Archive for the ‘Clearwater’ Category

College Visit Day

Pinellas County high school students can take a day off from classes on Wednesday, Oct. 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to visit St. Petersburg College’s open house events. Open to high school juniors and seniors, these events count as an official college visit day. While events will vary slightly from campus to campus, students can:

  • Explore different majors – and the careers they lead to
  • Take a tour of our beautiful campuses
  • Learn about how to pay for college
  • Attend College 101 Seminars
  • Learn how to apply to SPC
  • Attend motivational seminars
  • Enjoy free refreshments

Ask for your official college visit letter to take back to your school as proof that you attended the event. Choose the campus nearest you:

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About 80 people witnessed the groundbreaking on Thursday, July 21, for the Clearwater East Community Library at St. Petersburg College’s Clearwater Campus. Dr. Stan Vittetoe gave opening remarks and welcomed faculty, students and guests.

SPC-Clearwater-East-Community-Library (21)

“I’m so glad this day has come,” Senior VP Instruction and Academic Programs Dr. Anne Cooper said. “This library is a learning hub for our students and community.”

Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos talked about the impact a library has in the community. “The college and the city have worked really hard for this day,” Cretekos said. “The library has always been important to the community and vital to students.”

Student SGA Representative Courtney Kent described the new facility as “a safe place for the imagination to grow.”

The state-of-the-art, two-story building will be an open-space concept and will replace the existing facility, which was built in 1964. The $15 million library will house more than 90,000 electronic and print books.

SPC operates two other joint-use libraries in Pinellas County with the cities of St. Petersburg and Seminole. Both are thriving facilities where students and community members share access to an expanded range of resources. A joint-use library is a place where patrons can discover new ideas and enjoy cultural enrichment opportunities while students can focus on their academic pursuits.

Dr. Shannon Ulrich, a representative of the Faculty Governance Organization at SPC, gave closing remarks. “We believe a vast amount of knowledge will be cultivated at this site.”



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Ride 2 Recovery members and officials open their newest training facility on SPC's Clearwater Campus Friday, Feb. 12.

Ride 2 Recovery members and officials open their newest bicycling training facility on SPC’s Clearwater Campus Friday, Feb. 12.

On Friday, Feb. 12, officials from Ride 2 Recovery, a national physical and psychological rehabilitation and recovery program for veterans, opened an indoor bicycling training facility at the St. Petersburg College Clearwater Campus.

The center, called Project HERO (Healing, Exercise, Rehabilitation, Opportunity) Central Florida, strives to enhance the lives of area service members and veterans through adaptive cycling. According to Ride 2 Recovery, the mental and physical challenges of cycling have proven an aid in the recovery process of veterans, who train in an environment of support and camaraderie among like-minded riders.

At the center, veterans receive tailored fitness regimens and dietary and lifestyle counseling as they progress through individual cycling programs.

“We want to thank St. Petersburg College and the Student Veterans Association for hosting our program,” said John Wordin, President and CEO of Ride 2 Recovery. “It’s an extremely important project, and I think that over the weeks, months and year ahead, it will become a source of pride for the campus. There is no other program like this that combines the hard work and the reward of completing a goal you set for yourself that you were not sure you could accomplish.”

Clearwater Campus Provost Stan Vittetoe noted that nearly 7 percent, or 500 of the 7,300 students that call the Clearwater Campus home are veterans.

“The classroom experience is enriched and enhanced by the presence of our veterans,” Vittetoe said. “They provide a model of leadership, organization and self-discipline that you just don’t often see. The entire campus is better with them here … and they support each other. We are looking forward to having the students and community members participate in Ride 2 Recovery.”

The new facility opened the day before Ride 2 Recovery’s Honor Ride Florida at Tropicana Stadium in St Petersburg, where more than 500 cyclists supported injured veterans from across the state. Project HERO Central Florida is the fifth such center in the nation opened by Ride 2 Recovery.

See more photos on the college’s Facebook page.

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This week, St. Petersburg College honored Dr. Vilma Zalupski for her dedication to the college, even into her retirement, and her continued support of Women on the Way, the college’s resource and support center for female students.


Dr. Vilma Zalupski takes part in the dedication of the Clearwater Campus Women on the Way center, which was renamed in her honor.

