Yesterday, St. Petersburg College’s Health Education Center (HEC) donated more than 26,000 medical supplies to local hospitals in need. Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tampa Bay area hospitals have expressed needs for essential supplies to care for patients.

“It has been such a humbling experience to witness the depth of compassion our team at SPC has demonstrated during this very challenging time,” said SPC HEC Acting Provost Deanna Stentiford. “Our instructors quickly jumped in as a team to assess what was needed in our community and how to facilitate getting these supplies out ASAP.”

Stentiford and Amy Krueger, SPC Dental Hygiene Academic Chair, safely delivered the supplies to St. Anthony’s, St. Joseph’s Children’s and All Children’s hospitals including:

  • 25,720 gloves
  • 260 protective gowns
  • 10 pairs of goggles
  • 120 N95 masks
  • 150 level 3 masks
  • 400 surgical caps
  • 3 tubs of disinfectant wipes

In addition to donating supplies, SPC is lending 11 ventilators.

“The responses of our partners when we arrived struck deeply in my heart seeing how they try to adapt to their ‘new normal’ working environments. They are the unsung heroes,” Stentiford said.

Various faculty members also are going the extra mile to replenish the supply of needed medical supplies by creating 3D printed face shields and masks. From the Orthotics and Prosthetics program, Academic Chair Tim Fair printed 50 face shields. Susan Elftman, an adjunct professor of architecture with the Building Arts program, is using a 3D printer from her classroom and open source files to create medical face masks for healthcare professionals. Jonathan Barnes, Chair of Humanities and Fine Arts, has received widespread media attention for spearheading 3D printing of face shields.

Faculty and staff are helping to support the community through these efforts in addition to their work at SPC, which remains open and has moved all classes fully online through the summer term.

“We will continue to work on ways to help and support our frontline healthcare professionals. Although it is a challenging time for everyone, we will get through this as a team with SPC and our community working together. We are Titan Strong!,” Stentiford said.


This fall, St. Petersburg College will launch an online Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Cybersecurity to help meet the high demand for such professionals in the Tampa Bay area and beyond. The B.A.S. in Cybersecurity degree will be the first of its kind at the state college level in the Tampa Bay region.

“Cybersecurity is a crucial need across all industries,” said John Duff, Academic Chair in SPC’s College of Computer and Information Technology. “The discipline has really emerged as a field on its own. Cybersecurity professionals need to have a firm grasp of how technologies and organizations work.”

According to the annual Internet Crime Report from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, total losses in 2019 from cybercrime exceeded $3.5 billion. The top crimes reported were phishing, non-payment and non-delivery, extortion, personal data breaches, business email compromise, confidence fraud and spoofing.

The U.S Bureau of Labor predicts that employment of information security analysts in Florida will soar by 38% through 2026. The Tampa Bay region is home to 19 global corporate headquarters, four major military installations and thousands of corporations and infrastructure agencies, all of which are vulnerable to cyberattack.

Training professionals who can protect networks, devices, and data from unauthorized or criminal use is critical. SPC’s new online degree gives students an affordable, flexible way to train for high-wage, high-demand sustainable careers in cybersecurity.

SPC graduates who have completed the college’s Cybersecurity Certificate or Cybersecurity Associate in Science degree can easily continue their focused education offered in the new bachelor’s degree.

Last fall, the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security designated SPC as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-2Y) through the academic year 2024. This achievement validates the program’s rigor and viability to promote higher education and develop a high-quality workforce with expertise in cyber defense.

“A lot of our A.S. students are very interested in the new degree,” said Laura Malave, academic chair in SPC’s College of Computer and Information Technology. “They can move into the new program seamlessly.”

To create the degree and enhance existing cybersecurity programs, SPC received an $83,450 grant from the Department of Education as part of its Pilot Program for Cybersecurity Education Technological Upgrades for Community Colleges initiative. In partnership with the National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) National Center for Systems Security and Information Assurance, SPC was able to support faculty and staff efforts to develop curriculum, new equipment for virtual training activities and faculty certification training.

