Meet the SPC Leadership Team
Under the leadership of SPC President Dr. Tonjua Williams, the leadership team at St. Petersburg College manages the many employees, departments and operations that comprise the college. Through their specific areas of expertise and in collaboration with each other, they plan for and work toward the continued success of SPC in educating, empowering and engaging students and the community.
Members of the President’s Cabinet represent a variety of departments and fields at the college. They meet regularly with SPC's President in support of the college’s various initiatives and strategic plans.
Stephen Andrasik , Ph.D.
Associate Dean of Academic Services, St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus
Dr. Stephen Andrasik serves as the Associate Dean for Academic Services at St. Petersburg College's Gibbs Campus. In this multifaceted role, he works closely with the college leadership, faculty, and students to create a positive and engaging academic experience that is centered on student success and well-being.
Andrasik first joined St. Petersburg College in 2009 as an adjunct chemistry professor, and in 2010 he was appointed Academic Chair of Natural Science for the Gibbs, Downtown, Midtown, and Bay Pines Campuses until taking his current role as Associate Dean in 2021. Throughout his tenure he has continued to teach chemistry and pursue fun and engaging STEM related opportunities for students.
Dr. Andrasik’s academic journey commenced at the University of Central Florida where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Chemistry in 2001, a master’s degree in Chemistry in 2004, and a doctoral degree in 2007. His dissertation research specialized in Materials Chemistry and focused on the synthesis and characterization of organic multi-photon photoresponsive materials with applications for photodynamic cancer therapy. His research endeavors have been published in reputable scientific journals and presented at conferences such as the American Chemical Society.
His passion for teaching is evident in his extensive teaching experience at St. Petersburg College. He has instructed undergraduate chemistry courses, contributed to curriculum development, and played a vital role in nurturing the scientific curiosity of his students. His courses have included Introductory Chemistry, General Chemistry I and II, and Organic Chemistry I and II.
Dr. Andrasik is committed to his professional growth and development. He is a graduate of Leadership SPC and The Chair Academy, programs aimed at advancing academic and administrative leadership in higher education. He completed Quality Matters training, enabling him to develop standard online courses that can be shared by faculty and adjuncts for teaching at St. Petersburg College. Additionally, he is a strong advocate for civic engagement and encouraging students and faculty to get involved in their community. He has led food drives and partnered with community leaders to conduct large cleanups of our beaches, lakes, and waterways.
In his free time, he enjoys cooking for his wife and two daughters using fresh ingredients from his large vegetable garden. He enjoys drawing, painting, and photography, but he is happiest when he can get out on Tampa Bay and fish from his kayak.
Associate Vice President, Student Services
Michael J. Bennett has been the Associate Vice President of Financial Assistance Services at St. Petersburg College for the last 14 years and has worked as a financial aid administrator for the past 42 years.
Bennett has served as President of the Eastern Association of Financial Aid Administrators (EASFAA) and the New Jersey Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and has received the Distinguished Service Award, Leadership Award, and Lifetime Membership from all organizations. He served as National Chair of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) and on their Board of Directors for 10 years. A sought after “thought leader,” Bennett has done numerous presentations and written articles for NJASFAA, EASFAA, SASFAA, NASFAA, and the College Board. In 2015, he presented to the US House of Representatives Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training on Simplification of Application Process, Loan Repayment, and Overborrowing/Loan Counseling.
Rachel Bennett, J.D.
Assistant Dean, Public Safety, Public Policy, and Legal Studies
Ms. Rachel Bennett is the Assistant Dean for the College of Public Safety, Public Policy, Legal Studies and Ethics. She is primarily responsible for the workforce programs within the College of Public Safety, Public Policy, Legal Studies and Ethics. She has more than a decade of experience in higher education. Most recently, she was the Academic Director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and was a full-time faculty member before that.
Ms. Bennett is a member of the Florida Bar and is active in multiple state and local bar associations. She has taught many classes in the Paralegal Studies and Public Policy programs and continues to teach as an adjunct faculty member. She sees her classroom as a collaborative place where learners work together to develop skills.
As a First-Generation student, Ms. Bennett knows the challenges that students can face in attending college. She received her bachelor's degree in English and American Literature from the University of South Florida and her Juris Doctorate degree from Stetson University College of Law.
Belinthia Berry, M.S.
Dean of Workforce Development
Ms. Belinthia Berry is the Acting Dean of Workforce Development at St. Petersburg College (SPC). She has over 10 years of experience in higher education workforce training, where she has strategically partnered with academic leadership and other internal departments to provide workforce training programs and continuing education to students, employees, and the greater Tampa Bay community. As a part of her role, she has built intentional relationships with key public and private sector organizations including Hillsborough and Pinellas area schools, employers, local and national colleges, universities and other peer institutions. She has also developed and implemented new partnerships with business and industry in the community by fostering a supportive economic development environment which includes corporate contracts and community education.
In her previous role, Ms. Berry served as the Director of Corporate College at SPC where she was responsible for providing direction and management for Corporate Contracts, State of Florida Quick Response Training Grants, Lifelong Learning, Recreation and Leisure, the rebranding of SPC’s College for Kids, and the building of SPC’s Silver Scholars programs to meet the needs of local and national businesses, industry, and individuals.
Ms. Berry earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Relations with a minor in Human Resources from Florida A & M University and a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Management from Springfield College. She is certified in Media Sales, Contract Training, and holds several leadership certificates. Currently, Ms. Berry serves as the National Financial Secretary for the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. and as the President of the Tampa Bay Area Chapter.
Lisa Borzewski, Ed.D.
Associate Provost, Seminole Campus
Raised in Pinellas County, Dr. Borzewski graduated from Seminole High School and then earned her associate degree from St. Petersburg College before going on to complete her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, both in mathematics, from the University of South Florida. She recently earned her EdD in Higher Education Leadership from Walden University.
Dr. Borzewski started at St. Petersburg College in 1999 as a tutor and assistant in the business office at the Seminole Campus. She then served as an adjunct instructor in mathematics at the Downtown, Midtown and Gibbs campuses. In 2005, she was hired as a full-time instructor of mathematics at the Seminole Campus and was later promoted to Academic Chair in 2009. For two years in her role as Academic Chair, she also served as the Lead Academic Chair collegewide. Very active in the Seminole community, she chairs a committee for the Seminole Educational Ecosystem and is a member of the school advisory council for Bauder Elementary School.
Daniel Bueller, M.S.
Associate Dean of Academic Services, Seminole Campus
Daniel Bueller is the Associate Dean for Academic Services at St. Petersburg College’s Seminole Campus. In this role, he fosters a positive academic experience for students and faculty on-campus, and he promotes academic excellence and student engagement by contributing to college initiatives such as First-Time Titans and advises the Semicircle STEM Club.
Bueller began his career at St. Petersburg College in 2011 as a Mathematics Instructor, teaching every level of mathematics from the developmental level through differential equations. He has taught courses at five of SPC’s Campuses/Centers: Downtown, St. Petersburg/Gibbs, Midtown, Clearwater, & Seminole. In 2019 he became the Academic Chair of Mathematics for Seminole and eCampus. He was instrumental in piloting and crafting the Associate Dean for Academic Services position, as he held that role for two years in an acting capacity before stepping into the role officially in 2023.
Bueller is a resident of Seminole, Florida, along with his wife and four children. He attends and serves faithfully at Calvary Chapel Fellowship.
A proud alumnus of St. Petersburg College, Bueller earned his associate degree as well as a Web Development Specialist Certificate. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Clearwater Christian College, along with minors in Bible and Church Ministry, and earned his master’s degree in mathematics from the University of Central Florida. He is a graduate of Leadership SPC and holds a certificate in Effective College Instruction from the Association of College and University Educators
Jimmy Chang, M.S.
Mr. Jimmy Chang has a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics/Theatre from Eckerd College, and a Master’s degree in Mathematics from the University of South Florida.
