All posts by Donna Smith

Making Time for Community Service

Emily Crkvencic came to SPC’s Early College program in high school, and is working on her associate degree full time before transferring to pursue a higher degree in mechanical engineering. Despite holding down three part-time jobs and her school schedule, Crkvencic still makes time for community service.

Community of Care logo

Crkvencic says that SPC has provided many opportunities for her and others to get involved. She has volunteered in a wide variety of ways, including working with at-risk children and high school students, assisting with park cleanups, and teaching sailing to special-needs kids. She says that all of the community service she’s done through SPC has been meaningful, and not only helped others, but also bolstered her own social skills and fulfilled her need to have a positive influence on others.

“Time is the most valuable resource and, in my opinion, community service is the best way to reach those in need – and not just the easiest group or projects to work with,” Crkvencic said. “SPC doesn’t look for where the easiest involvement is; SPC looks for where involvement is needed.”

SPC Engineering Technology Students Get Industry Tours

engineering technology

St. Petersburg College celebrated Engineering Week Oct. 1-5, 2018, and concluded the week’s activities by giving students behind-the-scenes tours at TSE Industries  and GE Aviation. Both companies are members of the Engineering Technology Advisory Committee.

Based in Clearwater, Fla., TSE Industries is a third generation, family-owned company founded in 1962. The Klingle family’s guiding principle remains the same: Treat our customers and employees as we want to be treated. Their management team and 235 dedicated employees take pride in quality work and being a business partner you can count on and trust.

Advisory member Michelle Hintz-Prange, TSE Industries HR Manager, welcomed us, then Sales VP Gary Reese took us on a tour of the 6,000 square foot facilities. Students got to see up-close customer rubber molding and extrusion; touch real rubber from the rubber tree; and see custom plastic fabrication, CNC Machining, Millathane millable polyurethane rubber, Duro-Glide UHMW-PE Sheets and engineering plastics.

After touring the plant, we visited with the WHK’s Quality Manager, who has decades of experience in all aspects of quality control in the manufacturing field. Our tour ended with a stop by a recent SPC student’s desk. He took a few minutes to share that his time at SPC prepared him to become a valued part of the TSE team.

In the afternoon, we visited GE Aviation. Advisory Committee member Matthew Smith greeted us and took us to the boardroom, where he gave a high-level presentation on GE Aviation. At this location, their focus in on providing commercial and military solutions. As a leading provider of integrated military aircraft systems and technologies, GE Aviation is helping armed forces improve fleet reliability and performance and predict future requirements. Avionics, electrical power systems, structures, and mission equipment are all optimized for military applications and mission needs.

We then divided up into three small groups and went on a one-hour tour, where students witnessed why GE Aviation is a world-class leader in the industry.

Our day ended with cookies and an engaging conversation with the GE senior leadership team. The conversation focused on changes in the industry and how the future workforce needs to be prepared. Students were encouraged to apply for GE Internships and co-op opportunities.

A special thank you to advisory committee members Michelle and Matt for opening their doors and connecting the classroom learning with future careers for SPC students. Also, thanks to SPC Engineering and Manufacturing Dean Natavia Middleton, Program Director Lara Sharp, Career Outreach Specialist Joseph Benavides, Career and Academic Advisor Karen Sommerville, Career Connections DirectorJason Krupp and the 2018-19 Carl D. Perkins Career & Technical Education Grant.

Biomedical Engineering Technology degree added at SPC

Biomedical Technology

The Engineering, Manufacturing and Building Arts community at St. Petersburg College is happy to announce its newly-accredited Biomedical Engineering Technology A.S. degree. The program, which received SACS accreditation in August, is hosting its first official group of students in the Fall 2016 semester.

Careers in Biomedical Engineering Technology

A biomedical engineering technician’s job is to maintain and configure medical equipment and make sure that it is working safely. They may also be responsible for training staff how to use and maintain equipment. Degree-holders have a lot of flexibility when it comes to choosing a workplace. They may find jobs in hospitals, clinics, private sector companies, and the military.

St. Petersburg College’s Biomedical Technology students will complete internships, which gives them valuable work experience and industry connections. The program also offers hours of hands-on practice and interaction with industry professionals.

Program Offers Industry Certifications

Students will also be prepared for the following nationally-recognized industry certifications:

  • CBET (Certified Biomedical Equipment Technician)
  • CAPM (Certified Associate in Project Management)
  • CompTIA A+ (Computing Technology Industry Association certification for service technicians)

Strong demand for biomedical equipment technicians

With the prevalence of medical device companies and health care facilities in Florida, there is a rich job market for this field. In fact, According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), national employment opportunities for biomedical equipment technicians is predicted to increase by 30 percent between 2012 and 2022, which is much faster than average.

Graduates of the Biomedical Engineering Technology program can find opportunities at health care facilities or with biomedical equipment manufacturers. Program Director Lara Sharp said that the training students will receive in the program is a direct reflection of what they will see in the workplace.

“Biomedical Engineering Technology is an opportunity to enter a growing field with good pay that allows a student to work with technology that can make a person’s life better,” Sharp said.

For more information on the Biomedical Engineering Technology A.S. degree, please contact Lara Sharp at or 727-398-8256 or Dr. Brian Bell at