The Palladium at St. Petersburg College will host this year’s TEDx TampaBay on Saturday, Sept. 5, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. TEDx is designed to help communities, organizations and individuals spark conversation and connection at the local level.

This year TEDx TampaBay has chosen “Emergence” as their event theme. Speakers will address how emerging technology and ideologies are changing our communities and the world. A full day of inspiring presenters, food, yoga, tech demos and more will be offered.

Tara NewsomTara Hechlik Newsom, Associate Professor of Social & Behavioral Science at SPC, will speak on “The Constitution: It’s Personal.” The talk will focus on the transformative power the Constitution has had on her students and how that has invigorated the community. Newsom is launching the college’s new Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement.

General admission tickets, available for $40, are a great option for TED enthusiasts who thrive on stimulating, mind-expanding talks. The general admission ticket includes a free yoga session from The Body Electric Yoga Company, general seating in the theater and a catered lunch.

For those who enjoy a front-row seat to all of the action and love the “goodies” available only to our “VIP” ticket holders, the $75 admission includes everything from the general admission package plus preferred seating in the theater during the event, an event t-shirt and a swag bag courtesy of our sponsors.

There are a limited number of discounted student tickets and students are encouraged to attend. Discount code is STUDENT when registering.

Check out more information and register on the TEDx TampaBay website.

All over the country, relations between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve are on edge, strained by the deaths of African American youths and men during confrontations with officers. So far, Pinellas County and its cities have remained calm. Could Pinellas County be the next Ferguson, Cleveland, Baltimore or Staten Island?

A distinguished panel of community and law enforcement leaders will discuss the status of police/community relations in Pinellas County at a forum on Sept. 17 sponsored by the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at St. Petersburg College, and co-sponsored by the Tampa Bay Times and WEDU. The forum, titled A Community Conversation: Police and Citizens Seeking Common Ground, will be held from 6-8 p.m. at SPC’s Allstate Center, 3200 34th Street S. Free pizza and soda will be served to those registered in advance.

The prospect of a Ferguson-like police confrontation is a distressing thought for Pinellas County residents. But St. Petersburg experienced a similar event in 1996, when a white police officer shot and killed an African American teenager during a traffic stop.  A night of rioting followed, and was renewed a few weeks later after the officer was exonerated by a grand jury. How are police/community relations different today than they were in 1996? What policies are in place to deal with such an event if it occurred?

The panel will explore these questions, as well as actions that can be taken to strengthen relations between police and the community. The panel includes:

  • Anthony Holloway, Chief, St. Petersburg Police Department
  • Bob Gualtieri, Sheriff, Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
  • Bernie McCabe, State Attorney, Sixth Judicial Circuit Court
  • Dr. Bill Law, President, St. Petersburg College
  • The Rev. Clarence Williams, Pastor, Greater Mt. Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church
  • Moderated by Al Ruechel, Senior Anchor, Bay News 9

Advance reservations are required at http://solutions.spcollege.edu.

The Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at St. Petersburg 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.

Three internationally recognized scientists will address ocean-related impacts of climate change at a two-day conference at St. Petersburg College in October.

water-rising-2Presenting papers and debating their assertions with a panel of local experts at the Oct. 2-3 conference, titled “Sea Level Rise: What’s Our Next Move?” will be:

  • Harold Wanless, a University of Miami researcher who has studied the last 8,000 years of coastal environment evolution and has done extensive research into coastal geology
  • Andrew Keeler, whose Coastal Studies Institute at the University of North Carolina has delved into the economic aspects of coastal adaptation to rising seas.
  • John Englander, oceanographic consultant to government and industry who addresses large-scale financial and societal impacts of climate change.

The conference will focus on linking scientifically credible information to the formulation and implementation of sound, effective public and private-sector policies. It is being convened by the Institute on Science for Global Policy (ISGP), in coordination with the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at St. Petersburg College (ISPS), and a local committee of interested citizens. It will be held at the Seminole Campus, 9200 113th St. N. The public is invited, but advance registration is required.

The local event is one of a series of similar ISGP-sponsored conferences held around the country during 2015 aimed at engaging local communities in useful debates and caucus discussions concerning various aspects of climate issues. The goal is to reach consensus on practical options for mitigating and adapting to anticipated changes in the climate, all of which seek to define a sustainable future.

Dr. Wanless, Professor and Chair of the Department of Geological Sciences at U-M, advises policy makers at the local, state and federal levels. He was among five of Florida’s top climate scientists to brief Gov. Rick Scott on climate change in early 2015. His work includes documenting the geologic and historical evolution of coastal and shallow marine environments, and influences of sea level rise and anthropogenic stresses.

Dr. Keeler served on White House climate change policy teams under both President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush. He was Senior Staff Economist for Environment at the President’s Council of Economic Advisers in 2000-2001, where he was a member of the U.S. negotiating team for climate change. His research is on adaptation to environmental change, hazard insurance, ecosystem service assessment, integrated modeling of coastal real estate markets with environmental risk, ocean energy policy, climate change mitigation, and incentive-based policy design and implementation.

Englander, whose broad marine science background coupled with degrees in geology and economics allows him to see the big picture on climate, has served as CEO for such organizations as The Cousteau Society and The International Sea Keepers Society. His best-selling book, “High Tide On Main Street: Rising Sea Level and the Coming Coastal Crisis,” explains the science behind sea level rise.

The “Sea Level Rise: What’s Our Next Move?” conference emphasizes critical deliberation and extended caucus discussions among the scientists, policymakers, students, and the public. On the first day, the examination of concise policy position papers prepared by the three scientists seeks to clarify the scientific and technical understanding of climate issues for non-specialists.

