Archive for the ‘Community’ Category

It’s a great time of year to begin work on a degree, certificate, or short-term training program at St. Petersburg College! The annual Explore SPC event is coming up in April, which offers information and guidance to help attendees choose a career path and get enrolled at SPC. But best of all, application fees will be completely waived at Explore SPC.

“This is such a great opportunity for anyone who feels a little daunted by the process of getting started, or perhaps is unsure of what they’d like to study,” Jacob Wortock, Director of SPC’s Recruitment Services, said. “We can answer just about any question regarding SPC and offer assistance with application and enrollment.”

This year, anyone interested in Explore SPC can choose from online events April 18-20 or in-person events April 24-27. Or mix and match!

Online Events

From April 18-20, two virtual meetings will be offered each day from 10-11:30 a.m. and again from 6-7:30 p.m., with different topics each day.

On April 18, the focus is on Program and Career Exploration. Faculty and staff will be available online to discuss and answer questions about SPC’s degree and career options.

On April 19, How to Pay for College brings financial aid experts to talk about the many ways to fund a college education, including scholarships, grants, loans, payment plans and opportunities for tuition vouchers from CareerSource Pinellas. They’ll also be on hand to answer questions regarding the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA).

April 20’s topic is How to Get Started and Be a Titan, where prospective students can get help with the application and admissions process – and apply for free.

“The online option is designed to make sure that anyone and everyone can attend, without having to take off work, cut into family time or even leave the house,” Wortock said.

In-Person Events

SPC’s on-campus events from April 24-27 will all take place from 3-7 p.m. at a different campus each day. Check the Explore SPC web page for details. These events will include:

  • Free application
  • Degree exploration
  • Admissions documents
  • Information on paying for college
  • Campus tours
  • College faculty and staff meet-and-greets
  • Summer and fall registration for classes

Get more information and register for Explore SPC on our website today.

Read Full Post »

a young woman and man wearing goggles work on a piece of machinery.

St. Petersburg College will partner with the Pinellas County Urban League and the Homeless Empowerment Program to present the Manufacturing, Engineering, Construction and Architecture (MECCA) expo. This one-day event is free and community members, middle school and high school students are invited to explore careers in Manufacturing, Engineering, Construction and Architecture and learn first-hand from professionals in those fields.

The event will be held at SPC’s Clearwater Campus on April 4 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. SPC’s Engineering Technology Program Director, Sidney Martin, said SPC will open their engineering labs, offering interactive displays and activities to teach about careers in the engineering and architecture fields. The day will include many interesting activities and speakers, including people representing their companies, demonstrating interesting things about their careers and helping students visualize what the work in these fields entails.

“We want to expose middle and high school students to careers that they might not normally consider,” Martin said. “They’ll see that there are many great jobs in manufacturing and construction that aren’t necessarily dirty or dangerous.”

The program will feature keynote speaker, Dr. Dean Bartles, President and CEO of the Manufacturing Technology Deployment Group, Inc., a not-for-profit holding company of both the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining and Advanced Manufacturing International, Inc.

SPC will have a table showcasing their programs in the manufacturing, engineering, construction and architecture fields, as well as information about financial aid. There will also be information about the new Biomedical Engineering Technology high school program, in which students graduate with a high school diploma as well as an Associate in Science degree that includes three certifications in the BMET field. They can immediately get jobs or continue their education.

“I hope students and community members will leave the event with a better understanding of the potential income within these career fields,” Martin said. There are many opportunities right here in Pinellas County that provide high income.”  

Participating businesses and sponsors for this event include Plasma-Therm, A.D. Morgan Corporation, Moss Construction, Creative Contractors, Fastenal, Smith Fence, FleischmanGarciaMaslowski Architecture, and McCormick Stevenson.

To learn more, contact Sidney Martin at martin.sidney@spcollege.edu. A full program for the MECCA event is also available as a PDF.

Read Full Post »

College student voter turnout has been on the rise since 2016, and much of that increase has been driven by students. Due to the many efforts of St. Petersburg College’s student groups, SPC was recently named a 2022 ALL IN Most Engaged Campus for College Student Voting.

