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Congratulations to the six St. Petersburg College faculty members chosen to receive the 2015 John & Suanne Roueche Excellence Awards from the League for Innovation in the Community College.

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 awards will be presented at the Innovations 2016 conference in Chicago in March.

The 2015 St. Petersburg College award winners are:

Christy-PowersChristy Powers – Excellence in student coaching and support

Dr. Christy Powers is the instructor-in-charge and longest-serving instructor in St. Petersburg College’s legal studies bachelor’s program.

Powers began her education in the south suburbs of Chicago at Moraine Valley Community College. From there, she earned her undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of St. Francis and her Juris Doctor and Masters of Law in Employee Benefits from Chicago’s John Marshall Law School. She began her legal career with the U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration.

For the past 10 years she has worked to help her students find their own passion in the law. Inspired by professors that mentored her in college, she is committed to providing individual advising and coaching to help her students balance their education, life and career goals. Her students know she has a personal, vested interest in their well being in and out of the classroom.

One of her most popular classes prepares students for the national voluntary paralegal certification exam. The most challenging portion of the test involves an analytical writing project. Powers has developed a practice methodology which involves working through a paragraph-by-paragraph analysis of the facts and construction of the memorandum. Students thrive with this kind of immediate feedback and application. Using this technique and applying it to the introduction course in the paralegal program has empowered students to deal with original source materials, statutes, regulations and cases in their first class.

Powers also developed a program for all SPC students who have a criminal background, workplace issues or other barriers to employment. She often delivers campus lectures to help students develop a narrative to explain their past errors and what they had learned from those experiences. She serves as both a life coach and a professional coach for many students.

Jennifer-FernandesJennifer Fernandes – Outstanding student engagement

Jennifer Fernandes, assistant professor of biology, teaches at St. Petersburg College’s Tarpon Springs Campus, where she uses a variety of strategies to help increase student engagement and success rates. In her Field Biology course, she incorporates active learning where students spend every Friday exploring Florida ecosystems and learning material by experience versus just seeing pictures in books. Recent outings have included hiking through hammock and scrub ecosystems, snorkeling in the Florida springs with manatees, kayaking through mangrove habitats and the springs, snorkeling on the coral reef and camping in many different upland environments. Each semester students go on a weekend trip to Key Largo to hike through the Everglades and learn about sea turtles, their conservation and what they can do to help.

Students also participate in service learning projects either by removing invasive species, creating oyster domes or planting sea oats. Fernandes has developed a relationship with Tampa Bay Watch and takes her students on a field trip every semester to learn about their mission and help them accomplish it.

Her Field Biology of Florida and Study Abroad Bonaire classes have worked with the Coral Restoration Foundation (CRF) to help restore coral reefs and earning a Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) certification that enables them to join CRF projects around the world. Every semester since the inception of this model, there has been a 100 percent student success rate. She believes this is due to the nature of the course and the active learning that takes place during the class.

Her development of an innovative tutoring program has greatly increased the success rates and reduced withdrawal rates in Biology I, a required class for all science majors that has historically been a challenge for students to pass. Students are required to attend weekly supplemental instruction sessions led by college staff and student tutors. For these sessions, Fernandes created worksheets and jeopardy games for the tutors to do with the students and to answer any questions on material they may not have understood during class. As a result, the students have a better understanding of the material and go on to be very successful in other science courses.

Wende-Huehn-BrownWende Huehn-Brown – Innovation in the use of technology

Wende Huehn-Brown has taught business at St. Petersburg College since 2007.  She has a Ph.D. in Engineering Management with a B.S. and M.E. in Industrial Engineering, as well as 20 years of professional experience. When she joined the college, she quickly realized one of her biggest challenges would be teaching business courses in analytical fields online. She is responsible for seven master courses within Operations and Supply Chain Management disciplines, as well as the Senior Capstone focused on Strategic Management. Her subject matter expertise and experience help students prepare for their business career.

Her advanced instructional design technology skills enable her to solve online issues for her students. She also uses VoIP, messaging and video meetings to stay connected and responsive to her students. Her weekly reflection videos on key concepts, a series of pencasts and desktop-recorded videos on completing analytical methods, her use technology like a smartpen, Camtasia, Powtoon, YouTube, and many other resources provide her students with online learning in a mobile friendly format. Additionally she mastered a learning management system implementing rigorous course learning objectives using best practices, as well as encouraging students to learn the technology (including Turnitin) to enhance their success.

