Archive for the ‘SPC’ Category


The unique partnership between St. Petersburg College and LumaStream is drawing international interest. On Nov. 21, a group of five distinguished guests representing Ukraine’s government, business, academia, media, arts and non-governmental organizations toured the local LED lighting manufacturer’s plant in Midtown.

The Ukrainian guests were selected by the American Embassy in their country and the U.S. Department of State for the express purpose of finding out about:

  • public-private partnerships in economic development
  • ensuring quality in higher education, youth engagement, community outreach and engagement and
  • the role of public sector organizations in holding government accountable.

The trip was organized by World Partnerships, the official State Department partner for hosting global leaders in the Tampa Bay area. The organization creates professional programs, cultural activities and social networking for international leaders with their Tampa Bay counterparts.

Jill Flansburg, program coordinator for Florida TRADE and Claire Underhill, marketing assistant for LumaStream, hosted the group. Last month, a dozen University of South Florida St. Petersburg journalism students and their professor, Rob Hooker, visited LumaStream to learn how the company teamed up with the college last year to begin providing job training.

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From left, back row: Lt. Scott Matthews, Sgt. George Martin, Lt. James Wentz, Lt. Kurt Romanosky, Lt. Hardy Taliaferro, Sgt. Bryan Leach, Sgt. Robert Serrano, Lt. Jeffrey Perrigo
Front row: Sgt. Gregory Danzig, Lt. Traci Reid, Major Lora McFee, Sgt. Emily Deleuze, Sgt. Jake Popkowski

Of the 13 members of the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office that Sheriff Bob Gualtieri promoted Wednesday, six were St. Petersburg College alumni.

At the promotion ceremony, held Nov. 19, family members and friends pinned new badges on their fathers, mothers, sons and daughters, who had just been promoted. Be sure to congratulate them on Facebook.

They included:

Promoted to Sergeant
Gregory Danzig, SPC alumnus
Emily Deleuze
Bryan Leach, SPC alumnus
George Martin
Jake Popkowski, SPC alumnus
Robert Serrano

Promoted to Lieutenant
Scott Matthews
Jeffrey Perrigo, SPC alumnus
Traci Reid, SPC alumna
Kurt Romanosky, SPC alumnus
Hardy Taliaferro
James Wentz

Promoted to Major
Lora McFee

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Peg Connell

Peg Connell

Peg Connell, director of Disabilities Resources, who is retiring in December, was honored at Tuesday’s Board of Trustees meeting. She began her career with St. Petersburg College in March 1998.

“Ms. Connell, throughout this time, has insisted on and maintained high standards for herself and her staff, which has resulted in several federal grant awards to the college and the establishment of the Able Trust Grant, which has placed more than 100 students with disabilities in professional, career-oriented employment since its inception two years ago,” Dr. Bill Law read from the resolution honoring Connell.

Connell has served as the president of the Florida Special Needs Association and the St. Petersburg College chapter of the Florida Association of Community Colleges. She was a founder of Florida AHEAD (the Florida Association on Higher Education and Disabilities) and served as the association’s president in 2011-12. She received the association’s Award of Excellence in 2013.

Connell will always be remembered for her work in establishing the highly successful Narrowing the Gulf annual conference at SPC, which brings more than 200 people to the EpiCenter each year to address the needs of under-represented college students across the state.

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A conversation about wide-ranging issues faced by women and families, facilitated by state Rep. Kathleen Peters (R-Dist. 69) will be held at 6 p.m. Dec. 4 at St. Petersburg College, Seminole Campus, 9200 113th St. N, UP-303. Advance registration is requested. The event is free and open to the public.

The event is part of a series of conversations taking place across the state that started in September and will continue through the month of December. The events are hosted by the Florida Commission on the Status of Women. The commission will submit its findings in a comprehensive report called “Your Voice Matters: Conversations With Florida Women and Families.” The report will be released at 2015 Florida Women’s Day at the Capitol in Tallahassee on March 24.

For more information, visit the commission’s website.

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The Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions presents a new and unique design for civic dialog with its first Speed Date Your Local Leaders program on Dec. 3. The event will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on the Clearwater Campus, Room ES-104. The event is free and open to the public, but participants are required to register in advance.

SPC’s policy institute is dedicated to elevating civic engagement through public forums that offer in-depth exploration of today’s critical issues. The Speed Date format gives community members a special way to connect with community leaders in an informal setting.

This is an opportunity to meet face to face with representatives from government, business, not-for-profit and education arenas. The leaders will rotate from table to table every seven minutes, offering each group of participants an opportunity to ask questions or offer ideas that might never have prompted a phone call, email or public testimony.

