All posts by Tara Newsom

Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King – SPC’s MLK Days of Service

St. Petersburg College continues to strengthen its commitment to community engagement through its fourth Annual MLK Days of Service.

Please join students, faculty and staff as we serve our strategic partners, the Florida Dream Center and Keep Pinellas Beautiful.

SPC honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dedication to service. Service to others is a fundamental element of developing citizenship, empathy & understanding. These pieces help strengthen critical thinking and help students secure a meaningful education.

As Dr. Martin Luther King stated so eloquently:

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”

MLK Days of Service events:

  • North County – Jan. 18 – 9 a.m.
    • Florida Dream Center, 4017 56th Ave. N., St. Petersburg, FL 33714
  • South County – Jan. 25 – 9 a.m.
    • Keep Pinellas Beautiful – Ray Neri Park, 4303 46th Ave. N., St. Petersburg, FL 33714

For more information, please reach out to your campus Student Life and Leadership Coordinator or Tara Newsom at

MLK Days of Service Events

SPC on the Trail!


SPC Faculty and students spent this past Saturday in Clearwater cleaning up the city’s horse trails. Always ready to get their hands dirty, this is one of many service projects SPC has given its time and effort to this fall and is a great example of the cross pollination of SPC academic communities.

Participants included Dr. Erin Georgin’s Tri-Beta Club, Dr. Eric Tucker’s Ethics class, Dr. Kelli Strickrath’s Environmental Club and Faculty Government Organization President Dr. Shannon Ulrich.

SPC and The Beau Institute Meet Again!

For over 5 years, SPC students and French students who are attending the highly esteemed Beau Institute, meet at SPC’s Downtown campus to discuss comparative politics and engage in cultural exchange.

Today, the newest French scholars met with SPC student leaders to discuss the differences between U.S. and French Constitutions, the philosophical and historical origins of the two countries Constitutions and develop a greater respect for each others citizenry.

Dr. Philippe Beau, one of the co-founders of the Beau Institute, a non-profit organization which offers alternatives to the traditional university learning by integrating students into their future careers by offering internships with U.S. organizations and interactive classes, co-teaches this annual seminar with Dr. Tara Newsom of SPC. Newsom is a faculty member in the Social & Behavioral Science Department as well as the Director of the Center for Civic Learning & Community Engagement.

SPC welcomes the development of global citizenry and delights in this partnership!

For more information on the Beau Institute:

SPC goes to Washington, D.C!

St.Petersburg College Student Government Association (SGA) student leaders arrived in Washington D.C. this week to tour our nations capital and highlight the importance of the Florida College System.

SPC students were joined by our tireless SPC Student Life and Leadership Coordinators, Anjum Perfetti from the Allstate/HEC campuses, Malena Buck from the Seminole Campus, Barbara Weaver from the Tarpons Springs Campus, Davie Gill with the Gibbs campus and Frank Jurkovic from the Downtown/Midtown Campuses.

Together, SPC students and staff used this visit to not only learn about the internal workings of our U.S. government but are also reminding the U.S. Congressional leadership of the positive impact the SPC family has on Pinellas County.

SPC lends a hand at Suncoast Primate Sanctuary

It was a great day at the Suncoast Primate Sanctuary when Professor Kelli Stickrath and 30 SPC students and volunteers showed up to help make lunches for the apes, landscape and repair the alligator enclosure.

Don’t worry, everyone is safe!

Debbie Cobbe, the owner of SPS, was gracious to open the sanctuary to SPC students who were excited for the opportunity!

SPC Students are starting a donation wish list for SPS as an Earth Day project-for more information please contact Kelli Stickrath at  

SPC Gibbs Campus Launches Educational Ecosystem

SPC Gibbs is launching an Educational Ecosystem. An Educational Ecosystem is a resource of partners to wrap around the agreed population of students and their families in order to make a difference in their projected personal and professional paths.

The Gibbs Educational Ecosystem hopes to share resources with students and community partners.

Initial partners include Dixie Hollins, The Florida Dream Center, Azalea Middle School, Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg, Community Health of Pinellas County and Lealman Innovation Academy.

SPC is grateful for the opportunity to develop meaningful conversations about the needs of the community and develop reciprocal relationships that help strengthen our impact on students and our community.

For more information about the Gibbs Educational Ecosystem, please contact Dr. Meg Delgato at

Take Part in SPC’s MLK Month of Service 2018

MLK Month of Service at SPC banner

St. Petersburg College honors the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s promise to serve others by dedicating the month of January to diverse volunteer opportunities in Pinellas County through the MLK Month of Service.

Hope to see you at one of these many service projects!

MLK Month of Service projects 

Allstate Center

SPC Downtown/SPC Midtown

  • St Pete Free Clinic
    • Jan. 12, 9 a.m. –  noon
    • Meet in SPC Downtown Lobby at 8:30 a.m.
  • Food Bank Sorting and Pack-a-Sack
  • Florida Dream Center

Poster for MLK Month of ServiceClearwater Campus

  • RCS Food Bank for our Week of Service Activity
    • Jan. 16  – 31, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus

Seminole Campus

  • Bauder Elementary Reading and Tutoring, plus a canned food drive
    • Jan. 18,  9 a.m. – noon
  • Tampa Bay Watch Oyster Dome Construction
    • Feb. 2,  9 a.m. – noon
    • This project involves pouring marine-friendly concrete into fiberglass molds to create oyster domes and taking apart the molds that were previously poured. Oyster communities help stabilize shorelines, provide hard bottom habitats for fish and wildlife resources and promote water quality improvements in the Tampa Bay.
    • 3000 Pinellas Bayway South in Tierra Verde.
    • Sign up online. It is limited registration and first-come, first-served.
    • To volunteer, please contact Dr. Doug Rivero,

Tarpon Springs Campus

  • MLK Month of Service events lists
    Additional details and contact information for events

    Brookdale Assisted Living Facility

    • Jan. 19, 12:30 – 2 p.m.
    • 1651 Pinellas Avenue, Tarpon Springs
    • Karaoke Singers (60-70s music selection)
    • Angel Walk – Assist with putting on sweaters, setting up walkers, and walk buddies
    • Arts and Crafts
    • To volunteer, please contact: Rosa Edwards-Harris, 727-712-5280, WOW Advisor

Report volunteer hours

Please remember to log into to report your volunteer hours on our Engage for Change survey:

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’
Dr. Martin Luther King



SPC Paints the Block with Habitat!

Group photo of SPC Baseball team



With the help from SPC, Habitat for Humanity in Pinellas County painted over 17 homes in St. Petersburg this past Saturday.

SPC’s Baseball Team came out in force showing the community that SPC’s athletes are leaders who strength of character goes beyond the field.

Dr. Griffith ,Associate Provost of Downtown & Allstate Campuses, also rolled up her sleeves and painted side by side students ready to chip in on a Saturday morning.

Student Life Coordinator, Frank Jurkovic and and Career Services Coordinator, Michael Jean-Felix were tireless in their organization making sure students, faculty and staff partnered in the event.

SPC is a proud supporter of Habitat for Humanity-an organization making home ownership possible for low income families wanting the American Dream.

For more information, please contact Tara Newsom at

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure: North Greenwood Healthcare Fair

Picture of fruit and veggies in a heart shaped bowl with a stethoscope

The old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of a cure has never been more true than today. Health literacy and preventative care can mean a longer and healthier life. Having access to healthcare can sometimes be an obstacle. This weekend those challenges are being set aside by North Greenwood’s dedicated Faith Communities and the Martin L. King Center who are hosting a Healthcare fair on Saturday, October 7, 2017 from 9am-1pm at Martin L. King Center, 1201 Douglas Avenue, Clearwater, Fl.

This collaborative effort is working hard to make sure everyone has access to health awareness and education resources as well as lifestyle screenings. This  includes resources for nutrition, heart health, cancer and behavioral health and diabetes prevention.

Lifestyle information screenings will also be offered for blood pressure, BMI, and cholesterol. Flu vaccines will be offered and how to execute an Advance Directive will also be available.

This is free to the community and no pre-registration or fasting is required.

Education and screenings are facilitated by Morton Plant Mease Faith Community Nursing. For more information on their Faith Community Nursing Program visit: