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Archive for the ‘awards’ Category

Growing up in Syracuse, New York, St. Petersburg College’s Engineering Technology Program Director Lara Sharp came from a science-minded family. Her mother and grandmother were nurses, her father a science teacher and grandfather a math teacher. So when her seventh-grade math teacher invited her to take an exam that would allow her to take a higher-level math class, she didn’t even flinch.

“She gave us all a study packet. I brought it home, and every night after dinner for the entire school year, I would walk across the street to my grandparents’ house, where my grandfather would tutor me,” Sharp said. “It was hard, and sometimes there were tears, but he wouldn’t let me quit.”

The hard work at her grandparents’ kitchen table paid off when Sharp made a perfect score on the test. Years later, it’s still paying off, because on Sept. 13, Sharp was named one of the 2019 STEM Women of the Year from Girls Inc. of Pinellas.

Girls Inc. of Pinellas offers opportunities for girls to explore science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields through hands-on experiences and leadership roles, giving them room to take risks and make mistakes, free from distractions. Each year, the organization honors local people who encourage young women to enter careers in STEM.

“It is very humbling to get this award,” Sharp said. “Though I never thought of myself as a trailblazer or a woman engineer. Only an engineer. I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

A Scientific Journey

Sharp, who earned an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from the University of Buffalo, said her interest in the field stemmed from one of her sci-fi heroes: the chief engineer aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise, Scotty.

“The first time I ever thought about being an engineer was after seeing a Star Trek movie,” she said. “Everyone wants to be Kirk, but I wanted to be Scotty. It wasn’t Kirk saving the day. It was Scotty.”

Sharp went to work as a chemical engineer after earning her degree, and immediately began work on a Master’s in Business Administration at the University of Massachusetts. Though she loved her engineering job, she wanted to teach like her father and grandfather, so she began teaching high school chemistry. Sharp’s career trajectory ultimately brought her to her current position at SPC four years ago.

“Education is where I belong,” she said. “I love it. Being able to do both engineering and teaching is very rewarding.”

Sharp, who just finished a second master’s degree from the University of South Florida three years ago, said that as a woman, she understands the challenges that young women entering STEM fields face.

“I was one of three girls in a class of 40, with no female instructors,” she said. “At times it was difficult. One professor actually told me it was a privilege for women to be able to go to college.”

The opposition only motivated her more.

“I may have had to work harder in undergrad than the boys,” Sharp said. “I probably did have something to prove, and I had to develop a shell. But I never had to compromise who I was. I didn’t have to stop being a woman.”

A Role Model

SPC Workforce Institute Program Director Susan Garrett nominated Sharp for the award, noting her creativity, innovation and inspiration in furthering SPC’s efforts to encourage women and young girls to enter STEM fields.

“Lara is a great role model of a STEM professional,” Garrett said. “Not only has she overcome some stereotypes of women in engineering, she has also worked hard to mentor and encourage other women to be bold and take the steps to the career paths they have both interest in and intelligence for. She is a great role model.”

SPC Lab Specialist Sara Warmouth earned her Associate of Arts degree in Engineering Technology under Sharp’s tutelage. She says Sharp inspired her and gave her space to develop confidence in her own abilities.

“She was always supportive as a teacher,” Warmouth said. “But her ideas never outweighed mine. It was always a collaborative effort. She wanted me to carve my own path and succeed.”

Sharp says that though great strides have been made in making education more equitable, there is still important work to be done.

“One stat that bothers me is the fact that more women are getting degrees, but the numbers aren’t changing in the workforce,” she said.

Sharp says she is humbled by the honor of the award.

“I’m very proud, and I like being recognized for my achievements, but I look forward to a time when there are no more “firsts” when it comes to women in STEM, and there is total equity in the educational and professional world, and people are recognized not as men or women who are leaders in their field, but as people being the best at what they do.”

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Grant managers recognizedOn September 5, 2019, St. Petersburg College (SPC) held its first Grant Manager Award ceremony. Five grant managers were recognized for their leadership on projects ranging from federal to locally funded projects.

“Implementing a grant-funded program adds a level of complexity, as one faces challenges that can be difficult to manage, especially at an institution as large as SPC,” noted Katie Shultz, SPC Executive Director of Grants Development. “Our grant managers are often the unsung heroes who keep our grant programs going, balancing the needs of the College, the funder and the students served.”

On average, 30 federal, state, foundation and local grants are awarded and managed through the Grants department annually. Grants enhance and support the impact that SPC has on its students and the greater Tampa Bay community. Funded projects vary in subject areas and focus, from workforce development, STEM programs, scholarship based programs, academic pathways, student support and more.

Among those recognized at September’s Grant Manager Award Ceremony were:

Rookie of the Year: Kelliann Ganoo

Ganoo was recognized for her work on the Bridges 2 Baccalaureate (B2B) program, a National Science Foundation-sponsored project that supports underrepresented minorities in STEM programs, as they transfer to Baccalaureate programs across three community colleges, including SPC.

Marvelous Multitasker: Marie Couch

Couch won her award for her role in Perkins, a Florida Department of Education-administered grant that envisions all students will achieve challenging academic and technical standards and be prepared for high-skill, high-wage or high-demand occupations in current or emerging professions.

High Five Award: Ernest Gant

Gant was recognized for his role in PITCH (Providing Instruction for Tomorrow’s Collegians and Hires), a City of St. Petersburg Cohort of Champions program. The PITCH program provides high-quality educational, career and character-development training for African-American males through industry-wide certifications or college degree support.

Mountain Mover: Susan Biszewski-Eber

Biszewski-Eber moved mountains in her work on Apprenticeship, a consortium grant led by Florida State College of Jacksonville. She works with businesses and other partners to close the workforce skills gap faced by the Information Technology, Manufacturing, Healthcare and Construction/Trades industries across Florida, by promoting the growth and expansion of quality and innovative apprenticeships programs.

Time After Time: George Carbart

Carbart has worked for 20+ years on TRIO Student Support Services (SSS), which provides year-round mentoring and support for college students through a textbook lending library, workshops, academic advising, tutoring and other activities.

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St. Petersburg College (SPC) is ranked first in Florida and sixth in the nation among associate colleges for sending students abroad, according to the Institute of International Education (IIE) 2018 Open Doors Report. Over the last year, more than 150 SPC students have traveled to other countries while earning college credit.

SPC Study Abroad in ParisDr. Ramona Kirsch, Director of the Center for International Programs, highlighted that the program’s success is attributed to a collegewide collaboration and the students’ willingness to expand their out-of-classroom experience.

SPC student Maria Dotsok strongly encourages other students to travel abroad and experience new cultures.

“It is a wonderful experience to travel abroad and become a global citizen,” Dotsok said. “I would give one bit of advice to the students: don’t think – do it!”

SPC has a broad range of study abroad programs throughout the world. For 2019-20, the planned programs include:

  • Students will study the Maori culture in New Zealand while living with host families in the Maori village.
  • Social and health sciences students will study at the Nelson Mandela University in South Africa.
  • Humanities students will travel to Greece and the island city of Kalymnos.
  • Students will travel to Costa Rica to study biology.
  • Students will study the theatre arts in England, which includes viewing a performance at the Globe Theatre and visiting Shakespeare’s home Stratford on Avon.
  • Students will study the Spanish language in Spain.
  • Dental hygiene students will travel to Jamaica to offer community volunteer services.

Learn more about SPC’s Center for International Programs online, or email studyabroad@spcollege.edu.

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St. Petersburg College (SPC) is ranked second in Florida and sixth in the nation, among associate colleges, for sending students abroad, according to the Institute of International Education (IIE) 2017 Open Doors Report. Over the last year, more than 140 SPC students have traveled to other countries.

Study Abroad report

Dr. Ramona Kirsch, Director of the Center for International Programs, celebrated the report naming SPC among leading institutions for study abroad education and emphasized the importance of out-of-classroom experience for students.

“When I arrived at SPC a little more than five years ago, SPC was not even on the radar for study abroad,” said Kirsch. “Now, in just a little over five years, we have increased study abroad participation by 113 percent.”

SPC has a broad range of study abroad programs throughout the world. The upcoming 2018-19 programs include:

  • Veterinary Techology students will be working to assist troubled sea turtles in Australia
  • Students will discover what makes India a cultural and religious force
  • Social psychology in a global context will be explored in Ireland
  • Students will be working with varying ecosystems and scuba diving in Israel
  • Students will be studying World Literature and Culture in Japan
  • High school students will say Bonjour Québec as they study International Relations and do service learning activities in Canada

Learn more about SPC’s study abroad program online or email studyabroad@spcollege.edu

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best-vocational-trade-schoolsSt. Petersburg College has been recognized as one of the best online vocational trade schools in the nation by The Community for Accredited Online Schools (AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org). As a leading resource for higher education and college accreditation information, the site released its annual ranking for the 2016-2017 school year, honoring St. Petersburg College as the #6 Best Online Vocational Trade School in the Nation.

