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Mark Strickland

Mark Strickland

Mark Strickland will join the Council of Campus Provosts as Interim Provost of the Seminole Campus for the 2015-16 year. This interim appointment provides an opportunity to address transitional matters. He officially begins his new role on June 1, 2015.

In his role as Associate Provost for the Downtown Campus, Mark has been a major contributor in the implementation and success of the College Experience, along with assisting and serving on numerous collegewide initiatives and committees. In addition to his contributions as an Associate Provost, he also has been the Athletic Director since 2007. Mark served in various leadership roles with the Florida College System Activities Association (FCSAA).

Mark joined St. Petersburg College in 2000 as a college recruiter. In 2003, he was promoted to coordinator of Enrollment Management and soon thereafter became the director. Mark left Enrollment Management in 2011 to become the Associate Provost at the Downtown Campus. In addition to Mark’s roles at SPC, he also has been an adjunct instructor for Barry University and the University of Tampa.

Mark’s upbringing as a military dependent allowed for him to live in multiple countries such as: Egypt, Italy, and Germany. In addition to his time overseas, Mark also lived in Georgia, Oklahoma, Alabama, Virginia and Florida.

Mark settled in nicely in Florida, having graduated locally from Seminole High School. From there, Mark went on to earn an associate degree from St. Petersburg College, a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida, and a master’s degree from Nova Southeastern. Mark is working towards earning a Ph.D. in Community College Leadership and earned several doctoral credits at Colorado State University.

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SPC Career Service Employee Retiree Emeritus Luncheon recognized seven outstanding retired Career Service employees. From left: Jim Moorhead, Shirley Bell, Sherry Armstrong, JR Lenges, Joseph Smith, Harry Berger and Morrie Johnson.

From left: Jim Moorhead, Shirley Bell, Sherry Armstrong, JR Lenges, Joseph Smith, Harry Berger and Morrie Johnson.

St. Petersburg College celebrated the third annual Career Service Employee Retiree Emeritus Luncheon on Wednesday, Feb. 25. The event, which highlights retired Career Service staff, is one of the college’s efforts to recognize the valued contributions of employees through the years and was organized by members of the Career Service Employee Council.

The seven honorees were nominated by current SPC Career Service employees. Honorees had to have worked for the college for a minimum of 10 years and made significant contributions to the college during the time of their employment. Together, they worked at SPC for more than 165 years.

This year’s honorees include:

  • Sherry Armstrong
  • Shirley Bell
  • Harry Berger
  • Morrie Johnson
  • JR Lenges
  • Jim Moorhead
  • Joseph Smith

JR Lenges, who helped get the event off the ground when it began three years ago, said he was excited and touched to have been nominated.

“It’s a great feeling. Words can’t describe it,” said Lenges, who retired in June 2014 after 40 years of service at SPC. “It was really extra special to know that the ceremony carried on after I retired and hopefully it will for years to come.”

Known for often speaking out on behalf of students in need, Lenges used his moment in the spotlight to speak in order to encourage other employees and retirees to give back to the college through scholarships for its students. With his sister, Jeanne Coffin, Lenges presented Frances Neu, Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Executive Director of the SPC Foundation, with a check to create the new John and Mayzetta Lenges Memorial Scholarship.

Lenges and his two sisters, Coffin and Pam Overton, donated the money in order to create a new annual scholarship. The fund will alternate each year to provide support to students in the fire science and nursing programs. The scholarship honors his father, who served as a fireman, and his mother, who worked as a nurse.

Another annual recognition ceremony by the college for retired employees includes the annual Professors Emeriti, which honors exceptional faculty members who are nominated by current faculty and staff.

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Congratulations to the seven St. Petersburg College faculty members chosen to receive the 2014 John & Suanne Roueche Excellence Awards from the League for Innovation in the Community College.

The awards will be presented at the Innovations 2015 conference in Boston in March.

The League is an international, nonprofit organization dedicated to catalyzing the community college movement. It hosts conferences and institutes, develops Web resources, conducts research, produces publications, provides services, and leads projects and initiatives with member colleges, corporate partners, and other agencies in a continuing effort to make a positive difference for students and communities.

The 2014 St. Petersburg College award winners are:

Michael R. Gordon

SPC faculty Michael Gordon

Michael Gordon

Outstanding Student Engagement (On-Campus or Blended)

Michael Gordon serves as associate professor in the College of Computer and Information Technology. In response to a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor to help the long-term unemployed gain employment, Gordon designed a blended Cisco Certified Network Associate certificate program that can be completed in just one semester – half the time it normally takes to complete the program. The blended format allows the vast majority of in-class time to be devoted to hands-on lab work.

Results have been outstanding, with 80 percent of the first cohort completing the program successfully and 86 percent of these students passing the CCNA exam on their first attempt. Beyond just academic accomplishment, many cohort members have gone on to find employment with local companies like Tech Data, American Computer Telecom, YMCA, NetWolves, Vology and Cisco Systems.

Cynthia Grey and Wendy Rib

SPC veterinary technology faculty Cynthia Grey and Wendy Rib receive an award from the League for Innovation.

From left: Cynthia Grey and Wendy Rib

Outstanding Student EngagementOnline

Cynthia Grey and Wendy Rib, professors of Veterinary Technology, collaborated to restructure the curriculum for the college’s online bachelor’s degree program in veterinary technology. During this process, Grey and Rib identified a need for a capstone course that spanned two semesters instead of one, and worked together to implement engaging online learning techniques to create a more individualized, learner-centered experience to improve learner outcomes and increase student success. An interactive activity implemented in the capstone courses is the use of the collaborative technology of WebEx, affording capstone students the ability to share their newly created knowledge in a synchronous online environment. To increase engagement, learners attend at least two presentations besides their own and actively participate in a question and answer period.

Other activities incorporated into the capstone experience are the out-of-class mentors and peer champions. Students contract with a mentor outside of the course whom they have identified as having specific skills that will help them successfully complete their senior project. For peer champions, classmates volunteer to support, encourage, and act as a resource for at least one other classmate’s project.

Students also receive individualized guidance from their professors. Both Rib and Grey spend time consulting with each student, usually by telephone, on their progress throughout capstone journey.

Ray Menard

SPC natural science faculty Ray Menard

Ray Menard

Excellence in Student Coaching and Support

Ray Menard serves as associate professor of Natural Science and has worked to help develop students’ technical skills in microbiology research for about seven years. Students visit the lab on their own time to learn the theory behind the techniques they use and gain hands-on experience in performing the experiments that make them successful and better prepared for the workforce. They develop critical thinking skills, learn to work individually and in groups, and also learn about science in a low pressure environment.

Through his coaching and support, students have investigated how spices inhibit microbial growth, and isolated an antibiotic-producing microbe that was identified as being Bacillus clausii. They have performed several molecular and biochemical analyses, and have isolated and characterized both DNA and proteins. The students have acquired good sterile techniques, are able to successfully culture microbes, and also have learned how to analyze the data and format figures and graphs.

Menard’s work with students also provides out-of-class support. In addition to being available to students in his classes to help with research, he also is available to help them with their other science classes. An unexpected benefit is that the students also help each other through questions they have regarding their classes.

Therezita K. Ortiz

SPC faculty Therezita Ortiz

Therezita Ortiz

Innovation in the Use of Technology

Therezita K. Ortiz serves as professor in the College of Computer and Information Technology and has been a full-time faculty member at St. Petersburg College since 1999. As of Fall 2014, she has taught more than 165 online courses, including Microcomputer Applications, Operating System Security, and Ethical Hacking, Network Defense and Countermeasures. She also has developed courses for traditional, blended and online formats.

Ortiz was the first in CCIT to implement the use of virtual machines for students in her courses. She also implemented the use of LABSIM, a web-based tool that created real-world, high-fidelity lab simulations, for networking, operating systems, Linux and security-related courses. Her use of multiple online communication resources like showmewhatswrong.com has allowed her to generate step-by-step video tutorials as she provides assistance to her students by walking them through particular tasks. This tool also enables the student to generate videos of what they are doing – right down to their key strokes as they work on assignments and projects. This capability is an asset to any learning environment, especially if it is online..

Ortiz holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Puerto Rico and a master’s degree from Nova Southeastern University. She has held Microsoft certificates and is CompTIA Network+ certified.

Anthony Valentine

SPC faculty Anthony Valentine

Anthony Valentine

Innovative Pedagogical Approaches to Teaching and Learning

Anthony Valentine, instructor of Communications, teaches communication and theater courses at St. Petersburg College. Valentine has more than 30 years’ experience as a professional actor and as an acting coach, including appearances on Days of Our Lives, Miami Vice, Night Court, Cybill and Murder, She Wrote, in addition to numerous professional plays.

He incorporates his professional performance experience into his speech courses by demonstrating to students how speaking in public is a form of performance that is similar to acting onstage. His acting experience helps students with both the performance and the business sides of theater and film, and his research includes acting for the camera based on a model of interpersonal communication, public speaking as performance, and teaching diversity in the classroom.

Valentine holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communications, a master’s degree in communication/performance and a doctorate in fine art/theatre. He currently teaches Introduction to Speech Communication, Public Speaking, Introduction to Theatre Arts, and Acting for the stage and for the camera.

James A. Wallis

SPC faculty James Wallis

James Wallis

Innovation in the Use of Technology

James Wallis, professor of Natural Science, teaches at the Tarpon Springs Campus. His research background is in the development of science-oriented virtual field trips. His interest lies in developing multimedia presentations that provide virtual experiences that are comparable to those of students who physically access natural habitats, when it is not possible to visit those locations.

Many of the students attending St. Petersburg College cannot attend field trips due to restrictions on their time, such as taking night classes or traveling to locations that are a great distance from the college. Students often are place-bound with respect to engaging in activities, such as field trips, that may enhance the educational experience in the sciences. As an alternative, Professor Wallis has developed a repository of completed virtual field trips (VFTs), videos and images to be used to develop multimedia presentations to support classroom instruction. The images have been collected during trips throughout Florida, Belize and Costa Rica. The repository includes a collection of images that are focused on topics in natural science and ecology. Images are sorted into groupings for quick reference, such as tropical species, reefs, aquatic species, and images of students engaged in science-related activities.

Many of the visuals collected were the result of a grant from the Center of Excellence for Teaching and Learning to purchase materials needed to develop virtual field trips. They have been housed on Dropbox to allow access to the materials by other instructors who are interested in developing lessons that need relevant visual support. All materials are freely available for use by other SPC instructors to develop classroom support materials. This provides open access to a growing collection of images and video covering various topics. To date, 700 images and videos are available for use in developing classroom materials by interested SPC instructors.

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On Tuesday, Oct. 21, Men Achieving Excellence, the African-American and Latino Male initiative in partnership with Student Life and Leadership hosted the Student vs. Staff Basketball game at the St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus.

This event consisted of faculty and staff members from various campuses taking on the students in a friendly game of basketball. This event allowed students and faculty and staff members to come together in an informal session and have a fun.

The event kicked off with a ceremonial jump ball with Provost Karen Kaufman-White. At the end, the faculty/staff team limped away with a 45-37 win.

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J.C. Brock celebrates being named Honorary Fire Chief by the Pinellas County Fire Chiefs' Association on June 25.

J.C. Brock celebrates being named Honorary Fire Chief by the Pinellas County Fire Chiefs’ Association on June 25.

J.C. Brock, retired Chief Executive Officer at the St. Petersburg College Allstate Center, was named Honorary Fire Chief by the Pinellas County Fire Chiefs’ Association on June 25.

PCFCA President Chief Bert Polk, along with fellow fire chiefs, county staff and SPC Fire Training Center staff, met with Brock to recognize his contributions to fire service education and the fire academy over the years.

Brock retired as the Allstate Center’s Campus Executive Officer on June 30.

View the SPC Facebook gallery to view more photos from the event.

