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ST. PETERSBURG (March 3, 2015) – Richard Blanco, the fifth inaugural poet of the United States, will speak at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, March 23 at the Palladium Theater at St. Petersburg College, 253 Fifth Ave. N.

The event is free for SPC students, staff and faculty with college ID and also is open to the public with $10 admission. Attendees have the option of participating in a public book signing and private after-reading meeting with the author.

Blanco is one of today’s most beloved and influential poets and storytellers. He read his poem, One Today, at President Barack Obama’s 2013 inauguration and was the first immigrant, first Latino, and first openly gay person to be selected as a U.S. inaugural poet.

The event is part of the 2015 Plume Poetry Series, sponsored by St. Petersburg College.

The Florida College System has announced the 2015 All-Florida Academic Team. Eleven St. Petersburg College students were among those named:

  • Amy Bhatt
  • Kimberly Connor
  • Erik Durneika
  • Samantha Engelhardt
  • Jonathan Jacques
  • Savanna Kegel-Praesto
  • Cassandra Kroncke
  • John Loreth
  • Kane Magnuson
  • Linh Phien Nguyen
  • Emily Smith

The All-Florida Academic Team, which recognizes outstanding students for their academic achievement, leadership and service to their communities. Students are nominated by their respective colleges to the All-USA Academic Team competition sponsored by USA Today and the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society.

The students will be recognized at an awards ceremony in Tallahassee on Thursday, April 9.

Congressman David Jolly

Congressman David Jolly

St. Petersburg College’s New Ideas Conference, with honorary host and moderator Congressman David Jolly, will bring together national, state and local leaders to discuss and offer innovative solutions to some of the most pressing policy issues facing the United States and Pinellas County. The daylong event will include panel discussions on the topics of education, budget reform, energy and the environment, and transportation.

“This is an opportunity for our community to engage in a productive conversation with some of the brightest minds on these topics,” said Congressman Jolly, R- St. Petersburg. “This type of open dialogue is critical to building consensus that can lead to real solutions for our most difficult challenges.”

The event will be held from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, March 27, in the Digitorium, UP 160, at SPC’s Seminole Campus, 9200 113th St. N. The conference is presented by SPC’s Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions (ISPS), and sponsored by the Tampa Bay Times, Bright House Networks and Boston Capital Leasing. The event is open to the public and admission is free, but seating is limited. Registration is required.

State Sen. John Legg, chairman of the K-12 state Senate Education committee; Dr. Michael Grego, Superintendent of Pinellas County Schools; and Tonette Salazar, State Relations Director of the Education Commission of the States, are among the panelists who will discuss the topic “Revolution in Learning: What the Future Holds for Public Education.”

Panelists discussing budget reform will include Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum and former Director of the Congressional Budget Office; Dr. Joshua Gordon, Policy Director of the Concord Coalition; and former Congressman Jim Davis, former member of the House Budget Committee.

Former South Carolina Congressman Bob Inglis, who launched the Energy and Enterprise Initiative, will headline an energy and environment panel that also includes Susan Glickman, Florida Director of Southern Alliance for Clean Energy; Buck Martinez, Senior Director of the Office of Clean Energy at Florida Power and Light; and state Rep. Dwight Dudley.

Panelists discussing “Transitioning Transportation: Moving Our Economy Forward” will include Jim Boxold, Florida Secretary of Transportation; State Senator Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg; and Pinellas County Commissioner Ken Welch.

“At the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions, we strongly believe that the combination of civic engagement and civil discourse can produce strategic public policy solutions, and the goal of this conference is exactly that,” said David Klement, Executive Director of ISPS.

CareerEdge Funders Collaborative and St. Petersburg College (SPC) have partnered to provide training to strengthen the region’s growing transportation, distribution and logistics (TDL) workforce. The partnership, TDL Tampa Bay, is funded through a grant CareerEdge received from Jobs for the Future.

CareerEdge, an innovative partnership of business, government, and philanthropic organizations that leverages public and private dollars to provide opportunities for better jobs and wages in Manatee, Sarasota, and Charlotte counties, has been awarded $220,000 to train 300 individuals over the next two years and provide them support and job placement services in the Tampa Bay, Sarasota and Manatee region. The projects will connect underrepresented populations to the industry, with each site committing to serve at least 25 percent female participants.

This is the first time SPC and CareerEdge, which is housed at State College of Florida in Manatee County, have partnered to provide workforce training. TDL Tampa Bay, will serve employers and workers throughout Florida’s eight-county Tampa Bay region, with priority emphasis on Manatee, Sarasota, Pinellas and Hillsborough counties, which forecasts a 13.8 percent growth in TDL jobs by 2021.

The 10 workforce partnerships include strong participation from TDL businesses in both design and implementation, to ensure that individuals complete programs with skills and certifications that are in-demand in their regional labor market. Workers will earn industry-recognized credentials such as a Commercial Driver’s License and Global Logistics Associate certificate, and many will also earn college credits that lead toward Associate’s degrees in TDL.

