Archive for the ‘St. Petersburg College’ Category


A Women 2 STEM career exploration kickoff event, aimed at women interested or currently pursuing a college degree that leads to a career in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math is scheduled for:

Monday, July 10, 5:30-7 p.m.
St. Petersburg College Clearwater Campus, ES-104

Women 2 STEM Summer Kickoff

As women continue to be under-represented in STEM fields, SPC and local STEM professionals are reaching out this summer to inspire, educate, and help women prepare for high-wage, high-demand careers. During this kickoff event, prospective and current SPC students will:

  • Meet and network with SPC STEM faculty, local employers, and mentors
  • Get all the details about this summer’s FREE Women 2 STEM Summer Workshop Series

Take the next step to begin your STEM career and register online today. Get updates via Facebook.

Women 2 STEM Summer Workshop Series

During the kickoff event, you can register to attend the FREE Women 2 STEM Summer Workshop Series where you will meet female mathematicians, scientists, engineers, and technologists and:

  • Experience power-packed, project-based learning activities
  • Explore high-paying, in-demand STEM careers to find your perfect fit
  • Get help with time and finance management
  • Meet mentors who are ready to help you complete your college degree

The Saturday workshops will be held on SPC’s Clearwater Campus, Room ES-104, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on:

  • July 15 – Discover Your Strengths
  • July 22 – Mapping Your Future
  • July 29 – The Path Ahead
  • Aug. 5   – The Start of Your Journey

All of these events are FREE.

Learn more about St. Petersburg College degrees at spcollege.edu/degrees-training.

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On June 6, more than 50 dignitaries, faculty, staff, students, family and friends filled the new Women on the Way Center at SPC’s Tarpon Springs Campus, where they shared warm hugs and fond memories of Maria Edmonds, former Associate Provost of the Tarpon Springs Campus, who passed away in January. Edmonds was one of the driving forces behind the WOW program at SPC.

Dr. Linda Hogans welcomed the crowd to the celebration of life.

“A dream, passion and purpose helped move this vision,” Hogans said.

St. Petersburg College launched its Women on the Way program in 1981 as a resource and support center for women who were entering college in larger numbers than ever before in the history of the United States. The goal was to provide women – many of them the first in their families to attend college – with the skills and resources to be successful in an academic setting.

Dr. Bill Law, outgoing SPC President, and Dr. Tonjua Williams, incoming SPC President, shared the podium as they expressed kind words about Edmonds.

“She was always a beacon of bright light,” Law said. She made WOW a home for the students who need it.”

Williams said that her life was forever changed by Edmonds, and remembered her bright spirit.

“Maria would always enter a room with open arms and a hello,” said Williams.

Senator Jack Latvala sent an honorary letter stating, “Ms. Edmonds was an incredible role model for women and a pioneer as a Hispanic and education advocate.”

WOW member Paula Thomas stood with confidence as she remembered being afraid to start college in a new state.

“My support at SPC has been God, my family and WOW,” said Thomas. “Now, I’m a woman of power, passion and purpose.”

Edmonds’ husband, David, shared the Rotary Club’s motto “Serve Above Self” to describe his beloved wife’s commitment to the community, especially to the WOW program, which is now in its 36th year and is available to women at the Clearwater, Seminole, Midtown and Tarpon Springs Campus.

“She always gave 100 percent to everything she did,” said Edmonds. “Her proudest achievement was Women on the Way.”

With overwhelming emotion, Edmonds’ daughter Leza Ries shared a personal letter written by her mother in 1985.

“My only wish,” Edmonds had written, “is that I will be able to leave my grandchildren a legacy of pleasant memories of love and understanding, so, like my own Grandmother, I will never die.”


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Not sure if your future is in web development or if you want to pursue your dream to become a digital artist? Learn more about degree options and the career paths they offer at St. Petersburg College’s Career and Academic Communities Fair June 19 – 22.

Whether you’re thinking about attending college or are a current SPC student trying to choose a major, this event offers a chance to explore what’s right for you.

Career and Academic Communities FairTalk with college faculty and staff who are a part of SPC’s Pathways Program. Explore 10 Career and Academic Communities. Find out more about requirements for certain degrees and careers. Follow a map for college success that ensures students take the right courses, in the right order, to meet their academic and career goals.

The event will be held at eight college locations over four days. Faculty and staff from the different communities will be at:

Faculty and staff from the Health Sciences and Veterinary Technology community will be at the Health Education Center and the Veterinary Technology Center on Tuesday, June 20:

All sessions are free and open to the public.

