Archive for the ‘awards’ Category

Erica Moulton

St. Petersburg College STEM Director Erica Moulton was born into the kind of family who, instead of gathering for a huge meal on Thanksgiving and watching football afterward, they hit the road for a new adventure every year. She grew up camping, hiking, exploring national parks and more.  

By the time she was 13, she was a certified scuba diver, with her mind set on a career in marine science. Moulton has been in submersible vehicles in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, studied sea turtles while living with the Aarwak Amerindians in Guyana, and was part of a team who put an aquaculture experiment onboard a Space Shuttle mission.  

Her work has not gone unnoticed, and recently, Moulton was invited into the elite international society, The Explorers Club, where she joins the impressive ranks of members like mountaineer Sir Edmond Hillary, aviator Charles Lindbergh, primatologist Jane Goodall, oceanographer Sylvia Earle and astronaut Buzz Aldrin. She will be inducted in November.  

“I’m a little flabbergasted,” Moulton said. You’re just doing the things you’re doing, and you don’t realize that people are watching, and then this happens. And when else will my name be on the same list of inductees as Sir Richard Branson?” 

Joining the Ranks of History

The Explorers Club serves as a meeting place for anyone with an accomplished interest in scientific exploration. Located in Upper Manhattan, it is home to priceless artifacts of famous expeditions, member archives and – Moulton’s favorite – the Sir Edmund Hillary map room. 

“The map room is the most impressive thing to me,” Moulton said. “It made me teary knowing that I can go see the maps of all these famous explorers. There’s lots I could find on the internet, but it’s not the same as the real thing.” 

Founded in 1904, it wasn’t until 1981 that the club began to admit women. This being the 40th anniversary of female membership, Moulton will be joining 16 women who will be inducted this quarter and will now be among more than 800 women who have been inducted over the years, including SPC graduate, astronaut Nicole Stott.  

Another perk of membership is free field rescue, a thing Moulton says she just might need someday. 

“My friends joke about traveling with me and fearing that they may lose a limb or cry,” Moulton said, laughing. “I do enjoy roughing it and doing things that others freak out about, so that rescue might come in handy someday.” 

Promoting Science Locally

As SPC’s STEM director, Moulton mentors students, helping them find internships and jobs. She also coordinates outreach to local high schools and develops grants and community partnerships in an effort to promote STEM fields. She also makes kits that students can use to make their own Remotely Operated Vehicles to teach about exploring the ocean world. Natavia Middleton, SPC’s Dean of Natural Science, was excited to hear of Moulton’s upcoming induction. 

“This is phenomenal,” Middleton said. “It’s exciting for her, and it’s amazing for us to have someone of her caliber at SPC. She’s a great resource for our students.” 

Whether she is exploring national parks, hiking and camping in Alaska or traversing Iceland in a camper van, Moulton says when it comes to a chance to explore, she will never say no – just don’t ask her to stay at a resort. She said is further energized by the opportunity to be a part of this elite society.  

“I think it inspires me to do more,” Moulton said. “There is no end to my curiosity and no finish line to exploring. Sure, we know some things, but often, regarding many of the questions we have about our planet, when we find one answer, we just have more questions.” 

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It’s no secret that some truly impressive people attend and work at St. Petersburg College (SPC). Two such individuals are Davon Miller, a second-year student, and Dr. Tashika Griffith, Provost for the Downtown and Midtown Centers. Both Titans are finalists in this year’s Good ‘Burger Awards.

The Good ‘Burger Awards is an annual competition hosted by the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce that recognizes businesses, organizations, and individuals making a positive impact in St. Pete and contribute to making our community a special one. Miller and Griffith certainly meet those parameters.

Spreading Positivity Through Books

Headshot of Davon Miller

When Miller’s not taking classes at the SPC Clearwater Campus, he’s giving back to his community. He’s a published children’s author and illustrator of five books in the series titled Mr. Tickety-Toc Clock and donates part of the proceeds from his book signings to Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in benefit of asthma. Miller also does book readings in the community.

In 2020, Miller launched the #Imagine2020ChildrenStories campaign with the objective of helping other African American authors. The campaign resulted in a significant number of books being collected and donated to local schools and center.

