Posts Tagged ‘SPC’

Tampa Bay Times coverage

Bay News 9’s coverage

To help strengthen the skills of Tampa Bay’s future workforce, St. Petersburg College will award $520,000 in scholarships through a National Science Foundation grant to academically talented and financially disadvantaged students who pursue degrees in STEM – science, technology, engineering and math.

The initiative will support students as they earn a degree and find employment in STEM fields. The grant will target women and minorities, who have been historically underrepresented in those areas. The program, called Tampa Bay SEEDS (Scholarships for Education & Employment Development in STEM) will also help fill a crucial gap in skilled workers in the Tampa Bay area, Florida and the United States.

“This grant demonstrates SPC’s deep commitment to accessible, learner-centered instruction and STEM education,” said President Bill Law. “The program will ensure a diverse applicant pool for potential STEM scholars at our college. It is very exciting for me personally because the project harmonizes with a student success initiative called The College Experience.”

Through the grant, students will engage in The College Experience by using integrated academic and career advising, tutoring centers, a project-specific orientation and career mentoring. Over the five-year grant, 80 students will be selected to take an employment-centered curriculum that includes job shadowing and internships. Students will work with newly created Campus Faculty Champions, who will give each student a “road map to graduation.” Using this road map, students will identify academic goals, determine which academic support services they need and investigate STEM careers.

“St. Petersburg College is to be commended on its efforts to help students achieve success through a higher education in STEM,” wrote Abdul Lateef, chief executive officer for local manufacturing firm Plasma-Therm, in a letter of support for the project. “This one project could have a lasting impact on the Tampa Bay region and help prepare future workers for high-demand careers in STEM.”

At the state level, Florida will need 120,000 new STEM workers by 2018, according to the Florida Department for Economic Opportunity. In addition, Enterprise Florida estimates that 15 out of the 20 fastest growing job fields in the state will require a STEM education.

Locally, a study commissioned in 2011 by the Tampa Bay Partnership projects that job growth in the high technology electronics and instruments industry and marine and environmental industries will grow by 10% by 2020, resulting in 22,000 new jobs. This report also notes there are 19 billion-dollar corporate headquarters in the Tampa Bay area, with four being Fortune 500 companies. Recently, several national technology companies have located facilities in the area and need an educated workforce with STEM skills.

“We are keenly aware of the worrisome shortage of new graduates entering the workforce in the STEM fields,” said Ed Peachey, president and CEO of CareerSource Pinellas. “We are pleased that as students in the Tampa Bay region look to transition to an institution of higher learning, they will find an abundance of STEM training and degree opportunities at St. Petersburg College. For years, SPC has demonstrated its commitment to STEM and to helping attract a diverse group of students.”

SPC will bring its prior experience with STEM scholarship programs to bear, since it has ten years’ experience with similar National Science Foundation grants and initiatives. For example, from 2007 to 2011, Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S-STEM) were awarded to 152 students, exceeding the project’s goal of 100.

The $6,500 individual scholarships will be available beginning Spring 2015.



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The Tampa Bay Times covered the return of SPC’s theater program.

The Suncoast News covered the 10th anniversary of the Leepa-Rattner Museum.

The Seminole Beacon noted that Dennis Jones was named 2012 Mr. Seminole by the Seminole Chamber of Commerce.

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           The St. Petersburg College softball team has again qualified for the state tournament ,and the baseball team  appears headed for a second-place finish in the Suncoast Conference and will have to play its way into the state tournament.

          The tennis team is participating in the state tournament this weekend at Hillsborough Community College.  A top three finish will send it to the national tournament May 3-8 in Tucson, Ariz.

          The softball team is one of four from the conference to advance to the state tournament, which begins April 30 in Auburndale.  The team lost a key doubleheader with State College of Florida, Manatee/Sarasota two weeks ago to just about end any hopes of winning the conference. The team is 32-13-1 overall and finished 13-5 in the conference, one game behind State College of Florida, Manatee/Sarasota.  