About 50 college administrators, faculty and students gathered Tuesday, Jan. 26, at the Clearwater Campus to take part in a reception for Zalupski. The event also served as a dedication where the campus’ WOW center was renamed in her honor.

Zalupski holds strong ties to the college. Her rise to the top began with a degree in counseling that led her on a path to become the college’s Dean of Women. Later named Clearwater Campus Provost, she is the first woman in Florida to have served as a community college provost.

Working closely with Women on the Way in its infancy, Zalupski has seen it grow into a program able to change the course of women’s lives. Even though she is now retired, she remains a WOW benefactor.

“I live in Tampa. If I lived closer… I would volunteer. But I do what I can. You know what they say, ‘Old soldiers never die’,” Zalupski said.

One thing WOW promotes is interconnectedness. That is, the ability to come together and achieve success through the help and determination of others.

“Working within WOW, and my career in general, I always made it a point to know everyone: how many kids they have, what they are going to school for, their hardships,” she said. “That general interest kept me connected to what was important.”

Words that have inspired Zalupski in her mission to help others: “It is in identifying yourself with the hopes, dreams, fears and longings of others that you may understand them and help them.” – Wilfred A. Peterson (Art of Awareness), March 2005

To Zalupski, WOW offers women a way to succeed beyond their expectations. Through scholarship initiatives, clothing programs and general support, the program offers students a shoulder to lean on.


Rebecca New, an SPC WOW member and education major, and WOW Coordinator Shirley Crumbley

“I know plenty of women who would not be able to go to school full time without the help from scholarships that WOW has given us,” said Rebecca New, an SPC WOW member and education major.

Some of the other unique opportunities WOW has given students involve textbook lending, workshops, class planning and access to resources for tutoring, housing and shelters.

And it does not stop there.

“They do this thing called Adopt-a-Family for Christmas,” New said. “The ladies in WOW literally bought my son a bike!”

SPC President Bill Law said WOW is a shining example of the college’s message to and goal for its students.

“The school promotes out-of-class support, interaction and help, as well as a genuine college experience to give students a push towards success,” Law said. “WOW is the best example of that model.”

Law reiterated that a plan is in place to put a WOW center on every campus.

WOW already has expanded to SPC Midtown, said WOW Coordinator Shirley Crumbley. The organization is scheduled to get centers at the Seminole, St. Petersburg/Gibbs and Tarpon Springs campuses by 2017.

As a leading lady behind WOW’s success, Zalupski feels it is a dream come true to see the program expand.

“Without her, WOW wouldn’t be as strong as it is today, and without her I probably would not have stayed at SPC for my bachelor’s,” New said.

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Clearwater Campus Celebrates 50 YearsThe St. Petersburg College Clearwater Campus celebrated its 50th birthday this week with two campus events. More than 100 former and current Clearwater Campus faculty, staff and community friends attended a VIP reception and presentation on Tuesday, Nov. 17. The event had the feeling of a family reunion as old friends came together to reconnect and celebrate. The second event was held on the Clearwater Campus Quad the following day.

See pictures from both events on our Facebook Gallery.

Florida’s first woman provost

Vilma Zalupski

Former SPC Provost Vilma Zalupski

“It is a true honor to look around and see so many people that I worked with,” said Vilma Zalupski, the first woman provost in Florida, and the longest-serving provost of the Clearwater Campus (1979-1995). “This campus will always be home in my heart.”

She brought tears to the eyes of many of her old friends and colleagues as she spoke of how they hand-planted many of the trees that still stand on the campus today and watered them with little cans and coffee cups.

“As you walk across this campus you see her fingerprints everywhere,” said Susan Demers, Dean of SPC’s College of Policy, Ethics and Legal Studies who emceed the event.

SPC President Bill Law also had memories of Dr. Zalupski: “The thing I remember about you is your fierce commitment to students.”

City of Clearwater officials join in celebration

Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos

Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos

Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos took the crowd back in time to 1965 when bread cost 30 cents, you had to have a dime in your pocket to make a phone call, the Dodgers won the World Series and Medicare became law.

“Things have changed but one thing that has not changed is the commitment of this institution to educate and to help its students become productive members of society and give them a chance to live their dreams,” said Cretekos.