“We wanted to highlight schools like St. Petersburg College, who are striving for excellence in education,” said Doug Jones, CEO and Founder of the Community for Accredited Online Schools. “These colleges offer an exceptional educational experience, upholding rigorous accreditation standards and showing an overall commitment to maximizing student success.”

In order for universities to qualify for this ranking they must hold public or private not-for-profit status and carry institutional accreditation. Top schools are determined by using a value-based methodology that analyzes more than a dozen qualitative and quantitative data points.

“St. Petersburg College prides itself on providing excellent educational opportunities for students to advance in their professions or move to new careers,” said Dr. Anne Cooper, SPC Senior Vice President of Instruction and Academic Programs. “From accounting to Veterinary Technician, our students online have a clear path from academics to careers.”

For a complete list of online vocational trade schools for 2016-2017 and more information on the methodology used to rank each school, visit the following page:

http://www.accreditedschoolsonline.org/vocational-trade-school/online/

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2017_bfv_collegesMilitary Times has announced its Best for Vets: Colleges 2017 rankings. St. Petersburg College was ranked among the top 30 four-year schools. SPC ranked highest as a community college that offers four-year degrees.

The eighth annual rankings factor in the results of Military Times’ comprehensive school-by-school survey of veteran and military student offerings and rates of academic achievement.

As with all Best for Vets rankings, Best for Vets: Colleges 2017 is an editorially independent news project that evaluates the many factors that help make colleges and universities a good fit for service members, military veterans and their families. More than 500 colleges took part in this year’s detailed survey.

“We limit our list to encourage competition, and we genuinely hope this helps raise the bar for veterans on campus,” said Amanda Miller, editor of Best for Vets.

Military Times’ annual Best for Vets: Colleges survey asks colleges and universities to meticulously document a tremendous array of services, special rules, accommodations and financial incentives offered to students with military ties; and to describe many aspects of veteran culture on a campus. These institutions were evaluated in several categories, with university culture and academic outcomes bearing the most weight.

Military Times also factors in data from the Veterans Affairs and Defense departments, as well as three Education Department sources: the IPEDS Data Center, College Scorecard data and the Cohort Default Rate Database.

For the full Best for Vets: Colleges 2017 rankings, and survey methodology, go to: www.militarytimes.com/bestforvets-colleges2017

The rankings will be published online at MilitaryTimes.com, as well as ArmyTimes.com, NavyTimes.com, AirForceTimes.com and MarineCorpsTimes.com as of Nov. 1; and will appear in full in a special magazine issue of Military Times on newsstands in mid-November. The release of this year’s list also marks Military Times’ inaugural declaration of the month of November as Veterans Month. The independently owned media company is celebrating veterans beyond Veterans Day, with 30 days of veteran-focused coverage.

Military Times’ Best for Vets rankings include Colleges, Career & Technical Colleges, Business Schools, Franchises, Employers, Law Enforcement and Places to Live.

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About Military Times

The Military Times digital platforms and print products are the trusted source for independent news and information for service members and their families. The military community relies on Army Times, Marine Corps Times, Navy Times and Air Force Times for reporting on everything important to their lives, including: pay, benefits, finance, education, health care, recreational resources, retirement, promotions, product reviews, and entertainment. Military Times is published by Sightline Media Group. To learn more, visit www.militarytimes.com.

About Sightline Media Group

Sightline Media Group, formerly Gannett Government Media, was established in 1940 as Army Times Publishing Company, an independent publishing company reporting on military news and information. Since then, the company has expanded into defense and government news, and has launched or acquired more than 13 periodicals and extended its brand globally into the online and broadcasting arenas. For more information, visit www.sightlinemediagroup.com.

 

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Online Colleges ranked St. Petersburg College number one out of 112 Florida peer institutions for Best Online College. The college received a 99.61 overall rating. Each year, more than 20,000 students take classes through SPC’s award-winning eCampus online learning program. More than 650 online courses and dozens of degrees can be taken completely online.

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