Miller is a 2019 recipient of the Citizenship Award in the Tampa Bay’s Mayor’s Youth Showcase of Achievement and a 2021 Sunshine Ambassador for the city of St. Petersburg.

Leading With Resiliency

Headshot of Dr. Tashika Griffith

In addition to being Provost for the SPC Downtown and Midtown Centers as well as the Palladium Theater, Griffith was also the 2020 Chair of the city of St. Petersburg’s Grow Smarter initiative, a comprehensive economic development strategy that focuses on inclusive prosperity and equitable economic growth. The initiative is currently in its seventh year.

Griffith has worked to bring the equitable ideals of Grow Smarter to the SPC centers she oversees through initiatives like the 12 in 12 program, a unique Express Session at the college that allows students to take four classes, earning 12 credits in just 12 weeks. The program offers students the convenience of a flexible schedule that works for their needs, especially if they’re balancing a job and family in addition to school.

Griffith was recently awarded the “Passing the Torch in Leadership: A Legacy of Excellence Award” from The National Coalition of 100 Black Women’s Tampa Bay chapter. She won in the Education-Post Secondary category.

Voting Open Until October

Finalist voting run through September and end on October 1, so be sure to cast your vote for Miller and Griffith before then. Miller is a finalist in the MVB – Most Valuable ‘Burger category, while Griffith is up for the top spot in the Trailblazers & Change Agents category. Winners will be announced on October 28 at the annual Good ‘Burger Awards ceremony.

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It’s that time of year again! The St. Petersburg College (SPC) Theater Department is once more competing to win Creative Loafing’s “Best of the Bay” award in several categories and needs your votes.

SPC Theater is represented in four different categories this year:

A sunset graphic that reads 'vote for us, best of the bay, bottampabay.com'

This annual competition highlights everyone’s favorite people, places, businesses, events, and more from the Tampa Bay area. For the 2021 contest, only the top 20 nominees with the most nominations moved on to the final voting phase, so it’s quite significant that the Theater Department was able to be a finalist in four different categories. This also isn’t the first time that an SPC theater production was named a Best of the Bay finalist. The fall 2019 production of The Laramie Project was also up for Best Theater Production in the 2020 competition.

The college overall is also a finalist in the Best College or University category against some tough competition, so be sure to vote for SPC, too. Supporters can cast their votes through 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, September 9, 2021. You are only allowed one vote per category.

Winners will be announced in Creative Loafing’s annual Best of the Bay Issue on September 30, 2021. Fingers crossed that SPC runs away with the top spot in each category!

To learn more about the SPC theater program, visit the college website at stpe.co/theater. If you’re an SPC student who’s interested in auditioning for an upcoming production, auditions for the fall production of Peter and the Starcatcher will be held on August 24 and 25 at the Clearwater Campus.

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St. Petersburg College (SPC) leadership and supporters came together on Wednesday, August 18, 2021 at Seminole Campus to celebrate the latest group of Presidential Scholars joining the college.

This year there were 35 students honored with the prestigious award which recognizes outstanding achievement among Pinellas County high school students. They are graduating seniors from public, private, parochial, and home school environments who have a weighted GPA of 3.5 or higher. These students are also automatically accepted into the SPC Honors Program and are provided a full tuition scholarship for 60 credit hours of study at the college.

“Being named a Presidential Scholar is a testament to your choices, your dreams, and your persistence,” remarked Dr. Matthew Liao-Troth, Vice President of Academic Affairs.

SPC’s 2021 Presidential Scholars are certainly an impressive bunch. Earl Fratus, Director of the SPC Honors Program, shared that collectively, the average weighted GPA of the group is 4.3, the average SAT score is 1229, and the average ACT score is 26.

Strong Alumni Presence

SPC alumni Cierra Reynolds sings on stage while wearing black pants, a blue blazer, and black broad-rimmed hat. She holds a mic while singing.

Past SPC Presidential Scholars have gone on to do amazing things as well. Cierra Reynolds (’21) sang a moving rendition of John Lennon’s “Imagine” to begin the ceremony. She has previously sung the National Anthem at Tampa Bay Rays baseball games and auditioned for national competition shows like America’s Got Talent.

The student speaker for the evening, Amy Bhatt, JD (’16), was unfortunately under the weather and could not attend, but Dr. Mark Strickland, Provost of the Seminole Campus, assured guests that she would be sending a personal message to each Presidential Scholar.