Mr. Chang came to SPC in 2000 as an Assistant Professor, teaching courses ranging from Developmental Mathematics to Calculus and Differential Equations. He then served as Academic Chair in 2009, before becoming Dean in late 2012. In 2013, he received the Distinguished Teaching Award from the Florida Section of the Mathematics Association of America. He is part of the Florida College System’s Statewide Mathematics Council and is also part of the statewide Math Pathways Committee.
Jamelle Conner, Ph.D.
Vice President, Student Affairs
Dr. Jamelle Conner currently serves as the Vice President of Student Affairs at St. Petersburg College. She is passionate about student success and supporting students in all areas of their experience at SPC.
Dr. Conner began her work at St. Petersburg College in 2008, serving as the Associate Vice President of Strategic Execution and Administrative Systems Support for over seven years, and then she served as the Provost of the St. Petersburg/Gibbs campus for three years. For more than 30 years, she has served in several leadership roles among diverse organizations, including education, private industry, public utilities and government agencies.
Dr. Conner has a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Computer Information Systems from Florida Southern College and an M.B.A. from the University of Tampa. She earned her doctoral degree in Leadership and Education, with a specialization in Higher Education Administration from Barry University in 2018.
Mia Conza, Esq.
Ms. Mia Conza joined St. Petersburg College as Associate General Counsel in 2021. In April 2022, she was appointed as General Counsel for the institution. Ms. Conza came to the College from the private practice of law as an Associate Attorney at the firm of Shankman Leone, PA, where she advised and represented clients regarding federal, state and local employment law matters. Previously, she worked for several Tampa Bay firms, handling matters related to insurance litigation, as well as surety and construction law.
A native of St. Petersburg, Florida, Ms. Conza holds a Bachelor degree in English from University of Florida, and a Juris Doctorate from Stetson University College of Law. She is an active member of the Florida Bar. She is also active as a volunteer in the St. Petersburg arts community.
Sabrina Crawford, Ph.D.
Associate Vice President, Institutional Effectiveness and Academic Services
Dr. Sabrina Crawford currently serves as the Associate Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness and Academic Services at St. Petersburg College. She joined SPC in 2013, bringing 20 years of experience in teaching, curriculum design and development, assessment, research, and accreditation from both the K-12 and higher education fields. Crawford holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and English from Boston College, a master’s degree in Curriculum from Saint Michael’s College, and a doctorate in Curriculum, Teaching, and Leadership from Northeastern University.
Crawford’s professional interests involve supporting student success through curriculum design, assessment, and mentoring, as well as streamlining processes to remove effort duplication, ensuring self-sustainability of practices, and creating user-friendly platforms to drive continuous improvement. Her current research interests include the use of e-portfolios for program assessment and faculty evaluation, balancing qualitative and quantitative assessment to develop a true picture of student success, utilizing guided pathways to improve time to graduation, developing articulated pathways between non-credit and credit, and bridging the gaps between high school and college, as well as AA transfer to university systems.
She has presented at various conferences in the area of curriculum, assessment, and guided pathways including the Appalachian College Association, NC Department of Instruction, Achieving the Dream, AACC Pathways Institute, and the Association for Institutional Research (national, regional, local). She consulted with individual institutions, as well as college systems, to develop different aspects of guided pathways including Complete College America’s MA TAACCT Guided Pathways Implementation Institute, WV Guided Pathways Innovation Summit, CT STEM Pathways Summit, FL Meta Majors Pathways Summit, the Virginia Community College System Chancellor’s Retreat, and San Diego Continuing Education.
Rod Davis, Ph.D.
Provost, Tarpon Springs Campus and LRMA
Dr. Rodrigo M. Davis has been a member of the St. Petersburg College family for over 16 years. He is currently the Provost of SPC's Tarpon Springs Campus, a position that he held since Sept. 2017, after being promoted from Associate Provost.
In addition to his leadership at the Tarpon Springs Campus, Dr. Davis has had numerous roles in Student Affairs at SPC. And prior to working at SPC, he worked as a Product Marketing Manager for TechData Corporation and a Media Planner for Young & Rubicam Advertising, where he managed several corporate product lines/accounts such as AutoDesk, Discovery Eco-Challenge, Colgate, Epson, Microsoft, SONY, Symantec, and the US Census (for both domestic and international markets).
Dr. Davis is a Veteran of the United States Air Force, where he supported Operation Desert Storm and Operation Support Justice in the Panama Canal, and was a recipient of the Air Force Achievement Medal for his work in counternarcotics in the canal zone. He obtained his bachelor's degree in Advertising in the College of Journalism and Communication at the University of Florida, a master's degree in Business Administration from Saint Leo University, and a doctoral degree in Education and Human Resource Studies from Colorado State University.
Cheri DeBlaere, M.S., M.A.
Associate Provost, Clearwater Campus and EpiCenter
Cheri DeBlaere is the Associate Provost of St. Petersburg College’s Clearwater Campus and EpiCenter, where she serves as the leader of Student Services departments and campus operations under the Provost. She joined SPC in 2016 as the Support Manager overseeing the Career and Academic Advising Department. Prior to that, she was the Director of Academic Advising at Kaplan University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where she worked for 13 years in progressively higher leadership roles within Student Affairs. She also serves as adjunct faculty at SPC, teaching Applied Ethics and World Religions.
DeBlaere earned her Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Languages and Literatures from the University of Florida, Master of Science in Higher Education — College Administration and Leadership from Kaplan University, and Master of Arts in Religious Studies from Athens State University. She also holds a Six Sigma Greenbelt certification and has a passion for process improvement methodologies. She is deeply engaged and invested in her community, playing an active role as a member of the Philanthropic Women of St. Joseph’s Hospital, National Association of Asian American Professionals, and dedicated volunteer for Lifepath Hospice.
Susan Demers, Ph.D.
Dean, Public Safety, Public Policy, Ethics, and Legal Studies
Ms. Susan Demers came to the College as the Director for the Legal Assisting Program. The two-year degree program ultimately became a four-year program and officially became the Paralegal Studies Program after approval of the American Bar Association. She also served as the developer of the four-year program in Public Policy and Administration. Additionally, for the past seven years, she has led the collegewide Applied Ethics program.
Along the way, Ms. Demers taught a wide range of law-related and business classes, served as the PTK advisor on the Clearwater Campus for eight years, served on various collegewide committees and championed student activities as a tool for student engagement and success.
The daughter of two teachers, Ms. Demers’s family was relieved when she walked away from the dark side of the practice of law and into the light of the classroom. She is a member of the Florida Bar and is active in multiple state and local bar associations, having served as the President of the Clearwater Bar Association and the Clearwater Bar Foundation. She is active in local community theater and has served on the boards of several local theater nonprofit organizations.
Ms. Demers teaches Trial Advocacy and Technology Enhanced Advocacy as an adjunct at Stetson College of Law. For twenty plus years she and her husband, retired Circuit Judge Dave Demers, have coached competitive trial teams once or twice a year. Last fall, she was inducted into the Stetson College of Law Hall of Fame, which was quite an honor, since her law degree is from the University of Florida!
Heather Duncan, Ph.D.
Associate Dean, College of Education
Dr. Heather Duncan joined the SPC family in 2022 as the Associate Dean of the College of Education. Prior to coming to SPC, she served as Director of Teacher Education and Clinical Practice and the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. She previously served as Program Coordinator and Assistant Professor of Special Education in California and began her career as an Exceptional Student Education teacher in elementary school.
Dr. Duncan received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, and a master’s degree in special education from the University of Florida in 2002. She completed her doctoral degree at the University of South Florida in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis on special education and autism in 2009.
Dr. Duncan is a strong proponent for the use of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles in education and emphasizes the importance of creating flexible options for exceptional learners.
