Archive for June, 2012

Kay Burniston

Kay Burniston needed a job and Tom Furlong knew he would soon need some help. The two knew of each other through their work in  education, but they had never met.

Ten years later, Burniston, Vice President of Baccalaureate Programs and University Partnerships, vividly remembers that first meeting.

“We met at a restaurant at BayWalk,” she said. “I got there ahead of him and really wasn’t completely sure what he looked like. Fortunately, I walked up to him and had it right.”

It was the start of something big. Furlong had just been hired by the college to start the baccalaureate programs and Burniston had just moved to the area with her husband, John, an insurance consultant who had been transferred here. She had spent most of her career in education but had not worked for Furlong, who started at SPC as the Vice President of Baccalaureate Programs and University Partnerships.

In 2002, Furlong and Burniston put together the baccalaureate model that paved the way for the college to become a leader statewide in offering four-year degrees at community colleges. What started with three programs has since grown to 24.

“Hiring Kay to join me here and get this off the ground was the best decision I could have ever made,” Furlong said. “We hit it off right away and seemed to always be on the same page.”

He credited Burniston with being the primary author of the successful SACS proposal seeking Level 2 (baccalaureate) status for the college.

“Getting the four-year program started here has been the most rewarding thing I have done in my career,” Burniston said. “I will always look back fondly on my time here and the many friends I was able to make. It has been a great 10 years.”

Burniston will close that chapter of her life June 29 when she leaves SPC to become the Executive Director of the Foundation at Daytona Beach State College. It will be her second stop at Daytona Beach; her first stop was as Vice President for Planning, Research and Development, which included Marketing and Grants.

“We left because John was transferred to New Jersey,” she said. “My mother still lives in Daytona Beach and this will allow me to be closer to her, but I will miss my friends and time here.”

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St. Petersburg College ranked 13th in the nation for the number of associate degrees awarded during the 2010-11 academic year, Community College Week reported in its rankings this month.

Each year the publication lists the top 100 community colleges according to associate degrees awarded. In the rankings, SPC placed 13th overall and 11th among four-year institutions. During the last academic year, the college placed 14th overall and eighth among four-year institutions.

SPC ranked fifth among Florida community colleges behind Miami-Dade, Valencia, Broward, and Florida State College at Jacksonville in the number of associate degrees awarded. The college graduated 3,518 associate degree candidates, a 7.2 percent increase over the previous year. Miami-Dade graduated 9,445; Valencia, 6,627; Broward, 4,881; and Florida State at Jacksonville, 5,409.

Looking at associate degrees involving nursing, the college ranked fourth overall and third among four-year institutions. There were 392 associate degrees awarded under the category of registered nursing, nursing administration, nursing research, and clinical nursing. The figure represents a 17 percent increase over the past academic year when the college ranked eighth overall and sixth among four-year institutions.

SPC ranked 20th in the country for four-year institutions awarding associate degrees to minority students. The college graduated 632 minority associate degree-seeking students, up 11 percent compared to the previous academic year, according to the report. In the 2009-10 academic year, it ranked 19th in the same category and 70th overall, compared to 69th overall for the 2010-11 year. The college ranked 54th in the country among African-American associate degree seekers with 316 graduates, up 21 percent.

The rankings were published in Community College Week’s June 11 issue.

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Alvin C. Leonard Jr, 80, served as Dean of Student Affairs at St. Junior Petersburg College. Later, he served as an adjunct math instructor at the St. Petersburg College Clearwater Campus from 1989-2004.

After serving in the Korean War, Leonard graduated from Indiana State University. He and his wife, Mary Ellen, moved to Pinellas County in 1958.

He loved traveling, spending time with friends and family, playing tennis, and supporting his favorite sports teams, the Chicago Cubs and the Florida Gators.

A memorial service will be on July 7 at St. Paul Methodist Church in Largo.

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The 2012 College for Kids session kicked off June 12 and hosts a number of programs. Offerings include the traditional programs (grades K-5), middle school camps (grades 6-8), Musical Theater Camp (grades 6-12), and SAM (Science, Art and Math) Camp (grades 3-7). Select camps run through Aug. 3.

Campers at this year’s College for Kids classes at Garrison-Jones Elementary School are learning about Crime Scene Investigation. Using cocoa powder, camp participants learn how to dust for prints; how flour and cornmeal become the casting materials to obtain 3-D replicas of a variety of prints; and how mini-marshmallows and Twizzlers become double-stranded molecules of nucleic acids. The best part is that campers get to eat up almost all of the detective work they do.

Please call 727-341-3000 to register.

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Changes to rules for a Department of Veterans Affairs job-training program for unemployed veterans will allow St. Petersburg College and other community colleges to take part, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
Wording in rules for the program, set to launch July 1, would have left most of the state’s community colleges, including SPC, ineligible to participate, according to the article published Friday. However, after a complaint by Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Palm Harbor, vice chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, the VA changed the rules of the program, the newspaper reported. That change will allow community colleges offering a limited number of bachelor’s degrees to take part in the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program or VRAP.

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Jamie Ferrazano

After an extensive search, Vicki Westergard, Executive Director of eCampus, Web & Instructional Technology has announced Jamie Ferrazano as the new Director of Learning Management and Student Support Systems.  Ferrazano began his career at SPC in Telecommunications in 1998 and has since held a wide range of technology-related positions.  He was the first Technology Support Specialist for baccalaureate programs, working under the direction of Dr. Shri Goyal in the College of Technology Management.  He served a couple of years as the Supervisor of Computer Operations for the Grants programs at Allstate.  His latest position was as Manager of I.T. Business Relationships, where he managed a variety of college-wide technology projects while overseeing the technical support desk and other technology staff.

Ferrazano’s promotion comes at a time when the ANGEL LMS is being upgraded and a committee is working to select the college’s next LMS product.  “The LMS is a complex, mission-critical system that sees extensive use by our students, faculty and staff,” Westergard said. “ Keeping it running is a huge endeavor that goes unnoticed as long as the system is running smoothly.  We all look forward to collaborating with Jamie as we work to determine what the future will hold for course delivery at SPC.  His varied experience and knowledge of our systems makes Jamie the ideal person to lead the LMS team.”

He began the transition to the LMS Director position on Monday, June 25.


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The St. Petersburg College Science Adventurer’s Club (SAC) will host a beach cleanup at 9 a.m.-noon on Saturday, June 23, in conjunction with a reef cleanup by Reef Monitoring, Inc.

Students from the college and members of the community will clean up the north side of the Dunedin Causeway right before Honeymoon Island. The group will make use of the college’s kayaks and canoes for this environmentally-friendly activity to clean up the shorelines and mangroves. Various types of debris are expected to be collected, such as bottles, cans, plastics, fishing line, and anything else that poses a threat to the marine environment.

During the Clearwater Beach cleanup last fall, 13 volunteers collected more than 30 bags of trash and recyclables.

The SAC on the Clearwater campus is an active club that provides students with opportunities to participate in exploration, recreation, research and volunteer work. Students participate in various cleanups and attend seminars in the science community.

Register online to participate in this year’s event.

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