Posts Tagged ‘Seminole Campus’

Former Florida Governor and former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham will be the featured speaker May 22 at the launching of a chapter of The Village Square by the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at St. Petersburg College.

Gov. Graham, who served two terms as governor and three terms in the Senate, is regarded as one of Florida’s and the nation’s senior statesmen, respected on both sides of the political aisle for his collaborative leadership style and for his 38-year career of public service.

Gov. Graham will keynote the Institute’s new non-partisan public educational forum from 6-8 p.m. at the Conference Center on the Seminole Campus of SPC, 9200 113th St. N. His topic will be “Restoring Civics Education and Renewing Our Democracy.”

The Village Square is intended to be a replica of the successful public debate forum co-founded in Tallahassee by SPC President Bill Law. It is dedicated to maintaining factual accuracy in civic and political debate by growing civil dialog on divisive issues. Its membership includes a cross-section of community leaders representing both major political parties from across Pinellas County who believe that dialog and discernment are important to common-sense problem-solving.

Village Square memberships are $68 for a season of four dinner events, and member dinner reservations are $30. Guest tickets for individual events will be offered on a space-available basis for $40.

You can make reservations online for the May 22 event. For more information on The Village Square, please phone 727-394-6251.

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The Tampa Bay Times covered the revival of SPC’s student newspaper with this Q&A; the first semester that students spent in the new Veterinary Technology building; and the nuclear energy forum at the Seminole Campus.

WFTS ABC Action News also covered the nuclear energy forum.

WUSF previewed the upcoming Floridiana Festival & Highwaymen Artist Show and Jazz Festival.

Tampa Bay Newspapers Weekly covered the upcoming performance of the Vogues at the Palladium; the opening of the newly renovated Side Door Cabaret at the Palladium; the SPC ethics team reaching nationals; and the 10th anniversary of the Leepa-Rattner Museum.

The Weekly Challenger previewed the upcoming Dr. MLK Breakfast sponsored in part by SPC.

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Lisa Borzewski

Lisa Borzewski

Lisa Borzewski, Academic Chair of Mathematics at the Seminole Campus, is one of 15 educators nationwide named a 2012 Distinguished Educator by the Instructional Technology Council.

The ITC is an organization that advances distance education through leadership, professional development and advocating, collaborating, researching, and sharing exemplary, innovative practices and potential in learning technologies. Borzewski was nominated to receive the Outstanding eLearning Faculty Award and was chosen by SPC as an exemplary member of its learning community.

“I felt very thankful,” Borzewski said about the recognition. “I am fortunate to have such good advisors, mentors and peers who teach online classes and share ideas with me. We bounce ideas, new techniques and best practices that we’ve found off each other.”

In her classes, Borzewski has been working with a Livescribe Smartpen, which allows her to create a digital version of her lecture and notes called a “pencast” for her online students. The technology captures her lecture, shares the audio and records and shows what she writes, giving her students a near in-class experience.

“I’m able to give a more personal touch to online math explanations,” she said. “It allows me to show them my writing while they hear my voice, so it feels a lot more personal than typing something out.”

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Shanoah Washington, left, with Victoria Justice at the 2011 TeenNick HALO Awards held at the Hollywood Palldium in Los Angeles on Oct. 26.  Photo by: Kevin Winter/ Getty Images/Nickelodeon.

Shanoah Washington, left, with Victoria Justice at the 2011 TeenNick HALO Awards held at the Hollywood Palldium in Los Angeles on Oct. 26. Photo by Kevin Winter/ Getty Images/Nickelodeon.

Shanoah Washington was one of five teens honored at the 2011 TeenNick HALO (Helping and Leading Others) Awards in Hollywood, Calif., on Oct. 26. The show, which recognizes the philanthropic achievements of young men and women, will air Sunday, Nov. 6 at 8 p.m. on Nickelodeon’s “Nick at Nite.”

Each of the finalists received a $10,000 check that Washington said she will use for her education and to help other girls.

Washington, 18, is studying criminal justice at the Seminole Campus and is scheduled to graduate with an Associate of Arts degree next summer. She was nominated for the HALO award because of her volunteer work in the community at the Royal Theater Boys & Girls Club in St. Petersburg as a young leader and mentor to troubled and at-risk youth.

No stranger to the difficulties that many youths face, Washington was born in Oxnard, Calif., and grew up in a childhood plagued with gang violence. She said her mother was involved with gangs and her father was one of the founding members of the Colonial Crips. When she was 5 or 6, her grandmother, Etta Tucker, took Washington with her when she moved to St. Petersburg.

“Growing up here, my life wasn’t that different in some ways. I still was going through a lot of trials and tribulations,” said Washington, who was raped at age 11 and began receiving psychiatric care when she was 12. She turned to poetry as a way to deal with the issues she faced and began performing poetry publicly when she was 14.

She became involved with the Boys & Girls Club as a student and has since contributed more than 4,500 hours of public service as Junior Leader, Teen Council Vice President and tutor for Project Learn, which helps engage kids in learning outside school. She also created Sista2Sista, a mentoring program that aims to motivate young women, helping them to develop leadership and social skills, encouraging self-esteem and self-discipline, learning to think positively and to be honest.

One student in Washington’s spoken word poetry class at the Royal Theater was the inspiration for starting the girls’ mentoring program.

“She was 11 at the time, and she had been raped or molested at nearly every foster home she went to,” Washington said. “She was always out of control, always acting out, and I was like okay, we have to do something about this. There are tons of other kids who have had the same thing happen, who are going through the same thing and acting out in the same way that we can potentially help by fostering their feelings and emotions.”

“She and I have a similar story, so we really connected,” she said. “By the time the summer ended, there was a significant change in her. All she needed was someone to tell her she was beautiful and to love her.”

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In a small corner of Seminole, in the middle of Florida’s most heavily developed county, a tract of nearly-forgotten land plays host to a wide variety of Florida plants and animals.

 The land, only about 40 acres in all, is owned by the college. It is the undeveloped half of a tract that the college acquired in 1969; the other half is home to the Seminole Campus.

 For years, the college has had ambitions to turn the land into a nature park, where students could observe the environment first-hand, and where Seminole residents could enjoy nature. Those ambitions became reality this year, when non-native plants (28 species in all) were removed from the site and construction began on a boardwalk, a 50-seat teaching pavilion and a floating dock (for use in water sampling) on the largest pond on the property.

 The nature park opens Tuesday. College officials knew there was plenty of wildlife on the site, which includes several ponds and wetlands as well as all sorts of plant life. But few people realized just how many species lived together in such close proximity on that small, suburban area.

 “We knew that site was a true asset to both the college and the community,” said Jim Olliver, Seminole’s provost. “But I don’t think anyone really knew just how alive that 40 acres was.”

 One person who was not surprised was Seminole resident Judy Fisher, an environmentalist who has spent many hours at the site, identifying plant and animal species of all types. Fisher’s research found rabbits, otters, opossums, raccoons, armadillos, coyotes and feral pigs; nearly 200 bird species; 24 species of dragonflies; 24 species of frogs, turtles, snakes and alligators; and seven species of butterflies.

 Common plants include slash pines, wax myrtle shrubs and sweetgum trees. Some others include sand live oak trees, red bay trees, grape vines and giant leather ferns.

 The recently completed boardwalk, nearly 200 yards long, offers a number of stations, which give visitors the opportunity to observe the site’s plants and animals. On one recent visit, a curious otter bounded up the boardwalk’s entryway and stopped to observe a human visitor before running off to a nearby pond. 

 The park and pavilion will support various SPC curricula (mostly in the sciences and especially for the Environmental Science Technology, and Parks and Leisure Services programs), and will offer recreation opportunities for the community. The Natural Habitat and Environmental Center will be open Monday through Friday from dawn to dusk; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

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            The second in a series of programs examining the impact of the oil spill on the Gulf of Mexico – and particularly the impact on Pinellas County – was held late Wednesday at the Seminole campus of St. Petersburg College.

            “The Gulf Oil Crisis: Next Steps for Tampa Bay” took a close look at how the Tampa Bay region has been impacted by the spill, and how the area might prepare itself for similar future incidents.   

            One of the panelists, oil industry expert Dan Bedard, spent some time before the session discussing, among other things, the impact on the county. He noted that while Pinellas County has managed to avoid environmental damage from the spill, there’s been quite of a bit of economic damage.

            Tourists in northern states and in Europe have avoided Florida vacations because of the perception that the oil spill has damaged shorelines in the entire state. Restaurant owners, hotel operators and others have suffered serious losses as a result.

  Bedard’s comments can be viewed here and here.

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Volunteers gathered Saturday at the Seminole Campus for the planting of 1,000 pine tree seedlings. At the end of the project, they gathered around for the planting of the 1000th seedling.

     A small army of volunteers turned out at the Seminole Campus on Saturday to plant 1,000 pine trees on the north end of the campus.
     Students, faculty members, college staff and volunteers from the Seminole community took part in the planting, which started at 9 a.m. and lasted into the afternoon. Staff members mapped out the planting scheme, and then volunteers took over to poke holes in the ground, place the small seedling roots in the ground, and then soak them with about a quart of water each.
     The planting took place near the spot where other volunteers worked a few weeks ago to pull non-indigenous plants from the ground.
     Seminole Provost Jim Olliver, who worked Saturday as one of the volunteers, said the expansive site one day will be the home of a natural habitat park.
     “Of course, we’re doing all this as a beautification measure, but this also will help the natural habitat,” he said. “It will benefit migratory birds, and it will offer an opportunity for the campus to have a natural habitat park and environmental center. Work on that may start within a month, and it will include walking paths, ponds, andf a dock. We envision a place where all kinds of creatures and natural plants will be able to live and thrive.”
     Jim Waechter, Director of Facilities Services, obtained the pine seedlings and oversaw the planting. He said the planting project is a single step in improving the 63-acre north end of the campus, which he said is called the campus’ Habitat Area.
     He said the college obtained a grant two years ago to remove non-native plants, and that effort left the area looking somewhat ravaged.
     “Today is the first step in a restoration project,” he said. “It will look very good 10 years from now, and those people who are around 50 years from now will be able to see the fruits of our labors.”

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