Tag Archives: St. Petersburg College


Unsung Heroes of Higher Education

By Mariah Hoffman

Featured here are a small percentage of the amazing teachers behind higher education who are determined to make a difference one student at a time at the SPC Downtown campus. These teachers are also living proof that anything is possible and the daily feats that often plague our lives do not continue forever. They are our mentors, our motivators, our worst critics, and our professors.

Click on the photos below to read more about them!

Often in college, students come from all different learning environments and schools. Some students have just graduated high school, while others are coming back to finish their degrees or even start attaining credit from the bottom up decades after high school. Beyond the registration process, financial aide, choosing classes, dates, and times, teachers are often randomly chosen. Most are just a name, a Jane Doe willing to offer you her knowledge on a subject you are willing to learn, but the teacher is the most important aspect of college. In high school, and even in careers or jobs, you cannot choose who teaches or trains you, or whom you work with. College offers this freedom of choice that could help or hinder your academic ability.

All teachers have a story to tell, a voice to be heard, and knowledge to spread. Some only wish to inspire others and incite the intense motivation for education they feel themselves. Some are willing to help students in any aspect of education, while others simply offer support. Either way, it is important to listen professors and allow yourself to be taught, not just in the classroom, but also by the teachers of life. Saint Petersburg College, in all its campuses, offers this and so much more.


Hey, Batter-Batter, you can’t Park There

 By Brittany Kay Galan

Baseball season has recently gone into full swing (pun intended) and whether it be major league baseball or minor league baseball, the season has started and fans cannot be more excited. On the other hand, Clearwater campus’ SPC faculty and students could not be more annoyed.

Because the Clearwater campus is located on Drew St., right across from the Bright House Field Stadium where the Phillies play, eager patrons attending the Phillies’ baseball game have tried avoiding the parking fee and the lack of spaces by parking in the SPC parking lot. This means heavier traffic in the SPC parking lot, making students late for class and causing a panic to those students and staff that are in a hurry to find parking. For the teachers, it has become an annoyance to actually get into the parking lot rather than finding a parking space. All of the SPC staff have designated “staff parking”, unlike the students. Sophomore, Brittan Eiler claimed, “With the extra traffic, it has made me late to class. Not to mention the people that hang out near their cars before walking over to the stadium. They are crowding the parking lot for no good reason.”

Law enforcement directs baseball traffic an hour before and after each game until the parking lot has been emptied. Along with the law enforcement directing traffic, signs have been placed at the entrances of the parking to deter non-SPC students and faculty away from the parking lot. Since then, law enforcement officers have had no problem with baseball fans parking in the SPC lot, due to the signs and extra directional assistance that has been put into place. For future baseball patrons, it is imperative to park in the designated parking and not at the St. Petersburg College parking lot.

Header photo from wikipeida via James G. Howes.


Not Every Disability Is Visible

Many students may question whether or not they are eligible for the disability resources offered at St. Petersburg College. A disability is more than just a physical issue. It can also be mental or learning difficulty that may interfere with a student’s ability to learn.

Special assistance is being offered by Disability Resources for tutoring, early registration, testing arrangements, classroom modifications, among many other services. SPC students seeking these resources may visit their home campus to inquire further about the services offered. New participants of these programs often find their transition to campus life more comfortable and enjoyable. Students seeking help will need documentation of their condition.

When students enter the disability program, they meet with a specialist at their home campus. They receive advice and help from their specialist to meet their specific needs. Ray Hollowell, the Gibbs campus resource specialist, has been more than just a specialist to students. Brittany Collins, a disability student, said “Ray Hollowell has encouraged me to perform well in class and outside of class. She’s amazing.”

The Disability Resources program is more than a program to help students perform well in school. SPC students have been able to build personal relationships among the disability specialists and tutors.


Modern Dance Showcased at St. Pete

by Ashley Lopez

St Petersburg College Repertory and CoMotion Dance Theater presented a 6 piece performance concert, starting on November 15, in the auditorium of the Clearwater campus.

