Archive for the ‘scholarships’ Category

The future looks bright for recipients of this year’s Dr. Johnnie Ruth Clarke and Presidential scholarships at St. Petersburg College. Ninety-six students received Dr. Johnnie Ruth Clarke and Presidential scholarships in July.


Dr. Johnnie Ruth Clarke – humanitarian, educator, civil rights champion

The Dr. Johnnie Ruth Clarke Scholarship, named in honor of the groundbreaking Florida educator, was awarded to 50 students at a ceremony at SPC’s St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus. Recipients heard from Student Government Association President and SPC alumna Jovan Jocelyn and Dr. Johnnie Ruth Clarke scholar Alliyah Edwards, who urged students to get involved on campus. This year’s winners were congratulated by SPC President Bill Law, Senior Vice President Tonjua Williams and Vice President, Administrative/ Business Services & Information Technology, Brian Miles. The scholarship provides an opportunity for disadvantaged or underrepresented students to attend SPC, covering up to 12 credits per term for two consecutive years.

Dr. Clarke grew up during segregation. Inspired by her teachers, she went on to become the first the first African-American to receive a doctorate from the University of Florida’s College of Education. She served in the public school system, as dean at Gibbs Junior College, and assistant dean of academic affairs at St. Petersburg Junior College during the 1960s. Learn more about the Dr. Johnnie Ruth Clarke Scholarship here.

College officials and community leaders welcome Presidential scholars

St. Petersburg College’s Presidential Scholarship was awarded to 46 students at Clearwater Campus on July 19. The ceremony was emceed by campus Provost Stan Vittetoe and featured college President Bill Law, Senior Vice President Dr. Tonjua Williams, alumna and Presidential Scholar Erica Wells, Honors Program Director Earl Fratus, and Midtown Associate Provost Tyrone Clinton.

The evening’s speakers stressed that engagement in campus life was an important part of a academic success at SPC and career success later on. Students received a certificate and a handshake from Dr. Law as they crossed the stage. A reception followed the presentation of awards. Students had an opportunity to learn about SPC and meet with representatives of the college.

A Presidential Scholarship covers up to 60 credit hours of continuous enrollment starting the fall after a recipient’s high school graduation. Learn more about the Presidential Scholarship at St. Petersburg College.

Learn more about the many scholarships opportunities offered through SPC.

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IMG_4271St. Petersburg College student scholarship recipients had an opportunity to meet and thank their scholarship donors at the St. Petersburg College Foundation’s 17th annual Scholarship Appreciation Luncheon on Thursday, March 31.

The event, sponsored by RBC Wealth Management, celebrated the awarding of more than $1.5 million in scholarships to more than 1,900 students during the college’s 2015-16 academic year.

With enthusiasm in her voice, SPC student Marissa Allen talked about how delighted she was to co-host the event with Veronica Cintron, news anchor for Bay News 9. Allen, who will be graduating in May with her Associate in Arts degree, proudly introduced her fellow scholarship recipients.

SPC student speakers Brenda Vargas, Timora Works and Courtney Kent expressed gratitude for their educational journey.

Vargas, an Associate of Arts student whose studies include an emphasis in both Communication and Business, told her story of overcoming challenges after moving to Florida from Mexico. Her mother’s words of wisdom, “Nothing good comes easy, and nothing easy comes good,” helped her persevere.

With the passing of her beloved sister, who inspired her educational journey, Works was determined to be a role model for her family. Without the support of the Foundation, she said, going to college would have been a struggle. This May she will be graduating with an Associate of Science in Business Administration. She plans to continue at SPC and pursue a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.

“For those of you who thought they’ve fallen from grace, the SPC Foundation reminds me that’s not so,” Kent said.

As a 35-year-old college student, Kent expressed his appreciation for the Foundation’s role in his academic journey. He will be graduating this spring with an Associate in Arts and plans to pursue his bachelor’s degree in Applied Science in Management and Organizational Leadership at SPC.

Vargas was awarded the Gabe Cazares Memorial Scholarship. Allen received the Optimist Clubs of St. Petersburg Scholarship. Works was named the Florence Ballenger Scholarship recipient, while Kent was awarded the Helios Education Foundation First Generation Scholarship.

Throughout the event, SPC students Daniel Baillie and Alex Bonyata from SPC’s music department entertained donors and scholarship recipients.

