Archive for the ‘SPC in the News’ Category

Congratulations to Suzanne Gardner, General Counsel at St. Petersburg College, who was named one of the inaugural 2014 Top Corporate Counsel Finalists by the Tampa Bay Business Journal.

She is one of four finalists in the government organization/nonprofit category.

The program recognizes in-house attorneys in the Tampa Bay area who are leaders in their company, organization or industry who display high ethical standards and exemplary professional skills.

Gardner will be recognized at the awards ceremony on Tuesday, March 25, at the St. Petersburg Marriott in Clearwater.

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This month, Inside Higher Ed reported on a pledge by many U.S. colleges to increase their study abroad participation rates as part of a national initiative spearheaded by the Institute of International Education to double American study abroad enrollment. SPC’s Director of International Programs Ramona Kirsch was interviewed for the report.

Kirsch said the college hopes to double study abroad participation “by both increasing the number of programs it’s able to offer internally and through external partners and by increasing scholarships provided through the college’s foundation.”

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State Sen. Jack Latvala of Clearwater announced Wednesday at a press conference at St. Petersburg College’s Clearwater Campus that he will sponsor a bill in the Florida Senate that would clear the way for the children of undocumented residents to pay in-state tuition in Florida.

State Rep. Ed Hooper of Clearwater joined Latvala in support.


Latvala said he “decided in good conscience that there’s no reason the parents’ immigration status should be the determining factor of the tuition that our young people pay. Taxpayers in Florida get a reduced tuition rate….In this particular case, these children are the children of taxpayers in Florida who pay our sales tax, who pay our gas taxes, in many cases pay other taxes.

“I just think this is a disparity and a discriminatory issue that needs to go away,” he said.

The bill also includes language that would allow honorably discharged veterans to pay in-state tuition.

The legislators were joined for the announcement by SPC President Bill Law; Clearwater Campus Provost Stan Vittetoe; Sandra Lyth, CEO of the InterCultural Advocacy Institute (Hispanic Outreach Center); Maria Edmonds, chairwoman of the Juvenile Welfare Board; and three SPC students.

Celeste Pioquinto, 17, who is an Early College student at the college, said she was born and raised in Clearwater, has attended Pinellas schools all her life and has always been on the honor roll.

“Ever since elementary school, I have dreamed about college or university. Now instead of dreaming it, I am preparing for it. I have applied to universities. I have applied for scholarships, but there is a barrier. I am not eligible for in-state tuition despite being documented because my parents are both undocumented,” she said. “This bill not only affects me, but affects many of my close relations.”

See more: Watch the video on the college’s YouTube channel.

See more: View photos from the conference on SPC’s Facebook page.

Read more: Coverage in the Tampa Tribune

Read more: Coverage in the Tampa Bay Times

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St. Petersburg College Men’s Basketball Coach Earnest Crumbley was featured on ABC Action News and TBNWeekly.com after he was voted into the Florida College System Activities Association Men’s Basketball Hall of Fame.

“My first job is an educator. I’m a teacher at heart,” Crumbley said in the ABC Action News interview. “It’s just for me to make sure that we can make an impact on lives. That’s the glory of the job.”

Crumbley will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on March 8, according to the TV news report.

The TV news report is available on the college’s YouTube channel.

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St. Petersburg College instructor David Manson and the St. Petersburg Jazz Festival were featured in a blog post on Articulate: Creative Pinellas.

“Now in its sixth year, the St. Petersburg Jazz Festival is bigger and better than ever. First conceived in 2009 by trombonist, composer and college instructor David Manson as a St. Petersburg College event, the Festival has grown into a city-wide celebration,” according to the post. Several of the festival’s events are hosted at college locations – the Music Center at the St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus and the Palladium at St. Petersburg College.

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tonjua williams2St. Petersburg College’s Dr. Tonjua Williams, senior vice president of Student Services, was honored by Academy Prep Center of St. Petersburg on Tuesday as one of 2014′s Five Fabulous Females. The award honors successful women who make extraordinary contributions to the Tampa Bay community.

Other honorees were:

  • Philanthropist Carol Morsani
  • Jana Jones, vice president of Times Publishing Co.
  • Beth Houghton, executive director of the St. Petersburg Free Clinic
  • Mindy Grossman, CEO of Home Shopping Network

Dr. Williams has spent her 26-year career at SPC and is a nationally recognized keynote speaker and student development consultant. In her current role, she oversees the college’s student success efforts.

Her other recognitions include Jr. Achievement Educator of the Year (2011), finalist for the Tampa Bay Executive Woman of the Year and the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce Iconic Woman of the Year (2013).

Read more about this event in the Tampa Bay Times.

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In a report from WFLA.com, SPC Professor Adrian Tillman, a practicing software engineer, shared information about how cell phones can be tracking where users have been without them knowing it.

“We live in an information society now and information is everywhere,” Tillman said in a the report. “It’s a beautiful thing, but at the same time you have the gift and you have the curse.”

Tillman, who is at the Tarpon Springs Campus, teaches classes in computer and information technology and has been developing large scale software systems across many different industries and platforms for the last 10 years, according to his faculty page.

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The Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art at St. Petersburg College has achieved accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the highest national recognition for a museum.

“Accreditation assures supporters that their museum is among the finest in the nation,” said Ford W. Bell, president of the AAM. “As a result, citizens can take considerable pride in their home-grown institution for its commitment to excellence and for the value it brings to the community.”

The Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art is among the newest museums in the Tampa Bay region. It opened on the Tarpon Springs Campus in 2002 in an award-winning building.

The museum was established after a large collection of 20th Century artwork from the estate of Abraham Rattner was donated to the college in 1996 by Rattner’s stepson, artist Allen Leepa.

The museum began its work toward accreditation in 2004. Director Ann Larsen said the accreditation will allow the Leepa-Rattner Museum to attract better national exhibitions, increase financial support and raise the museum’s national profile.

Only about 1,000 of the country’s more than 17,500 museums have achieved AAM accreditation. “It puts us into the highest echelon of museums in the country,” she said.

Other Tampa Bay area museums with the accreditation include the Florida Holocaust Museum, The Henry B. Plant Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI), Salvador Dali Museum, Tampa Museum of Art and the University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum.

Accreditation is a rigorous process that examines all aspects of a museum’s operations.

To earn accreditation, a museum first must conduct extensive self-study, then undergo a site visit by a team of peer reviewers. AAM’s Accreditation Commission, an independent and autonomous body of museum professionals, review and evaluate the self-study and visiting committee report to determine whether a museum should receive accreditation. While the time to complete the process varies by museum, it is a multi-year commitment that requires diligence of organizational leaders, staff, volunteers and other members of the museum’s community.

The commitment of St. Petersburg College to the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art speaks to the college’s vision and aspirations for its students and broader community.

Under the leadership of President Bill Law, the college has deepened its commitment by affirming that the arts are integral to the curriculum and essential to educating good citizens.

“There’s a growing body of research that shows that integrating arts into the classroom and a student’s experience significantly improves the learning capability of students,” said Conferlete Carney, provost of the Tarpon Springs Campus. “Students learn more when the arts are infused into the teaching.”

The Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art is open daily except Mondays and major holidays. For more information visit www.spcollege.edu/museum or phone 727-712-5225.

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Thursday’s issue of Creative Loafing features one of St. Petersburg College’s student success stories, “The Real Clash.”

Under the guidance of Professor Alejandro Arenas, this group of talented SPC Music Industry Recording Arts students have put together a powerful combination that has a great groove and infuses positivity into their message.

“This being the second time we were mentioned by someone at Creative Loafing, it feels amazing and surreal,” said Jay “Jay Acolyte” Wilson, the band’s producer and lyricist.

“I didn’t imagine all of the years that I had been performing and writing that I would be featured in a famously read periodical with the best group of talented people I have ever worked with,” Wilson said. “We are all excited and have been since we found out that this was happening and couldn’t be more happy to have the support of the MIRA program and St. Petersburg College. We are motivated to keep going until there is no more to go for and beyond. Thank you for giving us the tools and encouragement. We are proud of ourselves and appreciative.”

From the Creative Loafing article:

“The Real Clash grew out of SPC’s two-year Music Industry Recording Arts (MIRA) program, which is dedicated to delivering real-world training to its students, all within a collaborative environment. MIRA students gain relevant skills and insight into real world experiences, not to mention free access to three versatile state-of-the-art audio production suites/classrooms. Originally, the plan was to follow the school’s already-existing model for rock and jazz ensembles: establish the curriculum for hip-hop, then pass the torch to a new group after a semester. But they wanted to write their own material. ‘That’s what made us different from the jump,’ says frontman/lyricist Rashad ‘Shadcore’ Harrell . ‘All the other ensembles do covers; we wanted to do original compositions.’ Months later, they’d written, played and recorded some first-rate material, delivered buzzworthy performances around the SPC campus and were trying to figure out what to do once the semester was done and credit earned. Their creativity was still flowing, chemistry swiftly growing, everyone was having a good time, so why quit? ‘You will be doing yourself a disservice if you cut it off after this semester is over,’ Rashad remembers Mark Matthews (MIRA Chair) saying after he saw the ensemble perform at a campus event. ‘You should take it outside of these four walls.’ Matthews’ encouragement solidified the band’s decision to make The Real Clash a full-fledged (off-campus) group.”

Visit Creative Loafing to read the issue.

The MIRA program helps students develop “real world” skills that artists need to thrive in a diverse and competitive music industry. It offers educational experience to student musicians, composers, producers, DJs, live-sound reinforcement enthusiasts, broadcast audio engineers, and post-production technologists and emphasizes creative processes, technical training, business practices and entrepreneurial skills in a collaborative environment.

The next performance for The Real Clash will be at the Typhoon Haiyan Benefit Show, Saturday, Dec. 7, 6 p.m., at Local 662, St. Petersburg. There is a $5 suggested donation. Follow The Real Clash on Facebook and WordPress.

You also can listen to The Real Clash and also donate $1 to the relief fund of Typhoon Haiyan.

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The Tampa Tribune reported on the story of Army Sgt. 1st Class Billy Costello who, with the help of St. Petersburg College’s J.E. Hanger College of Orthotics and Prosthetics, is designing a device that would allow him to return to the level of activity he had as a Green Beret combat diver.

On Sept. 20, 2011, Costello stepped on an improvised explosive device in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. He lost his right leg above the knee.

Arlene Gillis, the college’s Orthotics and Prosthetics program director, is coordinating the effort. SPC is part of a consortium with Florida State University offering a master’s in industrial engineering, a specialization in the management of orthotics and prosthetics, the Tribune reported.

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