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Professors Emeriti banner

At Fall Faculty on Thursday, Aug. 14, St. Petersburg College will honor 10 Professors Emeriti who have been nominated by faculty and staff. Before this year’s Fall Faculty event, share your memories and congratulate this year’s emeriti on the SPC Faculty blog.

The annual Professors Emeriti awards honor some of the engaging, caring faculty who have helped generations of students succeed.

Read their stories on the SPC Faculty blog and take time to honor them with your well wishes. The comments you leave will be included in a keepsake book for each honoree.

The Professors Emeriti for 2014 are:

See the bios of previous honorees:

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St. Petersburg College welcomes three new members to its leadership team. They include:

  • Dr. Susan Colaric, Associate Vice President for Online Learning and Services
  • Dr. Charles “Scott” Fronrath, Provost, Allstate Center
  • Dr. Marvin L. Bright, Provost, Tarpon Springs Campus
Susan Colaric

Susan Colaric

Dr. Susan Colaric has served as the Assistant Vice President of Instructional Technology at Saint Leo University since 2006. In this role she coordinated the development of online courses and was responsible for faculty professional development related to the appropriate use of technology for teaching and learning.

She has worked in the fields of online and instructional technology for 15 years, has written numerous journal articles and book chapters, and has presented at national and international conferences. Her research over the last decade has focused on faculty use of technology to enhance student learning and the management of distance learning programs.

Colaric earned her doctorate in Instructional Systems from the Pennsylvania State University; she holds a master’s degree in Library Science from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and completed her undergraduate degree at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va.

Charles “Scott” Fronrath

Charles “Scott” Fronrath

Dr. Charles “Scott” Fronrath comes to SPC from Keiser University, where he served as an Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. His responsibilities include leadership and development of baccalaureate and associate degree programs in criminal justice, homeland security, cyber forensics, crime scene technology, forensic investigations, legal studies, business, information technology, and graphic arts and design. He is also an adjunct faculty at Palm Beach State College.

Dr. Fronrath has 17 years of law enforcement experience. His teaching experience includes police tactics and officer survival techniques for a variety of law enforcement agencies throughout Florida. He has been very involved in the community and serves on several boards, committees, and labor unions, including the Police Benevolent Association, International Union of Police Association, Florida Law Enforcement Canine Association, the National Police Canine Association, and National Fire, Emergency Medical Services, Inlet Grove Community High School Governing Board, and the Palm Beach County School Advisory Council. He also serves as an evaluator for the Department of Justice; Bureau of Justice Assistance, and several criminal justice organizations.

As an educational leader in today’s progressive career driven society he believes the optimal goal must be to empower students to take control of their educational journey and provide for them a focus that ensures necessary skill development designed to help them obtain a meaningful career.

He holds a Doctorate of Education from Nova Southeastern University in Organizational Leadership and Human Resource Management and a master’s degree in Criminal Justice with a specialization in Public Administration.

His first day at SPC is June 23, 1014.

Marvin L. Bright

Marvin L. Bright

Dr. Marvin L. Bright is from the Virginia Community College System where he serves as the Chief Officer of Student Success Initiatives. The Virginia Community College System (VCCS) oversees a network of 23 community colleges in Virginia.

Prior to this role, Dr. Bright served as the Chief Administrative Officer of Tidewater Community College’s Norfolk campus where he provided leadership as the Provost responsible for advancing the College’s mission and strategic plan by articulating the resources needed to ensure that the campus efficiently and effectively developed and delivered requisite programs and services.

With more than 20 years of experience in higher education, Dr. Bright has held several administrative positions in academic and student services, including Associate Vice President of Student Affairs, Dean of Students, Director of Athletics, Associate Professor and Counselor.

Dr. Bright’s philosophy on student success is simply put: that students derive the greatest benefit from their college experience when their levels of campus engagement – academic, civic, global awareness, civility, and respect for diversity – are mutually supportive of and relevant to a particular educational outcome.

A community college graduate himself, Dr. Bright also holds a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies from Towson University, a master’s in Educational Psychology from Temple University and a Doctorate in Higher Education Administration from Morgan State University.

His first day at SPC is July 14, 2014.

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