Visit here for more information about the Foundation’s scholarships. Applications for  the 2016-17 academic year scholarships start April 4.

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St. Petersburg College (SPC) today announced that Tech Data Corporation, one of the world’s leading IT distributors and the largest public company in the Tampa Bay region, will provide $10,000 in scholarships to SPC students pursuing bachelor’s degrees in Technology Development and Management.

Tech Data

The scholarships will help cover the cost of tuition, fees, and books for SPC students, who can receive up to $2,000 a year, or $1,000 per semester. Five scholarship recipients will be selected beginning with the Fall 2016 term.

“Tech Data is excited to partner with SPC to provide students with the opportunity to learn and thrive in technology careers through this scholarship program,” said Angie Beltz, vice president, Cisco Solutions Group at Tech Data and a member of the SPC Foundation Board of Directors. “This scholarship exemplifies our commitment to educating and training our future leaders.  SPC’s Technology Development and Management program provides students with the skills they need to work in today’s evolving IT landscape, and we thank SPC for their leadership and continued partnership.”

The scholarships will be distributed through the SPC Foundation, which is a direct support organization of St. Petersburg College.

“Tech Data, through the leadership of Bob Dutkowsky and Angie Beltz, has been a trailblazer in helping to ensure that area students possess the high-demand skills that will ensure their long-term success as well as the continued prosperity of the Tampa Bay area,” said Frances Neu, VP of Advancement for SPC. “We are proud to have their partnership.”

SPC recently partnered with Tech Data, Valpak, Agile Thought, the University of South Florida St. Petersburg and the Tampa Bay Technology Forum (TBTF) to create a collaborative career development program known as the Exploratory Lab Boot Camp.

Among the 43 graduates who attended the Exploratory Lab, 78% were hired as interns or for new jobs by Tech Data, Agile Thought, Raymond James, Ernst & Young, local startup Lets Share Value, and an international company in Thailand. Some students returned to existing jobs seeking promotions and others returned to school with a new purpose.

Last month, Tech Data won Student Program of the Year from the TBTF for its leadership with the Exploratory Lab Boot Camp.

“Tech Data is a strong, local innovator and partner of St. Petersburg College,” said Sharon Setterlind, dean of SPC’s College of Computer and Information Technology. “This type of collaborative effort will help close technology skills gaps in the Tampa Bay area. We are hoping this kind of partnership catches on with technology firms across the Tampa Bay area, as it can truly make a difference in the lives of our students and the success of our local businesses.”

While students who receive the scholarship are not obligated to work or intern for Tech Data, Setterlind said she hopes the company continues to hire SPC graduates.

“Tech Data has hired several of our students, and they are thriving in their new careers,” she said.

To be eligible for the new scholarship, students must:

  • Be enrolled full-time at St. Petersburg College
  • Pursue a B.A.S. degree in Technology Development and Management
  • Maintain continuous enrollment in the degree program
  • Have a minimum GPA of 2.75
  • Be a Florida resident
  • Not have completed more than 141 cumulative credits

For more information about this new scholarship, visit the Foundation website.


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Johnnie Ruth Clarke Scholars

Boca Ciega High School graduates Tatyana Hudson and Quatia Gordon, two of this year’s Johnnie Ruth Clarke Scholars.

Seventy-five recent high school graduates were honored Monday night at the 2015-16 Dr. Johnnie Ruth Clarke Scholars celebration at the Music Center at the St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus.

View image gallery on Facebook.

SPC President Bill Law welcomed the students, who attended with family members and friends.

“We couldn’t be prouder of you,” Law said.

The annual scholarship – one of the college’s most comprehensive – honors the legacy of Dr. Johnnie Ruth Clarke, an educator and humanitarian who spent her life improving the lives of others. Clarke taught in Pinellas County public schools, Bethune-Cookman College and Florida A&M University. She served as Dean of Gibbs Junior College serving African-American students in the 1950s. When Gibbs became part of St. Petersburg Junior College in the 60s, she became Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs.

The award covers tuition for 12 credit hours per term for two consecutive years. It is offered to disadvantaged and/or other underrepresented Pinellas County high school students with at least a 3.0 GPA.

Destinee Bullard, a spring 2015 SPC graduate and 2013 Clarke Scholar who is headed to the University of Florida this fall, spoke to the students about the importance of getting involved in the activities and organizations the college has to offer and seeking out help from tutors and professors should they need it.