The caucuses that will convene on the second day will provide all participants and subject-matter experts with opportunities to candidly identify both areas of consensus and the corresponding actionable next steps relevant to climate issues in St. Petersburg and Pinellas County. Together, the deliberations and caucuses will provide a unique forum in which the climate issues observed worldwide can be viewed through the personal life choices and community-wide decisions facing the Tampa Bay region. The conference also confronts the often-challenging tasks required to formulate and implement effective policies related to scientific and technological understanding, especially when broad community support is required.

The debate/caucus format pioneered by the ISGP has been successfully used to examine a wide range of contemporaneously critical issues related to science and technology, including Emerging and Persistent Infectious Diseases and Food Safety, Security, and Defense.

The ISGP and St. Petersburg/Pinellas County Working Group are committed to ensuring that those participating are representative of the communities in Pinellas County, especially with respect to the diverse views and perspectives concerning climate issues.

Due to limited space availability and high interest in the topic, participants must attend both days of the conference.

The public may register for “Sea Level Rise: What’s Our Next Move?” at www.scienceforglobalpolicy.org or at solutions.spcollege.edu. For additional information, call the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at 727-394-6942.

Newsweek has named St. Petersburg Collegiate High School (SPCHS) as one of “America’s Top High Schools 2015,” ranking them #1 in Florida and #48 in  the nation.

Collegiate High School“The Newsweek High School Rankings assess schools based on a broad range of data to determine which institutions do the best job of preparing students for college. A star next to a school’s name indicates that it meets our Equity measure by helping low-income students score at or above average on state assessments.” – Newsweek.com

SPCHS earned the top ranking in Florida and earned the star for their work with low-income students.

“I am grateful to the innovative and talented SPC/SPCHS staff and faculty who inspire and support our students to excel,” said Starla Metz, Principal, St. Petersburg Collegiate High School. “Congratulations to our dedicated and hardworking students.”

Other recent awards for SPCHS

Collegiate High School SPCLocated on SPC’s St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus, St. Petersburg Collegiate High School has earned:

A Pinellas County charter school, SPCHS has a unique mission to equip students to simultaneously earn a high school diploma, an Associate in Arts degree and a Bright Futures Scholarship.

Learn more about St. Petersburg Collegiate High School and St. Petersburg College’s other high school student options.

Time is running out to let the community know that the Palladium at St. Petersburg College is the best!

The St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce has nominated the Palladium at St. Petersburg College as a “Good ‘Burger,” for the Best Cool Company: Medium (11-50).

Cast your vote online to help them become the “People’s Choice” winner.


Voting runs through Aug. 21 with the winners announced Sept. 3. The Palladium was selected by a committee of volunteers who spent several weeks looking through 97 nominees from more than 1,000 Chamber members.

right-footSt. Petersburg College will host free Friday seminars for students to prepare them to succeed in college. The seminars include breakfast, lunch and 40-minute workshops on a variety of helpful topics, such as time management, work and life balance and tips from other successful students.

The events, called Off on the Right Foot, will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Aug. 21 at the Midtown Jamerson Center; and Aug. 28 at the Downtown Center and Clearwater Campus. Students are encouraged to register online as space is limited. Download the flier for full details.

St. Petersburg College’s 2015 Professors Emeriti will be honored at the college’s annual Fall Faculty event on Aug. 13. The event runs from 8 a.m. to noon and will be held at the Coliseum, 535 Fourth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. The event is not open to the public, but media is invited.

SPC 2015 Professors Emeriti

Each year, the St. Petersburg College honors select faculty members for their outstanding contributions to the college and dedication to increasing student success.

This year’s Professors Emeriti are:

  • Tami J. Grzesikowski, M.Ed., Dental Hygiene

Grzesikowski joined the college’s Dental Hygiene Program in January 1981. She became the college’s first Dean of Health Sciences, overseeing the bachelor’s degree program in Orthotics and Prosthetics, a degree completion program in Dental Hygiene and a bachelor’s degree program in Health Services Administration. She developed and oversaw the dental clinic’s Give Kids a Smile and Head Start Fluoride Varnish programs as well as the Back to School Care Fair for children from low-income families. She retired in 2012 and lives in Seminole.

  • Gabriel Horn, M.A., Communications

Horn, an award-winning author whose publications span four decades, came to St. Petersburg College as an adjunct professor in 1988, and became full time in 1992. From reservation schools to large universities, he has unwaveringly advocated the academic respect due the history, literature and philosophy of Native America. He co-founded and co-directed the first Native American Writers Camp for children on the Cherokee reservation and has instructed young journalists at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. He retired in 2012 and lives in St. Petersburg

  • Karen Miller, M.A., Communications

Miller taught Composition, American Literature, Film History, Reading and Speech for 23 years on the Clearwater and Seminole campuses. She won the Silverberg Award in 2000, and later, as an online faculty member, contributed to the development of two signature courses. She served three years as the Seminole Campus Faculty Council Chairwoman, seven years as Program Director/Academic Chairwoman for the Seminole Campus Communications Department and two years on the college’s Center of Excellence for Teaching and Learning Board. She retired in 2014 and lives in Madeira Beach.

  • Stephen P. Mikles, Ed.S., R.R.T., Respiratory Care (posthumous award)

Mikles came to St Petersburg College as an Assistant Professor of Respiratory Care in 1979 from the State University of New York (SUNY) Upstate Medical Center. He served as the Program Director of St. Petersburg College’s Respiratory Care Program from 1986 to 2013. He held several leadership positions in local and national Respiratory Care organizations including terms as president and treasurer of the Committee for Accreditation in Respiratory Care. He was a reviewer and contributor to several Respiratory Care publications and served on numerous St. Petersburg College committees and focus groups. He passed away on July 4, 2013.

SPC is proud to announce this year’s SPC Professors Emeriti and invites the community to share their memories and well wishes on the college blog dedicated to their service.



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