Career and Academic Communities

 The Pathways Program includes these career and academic communities:

Within a community, SPC students have the chance to meet and network with others pursuing similar goals as well as faculty, staff and community members who are experts in their fields.

Take advantage of this great opportunity to learn more about SPC’s Pathways Program and our Career and Academic Communities. Plus meet with students, faculty, and staff who will help support you through your academic journey!

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During a special meeting on May 31, the Board of Trustees of St. Petersburg College (SPC) selected Tonjua Williams, Ph.D., as the college’s next President. The board voted unanimously on the selection.

Williams is currently the Sr. Vice President Student Services at St. Petersburg College, a capacity she has served in since 2013.

Williams, SPC’s seventh president, will be the college’s first woman and first African-American to serve as president.

Trustee Deveron Gibbons said it was clear there was an obvious choice for SPC’s next president.

“I came with two names today, but I’m only submitting one: Dr. Tonjua Williams,” he said.

Trustees all agreed Williams was impressive during her interview.

“She didn’t have to sell me on SPC. I was more excited to be part of this institution after hearing her speak about it than I have been in maybe the past few years,” said Trustee Nathan Stonecipher. “She is passionate about St. Petersburg College. That bleeds out of her.”

Williams, a 30-year veteran of SPC, previously served as Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs and Provost of the Tarpon Springs Campus.

Williams earned a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Barry University, a master’s degree in Counselor Education from University of South Florida, and a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Humanities from Clearwater Christian College.

Bill Law, who has served as SPC President since 2010, announced in Nov. 2016 that he would be retiring at the end of June 2017.

From 51 initial applicants, the college’s Search and Screen Committee voted in March to advance nine semi-finalists in the selection process. In April, the committee reconvened and voted to advance five finalists to the board for consideration.

“The Board members also want to express our gratitude to all of the highly qualified finalists for the time and dedication they have shown throughout this rigorous process,” said Bill Foster, Chair of the SPC Board of Trustees.

Additional information about the search process and all of the finalists can be found on the college’s Presidential Search website.

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The Board of Trustees of St. Petersburg College will hold a public meeting to select the new president of St. Petersburg College at 9 a.m. Wednesday, May 31 at the EpiCenter, 13805 58th St. N, Clearwater, Room 1-453.

The meeting will be streamed live here beginning at 9 a.m. Wednesday, May 31.

The finalists, in alphabetical order, are:

  • Frank A. Biafora, Jr., PhD, Dean and Professor, College of Arts and Sciences at University of South Florida St. Petersburg
  • Edward Bonahue, PhD, Provost and VP for Academic Affairs, Santa Fe College, Gainesville
  • James Henningsen, EdD, President, College of Central Florida, Ocala
  • Stan Vittetoe, PhD, Provost, St. Petersburg College, Clearwater
  • Tonjua Williams, PhD, Vice President, Student Services, St. Petersburg College, St. Petersburg

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St. Petersburg College (SPC) President Bill Law and multiple SPC students gathered on Tuesday, May 23 to speak about the impacts of budget cuts imposed by the Florida state Legislature.

Community-College-Budget-CutsThe Legislature’s 2017-18 budget includes a $25 million reduction in funding for the Florida College System’s 28 community colleges, which includes a budget reduction of $1.8 million in funding for SPC.

Reduced funding may result in fewer class offerings and a decrease in the scope of student support measures like tutoring and integrated career and academic advising. Both could cause a delay in students finishing their degrees. The move comes at a time when community college enrollment in Florida has dropped due to an improved economy, which has already caused a decrease in tuition revenue.

“Delaying that graduation makes life very difficult for everyone. When we are in the middle of a recession, enrollment peaks. When people can’t find jobs, they come back to college.” Law said. “When money is coming back to the state, it’s hard for us to understand why the state wouldn’t find a way to put a few dollars in the Florida College System and keep us whole – keep us moving forward and let us do the good work we do to serve Pinellas County.”

Law and students urged Florida Gov. Rick Scott to veto the budget cut.

“Governor Rick Scott should veto the budget items affecting community colleges and send it back to the Legislature to have $25 million in cuts for community colleges restored for the school year of 2017-18,” said Tracy Pham, 16, Vice President of the Student Government Association on the college’s Seminole Campus.

Students said they see an inequality in the funding provided to state universities. As the Legislature cut $25 million from community colleges, it is investing an additional $232 million into state universities in 2017-18.