Eighteen local leaders have committed to participating. They are:

  • Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos
  • Clearwater City Manager Bill Horne
  • Clearwater Police Chief Dan Slaughter
  • SPC Clearwater Provost Dr. Stan Vittetoe
  • Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce President Bob Clifford
  • TechData Director of Human Resources Marian Morlock
  • Tampa Bay Business Journal Publisher Bridgette Bello
  • JWB Director of Public Policy Debra Prewitt
  • AARP Florida Associate State Director of Advocacy Laura Cantwell
  • Pinellas County Administrator Mark Woodard
  • Pinellas Education Foundation Vice President of Development Robin McGowan
  • Pinellas Sports Commission Director Kevin Smith
  • Platinum Bank Senior Executive Vice President James Ray
  • Clearwater Marine Aquarium Chief Operating Officer Frank Dame
  • Pinellas County Board of Commissioners Vice Chair John Morroni
  • Pinellas County Board of Commissioners Member Janet Long
  • Morton Plant Mease Hospital Foundation President & CEO Ernestine Bean
  • Pinellas County Schools Deputy Superintendent Dr. William Corbett.

Speed Date Your Local Leaders is modeled after a program by the same name offered by the Institute’s partner organization, The Village Square Tallahassee. And following the Tallahassee template, free pizza and soft drinks will be provided.

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Professor Antonio Paris will get a behind-the-scenes look at NASA when he attends the launch of the Orion Spacecraft.

Antonio Paris, a Professor of Astronomy at St. Petersburg College, was selected by NASA to attend the launch of the Orion Spacecraft at Kennedy Space Center on Dec. 4.

According to NASA, more than 30,000 applicants submitted their names for 150 VIP passes to the launch. NASA required applicants be accredited scientists, engineers, or educators in the space science field; have recently published a space science-related article, paper or book; be a “social media extravert”; and be in good standing in the scientific community.

The two-day event will provide Professor Paris the opportunity to tour NASA facilities at Kennedy; meet and interact with NASA engineers, scientists, and astronauts; learn about NASA’s Orion Spacecraft and the importance of this historical test flight; view and take photographs of Orion at the launch pad; meet fellow space enthusiasts who are active on social media; meet members of NASA’s social media team; and have VIP access to the launch of Orion.

According to NASA, “Orion spacecraft is built to take humans farther than they’ve ever gone before. Orion will serve as the exploration vehicle that will carry the crew to space, provide emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during the space travel, and provide safe re-entry from deep space return velocities.”

The Orion test flight on Dec. 4 will be a two-orbit, four-hour flight to test many of the craft’s systems most critical to safety, including avionics, attitude control, parachutes and the heat shield, according to the NASA website.

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Collegiate Model United Nations Conference

Nine of the 12 students from the SPC Model United Nations team during the trip to Washington, D.C..

Nine of the 12 students from the SPC Model United Nations team.

The Model United Nations Team at St. Petersburg College received top international honors at the Collegiate Model United Nations Conference held Oct. 31-Nov. 2 in Washington, D.C.

A team of 12 students competed in a UN simulation with more than 800 American and international students. The SPC team was awarded the top prize of Outstanding Delegation putting the group in the top seven percent of teams that competed.

Two SPC students, Kane Magnuson and Mason Kerr, also were awarded the Outstanding Delegate in Committee award for their work on reducing inequality on the Economic and Social Council.

“The Model United Nations Team at St. Petersburg College is a very serious and successful academic team,” said Earl Fratus, social science instructor, who along with fellow instructor Randy Lightfoot traveled with the team. “Our students work very hard, for weeks and months to prepare for their competition and they consistently do a wonderful job of representing us.”

The students represented Austria in the simulation and prepared for the conference by researching issues, practicing diplomatic simulations and drafting solutions to global issues.

“The Model United Nations Program at SPC provides a platform for students to learn about global issues while researching and drafting solutions for issues from the perspective of countries they might not know much about,” said Roy Slater, social science professor. “Students gain valuable research and writing skills, and public speaking skills.”

Slater is one of three faculty advisors, along with Heather Roberson, associate professor of Social Science, and Roberto Loureiro, academic department chair of Social and Behavioral Science.

The students who competed in the Model UN Team for SPC include:

  • Andi Menaul
  • Maxximilian Seijo
  • Jermaine Evans
  • Isabel Martinho
  • Mason Kerr
  • Alexander Ramnath
  • Amy Currotto
  • Ryan Walker
  • Haneen Kantar
  • Jordon Liggett
  • Kane Magnuson
  • Lewis Morgan

Florida Model United Nations – Gainesville

SPC teams also competed in the Florida Model United Nations simulation with nearly 20 other Florida institutions in early October. SPC had three teams competing – one earned an Honorable Mention award (ranking in the top 20 percent) and a second team earned a Distinguished Delegation award (ranking in the Top 14 percent).

The teams represented Belgium, Republic of Korea and Austria.

The students traveling were:

  • Carlos Ortega Perez
  • Derek Hopkins
  • Matthew McMahon
  • Lindsey Velde
  • Amy Currotto
  • Ryan Walker
  • Armando Pellot
  • Keith Greenberg
  • Alexander Haydon
  • Lea Jarnberg

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