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Posts Tagged ‘St. Petersburg College’

Bonnie Loghry, during her most recent trip to Bangladesh in March.

Bonnie Loghry, during her most recent trip to Bangladesh in March.

Armed with desire for knowledge and helping others, Bonnie Loghry has followed her passion for public health education to four countries in the past four years. During that time, she also earned a bachelor’s degree in veterinary technology from SPC.

Loghry, who works as a Veterinary Technologist and an Occupational Health and Safety Trainer at Yuba College in northern California, is a registered veterinary technician with more than 30 years of experience in developing vet tech course work. She is an OSHA-certified safety specialist who focuses on assessing and troubleshooting veterinary workplace safety.

As a working mom of two children, she had made a few attempts over the years to get a bachelor’s degree but had never found anything that piqued her interest until she discovered SPC’s Veterinary Technology program.

“I evaluated vet tech curriculum from other colleges and they just didn’t really light my fire,” Loghry said. “St. Petersburg College offered the best well-rounded, in-depth curriculum. That’s why I chose them.”

She enrolled online in the veterinary technology program in spring 2008 and graduated in May 2011. When she enrolled, her supervisor encouraged her to take an international trip to Haiti to instruct local veterinary agents in large animal medicine and surgery. Hesitant at first because she had never traveled outside the U.S., she eventually agreed to go on what would be a life-altering experience.

“When we were there, we would drive out to some really remote place and basically set up shop under a tree, and villagers from all around would start showing up with their animals,” she said. “Giving them some rudimentary skills that they could then use to help their neighbors with their animals was very rewarding, and I was absolutely hooked after that.”

Loghry went on several more overseas trips over the next few years, paying for some herself as well as with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Farmer-to-Farmer program.

Her trips have included:

In 2009, she travelled to Luxor, Egypt to work with Animal Care in Egypt and Egyptian veterinarians to teach treatment and care of small and large animals to the community.
In 2011, she travelled to Haiti with the Farmer-to-Farmer program, training Haitian veterinarians in sustainable veterinary practice, public health and occupational safety.
In March 2012, she travelled to Bangladesh for two weeks working with ultra-poor women, teaching animal husbandry and how best to care for their goats.

“In developing countries, their dependence on their animals is so different than what we have here. We don’t realize how dependent we are on animals because we can go to the local store and buy food and not think about it,” she said. “These folks, they need donkeys in order to get to the river to get water. I guess it just brought me back down to ground level of what veterinary medicine is all about.”

Two of her SPC instructors remember her fondly.

“Bonnie is wonderful and she represents St. Petersburg College well,” said Wendy Rib, Instructor of Veterinary Technology. “She’s made significant contributions both during her tenure here at the college and since she’s graduated. She’s already embarked upon some fantastic steps within her career.”

“Because we are an online program and we have a diverse pool of learners, I think it’s very beneficial as a student to expand yourself by being opened up to other points of view,” said Cindy Grey, Faculty in Veterinary Technology. “I think the program itself is set up for these students to engage each other and exchange ideas, and that it certainly was very helpful in her taking the next step in her education and career.”

“I can’t say enough about the whole baccalaureate degree program in veterinary technology, but those two ladies in particular are amazing educators and just lovely people,”Loghry said about Rib and Grey. “Every chance I get, whenever anybody calls and wants me to say something about St. Petersburg College, I just go on and on until people’s eyes start rolling into the back of their heads—mostly because of those two ladies.”

Loghry has been accepted into the Master of Public Health program at the University of California, Davis, where she will begin classes in August.

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With student loan debt expected to top $867 billion this year in the United States, St. Petersburg College has launched a partnership with American Student Assistance to provide a free online financial literacy and loan management education program. The service helps students manage their money, plan repayment of their student loans and develop long-term financial skills. The membership program and website, dubbed SALT, is easy, confidential and tailored specifically to each student.

By creating an account on the website, students can:

  • Keep track of their student loans
  • Get loan advice from an expert counselor
  • Look for a job or internship
  • Search for scholarships
  • Learn how to budget and manage money wisely
  • Find out why credit and credit reports are so important

“Student loan debt is at an all-time high, actually exceeding credit card debt,” said Michael Bennett, Associate Vice President, Financial Assistance Services. “SALT provides a service for students to be able to successfully plan to repay their student loans and manage their money. Students input their loan information, see the amount they owe and plan their budget. By using SALT, they also have access to live, knowledgeable counselors who can walk them through the complex world of repayment.”

