from the hospital in February, she was back in class, determined not to let the attack keep her from her goals.

“My therapist told me to be prepared not to make the grades that I was making,” Dohme said. “I was determined more than ever to prove my therapist wrong and to not let him (her attacker) win.”

She will graduate in the morning ceremony with high honors, including A’s in the two courses she took during her initial recovery, and will earn an Associate in Arts degree.

She met with her instructors three days after her release from Bayfront Medical Center. They advised her to drop two of her four classes and concentrate on catching up in her Sociology and Humanities courses.

Her drive earned the respect of those on the Clearwater Campus, who voted her the Dr. Theodore Mazzu Student of the Year in May. Dohme plans to become a nurse practitioner and will begin classes at St. Petersburg College in the fall in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree. She is delaying her enrollment until August because the trial of her ex-boyfriend is scheduled for March.

“I feel that I’m a year behind where I wanted to be academically and that bothered me for a while,” she said, “but I have let that go and am now just thankful for where I am.”

Graduation details

Ceremonies are Dec. 15 at the First Baptist Church of Indian Rocks, 12685 Ulmerton Road, Largo. The first begins at 9:30 a.m. (when Melissa will speak), the second at 1 p.m.

If you are attending the upcoming SPC graduation ceremonies, tweet your pictures and comments to #spcgrad.

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