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PHCC Perspective Volume V, Issue I Summer 2011



Symposium Supports Healing:

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

20th Anniversary:

Dental Hygiene Program Shines On

Parting Shots:

Coach Bowman’s Career at Center Court

II  Perspective

in Perspective

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Summer 2011

Volume V, Issue I

F E AT U R E S PTSD Mysteries Revealed

Dental Hygiene Program Turns 20

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Psychology Club and Psi Beta Club students host a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symposium with local service agencies—enriching their learning experience while promoting awareness of the syndrome.

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The Dental Hygiene program provides two decades of expert training with a personal approach and demonstrates exceptional completion and graduation success rates. On the Cover: In his final season, Athletic Director and Head Basketball Coach Bobby Bowman displays his passion for coaching and competition. Cover photographs by: Adrienne Sizemore

About PHCC Perspective

The award-winning PHCC Perspective is published by Pasco-Hernando Community College and the PHCC Foundation.


Athletic Program Built on Sweat, Integrity and Trust


Everyone Can Enjoy Intramural Fun

Retired Athletic Director and Head Basketball Coach Bobby Bowman created the PHCC athletic program from scratch—with no sports tradition, coaching staff, uniforms, equipment, schedules…or players.

From flag football to Frisbee, hiking to Halo games, the intramural sports and recreation program emerges as a popular and engaging option for PHCC students.

Lucy Miller, Executive Editor Courtney Boettcher, Managing Editor/Writer Julie Church, Foundation Writer Karen Kielar, Graphic Designer Arla Altman, Dean of Institutional Advancement Pasco-Hernando Community College Marketing and Public Relations 10230 Ridge Road New Port Richey, FL 34654

Phone: 727.816.3467 Fax: 727.816.3723 E-mail:

D E PA R T M E NT S 2 From the President 6 College Update 11 Student Profile 12 Scholarship Spotlight 13 Alumni Profile 18 Athletics 22 Foundation News 26 Alumni Notes 28 Flashback

It’s Important to us to know you by name If we didn’t get your name or address right, we apologize! Please contact us so that we can update our records. If you prefer to be removed from our mailing list, please call 727-816-3467 or e-mail us at Summer 2011  1

Pasco-Hernando Community College President Katherine M. Johnson, Ed.D.

PHCC District Board of Trustees Chair Judy R. Parker Vice Chair Jeanne M. Gavish Members S.K. Rao Musunuru, M.D. Thomas E. Weightman Irvin Homer Gary L. Worthley Wilton E. Simpson John L. DiRienzo PHCC Foundation Board of Directors

Executive Committee

Chair Monica Mills Vice Chair Gus Guadagnino Secretary Kenneth R. Burdzinski Treasurer Ronald J. May Andrew Barnes Jackie Campbell, C.P.A., CFP Joel H. Goldberg, D.M.D. Nita Melaugh Judy Parker Frank Rygiel N. John Stewart, Jr. Debra Van Bemden Donald K. Vierling, M.D.

Board of Directors

Russell Adams Kevin Ahrens Tom Barnette A. Patricia Barwick Edward C. Blommel John A. Dougherty, C.P.A. Michael Duncan Sean E. Hengesbach Ann Hildebrand Greg Jarque Seth Mann, Esq., C.P.A., CFP J. D. Porter Morris Porton George C. Psetas Buddy Selph Sallie D. Skipper, Esq. Larry M. Starnes Nina Vaznelis Executive Director Arla Altman 2  Perspective

