Archive for the ‘SPC’ Category

Bright House Networks joins Creative Loafing as a media sponsor of the St. Petersburg Jazz Fest, which kicks off Feb. 25. Other sponsors include Chamber Music America, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, St. Petersburg College & EMIT.

Download the full program and schedule.

Share your photos on the Jazz Fest Facebook page and check out the profiles of the scheduled artists on their website.

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St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway will give the keynote address at St. Petersburg College’s third annual Keys to Manhood – A Seminar for Men. The event will be:

8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 6
Seminole Campus, Conference Center
9200 113th St. N.

The free seminar is designed to offer male college students tools and resources to help them succeed academically, personally and professionally. Men are more likely to drop out of high school and less likely to attend or graduate from college than their female peers (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014).

Over the past three fall terms at St. Petersburg College, male First-Time-In-College (FTIC) students had 8% lower success rates than female FTIC students. Success is defined as earning an A, B or C in a class. During that time, male students had a success rate of 66.3%, while females had a 74.7% success rate in their courses.

Keys to Manhood features a variety of breakout sessions designed to address issues that may inhibit academic success for male students. They include:

  • Overcoming Legal Obstacles
  • Workforce Degrees and Pathways
  • “The Endangered Male”
  • How to Get an “A” in Class
  • Money Management
  • Social Media (How to Get a Job Using Social Media)
  • Second Time Around (non-traditional students)

Past keynote speakers at the event have included Jimmie Lee Solomon, former executive vice president of Major League Baseball, and Florida House Rep. Darryl Rouson.

The event is presented by Transamerica. Download the program.

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Brad Jenkins at the opening of the Collaborative Center for Emerging Technologies

A beaming Brad Jenkins at the opening of the Collaborative Center for Emerging Technologies in August, 2012

Not many people get the liberty to develop a manufacturing training facility and show it off to the federal Secretary of Labor.

Brad Jenkins did just that in September 2012, when U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis visited the Clearwater Campus to announce $500 million worth of federal workforce training grants.

As part of her visit, Solis toured the $1.2 million Collaborative Center for Emerging Technologies, a training facility that Jenkins helped develop as an open manufacturing factory and work environment. The building is the crowning achievement of Jenkins’ 40-year career at St. Petersburg College.

Jenkins will retire this month and be honored at the Board of Trustees meeting Jan. 20.

“Forty years is a long time,” said Jenkins, who began his career at SPC as a full-time instructor and is departing as Associate Dean of the Engineering Technology and Building Arts Department. “I’ve got my fingerprints on a lot of things.”

Meeting the needs of the manufacturing industry

Since Jenkins was named program director of Engineering Technology and Building Arts in 1979, more than 1,800 students have earned certificates and degrees under him.

Over the past three years, enrollment in manufacturing programs at SPC has climbed 20% thanks in part to federal and state workforce training grants the college has received.

The workforce grants and training at the CCET help meet a growing skills gap that leaves thousands of manufacturing jobs unfilled each year. Through the career training program announced by Secretary Solis, St. Petersburg College and partnering colleges received a $15 million grant to build the Florida TRADE Consortium, a statewide training system for advanced manufacturing jobs in high demand.

Over the years, manufacturing has evolved dramatically and now relies heavily on advanced technologies and automation, requiring specialized training. Jenkins wanted such training to take place in the CCET with “everything out in the open like an actual manufacturing floor” so it was realistic. He was given carte blanche to build and equip the workforce training center as he saw fit.

“Can you believe I got that chance?” quipped Jenkins. “Not many people get that sort of deal. We’ve got a unique situation here that worked out pretty well.”

Now, companies frequently visit the CCET, as they look to relocate to the Tampa Bay area and train a new workforce. The name, Collaborative Center for Emerging Technologies, was inspired by the large role the college plays in working with employers.

“I looked at a lot of other facilities in the state that had advanced manufacturing in the name, but this made more sense because we work so closely with industry and local partners,” said Jenkins, who has also built working relationships with the National Science Foundation.

In fact, Jenkins served as co-principal investigator for two NSF grant initiatives: the Florida Advanced Technological Education (FLATE) Center and the Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM). While at SPC, he also helped secure and administer nine other major workforce training grant programs from various agencies.

Award-winning innovator

Jenkins was named the 2012 Educator of the Year by the National High Impact Technology Exchange Association for his work on developing SPC’s Associate of Science degree in Engineering Technology. The first of its kind in Florida, the degree serves as a national model and has been adopted by 10 other colleges in the state.

“The higher education community across the state as well as business and industry leaders respect Brad as one of the premier technology educators,” said Clearwater Provost Stan Vittetoe. “His work has ranged from telecommunications to manufacturing and biomedical electronics. He has been at the forefront of technology education for many years, and has been recognized by national organizations for his contributions in this area. In addition to his teaching responsibilities Brad has led numerous state and federal grants on behalf of the college and has insured that SPC would remain on the leading edge of technology.”

