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Beginning this fall, SPC will offer “Weekend College” on the Clearwater Campus. The program provides students the chance to earn an Associate in Arts or Associate in Science in Business Administration degree by taking classes entirely on the weekends.

The program can help those whose work or family responsibilities keep them too busy to attend classes during the week.

Info sessions for the new Weekend College program will be held from 10 to 11:30 on May 30 and July 11, on the Clearwater Campus, Room ES 104.

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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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R. Gil Kerlikowske

R. Gil Kerlikowske, United States Customs and Border Protection Commissioner

United States Customs and Border Protection Commissioner and St. Petersburg College alumnus R. Gil Kerlikowske was the featured speaker at St. Petersburg College’s Public Policy Leadership Speakers Series luncheon on May 21.

About 125 people attended the event, including local law enforcement and politicians, SPC administrators, faculty and staff. The 64 bachelor’s degree students in SPC’s Public Policy Administration program were the focus of the event, asking the commissioner questions about drug policy, human trafficking, border security and more.

Kerlikowske reflected on his four decades of law enforcement and drug policy experience, including teaching as an adjunct professor in Florida, New York and Seattle.

“That ability to give something back and spend time with students is just so critical,” he said. “I think that there was nothing more helpful in my career than to be able to serve as an adjunct and to be able to interact with students — to have that kind of discussion and dialogue. It really keeps you fresh.”

He gave a brief history of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency that was created in 2003 as a result of the Sept. 11 attacks. The new agency combined the efforts of agricultural inspectors; U.S. Border Patrol and Customs; and Immigration and Naturalization Services.

The goal was to have one face at the border. The challenge, he said, was to respond to the wide range of responsibilities — from managing counterfeit honey from China to the rise of Syrian foreign fighters in the U.S.

“The issues in front of Customs and Border Protection is like being in a tennis match – going back and forth from one issue to another on this wide array of responsibilities,” he said.

During his time working as Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), Kerlikowske said he learned that effective drug policy includes enforcement, quality prevention and treatment.

“I wish as a police chief I had the knowledge of drug treatment holistically from a public health perspective that I did when I took over at ONDCP,” he said. “We actually began to change the debate from ‘this is purely a criminal justice problem to this is a health problem.'”

An SPC Public Policy student Nicolas Louis interacting with Commissioner Kerlikowske.

An SPC Public Policy student Nicolas Louis interacting with Commissioner Kerlikowske.

Kerlikowske’s advice to the students was clear:

“For you that are students … the mentorships you have is everything,” he said. “You can be the smartest student in the world. You could do the best whitepaper on the subject. You could do the best PowerPoint, etc. But your ability to work with others and cooperate to figure out how to compromise — to figure out how to work as a team in order to accomplish a mission is the benefit that truly you will get here.”

Kerlikowske’s path to the White House

Kerlikowske earned his associate in arts degree from St. Petersburg Junior College while working for the St. Petersburg Police Department as a street cop. He eventually became head of SPPD’s criminal investigation division while earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in criminal justice from the University of South Florida.

He later graduated from the National Executive Institute at the Federal Bureau of Investigation Academy in Quantico, Va., and went on to serve as police chief of four cities, and as a member of the United States Justice Department.

In his current role as commissioner, Kerlikowski runs the largest federal law enforcement agency with more than 60,000 employees and a budget of $12.4 billion. Before accepting the commissioner position in March 2014, he had served as Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy since 2009.