from the president…

A Season of Champions

It’s hard to believe that another remarkable year has quickly ended and found a memorable place in the archives of PHCC history. Quite honestly, the academic year of 2010-2011 proved to be full of exhilarating highs and lows, both thrilling and unnerving—much like a game won in overtime. We do have much to celebrate. In August 2010, PHCC opened its first new campus in 30 years. The Spring Hill Campus drew 1,500 students during that first semester and hundreds of community members attended a November dedication and open house event. On the heels of PHCC’s reaccreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) last July, this brand new campus underwent a separate SACS review, earning a perfect “report card.” Later in 2010, the schematic design prepared by Florida Architects for the new Porter Campus at Wiregrass Ranch was unanimously approved by the District Board of Trustees and construction will soon be begin. In athletics, the crowning achievement goes to our women’s volleyball team for winning the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II championship in Wisconsin. Our Quista cheerleading squad also won a national championship in their division in Orlando and our Lady Quista softball team finished fifth in the nation competing in Normal, Illinois. In fact, all of PHCC’s athletic teams qualified for post-season tournament play, a first in the history of the College. Read about our high performing athletic and cheerleading programs, and our recently retired, beloved Coach Bobby Bowman’s career in this issue of Perspective. Without a doubt, the governor’s veto of $6.9 million in state Public Education Capital Outlay (PECO) funds, which comprised the fifth and final installment of funding for the new Porter Campus at Wiregrass Ranch in Wesley Chapel, was a setback. However, we respect the legislative process and hope that this final funding will be approved in the 2012 legislative session, providing us the ability to continue the construction and open for classes in January 2014. While we did increase tuition by eight percent based on the 2011 legislative mandate, we remain committed to offering value in higher education while our tuition and fees remain among the lowest statewide. So…as we excel in our achievements and cope with temporary setbacks, the College continues to rely on the “can-do” attitude that has always driven PHCC’s development. We realize that facing challenges and taking advantage of opportunities makes us wiser, more resourceful and more determined to deliver quality education to the best of our ability. This summer issue of Perspective is bursting with PHCC successes and victories. Note that many champions contribute directly to PHCC’s achievements from our District Board of Trustees to our Foundation Board of Directors, administrators, faculty, staff, students, loyal friends and donors. If winning is the goal when playing the game, PHCC operates with a team of champions who compete with pride and dedication each and every day! As we remember a very successful 2010-2011 academic year, I thank our many champions and countless fans. Enjoy a pleasant and productive summer! Katherine M. Johnson, Ed.D., PHCC President


Uncovering Community Needs Understanding and supporting community needs has always been central to PHCC’s mission. Economic factors including rising unemployment rates have deeply impacted the region. It is important to address that College programs and services may no longer meet the needs of local employers and job seekers.

Forum attendees identified a desire for employees with good “soft skills,” including effective communication and people skills, as critical to success. The areas seen as having the most significant workforce development challenges in the immediate future were health care, manufacturing and construction.

In an effort to reach out to the community and gather feedback, a series of four community forums were held in January at the Brooksville, Dade City, New Port Richey and Spring Hill campuses. Each forum attracted business and community leaders who shared ideas on how PHCC could help meet the ever-changing educational and workforce requirements of the local communities.

Participants said some of the most pressing economic challenges over the next three to five years would include attracting new companies to the area; providing effective transportation from rural regions to areas where the jobs are located; and the creation of high wage jobs.

Approximately 70 community participants and 27 PHCC staff members attended the forums, providing valuable feedback and suggestions on how PHCC and other community partners can collaboratively meet current and future labor force needs. “The business and community leaders who attended really seemed to appreciate the opportunity to share their thoughts on how PHCC might assist them in enhancing the workforce and economic environment in our two-county service district,” said Katherine Johnson, PHCC president.

The forums were conducted by The Clements Group consultants and a report was generated and distributed from the feedback received. Administrators will use information gathered at the forums to help implement the College’s strategic planning process in a way that is more closely aligned with the needs and workforce performance requirements of the region’s businesses and industries.

Participants said some of the most pressing economic challenges over the next three to five years would include attracting new companies to the area...

Summer 2011  3

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Involvement enriches learning experience of psych students

4  Perspective


hey came from all sectors of the community—caregivers and their clients; parents and family members; students; veterans; law enforcement officers; Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) survivors and mental health providers. More than 125 people gathered at the PHCC North Campus in Brooksville for a symposium led by 15 experts on PTSD. Over the course of a February day, participants learned how to identify, live with and recover from it. They learned that the syndrome is not a problem for just combat veterans. It can also be the result of a childhood incident left hidden or untreated. Behind the scenes, members of the PHCC Psychology Club and the psychology honorary society Psi Beta learned how to run a successful large event. The students also forged relationships with social service agencies— potential future employers.

Through the organizations’ programs, events and guest speakers, De Sousa provides ongoing opportunities for students to explore professional options and broaden their knowledge by hosting symposia on mental health issues. Since their revival, the student organizations hosted a symposium on childhood sexual abuse; conducted a series of campus events for mental illness awareness week; held a program on healthy relationships and domestic violence; and revamped the family therapy room at BayCare Behavioral Health. They’re doing the same for the recreation room for New Beginnings Youth Shelter, a residential program in Brooksville for displaced youth ages 10-17. Students cook dinner for the residents monthly and hope to add an additional dinner night soon.