TDL Tampa Bay will capitalize on both organization’s strengths, pairing CareerEdge’s expertise in helping area employers meet the challenges of a fast-changing economy and SPC’s LINCS Supply Chain Management academic program.

“This partnership will be a true asset as we strive to train our students to meet the burgeoning demand for a skilled supply chain workforce,” said St. Petersburg College President Bill Law. “This strikes at the very heart of our efforts at the college – to help students enter or re-enter the workforce with the skills they need to build careers in high-demand industries.”

More than 80 representatives from the local manufacturing industry and related organizations attended the summit on Feb. 25 at the St. Petersburg College Clearwater Campus.

More than 80 representatives from the local manufacturing industry and related organizations attended the summit on Feb. 25.

More than 80 representatives from local manufacturing industry and organizations attended the Legislative Manufacturing Summit on the Clearwater Campus Feb. 25. The event, sponsored by Synovus Bank, was hosted by Sen. Jack Latvala (R-Clearwater) and Rep. Kathleen Peters (R-St. Petersburg).

Attendees heard from a distinguished panel who shared information about upcoming Florida legislative bills that would affect manufacturers throughout the state. The bills address such issues as sales tax exemptions, taxation of facility leases, incentives for manufacturers wishing to enter or expand their facilities into Florida, scholarships for teachers to work in manufacturing during the summer, export assistance for Florida manufacturers and educational grants, certifications and articulation agreements.

After the panel presentations, participants divided into teams and were guided by SPC’s Collaborative Labs personnel in prioritizing recommendations they would like to make to the Florida Legislature.

Latvala and Peters thanked attendees for providing their recommendations about how to address manufacturing issues. The goal is to enable Florida to grow as a leader in the manufacturing industry.

SPC Career Service Employee Retiree Emeritus Luncheon recognized seven outstanding retired Career Service employees. From left: Jim Moorhead, Shirley Bell, Sherry Armstrong, JR Lenges, Joseph Smith, Harry Berger and Morrie Johnson.

From left: Jim Moorhead, Shirley Bell, Sherry Armstrong, JR Lenges, Joseph Smith, Harry Berger and Morrie Johnson.

St. Petersburg College celebrated the third annual Career Service Employee Retiree Emeritus Luncheon on Wednesday, Feb. 25. The event, which highlights retired Career Service staff, is one of the college’s efforts to recognize the valued contributions of employees through the years and was organized by members of the Career Service Employee Council.

The seven honorees were nominated by current SPC Career Service employees. Honorees had to have worked for the college for a minimum of 10 years and made significant contributions to the college during the time of their employment. Together, they worked at SPC for more than 165 years.

This year’s honorees include:

  • Sherry Armstrong
  • Shirley Bell
  • Harry Berger
  • Morrie Johnson
  • JR Lenges
  • Jim Moorhead
  • Joseph Smith

JR Lenges, who helped get the event off the ground when it began three years ago, said he was excited and touched to have been nominated.

“It’s a great feeling. Words can’t describe it,” said Lenges, who retired in June 2014 after 40 years of service at SPC. “It was really extra special to know that the ceremony carried on after I retired and hopefully it will for years to come.”

Known for often speaking out on behalf of students in need, Lenges used his moment in the spotlight to speak in order to encourage other employees and retirees to give back to the college through scholarships for its students. With his sister, Jeanne Coffin, Lenges presented Frances Neu, Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Executive Director of the SPC Foundation, with a check to create the new John and Mayzetta Lenges Memorial Scholarship.

Lenges and his two sisters, Coffin and Pam Overton, donated the money in order to create a new annual scholarship. The fund will alternate each year to provide support to students in the fire science and nursing programs. The scholarship honors his father, who served as a fireman, and his mother, who worked as a nurse.

Another annual recognition ceremony by the college for retired employees includes the annual Professors Emeriti, which honors exceptional faculty members who are nominated by current faculty and staff.

Karen WalkerSt. Petersburg College Instructional Designer and Adjunct Communications Faculty Karen Walker, was recently recognized by Multimedia Educational Resources for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT) for her PowerPoint Today tutorial.

Previously an instructional support specialist for SPC’s Learning Resources team on the Tarpon Springs Campus, Walker created the LibGuide tutorial to provide students with easy-to-use tools that will help them succeed in their classes and later in their career. View PowerPoint Today tutorial.

“Karen is an innovator,” said Joseph Leopold, Director of Learning Resources for SPC. “Her work with students, faculty, and staff demonstrates her ability to gather information, think creatively, and use her resources to produce tools for students that can be used easily and repeatedly without fail.”

MERLOT focuses on encouraging faculty to integrate technology into higher education. Their peer review process of instructional technology is modeled after the peer review process for research and scholarship. The MERLOT Teacher Education Editorial Board identified Walker’s work as worthy of peer review due to the:

  • Quality of content
  • Potential effectiveness as a teaching-learning tool
  • Ease of use

Learn more about how SPC’s innovative faculty are focused on helping students succeed in and out of the classroom.

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