Strickland went on to extoll the many achievements of Bhatt which include being an SPC Presidential Scholar as well as being the only student in the history of the college to have won both the Apollo Award, the highest honor an associate degree graduate can achieve, and the Alumni Achievement Award, the highest honor a bachelor’s graduate can achieve. Bhatt is now a Senior Staff Attorney for Judge Daniel Sleet at the Florida Second District Court of Appeal.

A Future at SPC

Dr. Williams bumps elbows with a young Presidential Scholar to congratulate her as she walks across the stage.

After each Presidential Scholar was recognized on stage Dr. Liao-Troth gave the official closing remarks before SPC President Dr. Tonjua Williams approached the podium to impart some final wisdom for the students. She spoke candidly about how higher education is meant to challenge and shape you and that students should study hard, but also participate in the social aspects of being an SPC Titan.

“College is about way more than higher education,” said Williams. “It’s about discovering who you are and what you’re made of and finding out what kind of grit you have.”

2021 Presidential Scholars

  • Andie Adrian
  • Brad Aurich
  • Jaida Barber
  • Sarah Beardsley
  • Jace Bray
  • Kimberly Bui
  • Brooke Cliborne
  • Lena Conway
  • Alex Crews
  • Dylan DeSantis
  • Josephine Grchan
  • Meredith Hall
  • Jasmina Hasikic
  • Alicia Holley
  • Savannah Jewett
  • Alejandro Jimenez
  • Kimberly Kerwood
  • Nevaeh Kirk
  • Jackson Lemon
  • Mariam Mansy
  • Aldin Music
  • Kiana Nieves
  • Ciara Noe
  • Rafael Orozco
  • Zoei Ortega
  • Elizabeth Pettit
  • Valeria Ramirez
  • Danielle Santhouse
  • Danielle Schultz
  • Myranda Smith
  • Daisy Stephens
  • Angelina Woodring
  • Matthew Young
  • Nicholas Young
  • Isabella Zdrubecky

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Each year, St. Petersburg College honors some of the engaging, caring faculty who helped generations of students succeed by bestowing upon them the title Professor Emeritus.

This year, the honor goes to Dr. Nan Morelli-White.

For more than 35 years, Morelli-White educated and inspired countless students and colleagues, sharing her passion for literature and the humanities. She began her St. Petersburg College career in 1985 as a full-time instructor on the Tarpon Springs Campus, but her home base for more than 30 years was the Clearwater Campus. She served the College for more than 30 years as an FGO representative. She retired in February 2020 and lives in Safety Harbor. 

Morelli-White worked tirelessly developing curriculum and teaching in SPC’s Interdisciplinary Studies Program.

“I had the honor of co-teaching an Interdisciplinary Studies Class with Nan for several years,” said SPC Communications Professor Dawn Joyce. “The students were drawn to her knowledge and command of the English language, her vast knowledge of the arts, and her spunky personality. I’m so honored I had the opportunity to teach and work alongside such an amazing faculty member.”

Morelli-White often served as a mentor to new faculty, generously sharing her knowledge, training and teaching experiences.

“She took me under her wing when I began teaching full time at SPC,” said SPC Communications Professor Dr. Susan Benson. “She was always happy to share her time, her experience, her course materials, and her friendship – and she is indeed a dear friend. Dr. Morelli-White is a brilliant scholar, and her passion for literature and the humanities has engaged and inspired countless students.” 

In September 2020, Morelli-White co-authored an article with Joyce, titled, “Colleges Need a Makeover: Adapting to Change One Class at a Time,” which was published in the Journal of Higher Education Theory and Practice. In addition, she has co-authored articles with St. Petersburg College instructor Greg Byrd for the Modern Language Association of America on the teaching of poetry. She has attended and presented at education conferences across the globe, including such places as Great Britain, Greece and Spain.

Morelli-White has been described by her colleagues as a kind soul whose passion and dedication have truly made a difference in the lives of many.

“Her sense of humor and willingness to mentor me and so many of her colleagues and students are her gifts,” said retired SPC Dean and Professor Emerita Martha Campbell. “She values the academic community and has spent her career paying close attention to what students say and what they write.  As a professor emerita, I am proud to welcome her to our community.”

