Archive for the ‘Campuses’ Category

St. Petersburg College honors students were the stars at the 12th Annual Collegiate Research Conference, hosted at the Seminole Campus last month.

The annual conference showcases the research skills of the college’s honors students. Topics ranged from gene editing to automation’s effect on labor. 

Honors research conference presentation

SPC’s Honors Program encourages talented and motivated students in creativity, leadership and critical thinking. Since 2003, more than 500 students from 29 countries have participated. Fifty percent of them have a 3.75 or higher grade point average and 15 percent have maintained a 4.0 average.

Student Katrina Johnson presented on how hydroponic farming could be adapted to support an environmentally challenged world. She provided examples of organizations already using the technology and how it could be used in the future.

Next up was a presentation on a misunderstood mammal.

Cayla Olinger and Emily Mitchell shone the bat signal with the Phi Theta Kappa presentation on bat conservation. The two talked about why bat conservation is important and discussed common myths about bats.

Two SPC campuses – Seminole and St. Petersburg/Gibbs – have bat houses. 

Van Le shared her love of astronomy with her presentation on the Draco Constellation. She discussed the mythological significance of the constellation, the binary star Kuma and the deep sky objects in the constellation.

Following the presentations, keynote speaker Dr. Rich Mercadante, an instructor in speech communication, honors public speaking, and honors philosophy, addressed the conference during lunch. At the end of the conference, students participated in a 30-second impromptu speech competition. Winners were Sara Bernard and Chloe Bean who each received a Starbucks gift card. 

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Longtime St. Petersburg College Humanities Instructor and Academic Chair Nancy Smith passed away on Dec. 29 after a long battle with cancer, but her dedication to students will not end.

The Nancy Feagans Smith CoMotion Dance Scholarship will offer a monetary award each fall to a Performing Arts student at SPC.

Born and raised in St. Petersburg, Smith earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and a Master of Science in Health Education. Smith was a co-founder, director and choreographer, along with choreographer and instructor Cynthia Hennessy, of SPC’s Co-Motion Dance Theatre, which is one of Pinellas County’s only modern dance troupes. What started as a club with only five people evolved into a popular community program offering spots to any and all interested in modern dance, regardless of age or experience.

Smith came to work at SPC in 1989 as an instructor in the Humanities Department and ultimately became the Academic Department Chair of Humanities and Fine Arts at the St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus.

Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts Jonathan Steele said Smith always showed true grace – both in dance and in everything else she did. “Nancy was wonderful to work with because of her calm demeanor in resolving conflicts, her patient and caring approach with those most needy, and her ability to see simple solutions to confounding challenges,” Steele said.

Public Policy and Legal Studies Dean Susan Demers remembers Smith as a wonderful and giving colleague and a gifted educator who, on more than one occasion, changed people’s lives by convincing them to try dance. “Arts educators enrich lives every day,” Demers said. “But the truly great ones change their students at the very center of who they are – how they see both inside and outside their bodies and souls and how they relate to the world. Nancy was one of that very rare breed. She will be missed, but she has left such a mark in this world.”

You can donate to the scholarship in Smith’s memory here. Select the Nancy Feagans Smith CoMotion Dance Scholarship from the drop-down menu.

Smith leaves behind her husband of 33 years, Rand Smith, three children and beloved pets.

A celebration of Smith’s life will be held this Saturday, Jan. 12 at 7 p.m. in the Clearwater Arts Auditorium, and all are invited.

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This holiday season, St. Petersburg College has partnered with Operation Toy Soldier to help collect holiday gifts for families of our service members at several SPC campuses through Dec. 14. Donations are welcome from staff, faculty, students and the local community, so please help spread the word.

Operation Toy SoldierOperation Toy Soldier collects new and unwrapped toys for children of all ages, which are then distributed to parents or guardians to give to their children. One thing to keep in mind is since older children can be harder to buy for, great gifts for them could be movie theater gift cards, mall and specific store gift cards, and Visa and MasterCard gift cards.

Jim Rudolph, the owner of Veterans Funeral Care in Pinellas County, helped start the non-profit organization a few years ago to give back to service members who have sacrificed so much.

“Holidays and back-to-school time are big “stress points” for military families because of the financial demands placed on them. Operation Toy Soldier helps relieve some of that pressure,” Rudolph said.

Even though Operation Toy Soldier is a nationwide toy drive, all the toys that you donate stay local.

“Each of our communities are very dear to us, so it is essential that when we participate in a national drive, our local community benefits from the donations,” Rudolph said.

How to Donate

To donate to Operation Toy Soldier, please visit the campus locations listed below.  Donations will be accepted until Friday, December 14.

  • Tarpon Springs Campus, AG Building, Veterans Services Center, Room 132
  • Clearwater Campus, SS Building, Veterans Services Center, Room 102
  • Seminole Campus, UP Building, Veterans Services Center, Room 179
  • St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus, SA Building, Veterans Services Center, Room 133
  • Midtown Campus, Jamerson Center, Main Lobby
  • Downtown Campus, Main Lobby
  • Health Education Center, Main Lobby
  • Allstate Center, Main Lobby
  • Epicenter Campus, Workforce Institute Lobby
  • District Office, Main Lobby

For more information on Operation Toy Soldier or the donation process, click here or contact Fred Tucker at 727-791-2409 or tucker.fred@spcollege.edu.

Operation Toy Soldier flier

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Keys to ManhoodOn Saturday, February 23, 2019, St. Petersburg College will be host the seventh annual Keys to Manhood Seminar at the Allstate Center from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The event, sponsored by Transamerica Corporation, aims to address issues faced by male students.

Call for Proposals

The college is inviting community partners to submit proposals that focus on a range of engaging topics specifically for middle and high school students. If you’d like to submit a proposal, please complete this survey

About the Event

Our keynote speaker will be Dr. Koco Eaton of Eaton Orthopedics. Dr. Eaton also serves as the orthopedic surgeon for the Tampa Bay Rays, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tampa Bay Rowdies. Students will learn firsthand about the obstacles Dr. Eaton had to overcome as a man of color. Breakfast and lunch will be provided to all student participants.

This year’s breakout sessions will include:

  • Career and professional development
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Masculinity/personal identity
  • Social/community engagement
  • Hands-on activities

Scholarship Opportunities

During this year’s Keys to Manhood seminar, 10 high school seniors will be awarded scholarships to attend SPC. These scholarships are sponsored by Verizon (five $1,000 scholarships), GTE Financial (one $1,000 scholarship), and Transamerica Corporation (one $1,000 scholarship). More scholarship sponsors are expected.

For more information, please contact Todd Smith at Smith.Todd@spcollege.edu.


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Most kids William Maillis’ age recently graduated from elementary school, but Maillis, 11, graduated from St. Petersburg College on Saturday, July 21 with an associate in arts degree.

William Maillis

According to his father, Peter Maillis, it became obvious that William was special when, at seven months old, he began speaking in complete sentences.

“I asked him to lie down in his crib, and he said, ‘I don’t want to,'” Peter recalled. “He also surprised an entire waiting room at the doctors office when he said, ‘I want milk.'”

Early Bird

William was able to identify numbers by the time he was 6 months old, and he could say the alphabet forward and backward by age 1. He was performing multiplication by age 2, learned algebra at age 4, and was declared a genius at 5 by a psychologist, who noted that children like him are about 1 in 10 million.

After starting kindergarten at age 4, William had surpassed elementary school curriculum by the time he began third grade. He transferred to high school, where he had already earned some credits. After earning his high school diploma at age 7, William began studying at a local community college in Pittsburgh, before Peter, a Greek Orthodox priest, was transferred to the Tampa Bay Area. William was enrolled at the University of South Florida and already beginning classes when the family hit an unexpected snag: William is too young to receive federal financial aid. So they dropped all but two classes, finished the semester and enrolled at St. Petersburg College’s Tarpon Springs Campus.

“We’re out of state,” Peter said, “and SPC was a lot more affordable.”

Earning Respect

William surprised many fellow students and professors during his time at SPC.

“At first, they would ask me how old I was and if I was really in the class,” William said. “But eventually they’d get used to it.”

Not only did he succeed in his classes, he was even a leader in many of them. Peter remembered being approached after one of William’s classes by a “burly” guy who asked him if he was William’s dad.

“He said, ‘at first I thought it was a joke, but when I heard him speak in class, I asked him to be my lab partner,’” Peter said.

Tarpon Springs Campus Provost Rod Davis said that William really didn’t need any extra help.William Maillis

“William was a regular student,” Davis said. “He came here, put his nose to the grindstone and did what he had to do. He worked extremely hard and won all of our hearts.”

Peter said that William got everything he needed at SPC.

“The faculty and everybody over there was very supportive,” he said. “He was very well challenged.”

Still A Kid

Though he is surrounded by adults, William still gets lots of time in with other kids in the family’s church. He enjoys playing tag, hide-and-seek, football and basketball. Like other kids, he also enjoys video games. Unlike other kids, his favorite is a strategic history game, in which players envision alternative histories.

“It’s fun to theorize,” William said. “Like, what if Germany had won World War I?”