In just one course, she has more than 50 pencasts and 40 desktop-recorded videos on math problems, as well as four desktop-recorded videos on navigation and study tips, five PowToon animated videos on weekly reflection points, seven recorded lectures that use a business scenario she wrote to tie together each week’s lessons, nine assessments (including on the syllabus) and more. This has resulted in online student success for this one course going from 57 percent in 2013 to 78 percent in 2015. These students advance to perform at a high level at capstone, which requires this discipline, where industry best students proceed to a global competition and 56 percent of our students rank in the top three.

Nathan-MuehlNathan MuehlInnovative Pedagogical Approaches to Teaching and Learning

Nathan Muehl serves as Band/Orchestra Director and teaches music courses at St. Petersburg College. Over the past year, he has restructured the Music Theory I-IV courses to feature a text-neutral delivery system.  This objectives-based approach allows students to choose their own learning resources tailored to their learning style and budget. It creates a truly personalized learning experience. The results include higher levels of student engagement, more thorough achievement of course concepts, easier customization for accommodations, and students working at an improved pace. While each student in the course may be using different learning resources, the experience is not cumbersome to the instructor, and the approach is instantly adaptable and welcoming of new technologies as they are invented.

Muehl’s research interests include organizational motivation and morale. He currently serves as co-chair of the St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus Mission and Vision Statement Committee. His personal mission statement is to “live a life of integrity, high trust and continual improvement; balanced between my roles as a husband, a musician and a teacher.”

Roxana-LevinRoxana LevinOutstanding Student Engagement Online

Roxana Levin has developed the Spanish program at St. Petersburg College including the blended program at the Tarpon Springs Campus. She spends much time online working with her students and coaching them through the use of software to help them reach proficiency. She constantly looks for innovative ways to improve the level of engagement with her online students. She engages the students in oral production and ensures that students develop all the skills of the language. She has also been an advocate of embedding culture in her online courses by providing many opportunities for students to immerse in the culture virtually as well as engaging them in out of class cultural events. Levin has been instrumental in bringing an innovative new online Spanish program to the college and is working on the redevelopment of the existing ones.

Professor Levin holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics Education from Argentina and a Master’s degree in Foreign Language Education from the University of South Florida. She has been the lead faculty for the Ecuador and Spain study abroad programs for 10 years and is the advisor of Latinos United Club at the Tarpon Springs Campus.

Rosaria-PipitoneRosaria PipitoneInnovation in Career Services

Rosaria Pipitone graduated with her M.A. from University of South Florida’s Counselor Education with a concentration in Career in 2009. Originally from New York City, Rosaria relocated to Tampa to enroll in USF’s program as it is one of only eight programs accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Program that offers career as a concentration. During her graduate program, she was hired as a career consultant at USF’s College of Nursing to work with unemployed veterans. While working at USF she focused on embedding career services into the classroom where she could teach career development to a captive audience. Her Career Services Infusion model was well-received when presented at the 2013 National Career Development Association conference in Boston. In 2013, she authored two chapters, Resume Writing and Job Shadowing, in the text Career Development for Today: A holistic and inclusive approach.

In 2013 she was hired as a Career Outreach Specialist at St. Petersburg College where she successfully introduced the concept of the Career Service Infusion Model.  The model was adapted to meet the needs of the students, faculty and academic programs at SPC.  During this time she successfully integrated employment preparation workshops for students in the music department.

Rosaria underwent the Career Development Facilitator Instructor (CDFI) certification in 2015 and will be certifying SPC’s student support service staff as Career Development Facilitator’s (CDF). In addition, to her role in career services, Rosaria also teaches Legal Issues in Music course for SPC’s Music Industry/Recording Arts (MIRA) program.

By the age of 30, Rosaria has traveled throughout the United States and Europe as a lead coordinator for Envirosell marketing firm, providing her with the opportunity to utilize her interpreting skills with international Fortune 500 companies.  Rosaria was recently recognized by the United Nation’s #iamwoman campaign for her ability to overcome economic obstacles as first-generation American.  Raised in an Italian household, Rosaria is fortunate to be bilingual and enjoys her yearly family visits to Italy.

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The Palladium at St. Petersburg College will host this year’s TEDx TampaBay on Saturday, Sept. 5, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. TEDx is designed to help communities, organizations and individuals spark conversation and connection at the local level.

This year TEDx TampaBay has chosen “Emergence” as their event theme. Speakers will address how emerging technology and ideologies are changing our communities and the world. A full day of inspiring presenters, food, yoga, tech demos and more will be offered.

Tara NewsomTara Hechlik Newsom, Associate Professor of Social & Behavioral Science at SPC, will speak on “The Constitution: It’s Personal.” The talk will focus on the transformative power the Constitution has had on her students and how that has invigorated the community. Newsom is launching the college’s new Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement.

