Five Years at SPC

Contributing Writer

Nathan Heinze

Five years at St Petersburg College! (SPC) It hasn’t seemed nearly that long, so that means I must be having a lot of fun here.

I started off as an online adjunct for SPC while teaching full-time at California State University (CSU), Chico. When Chico announced that they would be closing the extension campus where I was teaching, (budget cuts, imagine that in California), I decided to take a full-time job at SPC, and I taught management and IT classes for the CTM.

I got to know the College of Business (COB) professors at SPC, but was then transferred to the College of Computer & Information Technology (CCIT), as I was the only COB faculty member with IT degrees. Since then, it has been great working with everyone here, and there is a lot of passion for what we teach. I know that comes through to the students.

Right now, I’m quite excited about the new Data Analytics courses I’m developing; course development is extremely fun for me. I will have the Data Fundamentals course completed by the end of May and the Data Analytics course completed this summer.

With all the work going on, my main focus remains on one thing – serve the students. If we make sure they are learning relevant material and they enjoy it, then we have succeeded in our mission here at SPC.

For the department and in life, I am a big believer in open and honest communication. I know it’s a cliché, but Jesus said it first, so it is wise –“Do unto others as you would have them to do you.” I have always said, half the enjoyment of any job is the people with whom you work. Happy Easter!

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College Closed Friday April 18th.

The College will be closed on Friday April 18th. We will return on Monday April 21st.

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CCIT Introduces: Adjunct Professor Angela Blackshaw

Prior to teaching at St. Petersburg College (SPC), Angela Blackshaw has served in a wide gamut of capacities in the Information Technology (IT) field. Blackshaw was a Business Analyst and Project Officer from 2000-2011 for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction in Raleigh, NC. She also served as an IT Project Manager for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) at Bay Pines, FL from 2011-2014.  She is currently an Adjunct Professor for the College of Computer & Information Technology (CCIT) department at SPC, where she teaches CGS 1100 Computer Applications and CIS 2321 Systems Analysis and Design, both online.

 Throughout her career, she has associated with professional organizations such as the BDPA, Triangle Chapter from 1996- 2011, as well as the Project Management Institute from 2004 to present. She attributes her desire to teach stemming from the instruction that she received while in school from adjunct instructors. She views teaching as an opportunity to “give back to the community.”

Blackshaw feels that the best part of her job would be interacting with students through the discussion boards in her classes. “The posts keep the students and me up-to-date about what is going on in the industry,” she said. She believes that this platform is effective since it allows everyone to see things from different points-of-view which contributes to an enjoyable interchange.

She advises students who would like to pursue a career in information technology to “keep persevering in their studies to get to their goal; its achievable.”

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John Long to serve as Academic Chair for CCIT department


John Long

I am very happy to be joining St. Petersburg College (SPC) in the College of Computer & Information Technology (CCIT) on a full-time basis. I have been an adjunct here for the past 15 years and have thoroughly cherished every moment of it.

I earned my Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a major in Information Systems and my Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the University of South Florida (USF). I am also an alumnus of St. Petersburg Junior College (SPJC). I came into education from an industry background because I love to teach and observe the learning process. I have earned many IT industry certifications and am most proud of my designation as an Oracle Certified Professional Database Administrator.

My wife and I are on our 30th year of marriage. We have two children, both teenagers that make us proud every day. My daughter is a Junior at St. Petersburg Collegiate High School and my son is a Freshman at Dixie Hollins High School.

In my capacity as Academic Department Chair for CCIT, I look forward to working with the adjunct instructors for which I will be responsible, as well as the challenges and rewards associated with the position.

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HITT Program students tour CISCO facilities

Please follow the link to view pictures of the CISCO Facilities Tour that took place on Wednesday April 2, 2014.


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Judy Mercado expresses gratitude to CCIT department supervisor

Contributing writer

Among the many benefits of working for the College of Computer & Information Technology department at St. Petersburg College (SPC), would be the obvious benefit- to embark on a very lucrative, long-term and rewarding career after graduating. Another benefit would be our highly competent, skillful and caring professors as well as the innovative and cutting-edge Dean of the CCIT department, Dr. Sharon Setterlind. Since coming on board in November of 2013, it has been a privilege working for Program Coordinator Nancy Russell. Nancy is a gifted and extremely experienced team member at SPC. She has care and concern for students and the love for her job shines every time she speaks.

