Maria Konnikova, popular psychologist and New York Times best-selling author whose most recent book explains why con artists succeed, is the inaugural speaker for the 2018 Child of the Sun Distinguished Lecture Series at Florida Southern College.

Konnikova is the author of “The Confidence Game: Why We Fall for It … Every Time” (2016) and “Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes” (2013), both of which were on the New York Times Best Sellers list. Her writings have appeared in numerous publications, including The New York Times, The Atlantic, Slate, and The New Republic, and she is a regular contributor to The New Yorker, where she writes about psychology and science.

Her lecture will be held at 7 p.m. on Feb. 13 in the Annie Pfeiffer Chapel at FSC and is free and open to the public.

The theme of the 2018 Child of the Sun Distinguished Speakers Series is “A Matter of Facts: Navigating a Post-Truth Era.” The series explores the murky waters of a “post-truth” era in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief. Future speakers in the series will include National Public Radio reporter Audie Cornish and former White House press secretary Josh Earnest.


Lakeland Regional Health to Launch Comprehensive Cardiac Rehabilitation Program

Lakeland Regional Health is pleased to offer the region’s only comprehensive Cardiac Rehabilitation Program at our North Campus/Hollis Cancer Center, 3525 Lakeland Hills Blvd, beginning February 19, 2018.

“Our goal is to get patients back to an active lifestyle following a cardiac event,” explains Sami Baddoura, MD, FACC, Lakeland Regional Health Cardiologist. “Studies show an intensive cardiac rehabilitation lowers the risk of future cardiac events. Cardiac rehabilitation helps patients eat better, lose weight, and better engage in daily activities.”

Cardiac Rehabilitation can help those who have:

  • Heart failure
  • Heart attack
  • Coronary angioplasty
  • Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG)
  • Heart valve repair or replacement
  • Heart transplant
  • Angina (chest pain related to coronary blockages)

Lakeland Regional Health’s leading-edge Cardiac Rehabilitation Program includes:

  • Exercise and strength training plans individually tailored by a Cardiologist and a certified exercise physiologist to meet the patient’s needs
  • Lifestyle and dietary education designed to improve a patient’s quality of life and reduce the chances of readmission to a hospital
  • Nurse-monitored exercises to ensure patient safety

“At Lakeland Regional Health, we work diligently to be your partners for a lifetime of wellness,” says James B. Sturgill, PT, MA, MBA, Lakeland Regional Health Vice President, Physician Group and Ambulatory Services. “Providing a comprehensive cardiac recovery program serves as an important complement to our highly skilled Cardiology care and our nationally recognized inpatient Heart Center care.”

As part of this program, Lakeland Regional Health’s outpatient Cardiology services will expand to include the North Campus/Hollis Cancer Center, in addition to seeing patients at the Pablo Campus. Dr. Baddoura and Michael Sarkees, MD, will begin seeing patients at the North Campus on Monday, February 19, 2018.

For more information about cardiac rehabilitation at Lakeland Regional Health, please call 863.284.5020.



According to new figures from the Florida Department of Education, the School of Education at Florida Southern College is the best among private schools in Florida for preparing teachers to pass the Florida Teacher Certification Examination.

The Florida Department of Education released data last week showing the pass rate of colleges’ and universities’ education students taking the certification exam for the first time between 2015 and 2017. The data indicate how well colleges prepare their students to pass the state’s certification exam. In the General Knowledge section of the exam, which contains four subtests, only two schools ranked in the top-five pass rates for all four subtests – FSC and the University of Florida.

Over the two-year span, FSC education students had the highest pass rates of any college in Florida – public or private – on two of the subtests: essay (94.1%) and mathematics (94.1%).  They were in the top five for pass rates on the English Language Skills and Reading subtests. FSC students’ pass rates were approximately 20 percentage points above the state-wide averages on all of those subtests.

The General Knowledge test is a rigorous exam, and students must pass all four subtests in order to receive a Florida professional teaching certificate.

Casey Harvey, a first-grade teacher at South McKeel Academy in Lakeland and a 2017 graduate of FSC, exemplifies the type of preparation provided by the School of Education. She passed the Florida Teacher Certification Examination on her first try.

“Florida Southern continuously offered rigorous coursework that matched the complexity of the FTCE questions, allowing me to provide answers with ease,” she said. “If I ever felt uncomfortable with certain subjects found on the exam, I could always count on my professors to assist me. They provided me with an ample amount of resources until I felt confident enough to tackle it on my own.”

The pass rate figures underscore a previous report from the FDOE, ranking FSC’s School of Education as the best among private colleges in Florida. In that January 2016 report, “Continued Approval of Teacher Preparation Programs in Florida,” FSC’s elementary education program was ranked second alongside public universities including Florida State University and the University of Central Florida. It was the highest-ranked private college.

“These top rankings represent the excellent preparation the FSC School of Education provides for all education majors as they embark on their journey toward professional teacher certification,” said Dr. Tracey Tedder, dean of the School of Education. “The rankings are further evidence of the consequential impact our graduates will have on the students they teach. We are proud to be recognized again as a top performer among so many other public and private institutions in the State of Florida.”


Election Association Offers Scholarships

Polk County Supervisor of Elections Lori Edwards announced today that the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections, (FSASE), will award three $1,200 scholarships to Florida students in 2018.  Applicants must be:

  • Registered to vote in the State of Florida
  • Enrolled as a full-time student in a senior college or university in Florida
  • Majoring in political science, public or business administration, or journalism/mass communications

Applicants must also possess at least a “C” average for the previous year, demonstrate financial need, and be available for an interview in the county where they are registered to vote.

“Interested students should contact the Supervisor of Elections in their county of residence to request an application packet,” said Ms. Edwards.   Polk County residents may contact Lori Edwards at 863-534-5888, or by email at info@polkelections.com.  For assistance contacting Supervisors of Elections in other Florida counties, consult your voter information card, or visit the FSASE webpage, myfloridaelections.org.

The deadline to return the scholarship application, which includes two letters of recommendation, is March 29th 2018.