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“How many of you in here aspire to be rappers or musicians?” asked Holloway in his opening remarks. “If you can recite a rap lyric, you can study. How about ballplayers? If you can remember the stats of the pros, you can tackle math.”

Holloway spoke at length about choices and delved into seven aspects of making them: guilt, excuses, fear, blame, stress, chaos and defeat.

“It all comes down to choices. Do you want to see me or the judge or do you want to be the judge, the doctor or the lawyer?” said Holloway, himself raised by a single mother.

“I’m looking at a lot of leaders in this room,” Holloway said. “You’re here because you made that choice and you want to make a difference in the world.”

The daylong Keys to Manhood conference included breakout sessions aimed at motivating and supporting male students, who are more likely to drop out of high school and less likely to attend or graduate from college than their female peers (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014).

Topics at the conference included:

  • Overcoming Legal Obstacles
  • Workforce Degrees
  • The Endangered Male
  • How to Get an “A” in Class
  • Money Management
  • Social Media (How to Get a Job Using Social Media)
  • Second Time Around (non-traditional students)

“This is a great event to hold for young men,” said SPC student Kezra Johnson. “It gives us all these great lessons and morals they can take with them. They may not know where to find certain resources. Here, they don’t have to feel embarrassed about asking for resources or help.”

Past keynote speakers at the event have included Jimmie Lee Solomon, former executive vice president of Major League Baseball, and Florida House Rep. Darryl Rouson.

In his closing comments, Holloway encouraged audience members to always keep others in mind.

“When you succeed, you have to reach back, grab someone and put them on your shoulders so they can pass you,” he said. “If you’re not doing that, you’ll see them on your way down.”

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Laura Carreras, treasurer for the Student Government Association at the St. Petersburg College Gibbs Campus, has been named the February FCSSGA Student of the Month. FCSSGA is the Florida College System Student Government Association. See the Facebook post.

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St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway will give the keynote address at St. Petersburg College’s third annual Keys to Manhood – A Seminar for Men. The event will be:

8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 6
Seminole Campus, Conference Center
9200 113th St. N.

The free seminar is designed to offer male college students tools and resources to help them succeed academically, personally and professionally. Men are more likely to drop out of high school and less likely to attend or graduate from college than their female peers (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014).

Over the past three fall terms at St. Petersburg College, male First-Time-In-College (FTIC) students had 8% lower success rates than female FTIC students. Success is defined as earning an A, B or C in a class. During that time, male students had a success rate of 66.3%, while females had a 74.7% success rate in their courses.

Keys to Manhood features a variety of breakout sessions designed to address issues that may inhibit academic success for male students. They include:

  • Overcoming Legal Obstacles
  • Workforce Degrees and Pathways
  • “The Endangered Male”
  • How to Get an “A” in Class
  • Money Management
  • Social Media (How to Get a Job Using Social Media)
  • Second Time Around (non-traditional students)

Past keynote speakers at the event have included Jimmie Lee Solomon, former executive vice president of Major League Baseball, and Florida House Rep. Darryl Rouson.

The event is presented by Transamerica. Download the program.

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Calcaterra_Banner-lowres

Regina Calcaterra, New York Times best-selling author of this year’s One Book, One College selection Etched in Sand, spoke to a packed room of more than 150 people at the Clearwater Campus on Wednesday, Jan. 28.

“It’s an honor for me to be here, as it would be for any author,” Calcaterra said.

Calcaterra appeared at four SPC campuses Jan. 28-29 to discuss her memoir, participate in Q&As and sign copies of her book.

SPC student Nan Jeong, 38, speaks with Calcaterra during her book signing.

SPC student Nan Jeong, 38, speaks with Calcaterra during her book signing.

Etched in Sand follows Calcaterra and her four siblings through their tumultuous childhood framed by an alcoholic, abusive, and often absentee mother. The inspiring coming-of-age story, with themes of tenacity, hope, resilience and unconditional love among siblings, spent many weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.

An engaging speaker, Calcaterra elicited gasps, tears and applause as she discussed how she and her siblings “survived on the fringes of society” and “broke the cycle of abuse” in one generation.

Calcaterra spoke about the teachers and professors who helped her lift herself from a life of poverty, homelessness and abuse to become a strong, accomplished woman. Those mentors repeatedly told her, “The only way out of poverty is through education,” Calcaterra said.

Calcaterra, an attorney for the state of New York, served as Executive Director of two New York State commissions, and is a former Chief Deputy to the Suffolk County (N.Y.) Executive.

Through a survey, college employees chose Calcaterra’s book as the featured title of SPC’s common reading program. The goal of the program is to get everyone at the college reading and discussing the same selection. Past books on the reading list have included Water for Elephants, The Art of Racing in the Rain and The Last Lecture.

See more photos on the college’s Facebook page.

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Check out the latest exhibit at the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art: the 40th International Miniature Arts Society of Florida Exhibition.

The exhibit is open from Jan. 18 through Feb. 15, with a Members Open House on Saturday, Jan. 24

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Brad Jenkins at the opening of the Collaborative Center for Emerging Technologies

A beaming Brad Jenkins at the opening of the Collaborative Center for Emerging Technologies in August, 2012

Not many people get the liberty to develop a manufacturing training facility and show it off to the federal Secretary of Labor.