Clearwater City Manager Bill Horne quoted a headline from the Clearwater Sun Archives: “Modest Now But Watch Us Grow.”

Clearwater Sun, May 9,1965

Clearwater City Manager Bill Horne

Clearwater City Manager Bill Horne

The first semester of classes were held during the summer term of 1965. Currently, more than 9,500 students call the campus home. In addition to the growth in numbers of students, the campus facilities continue to expand. Plans are now underway to replace the current campus library with a new Community Library, a partnership between St. Petersburg College and the City of Clearwater.

“We are all excited about the joint-use library project,” said Horne. “I hope you feel that you left a legacy that will continue to move this community forward.”

A walk down memory lane

Dr. Joy Moore, a Clearwater Campus math professor, along with three members of the Badeya Club (Bianca Cage, Keiasha Fisher and Ariel Davis) provided a glimpse back in time with an impressive Motown Medley complete with costumes and choreography.

“All that and she teaches math too,” said Clearwater Campus Provost Stan Vittetoe. Vittetoe presented an overview of the growth of the campus, key programs and contributions of faculty, staff and community members. He also noted that Clearwater Campus was the home of two students honored among the top 20 scholars in the nation: Spenser Reed and Alistair Glover.

“You never know where your students are going to land and the impact you are going to have,” said Dr. Patricia Rowell, a Clearwater Campus provost from 2001-2003. “This campus not only had the top echelon of faculty, but we also had a lot of fun.”

Working at Clearwater Campus

Some students loved the Clearwater Campus so much they came back to work there later. Kathleen Griffin, a Clearwater Campus student, later served as Clearwater Campus Associate Provost.

“I love this campus,” said Griffin. “I started here and retired here.”

50 years of Clearwater Campus Associate Provosts: Matt Bowen, Dr.Kathleen Griffin, Jeffrey Davis and Dr. Dave Walthall.

50 years of Clearwater Campus Associate Provosts: Matt Bowen, Dr. Kathleen Griffin, Jeffrey Davis and Dr. Dave Walthall.

Jeff Cesta

Jeff Cesta

Jeff Cesta, Director of SPC’s Dual Enrollment, Early College and Early Admissions programs, graduated from SPJC Clearwater Campus in 1986.

“I was fortunate enough to return to the Physical Education & Athletic departments on the Clearwater Campus as part of my student teaching/internship for the University of Florida in 1988, and began working at the Clearwater Campus in the fall of 1989,” said Cesta. “It’s truly been a wonderful opportunity to work here at SPC Clearwater!”

The Merriam family has had someone working at Clearwater Campus consecutively since the campus opened in 1965.

Pictured from left are Fred Merriam, Rod Keskiner and Lynne Merriam.

Pictured from left are Fred Merriam, Rod Keskiner and Lynne Merriam.

Students attend campus birthday party

Faculty, staff and students came out in force on Wednesday, Nov. 18 to celebrate in the Clearwater Campus Quad. Students enjoyed pot pie, a dish dating back to 1965, birthday cake, key lime pie and ice cream.

Dr. Greg Byrd, Communications Professor on the Clearwater Campus and award-winning poet read a poem he wrote for the event entitled I am SPC-Clearwater.

See pictures from both events on our Facebook Gallery.

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College Visit Day

Pinellas County high school students can take a day off from classes on Oct. 14 to visit St. Petersburg College campuses. Open to high school juniors and seniors, these events count as an official college visit day. At each event students can:

  • Explore different majors … and the careers they lead to
  • Take a tour of our beautiful campuses
  • Learn about the free resources to help students succeed
  • Find out how to apply to SPC
  • Enjoy free refreshments
  • Ask for an official college visit letter to take back to their school as confirmation that they attended the event.

Choose the campus location nearest you. Get more information and reserve your spot online today:

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Beginning this fall, SPC will offer “Weekend College” on the Clearwater Campus. The program provides students the chance to earn an Associate in Arts or Associate in Science in Business Administration degree by taking classes entirely on the weekends.

The program can help those whose work or family responsibilities keep them too busy to attend classes during the week.

Info sessions for the new Weekend College program will be held from 10 to 11:30 on May 30 and July 11, on the Clearwater Campus, Room ES 104.

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