SPC’s bachelor’s degree builds on students’ core knowledge in cybersecurity and technical areas like computer networking, digital forensics and computer security. These upper division courses focus on technologies and practices designed to protect information and physical resources such as computers, networks, programs and data from damage or unauthorized access.

“This degree offers more of a deep dive into cybersecurity,” Duff said. “Students get more technical and hand-on experience, and are prepared for advanced certifications, which is what the field requires.”

SPC also worked closely with the following local employers to make sure courses are relevant, timely and what employers need.

  • KnowBe4
  • Raymond James
  • Tech Data
  • Honeywell
  • Citigroup
  • Bayside Solutions
  • Vology
  • TirOrg Solutions
  • City of St. Petersburg
  • City of Largo

Learn more at spcollege.edu/cybersecurity.



The SPC Student Emergency Fund assists students in meeting basic needs to continue to be academically successful. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it has had on our college community, St. Petersburg College is working tirelessly to help remove barriers so all students can continue their education. SPC is seeking donations to continue to replenish the fund.

“The SPC Student Emergency Fund was created to quickly address the many needs our students face in these challenges times,” said Jesse Turtle, SPC Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Executive Director of the SPC Foundation. “Donations will have an immediate impact to assist students with food insecurities, medical bills, technology needs and housing assistance.”

SPC students participating in six (6) or more credit hours and have applied for financial aid are eligible for a one-time award up to $500. Eligible expenses include:

  • Mortgage/rent
  • Utilities/internet
  • Food/meals/essentials
  • Personal automobile repairs
  • Childcare costs

These funds can make a difference in whether or not a student is able to continue their education. Every gift, no matter the amount, will help those struggling during this challenging time.

Students in need are encouraged to contact the Associate Provost on their home campus or fill out our emergency fund survey.

Those who would like to donate, can visit our emergency fund donation page.

For more information, contact Jesse Turtle at 727-341-3319 or turtle.jesse@spcollege.edu.

In recognition of World Autism Awareness Day, Haley Moss, Esq. will be joining the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions (ISPS) at St. Petersburg College for an online conversation about her journey from diagnosis as a child to becoming the first Florida Bar Association member to identify as autistic. This programming will be hosted via Zoom from 12:30-2 p.m. on Thursday, April 2.

Moss will address the importance of economic empowerment and workforce equity. Also, joining the conversation is Martha Lenderman, who will share her expertise on the Baker Act, highlighting basic provisions of the act and the common challenges families and law enforcement face in cases where support and enforcement options have been limited.

At the age of 3, Moss was diagnosed with autism. She made international headlines by becoming the first documented openly autistic attorney admitted to The Florida Bar. She received her Juris Doctor from the University of Miami School of Law in 2018, and graduated from the University of Florida in 2015 with Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Criminology.

Following her admission to the Bar, Moss became aware that less than one percent of lawyers reported having a disability. When she was an associate attorney practicing in healthcare and international law, she realized her impact in the field of inclusion as a sought-out public speaker across the nation. To help revolutionize the practice of law, she founded her own company to lead the charge of working with businesses and law firms to hire and retain autistic and neurodiverse talent.

She has been featured in major media such as the TODAY Show, Forbes, CNN, USA Today, Yahoo! and People.

Registration is required at solutions.spcollege.edu.  Those who register will receive a Zoom link that will provide access to this virtual program. For more information, call 727-394-6942.

Jonathan BarnesSt. Petersburg College Humanities and Fine Arts Chair Jonathan Barnes is using 3D printing technology to create face shields for healthcare workers concerned about a possible shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the face of coronavirus COVID-19.

Barnes started using his personal 3D printer to create the face shields when he learned a friend was looking for face protection for his job as an emergency room physician in Ocala. Barnes soon realized he needed backup to increase production.

