Archive for the ‘employees’ Category

Keron Jean-Baptiste

Keron Jean-Baptiste

Keron Jean-Baptiste has been named Associate Provost of SPC’s St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus.

Jean-Baptiste joined St. Petersburg College in 1999. He has worked in student services for fifteen years. During his tenure, he has served as an Academic Advisor on the Seminole, Midtown, and St. Petersburg/Gibbs campuses. He has also served as a Coordinator of the Information Technology Readiness Academy, College Recruiter, Site Coordinator at Midtown, Senior Staff Assistant in testing, and Student Support Advisor on the St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus.

For the past year, he has served as the Interim Associate Provost on the St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus and has been actively engaged in several strategic projects within the College Experience, including development of the new comprehensive advising model.

A former St. Petersburg Jr. College student, Jean-Baptiste earned his Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from National Louis University, holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership, and is currently a Doctoral candidate at Nova Southeastern University.

Jean-Baptiste joins the campus leadership team under new Provost Jamelle Connor.

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Karen Kaufman White

Karen Kaufman White

After 31 years at SPC, Karen Kaufman White, Provost of the St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus is retiring in July.

“I’ve had the good fortune to know Karen White since her first days at “SPJC.” She has always been a patient and focused educator, working on behalf of students and faculty, ready to take on new challenges,” said SPC President Dr. William Law. “Her early work to design and launch the Ethics Program at the College has proven to be a mark of distinction for all of us. Her work to lead our St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus as a provost at the end of her career has similarly been a beacon of service and support for our students. We wish her well in the next phase of her life.”

Initially a high-school English teacher and later a civil trial lawyer, White joined SPC in 1984 as Dean of Open Campus, managing what was then the college’s largest campus. During that time she supervised the successful launch of the Applied Ethics Program, including a required course for all degree-seeking students, the first program of its kind in the U.S. Later, she was Instructor-in-charge of the Applied Ethics Department and an adjunct Applied Ethics Instructor.

“Every SPC graduate takes with them a gift from Dr. White in the skills that they learn in PHI 1600 Applied Ethics,” said Susan Demers, SPC Dean of Public Policy and Legal Studies. “Her hard work in crafting the original Applied Ethics course and the legacy of her leadership are the backbone of our department. Her passion for justice, attention to detail, and generous spirit make her the living exemplar of critical thinking applied to life. We will miss her and wish her the best but I hope she knows where home is!”

In 1999 she became the Coordinator for Project Eagle I, a large federal grant aimed at building a national model for increasing access to four-year degrees and workforce training for community college students.

She also served as Special Assistant to the President and Dean of International Programs prior to accepting the position of provost in 2008.

“One could not have scripted a professional journey that would bring more joy and satisfaction than the career that unfolded for me at St. Petersburg College,” said White. “I am forever grateful for the privilege of learning from and working with such wonderful colleagues in serving our community and helping our students succeed.”

Jamelle Conner has been named Provost of the St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus.

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davie-gill-ad-259x300Student Life and Leadership Coordinator Davie Gill has been named Athletic Director, taking over for Mark Strickland, who was recently named interim provost at the Seminole Campus. As it was with Strickland, the position is in addition to other administrative duties.

Gill began his career at SPC in 2000 as a student services officer at the St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus. He was named coordinator of what was then called Student Activities (now known as Student Life and Leadership) at the campus in 2008.

Strickland served as athletic director for eight years.


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James Olliver, celebrates in 2012, when President Barack Obama held a rally on Seminole Campus.

James Olliver, celebrates in 2012, when President Barack Obama held a rally on Seminole Campus.

With nearly 45 years in higher education, Dr. James Olliver, who served St. Petersburg College from 1989-2015, will retire at the end of this month, setting the standard for excellence, innovation and leadership.

“Jim Olliver has given a lifetime of extraordinary leadership and service to St. Petersburg College and to our students,” said SPC President Bill Law. “Throughout his career he has been on the front end of education innovation focused on support for students and faculty. Even more importantly, Jim has used his considerable talent to forge a unique partnership with the community served most directly by our Seminole Campus, a partnership that is the best in America between a college and its community. He has won civic leadership awards from a grateful community and has been similarly recognized within his professional associations.”