Opening night was shown to be an excellent beginning. The opening performance was a new style in music for the contemporary modern dance company: an instrumental version of the new hip-hop song Clique by Jay-Z and Kayne West with dances choreographed by Brian Dean Fidalgo. The movements all had accents to this up beat rhythm. Closing out the first half of the show was a piece called Dark Corners which was choreographed by the director of the CoMotion Dance company, Nancy Feagans Smith. This modern piece showed many partner segments, as well as extensive floor-work, showing the dancers’ technical talents.

After a 10-minute intermission, the opening piece, Unreal, had a unique display of a black frame in the middle of the stage where the four dancers performed a solo showcase. The side ladder also put an interesting angle to the performance which was choreographed by a former student of the Performance Arts Center at Gibbs High School, Charlotte Johnson-Berry.

CoMotion Dance company’s performances closed with good old-fashioned modern dance piece, choreographed by Sadie Lemaker with music by Pentaphobe. This piece was the best way to end the concert, showcasing the dancers’ technical passion for dance. With very simple and lighting at a bare minimum, the piece embodied the best of the world of modern dance.

CoMotion Dance Repertory and Theater Company showcase twice a year,one in the fall and another in the spring, and average 6 to 8 pieces in a concert. Each dancer takes technical classes as well as performance classes, where they have the privilege to learn from different choreographers in the Tampa Bay area, as well as the directors Nancy Feagans Smith and Cynthia Hennessy. Even though the company’s main specialty is modern dance, the performances of dance are explored. Be on the look-out for next year’s performance!


Five Reasons Why You Should Write For Your Student Newspaper

by Kelly Aldridge

You’re probably thinking, this had better be good. You have classes to attend, maybe a job or two, children at home – but give this a second thought – because it can help you down the road for good.

1. Work Experience/Resume Builder

When you’re all finished with college and you get that long-awaited diploma, you will be glad you wrote for the student newspaper when a possible employer sees the writing experience on your resume. Not everyone can be published, so it looks great when you have been. Whether you are looking for that first entry-level journalism job or going for a position at any company, prior work experience will be what editors and employers are looking for. All types of careers need writers or people who can write. Student newspapers are the place to get that experience and begin your publishing career.

2. Clips/Published Work

Having clips of your published work as a writer is very important to prospective employers because they can see firsthand how you write. Clips are published sample of your articles. Build a portfolio and organize your clips neatly so they’re easier to show off. Writing for the student newspaper gives you clips, so start writing.

3. Get a Feel For The Job

Understanding what writing is about can help you get a feel for the job. Having an interest in writing doesn’t necessarily mean you will enjoy writing for a career. Writing for the student newspaper gives you the idea of what it would be like writing for a newspaper or some other publication. Heck, see if you like it first! If journalism isn’t right for you, better find out now while you are still in college than out in the real world. You can always change degrees.

4. Find Your Niche

Having a niche is a wonderful thing. Writing for the student newspaper gives you a sense of community among other writers like yourself. Most writers form a niche within the newspaper itself: for example, politics, sports, entertainment, etc. Finding your niche will help you as you build your portfolio of work. Maybe you want to write for the sports section for a local newspaper in your community. There is no better way than to write for the student paper to find your niche now.

5. It’s Fun!

Besides the career benefits, writing for the student newspaper is fun. You are working, yes, but you are also around other like-minded people who could end up being new friends. Writing for the student newspaper will probably leave a lasting impression on you for years to come.

Jumping North, South, East, and West of Java!

The British Empire may have been built on tea, but on Seminole Campus, International Education Week kicked off with coffee and pretzels.


Modern Day Super Heros

by Ashley Lopez, super student and playdate wrangler!

The life of a college student consists of many challenges and responsibilities: meeting deadlines for papers, getting in 6 hours of study time a week, not to mention working a job. Now mix those challenges with finding the time for soccer practice on Monday nights, making sure dinner, bath time, and homework are all completed before bed time, and you have a whole other challenge within itself. Some might call them “super-students” and others might call them “super-parents”. Whichever term is used, “super” is exactly the correct way in explaining it.

