Jacob Coonfare | NNB The three-story building is scheduled to open in mid-2015 BY JACOB COONFARE

ST. PETERSBURG – A new opportunity for residents of Midtown and nearby neighborhoods is rising on the corner of 22nd Street and 13th Avenue S.

When in opens in mid-2015, the three-story building for St. Petersburg College will quadruple the college’s space in Midtown and enable it to expand its offerings for students.

The $14 million, 45,000-square-foot building will have classrooms, labs, rooms for counseling and financial aid, a library and community space.

It will be named after the late Douglas L. Jamerson Jr., who grew up in Midtown and served as a state legislator, state education commissioner and state secretary of labor. He died in 2001.

St. Petersburg College has had quarters in Midtown since 2003. But its 10,000-square-foot building at 1048 22nd St. S, two blocks north of the new facility, has just a handful of classrooms. In March, that building was renamed to honor Cecil B. Keene Sr., a longtime Pinellas County school administrator and former member of the St. Petersburg College Board of Trustees who died in 2008.

Kevin Gordon, provost of the Midtown and downtown campuses of the college, called Jamerson and Keene community icons.

“Each made significant contributions to education, St. Petersburg College and the community,” he said in a college news release in December 2013. “This is the perfect way to continue their legacy and uphold the vision they held for Midtown.”

During the groundbreaking for the new Midtown Center in March, Mayor Rick Kriseman commented on his excitement.

“You have to know where you’ve been to know where you’re at,” he said. “Here we are now – we’re going to have a place of learning. We’re going to have people who can go to college right here on 22nd Street, on the Deuces.”

The expansion of the Midtown campus could help business ventures in the area, said Nikki Gaskin-Capehart, the city’s director of urban affairs.

“We have absolute excitement and energy going into the campus,” she said.  “I would love to see Midtown become a ‘college hub’ and grow business around the area.”
Workforce training will a part of the expanded campus.

Jennifer Nesslar | NNB Small-business liaison Jessica Eilerman

Jessica Eilerman, the city’s small-business liaison, said that the college will help fledgling small businesses and get people exposure to the workforce.

“I think the impact will be great,” Eilerman said. “When you have an institution like SPC in the area, it makes a huge impact.”

LumaStream Inc., a company that makes low-voltage, highly efficient lighting systems, recently  moved its manufacturing operation from Canada to a building at 2201 First Ave. S. in the Midtown area. LumaStream will supply the space and the college will supply the teachers to train workers for the company.

In an announcement in May, the company said it plans to increase its workforce in the St. Petersburg area from 25 to 200 in five years.

“They’ve already hired three or four folks from the program,” Eilerman said.

The college is one of 11 state schools in a consortium that provides short-term, advanced manufacturing training to high school and college students, returning veterans and the unemployed. It is financed by a $15 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.

“A college in an urban area is exciting,” Gaskin-Capehart said. “There are so many opportunities with a campus in Midtown.”

Information from St. Petersburg College News and the Tampa Bay Times was used in this report.

Link to original article:: magazine.nnbnews.com



Veteran news artist likes to start with a place and a photo

Courtesy of Don Morris News artist Don Morris

ST. PETERSBURG – The desk sits in a corner framed by two large windows with a view of St. Petersburg rooftops. Cartoons and drawings that illustrate stories from a range of categories hang on the wall between the windows. Well-thumbed books with titles like Art Deco and News Design sit neatly on a shelf.

The desk belongs to Don Morris, assistant news art director for the Tampa Bay Times.

For 26 years, he has illustrated stories in the Times with work that ranges from simple, one-column maps to extravagant, multi-day sketches that dominate the paper.

Regardless of the topic, Morris believes the most important thing about every piece is the story it tells the reader.

“People see images everywhere they look,” said Morris, 59. “When you look at a newspaper it better look good, but those pictures and illustrations better tell a story.”

It often starts with a place and a photo.

Morris begins the illustration process by going to the location of the story and taking photos. Then he returns to his desk to sketch out the photos and begin brainstorming.

“I love to go out and sketch things and write down what I’m sketching,” Morris said.

For a story on Greenlight Pinellas, a proposed project that supporters say would improve public transportation in the county, Morris could be found traveling on the bus daily to get a feel for how the bus system worked. He then sketched ideas on his pad.

While the story easily lends itself to visuals, Morris said, there was another reason for riding the bus.

“I admit I’m not the most objective about it (the Greenlight Pinellas proposal),” he said. “I want to go out and find the facts and report them.”

In 2013, Morris and reporter Michael Kruse collaborated on a three-day series on the final voyage of the Bounty, which sank off the coast of North Carolina during Hurricane Sandy in October 2012, killing two of the 16 crew members. He, Kruse, Lee Glynn, Alexis Sanchez and Maurice Rivenbark built an interactive, scrolling website that is organized into chapters to read like a book. Morris’ sketches and paintings of the ship dot the pages as if taken from a ship engineer’s notebook.

Morris says it was rewarding to get a month to work on the project.

That “was a real joy,” he said. “It is the epitome of what the Times can do.”

Morris doesn’t work exclusively for the newspaper. He also freelances. One of his art projects was for Chick-fil-A. He illustrated the Virtue Valley Tales, children’s books that tell the stories of animals that discover their inner courage, initiative and joy.

The Chick-fil-A project and other freelance art projects were arranged by Morris’ agents.

“As artists, we tend to downgrade ourselves and not ask what we’re worth,” he said. “That’s where agents come in. My agents are kind of the middle man in the whole thing.”

As a news artist, Morris wants to continue to use his gift as a way to tell stories. He hopes to see more long-term projects. He also wants to see more interactive websites and graphics.

He says this would help push art at the Times in a new direction – something he hopes to lead.

“I want the last years of my career to be devoted to pushing art at the Times in a new direction,” he said. “Use what you’re good at as your tool to tell a story.”

Link to original article:: magazine.nnbnews.com


Student lounge becomes success center

OCTOBER 7, 2013 5:47 PM

Davis Lounge was closed this summer to undergo a transformation into a new study and tutoring spot.

The Academic Success Center situated in Terrace 301 will be making the move to Davis Hall, re-opening as the Student Success Center. It will continue to provide the same services, which include walk-in tutoring, and workshops, along with some new offerings.

Vivian Fueyo, interim regional vice chancellor for academic affairs, is overseeing the project of making the space into the new SSC. It is one of her first initiatives in the position, which she assumed this summer.

“There will be cubicles for students to take exams that they may have missed in class as well as areas to have small group presentations and tutoring. We are also hoping to get a Smartboard for the study sessions down the road.” Fueyo said. “[It] will be a focused center for academic support,” she said.

The SSC will be open to everyone who needs tutoring support. Hours of operation are to be determined, but according to Fueyo, it will be open after 5 p.m. to accommodate students who have night classes or who work during the day.

The SSC is an effort to ensure students have a place to go when they are struggling in a certain subject.

“I wish I could have had help in math when I was in college,” Fueyo said. “We really want the SSC to be an environment that is inviting, that students want to go to.”

The SSC will also provide opportunities for those students wishing tutor others. The Academic Success Center provides a Tutor Training Program that gives students hands on training on how to effectively tutor. The SSC will continue the process of students teaching students. The involvement in the program may even lead to employment for those seeking part-time work.

“Every USFSP faculty member is committed to student success. That is what makes this so exciting,” Fueyo said.

Construction is near completion. The SSC is anticipated to open by the end of October and will take walk-ins at any time for any subject.

Link to original article :: CrowsNest