“We are so proud of our SPC student leaders and service clubs for their innovative and important work in voter registration and voter engagement,” said Dr. Tara Newsom, Director of SPC’s Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement (CCLE).

The ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge, which currently engages over 9 million students from more than 950 institutions in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, empowers colleges and universities to encourage nonpartisan student democratic engagement. Colleges that join the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge complete a set of action items, with the support of ALL IN Challenge staff, to institutionalize nonpartisan civic learning, political engagement, and voter participation.

SPC’s Phi Theta Kappa and Alpha Phi Omega groups, as well as SPC student public interest research groups, engaged in voter registration and voter education efforts. Their work included working with NPR by contributing to Listening Sessions at WUSF, which were run on the radio. The sessions also directed the station’s election coverage as it relates to the youth vote.

The groups hosted multi-campus student voter registration drives like Donut Forget to Vote, Let’s Taco About Democracy, GOAT and VOTE, as well as a felon outreach fair to help disenfranchised voters connect with clemency resources. Newsom said the CCLE is also developing a Spring 2022 Civic Leadership & Civic Justice initiative with the CAC’s to be announced in January, 2023.

“SPC is committed to making sure that every one of our students and community members feel valued in our democracy,” Newsom said. “We will continue to work toward educating citizenry and developing active community leaders.”

Read Full Post »

While St. Petersburg College and Pinellas County escaped the wrath of Hurricane Ian mostly unscathed, many people living in other areas of Central Florida were not as lucky and are struggling to rebuild. The college is coordinating an emergency relief drive to help those affected south of the Tampa Bay Area.

Donations are welcome from SPC students, staff, faculty, and members of the community and will continue until Oct. 20. All donated supplies will be loaded every Tuesday at various times throughout the day by 2 p.m

Partial view of a person holding a cardboard box at chest height. The box is labeled "donations".

SiteOne Landscape Supply Branch 5 in Largo has partnered with SPC to drive donated supplies to the State College of Florida, Bradenton Campus, every Wednesday at 7 a.m. This partnership supports the vision of Stronger Together, a coalition of area individuals, businesses, and organizations who have come together to support our friends, family, and partners in the south impacted by Hurricane Ian.

If you are interested in making a donation, please refer to the list of needed items below:

  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrushes
  • Paper towels
  • Baby diapers
  • Soap 
  • Dry socks
  • Bleach, cleaning supplies
  • Hand wipes
  • Hairbrushes
  • T-shirts various sizes
  • Flashlights/extra batteries
  • Sunscreen
  • Feminine products
  • Dog/cat food
  • Propane

Contributions to the emergency relief drive can be dropped off in the donation boxes at any of the following Titans Care Center locations. Pick-up times for south campuses will happen prior to 11 a.m. and north campuses will happen by 2 p.m.

Donations are accepted at any time at the following locations:

For questions or additional information, please contact Misty Kemp at kemp.misty@spcollege.edu or 727-614-7056.

Thank you for helping SPC spread its Community of Care mission to those who need it most!

Read Full Post »

The great poet and scholar Maya Angelou once said, “When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.” There were many blessings and recognitions at the inaugural St. Petersburg College Advisory Committee Awards.

SPC has 29 Advisory Committees with 479 members working closely with the college to see that programs and offerings are suited for the local workforce. The symbiotic nature of SPC and its Advisory Committees ensures that students are being educated and trained in programs, and local employers are getting graduates who can fill their job openings with the proper education and experience. Giovanna Taylor, who serves on the Health and Human Services Advisory Committee, said that it’s a mutually beneficial relationship between SPC students and her organization, Evara Health.

“We can’t do it without students,” Taylor said. “We have almost 50 externs from SPC in various programs who fill in the gaps made by a shortage of workers.”

Nominees and committee members met early on Friday, May 20 at SPC’s Seminole Campus Conference Center for a full breakfast, live music from SPC students, and lots of fellowship and networking opportunities. After breakfast and a warm welcome from Seminole Campus Associate Provost Dr. Lisa Borzewski, SPC President Dr. Tonjua Williams offered a message of thanks via video.