Being Nancy’s assistant is rewarding in many ways: My assistance helps her have time to do her job. Since she has many students that want to see her, I schedule appointments for both face-to-face and phone conferences. Due to a large volume of calls, we prioritize the calls to respond to the students in a timely fashion. I greet students in a warm and friendly manner to answer questions that do not necessarily require Nancy’s assistance. We work on the schedule and I assist with keeping the waiting list up-to-date each term. I also initiate technology work orders for rooms that our professors use on the 2nd floor of the ES building at the Clearwater campus, reserve rooms at the EpiCenter campus, as well as room ES205 at the Clearwater campus. I also order supplies for the Clearwater and EpiCenter campuses.

Apart from my duties, Nancy encourages me to attend events that will enhance my professional growth as a team member. On top of everything else, she is a great cook and baker! Watching Nancy as well as our entire faculty and staff really care for the students at this college, really gives me a sense of pride to be a part of such a great college community. Nancy has truly made me feel a part of the CCIT family at SPC.


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CCIT introduces new courses for the 2014 fall semester

Last fall, St. Petersburg College’s College of Computer & Information Technology (CCIT) department purchased server hardware to start offering virtualization courses in the fall 2014 semester. The new courses offered will be the EMC Information Storage, and Management (ISM) course, followed by the VMware VSphere Install, Configure Manage 5.1 course. These are the industry standard introductory courses to cloud computing and desktop server virtualization. Both courses will be offered fully online using the NDGs NetLAB+ appliance.

The ISM course will help a student acquire understanding of leading storage and data protection technologies, as well as how to mitigate storage infrastructure security threats. On the other hand, the VMware course teaches students the basics of installing, configuring and managing VMware.

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HITT Grant Students Take Cisco Tour

Contributing writer

10Courtesy of Steve Marcenik, five HITT Grant students from Michael Gordon’s CCNA class, toured Cisco facilities Wednesday April 2, 2014. Marcenik, a St. Petersburg College(SPC) Computer & Information Technology advisory committee member, cleared his calendar for two hours to educate students, staff, and faculty about Cisco products and IT profession insights. The tour began with self-introduction about how Marcenik acquired his position at Cisco. Marcenik conducted an informal Q&A session to encourage students to ask questions about Cisco products, the company and careers in information technology.

Students took advantage of the Q&A portion inquiring about what employers seek in2 entry-level IT candidates, how to obtain positions, what additional education Marcenik thought would be beneficial and specifics about Cisco products and services. Marcenik explained his belief that his MBA coupled with his technical background paved a solid path for his current position as Systems Engineer. With this tip, Marcenik advised that an MBA would assist a potential IT recruit with navigating the corporate environment.

The final tour segments showed students the latest networking equipment, including Cisco routers, and demoed the use of Cisco’s cutting-edge teleconferencing equipement. Marcenik wrapped up the tour with an open invitation for the students to network and ask questions. When interviewed, one excited student said of the tour “…enjoyed seeing how Cisco incorporated technical expertise with sales skills into providing customer solutions. It was a great example of how the IT field is built on people and technology. Ultimately, an IT solution or project should solve a problem or fulfill the need of a business organization or person.”

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Best Online Colleges announces the 2014 Best Online Information Technology Programs

According to an article on the web sites for Newschannel6now and KTVN Channel 2, St. Petersburg College (SPC) made the list of Top Online Information Technology Programs compiled by Best online Colleges. The information obtained for this list was derived by means of a thorough data analysis from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).  According to the report, items that are ranked include graduation and retention rates for schools.

The article further stated that the list is designed to provide students with information about what programs are offered and the format in which they are taught so that they can make an informed decision about what program to pursue. For more information, please visit

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SPC Student Serves Internship in Web Design

With the aid of Ms. Susan Biszewski-Eber the College-wide Internship Coordinator for St. Petersburg College (SPC), Misha Devine was given the opportunity to work for the Panyha Foundation, a non-profit organization located in Pinellas Park, FL , that aims to draw people of Southeast Asian descent, closer together on a professional level. Devine, who serves as the Panyha Foundation’s web developer, had a pivotal role in designing their web site.

In addition to keeping things current on the web, Devine also edits business cards for the Panyha Foundation. Whether projects take two or three days to complete, “time flies when you are extremely focused on the task at hand,” Devine said. When she started taking web design courses at SPC, she didn’t realize how much work goes on behind the scenes. Now that she is able to utilize her skills in a professional environment, it has proven to be a rewarding experience.

She advises students who plan to pursue internships in the future to “be open to learning, even if you are not serving a paid internship.”  The important thing is to gain the experience.


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