Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos and Clearwater Provost Stan Vittetoe at library groundbreakingSt. Petersburg College and the City of Clearwater will celebrate the grand opening of the new Clearwater East Community Library at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 21at SPC Clearwater Campus, 2465 Drew St.

The new library is a joint partnership with City of Clearwater and is located on the SPC Clearwater Campus.

The public is invited to join city of Clearwater Mayor George N. Cretekos, SPC Clearwater Provost Stan Vittetoe, members of the City Council, City Manager Bill Horne, and Clearwater Public Library System Director Jennifer Obermaier at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

After the ceremony, there will be an open house and refreshments will be served.

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.

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; and a drive-through for item return and pickup.

The $15 million project was cooperatively funded by St. Petersburg College and the city of Clearwater. To learn more, visit spcollege.edu.

Come and experience the 2018 Gulf Coast Maker & Comic Con from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 24 at St. Petersburg College’s Seminole Campus, 9200 113th St.

This event is a partnership with the Eureka Factory, Foundation for Community Driven Innovation and St. Petersburg College. They’ve joined forces to bring together two great events – Gulf Coast MakerCon and Pinellas Comic & Maker Con.

The event is free and open to the public, with exciting activities planned for people of all ages and interests.

This experience showcases and supports the innovative and entrepreneurial efforts of area makers across a wide range of fields including: mechanical, electrical, communications, transportation, hardware and software development, heritage crafts and trades, arts, music, gaming, modeling and simulation and STEM initiatives, as well as the art of cosplay, comics, anime, and sci-fi.

There will plenty to see and do, including:

  • Exhibition Drone Races
  • Electrathon Car Races
  • Inventors & Entrepreneurs Showcase
  • Makers Market Vendors
  • Young Makers Village
  • Workshops & Demos
  • Deconstruction Zone
  • Gaming Expo
  • Heritage Makers (blacksmiths, weavers, woodworkers)
  • Music Makers
  • Transportation Exhibits
  • Garden Tech & Sustainability
  • 21st Century Tech
  • Robotics and Mechatronics
  • Comic exhibits & costume contests

For more information, contact Chad Mairn at mairn.chad@spcollege.edu or 727-394-6917 or Theresa Willingham at Terri@FFCDI.org or 727-394-6917. Learn more at gulfcoastmakers.com


On Friday, March 16, the SPC Clearwater Campus hosted the Pinellas County Model UN Conference. More than 500 students from Pinellas County’s middle and high schools attended leadership sessions on campus.

During the opening ceremony, SPC Senior VP of Instruction and Academic Programs Anne Cooper and Pinellas County Schools Superintendent Michael Grego gave remarks.

“This conference is a great opportunity for you to hone your leadership skills and to understand the types of situations that are affecting our world as tomorrow’s leaders,” said Cooper.

“Students, I’m so proud of you,” said Grego. “I want to challenge you to continue to take risks, to work collaboratively and to broaden your horizon with a new perspective.”

The keynote speaker, Roy Peter Clark from The Poynter Institute, encouraged the growing learners to challenge the proposed truths and to critically think about the possible outcomes.

Throughout the conference, the students attended various committee sessions, including:

  • General Assembly – Eradication of Poverty
  • UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization – Multilingual and Heritage Language Education
  • UN Environment Assembly – Protecting the Global Commons
  • Human Rights Council – Freedom of Expression, Access to Information and the Media
  • UN Development Program – Sustainable Energy for All
  • Security Council – The Situation in North Korea
  • UN Environment Assembly – Combatting Global Climate Change
  • UN Office of Drugs and Crime – Cooperating to Fight International Terrorism
  • UN Conference on Trade and Development – Information and Communication Technologies for Development

The conference was arranged by Foundations for Leadership, Pinellas County Schools, Clearwater Campus Social Science Academic Chair, Anja Norman, Clearwater Social Science Administrative Specialist, Frederic Berthiaume, and SPC Model UN Program.

After delivering a motivational keynote at St. Petersburg College’s Dr. Mac J. Williams Academic Excellence Award Ceremony for Mid-County, Thaddeus Bullard, known as Titus O’Neil, felt compelled to make a greater impact. With the recent debut of Marvel’s Black Panther movie, O’Neil declined his speaker retainer and decided to take the award recipients to see the movie.

More than 100 students from the Mid-County ceremony watched the movie with O’Neil on Wednesday, March 14 at the Studio Movie Grill in Seminole.

During the month of February, SPC hosted three Dr. Mac J. Williams Academic Excellence ceremonies for minority Pinellas County high school students who achieved a 3.0 or higher GPA. The ceremony honors the memory of Dr. Mac J. Williams, Sr., the first African-American to be elected chairman of the Board of Trustees at St. Petersburg College.

Read more about the story on News Channel 8. 



explore SPC logoSt. Petersburg College will host Explore SPC Week from 2-6 p.m. March 20-22. Attendees can explore campuses and degrees and training programs. The $40 application fee will be waived during Explore SPC Week.

During Explore SPC week, attendees can learn more about our university partnerships with the University of South Florida System (FUSE) and Florida A&M (Ignite). Our partnerships guarantee admission into select bachelor’s degree programs for eligible students who complete their associate degree at SPC.