The typical college experience a few decades ago was finished before settling down and starting a family. Nowadays, people of all ages are going back to school, including many parents. With more responsibilities comes more obstacles including lack of resources, finding motivation, and balancing both worlds.

The concept of having to care for someone else other than yourself and wanting the best for them can be one of the many reasons parents go back to college. Veronica Bishop, a student at SPC and a mother of two boys (ages 17 and 19), chose to return to college to instill in sons the importance of secondary education. Veronica says, “going back has shown my boys the importance in getting a college degree. They’ve seen the struggles life brings without one.”

For some students, finding the right resources to help with childcare or even funding while being a student can be one of the first obstacles encountered. The question of whether SPC should have a childcare facility for students on-campus has been something that’s come up in the past. Lynda Womer , Associate Provost for Seminole, states that due to space arrangements, legal licensing laws, and financial funding , a childcare facility is something that cannot be offered at this time. The primary mission of the college is to provide higher education and degrees, which comes before providing childcare service. SPC does provide a resource list for students.

Balancing both student and parent challenges is why some decide to take a break or drop out of classes. Nicole Cornelius, student and mother of 2 girls (ages 9 and 13), says “balancing is the biggest challenge I encountered. Getting their homework done, getting my homework done. Staying involved in their school functions, and keeping up with their grades and having to keep up with mine was extremely hard.” Currently Nicole has withdrawn this semester due to the balancing of both worlds, but will try it again in the Spring 2013 because she is only 2 semesters away from completing her BA in Health Services and Administration.

The challenges that both of these worlds contain are conquered every year by more and more people. With the economy at its lowest and jobs more specialized, a college degree seems to be more of a need then an option. Remembering the end result is key through the whole process for those who have the extra burden of being a parent. Bishop says, “What gets me going is, yes, I am eating ramen noodles for the next 2 years while in the RN program, but after the schooling is done I’ll be enjoying filet mignon for a lifetime.”

wait for me!

The Amazing Eco-Race

The Environmental Science Club hosted the Amazing Eco-Race on Tuesday, October 9th. Held on the Seminole campus Natural Habitat park, the event was enjoyed by all, including a four-legged fan who outraced everyone!


On Speaking Out in CyberSpace

by Ivette Lopez, world-class student, broadcast journalist, and playdate wrangler

The Applied Ethics Institute for St. Petersburg College hosted a presentation on Ethical Implications of Free Speech in the World of Social Media on Wednesday, October 3rd at the Clearwater campus. The two speakers were very knowledgeable in their department of expertise.

One speaker, Catherine J Cameron, a professor of law at Stetson University, discussed more of the constitutional laws of what is legal in media. A point she made was that even though something is legal, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s ethical. Professor Cameron implied this statement with a “circle graph”. The biggest circle showed all behaviors, and then the second circle within the big circle showed unethical behavior. Then lastly, the smallest circle in the middle represented illegal behavior. Catherine also pointed out facts about anti-bullying, privacy, and copyright laws. All of these laws were explained based on real-life trials that happen in the last 10 years in the United States.

The second speaker was a Senior Faculty for the Poynter Institute. Kelly McBride specializes in media ethics due to her 10 years in journalism and now is involved in the Poynter institute. Kelly had a lot of things to say about the world of Facebook and the boundary lines that journalist have to navigate between what is ethical and legal. A great point she explained was the true meaning of the violation of privacy. McBride describe violation of ethical privacy as having an issue set in one way by the originator and placing it in another setting through context by someone else. This issue is something that is immoral but sadly legal in most cases.

Both speakers had great insight in the topics discussed. The turnout of SPC students was also a great attribute. Even though “laws haven’t kept up with technology” as both Cameron and McBride claimed, it is great to have a presentation as this one giving our generation information.