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Archive for the ‘St. Petersburg College’ Category

The dust has settled – and the smoke cleared – at St. Petersburg College (SPC) as the institution approaches its second anniversary of being tobacco free. The student-led initiative to ban all forms of tobacco, including smokeless tobacco and electronic cigarettes, on all SPC campuses and properties was formally adopted in June 2016.

“Secondhand smoke is a major hazard, and a lot of people do not want to be around it,” SPC St. Petersburg Gibbs Campus SGA President Fallia Zacharopoulou said. “I’m very proud to be at SPC where we look out for each other.”

The Truth Initiative, a national foundation dedicated to ending tobacco use, awarded SPC a $10,000 grant through its Smoke-Free and Tobacco-Free Community College grant program to assist with implementing and publicizing the new tobacco-free policy.

“Our students raised a concern, performed research and professionally presented their findings,” said Dr. Jamelle Conner, Provost of SPC’s St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus. “Being awarded the Truth Initiative grant was further validation of their good work, and we greatly appreciate the support that the grant provided in making SPC smoke and tobacco-free.”

The grant wrapped up earlier this spring. However, SPC will not cease efforts to promote its smoke-free policy.

Under the Truth Initiative grant, SPC held multiple Wellness and Awareness events on campus. Tobacco Free Forums were also held on multiple SPC campuses to encourage open dialogue between students, faculty and staff on the new policy and related concerns to smoking and tobacco use. Information on the tobacco-free policy was regularly disseminated to ensure new students were aware of the new rules at the start of each term.

Zacharopoulou has helped to inform and educate her peers on the benefits of the initiative.

“I believe the tobacco-free campus policy is a great addition to the College,” Zacharopoulou said. “I strongly believe in being environmentally friendly, especially on a college campus, where students are here to learn with limited distractions.”

In Florida, 18-to-24 year-olds have the highest prevalence of cigarette smoking, compared to all other age groups. Many college students believe their current tobacco use is harmless, that they are not addicted and that they will quit smoking when they graduate, but studies show otherwise. Research demonstrates that young adults who smoke find that it leads to a lifetime of addiction, resulting in tobacco-related disease and premature death.

More than 20 colleges and universities have enacted smoke-free campus policies in the Sunshine State.

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St. Petersburg College will join USF St. Petersburg (USFSP) for a press conference on May 23, 2018 to detail new initiatives, scholarship opportunities and expansion of existing programs to increase higher education access for all students in Pinellas County. Representatives from the Florida Legislature, USFSP and SPC will highlight how they are creating greater pathways for students from middle school through graduate school to attain their educational goals. The event will take place at 1:30 p.m. at the USFSP Waterfront.

Speakers include:

  • Senator Jeff Brandes, Florida Senate
  • Representative Chris Sprowls, Florida House of Representatives
  • Stephanie Goforth, USF St. Petersburg Campus Board Chair and USF Trustee
  • Martin Tadlock, USF St. Petersburg Interim Regional Chancellor
  • Tonjua Williams, St. Petersburg College President

“A major priority of the Pinellas County delegation this legislative session was to secure critical funding that will expand educational access and begin to provide every student in our county the resources to earn a college degree,” said Representative Sprowls.

During the last legislative session, Senator Brandes, Representative Sprowls and the Pinellas County delegation were instrumental in securing new funds for both USFSP and SPC. Some of these funds will be dedicated toward providing scholarships and programs that create a more seamless transition for SPC students and recent graduates who attained their associate’s degree to attend USFSP and earn a bachelor’s degree.

A new Blue Gold Scholarship will be offered by both USFSP and SPC that officials hope will create a greater pipeline between the two institutions and increase the overall number of students who begin at SPC and go onto USFSP. Nearly 25 percent of USFSP undergraduate students are St. Petersburg College transfers, according to data from the 2017-18 academic year.

“SPC and USFSP are working collaboratively to ensure that middle and high school students in public, private, charter and home schools know there are pathways to higher education in Pinellas County,” said Williams. “Thanks to the legislature, there are now increased resources to support these pathways so students can secure an undergraduate degree from USF St. Petersburg.”

Another scholarship opportunity will increase the number of students eligible for FUSE. FUSE is a partnership between SPC and USFSP that allows students to start earning an associate’s degree from SPC while receiving many of the perks of being a USF student, from access to campus events to specialized advising. When it’s time for a bachelor’s degree, FUSE guarantees that students who earn an associate’s degree in three years with a minimum grade point average of 2.0 will be admitted to either USFSP or USF Tampa, based on which academic path students pursue. The FUSE Program is designed to promote timely bachelor’s degree completion for students who have earned an associate’s degree from a participating regional Florida College System institution.

