Archive for the ‘SPC Foundation’ Category

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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L to R: Bill Law, President, St. Petersburg College; Gregory Wright, Community Affairs Manager, Duke Energy Foundation, Florida; Melissa Seixas, Government andCommunity Relations Manager, Duke Energy Florida; Dale Oliver, Chairman, SPC Board of Trustees.

St. Petersburg College and Duke Energy are joining forces to stimulate the workforce and community.

Duke Energy is helping to develop the area’s workforce by providing $30,000 in scholarship support to SPC students.

The gift to the SPC Foundation will benefit students who are the first in their family to pursue a college credential and will be specifically earmarked for students attending SPC’s Midtown or Downtown campuses.

“Duke highly values this partnership with St. Petersburg College and the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of students in St. Petersburg,” said Melissa Seixas, Government and Community Relations Manager for Duke Energy Florida, at a recent recognition by the College Board of Trustees.

Seixas described the partnership as “a multi-layered relationship.”

In August, Duke provided $10,000 and a team of volunteers to help support the grand opening of the college’s Douglas L. Jamerson Midtown Campus.

A long list of local dignitaries and more than 1,500 area residents joined the event to celebrate the opening of the 49,000-square-foot, state-of-the art center.

Located at 1300 22nd Street, South in St. Petersburg, the Jamerson Center was named in honor of the longtime legislator, Florida Education Commissioner and St. Petersburg Junior College alum.

“We appreciate all Duke does for St. Petersburg College and for the entire community,” said College Trustee Deveron Gibbons.

Learn more about Duke Energy Foundation.

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Twenty proposals designed to promote students success will be funded through the St. Petersburg College Foundation’s Innovation Grants Initiative. Grant recipients will receive awards of up to $3,500 to implement projects that broaden traditional curricula and enrich the learning experience for SPC students. In total, more than $55,250 will be awarded this year.

“The grants represent the enormous talent of SPC faculty and staff who design and implement the projects,” said Beth Horner, Vice Chair of the SPC Foundation Board of Directors. The grants are developed to help strengthen students’ skills in a number of areas including science, technology, the arts and career preparedness.

“These creative and well-planned projects promote success by engaging students in new and exciting ways,” Horner added. “We are pleased to be able to underwrite the grants.”

A committee comprised of college and community representatives reviewed and evaluated the proposals.

The Innovation Grants Initiative was launched in 2011 as an opportunity to support the college’s efforts to improve student success. The Foundation has awarded more than $300,000 since starting the initiative.

This year’s grant recipients are:

James Angle, Support for Online Testing Fire and Public Safety Training Center

Gabrielle Bain, PT Obstacle Props

Brittany Baldwin, Educational Ecosystem Development Fund

Marie Biggs, Girl Power: Building Science Content Literacy for Girls K-5

Susan Blanchard, Reaching Out – Disabilities in the Community

Meg Delgato, STEM on Wheels: A Portable Approach to Science Inquiry in the Classroom

Meg Delgato, Instrumental Change, The Sequel: Using the Art of Drum Making to Investigate

the Science of Sound

Ethan Hart, SteamWorks

Jonathan Helms, Vocation Vacation

Stephanie Henningsen, The SPC Student Leadership Academy

David Manson, 2016 St. Petersburg Jazz Festival

Ray Menard, There’s More to Meat than Meets the Eye

Marilyn Michael, 2016 Summer Vocal Institute

Natavia Middleton, Today a Reader, Tomorrow a Leader

Kari Morrel, Midtown Library Technology Enhancement

Shirley Oakley, Persuasion and Performance: Connecting Students with Professionals in the Media Field

Julia Rawa-White, Rise & Shine: Student Success through Interdisciplinary Research & Scholarly Publication

Lara Sharp, Off to the Races–Summer Camp Program: Building Robotic Cars

Katherine Siegler, Biotech Botanicals

Carol Weideman, Expanding the Teaching Toolkit to Enhance Student Engagement

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Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak will usher in the St. Petersburg College Foundation’s new Distinguished Speakers Series at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 2 at the Palladium Theater at St. Petersburg College.

Proceeds from the event, The Wozniak Project: An Evening with Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak, will support Foundation scholarships for SPC students. Known as one of the most important innovators of our time, Wozniak will lead a lively, interactive discussion customized for his audience.

General admission ticket prices for the event are $95 for Orchestra Lower Level seating and $85 for Balcony Upper Level seating. View seating charts and purchase tickets here.

A Silicon Valley icon and philanthropist for more than thirty years, Wozniak helped shape the computing industry with his design of Apple’s first line of products. Together with the late Steve Jobs, Wozniak founded Apple Computer Inc. in 1976, and developed the Apple I personal computer. A year later, they unveiled the Apple II, launching the personal computing industry as we know it. For his achievements at Apple, former President Ronald Reagan in 1985 awarded Wozniak the National Medal of Technology, the highest honor bestowed on America’s leading innovators.

Inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame in 2000, Wozniak received the Heinz Award for Technology, The Economy and Employment for single-handedly designing the first personal computer, and for then redirecting his lifelong passion for math and electronics toward lighting the fires of excitement for education in grade school students and their teachers.

Wozniak is Chief Scientist at Primary Data and author of the New York Times’ best-selling autobiography “iWoz: Computer Geek to Cult Icon.”

With more than 60% of SPC’s annual enrollment of 45,000 students relying on tuition assistance, scholarships play a critical role in the student success and help ensure that graduates are equipped with the high-demand skills necessary to address the opportunities of a rapidly changing marketplace.

The event is sponsored by: Raymond James; Lynn Hensley; The Bank of Tampa; Bright House Networks; Merrill Lynch; Bristol-Myers Squibb; Apple Employee #302; Cisco; Gregory, Sharer & Stuart; RBC Wealth Management; RedVector; Tribridge; Jagged Peak; and AgileThought.

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On Thursday, Nov. 13, the SPC Foundation and Raymond James Financial hosted the third annual Innovation Grants Luncheon. The event is held to celebrate the outcomes and achievements of projects funded by the 2013-14 Innovation Grants and to thank the donors who made the grants possible.

SPC Innovation Grant winners present information about their projects at the third annual SPC Foundation Innovation Grants Luncheon.

SPC Innovation Grant winners present information about their projects at the third annual SPC Foundation Innovation Grants Luncheon.

“We can almost trick you into doing science if we’re creative about it.” – Biology Professor Michelle Osovitz

The program provided more than $73,000 to fund 24 grants during the 2013-14 academic year, up from $50,000 the previous year, which supported 16 grants. These financial resources are used to implement programs that broaden the scope of the curriculum, deepen the college experience and improve student achievement.

Faculty often face the challenge of finding innovative ways to engage students in active learning. Through these Innovation Grants, faculty across a wide spectrum of disciplines are able to engage students and the community in a new way.

The theme of Thursday’s event was the incorporation of art in the study of science. Luncheon guests were invited to view project tables and participate in a drum circle facilitated by Steve Turner from Giving Tree Music.

Innovation Grant recipient Meg Delgato, academic chair of Natural Science at the Tarpon Springs Campus, spoke about her project, which utilized the drum circle environment to bring together art and science through innovative, hands-on learning. Students looked at the project through the lenses of critical thinking to see how it plays into neuroscience, disorders and other medical benefits.

“This grant allowed my students to use the drum circle as the key activity for learning in a biological issues class during the spring semester,” Delgato said. The drum circle gave students the opportunity to study and investigate the connections between art, music and science. It also served as the platform for a semester-long class project, which culminated in posting and facilitating a community drum circle that involved the Midtown and Tarpon Springs communities.

Anne Ryan, assistant professor of Early Childhood Education, said her innovation grant project Full STEAM Ahead – Early Childhood STEM Learning Through the Arts emphasized creating quality teachers whose training is research- and evidence-based. Through the innovation grant, they brought a master teaching artist from Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts to SPC to complete a residency program and put on a workshop to help SPC students integrate science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics into early childhood education.

“Many of our students are working in early childhood centers and preschools, and we know the best outcomes for young children in those settings is to have qualified, highly-educated teachers,” Ryan said. “We want children to learn how to articulate what it is they are doing.”

Highlights from the program are on display in the student exhibit at the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art.

Biology professor Kathy Siegler spoke about the difficulties faced by non-English speaking students who are enrolled in science courses. Her innovation grant project aimed to help students become more engaged and therefore more successful by developing a mentoring team to work with students and faculty to develop a scientific lexicon in various languages.

“One of my pet projects for a really long time is to try and make sure students, no matter who they are, are really good at writing and communicating,” Siegler said. “You need to be able to communicate with your peers. For a student to be a really good scientist, they need to be able to take this jumble of words that we throw at them, make them their own, and use them in an effective way.”

Michelle Osovitz, professor of biology, spoke about her portion of a joint art and science integration project she has worked on with professors Shannon McQuaig-Ulrich, Erin Goergen and Monica Lara. The project integrated the study of science, math and art into the application of metalsmithing and creation of kinetic spinner rings and other jewelry.

“The mission of our project was to inspire passion for science through creative use of art,” she said. “We can almost trick you into doing science if we’re creative about it. And data shows this is true: the more art you have, the more engaged you’ll be.”

Ray Menard, Associate Professor of Natural Science, shared about how he and his students set out to investigate how bacteria communicate, engaging in active learning and working with each other and independently to develop critical thinking, data analysis and organizational skills along the way. What began as an exercise with bacteria in a plate of spices turned into something more: an accidental contamination resulted in a microbe that was producing an antibiotic.

They set out to investigate the microbe by learning how to stain bacteria, perform a protein analysis and DNA isolation.

“This is the type of stuff that is going on throughout the world for identifying different diseases and criminals in different crime labs throughout the country,” Menard said. “Our students are doing this type of high-tech stuff here at SPC.”

See more photos from the event on the college’s Facebook page.

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right foot flier - FINALSPC students are invited to a free event, Off on the Right Foot: strategies of successful students, to familiarize themselves with college life on Friday, Aug. 22. The event runs from 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Clearwater Campus in ES 104 and was funded by a 2014 SPC Foundation Innovation Grant.

The goal of the pilot program is to help students discover campus resources, attend workshops to learn good study and life skills, and meet other SPC students, faculty and support staff.

The program includes a number of 40-minute workshops on topics that include:

  • Turn a Syllabus Into a Semester Plan
  • Work Smarter: Tips From ‘A’ Students
  • Balancing School and Life Demands
  • Study Skills for Math and Science Courses
  • Match Your Major to Your Dream Job
  • Maximizing Financial Aid and Scholarships

Free breakfast and lunch is provided and a few students will leave with prizes that include a bookstore gift card, a graphing calculator or a Nook tablet.

Advanced registration is strongly encouraged. Walk-ins are accepted if seats are available on the day of the event. For more information, contact Jenica Ibarra, Reference and Instruction Librarian in Learning Resources, at 727-791-2771.

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The Seminole Community Library will be the location of the grand opening of the SPC’s new Innovation Lab next week.

SPC employees and the public are invited to the grand opening
Tuesday, June 3
11 a.m. to noon and 6 to 7 p.m.
Seminole Community Library at St. Petersburg College
9200 113th St., Seminole, LI 201.

The lab serves as a creative environment, often called a makerspace, that will provide people with common interests like computers, technology, science or digital arts a location to socialize and collaborate on ideas and learn new skills. Visitors to the SPC location will be able to learn how to program different devices, such as the Raspberry Pi, the Arduino Genuine Mega 2560 Board and the ProtoSnap LilyPad Development Board.

The lab offers:

  • 3-D printer
  • FreeFab3D Monolith 3D Printer built locally using other 3D printers
  • littleBits Synth Kit
  • Arduino Genuine Mega 2560 Circuit Board Experimentation Kit
  • Avid Fast Track Duo Audio Interface with Pro Tools Express
  • An iMac, 2 Linux computers, and 1 Windows computer
  • A variety of Open Source Software applications for 3D printing, design etc.
  • MaKey MaKey: Original Invention Kit
  • Cubelets KT06 Kit
  • ProtoSnap LilyPad Development Board
  • 2 CanaKit Raspberry Pi Ultimate Starter Kits
  • Apollo Precision Tools 53-Piece Tool Kit
  • Parallax Programmable Boe-Bot Robot Kit
  • Elenco Deluxe Learn To Solder Kit
  • Samsung 32-Inch 1080p LED HDTV with Logitech TV Cam HD for Skype Calls
  • Chromecast
  • Online File Distribution System for access to project files, open access resources, etc.
  • Reference collection including books and magazines

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