“I’m so thankful for your leadership and commitment to supporting our programs and students at SPC,” Williams said. “By partnering with us, you help us ensure SPC’s curriculum, training and program offerings are relevant and top notch, to develop a pipeline of skilled employees ready to fill critical positions in our local workforce.

Dr. Matthew Liao Troth, SPC’s Vice President of Academic Affairs and Chris Paul, Melitta’s Manager of Information Systems, took the stage to present five different awards.

The Academic Excellence Award

Donna Sicilian of Pinellas County Schools was presented the Academic Excellence Award, which honors a member who has helped close the achievement gap. Sicilian has been a longtime member of the Human Services Advisory Committee, where she has assisted the Human Services department in many ways, including helping them expand their associate degree program into a bachelor’s degree and participating in career presentations.

The Economic Mobility Award

This award recognizes an Advisory Committee member’s participation in preparing students for in-demand careers, advocating for programming and driving economic growth in the community. This year’s winner was Kevin Echemendia of Two Stories Media. Echemendia serves on the Digital Media Advisory Committee, and has hosted two interns so far, who both nabbed jobs in their field. His company also established a $10,000 scholarship for students experiencing financial hardship.

The Community Engagement Award

Bill Waas of SIM Tampa Bay was presented this award, which is for one who serves as a catalyst for positive change through partnerships, civic engagement and service learning. Waas serves on the CCIT Advisory Board, using his influence in all of the groups in which he serves in the community in order to promote SPC, its initiatives and its students, providing pertinent experience and networking opportunities that have made a difference in many careers.

The Student Leadership Award

This award is given to a student who serves on an advisory committee and demonstrates service, leadership, innovation and values diversity. This year’s winner, Julie Zwissler, is an involved Nursing student who has been central to creating volunteering opportunities, blood drives, and many other fund raisers. She has also built up SPC’s chapter of the National Student Nurses Association, winning the Silver Precious Metal Award for having more than 50 active members in the chapter.

The Titan Award

This award for overall excellence is given to an Advisory Committee member who was engaged and showed superiority in SPC’s pillars: academic excellence, economic mobility and community engagement. This year’s winner was Cindy McNulty, a longtime member of the Health Service Administration program. McNulty has provided valuable insight, facilitated connections to resources, offered curriculum guidance and served as a mentor and liaison for many students.

“I love helping students be the best they can be by helping them tap into their interests and potential to decide their work path,” McNulty said. “I’m so honored to share my experiences and get students excited about getting a degree.”

Learn more here about how you can lend your experience to St. Petersburg College students by serving on one of our Advisory Committees.

Read Full Post »

St. Petersburg College is once again offering College for Kids, a seven-week summer experience for kids in Grades K-8.

The program will offer weekly camps that explore science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM). Each week hosts a different theme. The first, beginning the week of June 6, will focus on robotics and animation, and others to follow include visual arts, music, acting and dance, foreign languages health and wellness, writing and storytelling, and career exploration. Classes will be taught by certified K-8 instructors, with specialists coming in as guest speakers to help facilitate learning in the different STEAM topics.

Program Director Dr. Yvonne Williams said the STEAM focus addresses all areas of learning and will offer maximum levels of enrichment.

“Since STEAM addresses math, science and the arts, it’s a great opportunity for kids to get a leg up on their next year of school, but in a fun learning environment,” Williams said. “Since we’re located in Downtown St. Pete, we’ll be surrounded by art galleries, architecture and lots of building sites for kids to see in real life what they’re being taught in theory.”

Located at SPC’s Downtown Center in St. Petersburg, the programs will run from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. each day. The weekly fee of $120 covers free extended care from 7:30-9 a.m. and 3-5 p.m. each day, as well as all field trips and a camp T-shirt. Campers should bring their own sack lunch, and water and healthy snacks will be provided.

“Since the program is partially funded, we were able to offer it at a very competitive price,” Williams said. “And it’s even better when you consider the free extended care. We just didn’t want price to be a huge barrier.”

Williams said enrollment will be limited to 20 children per grade level, with each age group being self-contained.