“USF St. Petersburg and St. Pete College have a longstanding and rewarding partnership. We continue to enhance that partnership in new and exciting ways. These new scholarship opportunities will help ensure that pathways are available for every student in our community who wants to earn a bachelor’s or graduate degree,” said Tadlock.

Other potential initiatives that may come out of the increased legislative funding include increasing the number of higher education advisors in Pinellas County high schools, establishing a winter transition program for SPC students coming to USFSP and establishing education fairs for private schools and home-schooled students.

“As both a graduate of St. Petersburg College and USF St. Petersburg, I know firsthand the impact these institutions have on changing students’ lives, and I am excited to see the ripple effect these new scholarships and programs will have for our community,” said Goforth.

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St. Petersburg College will hold its 136th commencement ceremony at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 12 at Tropicana Field, One Tropicana Dr., St. Petersburg College. Approximately 1,300 of the 1,949 graduates are expected to participate.

The youngest graduate is 16 years old, the oldest is 68 years old and 19 graduates are over the age of 60. Sixty-seven percent of the graduates are female.

With this graduating class, St. Petersburg College will have awarded 169,426 degrees since the college – Florida’s first community college – was founded in 1927.

SPC will award:

  • 1,042 Associate in Arts degrees
  • 342 Associate in Science degrees
  • 265 Bachelor of Applied Science degrees
  • 251 Bachelor of Science degrees
  • 72 certifications

Joey Bower, winner of the 2017-18 Apollo Award, and Amanda Hunt, recipient of the Alumni Achievement Award, will address their fellow graduates and guests.

Bower received an A.S. degree in Technology Management in 2017 with a 3.55 GPA. Bower is an active volunteer and donates his time to The Family Café, which exists to connect individuals with disabilities and their families with information, training and networking opportunities. He is also active with Cure Congenital Muscular Dystrophy, and is the Chairman of the School Advisory Council for the Nina Harris School.

“Imagine being the parent of a special needs child, working full-time, who decided to go back to school at 40 years old. Not only did I finish my degree, but I graduated Cum Laude,” Bower said.

Hunt will receive her B.A.S. degree in Management and Organizational Leadership and has a 4.0 GPA. She is a member of the College Entrepreneur’s Organization and Aletheia Christian Club.  Hunt won the 2017 Jane Till Nonprofit Startup Competition and received funding to start her charity organization, United by Love. As a dedicated volunteer, Hunt serves at the St. Vincent De Paul soup kitchen, organizes her local church youth group and empowers children through Global Celebration.

“I am extremely grateful for all that I have gained, learned and experienced from my time at St. Petersburg College. I will enter the nonprofit community knowing that I now have the skills and knowledge that align with the passion I have always had: to love people and help them however I can.”

Spring 2018 Graduation Infographic

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St. Petersburg College (SPC) is ranked second in Florida and sixth in the nation, among associate colleges, for sending students abroad, according to the Institute of International Education (IIE) 2017 Open Doors Report. Over the last year, more than 140 SPC students have traveled to other countries.

Study Abroad report

Dr. Ramona Kirsch, Director of the Center for International Programs, celebrated the report naming SPC among leading institutions for study abroad education and emphasized the importance of out-of-classroom experience for students.

“When I arrived at SPC a little more than five years ago, SPC was not even on the radar for study abroad,” said Kirsch. “Now, in just a little over five years, we have increased study abroad participation by 113 percent.”

SPC has a broad range of study abroad programs throughout the world. The upcoming 2018-19 programs include:

  • Veterinary Techology students will be working to assist troubled sea turtles in Australia
  • Students will discover what makes India a cultural and religious force
  • Social psychology in a global context will be explored in Ireland
  • Students will be working with varying ecosystems and scuba diving in Israel
  • Students will be studying World Literature and Culture in Japan
  • High school students will say Bonjour Québec as they study International Relations and do service learning activities in Canada

Learn more about SPC’s study abroad program online or email studyabroad@spcollege.edu

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Hundreds attended the April 21 grand opening of the Clearwater East Community Library at St. Petersburg College.

Clearwater East Community Library at St. Petersburg College Grand Opening

Years in the making, the joint-use facility at the SPC Clearwater Campus marks the college’s third such partnership with municipalities. Other library partners include the cities of St. Petersburg and Seminole.

“This is a facility where we convene the dialogues and strengthen the bonds that make this a world-class community and SPC an outstanding institution of higher education,” said SPC Clearwater Provost Stan Vittetoe.

“This is a monumental day for all of us,” said Clearwater Library Director Jennifer Obermaier. “Today we celebrate our partnership with St. Petersburg College. Through this facility, we can change lives: of children, families and students young and old. Today we celebrate knowledge, information, learning and imagination.”

Grand Opening of the Clearwater East Community Library at St. Petersburg College

The $15 million project was cooperatively funded by St. Petersburg College and the City of Clearwater.

SPC Board of Trustees Vice Chair Katherine Cole noted how the new library epitomizes the vision of the college and SPC President Tonjua Williams to create a “Community of Care.”

Other speakers included City Manager Bill Horne and SPC Senior Vice President for Instructional and Academic Programs Anne Cooper.

In his remarks, Clearwater Mayor George N. Cretekos noted that students of all ages will experience a college environment when they attend the library and reminded attendees to “read a book tonight.”

See more photos on the college’s Facebook page.

New library details

The 40,000-square-foot library includes 10,000-square-feet of dedicated public space, 15,000-square-feet of dedicated college space and 15,000-square-feet of shared space.

The library is located on the SPC’s Clearwater Campus at 2465 Drew St. in Clearwater. Canerdy, Belfsky + Arroyo Architects of St. Petersburg designed the building and Creative Contractors of Clearwater coordinated construction.

Clearwater East Community Library at St. Petersburg College

Highlights of the new building include:

  • more than 90,000 electronic and print books and audio-visual materials covering a variety of disciplines and subjects
  • more than 100 print journals and magazines of general and academic interest
  • streaming videos, audiobooks, images, citation tools and music
  • thousands of online research databases; group and individual meeting areas
  • computers, scanners, printers, photocopiers and wifi
  • a dedicated program room and a children’s section
  • a drive-through for item return and pickup

Clearwater East Community Library at St. Petersburg College Grand Opening

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Enjoy the Titan Trot 5K at St. Petersburg College and help support student scholarships at the college.

The Titan Trot 5K is scheduled for Saturday, April 14, and starts at the SPC Clearwater Campus.  The race begins at 8 a.m. on the campus quad and continues down a trail to Cliff Stephens Park. It’s is open to the community as well as SPC students and employees. Please register online.

All levels are welcome. Run or walk. Can’t make it to race day? Sign up as a “virtual” runner and record your race time for yourself another time. Separate scholarship donations also will be accepted.

Prices for participants are:

  • $10 for current SPC students
  • $20 for SPC employees
  • $30 for the public

All proceeds will fund SPC student scholarships.

SPC’s Faculty Governance Organization (FGO) is hosting the event and would like to thank the businesses and individuals who are sponsoring the 5K including:

• Green Bench Brewing Co.
• Orangetheory Fitness
• Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
• Publix
• PureMolecular, LLC
• St. Pete Running Company
• USA Ultra Triathlon
• Sears Cleaning Services and Sears Garage Doors
• SPC Natural Sciences Department
• Dr. Eric Carver
• Dr. Katherine Woods
• Dr. Tonjua Williams

Check out our hashtags on social media to keep up with the action leading up to the race: #SPC5K and #TitanTrot2018. Or check out our Facebook event page for updates.

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St. Petersburg College (SPC) is pleased to announce a partnership with Community Foundation of Tampa Bay (CFTB), an organization focused on connecting donors, nonprofit organizations and community leaders in an effort to make Tampa Bay a better place to live. Through this partnership, SPC was awarded a $15,000 grant to expand its mental health awareness efforts on campus.

This funding will allow SPC Faculty and Staff to undergo training that will help them identify and support students with mental health issues. In addition, each SPC campus will have a designated mental health awareness ally who will serve as a liaison between students and campus and community mental health resources.

Community Foundation of Tampa Bay

“Our students come to SPC with challenges beyond the classroom experience,” said SPC President Tonjua Williams. “To help them be successful, we’re committed to being a student-ready college by expanding our social support resources for mental health. We’re excited about our partnership with Community Foundation of Tampa Bay.”

“We are very excited to partner with St. Petersburg College,” says Marlene Spalten, President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay. “St. Petersburg College has made an incredibly positive impact in the community and we are honored to continue to support their efforts.”

The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay connects donors with nonprofit organizations and community leaders to create a meaningful impact in the Tampa Bay region and beyond. In 2015, donors with the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay provided over $12 million in grants to causes and organizations within the community.

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