College notebook: Vet center to open at USFSP, a new project at SPC and an arts bonanza at Eckerd

USF St. Petersburg will dedicate its new Military and Veterans Success Center at noon Tuesday.
USF St. Petersburg will dedicate its new Military and Veterans Success Center at noon Tuesday.
Published Nov. 9, 2015

USFSP to open new center for student veterans

USF St. Petersburg will open its new Military and Veterans Success Center during a noon dedication ceremony Tuesday. The office will serve an estimated 300 student veterans, active military and dependents. "Many of our student veterans have specific needs, and this is an opportunity to meet them," said Regional Chancellor Sophia Wisniewska. "Our veterans center will provide assistance with benefits and tuition, navigating VA applications and programs, and promoting wellness and disabilities services available." The USF System — which serves about 2,000 student veterans, active military and dependents — provides many services, but student veterans often had to drive to Tampa to access them. The new center will feature a lounge with eight computers and a color printer, and offices that will house the Veterans Services staff and visiting specialists from the VA and other local and state agencies The grand opening will be held on the lawn adjacent to The Campus Grind.

SPC Clearwater will host conference on Middle East

The Social and Behavioral Sciences Department at St. Petersburg College will host a half-day conference entitled "The Middle East: the Past, the Present, and the Prospect" from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday in the ES building on the Clearwater Campus. The guest speaker will be Mohsen M. Milani, an Iranian-born scholar who is the executive director of the Center for Strategic and Diplomatic Studies at the University of South Florida. Douglas Rivero, department chair of social and behavioral sciences at SPC's Seminole campus, will present at the conference, as will SPC faculty member Bledar Prifti.

SPC building 'pathways' to graduation

St. Petersburg College has been selected as one of 30 community colleges in the nation to participate in a three-year "Pathways Project" led by the American Association of Community Colleges. Supported by funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the project will help streamline students' path to a degree and a job. The purpose of the program is to provide students with a clear, concise and more flexible road map to graduation, while allowing them to earn credentials along the way that can increase their earning potential. It also gives them support as well as guidance on the order courses should be taken and the number of classes to take each semester. "We have taken the guesswork out of course selection to ensure that students can achieve academic milestones more quickly, so they can get into the workforce or move up in their careers sooner," said Jesse Coraggio, SPC's vice president of Institutional Effectiveness and Academic Services. As part of the project, SPC will meet with other schools to discuss how best to structure pathways programs. A team of five from SPC will attend the first meeting in San Antonio, Texas, in February.

Eckerd: Film, literature and Shakespeare

Events this week at Eckerd College:

• The International Cinema Series continues today with a 7 p.m. showing of Court in Miller Auditorium. Directed by Chaitanya Tamhane (Marathi, Gujarati, English and Hindi, 116m)

• Best-selling mystery novelist Lisa Unger headlines the Academy of Senior Professionals Fourth Annual Literary Symposium at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at Lewis House on campus. Unger will give a talk, answer questions and sign books at 1:30 p.m. The symposium also includes talks on the history of mysteries and about authors Edgar Allan Poe, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie.

• The Eckerd Theatre Department presents A Midsummer Night's Dream Nov. 11-14 at Bininger Theater on campus. Shakespeare's romantic comedy about star-crossed lovers, spellbinding fairies and homespun rustics is re-imagined with 1950s doo-wop, swing and Latin dancing. Directed by Eckerd professor of theatre Cynthia Totten. The shows Wednesday through Friday start at 8 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday. Tickets are $10 for the general public, $5 for Eckerd community members, and $1 for Eckerd students with ID.