Amber Estlund, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean, Communications
Dr. Amber Estlund is an Assistant Dean of the Communications Department as well as the First-Time Titans Academic Lead. She first joined SPC in 2015 as a full-time faculty member teaching composition/literature. During her time as a faculty member, she was the advisor for Phi Theta Kappa, involved with faculty governance, the co-founder of First to Finished, SPC’s first-generation student outreach initiative, and the QEP faculty lead.
With a passion for first-year students, Dr. Estlund also serves as the First-Time Titans Academic Lead. First-Time Titans is an exploratory First-Year Experience program designed to help first-year students transition to SPC.
Dr. Estlund earned her B.A. in English from Florida State University, her M.A. in British and American Literature from Florida Atlantic University, and her Ph.D. in Literary Studies from Georgia State University. Her research interests include 19th Century American Literature, Modern Drama, and First-Year Student Success
Michael Ewell, M.S.
Associate Dean, Business
Mr. Michael Ewell is currently the Associate Dean for the College of Business at St. Petersburg College. Mr. Ewell joined St Petersburg College in 1998 as an adjunct instructor for SPC’s Corporate Training division. In his tenure at SPC he has worked on numerous new degree programs and grant projects. He has been with the College of Technology and Management, which is now the College of Business, since 2000 serving as a Consultant, Program Manager and Faculty Member.
In addition to his work at SPC, he has 25 + years of diverse experience in corporate business management as an entrepreneur running family-owned businesses, business consulting, banking operations manager, corporate education manager, and technical support manager.
Mr. Ewell is an SPC alumni with a BAS degree in Technology Management, an AA in Business and an AS in Internet Website Design. He earned an MS degree in Organizational Management from Chadron State College in Nebraska as well as a Graduate Certificate in Leadership and Development from the Academic Chair Academy. He holds Diplomas in Banking from the American Institute of Banking and an Accounting Diploma. He has several industry certifications including Certified Internet Website Designer and Certified Instructor.
Mr. Ewell has been a resident of St Petersburg since 1970. His children are both alums of St. Petersburg College. He enjoys science fiction, eBaying, philosophy, and spending time with his children and five grandsons.
Rita Farlow, M.A.
Associate Vice President, Marketing and Strategic Communications
Ms. Rita Farlow earned her bachelor's degree in English from Virginia Tech and her master's degree in Mass Communications/Journalism from the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg. A native of Washington D.C., she has lived in Pinellas County since 1996. Formerly, Ms. Farlow covered education, municipalities and public safety agencies as a reporter for the St. Petersburg Times (now Tampa Bay Times) and worked for the Office of Strategic Communications at Pinellas County Schools.
Associate Dean of Academic Services, Downtown and Midtown Centers
Djuan Fox is the Associate Dean for Academic Services at St. Petersburg College’s Downtown and Midtown Centers. In this role, he fosters a positive academic experience for students and faculty on campus, and he promotes academic excellence and student engagement by contributing to college initiatives such as First-Time Titans and First-to-Finish (First Generation Student Success).
Mr. Fox has worked at SPC for more than 20 years and has developed an extensive knowledge base in curriculum, budgeting, research, and program development. Mr. Fox has served the college as a Baccalaureate Recruiter, Coordinator of Baccalaureate Development and Planning, and Project Coordinator in Instruction and Academic Programs.
Djuan enjoys spending time with his wife, Mary, and two teenagers, Emilee and Donovan at the baseball field, fishing, or at the beach.
Mr. Fox is also a graduate of Leadership Tampa Bay 2014, Chancellor’s Leadership 2016, and Leadership SPC 2016. Mr. Fox has a bachelor’s degree from Eckerd College, a Post-Graduate Certificate in Public Administration, and is pursuing an M.S. in Public Administration from Troy University.
Tashika Griffith, Ed,D.
Provost, Clearwater Campus and EpiCenter
Dr. Tashika Griffith is the Provost of St. Petersburg College’s Clearwater Campus, where she serves as the senior leader of the campus operations team and works closely with internal and external community partners. Dr. Griffith has over twenty years of extensive higher education experience in developing and implementing educational programs and support services. She is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment to ensure student access to education and degree attainment. She has held previous roles within Multicultural Student Affairs, University Police, Career Development Services, and the Dean of Students Office and was a board member of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrator (NASPA) Center for Women. Prior to joining SPC, she worked in the Dean of Students Office at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and The University of Miami.
Dr. Griffith received her bachelor’s degree in English with a certification in ethnic studies from Florida Atlantic University and a master’s degree in higher education and leadership policies from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). She completed her doctoral degree in higher education administration from Northeastern University and obtained a professional certificate in Ensuring Equitable Student Success in Higher Education from Harvard University.
Leslie Hafer, Ph.D.
Provost, St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus, Bay Pines Center, Allstate Center and Fire Training Center
Dr. Leslie Hafer joined the SPC team in 2018, bringing 25 years of higher education teaching and administrative experience. She is the Provost of the St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus, as well as at SPC’s Allstate, Fire Training, and Bay Pines STEM Centers. Dr. Hafer provides leadership and is accountable for essential aspects of campus operations, including efforts to ensure the full range of support programs and services are optimal in helping all students succeed in their academic goals.
Dr. Hafer, a first-generation college graduate, earned a doctoral degree in leadership from Valdosta State University and a master’s degree in biology from Georgia College and State University. Before coming to SPC, she was a campus Executive Director with Georgia Military College, overseeing operations across multiple sites. Her responsibilities included academic affairs, student affairs, enrollment management and facility operations. She has served as Campus Academic Dean, Department Chairperson for Natural Sciences, Assistant Professor of Biology, and Adjunct Instructor of Management during her career in higher education. She has extensive experience serving active duty and veteran students, international students, and at-risk students. Her areas of educational interest include student engagement and student retention.
Dr. Hafer is active in the community, serving as the chair for the Leadership St. Pete Class of 2024 with the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce. She is also a board member for both the St. Petersburg Museum of History and the Leadership St Pete Alumni Association. At SPC, she serves in several chair and co-chair roles for collegewide initiatives.
Kimberly Hartman, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Education
Dr. Kimberly Hartman joined St. Petersburg College in 2012 as the Dean of the College of Education, after serving as the Department Chair and Associate Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Mississippi since 2007. She previously served as an Associate Professor and Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, as well as an Assistant Professor at Gardner-Webb University and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. For eight years, she taught at public middle schools in North Carolina.
Dr. Hartman received a doctoral degree in Curriculum & Instruction with an emphasis on teacher education and middle grades education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1996. She also received a master's degree in Educational Research, Evaluation and Testing from Florida State University in 1992, and a bachelor's degree in Intermediate Education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1981.
Dr. Hartman's research has focused on teacher education and urban education, including alternative routes to licensure, low wealth schools, and middle school education.
Emmanuel Hernandez-Agosto, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Business
Dr. Emmanuel Hernandez-Agosto joined SPC in 2022, bringing with him expertise as a Business Incubator Manager, as well as in entrepreneurship and community development, and 15 years of experience in higher education in the areas of marketing, recruitment, curriculum development and accelerated learning programs for adult learners. He holds an MBA from Universidad Metropolitana, and a doctoral degree in Business Administration with a specialization in management from Universidad del Turabo.
As Dr. Hernandez-Agosto was working on his dissertation, he focused on studying business incubators and the impact these had on the communities in which they were located. This led him to work on some innovative projects that foster economic development. He worked on a grant to develop a network of business incubators for micro-businesses in Puerto Rico, and also worked in various entrepreneurial training programs led by himself and students in the Bay County area. They invested over 10,000 hours of service, which helped create over ten businesses.
In previous years, Dr. Hernandez-Agosto was an Associate Dean running the professional studies school at the Universidad Ana G. Mendez in Puerto Rico.
He enjoys spending time with my family, hiking, taking road trips around nature and playing chess and volleyball.
Dean, Arts, Humanities and Design
Dr. Barbara Hubbard has a comprehensive academic leadership career in the greater Tampa Bay region, including Academic Chair at St. Petersburg College, Campus Director at Eckerd College, Dean at the Art Institute of Tampa, and Program Director at USF–St. Petersburg.
