All posts by Melinda Daun

Campus Tour: Middle Schoolers Get Crash Course In College, Career Prep

Photo of middle school students on campus tour

Forty-nine Thurgood Marshall Fundamental Middle School eighth graders were let off a bus at the St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus for a campus tour, career and college program exploration, and fun on Thursday, Feb. 22.

Career & Academic Advisor Richard Smith led the charge to engage this group in early college consideration and career investigation. SP/G Associate Provost Keron Jean-Baptiste  greeted the eighth graders with an introduction to what the day’s events would bring and held a Q&A session about college life at SPC.

Collegiate High School & Early College opportunities

Collegiate High School Principal Starla Metz, discussed the merits of applying to Collegiate High School as sophomores to simultaneously earn their Associate in Arts degree and high school diploma, potentially saving participating students up to $8,000 in college costs.

Metz explained that Collegiate High School has 230 students and a student/teacher ratio of 18 students per teacher. Participating Collegiate High School students have all the resources and student life opportunities as an SPC student in addition to having their own high school events such as prom, a National Honors Society, and regular Friday night activities.

Topics such as how to apply to Collegiate High School and information about SPC Early College entrance for high school juniors were discussed.

Interactive career activities

Campus Tour
Thurgood Marshall Fundamental Middle School students at SPC’s St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus

Students divided into three groups and rotated through three 20-minute activities that explored topics such as music industry professions, natural science-related occupations, and general career exploration.

Smith along with April Bullock and Nathyn Montagano with Student Government, led the groups to activity destinations. Career & Academic Advisors Shoshana Kroll and Lisa Dollenmayer discussed career decision making and exploration in the campus’ Student Services lobby.

Students expressed interest in careers such as musician, marine biologist, veterinarian, and business manager. Associate and bachelor’s degrees were explained along with related degrees SPC offers. Kroll led the students through a fun activity where they were asked to identify strategically laid out objects on tables to be matched to multiple occupations, opening their imaginations to new career possibilities.

SPC Honors Program Consortium President and Peer Advisor Garrick Roe, discussed how his newly planted permaculture garden at the campus was created with donated sustainable resources. Student groups planted sunflowers in miniature pots to take home and care for. Sporting gardening gloves, they plucked their own earthworms from Roe’s soil bed to add to their flower pots for natural fertilization.

Educational Ecosystems
Thurgood Marshall Fundamental Middle School visits SPC’s St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus

Music industry career exploration was led by Career & Academic Advisor Chauncey Giraldi and Opie Marc from Humanities and Fine Arts. Giraldi introduced the MIRA program and possible careers in music.

Giraldi, a former resident of Hawaii, entered his session sporting a Paleo garment and traditional Puka shell necklace. He showed students how creating music mirrors life – many instruments and rhythms make up a song just as the need to balance multiple activities is a part of everyday life. Students jammed together with DjembeCajon drums and other instruments like tamborines and shakers.

Marc taught students how to handcraft a flute from paper and discussed how students can get their associate degrees with an emphasis in music to later enter music-related bachelor’s degree programs.

Campus tour success

SPC group facilitators were impressed with the students’ eagerness to learn and participate in discussions.

“The kids had a great time and were so impressed with everyone’s enthusiasm and willingness to make the tour meaningful for them,” said Thurgood Marshall Middle School Instructor and co-event organizer Stephanie Pawlowicz.

Smith said, “Our goal was to create a fun activity-filled morning that was both educational and interactive. I believe we pulled it off. In a small window of time, we were able to expose the students to a wealth of opportunity offered at SPC.”


Charter/Spectrum Technology Hiring Event

Do you know students or family and friends who are in a technology related program such as A.S Computer Networking , A.S Computer Information Technology, or the BAS Technology Management degree? Do your students or family/friends already have IT related experience, but want to take the career search to the next level? Are your students or friends/relations near to finishing a degree program and are to break into the field? Charter-Spectrum is looking to hire SPC students and people from the community for positions such as Help-Desk or Networking Engineer.

St. Pete Gibbs Campus Career Services is Hosting Charter-Spectrum for an Employer Meet & Greet

Tell your students , family, and friends that Charter-Spectrum will be at the St. Pete Gibbs Campus on Wednesday, February 15th in SA-135 from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM. Check in time for one on one interviews with a hiring manager is at 11:30 AM.  IT bound students and community members should not miss the opportunity to have an on the spot interview with this local up and coming company. Be sure encourage interested would-be participants to make the most of this rare opportunity and be interview ready.

Be Interview Ready. . .

Do your students or community members, whom you are referring to this Employer Meet & Greet need some assistance with resumes?  Are they feeling a bit rusty with interviewing skills and need some extra practice? Could they use some interview dress-for-success do’s and don’ts? No problem!

Tell him or her to visit Career Services at the St. Pete Gibbs Campus in SA-135 with a hard copy resume drafts for some pointers prior to the big event on February 15th. Lucy Williams, Career Services Student Support Assistant, may be contacted to set an appointment with one of our amazing Career Services Advisors or Career Outreach Specialists at 727-341-3533. Career Services walk-in interview preparation assistance is available on February 14th.

Remind Charter-Spectrum interviewees to dress for success in Business Ready wear, dressing for his or her dream job you want, not the job the incumbent already has. The St. Pete Gibbs Campus’ Career Services department can answer questions regarding do’s and don’ts for job interview wear.

Career Services Team Hosts Speaker Career Series

speaker series logo

This month on Sept. 15  the Career Services team at the St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus kicks off a speaker series aimed at introducing career-related concepts and skills to St. Petersburg College students as well as the community.

Intro to Podcasting

spc-speaker-series-eventsThe series for Fall 2016 begins with the Intro to Podcasting Professional Development presentation from Craig Kopp, General Manager of WMNF Community Radio in Tampa.

Kopp, a media veteran for thirty years, will introduce attendees to podcasting methods, money-making podcasting strategies and suggestions on gaining podcasting experience – skills that arts and entertainment employers are seeking from potential applicants. The free event on Thursday, Sept., 15, from 12:30 – 2 p.m. in SA-114 at the SP/G Campus.

Upcoming speakers

Kopp is the first of three speakers who will be at the SP/G Camus this fall.

Students interested in the music industry will benefit from the Music Licensing and Publishing workshop at the SP/G Campus on Thursday, Oct. 6, in SA-114 from 12:30 – 2 p.m. Jorge Brea, founder and CEO of Symphonic Distribution, and Janette Berrios, Director of Marketing for Symphonic Distribution, will focus on where the music industry is today, future trends, how distribution works, royalties and payments, how to get into the music business, and helpful resources. Additionally, Brea and Berrios will focus on how beginners should market themselves through music and video, blogging,and social media.

Students interested in a future in arts and entertainment should attend the Setting Social Media Goals workshop on Monday, Nov. 14, from 12:30 – 2 p.m., in SA-114 at the SP/G Campus. Presenter Ray Roa, Music Editor for Creative Loafing and Founder for SubAP!, will discuss online presence and analytics from a marketing perspective. SPC students will benefit from learning which social media marketing practices work and which don’t. Though Roa will gear his presentation towards arts and communications students,  all will benefit from learning how to manage their online presence.

Speaker Series

The college’s speaker series connects local community leaders, who have mastered skills in their fields, to students and others interested in areas such as getting started in that field, legal issues to avoid, and the dos and don’ts of marketing a business idea or online presence.

The SP/G Career Service team plans to continue the series in upcoming semesters  at the campus with speakers representing different SPC academic communities.

Career and Academic Communities

spc-careers-workshopThe college recently embraced a model for Career and Academic Communities. Students have the opportunity to choose from fields such as Education, Health Sciences and Veterinary Technology, Technology, Business, or Arts, Humanities and Design. Students get the opportunity to engage in classes with Career and Academic Advisors, who specialize in a particular community and the career options they can offer. Students can explore several careers or learn more about their chosen career path within that community.

The SP/G Career Services team has accepted the mission to expose students within chosen career communities to related occupations. Rosaria Pipitone, a Career Outreach Specialist, launched the series with the upcoming presentation in September.

No matter what your career interest, stay tuned to see what future community leaders will bring their knowledge to the college.


Collegiate career navigators team brings collegiate high seniors interview opportunities

Titans coat of arms

SPC’s Collegiate High School seeks to prepare their students for the world of work. Not only are Collegiate High School students tasked with completing all five modules of the Focus 2 career assessment so they better understand who they are and what they want from life and careers, but they are also coached on how to dress for success, answer tricky job interview questions, and learn how to research careers.

When students graduate from high school, they are propelled to go to college. The moment potential scholars apply to a college, they are advised to select a major/program plan. Career counselors have pondered the absence of steps in the career exploration process of college students. Today, students appear to squeeze themselves into a career that may or may not fit instead of finding the job that fits students’ aptitudes, values, and work interests. Likewise, scholars need to know how to use their wiles to successfully prepare for job interviews and land themselves jobs.

Panel Poses with Nikki and Dwayne

On Thursday, March 31, a team of SPC Career Navigators partnered with Collegiate High School to give their seniors a chance to experience a five-minute job interview with local industry professionals in five different industries: technology, medical, education, business and general. Additionally, students learned how to conduct an informational interview, to better examine if working in a particular industry provides a good fit.

Best Interview Photo1


This Collegiate Career Navigators team consisted of St. Pete Gibbs CampusCareer & Academic Advisors Dwayne Climes, Yulonder Betts, Melinda Daun, and Nikki Hall, who formed the team to complete their Career Development Facilitator (CDF) capstone project. Starla Metz, the principal for Collegiate High School, found an immediate need for their high school seniors to practice job interviews, gain networking skills, and conduct informational interviews. Team Collegiate Career Navigators found a way to fit all three into an hour and a half long event.

Dwayne Climes and Nikki Hall successfully recruited ten local professionals, representing each of the five fields students selected in advance. Weeks prior to the event, team leader, Yulonder Betts and Melinda Daun presented to the eighty-four seniors pertaining to event preparation in areas such as the do’s and don’ts of dressing for success, the importance of networking, methods of answering precarious interview questions, and assisting students with the selection of their informational interview questions to ask the panel of career professionals towards the end of the event.

Armed with Resumes2

On event day, forty-eight well-prepped Collegiate High seniors, donning their best interview wear and resumes, participated in check-in processes and five minute interviews given by industry virtuosos such as Nicole Nix, the Operations Manager from Kobie Marketing, Inc, Chris Graham from G.E (General Electrics), Art Diston, the Network Administrator for WTOG TV CW 44/CBS, and Saunya Talley, a former Pinellas County educator. Student Volunteer, Amy Butler, a Treasure Island resort wedding planner, herded groups of students by industry to check-in processes and to Dwayne Climes who directed students to their five-minute practice interviews. Following the interviews, the seniors, volunteers, and local professionals networked together over pizza. Nikki Hall moderated the panel of volunteer local professionals, who answered student informational interview questions.

Following the informational interview panel session, the professionals offered seniors feedback on their interviews along with heartfelt career advice. Chris Graham from G.E, advised the seniors to “Find out what you’re passionate about and then find a way to make money doing what you love.” Art Diston, the Network Administrator for 44/CBS advised the students that there is a huge demand for women in the technology field and that they are regularly looking to hire females. Other interviewers praised the seniors for their interview efforts–some claimed there were seniors that would be hired on the spot if the interviews had been real.



Meet the St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus career & academic advisors

Attention St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus students! Here’s a chance to learn more about some of the college’s Career & Academic Advisors, why you should meet with them and how they can help you in college and beyond to a future where you’ll be working for more than a paycheck but also for a purpose.

Why should I meet with an advisor?

Your advisor can help you learn more about yourself so you are better equipped to make decisions that will help you achieve a meaningful career.

By taking a “career inventory” such as Focus 2, your advisor assists you in learning about your interests, skills, values and personality or Holland Codes,  which refer to personality types. Finding a career that fits your Holland personality can be a step toward success.

Also, the Career & Academic Advisors are always working to develop their skills and provide more opportunities to assist students. Stay tuned to hear about new trends in Career & Academic Advising that can help students such as staff training in Career Development Facilitation, group advising sessions and workshops with the college’s retention team who help students successfully complete their college goals.

How can I pick an advisor who’s right for me?

Who are these Yoda-like figures who can help you better understand your academic aspirations and career dreams? Would knowing your advisor’s own Holland/Personality code make you feel more confident that this person understands you?

If you’ve asked those questions, than meet the entire St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus team of Career & Academic Advisors below or, over the next several weeks, on Facebook and Twitter. Learn about their unique advising styles  and Holland personality types so you can select the best advisor for you. Or, if you attend one of the other college’s campuses, check the staff directory to contact an advisor at that location.

Leslie Morrow, Student Support Manager (Interim)Leslie Morrow



Nick Berry, Career & Academic AdvisorNick Berry

  • GED and career and academic advising
  • Has a bachelor’s in Business Administration
  • Advising style: Proactive
  • Part of the SPC Basketball coaching staff
  • Location: SP/G – AD 160
  • Phone: (727)341-3544
  • Email:


April Bullock, Career & Academic AdvisorApril Bullock


Melinda Daun, Career & Academic AdvisorMelinda Daun


Lisa Dollenmayer, Career & Academic AdvisorLisa Dollenmayer

  • Retention advisor
  • Personality: Social
  • Advising style: Proactive
  • Experience as a Disability Support Services provider & Career/Academic Advisor (seven years)
  • Location: SP/G – AD 160
  • Phone: (727)341-4428
  • Email:

Anh Dufoe, Career & Academic AdvisorAnh-Dufoe

Chauncey Giraldi, Career & Academic AdvisorChauncey Giraldi

Nikki Hall, Career & Academic AdvisorNikki Hall

Shoshana Kroll, Career & Academic AdvisorShoshana Kroll

  • Earned a master’s degree in Jewish Studies/Education, Gratz College
  • Has a bachelor’s in Communications/Print Journalism, USF
  • SPC alumni (AA degree)
  • Personality: Artistic, social and realistic
  • Past career experience as  a writer, educator and school director
  • Loves working with students and helping them achieve their academic goals
  • Location: SP/G – AD 160
  • Phone: (727)398-8247
  • Email:

Clara Sager, Career & Academic AdvisorClara Sieger


Richard Smith, Career & Academic AdvisorRichard Smith


Robert Wilcoxen, Career & Academic AdvisorRobert Wilcoxen