During his first seven years at SPC, Olliver served as Vice President for Institutional and Program Planning. He helped secure an $11 million Project Eagle grant and has been the driving force behind SPC’s eCampus, Florida’s largest online campus.

In 1996, he was named provost of the Seminole Campus. The first classes were offered at Seminole Mall and groundbreaking for the new campus was in 1997. Olliver beamed with pride on Sept. 8, 2012 when more than 11,000 enthusiastic local supporters packed SPC’s Seminole Campus to see President Barack Obama.

Named “Mr. Seminole” by the Seminole Chamber of Commerce in 2008, he is perhaps best known for the partnerships and contributions he has made locally. His hands-on leadership style and drive have touched every part of the thriving Seminole Campus including:

  • Creation of Career and Entrepreneurship Center
  • Development of media-rich Digitorium for campus and community events
  • Development of 40-acre Natural Habitat Park
  • Expansion of Career Services and Orientation within SPC’s College Experience
  • Supervised the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions and Village Square
  • Collaboration with City of Seminole for joint-use Seminole Community Library
  • Location of UF Pharmacy and Dental programs on Seminole Campus
  • Negotiating free PSTA bus service for SPC students, faculty and staff
  • Partnership with Duke Energy to install solar energy panels
  • Oversaw construction of Seminole Conference Center
  • Supported creation of Seminole Innovation Lab
  • Promotion of advanced degrees through University Partnership Center

Olliver also provided leadership to launch and grow a number of popular workforce programs including hospitality management, environmental science technology, digital arts (including web design, graphic design and video production) and entrepreneurship. Enrollment climbed to 23,000 student semester hours in Fall 2014.

Eritha Cainion, senior at St. Petersburg Collegiate High School, join Seminole Provost Jim Olliver in cutting the ribbon at the PSTA event Thursday.

Jonathan Jacques, president of Seminole Campus Student Government Association and Eritha Cainion, senior at St. Petersburg Collegiate High School, join Seminole Provost Jim Olliver in cutting the ribbon at the PSTA event Aug. 21, 2014.

In addition to the academics themselves, these programs have generated clubs and important campus activities like the Semmy’s in the Digital Arts program and the annual Business Plan and Elevator Pitch Competition in Entrepreneurship program. In 2013, the Advanced Videography class won an Emmy Award for “Away: A Story of Trash.”

“Dr. Olliver’s strong community-focus and passion for education has dramatically changed education within the Seminole Community,” said Jesse Coraggio, Assistant Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness, Research and Grants at SPC. “With leadership roles in such initiatives as the Seminole Community Educational Ecosystem – a community partnership between the local elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools as well as SPC’s Seminole campus – he has changed lives by providing accesses and opportunity through post-secondary education.”

His legacy of leadership will continue to spark inspiration in students of all ages long after he retires.

“Thanks to everyone at the College for truly making this my dream job,” said Olliver. “It doesn’t get any better than serving your community by providing educational opportunities and seeing students be successful.”

Mark Strickland has been named Interim Provost of the Seminole Campus for the 2015-16 year, starting June 1.

“Dr. Jim Olliver is an extraordinary educator, the likes of which we will be hard-pressed to replace,” said Law. “He has earned our respect and our best wishes as he embarks on the next stage of life. We wish him Godspeed.”

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SPC-Champions-Award2St. Petersburg College Facilities department received the Champions Award in Excellence for exceeding State Requirements for Educational Facilities (SREF) from the Florida College System Risk Management Consortium.

The award was presented for the high standards in Sanitation, Casualty, & Safety Inspections (SCSI) that are performed annually across the state college system.

“The Facilities department’s main objective is to help students get to class in the best condition for learning by providing clean and safe learning spaces,” said Diana Wright, Director of Facilities Services. “Abiding by state safety standards requires collaboration from all departments on a continual basis. We are honored to have received this award and thankful for everyone’s contribution.”

The process requires cooperation from multiple departments across the college:

  • Science departments provide proper labeling and storage of chemicals
  • Building occupants reduce electrical hazards by utilizing college issued surge protectors
  • Custodial Services ensure buildings are sanitized and clean
  • Security performs risk assessments
  • Maintenance Services ensure operability of emergency systems such as backup generators, emergency lighting, exit signs, elevator emergency phones, maintaining proper egress, areas of rescue, fire sprinkler systems and fire extinguishers

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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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