…the syndrome is not a problem for just combat veterans. It can also be the result of a childhood incident left hidden or untreated.

For Dr. Kathleen De Sousa, psychology instructor and advisor of the clubs, the high-profile symposium was the perfect example of the power of synergy. Organizing and hosting the event would be difficult for the student clubs, BayCare Behavioral Health or the Hernando chapter of the National Alliance of Mental Health (NAMI) to manage alone. But through a collaborative effort, the groups presented a large, successful program that raised awareness about community mental health issues at no cost to attendees. When De Sousa was hired in 2008, she promised North Campus Provost Dr. Stanley Giannet that she would revive the clubs he once advised. The enthusiastic instructor remains true to that goal. The clubs were reconstituted in 2009, with De Sousa relentlessly recruiting new students.

The honor club members also provide stuffed animals for children in the midst of traumatic events and host movies on campus that explore mental health issues. The honors organization is the ninth largest contributor to the March of Dimes walk in the Pasco/Hernando/Citrus region, and members have attended three national psychology conferences. Club members are planning a two-day program on homelessness awareness with other PHCC clubs and organizations collegewide and from Saint Leo University. Club members are already brainstorming for a 2012 symposium on childhood developmental disorders. “These students aren’t just acing exams,” said Judy Thompson, president of the Hernando NAMI chapter. “They’re getting into the trenches and learning what their psychology degree can afford them and their community.” The connection Psychology Club President Dawn Bloxsom created

with NAMI has opened doors for understanding about one of her children, affected by bipolar and schizoaffective disorder. Bloxsom is taking two courses from NAMI that help families understand diagnosis and treatment and provide information on services for children. She plans to teach one program on campus through a new NAMI affiliate to be launched this fall—only the second such chapter on a two-year college campus in the country. Kristy Thomas, clinical services manager at BayCare Behavioral Health in Brooksville, is impressed with the students’ professionalism. As a service project, members of the group took a barren family therapy room and created space “more like a living room than a therapy room.” Thomas said the students surveyed therapists and families, raised money, and designed and developed the room. Midway through the semester-long project, the students invited Thomas in for a presentation. “It blew me away,” she said, noting that the students thoughtfully incorporated much needed details. “I was touched and humbled by their efforts.” Participation in the clubs broadens students’ horizons and enriches their college experience. “When I first started at PHCC, I’d go to class and go home,” said Kacee Graulich, president of Psi Beta. “When we started the club, I’d stay for a meeting and then for events on campus. I appreciate that the college and Dr. De Sousa engage students to become involved. I know PHCC really cares.”

Jim Greig, North Campus assistant dean of student development, addresses the group.

Psi Beta and Psychology clubs display information.

Attendees absorb details about PTSD. All photos by Erik Stellmach, Event Mug Shots,

Summer 2011  5

College Update December

Local leaders offer insight

A place for poetry

Professor Emeritus Richard Downing and Professor of Language Arts Kay McKamy hosted more than 30 participants at the biannual Celebration of Poetry on the North Campus. The symposium offered everyone, from first-timers to published writers, an opportunity to share with a live audience.

Grads on the go

Winter commencement celebrated the success of 289 graduates, many with plans to transfer to colleges and universities while others are ready for the workplace. The morning ceremony speaker, Kevin Horan, ran a successful real estate business and employed a staff of eight before the housing market tumbled. Horan returned to college, pursued an associate’s degree in nursing, and upon graduation hoped to work in cardiac care.

In a series of four campus community forums, local business and community leaders engaged in a discussion on how PHCC might support efforts to meet economic challenges.

Meeting at the mansion

Pictured from left, PHCC Vice President of Administration and Finance Ken Burdzinski, PHCC President Dr. Katherine Johnson, PHCC District Board of Trustees Chair Judy Parker, and College Attorney/ Director of Governmental Affairs Steve Schroeder met Gov. Rick Scott (center) during the Trustees Reception at the Governor’s Mansion in Tallahassee.

Student photos in a snap

The PHCC art gallery exhibited a special collection of student photography, composed of black and white film and digital photographs. Works from students in the Photography I and II classes lined the walls of the art gallery during commencement.


Encore Academy engages seniors

The Encore Academy welcomed Pasco and Hernando county senior citizens during a free winter expo. The event included several mini-seminars about using computers, digital photography and scrapbooking. Local agencies also provided information on their services and products.

MLK remembered

Dr. Calvin Mackie was the featured speaker for the College’s 26th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Lecture Series. An accomplished professor, speaker, author, inventor and entrepreneur, Dr. Mackie encouraged the audience to become outstanding students and citizens.


Exhibit connects hearts and homes

The opening night reception of the Heart Gallery exhibit which featured a multi-media presentation, music and refreshments was enjoyed by more than 100 people. Presented by the Heart Gallery of Pinellas & Pasco, the display featured photos and stories of local foster children who are ready for forever families. Inspired by Carmen Molinet, Heart Gallery Board the exhibit, several member and adoptive parent of two attendees are actively children, with her daughter, Natali. Photograph by Kevin Cronin, PHCC looking into human patient simulator technician, adoption options. Heart Gallery photographer.

6  Perspective

Comics provide cultural commentary

Professor of African-American studies at Georgia State University Jonathan Gales, Ph.D., was a keynote speaker at the college’s annual Black History Month program. Gales presented his documentary film, which focuses on the portrayal of black male comic book characters from the 1930s to 70s.

Art with heart

To honor Student Nurse Day, a special art show was on display in the West Campus Performing Arts Center lobby on February 24. The “Art of Caring” show displayed the artistic talent of PHCC’s nursing students, who illustrated the meaning of nursing through a variety of mediums, from drawings and posters to quilts and Powerpoint presentations.


Inductees illuminate ceremony

The collegewide Spring 2011 Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society induction ceremony and candle lighting (pictured above) was held in March. Hundreds of inductees, friends, family members and PHCC faculty and staff gathered for the celebration.

Kids smile brighter now!

PHCC dental students joined community volunteer dentists and hygienists to provide free dental care and preventative services to 80 children as part of the eighth annual Give Kids A Smile® event in February. PHCC dental hygiene and dental assisting students gained valuable real world experience by working with the volunteer dental professionals.

TodayCare awarded accreditation

The TodayCare Center on West Campus earned accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the nation’s leading organization of early childhood professionals. Children and staff (right) from the center, and Conquor, College mascot (not shown), celebrated the achievement.

Summer 2011  7

College Update Club clobbers competition

Mother Nature nurtured

Financial aid lessons learned


The North Campus chapter of Phi Beta Lambda business club participated in the annual Phi Beta Lambda State Leadership Conference competition. Four students won first place awards: Alina Carlton, Mike Fitzgerald, Tanisha Johnson and Robert Reed. A workshop was held on the Spring Hill Campus to assist potential students with the financial aid process and how to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online. Participants were also given tips on making their application timely and accurate.

Women wowed local history

A Women’s History Month panel discussion on Women Who Made a Difference, examined the influence of four Hernando County leaders in local politics, community service and business. The discussion featured the lives and accomplishments of Blanche Cambric, Dorothy Mason, Margaret Robbins and Margaret Ghiotto Rogers.


Elite eight aces team

Eight PHCC students were named to the 2011 Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) All-Florida Academic Team, representing state, community and junior colleges. The PHCC nominees were Alejandra Acevedo, of Wesley Chapel, Erik Briggs, of Zephyrhills, Bridget Fenster, of New Port Richey, Andrew Grimmer, of Hudson, and James Aristilde, Brandon Forman, Pranav Lokin and Alivia Strong, all of Spring Hill. An awards ceremony to honor the team was held at Florida State University in Tallahassee.

Jump starting job opportunities

The career assessment and testing center offered workshops on the latest trends in preparing cover letters and résumés as well as honing interview skills.

Minor league, major impression

8  Perspective

Photograph by Travis M. Turner

Farm Team—A Season in the Minors, a black and white photography exhibit, was displayed in the college art gallery. The photographs, by Joseph Gamble, (at left) documented the pitfalls and triumphs of the Savannah Sand Gnats baseball team.

The Earth Awareness student organization held Earth Day events and activities at all campuses. Students learned how to decrease their ecological footprint and enjoyed games, food and T-shirt tie-dying.

Spring Hill campus earns A+

The Spring Hill Campus received a perfect review, with no recommendations for further documentation, by an accreditation team from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Since the Spring Hill Campus opened shortly after PHCC’s reaffirmation was announced last July, the campus underwent a separate review conducted by a five-member team of community college educators.