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St. Petersburg College and Year Up have been working closely over the last few years to help students complete certificate programs in IT or Business. At the recent graduation celebration for SPC’s Year Up class, SPC was awarded the Cornerstone Award, an annual accolade given to an individual or organization that embodies Year Up’s mission to close the opportunity divide. 

The Year Up team works with our students each week to help them by the providing career mentorship and academic support they need to succeed. After they complete the Year Up program, students begin a six-month professional internship, and then Year Up assists the students with full-time career placement. 

Year Up staffer Walter Joseph said the award celebrates organizations who fully support their cause.

“Cornerstone Award winners go above and beyond to change minds about what is truly possible in this country by supporting our students, our staff, and the Year Up organization as a whole,” Joseph said.

The program takes place at the St. Petersburg College’s Midtown Center, where Associate Provost Patrick Booth says they work closely with the Year Up team to ensure student success.

“Advisors Takita Cuthbertson and Linda Huetson are assigned all of the students in the program and meet each week with the Year Up team to help register the students and provide advisement, Heather Disler’s team helps with tutoring and Roslynn Tarver helps all of the students with their Financial Aid needs,” he said. “We hold a monthly and quarterly meeting with the Year Up team, as well.

In addition, the Midtown team hosts an orientation for the new class, which includes games and prizes. In spite of all their efforts, Booth said the team was completely surprised by the award.

It was awesome – we were really excited about it,” he said. “We were not expecting it when they shared the news during their graduation ceremony.”

To learn more about Year Up, please visit their FL Tampa Bay website

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St. Petersburg College (SPC) has been listed among the top-ranked schools in U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 Best Online Programs list, released today. It achieved rankings in three categories – Best Online Bachelor’s Program Overall, Best Online Bachelor’s Program in Business and Best Online Program for Veterans.

Not only did SPC rank nationally for Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in Business for the first time, but it tied for No. 1 within the Florida College System (FCS). The college placed third for Best Online Bachelor’s Program Overall and Best Online Bachelor’s Program for Veterans, compared to other FCS institutions.

Among all participating Florida colleges and universities, SPC placed No. 6 for Best Online Bachelor’s Program in Business, No. 8 for the Best Online Bachelor’s Program for Veterans, and No. 11 for Best Online Bachelor’s Program Overall.

“I’m extremely proud of these rankings and our faculty and staff’s tireless dedication to student success,” said SPC President Dr. Tonjua Williams. “SPC continues to excel and ensure students have access to a first-rate education and the in-demand training they need, especially as they face the many obstacles posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

SPC is Florida’s first two-year college and the first to offer bachelor’s degrees. The college offers more than 110 degree and certificate programs, including many high-skill, industry-recognized workforce certifications.

“My sincere appreciation and congratulations to all of our bachelor’s program faculty members, whose dedication contributed to earning the Best Online Bachelor’s Program in Business and Best Online Bachelor’s Program Overall distinctions,” said Vicki Westergard, SPC Executive Director of Instructional Design and Development. “Online Learning and Services is honored to support deans and faculty in the development of high-quality online courses for our bachelor’s degree programs.”

SPC Veteran Affairs Coordinator Allison Shenofsky said the rankings illustrate the college’s commitment to supporting veterans.

“This award is a testament to the commitment our entire community has to the brave men and women of our nation’s military, and it is a testament to what we can achieve with hard work and perseverance! We’ve worked very hard to continue serving our students with that same level of quality during COVID-19.  I am so proud to see that the SPC family-students, staff and faculty alike-have continued to thrive and achieve excellence during such challenging times,” she said.

In September 2020, the college announced it ranked third among FCS institutions for the U.S. News & World Report 2021 Best Colleges study.

SPC also ranked #21 among public colleges in the southern region. These are the highest-ranked public colleges out of schools that participated in the 2020 study in the 12 states that make up the regional south.

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U.S. News & World Report ranked St. Petersburg College third among the 28 colleges in the Florida College System, according to their 2021 Best Colleges study.

The ranking is based on the college’s academic reputation as noted by peer institutions, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, financial resources per student, student selectivity, low student indebtedness rates, social mobility and alumni giving.

