Jamelle Conner

Jamelle Conner

Jamelle Conner has been named Provost of the St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus.

In her role as Associate Vice President of Strategic Execution and Administrative Systems Support, Jamelle has made significant contributions to the success of many academic and student affairs initiatives at St. Petersburg College. She leads the team responsible for college-wide strategic planning, developing and managing the college budget, and providing project management in support of academic and student services support.

“I am honored to have been selected as the next Provost of the St. Petersburg/Gibbs campus and member of the Provost team. The Provost team has done a great job in the development of the College Experience initiative and I look forward to working with them in continuing those efforts.

“I have been very fortunate to work with Dr. Duncan and an outstanding team of professionals in Administrative Services and look forward to continuing those relationships as we work to promote the mission and values of the college. I am excited to get know the faculty, staff, students, and members of the community at the St. Petersburg/Gibbs campus and to further enable the success of our students. I want to thank the Board of Trustees, Dr. Law, Dr. Williams, and all those who participated in the selection process. It was a wonderful experience.”

Jamelle joined St. Petersburg College in 2008, following several leadership roles among diverse organizations, including Tech Data Corporation, Progress Energy and the U.S. Department of Defense. Those positions took her from Pinellas County to Bristol, England — giving her both a local and international perspective.

She is a graduate of the 2010 Florida State College Chancellor’s Leadership Seminar and served as an alumni participant for the 2012 Seminar cohort.

A St. Petersburg native, she has a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Computer Information Systems from Florida Southern College and an M.B.A. from the University of Tampa. Jamelle is working on her PhD in Leadership and Education with a specialization in Higher Education Administration from Barry University (she is scheduled to take her comprehensive exams in July).

Jamelle replaces Provost Karen Kaufman White, who retires in July.

SPC student Erik Durneika has been selected as a 2015 Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Bronze Scholar. Durneika’s selection was based on his scores in the All-USA Community College Academic Team competition, for which more than 1,700 applications were received this year. This program is sponsored by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and is administered by Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

To be selected for the scholarships, Durneika had to make it on the Phi Theta Kappa All-Florida Academic Team. Phi Theta Kappa is an international honor society for two-year colleges. Members of PTK must demonstrate honor and service to others and maintain a 3.5 GPA or higher.

The New Century Scholars program honors the top scoring Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team nominee from each of the 50 states in the U.S. Since 1989, the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation has awarded $60 million in scholarships to more than 5,400 outstanding students.

Phi Theta Kappa will recognize the 2015 Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Scholars at the Celebration of Scholars Networking Social on Saturday, April 18 held during the Phi Theta Kappa International Convention (NerdNation).

An extensive exhibition of paintings by SPC adjunct art professor Stephen Schatz will be on display at Stirling Art Studios and Gallery through March 31. The gallery is located at 730 Broadway in Dunedin and is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

A resident of New Port Richey, Schatz teaches classes in art history and art appreciation for St. Petersburg College. Schatz began studying art in 1963 when he became an art major at Florida State University. Taking a humanities course his sophomore year in college and the constant visiting of major art museums influenced this decision. Many artists influence him but his favorites are Rembrandt, 19th century Post Impressionist and Expressionists like Van Gogh and Munch.  He works from life and is inspired by the physical and psychological presence of each individual model.

Schatz earned his master’s degree in painting from Florida State University. He later studied in New York at the Arts Student League and various academies in Paris. He was previously a professor at Albany State University, where he taught art appreciation, art history, drawing, painting and sculpture. He has exhibited in numerous group and one-man shows and has received many awards, including three Georgia Council for the Arts Individual Artist grants.

The Village Square, an initiative of the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at St. Petersburg College, will host Same-Sex Marriage: Saying ‘I Do’ Does Not End the Debate, a forum that explores the implications of same-sex marriage on Thursday, March 26. The forum will be from 6 to 8:15 p.m. in the SPC Seminole Campus Conference Center, 9200 113th St. N. Advance registration for the dinner event is required.

Although the U.S. District Court ordered county clerks to issue marriage licenses to couples regardless of gender, that neither settles nor ends the debate. The U.S. Supreme Court in January decided to hear appeals from four states where gay-marriage bans have been upheld. That creates the possibility that a majority of justices could vote to uphold same-sex marriage bans in Florida and the 30 other states that have formal bans – or to end such bans and legalize same-sex marriage in all 50 states.

A panel of experts will explore these undetermined implications:

  • Ben Diamond, attorney, Williamson, Diamond & Caton, P.A.
  • David Liebert, professor and department chair for Social and Behavioral Sciences, St. Petersburg College
  • Nadine Smith, CEO, Equality Florida
  • John Stemberger, president, Florida Family Policy Council
  • Craig Kopp, station manager, WMNF FM, will serve as moderator

About the Institute: The Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at St. Petersburg College is a resource for academic enrichment, a non-partisan venue for civil, objective debate of topical public issues, a center to promote better government, and a resource for sustainable economic development. Its mission is to support a broad array of research, training, educational and policy analysis and support activities at the local, state, regional and national levels.

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 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.


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