Dr. Hubbard began her career at St. Petersburg College as an adjunct instructor and advanced to the Academic Chair of the Digital Media program at the Seminole Campus. She has been instrumental in updating the program’s curriculum, academic standards, and portfolio quality, as well as updating program branding and marketing efforts. Her collaboration with the Digital Media department in these changes has increased both their enrollment and A.S./Certificate graduation rates.
Dr. Hubbard has a strong community network that includes working closely with the Clearwater Public Art & Design Committee, Dunedin Fine Art Center, Dunedin Arts and Culture Advisory Council, Pinellas County Cultural Task Force, and Pinellas County Schools. She has presented at numerous conferences and workshops and her own creations have been exhibited at various local venues.
Vice President, Finance and Business Operations
Ms. Janette Hunt has over 14 years of finance and accounting experience. In her role as St. Petersburg College's VP of Finance and Business Operations, she oversees the College’s finance, facilities and technology departments.
In her previous role as AVP of Budgeting and Compliance, Ms. Hunt provided budgeting oversight for the College to include financial planning, budget projections and cost analysis. She has served as the Chief Compliance Officer to ensure adherence to the laws, rules and procedures that apply to procurement and funding sources.
Since joining SPC in 2011, Ms. Hunt has also served as Senior Accountant, Budget Support & Development Compliance Coordinator, and Budget & Compliance Director. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida and is currently pursuing an MBA at Florida International University.
Brooke Janik, M.S.
Associate Provost, Downtown Center
Ms. Brooke Janik has served in various positions within higher education for over 20 years. She began her career with St. Petersburg College as a Student Support Advisor at the Downtown Center in 2013. From 2018-2022, she served as a Student Support Support Manager, and in 2022, she was promoted to Associate Provost for the Downtown Center.
In 2020, despite challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic, Ms. Janik expanded her role by volunteering to lead the Midtown and Virtual Advising Centers. In addition, she has served on the Triad Leadership Team for the Science and Math communities and led the 12 by 12 initiatives at the Downtown and Midtown Centers.
Ms. Janik earned a master's degree in Management, a bachelor's degree in Business Marketing and is a Career Development Services Provider Instructor through the National Career Development Association. Her service to SPC and the Downtown and Midtown Centers shows her passion and enthusiasm for student success and the student experience.
Keron Jean-Baptiste, M.S.
Acting Provost, Downtown Center, Midtown Center, and the Palladium
Dr. Keron Jean-Baptiste currently is the Acting Provost of the Downtown Center, Midtown Center and the Palladium.
He joined St. Petersburg College in 1999 and worked in Student Services for fifteen years. During his tenure, he has served as an Academic Advisor on the Seminole, Midtown, and St. Petersburg/Gibbs campuses. He has also served as a Coordinator of the Information Technology Readiness Academy, College Recruiter, Site Coordinator at Midtown, Senior Staff Assistant in testing, and Student Support Advisor on the St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus.
Previously, Dr. Jean-Baptiste has served as the Associate Provost of SPC's St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus, the Interim Associate Provost on the St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus, and has been actively engaged in several strategic projects within the College Experience, including development of the new comprehensive advising model.
A former St. Petersburg Jr. College student, Dr. Jean-Baptiste earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Management from National Louis University. He also holds a master’s degree in Educational Leadership, and is currently a doctoral candidate at Nova Southeastern University.
Hannah Johnson, Ed.D.
Assistant Dean, Mathematics
Dr. Hannah Johnson is the South County Assistant Dean for the Mathematics Department at St. Petersburg College. She strives to support SPC’s mission of cultivating a culture of care for those served by SPC and the college’s employees.
Dr. Johnson first joined SPC in 2012 as an Adjunct Instructor in the Mathematics Department. In 2014, she became a Full-Time Faculty member in the Mathematics Department. In 2022, she served as the Lead Faculty member for the Downtown/Midtown Mathematics Department before assuming the role of Assistant Dean in August 2023.
Dr. Johnson graduated with an Associate of Arts degree from St. Petersburg College in 2006. Later, she attained a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics Education from the University of South Florida in 2008 and completed her Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of South Florida in 2011. In 2017, she attained an Education Specialist degree in Curriculum and Instruction. In 2021, she completed a Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Assessment from the University of West Florida.
Norene Kemp, M.S.
Dean, College of Computer and Information Technology
Norene Kemp earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Information Technology Systems at Johns Hopkins University, and she came to SPC from Wake Tech Community College (WTCC), where she served as the department head of Programming and Information Sciences for three years. She was responsible for three degree programs, including Business Analytics, Computer Programming and Data Science. Her position included significant collaboration responsibilities with local industry leaders, which lead to 100% intern-to-hire statistics with many of those companies. Kemp grew the department from 10 to 17 full-time faculty members and 20 adjuncts, and she created an active programming club to foster student engagement as well as peer-to-peer tutoring.
Prior to her time at the WTCC, Kemp spent 10 years at Horry Georgetown Community College as a programming professor in Conway, South Carolina, as well as 10 years at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland, as a Technical Project Manager for the Department of Information Systems.
In addition, Kemp has continued her teaching career at WTCC, and taught for Coastal Carolina University and Concordia University.
Associate Vice President, Accelerated, Honors, International and UPC
Ms. Catherine Kennedy has been in education since 1986, when she began her career in the Florida K-12 system. It was in 2005 that she transitioned to higher education at St. Petersburg College. Since 2007, she has led the University Partnership Center, and her responsibilities have broadened along the years to also include the Honors, International, and Dual Enrollment departments.
Ms. Kennedy earned her bachelor’s degree in English, with a minor in Education, from Emory University in 1986, and a master's degree in Education from USF in 1995. She also obtained Level Q principal certification from Pinellas County Schools. In addition, she completed doctoral coursework in Leadership and Education from Barry University in 2012.
Pelagia Kilgore , Ph.D.
Assistant Dean, Mathematics
Pelagia Kilgore has been a professor in the mathematics department at St. Petersburg College, since 2000. Dr. Kilgore's journey into the world of mathematics education began in 1995.
With a career spanning over two and a half decades. She earned her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on Mathematics Education, Qualitative research, and Instructional technology from the University of South Florida.
Her commitment to education is further exemplified by her administrative roles. She previously served as the Instructor in Charge of Mathematics at the Tarpon Springs Campus. Currently, she holds the position of Assistant Dean of Mathematics for North County.
Laurie King, J.D.
Assistant Dean, Public Safety, Public Policy, and Legal Studies
Dr. Laurie King earned her Juris Doctorate from the University of Missouri – Kansas City. She practiced law for 10 years before beginning her career in education.
Laurie began working as an adjunct instructor for St. Petersburg College in 2005. In 2010, she join the Applied Ethics Department as a full-time faculty member. She has participated in Leadership SPC, and for two years served as the Seminole Campus FGO chair.
Laurie is a contributing author of The Moral Compass: An Introductory Guide to Critical Thinking and Applied Ethics. She also served for 10 years as a member of the Board of Directors for the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions. Laurie was the Instructor-in-Charge of the Applied Ethics Department prior to beginning her role as Assistant Dean.
Damon Kuhn, M.B.A.
Associate Provost, Tarpon Springs Campus and Health Education Center
Mr. Damon Kuhn currently serves as St. Petersburg College's Associate Chief Campus Officer for the Tarpon Springs Campus, Health Education Center, and the Veterinary Technology Center. He joined the Department of Special Programs at the St Petersburg/Gibbs Campus in 2001 as a Career Advisor. In 2003, he joined the Health Education Center team as an Academic Advisor. He was promoted to Coordinator of Admissions and Registration in 2005 and then to Student Support Manager in 2010. Mr. Kuhn directed the admissions process for the limited access health programs, in addition to supervising personnel on the Advising, Testing, Records, and Admissions teams.