          The baseball team trails State College of Florida, Manatee/Sarasota after losing a two-game series. SPC is two games behind with three games to go. The regular season ends Monday and the playoffs will begin later in the week. If it finishes second it will meet the fifth-place finisher in the conference. The winner will then take on the survivor of the game between the third and fourth-place teams in a best-of-three series.  The winner moves to the state tournament, which begins May 6 in Lakeland.

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Astronaut Nicole Stott, who spent four months on the International Space Station last year, has accepted St. Petersburg College’s invitation to deliver the commencement address at graduation ceremonies at Tropicana Field on May 8.

 “We are absolutely thrilled that Nicole Stott has agreed to speak at our spring commencement exercises, and we are looking forward to her visit with great anticipation,” said Acting President Tom Furlong. “We will be presenting her with an honorary degree at that time.”

 Stott’s employer, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), also had to approve her appearance, which they did last week. Since Stott is already in training for another Space Shuttle mission, that approval was not a sure thing.

 A former SPC student, Stott was enthusiastic about visiting the college and made her desires known to NASA.

 “I would be honored to do it,” Stott said in an e-mail to the college in January after the invitation was offered by Furlong.

 Stott grew up in Clearwater and graduated from Clearwater High School. She attended SPC (then SPJC) in the early 1980s because she wanted to learn how to fly and the college offered an aviation program that interested her.

 “When I got out of high school I knew I wanted to do something connected to flying, but I really didn’t know exactly what,” she said in an interview for last summer’s issue of SPC Today, the magazine of SPC’s alumni association. “At Clearwater High they had an introduction to aviation course, and through that I learned about the degree program at SPJC.”

 Although Stott went on to earn an engineering degree at Embry Riddle and didn’t graduate from SPJC, she has remained enthusiastic about the college and remembers her time here with fondness. She even offered to carry an SPC banner on her space mission, which she did. She photographed the banner over a Space Station porthole and e-mailed the photo to SPC after her return.

 She is expected to present the banner to SPC during her visit.

 Details of her daylong visit are now being negotiated.

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St. Petersburg College has agreed to hire 73 new temporary workers in affiliation with WorkNet Pinellas and the Florida Back to Work program

Florida Back to Work is funded with $61 million in federal stimulus funds. Jobs offered under the program in Pinellas County are funded by WorkNet Pinellas, one of 23 such organizations throughout the state. WorkNet Pinellas got $21 million from Florida back to Work.

The subsidy pays for up to 95 percent of the workers’ pay. Employers pay the rest.

WorkNet Pinellas was to make its funding available at the beginning of February, but it didn’t actually happen until mid-March. meanwhile, WorkNet Pinellas has been busy lining up employers that would agree to take part in the program, and agree to put up some matching dollars to pay for the temporary workers.

One of them was St. Petersburg College, which agreed to accept $1.42 million for its part of the jobs program. Nearly 20 Pinellas County employers are participating — together, they are providing almost 1,000 new temporary jobs. Statewide, the stimulus funds are expected to pay for jobs for 25,000 unemployed people.

The jobs are to extend through the end of September, although employers are being encouraged to keep the workers on beyond that deadline.

To qualify, the temporary workers must have household incomes of 200 percent of the federal poverty level or less. Or, they must have a child/dependent under the age of 18 and receive cash assistance from the state Department of Children and Families.

SPC has already begun the process of hiring the temporary workers.

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Nina Stauffer is a St. Petersburg College student and a Tampa Bay Buccanneers cheerleader. Her rookie season was 2009, but all cheerleaders have to try out a new every year, and the Tampa Tribune had a story late last week about Nina’s tryout. Here’s the link:


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St. Petersburg College offers a Bachelor of Applied Science in Orthotics & Prosthetics program, and Michael Carroll is one of the program’s students. He writes about his experiences for a blog called The O & P Edge. Here is his latest column. If you look around the site, you’ll find a number of other columns he has written over the past two years.


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