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Archive for the ‘Seminole Campus’ Category

Photo of Freddy Williams at Keys to Manhood event

Freddy Williams, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast, speaks at the Keys to Manhood Seminar on Friday, Oct. 11 at the Seminole Campus.

St. Petersburg College hosts the Keys to Manhood seminar each year at one of the college’s campuses. The Keys to Manhood (K2M) seminar engages middle and high school males of color in discussions about college and career readiness, self-awareness and community engagement. Some of the partners who have helped sponsor and support this seminar each year have included Transamerica, GTE Financial, Verizon Wireless, Crown Automotive, Tampa Bay Rays, Silent Rogue and the City of St. Petersburg.

Following the successful Keys to Manhood seminar in the spring, the committee who oversees and organizes the seminars decided to tweak the format. Traditionally, the seminar has taken place on a Saturday in the spring for both middle and high school students.

This year the committee collaborated with Pinellas County schools and 5000 Role Models to develop two unique sessions, one dedicated for middle school students in the fall and one dedicated to high school students in the spring.

Photo of students at Keys to Manhood event

The middle school boys attended sessions learning about different generations and soft skills.

The Keys to Manhood seminar dedicated to middle school students took place on Friday, Oct. 11. Thanks to the partnership with Pinellas County Schools and 5000 Role Models, this year’s seminar achieved the highest turnout with over 160 middle school students attending from 10 schools.

The seminar’s topic, Generation Z, provided students an opportunity to learn more about five generations and gain soft skills. The president and CEO of Boys and Girls Clubs of Suncoast, Freddy Williams, inspired the young men as the seminar opened. Students also participated in a drone activity and two lucky students won drone prizes.

The next Keys to Manhood event for high school students is set for spring 2020.

Photo of boys flying drones at Keys to Manhood event

The boys were very excited to learn about drones and a lucky few even got to fly one.

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ribbon cuttingWhen St. Petersburg College and the community play together, everybody wins! On Tuesday, Sept. 10, SPC celebrated the ribbon cutting for the new Lurie Civic Building at SPC Seminole Campus. The building, a shared space with the City of Seminole’s Chamber of Commerce, will include public meeting spaces as well as classrooms and event spaces for SPC students.

The idea for the building, a collaboration between the college and the community, originated when Dr. Ed and Vivian Lurie proposed a donation of $500,000 for the construction of a civic building in Seminole. Dr. Lurie, who helped establish SPC’s entrepreneurial program at the Seminole Campus, has long had a relationship with the college, and SPC’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously to accept the generous donation and offered space at the Seminole Campus.

“This is an awesome example of a community coming together, which, in turn, will benefit its citizens,” said SPC President Tonjua Williams.

Seminole Provost Mark Strickland says the building will help SPC students as they prepare to enter their career fields.

“Since the Seminole Chamber will be housed there, our students will be able to network, intern and shadow with local businesses that are charter members,” he said.

Strickland also noted opportunity for civic awareness.

“Because it will serve as a meeting place for local clubs like Kiwanis and Rotary, our students will be able to become civically engaged and participate in activities led by those clubs,” he said.

In addition to the Luries, many Seminole community members contributed to the project. Mark Ely donated technology in the classroom meeting spaces, while Pat Marlowe from Flooring America donated flooring for the area.

“The Seminole Community came together and raised 80 percent of the funds to construct this building,” Strickland said. “This is a prime example of a community understanding the vision of Dr. Lurie, who believed there should be a building in Seminole that allowed for local clubs to meet, the chamber to be housed, and for our students to be engaged.”

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For the past six weeks, 100 recent high school graduates took classes at St. Petersburg College’s Clearwater, Seminole, St. Petersburg/Gibbs and Tarpon Springs campuses as part of the annual Summer of Success program. They were all first-generation college students and represented area high schools from Pinellas, Pasco and Hillsborough Counties.

Students who attended classes at St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus proudly show off their Summer of Success completion certificates.

Their college application fee? Free. Their tuition for the four-credit program? Free. Their textbooks for the classes? Completely free.

Summer of Success is part of the initiative for SPC’s Student Support Services Department, which helps first-generation and limited-income students graduate from college. This year, the featured classes for the program were SPC 1017—Introduction to Speech Communication (3 credits) and CGS 1070—Basic Computer and Information Literacy (1 credit). Career exploration and leadership opportunities, along with weekly career and business tours, rounded out this exciting opportunity for students.

Capping off the students’ educational summer was an awards ceremony held at the Seminole Campus Digitorium. They were recognized for their hard work and awarded completion certificates while their friends and family proudly watched. Ernest Hooper, assistant sports editor for the Tampa Bay Times, was also in attendance as a guest speaker. He gave an inspiring speech to commend the students on their dedication to their education, adding a few sage words of wisdom for them to remember along their academic journey.

Ernest Hooper, assistant sports editor for the Tampa Bay Times, was the guest speaker for the awards ceremony.

“Remember the people who believe in you,” Hooper advised. “Don’t be afraid to get help; don’t be afraid to reach out.”

With the successful completion of the Summer of Success program, students will continue their education at SPC this fall. They have already enrolled in classes and will build upon what they learned and experienced over the summer.

The 2019 Summer of Success program was administered and coordinated at the four participating campuses by Keith Windom, Clearwater Campus; Juan Herrera-Medina, St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus; Benjamin Woods, Seminole Campus; and Jackie Addis, Tarpon Springs Campus.

To learn more about the objectives of Student Support Services and how it helps students succeed at SPC through programs like Summer of Success, please visit stpe.co/studentservices.

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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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SPC College Visit Day

Eligible Pinellas County seniors are invited to St. Petersburg College’s “College Visit Day” from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 11, for open house events. These open house 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
  • Tour campuses
  • Learn how to pay for college
  • Attend College 101 Seminars
  • Learn how to apply to SPC

Students should ask for an official college visit letter to take back to their school as proof they attended the event. Campuses hosting College Visit Days are:

For more information, call 727-341-3400 or visit stpe.co/collegevisitdayfall17.

 

 

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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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"Woman choosing food"

What’s really on your plate at the fancy restaurant you’ve chosen to celebrate that special occasion?  Was the grouper entrée truly locally-sourced? Is it really grouper, and is it truly fresh? How about the label on that cereal box in the grocery store? Is it actually gluten-free? Is it truly non-GMO?

The complex and confusing issue of food labeling will be the focus of a public forum presented by St. Petersburg College’s Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions on Wednesday, Aug. 31. Titled What’s on Your Plate? Food Labeling, from Seed to Fork, the forum will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at SPC’s Seminole campus, 9200 113th St. N. The forum is co-sponsored by Nature’s Food Patch, the Tampa Bay Times and WEDU Television.

Regular readers of the Tampa Bay Times know that the answers to the questions listed above may not necessarily be “yes,” despite what the menu or package labels say. In a provocative series titled Fork to Fable, Times’ food critic Laura Reiley exposed shocking disparities between what restaurants and farmers’ markets label their food items and the reality of where they came from and how they were produced. Reiley will lead a wide-ranging discussion of food labeling practices at the forum.

She will be joined by Katherine Miller, founding Executive Director of the Chef Action Network and Senior Director of Food Policy Advocacy at the James Beard Foundation; Robert Baugh, Chief Operating Officer of the Chiles Restaurant Group in Anna Maria, Fla.; and Ben King, owner/manager of King Family Farm in Bradenton, Fla. The moderator will be Dr. Amanda Gilleland, Academic Chair of the Department of Natural Science at St. Petersburg College.

With health-conscious consumers paying more attention to food additives, calories, nutritional value and sourcing, reading food labels has become an important part of the dining and grocery-shopping experience. But this attention to the content and quality of food comes at a time when the labels are increasingly being called into question. Reiley exposed widespread mislabeling by Tampa Bay-area restaurants and outdoor markets.

Consumer advocates also have written extensively about the veracity of labels on processed foods, asserting that labelling standards are so flexible and enforcement so lax that misrepresentation is a common practice of food processors.

Admission to the forum is free, but advance registration is required at solutions.spcollege.edu.