Public Policy Leadership Speaker Series

The Public Policy Leadership Speaker Series luncheons, organized by SPC Professor Jeff Kronschnabl, gives students the opportunity to engage with highly acclaimed professionals from local, state and federal government in an intimate setting. Previous speakers have included:

  1. Kurt S. Browning, former Florida Secretary of State (March 21, 2012)
    Discussed the value of a higher education and the duties of the Secretary of State.
  2. Major General Karl M. Horst, Chief of Staff-U.S. Central Command ( 27, 2012)
    Discussed his experiences in leadership from his 39 year military career and also discuss his leadership and how it pertains to the USCENTCOM area of Responsibility.
  3. Charlie Crist, former Florida Governor (March 19, 2013)
    Discussed policy leadership while serving Florida as an elected official for over 15 years.
  4. Judge Nelly Khouzam and Judge Morris Silberman, Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal (Oct. 16, 2013)
    This husband and wife duo discussed “A Nation of Laws: What is the role and responsibility of appellate courts as relates to the rule of Law?”
  5. Bob Lasala, County Administrator for Pinellas County, and Bill Horne, City Manager of Clearwater (April 2, 2014)
    Discussed collaborative leadership within local governments.
  6. Jack Latvala, Florida State Senator, and Ed Hooper, Florida State Representative (Oct. 29, 2014)
    Discussed collaborative leadership within the Florida Legislature.
  7. James Olliver, Seminole Campus Provost, and Frank Edmunds, Seminole City Manager (March 25, 2015)
    Discussed their distinguished public service careers and collaboration between the SPC Seminole campus and the City of Seminole.

 

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Brent Weil, Senior Vice President for Education & Workforce at The Manufacturing Institute; Nancy Stephens, MAF Center for Advanced Manufacturing Excellence; and Dr. Gary Graham, Statewide Director for Florida TRADE.

Brent Weil, Senior Vice President for Education & Workforce at The Manufacturing Institute; Nancy Stephens, MAF Center for Advanced Manufacturing Excellence; and Dr. Gary Graham, Statewide Director for Florida TRADE.

The Florida TRADE Consortium and the Manufacturing Association of Florida (MAF) Center for Excellence have joined to promote opportunities for women in manufacturing.

The Manufacturing Experience: A Woman’s Perspective will be held on June 4, at the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes. Key female executives and leaders in manufacturing in Florida will take part in a talk-show style discussion moderated by Florida State Rep. Kathleen Peters.

“Women are a dominant force in the U.S. labor market, but not in manufacturing,” said Nancy Stephens, MAF Center for Advanced Manufacturing Excellence. “As manufacturers do more and more business globally, the industry will continue to grow in Florida and the U.S. This presents a tremendous opportunity for women to engage in this vibrant industry with exceptional career opportunities.”

Part of the “Drive to 1,000,” a Florida TRADE Consortium initiative to place 1,000 Florida TRADE students into manufacturing jobs over the next year, the event is part of the Florida TRADE STEM Manufacturing Forum at the Florida Sterling Council Annual Conference.

The Florida TRADE Consortium, a U.S. Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College & Career Training (TAACCCT) grantee, provides accelerated technical training that provides students with the skills needed to compete for jobs in advanced manufacturing.

“There are many open job opportunities in manufacturing and we hope to make women aware of these opportunities,” said Dr. Gary Graham, Director of Florida TRADE. “We also plan to tape this event and make it available to students, guidance counselors and women across Florida.”

For more information about the Florida TRADE Consortium, visit www.fltrade.org. For information about the MAF Center for Advanced Manufacturing Excellence or the Florida TRADE STEM Manufacturing Forum, please visit www.mafcenter.org or www.floridasterling.com/conferences/stemforum.

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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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See all our graduation numbersSt. Petersburg College will celebrate its 127th commencement ceremony at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 16 at Tropicana Field, One Tropicana Drive, St. Petersburg. About 1,200 of the 2,922 Spring 2015 graduates are expected to participate.

The youngest graduate is 16 years old and the oldest is 76 years old. The Class of 2015 also includes the youngest student ever to receive a bachelor’s degree from St. Petersburg College, 18-year-old Richard Ramdohr, of St. Petersburg.

With this graduating class, St. Petersburg College will have awarded 147,381 degrees since the college – Florida’s first community college – was founded in 1927.