“I quickly realized it wasn’t enough,” Barnes said.

SPC leadership gave Barnes permission to bring home two printers from SPC’s Humanities and Fine Arts department. Since then his output has increased. Over the past few days, other people have offered up their printers for the cause, after seeing Barnes’ posts on social media.

“Right now, we can make six shields every four hours,” he said

Since the COVID-19 outbreak began in the United States, healthcare providers have made pleas for help in securing PPE. Barnes found an open source design for a face shield from a Czech company, Prusa, who makes 3D printers. He tried one, made a few tweaks, and then set about making the much-needed items. Once the machine has done its work, the hands-on part of production begins.

“The clear part is mylar stencil film, which is hand cut, and the holes are punched with a three-hole punch I modified to make it a little quicker,” Barnes said.

Friends, family and word of mouth have increased demand. So far, Barnes has donated more than 30 shields to doctors in Clearwater, Orlando, St. Petersburg, Ocala and Sarasota. He even sent some all the way to Baltimore, Md.

“The doctor who picked them up yesterday was super excited because the supplies are incredibly limited,” Barnes said. “The feedback from all the doctors has been really positive.”

Barnes says he will continue to make and donate the shields as long as he has materials to do so, because he feels it’s a great way to help out in the community during a trying time, especially for healthcare providers.

“It seems like the right thing to do,” he said. “Those people are the front line heroes going into battle without proper equipment.”


Dr. Matthew Liao-TrothSt. Petersburg College recently announced that Dr. Matthew Liao-Troth will be the college’s new Vice President of Academic Affairs.

Over the course of his career, Liao-Troth has served as Senior Vice President, Provost, Dean, Department Chair, Graduate Programs Director and Faculty Senate President in both the public and private areas of higher education. He also has served as head of his academic professional association and is an emeritus professor at Western Washington University.

Most recently, Liao-Troth held the role of Senior Vice President and Provost at Hawaii Pacific University, where he was responsible for academic and student affairs. Under his leadership, the university was recognized as a top regional university, and both the graduate nursing and social work schools were nationally ranked by US News and World Report. Hawaii Pacific was also recognized as the most diverse private university in the USA by the Chronicle of Higher Education. In 2015, 2016 and 2017, Liao-Troth was recognized in Honolulu Business Magazine’s Black Book as one of the education Executives to Know in Hawaii.

Liao-Troth earned his PhD in Management and his MS in Management & Policy from the University of Arizona, his MBA from San Diego State University and his BA in American Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz. His scholarship focuses on the relationship between individuals and organizations. He has authored over three dozen published articles and edited the book, Challenges in Volunteer Management, a volume widely used in graduate non-profit management degree programs.

The new Vice President will begin work at SPC on July 6, with SPC Dean Susan Demers serving as active Vice President in the interim. SPC President Dr. Tonjua Williams said she is pleased with the choice.

“Dr. Liao-Troth is is an experienced academic leader who has a deep understanding of the pivotal role that higher education plays in transforming lives,” Williams said. “We’re excited for him to join the SPC Titan family.”

Due to the continuing situation regarding coronavirus COVID-19, effective Wednesday, March 18, face-to-face classes and student affairs/student support services (with few exceptions) will be moved online through the end of the Spring Term.

All college-related events are also canceled until further notice.

Students, faculty and staff received communications on March 13 that classes would move online for at least two weeks. Today, following guidance from local, state and federal health officials regarding physical distancing, that time period was extended to the end of the term out of an abundance of caution. Students, faculty and staff received additional notification on Tuesday, March 17.

St. Petersburg College continues to closely monitor the situation and SPC’s Emergency Management Council is meeting regularly to address all issues related to COVID-19. As always, the health, safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff are our highest priority.

For the latest information regarding the college and updates involving the coronavirus COVID-19, please visit the SPC Emergency Preparedness website at spcemergency.com.