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St. Petersburg College Information Services Librarian Chad Mairn told the room full of children that when he was a kid, he was out making and jumping ramps on his bike. He went on to say that he wanted them to do that kind of thing, too, but with all the amazing new technology available to them, he also expected them to do greater things – anything they wanted – and no one should ever tell them that their ideas were bad ones. And so began the Maker Boot Camp, where 450 kids, ages 10-13, attended monthly sessions at the Seminole Community Library that sparked the students’ interest and creativity with topics including video game design, circuitry, robotics and video editing.

Maker Boot Camp 1

The Boot Camp came about when Mairn, with the help of Seminole’s Youth Services Supervisor Jill Storm and Library Director Mike Bryan, submitted a grant application to the Association for Library Service to Children for their Curiosity Creates grant, which supports creativity programming for libraries. Their application, one of 400, was one of the 77 nationwide selected to receive $7,500 for their Boot Camp.

The college’s Innovation Lab at the library was a strong candidate for the grant, since they already had some cool tech pieces there, such as 3D printer, a virtual reality headset called an Oculus Rift, and several robots.

“The grant allowed us to buy even more,” Mairn said. “Enough to continue the project for many years.”

Mairn said Storm handled the organization of the project, while he wrote the curriculum, ordered the technology, and did a lot of teaching – as well as learning.

“I had to learn everything,” he said. “And because I had to teach it, I had to learn it a couple of steps ahead of them.”

Maker Boot Camp 2 Maker Boot Camp 3

Some SPC staffers were enlisted to help out with the sessions. Paul Sutton, who teaches video game design, taught a session on that topic, and professional photographer and recent SPC graduate Chris Demmons filmed the sessions and taught the final workshop on video and sound editing, where they took some of his footage and made their own videos.

“My session went great,” Demmons said. “The kids were actually really sharp, and a lot of them already knew how to edit video, and the ones who didn’t picked it up really fast.”

In one session, the kids designed an invention, which they were allowed to print from the 3D printer.

“The kids came up with some great inventions,” Mairn said. “One student was invited to share her invention, a cup to catch the drips from an ice cream cone, at a competition in Washington D.C.”

The Boot Camp culminated with a fun day, Makerfest, where they invited everyone to come to the classroom and play with all the tech toys, have some snacks and watch a screening of the kids’ videos and a documentary put together from the footage and stills that Demmons shot. Demmons said he was inspired by the enthusiasm of the children.

“There were three kids who were always there early – sometimes before I was,” he said. “They were always just rearing to go and learn something new.”

Mairn says the program was so popular that it will be expanded, with intermediate sessions added in addition to the next introductory sessions.

“I don’t think I had one kid who was disappointed,” he said. “Many of them told us they’d never had access to this type of stuff before, like the Oculus Rift. They were able to experience it and get into it.”

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Students are invited to join the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners and the county administrator in a Community Conversation to discuss county services and important topics such as housing, social services and transportation.

blog_CommConvo2016

The public meeting will take place on Tuesday, May 3, from 6 – 7 p.m. at the St. Petersburg College Seminole Campus in the Digitorium, 9200 113th St. N., Seminole, preceded by an open house from 5:30 – 6 p.m.

Held in partnership with SPC and Bay News 9, the Community Conversation offers an interactive venue for citizens to talk about issues, with the convenience of social media, online video streaming and blogging. Residents can also participate in the event via phone and by watching live on PCC-TV or SPC-TV.

Citizen comments are encouraged as part of the conversation with Pinellas County Commissioners Chairman Charlie Justice, Vice Chairman Janet C. Long, Dave Eggers, Pat Gerard, John Morroni, Karen Williams Seel, Kenneth T. Welch and County Administrator Mark S. Woodard. The conversation will be moderated by Al Ruechel of Bay News 9.

