The St. Petersburg College Clearwater Campus hosted its second annual Women2STEM Summer Kickoff to a full house on Monday, July 10. The event encouraged women to work toward careers in science, technology, engineering, and math with a series of Saturday workshops. Workshops begin on Saturday, July 15, and conclude on Saturday, August 5.

Inspiring Women to Excel

The kickoff event was a phenomenal opportunity for guests to network with industry experts and educators. Women already established in successful STEM careers met with prospective students. Coming from employers like Morphogenesis, Tech Data, Florida Wildlife, and MedXChange, they worked alongside guests in a team-building exercise.

P1160429The goal of the exercise was to build the tallest tower out of sticks and marshmallows in the shortest amount of time. The challenge highlighted the importance of creativity, problem-solving skills, and collaboration. The Saturday workshops will feature creative exercises like a biology murder mystery.

After the exercise, a panel discussion provided information on getting started in STEM. The panel was moderated by Student Success Manager Kay Morgan and Dr. Natavia Middleton, Dean of Natural Science and Engineering. Panelists talked about the importance of people skills, mentors, and what they like about working in the field. 

STEM at St. Petersburg College

The free summer workshops at Women2STEM will prepare prospective students to engage in a successful return to school.

From the new Biotechnology Engineering program to computer programming, these skills are in demand. Keep up with the latest on the Women2STEM workshops and other upcoming Women2STEM events on Facebook.

Interested in STEM? Learn more about St. Petersburg College’s Science and Mathematics, Technology, and Engineering, Manufacturing, and Building Arts programs on the college website.

Bay Pines Dedication CeremonyMore than 80 people filled the new community room at SPC’s new Bay Pines STEM Center on June 28 to dedicate the science labs in honor of Dr. John Chapin.

Dr. Linae Boehme-Terrana and Marcia Chapin, Chapin’s wife, welcomed community leaders, faculty and staff to the new center.

“It’s a tremendous honor to be here on behalf of my late husband, John Chapin,” said Chapin. “St. Petersburg College Bay Pines STEM Center was near and dear to his heart and the success of students.”

Former State Sen. Dennis Jones recalled the day that he, Dr. Bill Law and Chapin looked at the property to assess it’s value and potential purpose.

“They were talking immediately,” he recalled of Law and Chapin. “The wheels started turning that day.”

Chapin’s daughter, Kristen Johnson, recalled growing up in science labs alongside her father, and discussed his passion for students and science.

“He was more than a science guy,” said Johnson.  “He was a believer in people. This center is the embodiment of his beliefs. Thank you for letting a little piece of him be forever that teacher in the science labs.”

Dr. Natavia Middleton, Dean of Natural Science and Engineering, gave remarks on the future of the center and its impact to the community.

“I like to think of the future of STEM here as really a public service to our community,” she said. “We hope that every experience will allow the community to engage with science.”

Longtime friend and colleague Dr. Bill Law reflected on how Chapin and he served together over the years at different jobs in Florida and Texas. He remarked on Chapin’s dedication to the project.

“This was his dream,” Law said of Chapin. “Unfortunately, he couldn’t make it to the finish line. But none of us were here at the beginning of the college, and none of us will be here at the end. But along the way we’ll make marked contributions.”

Get it done event

St. Petersburg College will host Get it Done, an open house event where new and returning students can meet with staff to wrap up any outstanding items in preparation for the fall term.

On Wednesday, July 19, SPC staff will be on hand at seven campus locations from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. so students can:

  • Speak with an advisor
  • Get help with financial aid
  • Meet with a Career Services Specialist
  • Attend a Getting Started Orientation
  • Register and pay for classes

“The purpose of these events is to let applicants know that they can get everything done in one visit,” said Patrick Rinard, Associate Vice President of Enrollment Services.

Students can stop in anytime during the event at any of these locations:

Attend this event and get everything done so you can register for the fall term before classes fill up. Classes start Aug. 14. Learn more about the event and request a text notification reminder at why.spc.edu/done.

St. Petersburg College will host a dedication ceremony to celebrate the new Bay Pines STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Center beginning at 2 p.m. Wednesday, June 28, at the center at 4723 Bay Pines Terrace, St. Petersburg.

The new 7,600-square-foot, state-of-the-art center will serve as a community resource to increase awareness of STEM-related subjects and issues. The center will open for classes for the Fall 2017 term, which begins Aug. 14.

At the ceremony, the science labs will be named in honor of the late Dr. John M. Chapin, the former Dean of natural science. Chapin was the founding science faculty member on the Tarpon Springs Campus in the late 1970s. Chapin, who retired Sept. 30, 2016, died Feb. 9, 2017.

The dedication ceremony guest speakers will include:

  • Linae Boehme-Terrana, Interim Director of Bay Pines STEM Center
  • Marcia Chapin, Wife of John Chapin
  • State Senator Dennis Jones (FL-D)
  • Kristen Chapin Johnson, Daughter of John Chapin
  • Natavia Middleton, Dean of Natural Science and Engineering
  • Bill Law, President of St. Petersburg College

The Bay Pines STEM Center is a hands-on science learning complex adjacent to the Intracoastal Waterway in Pinellas County with 72 student stations, a community room and science labs. The center’s educational objectives include:

  • Classrooms capable of being subdivided for multiple simultaneous sues and classroom space supported with appropriate science laboratory infrastructure for maximum flexibility.
  • Facilities for student research, both small group projects and some individual projects
  • A multipurpose facility to accommodate as many as 100 people for demonstrations, lectures, conferencing and distance initiatives.
  • Facilities to support small boat docking, saltwater tanks for unloading and cleaning specimens and outdoor/circulation space to support meetings and student interactions.


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.

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.”


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!