College notebook: USFSP celebrates homecoming, Eckerd hosts congressman, and more

It’s a bullish week for homecoming at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.
It’s a bullish week for homecoming at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.
Published Sept. 30, 2015

Anniversary celebration adds spice to USFSP homecoming week

Homecoming week begins Monday at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg as the school continues a yearlong celebration of its 50th anniversary. The week kicks off with an alumni reception from 5:30-7 p.m. in the University Student Center Ballroom. The gathering is free and participants are encouraged to attend Homecoming Opening Night starting at 7 p.m. on the school's Harborwalk. That event will feature music, giveaways and other activities, capped off by fireworks at 9 p.m. On Wednesday, the school will host a conversation about the early years of the campus (1965-75) from noon to 1 p.m. at the Nelson Poynter Memorial Library. For more information on these and other anniversary events, visit

Eckerd joins college savings plan

Eckerd College has joined Private College 529 Plan, a prepaid tuition plan that enables families to lock in today's tuition rates for future education. The school joins more than 280 participating private colleges and universities that make up the plan. By pre-purchasing tuition, families can potentially save thousands of dollars, avoiding future increases in tuition as well as stock market volatility. Eckerd is the seventh Florida institution to join Private College 529 Plan. For more information, visit

Free events include talk by Jolly, documentary

An appearance by a member of Congress and a documentary discussion lead the list of free events taking place early this month at Eckerd College. U.S. Rep. David W. Jolly, R-Indian Shores, will appear at 5 p.m. Monday at Lewis House on campus. According to the college, Jolly will "review the current political landscape in the nation's capital." The same evening marks the start of a four-night screening of Gideon's Army, the Emmy-nominated documentary that follows the personal stories of three young public defenders as they challenge the assumption that the criminal justice system represents "justice for all." The 96-minute film will be screened at 7:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday in Miller Auditorium, followed on the last night with a talk by the film's director, Dawn Porter, in Fox Hall. For more information on these and other free Eckerd events, visit or call (727) 864-7979.

Stetson program aims to improve lawyers' skills in death penalty cases

The U.S. Attorney General has awarded a $400,000 grant to Stetson University College of Law for the college's National Clearinghouse for Science, Technology and the Law to develop a forensic evidence training program for lawyers who work on death penalty cases. "This training program is crucial at a time when life or death often hinges on the presentation of forensic evidence in the courtroom," said Carol Henderson, a Stetson law professor and founding director of the clearinghouse. The new program will provide in-person and webinar training on forensic science evidence and the use of expert testimony. Henderson said the training is "essential to improve the quality of legal representation and to ensure reliable jury verdicts." The clearinghouse was developed to foster communication between the scientific, technological and legal communities. It has trained more than 13,500 legal and scientific professionals since its inception.

SPC invites students to explore majors at new Midtown building

St. Petersburg College will host a Major's Exploration Fair on Oct. 14 at the new Douglas R. Jamerson Jr. Midtown Center, 1300 22nd St. S, St. Petersburg. The fair will be held from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and again from 4-6 p.m. High school and college students will be encouraged to tour the campus and explore various majors as well as the careers they can lead to.