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MountainsThe Learning Resources Department is pleased to announce Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder as St. Petersburg College’s One Book, One College title for 2014. SPC faculty, staff and students nominated a record high of 41 titles for the common reading program.

Kudos to Joy Moore, Academic Chair for Mathematics at the Clearwater Campus, for her nomination of Mountains Beyond Mountains.

In the non-fiction book, Tracy Kidder relates a compelling story of the life and work of Paul Farmer, a doctor and anthropologist devoted to a new vision of health care in third world nations. As a student at Duke, Farmer discerns his life’s mission and continues to pursue it with passion today. (A local note: Farmer grew up in Brooksville.)

The goal of One Book, One College is to have as many people as possible read the book, partner with campus librarians on programming and engage in discussion with students and colleagues.

You can share resources and ideas on the One Book, One College – 2014 Guide. Mountains Beyond Mountains is available through the SPC library website. It also is widely available at bookstores and online.

To start the conversation, here are some questions for reflection:

  • Mountains Beyond Mountains opens with an encounter between Paul Farmer and a United States Special Forces Captain in which both Farmer and the captain express frustration with limits on the military intervention in the area in Haiti. How would you describe the effectiveness of the United States’ foreign policy and intervention in Haiti?
  • In Mountains Beyond Mountains, Paul Farmer uses the phrase “preferential option for the poor” (p. 81). How does this relate to liberation theology? The cultural beliefs in Haiti?
  • In Mountains Beyond Mountains, Jim Kim and Paul Farmer refer to People magazine as the Journal of Popular Studies (JPS). While most people read People magazine as a source of entertainment, Farmer considers the publication as an anthropological artifact.
  1. What is the significance of cultural media?
  2. What do cultural magazines such as People tell us about society?
  3. How might an anthropologist or historian five hundred years from now interpret People magazine?
  • In Chapter 19 of Mountains Beyond Mountains, Jim spearheads an effort to lower the cost of capreomycin, the drug most commonly used to treat MDR-TB. How do economic and political factors affect the production, cost, and distribution of prescription drugs?
  • Why do you think the author, Tracy Kidder, decided to make himself a character in Mountains Beyond Mountains?
  • Take stock of your assets (personal and financial). Farmer took time in college to identify and determine how to he would use his assets. What steps might you take to determine how to use your assets? What resources does SPC have to help you do that?
  • The events in Mountains Beyond Mountains take place primarily in the 1990s, before the rise of social media. If Farmer and his colleagues started Partners in Health today, what impact might social media have of the establishment and growth of the organization? On the direction of Partners in Health’s work? Consider positive and negative implications.
  • Partners in Health works with many people and organizations, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to achieve its goals. Consider the work of Bill Gates as the Founder and CEO of Microsoft, and as the Co-Chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. From your perspective, in which role has he had the greatest impact on society? Why?
  • In Chapter 9 of Mountains Beyond Mountains, Farmer states that rich people should feel guilt toward the poor “because it could cause them to part with some of their money. And they ought to feel guilty besides” (p. 93). Do you agree that the rich should feel guilt toward the poor? Why or why not?

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LPfinal1Do you have questions about developmental education reform, new student orientation or other topics related to St. Petersburg College?

SPC President Bill Law will offer employees, students and community members an opportunity to ask him those questions and others directly Nov. 12 at 6 p.m. through the live online Listening Post.

The new online question-and-answer format continues the Listening Posts Dr. Law and other top administrators began when they traveled to the college’s various campuses to hear face-to-face from staff and students. Now SPC’s leadership team will offer more people the chance to participate by expanding the Listening Posts to live streaming video and online chat.

The Listening Post is part of an effort by SPC to provide more information to students, employees and the public about higher education topics and to engage them in the conversation

In October, SPC launched the Direct Link blog to showcase higher education topics such as legislative changes that radically change the requirements for placement testing and remediation for certain students.

Posts on the blog come from the president and other members of the college’s leadership team, including SPC vice presidents and deans.

To RSVP for the Nov. 12 Listening Post or submit a question in advance, you can use the response form .

During the Listening Post, the president will talk about the questions he’s received. He also will take questions and comments through a chat feature on the video. People can watch the streamed video, take part in the chat and comment on it through the Direct Link blog.

The college’s Life and Leadership Offices will hold watch parties for the first Listening Post this month. College leadership hope to hold a Listening Post with various speakers each month.

“SPC faculty, staff and students will be able to have access to the data, discussion and thought processes that go into the decision-making at the college,” Law said in a welcome video on the blog. “Get involved in the conversation and let your voice be heard as we all work toward a common goal: The continued success of SPC and our students.”

Check out the latest posts on Direct Link

Direct Link logoDon’t want to go into student loan debt? Use scholarships!

How SPC is reacting to Developmental Education Reform and what it means for students, faculty and advisors

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rodRod Keskiner, a volunteer mail worker at the St. Petersburg College Clearwater Campus for more than 18 years, received the Volunteer of the Year award from President Bill Law on Thursday, Oct. 17.

The award was given in appreciation for his dedication and devotion to SPC. Keskiner holds an associate degree from SPC and now is enrolled again, working toward his bachelor’s degree.

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Bill Young

Congressman C.W. Bill Young spoke at the dedication of the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at St. Petersburg College in 2011.

The St. Petersburg College community is saddened by the passing of Congressman C.W. Bill Young, who was a friend and strong supporter of the college, its students and the community for many years.

The college was among the many public institutions that benefited from Mr. Young’s advocacy in Washington and Tallahassee. His efforts helped make St. Petersburg College the early leader in the state in online education and a leader in the world in law enforcement training.

His zeal for veterans, especially those who have been wounded in their service, helped St. Petersburg College establish the only college of orthotics and prosthetics in the Southeast.

In recognition of his leadership and his commitment to educational and economic development initiatives, the Florida Legislature in 2007 and 2008 appropriated funds to establish the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at St. Petersburg College.

Mr. Young’s support enhanced many other programs and efforts of the college. The congressman kept his local office in the library at the college’s Seminole Campus, and a classroom building on that campus bears his name.

St. Petersburg College mourns Mr. Young’s passing and celebrates his legacy of service.

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The top five things to know about the International Photo Contest:

  1. Student winners will receive an iPad and other prizes
  2. Students, staff and faculty are eligible to submit entries
  3. Photo must have been taken outside the U.S.
  4. Deadline to submit photos is October 24, 2013
  5. The contest is part of SPC’s International Education Week programming

To read all the details about the contest, please visit www.spcollege.edu/internationalphotocontest.

Submit your photo now!

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On Sept. 12 and Sept. 13, 366 Advisory Committee members attended St. Petersburg College’s Fall Advisory Committee Appreciation Events at the EpiCenter.

Advisory Committee members offer guidance on how the college’s educational programs can successfully meet the employment requirements in a variety of fields. There are 36 Advisory Committees with a total of 450 members serving our college.

Of the 450 Advisory Committee members, 63 are new for the 2013-2014 fiscal year.

Dr. Jason Krupp, director of Workforce Services, said, “The Advisory Committee appreciation events provided tangible evidence to illustrate how the college team members value partnerships. Our partners in industry who participate on the committees donate their time, talent, and resources to ensure SPC programs are aligned with the needs of the workforce. These events help reinforce the importance of those relationships and allow SPC to show gratitude for the servant leadership of advisory committee members.”

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International Education Week provides amazing opportunities to expand St. Petersburg College’s world view, and the Center for International Programs is excited to announce a new one, “Put a spotlight on your international story.”

We want to hear about SPC faculty, staff and students’ international experiences. Have you lived abroad? Traveled abroad? Are you from another country? Have you studied abroad? Do you have a hobby with international roots?

Whether you spent a week backpacking in Belgium or take weekly classes in Balinese underwater basket weaving, share your story during International Education Week!

Chosen participants will receive a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card!

Submit an application by Oct. 28 to have your story considered.

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U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young at the dedication of the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at St. Petersburg College in 2011.

U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young at the dedication of the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at St. Petersburg College in 2011.

Throughout his long tenure in Congress, Bill Young has been an advocate for St. Petersburg College, its students and its community.

His support helped the college become an early innovator in online education in the 1990s. Today, the college remains No. 1 in the state in online course offerings and enrollment.

The congressman, who announced Wednesday that he will not seek re-election in 2014, also has been a strong champion of St. Petersburg College’s law enforcement training programs. His advocacy has resulted in more than $200 million in federal grants  that were used to develop training programs on community policing, drug enforcement and counter-terrorism. Those programs have been used in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and in countries around the world.

Young’s advocacy for wounded veterans also led to the establishment of the J.E. Hanger College of Orthotics and Prosthetics at St. Petersburg College.

The congressman’s office is in the library at the college’s Seminole Campus, and a classroom building on that campus bears his name.

In recognition of his leadership and his commitment to educational and economic development initiatives, the Florida Legislature in 2007 and 2008 appropriated funds to establish the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at St. Petersburg College.

“What this institute is designed to do is to prepare people to understand what their government is all about,” Young said at the institute’s dedication in 2011.

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Wellness award

Alms Herran, Bridgette Bello, and Heather Disler accepted the SPC recognition plaque.

St. Petersburg College’s Wellness Program again was named a finalist for the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s Healthiest Employer awards luncheon on Thursday, Sept. 12, in Tampa. The SPC Wellness Program won this award in 2010 and was also a finalist in 2011 and 2012. The awards are determined by employer size and a point system related to wellness initiatives and programs.

Tidewell Hospice of Sarasota won this year’s award. Other employer finalists named included: Bisk Education, District School Board of Pasco County, GTE Financial, Hillsborough County Government – BOCC and Tech Data.

The college was recognized for its outstanding wellness initiatives, programs and resources. The SPC Wellness program is widely considered to be one of the leading corporate wellness programs in the Tampa Bay area by the Wellness Council of Tampa Bay.

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St. Petersburg College’s Enrollment Services is looking for additional members for the Student Ambassadors team.

The department is seeking Student Ambassadors who will work to provide future students with a knowledge and understanding of college life at SPC. Student Ambassadors will serve as key members of the recruiting staff by attending collegewide functions and community events, and should be excellent representatives of the SPC student body.

Student Ambassador highlights:

  • Work no more than 15 hours per week.
  • $10/hr.
  • Have at least 12 credit hours completed at SPC.
  • Cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher must be maintained.
  • Must maintain a cumulative 75% of the courses that they have attempted.
  • Must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 credits each term.

If faculty or staff members know students who would be a good fit for the program, please encourage them to apply under Student Employment. If you have any questions, contact Alisha Vitale at vitale.alisha@spcollege.edu.

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