September 2016

Second Annual Distinguished Speaker Event

Nationally acclaimed political and social analyst David Brooks drew two standing ovations from a crowd of almost 800 at the Foundation’s Second Annual Distinguished Speaker event at the Palladium Theater on September 21.

Kicking off the program were SPC student and Presidential Scholar Alexis Deveaux who served as the evening’s poised and charming MC, and SPC graduate Sane Haidara who impressed the audience with his inspirational story about the importance of SPC Foundation scholarships.

Before Mr. Brooks took the stage, Foundation Board Chair Beth Horner and College President Bill Law shared highlights about the Foundation and the College.

Within moments of taking the stage, Mr. Brooks captivated guests with his humor and poignant observations. His comments focused on the development of character and creating a balance between the “resume virtues” and “eulogy virtues” described in his best-selling book The Road to Character. His comments were illuminated with references to some of the world’s greatest thinkers and leaders. Mr. Brooks concluded his presentation with a Q & A session which was followed by a book signing.

Prior to the program, VIP guests and event sponsors attended a private reception with Mr. Brooks in the Palladium’s Side Door Theater. All proceeds from the evening’s event help underwrite student scholarships at SPC.

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August 2016

Wednesday, September 21, 2016, 7:00-9:00PM
The Palladium Theater
253 5th Ave N, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Tickets: Orchestra Seating $65, Balcony Seating $55
Purchase tickets at or call the Box Office at (727) 822-3590
We expect this event to sell out, purchase your tickets today!

By most accounts, the 2016 Presidential Campaign has been one for the books! Join us for Mr. Brooks’ timely and informed analysis of present-day politics. His gift for bringing audiences face-to-face with the spirit of our times with humor and insight is certain to
make for an engaging and unforgettable evening. Proceeds from the event will support the Foundation’s Scholarship Initiative. The evening will conclude with a book signing of The Road to Character. Copies will be made available for purchase.

July 2016

Encouraging Women to Seek Careers in STEM

Despite a shortage of trained workers and an abundance of well-paying jobs, women continue to be under-represented in STEM careers – science, technology, engineering and math. To bridge the gap, St. Petersburg College is launching a fourweek summer program aimed at bringing “Women 2 STEM.”

Program participants will be mentored by female mathematicians, scientists, engineers, and technologists. They will also take part in a series of STEM career exploration activities as well as attend seminars on time and finance management.

“Both engineering and mathematics have allowed me to creatively expand the multiple dimensions of who I am, while at the same time explore the world around me,” said SPC Mathematics Academic Chair Dr. Joy Moore, a Women 2 STEM session leader.

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June 2016

Innovation Grant Teaches Students Soft Skills

Student Life and Leadership Coordinators Mary Gerst and Stephanie Henningsen are working to ensure that SPC students are learning social and soft skills. After attending a leadership training, Gerst and Henningsen were inspired to create the Graduate Leadership Academy and received a $3,500 Innovation Grant from the St. Petersburg College Foundation to launch the project.

“One of the main points that employers make is that while people may have an education, they often lack in soft skills,” Gerst said. “It’s so important to learn customer service and how to act in a workplace setting.” Gerst and Henningsen lead training sessions which include Meyers-Brigg personality tests, etiquette lessons, mock interviews and “mocktail” parties where students learn the art of networking.

This dynamic duo also hosts etiquette dinners with new Student Government Association officers and Lunch and Learn sessions to teach leadership and personal success skills.

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April 2016

Alumni Honored at 130th Commencement Ceremony

U.S. Congressman Gus Bilirakis (R) was honored at Spring commencement as SPC’s 2016 Outstanding Alumnus. Bilirakis attended St. Petersburg Junior College before earning a B.A. from the University of Florida and a J.D. from Stetson University.

Prior to being elected to Congress, Bilirakis served four terms in the Florida House of Representatives (1998-2006) where he won bipartisan acclaim for his leadership efforts, including sponsoring the bill that would expand SPJC into a four-year institution making it the first community college in the state to transition.

Also honored were Courtney Kent, Apollo Award recipient and Amy Bhatt, Alumni Achievement Award recipient.

Kent served as president of the Clearwater Campus Student Government Association and was St. Petersburg College’s first Financial Assistance Services Peer-Advisor. He is a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and the Student National Education


Bhatt graduated with a B.A.S. degree in paralegal studies and was the Apollo Award recipient in 2012. She served as Vice President of the SPC Legal Studies Society, President of the Honors College Student Consortium, was a National Model United Nations Delegate and member of the Golden Key International Honor Society.

The SPC Alumni Association presents these awards to honor graduates who demonstrate exemplary leadership, academic achievement and community service.

Pictured: (Top) Congressman Gus Bilirakis 2016 Outstanding Alumnus; (Right) Courtney Kent 2016 Apollo Award Winner; Alumni Association President John Brown, Dr. Bill Law and Amy Bhatt 2016 Alumni Achievement Award Winner

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