In February of 2019, Mr. Kuhn was promoted to serve as Associate Provost for the Allstate Center, Fire Training Center, Veterinary Technology Center, and Health Education Center. Mr. Kuhn holds a bachelor's degree in Professional Management from Nova Southeastern University and an M.B.A. with a Public Administration specialization from the University of Phoenix.
Joseph Leopold, M.A.
Mr. Joseph Leopold has served as the director of Learning Resources at St. Petersburg College since 2012. He headed up the process that combined libraries and tutoring to make out-of-class support more intentional and learner-centered. The centers have now become the learning hubs on each of SPC's campuses.
Mr. Leopold began his career at SPC as a full-time instructor in Communications in 1991, teaching writing, rhetoric and composition and, later, political science and anthropology. From 2005-08, he served as Faculty Senate President. In 2008, he was named Academic Department Chairman for Social and Behavioral Sciences on the Clearwater Campus.
Leopold has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from Florida State University and is a doctoral candidate in education and leadership at Barry University.
Matthew Liao-Troth, Ph.D.
Vice President, Academic Affairs
Dr. Matthew Liao-Troth is an experienced academic leader with a deep understanding of the pivotal role higher education plays in transforming lives. He has served as Senior Vice President and Provost, Dean, Department Chair, Graduate Programs Director, and Faculty Senate President in both the public and private areas of higher education. He also has served as head of his academic professional association. He is an emeritus professor at Western Washington University.
Dr. Liao-Troth most recently held the role of Senior Vice President and Provost at Hawai‘i Pacific University, where he was responsible for academic affairs and student affairs, to ensure student success and academic integrity in fulfillment of the institutional mission. Under his leadership, the university has been recognized as a top regional university and both graduate nursing and social work have been nationally ranked by US News and World Reports. It has also been recognized as the most diverse private university in the USA by the Chronicle of Higher Education. In 2015, 2016, and 2017 Dr. Liao-Troth was recognized in Honolulu Business Magazine’s Black Book as one of the education Executives to Know in Hawai‘i.
Dr. Liao-Troth earned his doctoral degree in Management and his master's degree in Management & Policy from the University of Arizona, his MBA from San Diego State University, and his bachelor's degree in American Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz. His scholarship focuses on the relationship between individuals and organizations. He has authored over three dozen published articles and edited the book Challenges in Volunteer Management, a volume widely used in graduate non-profit management degree programs.
John Long, MBA
Associate Dean, College of Computer and Information Technology
John Long is the Associate Dean for the College of Computer and Information Technology (CCIT) at St. Petersburg College.
He began as an adjunct instructor with St. Petersburg College in 1999 and served as an Academic Chair for CCIT from 2014 – 2023 when he assumed the role of Associate Dean. John has over 20 years of industry experience in software training/database administration and was an Instructional Staff Developer for the Career, Technical, and Adult Education Department with Pinellas County Schools for 9 years prior to accepting a full-time position at the college.
John was instrumental in developing the departmental process for aligning industry certifications to the content for many of the CCIT courses which provides students the opportunity to take the exams at no cost upon successful completion of the courses.
He has earned many industry certifications and over the years has taught and developed a variety of courses in the Networking, Technology Management, and Cybersecurity programs at both lower and upper division levels.
John has a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing and a Master of Business Administration degree with a specialization in Information Systems, both from the University of South Florida.
Hector Lora, Ph.D.
Associate Administrative Vice President, Budgeting and Strategic Execution
A results-driven professional with a proven tenure of progressive experience in accounting, finance, and operations management in higher education, Dr. Hector Lora leads the Budgeting & Strategic Execution department at SPC. Budgeting and Strategic Execution supervises the planning and budgeting functions of the college in alignment with a strategic focus in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, rules and procedures.
Dr. Lora has held several financial and administration officer positions, including Director of Business Services, Accounts Payable Supervisor and Student Account Coordinator. As Acting Assistant Vice President for Finance at The University of Tennessee Southern (previously known as Martin Methodist College), Dr. Lora re-engineered the budget process, resulting in greater accuracy and timeliness of business metrics. Similarly, he assisted in all aspects of accounting, financial planning, human resources, technology services, systems implementation, operations, cash and inventory management, multiple revenue streams, contract negotiations, construction, vendor relationships and long-range planning.
A native of the Dominican Republic, Dr. Lora earned his Doctor of Business Administration (Finance) from Walden University, MBA from the University of North Alabama, BBA in Management from The University of Tennessee Southern (Previously known as Martin Methodist College), and 24 hours of accounting classes from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Michael Meigs, B.A.
Associate Administrative Vice President, Accounting, Business and Finance
Michael Meigs has over 35 years of experience in accounting and finance management, including 26 years at St. Petersburg College. He currently serves as the Associate Vice President of Business & Financial Services and previously held the position of Director of Student Accounting. Meigs leads a 32-employee department consisting of financial reporting, general ledger, accounts payable, purchasing, asset management, grants accounting, payroll, and the business office. In addition, he serves as Treasurer for both the SPC Foundation and the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions, and he is a member of the Florida College System accounting committee.
He previously served five years on the Board of Directors for the Florida Association of Bursars & Student Accounting Administrators, including the role of President. Meigs played a critical role in implementing both the PeopleSoft finance and student systems at SPC, providing both technical and financial expertise. He holds a BA degree in Finance from the University of South Florida.
Natavia Middleton, Ph.D.
Dean, Engineering, Manufacturing, and Building Arts, Natural Sciences and Veterinary Technology
Dr. Natavia Middleton joined St. Petersburg College in 2015 as an Academic Chair for Natural Sciences, before being appointed Dean of Natural Sciences and Engineering in 2017. Over the past several years, she worked in higher education in several capacities: a biological sciences instructor, Principal Investigator of a National Science Foundation grant, Interim Dean of Arts and Sciences, and a Program Coordinator.
Dr. Middleton's professional interests involve building SPC’s reputation in the scientific community, as well as strengthening critical thinking skills for students in STEM. She worked with various leaders of community colleges in South Carolina to propose changes to STEM education to be implemented statewide.
Dr. Middleton earned her bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of South Carolina and a doctoral degree in Basic Medical Sciences from the University of South Alabama.
Grace Moore, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean of the Department of Natural Sciences
Dr. Grace Moore is the Assistant Dean of the Department of Natural Sciences (North County) at St. Petersburg College. She first joined the SPC in 2015 as a Full-Time Faculty teaching Chemistry at the St. Petersburg/Gibbs campus, and later transitioned to the Clearwater campus in 2019.
With a passion for fostering academic excellence and elevating student engagement, Dr. Moore is the advisor for the Tau Zeta Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society at the Clearwater campus. Previously, she was the advisor for the Chemistry Club at the St. Petersburg/Gibbs campus.
Before her tenure at St. Petersburg College, Dr. Moore served as Lecturer for the Chemistry Department at Georgia State University. Her multifaceted roles extended to serving as a faculty mentor for the International Faculty Mentoring Program and course coordinator for General Chemistry Lectures. Dr. Moore's profound dedication extended beyond the classroom, where she also assumed roles as faculty advisor for two student associations: Operation Smile and Medical Students Making a Difference.
Dr. Moore's academic journey began when she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.S. degree in Chemistry from the Honors College at the University of Arkansas. Her pursuit of excellence led her to being awarded a Doctoral Academy Fellowship, through which she completed her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Arkansas. Her graduate research encompassed synthesizing, investigating surface chemistry, and exploring doping methodologies for colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals, colloquially referred to as quantum dots.
Joy Moore-Cruse, Ph.D.
Associate Dean of Academic Services, Clearwater Campus
Dr. Joy Moore-Cruse is an administrator, mathematician, educator, engineer, and scholar. She has a BSE in Electrical Engineering from Princeton University, a MS in Mathematical Sciences and a PhD in mathematics and education from the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Moore-Cruse joined St. Petersburg College (SPC) in 2013 as the Academic Chair for Mathematics on the Clearwater Campus. She served as the Acting Associate Dean of Academic Services as well as the Instructor in Charge of the Mathematics Department on the Clearwater Campus at SPC for two years, before earning her current position as Associate Dean of Academic Services on the Clearwater Campus.
