Enrollment for summer and fall at Polk State College starts in April

Winter Haven, March 18, 2019 — Enrollment for the summer and fall 2019 semesters at Polk State College will start when students return from spring break.

Priority registration will begin April 1 for students who have completed 30 credit hours or more. Students can check their credit-hour status and whether they qualify for priority registration on PASSPORT.

Open enrollment will begin for summer April 8, which is also when current students will be able to enroll in classes for fall. Open enrollment for fall will begin June 3. Classes start May 7 and August 19, respectively.

In an effort to ramp up student retention and ensure students have access to the courses they need, Polk State started offering enrollment for fall earlier than ever before in 2018.

Students are encouraged to register early because they will have the greatest availability of courses and the best chances of getting the classes they need to fit into their schedules. Plus, there is no payment required to register early – students register now and pay later.

Current students may register through PASSPORT. They should also check PASSPORT for possible holds on their accounts that may prevent them from registering so that those holds can be resolved.

Prospective students need to submit a free online application to Polk State. Information on how to complete online orientation and register for classes is included in the College’s admission letter as well as online in the Admission Steps.

Students will find answers to frequently asked questions about topics including placement testing (PERT), financial aid, paying for college, establishing Florida residency, submitting transcripts, and more on the Admission & Aid page.

Additionally, students are encouraged to begin the financial aid process as early as possible. The first step is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Assistance completing the FAFSA is available through the Office of Student Financial Services.

Throughout the registration and financial aid process, students should regularly check PASSPORT and their College email accounts for important registration and financial aid information from the College.

About Polk State College

Located in Winter Haven, Florida, and established in 1964, Polk State College is a multi-campus institution serving more than 16,000 students with Bachelor of Applied Science, Bachelor of Science, Associate in Arts, and Associate in Science degrees, as well as a wide range of certificate and workforce training options. The College also operates three charter high schools.

Polk State’s advantages include small class sizes; hands-on learning; dedicated faculty; day and night classes; online options; affordable tuition; excellent financial aid; and a diverse community and vibrant student life, including fine arts opportunities, clubs, and intercollegiate athletics.



Shareholder Dennis P. Waggoner Inducted to the American College of Trial Lawyers


TAMPA – Hill Ward Henderson is proud to announce that shareholder Dennis P. Waggoner was inducted as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, one of the premier legal associations in North America.

Mr. Waggoner was inducted as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers during the recent 2019 Spring Meeting of the College in La Quinta, California.

Founded in 1950, the College is composed of the best of the trial bar from the United States and Canada. Fellowship in the College is extended by invitation only, and only after careful investigation, to those experienced trial lawyers of diverse backgrounds who have mastered the art of advocacy and whose professional careers have been marked by the highest standards of ethical conduct, professionalism, civility and collegiality. Lawyers must have a minimum of fifteen years trial experience before they can be considered for Fellowship.

Membership in the College cannot exceed one percent of the total lawyer population of any state or province. There are currently approximately 5,800 members in the United States and Canada, including active Fellows, Emeritus



Fellows, Judicial Fellows (those who ascended to the bench after their induction) and Honorary Fellows. The College maintains and seeks to improve the standards of trial practice, professionalism, ethics, and the administration of justice through education and public statements on important legal issues relating to its mission. The College strongly supports the independence of the judiciary, trial by jury, respect for the rule of law, access to justice, and fair and just representation of all parties to legal proceedings. The College is thus able to speak with a balanced voice on important issues affecting the legal profession and the administration of justice.

Mr. Waggoner is a shareholder and the practice chair of the firm’s Commercial Litigation Group. His practice focuses on complex commercial litigation in state and federal trial courts. He has represented clients in a wide variety of commercial matters, including contract and corporate disputes, fraud claims, class actions, environmental disputes, antitrust claims, and claims for patent infringement and theft of trade secrets. He also devotes a significant portion of his practice to the defense of law firms in professional liability matters and is an associate of the ABA’s Standing Committee on Lawyers’ Professional Liability.

Hill Ward Henderson is a full-service law firm with multi-disciplinary practices. Headquartered in downtown Tampa, with over 100 attorneys, the firm has a wide range of local, regional and national clients. For additional information, please visit the firm’s website at www.hwhlaw.com.




Jaylens Challenge Founder to Attend SEU

seu news

LAKELAND, Fla. – Anti-bullying activist and founder of Jaylens Challenge Foundation, Inc.,  Jaylen Arnold, has committed to attend Southeastern University in the fall of 2019. Arnold announced his decision to attend the university at Southeastern’s leadership conference, Forum at SEU, today.

“We are looking forward to having Jaylen join Southeastern University’s community this fall. We are inspired by his strength to turn a negative experience into an opportunity to educate people about bullying and advocate for those who have been bullied. He is truly a remarkable young leader,” said Dr. Kent Ingle, president of Southeastern.

At a young age, Arnold was diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome, Asperger’s Syndrome and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. When he was 8 years old, Arnold was bullied at school. Determined to educate people about respect and bullying, he founded Jaylens Challenge with a goal to spread his message nationwide.

Soon enough, his story was featured on the Ellen show, CNN, and Katie Couric. He also garnered the attention of actor Dash Mihok of Showtime’s Ray Donovan, who also struggled with Tourette’s at a young age. Now a mentor for Arnold, Mihok has traveled to speak with Arnold at schools on bullying and also serves on the board of Jaylens Challenge Foundation. More recently, Arnold received the Princess Diana Legacy Award from Prince William and Prince Harry and was featured on NBA superstar LeBron James’ social media.

Jaylens Challenge Foundation, Inc., is a non-profit, charitable organization that is dedicated to promoting awareness and prevention of bullying through education and community service. To promote awareness, the organization puts together a presentation for students to understand why bullying is a problem and highlights how they can help people who are bullied. Arnold then shares his personal experience of being bullied. The organization also distributes curriculum which has received the National Parenting Seal of Approval and the iconic “Bullying No Way!” wristbands which Arnold created. To date, Arnold has spoken to more than 240,000 students across the nation.

“I understand I will have to slow down a bit on a national [speaking] level during this transition in my life. My classes and education will take priority, but when God calls me to action, I will trust He will set everything into place and I will go! Strengthening my organization and ‘planning ahead’ abilities will be key,” said Arnold.

Arnold has been dual-enrolled as a student at Southeastern for two years, earning 18 college credits, while attending high school at Victory Christian Academy. He plans to pursue a degree in film production, with the opportunity to study at the LA Film School his senior year. He will also continue to advocate for Jaylens Challenge while enrolled.

“It really is such an honor to be attending a beautiful school with outstanding staff and peers. I will never be able to exaggerate my thanks enough!” said Arnold.

For more information, please contact Dana Davis at dcdavis@seu.edu or call 863.667.5020.

Photo caption (left to right): Dr. Kent Ingle (President of SEU), Jaylen Arnold, and Dr. Chris Owen (Executive Vice President of SEU)


Big Brothers Big Sisters Seeking Corporate Partners for Workplace Mentoring Program


Hoping to expand its workplace mentoring program after launching two successful partnerships in Polk County earlier this school year, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay is seeking Lakeland-area businesses that would like to learn more about this important initiative designed to improve graduation rates and better prepare students for life after high school.

The new initiative, called School-to-Work, is a 2-year program that matches 20 or more high school juniors with adult volunteer mentors from a nearby business. The students “called Littles” visit their mentors, “called Bigs,” once a month at the workplace for approximately three hours. The first hour is dedicated to a group activity designed around life skills. The Little shadows their Big during the second hour, gaining valuable exposure to a professional work environment. And the third hour is spent over lunch, with a focus on relationship building between the Bigs and Littles, as well as the other participants in the program.

The Bigs and Littles communicate via phone calls or text messages between the monthly visits. The program is designed to provide valuable support during the crucial final two years of high school as the students contemplate enrolling in college, enlisting in the military or seeking employment.

The agency previously launched School-to-Work partnerships in Polk County with Southern Glazers Wine & Spirits in Lakeland and CenterState Bank in Winter Haven, with more than 35 students currently participating.

If you are interested in learning more about this impactful way to engage your employees in community service, please contact Jennifer Libby, Senior Vice President of Programs, at 813-769-3616 or JenniferL@bbbstampabay.org

About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay is part of the nation’s largest donor and volunteer-supported mentoring network and holds itself accountable for children in its program to achieve measurable outcomes, such as educational success, avoidance of risky behaviors, higher aspirations, greater confidence and better relationships. Partnering with parents/guardians, schools, corporations and others in the community, Big Brothers Big Sisters carefully pairs youth, or “Littles,” with screened volunteer mentors, or “Bigs,” and monitors these mentoring matches throughout their time in the program. Big Brothers Big Sisters provides children facing adversity – often of a single or low-income household or families where a parent is incarcerated or serving in the military – with strong and enduring, professionally-supported one-to-one mentoring relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. In 2018, more than 3,000 children were paired with mentors in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Polk, Citrus, Hernando and Sumter counties. The agency was awarded the BBBS National Gold Standard Award this past summer. For more information please visit www.bbbstampabay.org.



Florida Southern College Celebrates 136th Year With Founders Day Convocation


Astronaut and Entrepreneur Dr. Mae Jemison Named 2019 Honorary Chancellor


LAKELAND (March 15, 2019) – NASA astronaut, engineer, entrepreneur, physician, and educator Dr. Mae C. Jemison was the featured speaker at Florida Southern College’s Founders Day Convocation today. Dr. Jemison, who served six years as a NASA astronaut and was the first woman of color to go into space, was named the college’s 85th Honorary Chancellor at the convocation. In recognition of her many contributions to society, the College conferred the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters on Dr. Jemison.

Dr. Jemison is at the forefront of integrating the physical and social sciences with art and culture to solve problems and foster innovation. She leads 100 Year Starship®, a global initiative to ensure the capabilities for human travel to another star within the next 100 years, while also transforming life on Earth. She also founded the non-profit Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence, which designs and implements STEM education experiences worldwide.

“We are pleased to welcome this world-renowned advocate for scientific discovery,” said President Dr. Anne Kerr. “Through her talents and accomplishments as an astronaut, doctor, and educator, Dr. Mae Jemison has found numerous ways to demonstrate how technological advancements can benefit our society, while inspiring others to pursue their own dreams of improving the world.”

The Founders Day event, held today in Branscomb Auditorium on the FSC campus, is the beginning of the College’s Homecoming Weekend. Annually, the convocation brings to the community nationally and internationally recognized artists, scientists, and leaders whose character and careers epitomize the founding mission of Florida Southern College, which is to prepare students to make a positive and consequential impact on the world.

Other recent Honorary Chancellors of FSC have included Director of the Museum of Modern Art Glenn D. Lowry, Chair of the American Red Cross Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, Chairman and CEO of SC Johnson H. Fisk Johnson, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution G. Wayne Clough, and Librarian of Congress James Hadley Billington.

During today’s convocation, Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards were presented to three FSC alumni who have made outstanding contributions in their professions and communities: Barney Barnett, Vice Chairman of Publix Super Markets Inc; William A. Chope of Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan, co-founder and president of Crest Automotive Group and president of Metro Jobbers; and Albert V. Misan of Miami and Lakeland, a longtime Citibank executive who has held positions in locations including Brazil, Ecuador, and Mexico.

Also at the convocation, graduating senior Alec Bigness of Englewood was named as recipient of the 2019 President’s Scholar Medal, in recognition of his academic record and for demonstrating great promise for future success. Alec, who is at the top of his class, is majoring in Chemistry and minoring in Biology, and will take his passion for learning to medical school in the fall.


Additionally, for only the second time in the College’s history, two graduating seniors were jointly selected for the Honor Walk, FSC’s highest student award. Natalie Barton of Rockledge, a Nursing major, and Jordan Carr of Sarasota, a Biology major, were named as 2019 Honor Walk recipients. Both students were recognized for their highest-level achievements in academics and for their service to the College community.


Faculty member Dr. Sara Fletcher Harding, professor of Religion, was presented with the Ben and Janice Wade Outstanding Teaching Award. In 2010, Dr. Harding was named as Omicron Delta Kappa Teacher of the Year and received an Exemplary Teaching Award from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church.


About Florida Southern College

Founded in 1883, Florida Southern College is the oldest private college in Florida. The College maintains its commitment to academic excellence through 70+ undergraduate programs and distinctive graduate programs in business administration, education, and nursing. Florida Southern has a 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio; is an award-winning national leader in engaged learning; and boasts 30 NCAA Division II national championships. It is ranked among the Top 20 Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report; named a Top Baccalaureate College by Washington Monthly; and included in The Princeton Review’s 384 Best Colleges, The Fiske Guide to Colleges 2018, and Forbes magazine’s America’s Top Colleges Guide. The College is committed to the development of the whole student through vibrant student life programs that prepare graduates to make a positive, consequential impact on society. FSC is conveniently located within an hour’s drive of both Orlando and Tampa. FSC is home to the world’s largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2012. Named the “Most Beautiful Campus in the Nation” for two consecutive years by The Princeton Review and one of the nation’s “Ten College Campuses with the Best Architecture” by Architectural Digest, Florida Southern is an internationally-recognized place of beauty and academic excellence.