All posts by Douglas Rivero

Black Minds Matter to offer a series of educational workshops

Black Minds Matter will be hosting a series of workshops throughout the rest of the semester. This organization seeks to make the connection between the Black Lives Matter movement and the way that Black minds are engaged in the classroom. Dr. Luke Wood from San Diego State University will be on hand to lead the discussion as well as lend his expertise and knowledge. From police brutality to racial and economic inequality, these workshops will help students understand how the can get involved to make a meaningful contribution.

Therefore, we encourage you to come by for stimulating discussion. The conversation begins on October 23rd at the Midtown Campus. Check out the flyer below for more dates and information!

SPC History Professor Publishes Journal Article in Civil War History

Professor Angela M. Zombek has just published a new article in Civil War History. This prestigious Kent State University publication offers academics the opportunity to publish peer-reviewed articles on the history of the US Civil War. Her article, entitled Paternalism and Imprisonment at Castle Thunder: Reinforcing Gender Norms in the Confederate Capital, deploys gender analysis to explore how Confederate officials at the Castle Thunder Prison in Richmond utilized imprisonment as a method in forcing male and female prisoners to behave and act according to prevailing cultural norms. Therefore, incarceration should be seen as one of the components that were exploited to help maintain the conservative cultural order, especially in the South. However, her research also captures how Union troops were also culpable in applying the same tactics. Once Union troops captured Castle Thunder from the Confederacy, they also utilized harsh imprisonment tactics to preserve the social order.

SPC is very proud of Professor Zombek. By publishing this article and being engaged in academic discourse, Professor Zombek is inspiring and bringing a lot of excitement to the classroom. It truly makes history come alive for our students when they see that their instructor is also a researcher and publisher. Students know that they are getting the most current information possible. Even more, this is a very timely piece that connects very well with the current discussion taking place in the US revolving around Confederate monuments.

SPC MUN Team Soars High in New York


St. Petersburg College’s Model United Nations team received the Distinguished Delegation Award at the National Model United Nations (NMUN) Conference held on April 9 – 13 in New York. The SPC MUN team represented the Plurinational State of Bolivia.

College students from around the globe attend NMUN conferences. In an effort to help solve regional and global problems, students spend countless hours working on key academic skills. From writing position papers and draft resolutions to delivering key presentations, students deploy vital skills that they learn in the classroom during these impactful simulations.

Some committee topics addressed were:

  • The Role of Science and Technology in International Security and Disarmament
  • Global Nuclear Disarmament
  • Mitigating the Public Health Effects of Climate Change
  • Empowering Vulnerable Groups through Access to Information and Communications Technology
  • Ensuring Equal Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities in Society and Development
  • Increasing Women’s Role in Disarmament and Non-Proliferation
  • Enhancing Women’s Role in Peace Processes and Political Transitions
  • Realizing the Rights of Indigenous Women
  • Women’s Economic Empowerment in a Changing World of Work
  • Promoting Livelihoods and Education for Refugees and Displaced Persons
  • Addressing Protracted Displacement
  • Environmental Migration and the Future of Displacement

Bronwen speaking in UN General Assembly Room. NMUN 2017 New York Conference.

Posted by SPC Model United Nations on Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Four students on the SPC MUN team received the Outstanding Position Paper Award:

  • Rebekka Sauer and Josh Clepper received Outstanding Position Paper Award for the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
  • Edgar Garcia  and Laura Luc received the Outstanding Position Paper Award for General Assembly Second Committee

Four students on the SPC MUN team were selected to serve on dais of conference committees:

  • Josh Clepper chaired the Commission for Social Development
  • Rebekka  Sauer chaired the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
  • Dragana Mitric chaired the Security Council
  • Chris Duggan served as Rapporteur for General Assembly First Committee

Our students do excellent work in conference. They are good ambassadors for the MUN Program and SPC.

Professor Roy Slater (Lead Faculty Advisor) and Dr. Randy Lightfoot traveled with the team. Additional MUN Faculty members include Dr. Roberto Loureiro, Dr. Douglas Rivero and Dr. William Fleming.

Visit the SPC Model United Nations Facebook page for pictures from NY conference and other MUN conferences.

SPC history professor Angie Zombek to appear as expert on geneology TV show

Angie Zombek

St. Petersburg College faculty members make their classrooms come alive with their passion and excellent research capabilities, and on Sunday, April 2, SPC Assistant Professor of History Dr. Angie Zombek will show those qualities to the world when she appears in an episode of TLC’s celebrity genealogy show, “Who Do You Think You Are?”, an Emmy-nominated series in which viewers get a look at the family histories of popular celebrities. In the episode, Dr. Zombek will help actress Jessica Biel trace the surprising history of her Civil War ancestor.

Additionally, Dr. Zombek, who has written her first book, Penitentiaries, Punishment, and Military Prisons: Familiar Responses to an Extraordinary Crisis during the American Civil War, was referred to the show’s producers by a colleague from Georgia Southwestern State University, Glenn Robbins.

“Given my research on imprisonment in the Civil War Era, I was a good “fit” to help Jessica understand her ancestor’s actions,” Zombek said.

Zombek was first put to work sifting through a stack of old documents that pertained to Biel’s ancestor’s history and helped the producers make sense of his actions and the predicament in which he eventually found himself..

Once filming proceeded, Zombek helped guest star Jessica Biel read through documents from her ancestor that were written in 19th Century script, which was full of interesting spellings and punctuation.

“She stopped at one point and asked me how I don’t go blind reading documents like these all the time for my research,” Zombek said. “At one point, she read one document as it appeared to her, which created quite an entertaining alternate narrative! Overall, she did very well reading these difficult texts, given that it was her first attempt at reading 19th century script.”

After filming with Biel, Zombek rode with the local film crew as they captured “approach” shots driving up to the property on which Jessica’s ancestor lived. This is a 160 acre farmstead that is only accessible by dirt road.

“I have a whole new appreciation for how hard film crews work to get approach shots of various locations,” she said.

Zombek said the experience made for a long day, but was very rewarding.

“The entire day lasted from 7 a.m. – 11 p.m., with travel to and from St. Louis and Miller County, Missouri. The filming of the scene with me and Jessica took about four hours between dialogue and different shots of the documents that we went over. The approach shots took about three hours with the film crew. My experience with the producers, Jessica, and film crews was amazing. It was a long day, but it was very energizing.

The opportunity to be an historian on TV was a bucket list item for Zombek – and it could be a recurring one.

“The producers said that they would definitely keep me in mind if they have another celebrity with a Civil War story,” Zombek said.

The episode will air at 10 p.m. on Sunday, April 2 on the TLC channel.

Social and Behavioral Studies Department administers HEIghten assessment

During the early part of March, St. Petersburg College successfully administered the HEIghten Civic Competency and Engagement assessment, along with the Intercultural Competency and Diversity assessment, from Educational Testing Services (ETS). This is the same national organization that administers the SAT college-entrance exams. They have developed the ETS HEIghten Initiative as a way to track and assess civic engagement and intercultural learning among college students.

Partnering with the Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement (CCLCE), several American Government instructors, including Dr. Bledar Prifti and Dr. Robert Loureiro from the Seminole and Gibbs campuses, utilized class time in order to assess and further improve civic engagement and intercultural learning at SPC. This is critical because such factors are shown to improve critical thinking, class engagement, retention and graduation. Given that one of the goals of the CCLCE is to apply for the prestigious Carnegie Community Engagement Classification, participation in this groundbreaking study will certainly push SPC to continue to inspire!