Among other milestones, SPC will celebrate the following:

  • 10,000th student to earn an Associate in Science degree in nursing
  • 8,000th baccalaureate graduate
  • 2,000th baccalaureate nursing graduate
  • 1,000th baccalaureate elementary education teacher graduate
  • The largest group ever of A.A. and A.S. degree students in one term, with 2,286

See all the graduation numbers for Spring 2015.

Amy Bhatt, winner of the 2014-15 Apollo Award, and James Stanley Lenas, recipient of the Alumni Achievement Award, will address their fellow graduates and guests.

“Education is not just the knowledge received in class,” said Bhatt, who has earned an Associate in Art degree. “While I acquired my academic intelligence from my courses, much of the practical intelligence I gained came from extracurricular activities at SPC.”

Lenas, who will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology, touted the active learning opportunities provided by professors with real-world experience that shaped his education at SPC.

“I learned about science from SPC professionals who have been in the research and clinical field. I was a part of a group that gave me the chance to practice science outside the classroom in a relaxed, educational environment,” Lenas said. “I am not only proud to be an SPC graduate, but one who represents the school thereafter.”

St. Petersburg College also will honor St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway as its 2015 Outstanding Alumnus.

The cost for parking in Lots 1-7 is approximately $10. Disabled parking will be available in Lots 1, 6 and 7, and a drop-off circle is available by Gate 5 along 16th Street South. Guests can enter through Gates 3, 4 and 5.

Connect with our graduates
Use our social media images to share your well wishes and be sure to use #spcgrad to tweet your congratulations so it shows up on our Social Tagboard and on the Jumbotron at Tropicana Field the day of the big event.

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Anthony Holloway

Anthony Holloway

St. Petersburg College is honored to announce St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway as our 2015 Outstanding Alumnus. Holloway will be honored at SPC’s Spring graduation May 16, at 9 a.m. at Tropicana Field.

Chief Holloway attended SPJC in 1996 before transferring to Eckerd College where he earned his bachelor’s degree in business management in 1999 and his master’s degree in business administration in 2001.

During his nearly 22-year career with the Clearwater Police Department, Chief Holloway rose through the ranks to become the city’s first black police captain. He began as a patrol officer in 1985 and was named the city’s Outstanding Police Officer for his undercover narcotics work in 1989. During his tenure, he also served as patrol officer, community policing specialist, undercover vice and narcotics detective, patrol sergeant, detective sergeant (Economic Crimes Unit), Support Services assistant division commander, and Patrol Division commander.

Chief Holloway’s impressive service showcases his untiring commitment and steadfast passion to serving the community. These attributes have led to a number of awards: He is a two time recipient of the Clearwater Bar Association’s Allen L. Moore Memorial Gold Badge, and has been named the Joseph F. Cornelius Family Foundation Outstanding Police Officer of the Year (the highest honor given by the Clearwater Police Department), and the Fraternal Order of Police Officer of the Year. Chief Holloway also received the Chief’s Unit Citation.

In 2007, Chief Holloway was selected police chief of Somerville, Massachusetts. In 2010, he returned to Pinellas County after being chosen from a field of more than 200 candidates to succeed retiring Clearwater Police Chief Sid Klein.

His passion and dedication extend beyond the role of police chief. He has taught the precepts of law enforcement to governmental, educational, and community organizations throughout Florida, sharing his primary philosophy of the “three E’s” – evaluate problems in the community, educate residents about services and public safety issues, and enforce laws.

Chief Holloway was appointed to the Board of Governors of The Florida Bar in June 2012 and has served as consultant/trainer to the Department of Juvenile Justice, the U.S. Department of Justice, and St. Petersburg College. In June 2011, he received a certificate of completion for the Senior Executives in State and Local Government program at Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government and Executive Education.

In 2014, Chief Holloway was named chief of the St. Petersburg Police Department, where he continues his mission as a powerful and dedicated servant of the public, committed to protecting our community and kick-starting programs that address the social ills that lead to crime.

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