Brad Jenkins did just that in September 2012, when U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis visited the Clearwater Campus to announce $500 million worth of federal workforce training grants.

As part of her visit, Solis toured the $1.2 million Collaborative Center for Emerging Technologies, a training facility that Jenkins helped develop as an open manufacturing factory and work environment. The building is the crowning achievement of Jenkins’ 40-year career at St. Petersburg College.

Jenkins will retire this month and be honored at the Board of Trustees meeting Jan. 20.

“Forty years is a long time,” said Jenkins, who began his career at SPC as a full-time instructor and is departing as Associate Dean of the Engineering Technology and Building Arts Department. “I’ve got my fingerprints on a lot of things.”

Meeting the needs of the manufacturing industry

Since Jenkins was named program director of Engineering Technology and Building Arts in 1979, more than 1,800 students have earned certificates and degrees under him.

Over the past three years, enrollment in manufacturing programs at SPC has climbed 20% thanks in part to federal and state workforce training grants the college has received.

The workforce grants and training at the CCET help meet a growing skills gap that leaves thousands of manufacturing jobs unfilled each year. Through the career training program announced by Secretary Solis, St. Petersburg College and partnering colleges received a $15 million grant to build the Florida TRADE Consortium, a statewide training system for advanced manufacturing jobs in high demand.

Over the years, manufacturing has evolved dramatically and now relies heavily on advanced technologies and automation, requiring specialized training. Jenkins wanted such training to take place in the CCET with “everything out in the open like an actual manufacturing floor” so it was realistic. He was given carte blanche to build and equip the workforce training center as he saw fit.

“Can you believe I got that chance?” quipped Jenkins. “Not many people get that sort of deal. We’ve got a unique situation here that worked out pretty well.”

Now, companies frequently visit the CCET, as they look to relocate to the Tampa Bay area and train a new workforce. The name, Collaborative Center for Emerging Technologies, was inspired by the large role the college plays in working with employers.

“I looked at a lot of other facilities in the state that had advanced manufacturing in the name, but this made more sense because we work so closely with industry and local partners,” said Jenkins, who has also built working relationships with the National Science Foundation.

In fact, Jenkins served as co-principal investigator for two NSF grant initiatives: the Florida Advanced Technological Education (FLATE) Center and the Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM). While at SPC, he also helped secure and administer nine other major workforce training grant programs from various agencies.

Award-winning innovator

Jenkins was named the 2012 Educator of the Year by the National High Impact Technology Exchange Association for his work on developing SPC’s Associate of Science degree in Engineering Technology. The first of its kind in Florida, the degree serves as a national model and has been adopted by 10 other colleges in the state.

“The higher education community across the state as well as business and industry leaders respect Brad as one of the premier technology educators,” said Clearwater Provost Stan Vittetoe. “His work has ranged from telecommunications to manufacturing and biomedical electronics. He has been at the forefront of technology education for many years, and has been recognized by national organizations for his contributions in this area. In addition to his teaching responsibilities Brad has led numerous state and federal grants on behalf of the college and has insured that SPC would remain on the leading edge of technology.”

Through his extensive industry connections, Jenkins has personally helped dozens of students land jobs. To Jenkins, giving people real skills is what makes the difference and has made his time at SPC so gratifying.

“You feel like you are giving somebody something to live on, that’s much better than $8 an hour,” Jenkins said. “You give them a career and a way to advance. You won’t necessarily make $20 an hour right when you leave us, but you will have the skills to work your way up.”

In retirement, Jenkins looks forward to spending more time with his grandchildren. His first granddaughter was born six months ago to a family that is vastly outweighed by boys, by a measure of 8 to 1.

He also plans to travel and continue his work with the NSF to bring more colleges into the fold of grants and workforce training programs.

“Brad took me under his wing when I first started with the college five years ago,” said Gary Graham, director of the Florida TRADE Consortium. “We both had a manufacturing background and were able to speak “manufacturing”. He is a wonderful colleague, mentor, and friend. SPC will miss his tremendous knowledge and expertise.”

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New York Times best-selling author Regina Calcaterra will appear at four St. Petersburg College campuses Jan. 28-29 for a reading, Q&A and book-signing event. Calcaterra is the author of Etched in the Sand, SPC’s One Book, One College selection this year.

Regina Calcaterra will appear:

  • Jan. 28, from 2 to 4 p.m., Tarpon Springs
  • Jan. 28, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Clearwater
  • Jan. 29, from 10 a.m. to noon, Downtown
  • Jan. 29, from 1-3 p.m., St. Pete/Gibbs

Through a survey, college employees chose Calcaterra’s book as the featured title of its common reading program. The goal of the program is to get everyone at SPC reading and discussing the same selection. Past books on the reading list have included Water for Elephants, The Art of Racing in the Rain and The Last Lecture.

Etched in Sand is Calcaterra’s memoir and an inspiring coming-of-age story of tenacity and hope. Read more about the book on Amazon.

When Calcaterra was informed her book was chosen, she contacted SPC and said she was honored, then added to her bio a shout out to St. Petersburg College on Amazon.

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