Archive for August, 2011
After facing what many feared to be the final curtain call, the theater program has been revived.
In July 2002, because of the economic downturn following 9/11, the college was forced to cut back in several areas and the theater program was among the cuts.
Scott Cooper, an associate professor with the theater department and a veteran of the program, said the closing was anticipated because of the economy.
“Since I left in 2002, I had always hoped that the department would make a comeback,” Cooper said. “Theater is such an important part of a liberal arts education and I think, while it can be very entertaining, it can also be enlightening and thought provoking. I hope that the productions shine a great light on the arts and their importance in our communities.
“The theater program can be a great link to let the community know that SPC has, not only a great arts community, but is a great resource for many things.”
With experience on both sides of the stage, Cooper has worked with numerous theater professionals and plans to bring those relationships into the classroom as well as the productions.
“I am working on bringing in professional actors, directors and designers to work with the students, both in class and through production,” Cooper said.
“My goal is to make this a great, well-rounded program that will prepare students for a future career in professional theater.”
There will be three shows this academic year. In the fall, the department will present David Ives’ paradoxical comedy, All in the Timing. The spring will bring the musical Godspell, by Stephen Schwartz; and the summer will be The Laramie Project by Moises Kaufman and the Members of Tectonic Theater Project.
Auditions for All in the Timing are Tuesday and Wednesday, Aug. 30-31, at 3:30 p.m. at the Arts Auditorium on the Clearwater Campus. Auditions are open to the SPC community and the general public.
The auditions will be cold readings. Actors will be asked to read scenes from the script as well as do some improvisation and will be evaluated based on performance. This is also an opportunity for students to get college credit for being in the play or working backstage by signing up for the acting repertory or the technical theater production class.
For more information regarding auditions for All in the Timing, please contact Scott Cooper.
Randy Lewis has a passion for youth and devotes much of his time to young people. A mentor for 30 years, Lewis explores the differences in today’s generation against yesterday’s in his new book, Xbox, Hip-Hop and Dreadlocks: Reconnecting the Generations, to find out if things are really as different as they seem.
The motivation behind Xbox, which started as a workshop, came during a discussion with his wife and daughter. Lewis, a Criminal Justice Project Coordinator focusing on Career Enhancement at the Allstate Center, shared with his family the idea of trying to find a way to bridge the disconnect between young people and adults.
He wanted to find a way to improve adults’ ability to approach, communicate and interact with youth on a positive level. He wanted to help adults understand what drives a young person’s decision-making process. However, Lewis and his family knew that to interest young people, he would need to come up with a title to which they would gravitate. Coming up with a catchy title was the easy part. The next step was the most crucial; figuring out what young people want.
“We asked ourselves first, ‘what do we want it to look like’ and next, ‘what is it that youth want,’” said Lewis. “We found out that they want the same things we want, to feel cared for, safe, loved, valued, useful and successful. The same six things that we all want, that doesn’t change.”
Lewis believes youth mimic previous generations, only packaged differently. The biggest difference is previous generations had more adults to filter and correct them. In Xbox, Lewis provides comparisons of the three forces that influence youth behavior: music, media and peers. He studied each area to discover the true differences and similarities of the ‘microwave and layaway generations.’ In the book, Lewis discusses how today’s young people prefer the instant gratification that the layaway generations either could not afford or did not have access to when they were young.
“Most of us grew up in the layaway generation, where we were taught to work hard, get an education and eventually get your reward. It’s hard to apply these techniques on a microwave generation unless the child has been raised under this type of instance. Microwave says instant, layaway says wait, so it’s hard to promote 30 years when they can’t see past 30 days,” Lewis said.
Other factors that weigh heavily on the differences in generations are media and technology. Today, youth have more access to information at their fingertips, whether it’s through the remote control, computer keyboard or game controller, kids are overwhelmed with information and ill-equipped to sort out what is real versus fiction. This is where Lewis thinks adults need to be willing to stand in the gaps and help young people filter the information they receive, noting that it must start at home.
“Young people are bombarded with information to process, but lack the critical thinking skills necessary to navigate,” he said.
Lewis not only wants to stand in the gaps, but also impact lives. With a strong belief that young people want to be accountable to someone, Lewis hopes that through “Xbox,” he can help renew the bond between adults and youth and help each gain an open and honest understanding to which they can connect.
“It’s not what you say to a child that will have the greatest impact, but what you do.”
Two SPC alumni and two professors made their mark in Kent State University’s 2nd Annual International Symposium on Sustainable Value Chains earlier this summer in Cleveland.
Rachel Cooper and Cheryl Little, recent Sustainability Management bachelor’s graduates, received the Certificate of Achievement for Symposium Best Student Paper. Their paper, “A Sustainability Survey for the Assessment of External Manufacturing Suppliers,” was a variation of their senior capstone course project, which focused on the sustainability efforts of a local undisclosed corporation.
“We had to change it a little bit from when we did it for the school and make the paper a little more generic to submit it for the conference,” said Cooper, who graduated Magna Cum Laude in the spring. “(The company) wanted to make sure they weren’t identifiable in the paper for the symposium because quite a bit of the information they gave was proprietary to them.”
The women were competing with students from major universities – several of whom were Kent State University graduate students.
“I just couldn’t believe that we’d actually won,” said Little, who works in supply chain management. “That’s awesome – to beat people from Kent State. It’s such a well-known college.”
“It was nice to see our students not only perform at this level, but win this award for their hard work,” said Wende Huehn-Brown, SPC professor in the College of Business who participated in the symposium. “They truly did a great job on this project and it showed in their paper.”
Huehn-Brown, who holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in industrial engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a doctorate in engineering management from the University of Missouri-Rolla, presented a paper at the conference with Deborah Eldridge, professor of law at the Clearwater Campus.
The paper, “The Legal Impact of Sustainable Value Chains” takes an in-depth look at the international regulations driving sustainable innovations and improvements in the supply chain, said Eldridge, who received her bachelor’s degree in international affairs from Florida State University and Juris Doctor degree from Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law.
“Because the laws in the European Union are so strict with regards to disposal and recycling uses for a product, the whole idea is that from the time you decide to create a new product, you have to start looking at the start and end costs, and how to increase the net income of a product while also making it a sustainable product that complies with the laws,” she said.
“That’s where the value chain of the supply chain comes in,” Eldridge said. “If you’re using suppliers that also are sustainable suppliers and they fall within the green category, then that obviously is going to decrease the end-use issues – or disposal issues – with regard to your product.”
Huehn-Brown said the paper will be used in SPC courses to help students understand the process and thinking that occurs in the supply side and the legal side.
“Those are two different classes that we teach in this field,” she said. “We’re going to use it in the classes, but we’re more into applied research and looking at the practicum side of how we can take this knowledge and help companies be more competitive in the global market place.”
The 2011-12 academic year began Monday with record-breaking enrollment again.
Overall enrollment is up 4.1 percent, which translates to 33,938 students – the most ever enrolled at one time. Last year, fall enrollment grew almost 11 percent with 32,132 students.
This is the 11th year in a row the college’s fall enrollment has increased. The increases started in 2000-01 when enrollment was 17,061.
Trash collection has evolved from a one man cart in Roman times to 243 million tons of waste collected every year. The enormity of waste disposal is at the center of the newest of three documentaries produced by St. Petersburg College media arts students in partnership with public media outlet WEDU. The 30-minute documentary “Away: A Story of Trash” will premiere on WEDU Thursday, Aug. 25 at 10 p.m.
“Away: A Story of Trash” will educate and entertain viewers about the history of waste management – the current practices, problems and what the average American’s perception of “throwing away” garbage really means. The program will identify new technologies and processes that have been created to reduce the amount of solid waste – and the many recycling and disposal programs of Pinellas County in particular. The viewer will ultimately walk away with an understanding of what they can do to help – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – the three R’s of waste management.
“It’s really amazing to see how much work actually goes into it,” said Katie Bishop, Executive Producer of Away: A Story of Trash. “I hope the viewers will be educated enough to be influenced to take action and reduce the amount of waste we create, so we can preserve the earth for future generations.”
“Local programs that both educate viewers and address topics important to the community are part of the mission of our station,” said Jack Conely, Vice President of Content for WEDU. “Additionally, our ongoing collaboration with St. Petersburg College has not only produced relevant content, but has given the students real-world experience and contributes significantly to the resumes of budding film producers.”
Previous documentaries produced by SPC students in conjunction with WEDU included the 30-minute “Go Green Tampa Bay” in 2008. The documentary was designed to inspire viewers to come up with ideas to counteract economic and environmental woes through the use of alternative resources.
The other documentary, produced in 2010, was entitled “Tony Jannus: American Aviator.” The 30-minute program educated viewers about American aviation history, advances in technology and industry pioneers, showing how the trillion dollar commercial aviation industry started from the purchase of one ticket: a flight on the St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line, piloted by Tony Jannus.
WEDU is west central Florida’s leading PBS station and public media company reaching 16 counties through multiple media platforms including on-air programming and online experiences that broaden horizons, transport and transform and open gateways to new ideas and new worlds. For more information, program schedules or to support WEDU visit WEDU.org.