Bullard talked about how much she has grown, personally, at St. Petersburg College.

“SPC has become home to me…The faculty and staff at SPC are amazing,” Bullard said.

She encouraged the new Scholars to use all of the resources the college provides, from free tutoring to academic and career advising.

And she challenged them to challenge themselves: “Do something that scares you, because something great will come out of it,” she said.

The evening included musical selections by Joy Gann, who was accompanied on piano by Geoffrey Nugent. The event also included the presentation to the honorees, and a reception with refreshments. The Master of Ceremony was Darryl Henderson, Senior Administrative Services Specialist, and closing remarks were given by Dr. Albert Farr, President of the Dr. Johnnie Ruth Clarke Chapter of the National Council on Black American Affairs.

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Halle Kozlowski-Coward, from East Lake High School senior poses with SPC President Dr. Bill Law during Tuesday's ceremony.

Halle Kozlowski-Coward, from East Lake High School, poses with SPC President Dr. Bill Law during Tuesday’s ceremony.

The 2015 Presidential Scholars Award Ceremony and Recognition was held Tuesday at the James Olliver Digitorium at the Seminole Campus.

View image gallery on Facebook.

This year, 65 students were selected as SPC 2015 Presidential Scholars. They will receive a total of more than $460,000 in tuition scholarship awards.

“Our purpose tonight is to recognize you, the students, and your accomplishments,” said SPC President Bill Law.

The Scholars and their family members were treated to a speech by Amy Bhatt, who graduated with her Associate in Art degree in May. Bhatt talked about the importance of joining clubs and organizations, and working to get published, while attending SPC. She explained how important it was to expand their world through networking and reaching out for support to help them reach their goals.

The attendees also heard from Bill McCloud, Chairman of the SPC Foundation Board of Directors. McCloud is an alumni of the Gibbs Junior College – the county’s black junior college – which merged with St. Petersburg Junior College in the 1960s.

“We’re very proud of you and commend you for your outstanding efforts,” McCloud said.

This year’s Scholars had an average weighted GPA of 4.29, an average SAT score for Reading and Math of 1102 and an average ACT score of 25.

SPC’s Presidential Scholarship provides full tuition for 60 credit hours of study at St. Petersburg College. As Presidential Scholars, this select group of students is invited to join the President’s Scholars Counsel and will meet with President Law during their enrollment to gain an inside look at college operations and activities and share their perspectives on student affairs.

Presidential Scholarship recipients are selected annually based on merit and test scores.

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Recipients of St. Petersburg College’s Presidential Scholarship represent some of the best and brightest high school seniors in Pinellas County. This year, 64 students were selected as SPC 2015 Presidential Scholars and will receive a total of $455,000 in tuition scholarship awards.

The group had an average weighted GPA of 4.29, an average SAT score for Reading and Math of 1102 and an average ACT score of 25.

“These are some of the most exceptional students in Pinellas County and we are thrilled they have chosen to attend St. Petersburg College,” said SPC President Bill Law.

Presidential Scholarship Award winners from 2014-15 are honored at the St. Petersburg College Seminole Campus.

Presidential Scholarship Award winners from 2014-15 are honored at the St. Petersburg College Seminole Campus.

SPC’s Presidential Scholarship provides full tuition for 60 credit hours of study at St. Petersburg College. As Presidential Scholars, this select group of students is invited to join the President’s Scholars Counsel and will meet with President Law during their enrollment to gain an inside look at college operations and activities and share their perspectives on student affairs.

Presidential Scholarship recipients are selected annually based on merit and test scores. The program is open to Pinellas County residents who meet the following criteria:

  • High school seniors attending a school in Pinellas County and anticipating a May graduation with a standard high school diploma
  • Florida resident
  • U.S. citizen, permanent resident alien or Dream Act eligible
  • Anticipate a weighted cumulative grade point average of at least 3.5 at the end of the seventh semester of high school
  • Have taken the ACT/SAT Exams

Until last year, the Presidential Scholarship covered up to 15 credit hours per term for one year following high school graduation. The expanded credit hours covered under the new requirements are intended to help students complete a program of study, whether an associate degree for high school seniors or a bachelor’s degree for those who have already earned an associate through dual enrollment or Early College programs.

“St. Petersburg College offers a quality education that prepares students for personal and professional success, so we want to be their first choice,” said Frances Neu, Vice President for Institutional Advancement & Executive Director of the St. Petersburg College Foundation. “We want to be part of the conversation and in front of students as they are making their decisions about college. We are the most prudent choice there is.”

Since 2004, SPC has awarded more than $3.1 million in Presidential Scholarships. This cohort’s awards total $455,000.

Students apply for the Presidential Scholarship during the fall of their senior year in high school and have until January to submit an application.

Recipients, and the high schools they attend are:

  • Calvary Christian School: Nicholas Grosseibl
  • Clearwater High School: Rachel Ahrens, Rocy Danielle Barruel, Anisa Hasaj, Mediha Muhic, Jacie Parsons, Sofia Romero, Lori Rossi, and Melisa Trockels
  • Countryside High School: Laura Bednark, Amy Bhatt, Abigail Jensen, Thomas Labella, Ciara Ngin, and David Russell
  • Dixie Hollins High School: Racquel Cummings
  • Dunedin High School: Rebekah Brouillette and Erin Murphy-Johns
  • East Lake High School: Doyle Dempsey, Shea Duncan, Thomas Fisher, Lacey Kozlowski-Coward, Halle Kozlowski-Coward, and Brandon Yates
  • Indian Rocks Christian School: William Bechtel, Sophia Davis, Joshua Smith, Steven Turco, and Joseph Williams
  • Lakewood High School: Erica Wells
  • Largo High School: Anthony Del Vecchio, Rachel Kerwood, and Justine Murray
  • Northeast High School: Dylan Brooks, Kirsten Campbell, Dakota Cuthbertson, Sarina Martins, Marcos Perez Bencomo, Adrian Roldan, and Jacari Thompson
  • Osceola Fundamental High School: Abigail Beale, Alexis Deveaux, Samantha Iannotti, Anita Nguyen, Ethan Surprenant, and Magdaliene Vricos
  • Palm Harbor University High School: Austin Burnham, Ryland Carlin, and Alexis Gagliardotto
  • Pinellas County Homeschool: Shelby Henriksen, Emily Smith, and Samantha Witsey
  • Pinellas Park High School: Christian Bekas, Kristine Caraig, Casandra McDonald, Destiny Presley, and Louisa Slobodenko
  • Seminole High School: Etasa Evans, Zachary Hill, Leslie Laperriere, and Cheyanne Wallace
  • St. Petersburg Collegiate High School: Sonya McCabe
  • St. Petersburg High School: Jamie Montgomery
  • Tarpon Springs High School: Shanti Robinson

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Early Childhood Partnership

St. Petersburg College President Bill Law, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, St. Petersburg City Council Member Karl Nurse and SPC BOT Chairman Robert Fine, Jr.


At St. Petersburg College’s Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday, April 21, officials from the college and the City of St. Petersburg announced a new partnership to bolster training for early childcare professionals within designated areas of the city.

Officials with the SPC College of Education and the SPC Foundation worked with the City to develop the partnership, in which the city is contributing $49,200 that will be used to fund tuition scholarships for SPC’s Early Childhood Education program. The aim is to help improve school readiness rates and close achievement gaps by preparing local childcare workers to provide high quality early childhood education.

“With this, we will be able to educate those who are working with our youngest residents to establish a foundation for learning, with the intent that this foundation will carry over to their K-12 experience, improve their readiness and improve their success,” said Frances Neu, Executive Director, SPC Foundation. “This partnership is truly exciting as it has all the components to be a model for leaders in our community to come together to solve a problem that affects us all.”

Scholarships will be available for 30 individuals who are currently working 20 hours per week or more in licensed early childhood care centers (residential or commercial) within the following zip codes: 33701, 33705, 33711 and 33712. The scholarships will fund 12 credit hours to prepare the students toward a certificate in early childcare development, with a specialization in preschool education.

“What’s exciting about this is that it’s not just the 30 students that will learn, it’s the hundreds of students – little, little students – that they will be able to better teach,” said St. Petersburg City Council Member Karl Nurse, who spearheaded the effort for the city. “So as we shift the focus on younger and younger students, it’s exciting to have a college like SPC that is so innovative and understands the powerful impact you can have.”

Contact the College of Education at 727-791-2521 for more information.

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