“Limiting enrollment allows us to have low student to teacher ratios,” Williams said. “Not only will this help kids learn, but we’re also still trying to be safe and make sure kids stay healthy. COVID restrictions may be lifted, but we still want parents to feel comfortable.”

College for Kids offers fun, enrichment, and much more, according to Williams.

“It exposes our young people – and their families – to life on a college campus,” she said. “We hope this will plant a seed in their minds that college is attainable for everyone.”

Anyone interested can register here, or contact Williams for questions at Williams.Yvonne@spcollege.edu.

Read Full Post »

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “I have the audacity to believe that people everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits.” These sentiments align perfectly with St. Petersburg College’s mission, vision and values, so it’s no surprise that SPC celebrated King’s birthday with the community. SPC began the festivities with a food giveaway on Friday, January 14 and took part in St. Petersburg’s MLK Day Parade on Monday, January 18.

SPC partnered with Farmshare to host the food giveaway on the college’s St. Petersburg/Gibbs campus. More than 100 SPC students, faculty and staff members volunteered shoulder to shoulder, serving up boxes of food that included beef, chicken and fish, as well as produce, grains and bread to more than 500 local families in need.

“Often, it’s canned foods and produce, but there was a really great bag of goodies this time,” said Tara Newsom, Director of SPC’s Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement.

Newsom said that community service has become a part of the college’s culture, and the effects of that could be seen in the volunteers on site that day.

“We took time to do the Day of Service, but these are the things we do every day,” she said. “I saw SPC faculty, staff and students offering their time, along with our community partners and our alumni, who are everywhere from the free clinic to the mayor’s office to local business owners and more. It’s a powerful testament to what we’re trying to teach our students: to give back to the community.”

At the food drive, it wasn’t just the givers and the takers – Newsom said many people in need of a food donation also volunteered.

“It was so powerful to see people who needed support serving others,” Newsom said. That was probably one of our best MLK Days of Service, ever.”

On Monday, dozens of Titans showed up early on a chilly, windy morning to help decorate the float with garland and load it up with beads to pass to the crowds. SPC Recruiter Joven Jocelyn volunteered to DJ on the float.

“Joven not only played great music, but he also encouraged parade-goers to get their education and challenged them to register,” said Jason Nicholson, SPC Student Life and Leadership Coordinator. “It was a real highlight for everyone.”

SPC senior Charlotte Finnical took part in both the Day of Service as well as the parade. She believes SPC’s MLK Day activities were a worthy tribute.

“The college did a really good job celebrating Dr. King’s birthday,” she said. “The Day of Service really celebrated his emphasis on community connections, and on Monday, we just celebrated his life and impact along with the rest of the community. SPC is all about those connections.”

Read Full Post »

St. Petersburg College will host the seventh annual Titan Trot on Saturday, February 12. This 5K always promises plenty of fun and swag to participants.

The race, which is open to all community members, begins at the SPC Clearwater campus quad at 8 a.m., and the course runs to Cliff Stephens Park before returning to the Clearwater campus. SPC Science Professor Shannon Ulrich, one of the event organizers, says all fitness levels are invited.

“This race is for all ages, fitness types – we welcome everyone,” she said. “You can run, walk or do a combination of the two.”

Ulrich noted that the event has been thoughtfully planned with public health in mind.

“We’re not doing a lot of close interaction things this year, in order to make sure everyone stays healthy,” she said. “But we will have pre- and post-race snacks, and music and yard games set up on the quad.”

Anyone who can’t make it on race day is invited to sign up as a virtual runner, run and record their time, and receive a gift bag.

Entry fees for the race fund the Titan Trot 5K Finish Line Scholarship, which is specifically for students in the final year of their studies. So, participants can enjoy a fun, active day for the entire family and make a difference in the future of a student. Separate donations to the scholarship fund are also welcome and appreciated.

Entry fees are as follows:

  • $15 for current SPC students
  • $20 for SPC employees
  • $35 for the public
  • $45 for virtual runners

2022 Titan Trot sponsors include Bayside Urgent Care, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office and The SPC Foundation, but any individual or organization interested in becoming a sponsor can contact Shannon Ulrich at Ulrich.Shannon@spcollege.edu .