Also, SPC’s faculty and staff will be on hand to assist attendees with career choices as well as completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

The event will be held:

  • Tuesday, March 20, Clearwater Campus, 2465 Drew St.
  • Tuesday, March 20, Downtown Campus, 244 Second Ave. N.
  • Tuesday, March 20, Tarpon Springs Campus, 600 E. Klosterman Rd.
  • Wednesday, March 21, Seminole Campus, 9200 113th St. N
  • Thursday, March 22, Midtown Campus, 1300 22nd St. S, St. Petersburg
  • Thursday, March 22, St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus, 6605 Fifth Ave. N.
  • Thursday, March 22, Health Education Center, 7200 66th N., Pinellas Park

For more information, visit why.spc.edu/explore.


On Monday, Feb. 26, Congressman Charlie Crist (D-St. Petersburg) visited St. Petersburg College’s Midtown Center to announce a $1.5 million federal grant award for the Tampa Bay Bridge to the Baccalaureate (TB-B2B) program, helping increase diversity in STEM academic degree programs as well as the STEM workforce.

St. Petersburg College serves as the lead institution for the project that aims to increase the number of minority students transferring into four-year baccalaureate STEM programs by 50 percent with the support of this three-year National Science Foundation grant.

“I am so proud of St. Petersburg College’s efforts to diversify the STEM workforce,” said Rep. Crist. “This well-deserved grant will help further this important work, greatly benefiting our community and economy.”

TB-B2B is a partnership between St. Petersburg College (SPC), Hillsborough Community College (HCC), and State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF). The three colleges typically see more than 400 of their minority students transfer into STEM programs at a four-year university every year.

“We are so honored to be a part of this partnership, which will give underrepresented, minority students opportunities to pursue baccalaureate degrees in STEM fields leading to high-wage jobs that can help end generational cycles of poverty,” said Dr. Tonjua Williams, SPC President. “We are grateful to the National Science Foundation and our educational partners for their commitment to equity and diversity in STEM fields – a commitment that is crucial to meeting the ever-evolving needs of the 21st-century workforce.”

TB-B2B students will engage in undergraduate research and hands-on experiential learning opportunities, increasing their research knowledge base and exploration of STEM interests and careers. A four-year STEM degree leads to higher wages, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. STEM workers earn about 30 percent more than their non-STEM counterparts do.

Tampa Bay is fast becoming the epicenter of STEM industry and innovation within the state of Florida, and currently ranks as the state’s leading technology hub, according to the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation. Enterprise Florida estimates that 15 out of the 20 fastest growing job fields will require a STEM education, and projects the need for 120,000 new STEM workers by 2018 alone.


St. Petersburg College has partnered with Clearwater Business SPARK as its 10th and newest partner.

St. Petersburg College will work with Clearwater Business SPARK to provide business-related services, resources and programs, including its Workforce Institute and Collaborative Labs.

“Welcoming St. Petersburg College as a partner of the Clearwater Business SPARK network is very exciting. The college brings an array of training opportunities for individuals and businesses, as well as the impressive Collaborative Labs offering facilitated strategic planning sessions that make real impacts on organizations. We are proud to partner with St. Petersburg College to support our community,” said Audra Aja, Clearwater Business SPARK Program Coordinator.

The Workforce Institute offers training, continuing education, industry certifications, licensures and career pathways that are affordable and accessible to goal-oriented individuals and businesses committed to accelerated professional growth.

The Collaborative Labs designs and executes strategic-planning sessions and facilitates organizational problem solving using a unique approach that incorporates interactive technology, strength-based techniques and real-time documentation to develop an action plan that produces tangible results.

Recently, St. Petersburg College assisted Clearwater Business SPARK facilitate a strategic planning session as a way to launch its partnership.

“St. Petersburg College is pleased to join in partnership with Clearwater Business SPARK to offer an expanded toolkit to support the success of businesses and entrepreneurs, including accelerated training and industry certifications, strategic planning and collaborative cohorts, and innovative venues and work spaces to get it done and get ahead,” said Andrea Henning, executive director of the Collaborative Labs at St. Petersburg College.

Launched in 2016, Clearwater Business SPARK is a network of partners who support local small businesses and entrepreneurs looking to start or grow their business. St. Petersburg College joins the partnership network that includes the Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Corporation, Pinellas County SCORE, the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce, Florida Small Business Development Center at Pinellas County Economic Development, the city of Clearwater’s Economic Development and Housing Department, Clearwater Public Library System, Clearwater Community Redevelopment Agency, Prospera, formerly Hispanic Business Initiative Fund (HBIF), and Florida Business Incubator, formerly known as TAFFIE.

Clearwater Business SPARK provides business programs and services including business planning and coaching, educational programs, networking opportunities, guidance for doing business with the federal government and international markets and incubator services. Clearwater Business SPARK also offers access to databases and market research tools, a variety of co-working, meeting and training spaces and hands-on tools and activities at Studios@Main, a unique makerspace located within the Clearwater Main Library.

To learn more about Clearwater Business SPARK and its partners, visit ClearwaterBusinessSPARK.com or contact Audra Aja, Clearwater Business SPARK program coordinator, at (727) 443-0217 or email at info@ClearwaterBusinessSPARK.com.