Archive for May, 2012

Bonnie Loghry, during her most recent trip to Bangladesh in March.

Bonnie Loghry, during her most recent trip to Bangladesh in March.

Armed with desire for knowledge and helping others, Bonnie Loghry has followed her passion for public health education to four countries in the past four years. During that time, she also earned a bachelor’s degree in veterinary technology from SPC.

Loghry, who works as a Veterinary Technologist and an Occupational Health and Safety Trainer at Yuba College in northern California, is a registered veterinary technician with more than 30 years of experience in developing vet tech course work. She is an OSHA-certified safety specialist who focuses on assessing and troubleshooting veterinary workplace safety.

As a working mom of two children, she had made a few attempts over the years to get a bachelor’s degree but had never found anything that piqued her interest until she discovered SPC’s Veterinary Technology program.

“I evaluated vet tech curriculum from other colleges and they just didn’t really light my fire,” Loghry said. “St. Petersburg College offered the best well-rounded, in-depth curriculum. That’s why I chose them.”

She enrolled online in the veterinary technology program in spring 2008 and graduated in May 2011. When she enrolled, her supervisor encouraged her to take an international trip to Haiti to instruct local veterinary agents in large animal medicine and surgery. Hesitant at first because she had never traveled outside the U.S., she eventually agreed to go on what would be a life-altering experience.

“When we were there, we would drive out to some really remote place and basically set up shop under a tree, and villagers from all around would start showing up with their animals,” she said. “Giving them some rudimentary skills that they could then use to help their neighbors with their animals was very rewarding, and I was absolutely hooked after that.”

Loghry went on several more overseas trips over the next few years, paying for some herself as well as with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Farmer-to-Farmer program.

Her trips have included:

In 2009, she travelled to Luxor, Egypt to work with Animal Care in Egypt and Egyptian veterinarians to teach treatment and care of small and large animals to the community.
In 2011, she travelled to Haiti with the Farmer-to-Farmer program, training Haitian veterinarians in sustainable veterinary practice, public health and occupational safety.
In March 2012, she travelled to Bangladesh for two weeks working with ultra-poor women, teaching animal husbandry and how best to care for their goats.

“In developing countries, their dependence on their animals is so different than what we have here. We don’t realize how dependent we are on animals because we can go to the local store and buy food and not think about it,” she said. “These folks, they need donkeys in order to get to the river to get water. I guess it just brought me back down to ground level of what veterinary medicine is all about.”

Two of her SPC instructors remember her fondly.

“Bonnie is wonderful and she represents St. Petersburg College well,” said Wendy Rib, Instructor of Veterinary Technology. “She’s made significant contributions both during her tenure here at the college and since she’s graduated. She’s already embarked upon some fantastic steps within her career.”

“Because we are an online program and we have a diverse pool of learners, I think it’s very beneficial as a student to expand yourself by being opened up to other points of view,” said Cindy Grey, Faculty in Veterinary Technology. “I think the program itself is set up for these students to engage each other and exchange ideas, and that it certainly was very helpful in her taking the next step in her education and career.”

“I can’t say enough about the whole baccalaureate degree program in veterinary technology, but those two ladies in particular are amazing educators and just lovely people,”Loghry said about Rib and Grey. “Every chance I get, whenever anybody calls and wants me to say something about St. Petersburg College, I just go on and on until people’s eyes start rolling into the back of their heads—mostly because of those two ladies.”

Loghry has been accepted into the Master of Public Health program at the University of California, Davis, where she will begin classes in August.

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With student loan debt expected to top $867 billion this year in the United States, St. Petersburg College has launched a partnership with American Student Assistance to provide a free online financial literacy and loan management education program. The service helps students manage their money, plan repayment of their student loans and develop long-term financial skills. The membership program and website, dubbed SALT, is easy, confidential and tailored specifically to each student.

By creating an account on the website, students can:

  • Keep track of their student loans
  • Get loan advice from an expert counselor
  • Look for a job or internship
  • Search for scholarships
  • Learn how to budget and manage money wisely
  • Find out why credit and credit reports are so important

“Student loan debt is at an all-time high, actually exceeding credit card debt,” said Michael Bennett, Associate Vice President, Financial Assistance Services. “SALT provides a service for students to be able to successfully plan to repay their student loans and manage their money. Students input their loan information, see the amount they owe and plan their budget. By using SALT, they also have access to live, knowledgeable counselors who can walk them through the complex world of repayment.”

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Venus transit

Venus Transit seen by NASA’s Sun-observing TRACE spacecraft. Credit: NASA/LMSAL

As a free service to residents of the Tampa Bay area, the St. Petersburg College Observatory will be open to the public, weather permitting, between 5:45 p.m. and sunset June 5 to view the planet Venus passing directly between the Earth and the sun. Specially equipped telescopes will be available to safely view the event.

Between 6 and 8 p.m. that day, the dark silhouette of Venus will appear in transit against the face of the sun. Transits of Venus are very rare, coming in pairs separated by more than a hundred years. This will be the last one visible in our lifetime, as the first of the pair was in 2004. The next transit of Venus will not occur until the winter of 2117.

This unique event can be safely viewed only if special precautions are taken to reduce the sun’s brilliance to safe levels. Venus covers too little of the solar disk to block the blinding glare, so some type of projection technique or a solar filter is needed.

The Observatory is located on the third floor of the Natural Science building at the St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus, 6605 Fifth Ave. N. For additional information, contact the SPC Planetarium at 727-341-4320 or Planetarium Director Craig Joseph at joseph.craig@spcollege.edu

For more information on the 2012 Transit of Venus, visit science.nasa.gov.

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Gov. Bob Graham delivers the keynote address for the inaugural Village Square event Tuesday night. Check out our Facebook gallery of the event.

Gov. Bob Graham helped kick off the Village Square at St. Petersburg College Tuesday night in a keynote address to almost 200 people in the Seminole Campus Conference Center. The inaugural local event was hosted by the college’s Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions. See our Facebook gallery of the event.

The non-partisan Village Square was co-founded by SPC President Bill Law in Tallahassee as a public educational forum dedicated to maintaining factual accuracy in civic and political debate by fostering civil dialog on divisive issues. This is the second chapter to be formed.

Graham, who served two terms as governor and three terms in the United States Senate, is regarded as one of Florida’s and the nation’s senior statesmen, respected on both sides of the political aisle for his collaborative leadership style and for his 38-year career of public service.

He founded the Bob Graham Center for Public Service at the University of Florida, which helps train the next generation of public leaders by grounding students with a hands-on education in the American political system through internships, seminars, lectures and detailed case studies of public policy issues.

“The challenges for the Village Square and other entities is the state of citizenship,” said Graham, who is spearheading an effort to revive civics instruction in public education. “Citizenship is the only anecdote we have to a dysfunctional democracy.”

As a high school student in Miami in the early 50s, Graham said he took three full years of required civics classes. He said of his 11 grandchildren, only one of them has had more than one semester of civics, as is currently required.

The consequences of this sharp decline is a lack of citizenship, lack of tolerance and lack of a spirit of compromise.” Graham said. “Citizenship is not just a matter of voting, but all those things you do in your community, like getting involved.”

According to a recent civic health index, Florida ranks 46th in the nation in citizenship indicators.

“We’ve got a sick patient and I believe institutions like St. Petersburg College have the potential to be the cauldron for renewed citizenship. State colleges represent a bright star in restoring civic health.”

Public Policy and Administration student Jane Cerulli, one of about 40 students who attended courtesy of the Seminole Student Government Association and the institute, was impressed with the caliber of those in attedance – including local politicians, leaders and educators.

“It’s a great honor to be affiliated with the people in this room,” said Cerulli.

In answering Cerulli’s question about which organizations to get involved in, Graham said she’s already made the first step by enrolling at St. Petersburg College and getting an education.

“This one is very important. From there, find a subject you really care about and get deeply involved in an organization working on that issue,” Graham said. “That will demonstrate your seriousness, passion and commitment and help prepare you for later positions.”

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A $4,990 grant from the Silverberg Endowment for Academic Excellence will help raise the level of competition and serve a larger number of Pinellas County high school students who compete in the Southeast Regional High School Ethics Bowl. The SPC Applied Ethics Institute will receive the grant on behalf of the ethics bowl group, formerly known as the Pinellas County Ethics Bowl.

The ethics bowl is a joint event between Pinellas County Schools and the college and is coordinated by Ethics instructors George Sherman, of the Clearwater Campus and Laurie King, of the Seminole Campus. The event, held at the Seminole Campus each year, includes 14 teams representing 12 Pinellas County high schools. The competition is based on the college ethics bowl protocols featured in the Southeast Regional Ethics Bowl, which is also cosponsored by the SPC Applied Ethics Institute. Through the event, students debate ethical issues and compete in forming arguments that shows logical, reasonable and rational thought.

Ethics Bowl competitions are similar to debate competitions, but concentrate on argument structure and its logical or rational qualities. Teams can agree on conclusions but differ in their arguments, as judges want to see students demonstrate a keen ability to reason and form logical arguments.

“As a trial lawyer and law school mock trial coach, I have always been a strong advocate for forensic competition as a way to strengthen critical thinking and presentation skills,” said Susan Demers, Dean of the College of Policy and Legal Studies. “I was completely unprepared for the level of analysis, rhetorical skills and dedication I witnessed in the high school students who competed last year.”

The $5,000 annual Silverberg Endowment Grant was first awarded in 1982. The grant goes to support, enhance, enrich or develop programs of benefit to SPC, its students and the community. This year’s grant award will take the place of funding from the Character Grant from Pinellas County Schools, which began in 2006 and ended in 2010 when the federal program that provided the funds was terminated.

“A Silverberg Grant gives the Applied Ethics Institute the opportunity to raise the level of competition and serve a larger number of Pinellas County high school students,” Demers said.

The day-long ethics competition is a formal forensic event that requires months of team building, research, analysis, strategizing and polishing of communication skills. High school team members learn theoretical approaches to ethical problem solving and apply them to 12 case studies adapted from the national College Ethics Bowl.

In spring 2013, the ethics bowl will become a regional qualifying event for the newly initiated National High School Ethics Bowl competition. The event will be sponsored by the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics and will be held in Durham, N.C.

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Helen Leslie receives the 2012 Outstanding Alumna Award from Alumni Association president, John Brown, left, and SPC President, Bill Law.

Helen Krauss Leslie was selected by the SPC Alumni Association and honored as the 2012 Outstanding Alumna at graduation on May 8. Throughout her life, Leslie has served as an outstanding leader in local, state, national and international communities. She has been listed in the Who’s Who of American Women and Who’s Who of the South and Southwest multiple times for her work with numerous committees, various organizations, and national and international governments.

In 1940, Leslie enrolled at St. Petersburg Junior College and was the only female in her Mechanical Drawing class. In 1943, she graduated from Auburn University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration as one of only two female graduates in the Business College. She has worked as president, owner, secretary and treasurer for several roofing and supply corporations. In addition to her business work, she also served as member of the Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors for the SPC Foundation, and on several other local and state committees and boards.

Nationally, she has served as chairman for the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Service, a member of the National Advisory Council for Small Business Administration, National Safety Council’s Women’s Conference, the Committee on Employee Recruitment and Job Development for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Board of Visitors for Air University at Maxwell Air Force Base.

Internationally, she has served as chairman of the Congress of Business and Professional Women of the Americas, as well as for the Hemispheric Friendship Committee of the National Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc. She has made six Hemispheric Friendship trips to Central and South America, helped to organize Business and Professional Women’s Clubs in Costa Rica and Nicaragua, was a guest of the West German Government in 1965 to promote international understanding, and received a Certificate of Achievement from the American Bureau for Medical Aid to China for her outstanding service in 1965.

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After being named the 2012 Apollo Award winner during Tuesday’s Spring graduation ceremony, Alistair Glover delivered this speech detailing what SPC has meant to him. During his time at SPC, Glover was President of Phi Theta Kappa and the Student Government Association on the Clearwater Campus, as well as Communications Director and State Secretary of the Florida College System Student Government Association.

He also was named the Honors College’s Most Dedicated Student of the Year. In March he was named a Florida Coca-Cola New Century scholar. This followed his selection to the All-Florida First Academic Team.

“St. Petersburg College has prepared me for life in and outside the classroom by creating avenues for scholastic and academic growth and providing opportunities for civic and community engagement,” Glover said. “The most important lesson SPC has taught me is that success knows no age, gender, ethnicity, economic stauts or IQ.”

Glover participated in community service projects by volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, Salvation Army, Special Olympics and Relay for Life, just to name a few. He plans to study chemistry, economics and public policy in order to turn his passion for advocacy and helping the less fortunate into a lifelong career.

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