Be sure to check out our hashtags on social media to keep up with the action leading up to the race: #SPC5K and #TitanTrot2022. Or, check out our Facebook event page for updates.

“Come out and get your health on and help us get our SPC students across their own finish line,” Ulrich said.

Register here for the 2022 Titan Trot!

Read Full Post »

SPC Instructional Technology Coordinator Chris Littlewood was recently one of six people from across the state who were appointed by Governor Ron DeSantis to the Florida Independent Living Council.

Littlewood, of Seminole, is a past Vice President of the Association of Late Deafened Adults and is a member of the Hearing Loss Association, Florida Association for the Deaf and the National Association for the Deaf Emergency Management Committee. Littlewood earned bachelor’s degrees in social sciences and secondary education and his master’s degree in instructional technology from the University of South Florida.

“We are so proud of the work Chris does on behalf of people who are deaf or hard of hearing and others with access and functional needs, both personally and professionally,” said Eileen LaHaie, Executive Director for SPC’s Center for Public Safety Innovation.

The Florida Independent Living Council is an organization that promotes independence, full access, and informed choice for people with disabilities.

Littlewood said that in his appointment, he will provide input for the Florida State Plan for Independent Living, and more.

“I’ll advise on improving the independence and quality of life for all Floridians with disabilities and focus on improving the quality of life for youth with disabilities,” he said. “I’ll also make recommendations so that people with disabilities have equal access to the community resources as a result of emergencies and disasters.”

One of the other appointees, Whitney Harris, also has an SPC connection. Harris earned a Bachelor of Science degree from SPC’s Orthotics and Prosthetics department in 2012 and serves as Executive Director of the Florida Alliance for Assistive Services & Technology based in Tallahassee, Florida.

Littlewood, who began losing his hearing in his early 20s, now has progressed to a severe to profound hearing loss. He said the experience has moved him to get involved in advocacy.

“It runs in my family,” he said. “So I have been a self-advocate for all disabilities for more than 15 years now.”

Read Full Post »

Many teens struggle with navigating the reality of the world around them, while also working towards their goals and dreams. St. Petersburg College will address these struggles at the ninth annual Keys to Manhood (K2M) Seminar on Saturday, March 27, 2021, from 10 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.   

Success Stories

In the past nine years, this free seminar has reached over 1000 young men, normally from underserved backgrounds. This year’s free K2M seminar will engage middle and high school males of color in discussions about college and career readiness, self-awareness and community engagement. These young men hear from others who have faced adversity and how they overcame obstacles in life. 

SPC Student Life and Leadership Coordinator Jason Nicholson says it is important for young men to hear success stories of others who have struggled.

“Every one of us faces certain challenges along the path to our goals,” he said. “In many cases, these challenges are not things we can change or fix. All a person can do is adjust and keep moving forward. It’s important for young men to not only know and understand that, but to hear how others have succeeded when things seemed tough.”

Special Guests

Each year, the conference is highlighted by a keynote discussion panel. The theme this year is “When Reality Speaks” and will feature keynote speaker Marquez Valdez-Scantling, who attended Lakewood High School and now plays for the Green Bay Packers. He will be joined on the panel by his father, Marcellus Scantling, and his football coach at Lakewood, Coach Cory Moore.

Nicholson says the one constant in the nine years of the program would have to be the audience’s takeaways.

“These speakers really get personal,” Nicholson said. “There is usually a healthy-dose of ‘real talk’ that young men don’t always get to hear. You can feel the buzz in the room. We are going to provide the same experience this year, but virtually.”

Other offerings at the seminar will include information regarding mental health, community resources, and a parent and family panel. There will also be random drawings among attendees for scholarships and prizes, thanks to generous sponsors. But Nicholson said the real prize is the experience.

“In a little over two hours, our participants will have the chance to engage with experts on the resources and support strategies available to help them meet their dreams,” he said.

Register Now

Registration is now live and, though the event is for middle and high-schoolers and their families, anyone is welcome. Speaker information, session details and the full event schedule are also available on the site.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »