05Feb/18

SEU Announces Welcome Center Groundbreaking

Southeastern University will be getting a new front door next year to welcome prospective students and guests.

Since the campus moved to its present location on Longfellow Boulevard in 1952, the Addison Building, which overlooks Lake Bonny, has served as the main administration building and reception center for guests. It was, in fact, the very first building constructed on the property.

Soon, a 27,000-square-foot Welcome Center will be constructed on the grassy area between Addison Hall and Lake Bonny. A groundbreaking ceremony for the new facility is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, February 22.
“The Welcome Center will serve as the official front door for the university,” said Chris Owen, executive vice president of Southeastern.

When guests walk from the parking lot to the new main reception area, their experience on campus will be enhanced with improvements to parking and other special touches. New signage will be put in place by the main guard post (directly off Longfellow) that will direct guests to park in the Steelman Parking Lot, which will become a gated lot.

A new walkway will guide these guests to the Welcome Center. Along the path guests will learn the history of SEU through attractively designed signage, and spaces will also be created intentionally for photo opportunities.

Once inside the Welcome Center, guests will be greeted by a 12-foot LED wall and interactive displays that will share the SEU Experience with visitors. For ease of interacting with prospective students and guests, both the Enrollment and Advancement Offices will be located on the ground floor.

Administrative offices will be housed on the second floor. The third floor will feature a banquet and catering facility that will be able to serve up to 400 guests.

Once offices have relocated from Addison to the new facility, renovations will be made to Addison to house the Registrar’s Office, Academic Advising, and the Business Office as well as other key department personnel. These departments are currently spread across the campus. The Pansler Alumni-Student Union building will continue to house Student Services.

An elevated glass walkway will connect the buildings above the existing circular drive. “This will enable us to provide improved customer service to our students and their families,” said Owen. “The three buildings will provide a one-stop shop for both new and prospective students.”

SEU President Kent Ingle said, “The new facility is all about our students. We want them to have the very best experience. Everything we do is with our students in mind.”

The architect for the project is Jon Kirk of Kirk Curtis Mundy Hunnicutt Associates Architects, Inc., and general contracting will be done by Register Construction. Construction is scheduled to be completed in early 2019.

In addition to the Welcome Center, an 8-lane NCAA track is also under construction around the soccer complex, with plans for the university to launch its inaugural track team in the fall.

The February 22 ceremony is open to the public. For more information, please contact the Office of Advancement at 863-667-5455.

05Feb/18

Polk State College to Host FIRST LEGO League Championship

Polk State College is scheduled to host the FIRST LEGO League Central Florida Regional Championship on Sunday, February 18, bringing together nearly 1,500 elementary and middle school students, as well as LEGO enthusiasts.

Forty-eight teams of fourth- to eighth-grade students from eight counties will compete in the championship from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Polk State Winter Haven Health Center/Gym (WHC), 999 Ave. H N.E., where they will program LEGO MINDSTORMS robots they have built to participate in challenges related to hydrodynamics.

“This year’s theme is all about water and the entire water cycle, including how we find, transport, use, and dispose of water,” said Naomi Boyer, Polk State Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and Innovation, and Chief Information Officer. “The regional competition is, for many, the end of the season and advancement of learning that has taken place from August to February. Students will compete in robot runs and judging sessions, all while exhibiting ‘gracious professionalism’ and problem-solving core values.”

Volunteer judges from various fields, including engineering, construction, information technology, education, and business, will evaluate the teams in three areas: their projects, their core values, and their robot design.

Projects must be based on a part of the human water cycle and identify a specific problem to solve, and the teams will participate in a building challenge exercise that will allow them to demonstrate their core values.

A dozen teams will move on to a state-level tournament, where one winning team will be selected to participate in international invitational events.

In addition to the championship, younger children will have the opportunity to participate in the FIRST LEGO League Jr. Expo on Saturday, February 17, at LEGOLAND Florida Resort, where they will test machines they have built using LEGO elements and motorized parts.

Both events will be great spectating opportunities for anyone interested in LEGO construction and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education.
LEGOLAND Florida Resort is offering substantially discounted tickets February 17, 18, and 19 for all participating teams, their families, and friends. Part of the proceeds will go to the Polk State College Foundation, which provides the College with student scholarships and other resources. Tickets are available online.

Those interested in attending the FIRST Lego League Central Florida Regional Championship should contact Christy Canady at ccanady@polk.edu or 863.298.6859.

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is an all-inclusive, character-drive, K-12 education program that uses robot challenges to build science and technology skills and interests. More than 10,000 students participate in FIRST statewide.

FIRST LEGO League is an alliance between FIRST and LEGO to engage children in playful and meaningful learning while helping them discover the fun in science and technology through the FIRST LEGO League experience.

Polk State’s involvement with First LEGO League is just one of many robotics education initiatives at the College, including its STEM-based Enrichment Academy; summer programs Kids at College and TALON Robotics; partnership with Technobotics Academy at Winter Haven High School; Associate in Science in Engineering Technology Program; and variety of other certificate programs related to manufacturing robotics.

“Robotics is a great way to engage young students and the skills they learn early in life related to robotics can lead to their future careers,” Boyer said. “Polk State College is committed to building those pathways for our community and students.”
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.

01Feb/18

Polk State College Offers In-State Tuition to Students Displaced from Puerto Rico

Polk State College continues to provide support for students displaced from Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria and is again offering in-state tuition to those individuals.
Gov. Rick Scott asked Florida state colleges and universities this week to extend in-state tuition to those students through the 2018-2019 academic year. Scott’s initial call to action in September offered in-state tuition to those who enrolled through December.

Since then, Polk State has assisted more than 60 individuals who fled Puerto Rico due to Hurricane Maria and has enrolled a dozen as students.

“We hope to assist even more students by extending in-state tuition to those displaced by Hurricane Maria,” Polk State President Angela Garcia Falconetti said. “The College will continue to welcome students from Puerto Rico with open arms and provide them with the assistance they need to return to their higher education pursuits as they continue to recover from the storm.”

Falconetti appointed Director of Student Enrollment Services and Registrar Kathy Bucklew as the point of contact for those students.

Bucklew has continued to work with them closely and confidentially to help them obtain necessary documentation and transcripts, as well as to identify which exemptions and waivers they may be eligible for to assist them financially.
Some students have publicly shared their stories, such as Josue Salgado, who was prepared to start classes at the University of Puerto Rico when Hurricane Maria moved through his family’s town of Carolina.

“It could be years before Puerto Rico is back to normal,” Salgado said. “My original plan was to study for two years in Puerto Rico then come to the U.S., so this became an opportunity for me to jump start that process… and I feel very fortunate to have the ability to attend Polk State College.”

Prospective students should contact Bucklew by email at kbucklew@polk.edu, phone at 863.298.6820, or in her office, WAD 116 in the Administration Building on the Winter Haven Campus at 999 Ave. H N.E.

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.

01Feb/18

Two Workshops Being Held in Auburndale to Assist in Sponsorship Application Process for Arts, Culture and Heritage Funding

Polk County Tourism and Sports Marketing (PCTSM) will host two workshops to assist organizations that wish to apply for sponsorship funding from the Tourist Development Council (TDC) Arts, Culture and Heritage Committee. Attendance at one of these workshops is mandatory for organizations that plan to apply. The first workshop will take place from 9 to 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 27 and the second will take place from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 21. Both workshops will be held at PCTSM’s office at Lake Myrtle in Auburndale and will cover the guidelines and process for completing a sponsorship application packet, as well as the timeline for the fiscal year 2018-2019 application process.

Sponsorship applications for fiscal year 2018-2019 arts, cultural and heritage event sponsorship (covering events taking place October 1, 2018 through September 30, 2019) are being accepted now and the final submission deadline is Friday, April 20, 2018. All completed applications must be received at the PCTSM office by 4 p.m. that day – (applications must be in hand and not just postmarked by that date). Any applications received after that deadline will be ineligible for consideration. The application, plus overview and guidelines, can be downloaded at www.visitcentralflorida.org/tdc.

For organizations unable to attend one of the two PCTSM workshops, please contact the Polk Arts Alliance for additional workshop dates. The PCTSM workshops will be held in the conference room located at Lake Myrtle Sports Park, 2701 Lake Myrtle Park Road, Auburndale.  For more information, contact Kris Keprios at (863) 551-4750 or Kris@VisitCentralFlorida.org.

01Feb/18

TEDxPolkStateCollege Accepting Speaker Applications for April Event

TEDxPolkStateCollege is accepting speaker applications and nominations for its inaugural event scheduled for Saturday, April 7, 2018, at the Polk State Center for Public Safety in Winter Haven.

The independently organized event, licensed by TED, will feature local voices and pre-recorded TED Talks under the theme of “Connect, Create, Communicate.”

“Our theme will bring together concepts that are essential to living in today’s world, but that intersect in diverse and constantly changing ways,” Polk State Professor and TEDxPolkStateCollege Organizer Jeri Hammond said. “This event will allow individuals – both from the College and local community – to become part of a global conversation about our shared future.”

Launched in 2009, TEDx is a program of locally organized events that bring communities together to share TED-like experiences. Some of the best talks from TEDx events have gone on to be featured on TED.com and have garnered millions of views from audiences across the globe.

“Bringing TEDx to the Polk County community is an exciting opportunity for Polk State College,” Polk State President Angela Garcia Falconetti said. “With a broad range of perspectives, experiences, and disciplines coming together under one roof, TEDxPolkStateCollege will be an engaging, thought-provoking event for everyone involved.”

Prospective TEDxPolkStateCollege speakers and performers should have an “idea worth spreading.”

“Talks should address some aspect or interpretation of the event’s theme in a way that will teach, inspire, entertain, or motivate a diverse audience to take action in ways that improve the community and the world,” Polk State Professor and TEDxPolkStateCollege Co-Organizer Dale Anderson said.

Speaking at a TEDx event is an exciting opportunity, but there is a substantial time commitment that involves working with a coach to refine the idea, prepare a transcript, and rehearse the talk.

More information, as well as the application and nomination forms, is available at TEDxPolkStateCollege.com. The deadline for submissions is February 7.

TEDxPolkStateCollege will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on April 7, 2018, at the Polk State Center for Public Safety, 1251 Jim Keene Blvd., Winter Haven. Speakers and ticket information will be announced in February.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.

About TED TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California almost 30 years ago, TED has grown to support its mission with multiple initiatives. The two annual TED Conferences invite the world’s leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes on a diverse mix of topics. Many of these talks are then made available, free, at TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The TED2014 Conference takes place in Vancouver, British Columbia, along with the TEDActive simulcast in neighboring Whistler. TEDGlobal 2014 will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

TED’s media initiatives include TED.com, where new TED Talks are posted daily; the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative TED-Ed; and TEDBooks, short e-books on powerful ideas. TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world get help translating their wishes into action; TEDx, which supports individuals or groups in hosting local, self-organized TED-style events around the world; and the TED Fellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

Follow TED on Twitter at http://twitter.com/TEDTalks, or on Facebook at http:// www.facebook.com/TED.

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.