There are five ways to participate in the conversation:

  • Be part of the live audience. The live event will be held at St. Petersburg College, Seminole campus, in the University Partnership Center Digitorium, 9200 113th St. N., Seminole.
  • Watch it live and blog on pinellascounty.org/CommunityConversation. The blog opens Tuesday, May 3, at 9 a.m.
  • Watch it and ask questions on Pinellas County’s Facebook or post on Twitter and Instagram accounts using #PinellasCC.
  • Call (888) 409-5380 to listen and ask questions.
  • Watch on PCC-TV (Bright House Channel 637, WOW! Channel 18 or Verizon Channel 44) and SPC-TV (Bright House Channel 636, WOW! Channel 19 or Verizon Channel 47).

For more information about the Community Conversation, including links to resources about the county’s strategic plan and the citizen survey, visit www.pinellascounty.org/CommunityConversation or call (727) 464-3000.

This blog post was provided by Irena Karolak, public information specialist with Pinellas County Communications. 

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Congressman David Jolly (FL-13) launched the 2016 New Ideas Conference with a reminder of what the event is – and isn’t – about.

“This is to give voice to the community, and this is a forum to talk policy, not politics,” said Jolly as he spoke words that resonated the ideas of free speech.

new-ideas-2

The April 8 forum – now in its second year – featured local leaders and the community talking about critical issues. Jolly served as the event’s moderator.

Last year New Ideas jumped into discussions about budget, transportation, energy and education. This year featured three panels – Veterans’ Welfare, Government Reform and Emerging Threats of Terrorism.

Read tweets from and about the forum.

Veterans’ Welfare

“Our nations heroes deserve the very best we have to offer,” said Congressman Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) during the discussion about veterans. “Too often the VA has fallen short.”

The Veterans’ Welfare panel brought with it highly emotional responses. Johnny Jones, a retired Explosive Ordinance Disposal Technician who lost both of his legs in 2010 after he was deployed to Afghanistan, touched the audience with his inspiring words. He told the crowd that losing his best friend, another U.S. Marine, to suicide forced him to think about what causes someone to go that far. He spoke passionately about the misuse of medication to those with PTSD. His non-profit organization, the Boot Campaign, works to raise awareness for Veterans’ issues. It also provides assistance to military families.

“All Americans want this to change,” said Blaze Radio Network anchor Doc Thompson. “We have the right ideas, but it is not getting done.”

Government Reform

Continuing with the idea of not getting things done, the Government Reform panel talks addressed issues with government gridlock and corruption.

“Congress has gotten so dysfunctional that good candidates don’t want to do it anymore,” said Editor of Editorials for the Tampa Bay Times Tim Nickens. “They can never get anything done, and the problem is not the middle. It is the extremes on either side.”

The discussion addressed district gerrymandering, Congressional term limits, the use of filibustering and budget concerns. The workings of primary elections also came up.

“A lot of people feel disenfranchised due to closed primaries,” said former Congressman Jim Davis. “Open primaries give more control and more choice. Neither side will like it, but we need to do it.”

Emerging Threats of Terrorism

Discussion of the threat of cyberterrorism entered the picture last. The panel featured Katherine Bauer, senior fellow at the Washington Institute; Congresswoman Gwen Graham (FL-2) and Chief Operating Officer for the Florida Center for Cybersecurity Sri Sridharan.

“Our military is protecting and defending us. We are working hard every day providing security here in the U.S,” said Graham.

Attendees were looking for answers on conflicts involving Syria, ISIS and Iran. Intellectual property, proper “cyber hygiene” and blocking ISIS online were also discussed.

“Syria, it is a humanitarian crisis,” said Graham. “You can’t make sense of whose fighting who for what reason.”

People from around Pinellas County joined students and faculty within the crowd at the SPC Seminole Campus Digitorium.

“I really enjoyed the Veterans panel,” said SPC Biology student Torin Clark. “It was awesome to hear that they were truly trying to figure out ways to help veterans.”

Clark also got a lot out of the Government Reform panel talks. Not someone who has kept up-to-date with politics, he said he learned a lot from the panel.

Local business owner Bruce Elliot said “This event is awesome, but once it is over, we have to think, ‘Well, what’s next?’”

At the end of each panel, people were told how they could get in touch with the panelists as well as others who can push for change. Many in the audience left with new answers and new questions.

Missed the forum? See video from the event online.

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