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Gov. Bob Graham delivers the keynote address for the inaugural Village Square event Tuesday night. Check out our Facebook gallery of the event.

Gov. Bob Graham helped kick off the Village Square at St. Petersburg College Tuesday night in a keynote address to almost 200 people in the Seminole Campus Conference Center. The inaugural local event was hosted by the college’s Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions. See our Facebook gallery of the event.

The non-partisan Village Square was co-founded by SPC President Bill Law in Tallahassee as a public educational forum dedicated to maintaining factual accuracy in civic and political debate by fostering civil dialog on divisive issues. This is the second chapter to be formed.

Graham, who served two terms as governor and three terms in the United States Senate, is regarded as one of Florida’s and the nation’s senior statesmen, respected on both sides of the political aisle for his collaborative leadership style and for his 38-year career of public service.

He founded the Bob Graham Center for Public Service at the University of Florida, which helps train the next generation of public leaders by grounding students with a hands-on education in the American political system through internships, seminars, lectures and detailed case studies of public policy issues.

“The challenges for the Village Square and other entities is the state of citizenship,” said Graham, who is spearheading an effort to revive civics instruction in public education. “Citizenship is the only anecdote we have to a dysfunctional democracy.”

As a high school student in Miami in the early 50s, Graham said he took three full years of required civics classes. He said of his 11 grandchildren, only one of them has had more than one semester of civics, as is currently required.

The consequences of this sharp decline is a lack of citizenship, lack of tolerance and lack of a spirit of compromise.” Graham said. “Citizenship is not just a matter of voting, but all those things you do in your community, like getting involved.”

According to a recent civic health index, Florida ranks 46th in the nation in citizenship indicators.

“We’ve got a sick patient and I believe institutions like St. Petersburg College have the potential to be the cauldron for renewed citizenship. State colleges represent a bright star in restoring civic health.”

Public Policy and Administration student Jane Cerulli, one of about 40 students who attended courtesy of the Seminole Student Government Association and the institute, was impressed with the caliber of those in attedance – including local politicians, leaders and educators.

“It’s a great honor to be affiliated with the people in this room,” said Cerulli.

In answering Cerulli’s question about which organizations to get involved in, Graham said she’s already made the first step by enrolling at St. Petersburg College and getting an education.

“This one is very important. From there, find a subject you really care about and get deeply involved in an organization working on that issue,” Graham said. “That will demonstrate your seriousness, passion and commitment and help prepare you for later positions.”

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After being named the 2012 Apollo Award winner during Tuesday’s Spring graduation ceremony, Alistair Glover delivered this speech detailing what SPC has meant to him. During his time at SPC, Glover was President of Phi Theta Kappa and the Student Government Association on the Clearwater Campus, as well as Communications Director and State Secretary of the Florida College System Student Government Association.

He also was named the Honors College’s Most Dedicated Student of the Year. In March he was named a Florida Coca-Cola New Century scholar. This followed his selection to the All-Florida First Academic Team.

“St. Petersburg College has prepared me for life in and outside the classroom by creating avenues for scholastic and academic growth and providing opportunities for civic and community engagement,” Glover said. “The most important lesson SPC has taught me is that success knows no age, gender, ethnicity, economic stauts or IQ.”

Glover participated in community service projects by volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, Salvation Army, Special Olympics and Relay for Life, just to name a few. He plans to study chemistry, economics and public policy in order to turn his passion for advocacy and helping the less fortunate into a lifelong career.

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Almost 1,200 graduates participate in Spring commencement

The ceremony, the 118th in the college’s history, was held May 8 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. Check out our Facebook gallery.

Among the highlights:

  • Helen Krauss Leslie was honored as the college’s Outstanding Alumna. Leslie enrolled in St. Petersburg Junior College in 1940, where she was the only female in her Mechanical Drawing class. Since then, she has been an advocate for the college and for women. This is the 31st time in its 85-year history that the college has bestowed the Outstanding Alumni award.
  • Alistair Glover won the Apollo Award, the highest honor an associate degree graduate can receive. He has received many awards, including USA Today’s 2012 All-USA Community College Academic Team and the Florida’s 2012 Coca-Cola New Century Scholar award.
  • Board of Trustee member Ken Burke, whose term has ended, was recognized for his long service to the college.
  • While about 1,200 participated in the ceremony, a total of 2,322 earned a certificate or degree from the college this spring.
  • Of those, 204 received more than one credential.
  • 102 were between the ages of 51 and 60.
  • Two were older than 70.
  • The oldest graduate was 74.
  • Among the associate degree graduates were 70 members of the St. Petersburg Collegiate High School Class of 2012.
  • For every two male graduates, there were three female graduates.
  • President Bill Law recognized the 33 college faculty and staff members who are retiring this year, noting their combined service of 720 years.
  • Christopher Grissett, one of the first to receive a bachelor’s degree in Biology from SPC, was the student speaker.

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Signifying a strong commitment to student success and completion, St. Petersburg College is one of 25 institutions selected this year into the Achieving the Dream National Reform Network – the nation’s most comprehensive non-governmental reform network for student success in higher education history. SPC will begin immediately to identify strategies to close achievement gaps and increase student retention, persistence and completion rates.

“The opportunity to become an Achieving the Dream college includes a commitment to align resources – current and future – to the programs, activities, and services determined the most impactful in improving the success of our students,” said Bill Law, President, St. Petersburg College.

The college’s planning is still in the early stages. A kickoff conference is scheduled for early June in Portland, Ore., and SPC representatives will attend.

“This new cohort of colleges will collectively help 270,000 students succeed,” said Beverly Fletcher, Senior Director of Organizational Development and Change for Achieving the Dream. “And the success of each student means much more than just a personal goal secured. It means improved skills, better employability, and economic growth for their community and our nation as a whole.”

As an Achieving the Dream Institution, SPC will develop and implement research-based policies and practices based on quantitative and qualitative analyses of its institutional strengths, problem areas, and achievement gaps. SPC is committed to assessing the effectiveness of these policies and practices, institutionalizing the approaches that prove successful, and sharing the findings widely. Through Achieving the Dream, SPC will have the opportunity to learn from other Achieving the Dream Institutions, and receive assistance from experienced practitioners in building a culture of evidence campus-wide, using data to identify problems, setting priorities, and measuring progress toward increasing student success.

The Achieving the Dream 2012 Cohort

Albany Technical College (GA) Columbia Gorge Community College (OR) Oregon Coast Community College (OR)
Arkansas Baptist College (AR) Columbus State Community College (OH) Pierce College (WA)
Atlanta Technical College (GA) Columbus Technical College (GA) Southwestern Oregon Community College (OR)
Gaston College (NC) St. Petersburg College (FL)
Augusta Technical College (GA) Georgia Piedmont Technical College (GA) Stanly Community College (NC)
Blue Mountain Community College (OR) Klamath Community College (OR) Tillamook Bay Community College (OR)
Central Alabama Community College (AL) Kingsborough Community College (NY) Umpqua Community College (OR)
Central Georgia Technical College (GA) Linn-Benton Community College (OR) Wallace State Community College (Hanceville, AL)
College of Southern Nevada (NV) Miami Dade College (FL)

“The work of closing achievement gaps and improving student success is extremely difficult and critically important,” said Beverly Fletcher, Senior Director of Organizational Development and Change for Achieving the Dream. “Being an Achieving the Dream Institution takes courage, discipline, and a tenacious institution-wide commitment to student success and equity. St. Petersburg College should be applauded for helping tackle one of society’s most daunting challenges: success for more college students.”

The Achieving the Dream Model

Each new college will commit to the Achieving the Dream Student-Centered Model of Institutional Improvement. Based on four principles, the model frames the overall work of helping more students, particularly low-income students and students of color, stay in school and earn a college certificate or degree. Each college will approach the work differently, but Achieving the Dream’s five-step process will provide practical guidelines for helping keep the focus where it belongs and building momentum over time. Throughout the process, Achieving the Dream coaches will offer customized support and help each college’s core team implement data-informed programs and policies that build long-term, institution-wide commitment to student success.

Achieving the Dream is a national nonprofit leading the nation’s most comprehensive non-governmental reform network for student success in higher education history. The Achieving the Dream National Reform Network, including nearly 200 institutions, more than 100 coaches and advisors, and 15 state policy teams – working throughout 32 states and the District of Columbia – helps 3.75 million community college students have a better chance of realizing greater economic opportunity and achieving their dreams.

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St. Petersburg College is a top workplace in the Tampa Bay area.

On Sunday the college was listed in “The Tampa Bay Times Top Workplaces” – a compilation of the best places to work in the Tampa Bay area. The college was named in a special section of the Times and on its website.

The evaluation for the Top Workplaces program was based on feedback from 1,242 employee sureys completed a few months ago.

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Former Florida Governor and former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham will be the featured speaker May 22 at the launching of a chapter of The Village Square by the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at St. Petersburg College.

Gov. Graham, who served two terms as governor and three terms in the Senate, is regarded as one of Florida’s and the nation’s senior statesmen, respected on both sides of the political aisle for his collaborative leadership style and for his 38-year career of public service.

Gov. Graham will keynote the Institute’s new non-partisan public educational forum from 6-8 p.m. at the Conference Center on the Seminole Campus of SPC, 9200 113th St. N. His topic will be “Restoring Civics Education and Renewing Our Democracy.”

The Village Square is intended to be a replica of the successful public debate forum co-founded in Tallahassee by SPC President Bill Law. It is dedicated to maintaining factual accuracy in civic and political debate by growing civil dialog on divisive issues. Its membership includes a cross-section of community leaders representing both major political parties from across Pinellas County who believe that dialog and discernment are important to common-sense problem-solving.

Village Square memberships are $68 for a season of four dinner events, and member dinner reservations are $30. Guest tickets for individual events will be offered on a space-available basis for $40.

You can make reservations online for the May 22 event. For more information on The Village Square, please phone 727-394-6251.

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President Bill Law

President Bill Law

President Bill Law, who will complete his second year as president in June, received an exemplary review from the Board of Trustees on Tuesday, April 17.

Board Chairman Terry Brett began the dialogue on the president’s review with an opening statement:

In June of this year, Dr. Law will be completing his second year as president of SPC. As you know, one of the responsibilities of this board is to perform an annual review and evaluation of his performance over the past year.

To that end, each board member has had the opportunity to meet with Dr. Law individually, and to complete a comprehensive, written evaluation assessing his performance. The categories we reviewed included, but were not limited to; Leadership, Diversity Initiatives, Planning & Budgeting, Board Relations, and External Relations.

I have had the opportunity to review all of the evaluations, and am pleased to report that they are exemplary.

One of the principal charges given to Dr. Law at the start of his tenure was to refocus our efforts on the core mission of this institution. Specifically, Student Success.

There are many components that are factored into the broad concept of Student Success, and it is the opinion of this board that Dr. Law has gone about his task in a  strategic and comprehensive manner.

His efforts included support for students beyond the classroom, improved systems to support intake, counseling, advising and student activities, renewing community and school district relationships, technology enhancements, facilities maintenance, remodeling and repair, and support and development for our faculty, administration and staff.

Our Student Success Agenda, which so many of you have worked tirelessly on, and includes such exciting new efforts such as Individual Learning Plans, will indeed be, to quote Dr. Law, a “game changer.

Our consistent, superior audit reviews, budgeting, and strategic planning, have been able to put into motion, a plan for future success. I think it is important to note, that SPC was the only Florida college that did not assess the full 8 percent tuition increase this past year, and that our phase in of 6 percent saved our students between $75-$200 dollars from the maximum costs authorized by the legislature. That type of achievement, which is both tangible and symbolic, does not happen by chance.

In view of Dr. Law’s superior performance, as chairman, I would like to move that we extend his employment contract an additional year, as we did last year at this time. This one-year extension, would be adding on to his existing three-year contract, thereby extending his employment agreement with the college to June 30, 2015.

While our view is limited to the performance of the president, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the tireless efforts of all of you. Dr. Law prepared a written summary of progress over the last year, and in it he specifically mentioned many of you individually and did so with high praise. Our faculty, administration and support staff do a lot of the heavy lifting, and we know that. While Dr. Law provides the leadership, expertise and creativity to set the plan in motion, our success would not occur without your continued commitment to SPC and our students. On behalf of this board, we thank you.

Trustee Ken Burke said he is pleased with Law’s emphasis on student achievement and leadership of the college.

“That’s why we are all here is for student success,” Burke said. “You are shepherding us along that way in a magnificent way, so thank you for your dedication to that.”

“I think St. Petersburg College has done well with you,” said trustee Deveron Gibbons. “Everybody has been challenged—right up to the board—and that’s good. You don’t go to church on Sunday to come out the same way on Monday. You have challenged everybody to step up their game a little bit and I really appreciate all that you’ve done thus far for the college and for the community.”

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GODSPELLAfter a nine-year hiatus, the Theater Department has returned to the Clearwater Campus with its second production, GODSPELL. The 1971 musical, based on the Gospel According to St. Matthew, is about Jesus and his apostles and is portrayed through song, dance and improvisation.

Performances of GODSPELL will run through Sunday, April 1 in the Arts Auditorium at the Clearwater Campus. Tickets are $10 general admission at the door and free for SPC students, faculty and staff with a valid SPC ID.

Performances are Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.

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