“It is a huge honor for SPC to be recognized as a 2021 Best College and we celebrate our faculty and staff for all of their hard work and dedication to our students and community,” said SPC President Dr. Tonjua Williams. “We continue to focus on lifting up our community by offering a high-quality, affordable and accessible education to all who seek pathways to a better future for themselves and their families.”

The report listed SPC #21 among public colleges in the southern region. These are the highest-ranked public colleges out of schools that participated in the study in the 12 states that make up the regional south.

Overall, SPC ranked 68th among all private and public institutions in the southern region.

SPC offers more than 110 degree and certificate programs, including many high-demand, high-skill industry-recognized workforce certifications. The college’s career-focused curriculum is created with input from industry experts to give students the skills they need to meet the needs of today’s employers. SPC’s Pathways Program offers students a clear roadmap to success to ensure they are taking the right courses – in the right sequence – to meet their goals.

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St. Petersburg College received two gold awards as the “Best of the Best,” according to the Tampa Bay Times 2020 rankings.

SPC was voted best local college and best nursing college. The Best of the Best Awards celebrate businesses and organizations loved by the Tampa Bay and North Suncoast communities. Learn more here.

Founded in 1927, SPC is Florida’s first two-year college and the first to offer bachelor’s degrees. The college offers more than 110 degree and certificate programs, including many high-demand, high-skill industry-recognized workforce certifications.

SPC’s College of Nursing has been training registered nurses for six decades. It offers nationally accredited nursing programs, including an Associate in Science program and a nursing bachelor’s program, which is offered online.

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SGA leaders at Florida College System conference in February.

The past few months have been a real challenge for St. Petersburg College students, with more than 1800 classes moving online mid-semester. We would like to honor students who went above and beyond their studies to serve as members of the college’s Student Government Association. Despite being quarantined for COVID- 19, these SGA leaders persevered in their duties. We thank them for their time, service, and dedication to their fellow students and to the entire college.

We would also like to recognize our 2019-2020 Academic Year student award recipients. The academic performance and dedication to self-improvement demonstrated by these students is exemplary, and they stand as true examples of what it means to be a St. Petersburg College Titan. We congratulate them on their achievements this year and look forward to their continued success.

2019-20 Student Government Leaders

Allstate Center

  • Shi’Niqua Vaught, President

Caruth Health Education Center

  • Brandi Jordan, President
  • Sarah Choi, Secretary
  • Jonah Hoppe, Treasurer
  • Sherie Evans, Parliamentarian
  • Cynthia Faulkner, Sergeant of Arms
  • Harvey Toro, Historian
  • Andy Conway, PTA SGA Representative
  • Chris Kolaxis, PTA SGA Representative
  • Sharon Wattam-Nelson, Radiography SGA Representative
  • Rebecca Byrd, Nursing SGA Representative
  • Whitney Skerritt, Dental Hygiene SGA Representative
  • Katsiaryna Durant, Dental Hygiene SGA Representative

Clearwater Campus

  • Maria Stourgioti, President
  • Nate Dean, Vice President
  • Rajiv Rambaran, Secretary
  • Tera Frazier, Historian

Downtown Center

  • Brittaney Hall, President
  • Saeem Fakir, Vice President
  • Raheim Davis, Secretary
  • Jorge Malacara, Treasurer

Midtown Center

  • Jeff Thomas, President
  • Maria Scruggs, Vice President
  • Rose Adamson, Legislative Liaison/Secretary

Seminole Campus

  • Noora Khaleel, President
  • Grace Galuski, Vice President
  • Kwanjittra Kaeo-Unruean, Secretary/Treasurer
  • Tomás Ortega, Legislative Liaison
  • Jessica Brooks, Historian
  • Jack Brown, Historian
  • Andrew Davis, Parliamentarian
  • Bradley Wojtiuk, Sergeant of Arms

St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus

  • Tiffany Albritton, President
  • Christy-Lynne Lapine, Vice President
  • Megan Greene, Secretary
  • Daniel Small, Public Relations Representative

Tarpon Springs Campus

  • Jair Marrero, President
  • Maxime Thiaulier, Vice President
  • Nick Bull, Treasurer
  • Isabel Ribas, Legislative/Jurisprudence
  • Paul Chaves, Event Liason

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