General admission tickets, available for $40, are a great option for TED enthusiasts who thrive on stimulating, mind-expanding talks. The general admission ticket includes a free yoga session from The Body Electric Yoga Company, general seating in the theater and a catered lunch.

For those who enjoy a front-row seat to all of the action and love the “goodies” available only to our “VIP” ticket holders, the $75 admission includes everything from the general admission package plus preferred seating in the theater during the event, an event t-shirt and a swag bag courtesy of our sponsors.

There are a limited number of discounted student tickets and students are encouraged to attend. Discount code is STUDENT when registering.

Check out more information and register on the TEDx TampaBay website.

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St. Petersburg College’s 2015 Professors Emeriti will be honored at the college’s annual Fall Faculty event on Aug. 13. The event runs from 8 a.m. to noon and will be held at the Coliseum, 535 Fourth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. The event is not open to the public, but media is invited.

SPC 2015 Professors Emeriti

Each year, the St. Petersburg College honors select faculty members for their outstanding contributions to the college and dedication to increasing student success.

This year’s Professors Emeriti are:

  • Tami J. Grzesikowski, M.Ed., Dental Hygiene

Grzesikowski joined the college’s Dental Hygiene Program in January 1981. She became the college’s first Dean of Health Sciences, overseeing the bachelor’s degree program in Orthotics and Prosthetics, a degree completion program in Dental Hygiene and a bachelor’s degree program in Health Services Administration. She developed and oversaw the dental clinic’s Give Kids a Smile and Head Start Fluoride Varnish programs as well as the Back to School Care Fair for children from low-income families. She retired in 2012 and lives in Seminole.

  • Gabriel Horn, M.A., Communications

Horn, an award-winning author whose publications span four decades, came to St. Petersburg College as an adjunct professor in 1988, and became full time in 1992. From reservation schools to large universities, he has unwaveringly advocated the academic respect due the history, literature and philosophy of Native America. He co-founded and co-directed the first Native American Writers Camp for children on the Cherokee reservation and has instructed young journalists at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. He retired in 2012 and lives in St. Petersburg

  • Karen Miller, M.A., Communications

Miller taught Composition, American Literature, Film History, Reading and Speech for 23 years on the Clearwater and Seminole campuses. She won the Silverberg Award in 2000, and later, as an online faculty member, contributed to the development of two signature courses. She served three years as the Seminole Campus Faculty Council Chairwoman, seven years as Program Director/Academic Chairwoman for the Seminole Campus Communications Department and two years on the college’s Center of Excellence for Teaching and Learning Board. She retired in 2014 and lives in Madeira Beach.

  • Stephen P. Mikles, Ed.S., R.R.T., Respiratory Care (posthumous award)

Mikles came to St Petersburg College as an Assistant Professor of Respiratory Care in 1979 from the State University of New York (SUNY) Upstate Medical Center. He served as the Program Director of St. Petersburg College’s Respiratory Care Program from 1986 to 2013. He held several leadership positions in local and national Respiratory Care organizations including terms as president and treasurer of the Committee for Accreditation in Respiratory Care. He was a reviewer and contributor to several Respiratory Care publications and served on numerous St. Petersburg College committees and focus groups. He passed away on July 4, 2013.

SPC is proud to announce this year’s SPC Professors Emeriti and invites the community to share their memories and well wishes on the college blog dedicated to their service.

 

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Karen WalkerSt. Petersburg College Instructional Designer and Adjunct Communications Faculty Karen Walker, was recently recognized by Multimedia Educational Resources for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT) for her PowerPoint Today tutorial.

Previously an instructional support specialist for SPC’s Learning Resources team on the Tarpon Springs Campus, Walker created the LibGuide tutorial to provide students with easy-to-use tools that will help them succeed in their classes and later in their career. View PowerPoint Today tutorial.

“Karen is an innovator,” said Joseph Leopold, Director of Learning Resources for SPC. “Her work with students, faculty, and staff demonstrates her ability to gather information, think creatively, and use her resources to produce tools for students that can be used easily and repeatedly without fail.”

MERLOT focuses on encouraging faculty to integrate technology into higher education. Their peer review process of instructional technology is modeled after the peer review process for research and scholarship. The MERLOT Teacher Education Editorial Board identified Walker’s work as worthy of peer review due to the:

  • Quality of content
  • Potential effectiveness as a teaching-learning tool
  • Ease of use

Learn more about how SPC’s innovative faculty are focused on helping students succeed in and out of the classroom.

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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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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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