Men 12 to 50-plus attended the 5th Annual Keys to Manhood – A Seminar for Men at the St. Petersburg College Allstate Center on Saturday, Feb. 11.

Keys to Manhood2017 - Louis Murphy Jr

The seminar is an inspiring program to prepare men to go from college to successful career.

This year’s event featured breakout sessions on overcoming legal obstacles, athletics as a road to college, a financial literacy clinic, the inspiring story of SPC student Ernest Gant and a career workshop. The event was sponsored by TransAmerica and GTE Financial. Professional football player and noted philanthropist Louis Murphy Jr. provided the keynote address.

During his speech, Murphy touched on many of the challenges in his own life.

In high school, he ranked 32nd among wide receivers, and the coach told Murphy that he would never play. That prompted Murphy to try harder. He looked for football camps and sent out letters and highlight tapes of his plays. He cut yards to pay for college application fees. He talked about the shame of losing his scholarship and the challenge of working his way through college and holding down a job.

“No matter where you are in life, don’t let anyone or anything deter you from your dreams,” Murphy said.

There has never been a more important time to support young men and help them achieve their dreams.

Since 1995, the rate at which men are graduating college is in decline. Men’s participation in the labor force and in the professions are also in decline. According to a 2016 study by the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, “prime-age male labor force participation has been falling for more than a century,” and that “men between the ages of 25 and 54 are increasingly disconnected from the labor market.” As low-wage, low-skill jobs disappear to automation and baby boomers move into the retirement, the decline could become a crash. Unemployed men are more likely to suffer from poverty, adverse health and legal difficulties. In contrast, the unemployment rate for college graduates is less than half that of those with only a high school diploma. They will make an average of twice as much in their first weekly check and are more likely to be in a career track job. A strong, supportive community of mentors and peers is key to male academic and professional success.

The connections made at this year’s Keys to Manhood pave the way for a better life. Thanks to the members of Men Achieving Excellence club, college staff and the community, young men who attended Saturday’s event get a chance to start out on the right foot.

St. Petersburg College will host two community forums to discuss the college’s search for a new president. The public is invited to attend to give input into the attributes and qualifications they wish to see in presidential candidates.

The forums will be held:

  • 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, Tarpon Springs Campus, Room FA 132, 600 Klosterman Rd.
  • 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, Douglas L. Jamerson, Jr. Midtown Center, 1300 22nd S, St. Petersburg.

The forums are intended to inform the work of the Board of Trustees (BOT) as it finalizes the job description for a new president. SPC is seeking applicants for its seventh president after current president Bill Law announced his retirement – effective July 1 – in November. Law previously served as president of Tallahassee (Fla.) Community College and Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield, Ill., and was the founding president of Montgomery College in suburban Houston.

In December, at a special Board of Trustees meeting, the BOT created a 13-member Presidential Search Committee that includes current and former trustees, community members, students, faculty and staff. Former BOT Chair Terry Brett is chairing the search committee, and the nationwide search is being led by Dr. Jeff Hockaday, the college’s search consultant.

Once the forums are held and feedback is received, the BOT will finalize the job description and advertise the position. Brett, Hockaday and Faculty Governance Organization (FGO) President Dr. Rich Mercadante will review all of the applications before narrowing a list to about 20 candidates for examination by the search committee. In the next phase, committee members will narrow the list to about 10 candidates, who will all be asked to submit an 8-minute video responding to questions posed by the committee.

The committee will review the videos and present the BOT with a list of 4-6 finalists. Each finalist will come to SPC for a two-day visit, in which they will visit with a variety of stakeholders. Committee members will make final recommendations and Trustees will vote on the final selection.

Please visit the college’s presidential search website for updates.

newsite-newsblogWe are excited to announce that our new public website for prospective students and the community will launch Monday, Feb. 20! This is the first of a three-part project aimed at tailoring our online information to three distinct audiences:

  1. Prospective students and the community
  2. Current students (student portal)
  3. SPC employees (intranet site)

The new site has an intuitive, mobile-friendly design so you can find what you need to know from any device.

Why Choose SPC?

The new site was designed to provide prospective students with timely, relevant information about what they need to know as they are exploring and applying to SPC including:

  • Why thousands choose SPC to build their dreams
  • Details on our more than 100 industry-based degrees and training programs
  • How to apply to SPC
  • How to apply for financial aid

Connecting with our friends and partners

The site will also have information that is pertinent to our community friends and partners like:

  • How to hire an SPC intern or graduate
  • Giving to, and partnering with, the SPC Foundation
  • Sharing your expertise through our advisory committees
  • Volunteering at SPC
  • SPC’s leadership and history
  • High school and summer programs

Starting Feb. 20, the new site will be located at www.spcollege.edu. Current students, faculty and staff will be able to access information pertinent to them through other channels, including the student portal, MySPC, and other web pages reserved for their usage.

Students, faculty and staff are receiving email communications regarding the changes, as well as information posted on appropriate platforms.

NFL veteran wide receiver Louis Murphy Jr. will give the keynote address at St. Petersburg College’s fifth annual Keys to Manhood – A Seminar for Men. The event will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11 at the SPC Allstate Center, 3200 34th St. S., St. Petersburg. The seminar is free and open to the public. Lunch will be provided.

keys-to-manhood-louis-murphyKeys to Manhood features a variety of breakout sessions designed to address issues that may inhibit academic success for male students. They include:

  • Overcoming Legal Obstacles
  • Calling all Athletes
  • From Dropout to Knock
  • Be the King of your Finances
  • Career Decisions

Louis Murphy Jr. is an NFL veteran wide receiver, who is passionate about impacting the lives of youth and ensuring they have an opportunity to learn from his experiences. Louis is often honored for his philanthropic work in the Tampa Bay community, where he has served 5,000+ youth after starting 1st Downs 4 Life. First Downs 4 Life seeks to empower and inspire youth by providing opportunities that assist them in making positive choices.

Register online at www.spcollege.edu/max by Feb. 3. This event is presented by Transamerica.


Picture attached: From left are Mrs. Colleen Trout, Florida ESGR Committee representative, Brad Clark, Alisha Vitale, and LTC Roger Trout (USAR-Ret).

Alisha Vitale, Director of Pre-Admissions at St. Petersburg College, has been awarded the Department of Defense Patriot Award by Florida Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense program.

James Dicks, Chairman of Florida Committee for Employer Support, awarded Vitale for her “exceptional support of the members of the Guard and Reserve that are employed by the organization.”

United States Air Force Reserve Master Sergeant Brad Clark nominated Vitale for the award.

“St Petersburg College is continually recognized as a veteran-friendly school. It was ranked in the top 30 this year nationwide. It has been a pleasure to work with my Pre-Admissions Team, led by Alisha Vitale,” Clark said in the nomination.

“They have picked up the slack in my absence and they make every homecoming from orders – no matter how short – a happy and effortless experience. My co-workers must do extra work in my absence, and Alisha has to coordinate additional employee documentation on my behalf, but they are always supportive and understanding,” Clark said.

The award was presented to Ms. Vitale on behalf of the DOD by LTC Roger Trout (USAR-Ret) and Mrs. Colleen Trout of the Florida ESGR Committee.

“I am proud to work for an organization that actively supports service member employees,” Vitale said. “I accepted the award for my team, each of whom has a healthy respect for Brad as a wonderful person, coworker, and service member. We can’t be thankful enough for what Mr. Clark and others like him do for us. The team and I are very happy to show our due support and admiration for Mr. Clark and are honored with this recognition.”

Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) is a Department of Defense program established in 1972. The mission of ESGR is to gain and maintain employer support for Guard and Reserve service by recognizing outstanding support, increasing awareness of the law, and resolving conflict through mediation. ESGR volunteers provide free education, consultation, and if necessary mediation for employers of Guard and Reserve employees. As the 35 thousand members of the National Guard and Reserve in Florida and Nationally 1.3 million members continue to perform an increasing number of unique missions that require extraordinary actions on the part of everyday citizens, ESGR will continue to be the informational agency for the employers of citizen warriors. More information about ESGR Employer Outreach Programs and volunteer opportunities is available at Floridaesgr.com, or by calling Roger Trout of the Florida ESGR Committee, at (571)275-8980

The threat to First Amendment rights posed by overzealous political correctness will be debated at a public forum at St. Petersburg College on Jan. 19. The event, part of the SPC Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions’ Dinner Series, is titled You Can’t Say That: Free Speech and the Social Sensitivity Movement.

free-speechThe forum will be from 6 to 8:15 p.m. in the Conference Center at SPC’s Seminole Campus, 9200 113th St. N. Advance registration is required. Admission is $20 for students and educators and $25 for the general public. The dinner is co-sponsored by the Tampa Bay Times and WEDU Television.

The free-speech-suppression movement is a 180-degree shift from the college protest scene of the 1960s. In their day, members of the Baby Boom generation staged mass rallies to protest free-speech suppression. Today’s Millennial generation stages mass rallies to block fellow students and faculty members from expressing views they find offensive.

But it isn’t just on college campuses that free speech is under attack. During the presidential election campaign, dissenters were jeered, even pummeled, at political rallies even as candidates denounced “political correctness.” News reporters were ridiculed for doing their job. And post-election, there is a push to have protest rallies labeled as acts of terrorism if they cause “economic disruption.”

Where is the balance? When does free speech become hate speech? Is the First Amendment’s guarantee absolute? A distinguished panel will explore the implications for academic and political freedom from this movement and engage with the audience in a frank exploration of the First Amendment’s protections – and its limitations.

Opening speaker will be Susan Kruth, Program Officer for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education of Philadelphia. She will be joined by Dr. David Liebert, Professor and Academic Department Chair for Social and Behavioral Sciences at St. Petersburg College. Moderator will be David Klement, Executive Director of the Institute.

Advance registration is required at http://solutions.spcollege.edu. For more information: 727-394-6942

captureSt. Petersburg College and The St. Petersburg (FL) Chapter of the Links, Incorporated will host a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) Festival from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14 at the SPC St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus, 6605 5th Ave. N. The festival is in partnership with the City of St. Petersburg and Pinellas County Urban League.

This FREE, family-friendly event will feature hands-on learning and interactive experiences geared toward exposing K-12 students to the fields of science, technology, engineering, the arts and math.

In addition, the festival will feature:

  • Special appearance by Tampa Bay Rays Street Team
  • Great Explorations Children’s Museum
  • SPC Planetarium Shows
  • Busch Gardens – Live Animal Exhibits
  • Clearwater Marine Aquarium
  • Performances and studio tours of MIRA (Music Industry/Recording Arts)
  • Drone and Rover Demonstrations
  • 3D Designs
  • Johns Hopkins All Children’s Lifeline
  • Emergency Truck Exhibits
  • Life Size Chess Games
  • Petersburg Fire Department

Register online at:  http://web.spcollege.edu/survey/22967.  For more information, please call 727-791-2636.  This event was partially funded by the MLK Day of Service Award.