During her 10-year tenure at SPC, she has served as the Advisor for BADEYA (the Black Student Union) and the Clearwater Faculty Lead for the Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement. Moreover, she has served on the Board of Advisors for the Florida African American Student Association for nine years. Dr. Moore-Cruse has been an active, engaged member of several steering and advisory committees including: Women2STEM, the SPC-Pinellas County Schools STEM collaborative, YANA (You are Not Alone) the Academic Excellence Initiative for African American Women and the SPC African American Male Student Success Taskforce, where she served as the Chair of the Culturally Relevant Pedagogy Working Group and was a member of the Professional Development Committee. She is a virtual Lunch Pals Mentor at Osceola Fundamental High School and has engaged with numerous students in the Clearwater community as a mentor and tutor at Mt. Olive AME Church.
Dr. Moore-Cruse was licensed and ordained a minister in 1989 at Gospel Truth Church in Los Angeles, CA. She has served in domestic ministry as a preacher, assistant minister, choir director, worship leader, dancer, musician, teacher, Director of Christian Education, youth pastor, and advisory board member for over 35 years. Dr. Moore-Cruse’s international ministry and professional service includes 8 Caribbean countries, 3 African countries, and 3 European countries. She has been the blissful newlywed wife of Bernard Cruse since November 2019.
Associate Dean, Arts, Humanities and Design
Nathan Muehl is the Associate Dean of Arts, Humanities and Design and Director of Bands at St. Petersburg College (SPC). A certified Franklin/Covey presenter, Muehl has facilitated 7 Habits of Highly Effective People training to hundreds. He brings a passion for effective time management approaches, interpersonal communication strategies, and assisting in the creation of effective mission statements and strategic plans.
Muehl is a known professional within SPC culture and throughout the arts/education communities of Pinellas County. He guides SPC's Community Concert Band and Community Wind Symphony presenting a variety of performances with High School Connections, Community Connections, Campus Connections, and Composer in Residence themes.
Muehl earned degrees in music education and business from The Ohio State University. He is currently a PhD candidate in Leadership and Education at Barry University (Miami, FL).
Clare Owen, Ph.D., RN
Associate Dean, College of Nursing
Clare Owen, Ph.D., RN, is the Associate Dean for the College of Nursing at SPC. A native of Wales in the United Kingdom, Dr. Owen came to the US in 1992 as a travel nurse. After working in critical care units all over the country, she settled in Miami, eventually earning a master's degree and a doctoral degree from Barry University.
Dr. Owen began her academic career as a professor in the undegraduate nursing program at Barry University in 2009, moving up to Assistant Program Director in 2014. She was the recipient of the Melba Cather award for Excellence in Education from the Lambda Chi chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International, and in 2019, she joined the Titan family and is proud to be part of a college that truly lives its mission to serve the community and help people to rise up out of poverty.
Dr. Owen has presented at both state and national conferences on a number of topics, including strategies for increasing the diversity of the nursing profession, designing and implementing a holistic admissions process, the experience of older nurses returning to formal education to complete a bachelor’s degree, and recruiting the next generation of nurses.
Devona Pierre, Ed.D.
Executive Director of the Office of Belonging
Dr. Devona F. Pierre is an equity-minded leader, innovator, and change agent dedicated to empowering individuals and communities. With over 20 years of experience in both the public and private sectors of higher education, Dr. Pierre has served in a variety of roles centered on inclusive excellence. Currently, as the Executive Director of the Office of Belonging at St. Petersburg College she implements institutional initiatives to cultivate a sense of belonging for students and employees.
A 2023 recipient of the William T. Jones Outstanding Mentor Award from the Florida Education Fund, Dr. Pierre is grounded by a responsibility to light the path for others while also holding the door open. Mentorship is a core value guiding much of her work. A skilled grant-writer, Dr. Pierre has successfully secured over $2.4 million dollars in grant-funding to support research initiatives related to her research. She was instrumental in the University of South Florida being awarded the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award in 2019 and 2020.
A native of Pensacola, Florida she earned her doctoral degree in Higher Education Administration and a master's degree in Adult Education from Auburn University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Dillard University.
Bledar Prifti, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean, Social and Behavioral Sciences and Human Services
Dr. Bledar Prifti is an Assistant Dean of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Human Services for the South County as of August 2023. He has been with SPC as a full-time employee since August 2015 serving as an Associate Professor of Political Science. His journey with the college dates back in August 2004 when he started learning English as a Second Language (ESL) at the St. Pete/Gibbs campus and later graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Safety Administration, the Law Enforcement specialization track, in December 2007.
Dr. Prifti also holds a Doctorate degree in Government and a Master's degree in Comparative Politics and International Relations from University of South Florida. He is the author of the book entitled US Foreign Policy in the Middle East: The Case for Continuity, a book endorsed by the world-renowned International Relations professor, John J. Mearsheimer. Dr. Prifti was born and raised in Albania and moved to the USA as a permanent resident in 2004. He currently lives in Clearwater, Florida, together with his wife and two children.
Patrick Rinard, Ed.D.
Vice President, Information Technology and Chief Information Officer
Patrick (Pat) Rinard is a 31-year veteran of St. Petersburg College. He began his career in Student Affairs at the Health Education Center. He spent 22 years in a variety of roles within Student Affairs ranging from an Academic Advisor, Coordinator of Enrollment Management, College Registrar, Associate Vice President of Enrollment Services, and most recently, Associate Vice President of the Student Experience & Strategic Innovation. Rinard spent eight of his years at the college working in the IT ranks. From 1998 to 2006, he worked in IT managing the developers responsible for the conversion of SPC's legacy student system to the current PeopleSoft/Campus Solutions system. He has served as Vice President, Information Technology and CIO, since August 2022.
Rinard holds an Associate in Arts degree from SPC, a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of South Florida, a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Information Systems from USF, and a doctorate from Barry University in Higher Education Leadership. He is most proud of his AA degree from SPC!
Douglas Rivero, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean, Social and Behavioral Sciences and Human Services
Dr. Rivero has been with SPC for eight years and has thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it. As an Assistant Dean with the College of Social/Behavioral Sciences and Human Services, Dr. Rivero is tasked with a variety of academic and administrative functions. These include overseeing adjunct/full-time teaching, developing engaging out-of-classroom activities, creating the schedule for three campus sites, and promoting several major civic engagement projects. Examples of such projects include the Constitution Day Oratorical Contest at Seminole, SPC’s Great Debate and the Florida College System’s Grand Debate. as someone who served for two years with AmeriCorps, the US’s civilian service corps, civic engagement is something that pumps through Dr. Rivero’s veins. Additionally, Dr. Rivero oversees SPC’s award-winning Model United Nations (MUN) team. This is a wonderful academic program that helps nurture key academic skills for students, such as public speaking, research, diplomacy and writing. MUN also helps Dr. Rivero tap into his passion for politics and international relations. In fact, he currently serves as the Chair of Public Policy for the Florida Political Science Association. Prior to serving as an Assistant Dean, Dr. Rivero was the Chair for Social/Behavioral Sciences at the Seminole Campus.
Dr. Rivero arrived at SPC from Bethune-Cookman University (BCU) where he served as the Political Science Department Chair for six years. At BCU, he was the faculty advisor for Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science Honor Society) and MUN Altogether, Dr. Rivero enjoyed working at an HBCU and helping first-generation minorities reach their academic potential. Before serving BCU, Dr. Rivero was an academic advisor at FIU charged with advising and improving the retention rates of first-generation and socioeconomically disadvantaged minority students.
In terms of academic credentials, Dr. Rivero has a BA in Environmental Studies and an MA and PhD in Political Science from Florida International University (FIU). Further, he obtained a Graduate Certificate in College Leadership from the University of Central Florida (UCF) and will be graduating with an MA in Educational Leadership from UCF in December 2023.
Finally, Dr. Rivero has two amazing daughters who are learning sponges and an amazing and creative wife. Together, their hobbies include museums, animals, parks, and anything educational.
Denotra Showers, M.S.
Acting Associate Provost, Allstate Center, Bay Pines Center, St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus
Denotra Showers joined the St. Petersburg College family in April 1999. In her time with the college, she served as Counselor-in-Charge for the Student Support Services Program (SSS) on the Clearwater Campus. For the past seven years, she served as the Student Support Manager for Career and Academic Advising on the St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus. During this time, she was part of the team that implemented the Virtual Advising Center.
Prior to her tenure at SPC, Denotra served in various Student Affairs positions at the University of South Florida and Pasco-Hernando Community College. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Education from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University and a Master of Arts in Adult Education with an emphasis on Staff Training and Development from the University of South Florida.
Jackie Skryd, Ed.D.
Vice President, Workforce Development and Corporate Partnerships
Dr.. Jackie Skryd joined St. Petersburg College in 2011. Before being appointed to her current position of Vice President of Workforce Development and Corporate Relations, she served as Chief of Staff, where her areas of responsibility include advisory to the President, President’s Office operations, Cabinet support, and special projects on behalf of the President. Before becoming Chief of Staff, Dr. Skryd served as Executive Director of Grants Development, leading the creation of a renewed department and expansion of nearly $70 million in grant funding to help advance student success, workforce innovation and community-based programming.
Prior to coming to SPC, Dr. Skryd was responsible for grant development at WorkNet Pinellas, raising millions of dollars to support Pinellas County workforce efforts.
Dr. Skryd graduated magna cum laude from the University of Michigan with a bachelor’s degree in International Studies, studying abroad at the University of Paris. In 2022, she earned a doctoral degree in Business Administration from the University of South Florida's MUMA College of Business.
Outside of SPC, Dr. Skryd serves as Immediate Past Chair of Leadership Tampa Bay and past Chair of the Florida Council of Resource Development, a sub-council to the Florida College System Council of Presidents.
Joseph Smiley, Ed.D.
Dean, College of Social & Behavioral Sciences and Human Services
Dr. Joseph Smiley currently serves as Dean of the Social/Behavioral Sciences and Human Services Department. Over his years of teaching and administrative experience, he has served as a Professor of economics, Program Director of the Social Sciences and Business Technology Departments, and the lower division Education program. He has over 30 years of experience teaching economics and college experience, beginning as an instructor in 1981.
Dr. Smiley has served as dean since 2009, where he oversees three academic organizations, including Social & Behavioral Sciences, Human Services, and Psychology. His special interests include developing student retention measures, working with faculty on strategies to maximize student success, and working to promote student civic learning and community engagement. His daily theme is, “Every day is a good day for teaching and learning.”
Actively involved in surrounding communities, Dr. Smiley currently provides workshops around the region on parental strategies for helping children succeed in school, the intergenerational impact of drugs and crime, the impact of mentoring, and community educational and economic development. He has served for 24 years as one of the coordinators of the Alpha Institute Teen Leadership Program, a mentoring program designed to assist Pinellas County at-risk middle and high school boys in preparing for manhood.
Dr. Smiley has received numerous awards for service, including the Martin Luther King Man of the Year Award for Community Service, the Community Transitional Leadership Award, the State Eleventh District Community Service Award, and the Clearwater Bar Association Liberty Bell Award.
Dr. Smiley received his bachelor’s degree from Florida A & M University, master’s degree from the University of Notre Dame, and doctoral degree from Argosy University.
Deanna Stentiford, Ed.D.
Dean, College of Health Sciences and Veterinary Technology
Deanna Stentiford joined the SPC family in 2018 after serving 25 years at one of our sister colleges. She began her career as a clinical dental hygienist, which she still enjoys doing in clinical practice on occasions. For the first 15 years of her education career, she worked in the student services side of the college and then transferred into academic affairs as she developed, taught, and directed health programs.
For the last 15 years, Ms. Stentiford has enjoyed being in administrative positions, leading health sciences divisions in the leadership role. She has received the Champion of Service Award from our Governor and recently received the prestigious Department of Defense Patriot Award for her support of employees of the College of Health Sciences who are currently serving in the military.
Ms. Stentiford holds a bachelor's degree in dental hygiene from West Liberty University, a master’s degree from University of Central Florida in Educational Leadership, and she earned her educational specialist degree and is working on doctoral studies at the University of Florida. She has also served as a site visitor for the Commission on Dental Accreditation for the past 20 years and was appointed Commissioner to the Board of Commissioners for CODA. Ms. Stentiford's passion is working with students in their programs and the development of new programs. When not working, she enjoys quiet time on the sand with her two children.
Mark Strickland, Ed.D.
Provost, Seminole Campus, Health Education Center and Veterinary Technology Center
In 2015, Dr. Mark F. Strickland, Jr. was promoted to Provost at the Seminole Campus of St. Petersburg College. In addition to his Seminole Campus responsibilities, he now oversees the Health Education and Vet Tech Centers. Dr. Strickland has and continues to be a major contributor in the implementation and success of the College and Student Experience, and he has led, assisted, and served on numerous college initiatives, along with statewide committees.
Dr. Strickland joined St. Petersburg College in 2000 as a College Recruiter. In 2003, he was promoted to Coordinator of Enrollment Management and soon thereafter became the Director. He left Enrollment Management in 2011 to become the Associate Provost at the Downtown Campus. In addition to his contributions as an Associate Provost, he also served as the Athletic Director until 2015, and he has also been an Adjunct Instructor for SPC, Barry University, and the University of Tampa.
Dr. Strickland’s upbringing as a military dependent allowed for him to live in multiple countries, such as Egypt, Italy, and Germany. In addition to his time overseas, he also lived in Georgia, Oklahoma, Alabama, Virginia and Florida.
As a late teen, Dr. Strickland settled in nicely in Seminole, Florida at the conclusion of his father’s military career, and he considers Florida his home.
Dr. Strickland earned an associate degree from St. Petersburg College, a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida, a master’s degree from Nova Southeastern, and a doctoral degree in Leadership and Management from St. Thomas University.
Rebecca Turner, B.A.
Executive Assistant to the President and Board of Trustees Clerk
With a track record of strong performance in high-volume, fast-paced environments, Ms. Rebecca Turner has over 15 years of experience in providing support to senior executives. For the past seven years, she has skillfully managed administrative duties for the St. Petersburg College President’s Office.
Ms. Turner holds a bachelor's degree in Finance from the University of Central Florida, and she is currently seeking an MBA from Edward Waters University.
Jesse Turtle, B.A.
Vice President, Institutional Advancement and Executive Director of the Foundation
With a career sparked by the power of giving and a resume filled with a decade of service in higher education advancement, Mr. Jesse Turtle came to St. Petersburg College well-equipped to lead the development of the College’s future investments.
In his previous position as the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg’s Associate Director of Development, Mr. Turtle partnered with donors to procure several major gifts for the University’s education and business colleges. Prior higher education advancement experience includes working with WUSF Public Media to grow their major gifts program, and with Eckerd College as a Director of Major Gifts, Director of the Annual Fund and Director of Special Gifts, where he participated in the College’s successful $80M capital campaign.
Mr. Turtle has held several leadership positions outside of the higher education arena, including Practice Administrator at Updegraff Vision and President of Turtle Moon Graphics. This real-world experience in marketing and sales, combined with his higher education development knowledge, gives him a unique perspective on philanthropy, shaping the donor-centered, relationship-based philosophy that he brings with him to SPC.
A native of Cambridge, MA, Mr. Turtle came to St. Petersburg in 1986 to attend Eckerd College, where he earned a bachelor's degree in Human Development.
Shannon Ulrich, Ph.D.
Associate Dean of Academic Services, Tarpon Springs
Dr. Shannon Ulrich is currently the Associate Dean for Academic Services at the Tarpon Springs campus at St. Petersburg College.
Dr. Ulrich served as a faculty member at the Clearwater campus from 2010 to 2023. During that time, she taught over 15 different courses in the Natural Sciences department and Biology Baccalaureate program. Dr. Ulrich has also served on various college-wide committees including the Curriculum and Instructional Committee, Retention Committee and Academic Excellence Committee. She held leadership roles in the Faculty Governance Organization from 2017-2019 and is a part of the 2018 Leadership SPC Alumni. Dr. Ulrich has served as an event director for the Titan Trot 5K since 2018 which has raised over $10,000 for student scholarships. In addition, Dr. Ulrich is one of the cofounders of the First to Finished initiative that aims to support first generation students as they navigate the college experience at SPC.
Since 2012, Dr. Ulrich has received multiple Foundation Innovations grants and mentored numerous undergraduate research students. These students have attended local and regional conferences and presented over 50 posters and talks, collectively. Dr. Ulrich also has 10 microbiology-related publications and authored a book chapter on Microbial Source Tracking methods and applications. Dr. Ulrich has also acted as an advisor for the Undergraduate Research club and currently is the advisor for the Women in STEM club.
Dr. Ulrich received a B.S. degree in Microbiology and Cell Science from the University of Florida in 2003 and completed a M.S. degree in Microbiology and Cell Science from the same institution in 2005. In 2009, Dr. Ulrich earned a Ph.D. in Biology with a concentration in Environmental and Ecological Microbiology from the University of South Florida.
Tonjua Williams, Ph.D.
President, St. Petersburg College
Dr. Tonjua Williams was named St. Petersburg College’s seventh president on July 3, 2017. St. Petersburg College employs 3,000 staff who provide activities and learning experiences to support academic excellence and growth of 45,000 students across eleven learning sites throughout Pinellas County, Florida.
A dynamic, transformational leader and inspiring speaker, Dr. Williams has set a new vision for the College to be known as Pinellas County’s engine for economic mobility. Strategically building partnerships and opportunities for shared visioning, Dr. Williams’ leadership has streamlined college operations, consolidated resources, improved organizational fiscal health, expanded short-term/rapid credentials, and strengthened partnerships with Tampa Bay’s workforce leaders.
Under her leadership St. Petersburg College has attained national acclaim. The Chronicle of Higher Education named the College a top producing institution in the Fulbright Scholarship Program, one of only 26 associate and baccalaureate institutions in the country to receive that recognition. In addition, the most recent U.S. News and World Report rankings list St. Petersburg College among the top in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs Overall, Best Online Bachelor’s Program for Business and Best Online Program for Veterans. The College received Best of the Best awards from the Tampa Bay Times for Best Local College and Best Nursing College.
Dr. Williams has received numerous honors and awards throughout her 35 years in community college education. Among the most recent are being named among the Power 100 by the Tampa Bay Business Journal for her work to better the community through education, the Phi Theta Kappa Paragon Award for outstanding presidential leadership, the Women of Distinction Award from the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida, the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s Businesswoman of the Year Award and the Pinellas Opportunity Council’s inaugural President’s Award for Community Leadership. She was also named as one of nine as part of Florida Trend Magazine’s Women Leaders – Taking the Reins and Movers & Influencers. She was also named by Diverse Issues in Higher Education as one of the top 25 women in higher education. In 2022, she was inducted into the Tampa Bay Business Hall of Fame by the Florida Council on Economic Education.
She currently serves on many national, state, and local boards – including the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) where she chairs the Commission on Economic and Workforce Development, the Southern Association of Colleges with Associate Degrees, The American Association for Women in Community Colleges (AAWCC), Florida’s Council of 100, the Florida Holocaust Museum, Pinellas County Urban League, Morton Plant Mease Hospital (where she serves as the community health needs committee chair), St. Petersburg’s Downtown Partnership, and The Links, Incorporated (where she serves as corresponding secretary). Selected by the presidents of the Florida College System, Dr. Williams served as Chair of the Florida College System Council of Presidents for the 2022-23 academic year and Legislative Session.
She is an alumna of Leadership St. Petersburg (2001), Leadership Tampa Bay (2011), and Leadership Florida (2022) – Class 39. She has a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Barry University, a master’s degree in Counselor Education from the University of South Florida, and bachelor’s degrees in Business Administration and Humanities from Clearwater Christian College.
Yvonne Williams, Ph.D.
Associate Provost, Midtown Center
Dr. Yvonne Williams joined the SPC family in 2009 and currently serves as Associate Provost of the Midtown Center. She has held other positions at SPC including but not limited to Curriculum Designer and Professional Development Trainer and adjunct Statistics Professor. She holds a PhD from the University of South Florida in Curriculum and Instruction with a cognate in Statistics and Research with an emphasis in Adult Education Training and Staff Development and a Master of Arts Degree from University of South Florida
She has a student focused Higher Education and corporate background and is a former Xerox sales rep as well as CEO of her previously owned Training, Research, and Evaluation consulting firm, BYNTER Consultants, Inc. Additionally, she is former Research and Statistics Chair at University of Phoenix and adjunct Statistics professor at Eckerd College.
Yvonne is an active member of the St. Pete community with active memberships in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. St. Petersburg Alumnae Chapter, as fundraising chair, member of Juvenile Welfare Board South County Community Council, ASALH, National Council of Negro Women, and the Institute for Learning Styles Research. She also serves on the board of Directors for R’Club , is former Board Chair for CROP (St. Petersburg College Reach Out Program), and past President of the Pinellas County Urban League Guild. She is founder of Spirit of Tampa Bay Community Choir and the recipient of numerous community service awards including Gathering of Women, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., and New Faith Methodist Church.
Ian Wilson, Ed.M., M.A.
Assistant Dean, Communications
Ian Wilson Sr. is an Assistant Dean of the communications department at St. Petersburg College.
In his previous role, Ian Sr. was a tenured Professor, in the communication department, at St. Petersburg College (SPC) and an online Adjunct instructor at the HCC - Ybor City Campus.
Ian Sr. earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Special Education, he earned a Master of Education in Educational Leadership and Supervision and earned a Master of Arts in English Education from the University of South Florida.
His career in education includes 11 years as a college instructor, three years as a public charter school administrator, eight years as a public school teacher, and numerous years as an exceptional student education specialist. Ian Sr. also performed duties in many leadership roles. In addition, he was a middle school team leader and Site Coordinator for the 500 (now 5000) Role Models of Excellence mentoring program. Furthermore, Ian Wilson is a motivational speaker and a former substance abuse counselor.
Darryl Wright-Greene, MBA, M.Div, SHRM-CP
Chief Human Resources and Talent Officer
Mr. Darryl Wright-Greene is the Chief Human Resources and Talent Officer at St. Petersburg College. As a certified Human Resources professional with 15 years of experience, he has led and served in multiple HR departments within education, corporate, and not-for-profit sectors. Mr. Wright-Greene is responsible for all HR functions within SPC, including Talent Acquisition, Onboarding, Employee/Labor Relations, Compensation, Benefits and Wellness, Organizational and Performance Management, Training and Development, Succession and Workforce Planning, and HR Systems and Data.
Before Mr. Wright-Greene joined SPC, he was the Executive Director of HR and the Deputy Title IX Coordinator for the Richland Campus of Dallas College, formerly known as Dallas County Community College District. Additionally, he has held positions as the Director of HR and Operations, HR Benefits Manager, and HR Liaison. His education, extensive background, and management abilities have allowed him to become an asset to different employers throughout his career.
Mr. Wright-Greene is a first-generation college student who earned bachelor's degrees in Criminal Justice and Telecommunications from Michigan State University. He also earned two master's degrees, an MBA from Madonna University, and a master's degree in Divinity from Ashland University. Currently, he is pursuing a doctoral degree in Higher Education Administration from Liberty University.