Through his extensive industry connections, Jenkins has personally helped dozens of students land jobs. To Jenkins, giving people real skills is what makes the difference and has made his time at SPC so gratifying.

“You feel like you are giving somebody something to live on, that’s much better than $8 an hour,” Jenkins said. “You give them a career and a way to advance. You won’t necessarily make $20 an hour right when you leave us, but you will have the skills to work your way up.”

In retirement, Jenkins looks forward to spending more time with his grandchildren. His first granddaughter was born six months ago to a family that is vastly outweighed by boys, by a measure of 8 to 1.

He also plans to travel and continue his work with the NSF to bring more colleges into the fold of grants and workforce training programs.

“Brad took me under his wing when I first started with the college five years ago,” said Gary Graham, director of the Florida TRADE Consortium. “We both had a manufacturing background and were able to speak “manufacturing”. He is a wonderful colleague, mentor, and friend. SPC will miss his tremendous knowledge and expertise.”

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The unique partnership between St. Petersburg College and LumaStream is drawing international interest. On Nov. 21, a group of five distinguished guests representing Ukraine’s government, business, academia, media, arts and non-governmental organizations toured the local LED lighting manufacturer’s plant in Midtown.

The Ukrainian guests were selected by the American Embassy in their country and the U.S. Department of State for the express purpose of finding out about:

  • public-private partnerships in economic development
  • ensuring quality in higher education, youth engagement, community outreach and engagement and
  • the role of public sector organizations in holding government accountable.

The trip was organized by World Partnerships, the official State Department partner for hosting global leaders in the Tampa Bay area. The organization creates professional programs, cultural activities and social networking for international leaders with their Tampa Bay counterparts.

Jill Flansburg, program coordinator for Florida TRADE and Claire Underhill, marketing assistant for LumaStream, hosted the group. Last month, a dozen University of South Florida St. Petersburg journalism students and their professor, Rob Hooker, visited LumaStream to learn how the company teamed up with the college last year to begin providing job training.

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From left, back row: Lt. Scott Matthews, Sgt. George Martin, Lt. James Wentz, Lt. Kurt Romanosky, Lt. Hardy Taliaferro, Sgt. Bryan Leach, Sgt. Robert Serrano, Lt. Jeffrey Perrigo
Front row: Sgt. Gregory Danzig, Lt. Traci Reid, Major Lora McFee, Sgt. Emily Deleuze, Sgt. Jake Popkowski

Of the 13 members of the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office that Sheriff Bob Gualtieri promoted Wednesday, six were St. Petersburg College alumni.

At the promotion ceremony, held Nov. 19, family members and friends pinned new badges on their fathers, mothers, sons and daughters, who had just been promoted. Be sure to congratulate them on Facebook.

They included:

Promoted to Sergeant
Gregory Danzig, SPC alumnus
Emily Deleuze
Bryan Leach, SPC alumnus
George Martin
Jake Popkowski, SPC alumnus
Robert Serrano

Promoted to Lieutenant
Scott Matthews
Jeffrey Perrigo, SPC alumnus
Traci Reid, SPC alumna
Kurt Romanosky, SPC alumnus
Hardy Taliaferro
James Wentz

Promoted to Major
Lora McFee

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Peg Connell

Peg Connell

Peg Connell, director of Disabilities Resources, who is retiring in December, was honored at Tuesday’s Board of Trustees meeting. She began her career with St. Petersburg College in March 1998.

“Ms. Connell, throughout this time, has insisted on and maintained high standards for herself and her staff, which has resulted in several federal grant awards to the college and the establishment of the Able Trust Grant, which has placed more than 100 students with disabilities in professional, career-oriented employment since its inception two years ago,” Dr. Bill Law read from the resolution honoring Connell.

Connell has served as the president of the Florida Special Needs Association and the St. Petersburg College chapter of the Florida Association of Community Colleges. She was a founder of Florida AHEAD (the Florida Association on Higher Education and Disabilities) and served as the association’s president in 2011-12. She received the association’s Award of Excellence in 2013.

Connell will always be remembered for her work in establishing the highly successful Narrowing the Gulf annual conference at SPC, which brings more than 200 people to the EpiCenter each year to address the needs of under-represented college students across the state.

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A conversation about wide-ranging issues faced by women and families, facilitated by state Rep. Kathleen Peters (R-Dist. 69) will be held at 6 p.m. Dec. 4 at St. Petersburg College, Seminole Campus, 9200 113th St. N, UP-303. Advance registration is requested. The event is free and open to the public.

The event is part of a series of conversations taking place across the state that started in September and will continue through the month of December. The events are hosted by the Florida Commission on the Status of Women. The commission will submit its findings in a comprehensive report called “Your Voice Matters: Conversations With Florida Women and Families.” The report will be released at 2015 Florida Women’s Day at the Capitol in Tallahassee on March 24.

For more information, visit the commission’s website.

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