All students cannot afford the cost of universities, said student Nathyn Montagano, 29. St. Petersburg College’s tuition is roughly half that of state universities in Florida.

“To ask us to put ourselves into six figures worth of debt before we even enter the workforce, I mean, that’s quite the burden you’re asking us to put on ourselves,” said Montagano, who serves as Parliamentarian of the Student Government Association on the Gibbs Campus.

SPC has worked diligently to increase student success rates through additional tutoring and integrated career and academic advising to ensure that students gain skills they need to find gainful employment.

“At St. Petersburg College, we’ve made major commitments to supporting our students in our learning support centers, where students can get tutoring and help outside of classes for virtually any subject that they study in,” Law said. “And our data clearly shows that students who are engaged in out-of-class support are more likely to be successful. Any reduction in funding that threatens those support systems is detrimental to students.”

Community-College-Budget-CutsSPC, which serves thousands of military veterans each year, is nationally recognized for its veterans’ services. Brandon Smith, 31, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and President of the Student Veteran’s Association, said he worries that the decreased funding may force the college to scale back its work with veterans who are eager to return to the workforce.

“We are a community college. We come out here and transition from the military and go to school and get a job in the community. Cutting funds is bad for business…If it’s bad for business, it’s bad for veterans,” Smith said. “From your EMS workers to policemen to trade jobs like plumbers, mechanics and anything else you need, you get them from a community college. And you want to cut that? I don’t think that’s a good idea at all.”

Fatma Hedeia, 55, President of the Student Government Association on SPC’s Clearwater Campus, said she feared a decrease in class offerings, which will negatively impact SPC’s large population of part-time college students who require access to flexible scheduling options in order to juggle additional demands at work and home. She implored Gov. Scott to send the budget back to the Legislature to restore the funding.

“Cutting the budget is really going to hurt a lot of us. Not just the high school kids coming to school, but the people who are older and trying to go back to school,” Hedeia said. “Governor Scott, you’ve got to veto this bill, send it back and make them redo it.”

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Approximately 1,400 of St. Petersburg College’s 1,982 Spring 2017 graduates participated in the college’s 133rd commencement ceremony on May 13 at Tropicana Field.

Spring 2017 Graduation

SPC President Bill Law welcomed guests and celebrated the accomplishments of the many students who were graduating with honors.

“Today we congratulate the students and families who have persevered to the graduation milestone,” Law said.

The Honorable George W. Greer was honored as the 2017 Outstanding Alumnus. Greer, a 1962 graduate of what was then St. Petersburg Junior College, served as a Circuit Court judge for 18 years before his retirement in 2010.

The youngest graduate was 17 years old, the oldest was 68 years old and 15 graduates were over the age of 60. Four graduates were also celebrating their birthdays. Sixty-eight percent of the graduates were female.

St. Petersburg College has awarded 162,262 degrees since the college – Florida’s first community college – was founded in 1927.

This spring, SPC awarded:

  • 1,014 Associate in Arts degrees
  • 404 Associate in Science degrees
  • 215 Bachelor of Applied Science degrees
  • 268 Bachelor of Science degrees
  • 81 certifications

Theodore E. Martin, Jr., winner of the 2016-17 Apollo Award, and Alexis Gagliardotto, recipient of the Alumni Achievement Award, addressed their fellow graduates and guests.

Martin served as the Student Government Association Representative for Phi Theta Kappa and was also an active member of Men Achieving Excellence and the SPC Health and Fitness Club. Martin, who plans to continue his education wants to become an astronaut, received an associate degree in Engineering and currently has a 3.35 G.P.A.

“I know at 28 I’m off to a late start, but if the dream can still live in me, think of how many people I can inspire along the way,” Martin said.

Gagliardotto graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Orthotics and Prosthetics and currently has a 4.0 G.P.A. She was the president of the SPC Orthotic and Prosthetic Student Society and was a member of Phi Theta Kappa, as well as the Golden Key International Honor Society. Ms. Gagliardotto also was St. Petersburg College’s Honors College Ambassador for the Tarpon Springs campus and Early College Club Historian.

“SPC has been the training ground where I discovered my purpose in life and built the foundation of my career. Upon that foundation, I will continue to construct my future,” Gagliardotto said.

Gagliardotto thanked the faculty that helped her reach her goal.

“My professors were my ultimate mentors, wise and sage in their ways,” she said.

See more from graduation on the college’s Facebook page and on Tagboard.

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