His father reported that he actually plays more than the average kid.

“He has lots of play time because he learns so fast,” he said. “He might have classes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, but the rest of the time he plays and plays.”

Future Plans

Of all his classes, William said Astronomy was his favorite, and he hopes to become an astrophysicist and work for NASA. He also hopes to explain some of the mysteries of the universe.

“So many people these days think that religion and science are separate,” he said. “But priests and bishops in the olden days used science to talk about God. I want to prove that God does exist through science, so that the world can know.”

William’s plan is to finish his Bachelor’s degree in physics, then earn a PhD in astrophysics by the time he’s 18.

Though it’s time for William to move on, Davis says that he is sure that SPC was the right place for him.

“William found in SPC a place where he could grow and show what he needed to show to the community. I think his experience here speaks volumes not only of him, but also of SPC’s faculty, administration and students. We really care if the student succeeds. That’s why we do what we do.”

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Hundreds attended the April 21 grand opening of the Clearwater East Community Library at St. Petersburg College.

Clearwater East Community Library at St. Petersburg College Grand Opening

Years in the making, the joint-use facility at the SPC Clearwater Campus marks the college’s third such partnership with municipalities. Other library partners include the cities of St. Petersburg and Seminole.

“This is a facility where we convene the dialogues and strengthen the bonds that make this a world-class community and SPC an outstanding institution of higher education,” said SPC Clearwater Provost Stan Vittetoe.

“This is a monumental day for all of us,” said Clearwater Library Director Jennifer Obermaier. “Today we celebrate our partnership with St. Petersburg College. Through this facility, we can change lives: of children, families and students young and old. Today we celebrate knowledge, information, learning and imagination.”

Grand Opening of the Clearwater East Community Library at St. Petersburg College

The $15 million project was cooperatively funded by St. Petersburg College and the City of Clearwater.

SPC Board of Trustees Vice Chair Katherine Cole noted how the new library epitomizes the vision of the college and SPC President Tonjua Williams to create a “Community of Care.”

Other speakers included City Manager Bill Horne and SPC Senior Vice President for Instructional and Academic Programs Anne Cooper.

In his remarks, Clearwater Mayor George N. Cretekos noted that students of all ages will experience a college environment when they attend the library and reminded attendees to “read a book tonight.”

See more photos on the college’s Facebook page.

New library details

The 40,000-square-foot library includes 10,000-square-feet of dedicated public space, 15,000-square-feet of dedicated college space and 15,000-square-feet of shared space.

The library is located on the SPC’s Clearwater Campus at 2465 Drew St. in Clearwater. Canerdy, Belfsky + Arroyo Architects of St. Petersburg designed the building and Creative Contractors of Clearwater coordinated construction.

Clearwater East Community Library at St. Petersburg College

Highlights of the new building include:

  • more than 90,000 electronic and print books and audio-visual materials covering a variety of disciplines and subjects
  • more than 100 print journals and magazines of general and academic interest
  • streaming videos, audiobooks, images, citation tools and music
  • thousands of online research databases; group and individual meeting areas
  • computers, scanners, printers, photocopiers and wifi
  • a dedicated program room and a children’s section
  • a drive-through for item return and pickup

Clearwater East Community Library at St. Petersburg College Grand Opening

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Enjoy the Titan Trot 5K at St. Petersburg College and help support student scholarships at the college.

The Titan Trot 5K is scheduled for Saturday, April 14, and starts at the SPC Clearwater Campus.  The race begins at 8 a.m. on the campus quad and continues down a trail to Cliff Stephens Park. It’s is open to the community as well as SPC students and employees. Please register online.

All levels are welcome. Run or walk. Can’t make it to race day? Sign up as a “virtual” runner and record your race time for yourself another time. Separate scholarship donations also will be accepted.

Prices for participants are:

  • $10 for current SPC students
  • $20 for SPC employees
  • $30 for the public

All proceeds will fund SPC student scholarships.

SPC’s Faculty Governance Organization (FGO) is hosting the event and would like to thank the businesses and individuals who are sponsoring the 5K including:

• Green Bench Brewing Co.
• Orangetheory Fitness
• Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
• Publix
• PureMolecular, LLC
• St. Pete Running Company
• USA Ultra Triathlon
• Sears Cleaning Services and Sears Garage Doors
• SPC Natural Sciences Department
• Dr. Eric Carver
• Dr. Katherine Woods
• Dr. Tonjua Williams

Check out our hashtags on social media to keep up with the action leading up to the race: #SPC5K and #TitanTrot2018. Or check out our Facebook event page for updates.

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