Caps off to college careers

PHCC held spring commencement in the West Campus gymnasium with a morning ceremony for candidates earning AS degrees, AAS degrees, Applied Technology diplomas and certificates, and an afternoon ceremony for AA degrees. Approximately 375 degrees and certificates were conferred during the ceremonies. An estimated total of 830 spring graduates were eligible to participate.

Kudos Legal Eagles weigh justice

The PHCC Legal Eagles club participated in the 2011 Law Week Mock Trial at the New Port Richey City Hall Chamber hosted by the West Pasco Bar Association. Club members performed well and impressed the audience with their legal skills and ability to embrace the roles of the characters during the mock murder trial case.

Professor of Speech Beverly Borawski successfully completed her academic requirements for her Ph.D. She was also selected to attend the 2011 Summer Weather and Society Integrated Studies national workshop sponsored by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (Societal Impacts Program). Her participation in the workshop is based on her recently defended dissertation, The Construction of Adversarial Growth in the Wake of a Hurricane. Director of Libraries Ray Calvert has been nominated to chair the statewide Community College Library Association (CCLA) Advisory Board and selected to serve on the statewide committee to evaluate “discovery tools.” This project emerged from the Task Force on the Future of Academic Libraries in Florida. The Emergency Medical Services (EMS) program received their annual state site visit with an excellent outcome and with no deficiencies noted.


Summer program targets younger students

The College Reach-Out Program (CROP) sponsored by Pasco-Hernando Community College held its Summer Academy on the East Campus. The Summer Academy, funded by a Florida Department of Education grant, is an intensive four week academic enrichment program that aims to increase the number of low income and educationally disadvantaged students in grades 6-12 who complete high school and college.

Staff and faculty boast artistic talent

The art gallery is currently exhibiting a variety of artwork created by faculty and staff members. The second annual Staff and Faculty Summer Art Show runs from June 2 through August 8 and features a variety of works including photography, clay, charcoal, textiles, pencil drawings, acrylics, sculpture and publications.

Marketing Coordinator/Writer Courtney Boettcher, Graphic Artist Karen Kielar, Director of Marketing and Public Relations Lucy Miller, and Events and Marketing Specialist Julie Church. The Marketing and Public Relations department (pictured above) won six awards in the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations (NCMPR) higher education awards competitions: earning three gold, one bronze and two merit awards. The competition received over 2,500 entries from more than 1,000 colleges, universities and secondary schools from all 50 states and several foreign countries. Professor of Language Arts Kay McKamy successfully defended her dissertation at the University of South Florida.

Left: Crochet art by Edith Buffington Above: Ceramic castle by Maria Fiene

All graduates in the Radiography Program class of 2010 passed the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) exam on the first attempt, with an average exam score of 90 percent. Summer 2011  9

Dental Hygienists Brighten Smiles co-coordinators of the program, Dr. Irvin Leichtfuss is the full-time dentist and Laura Santomenno is the staff assistant. Low said that even though the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association requires only a teacher-student ratio of 1-to-6, PHCC’s exceeds the minimum significantly with a 1-to-4 ratio. That personal approach to learning, along with the support the program has received consistently from the community and the PHCC Foundation, is largely responsible for its success, Low said. She noted that the program’s graduation and completion rates on the national and state exams near 100 percent.


or Crystal Lontz Weeks, there was never a question. “I knew from the time I was a kid that I wanted to be a dental hygienist. In elementary school I was in charge of the fluoride program,” she laughed. “I was born for it.” Fortunately for Weeks, after she graduated from River Ridge High School in New Port Richey in 2004, she didn’t have to travel far to receive the education she needed to achieve her lifelong dream. She enrolled at Pasco-Hernando Community College’s West Campus and two years later she had her associate’s degree in dental hygiene and a job doing “what I love.” Weeks’ story is familiar to the relatively select few who have graduated from this highly successful limited access health program, which marks its 20-year anniversary this summer. From 1991 to 1996, the program 10  Perspective

could enroll only six students annually. Paul Rubenstein, D.D.S., taught the second class to be graduated from the program, which then was located off-campus. He even hired one of those graduates, Diane Taylor, who still works at his practice in Spring Hill while he nears the end of his second decade as an adjunct professor. At the urging of area dentists, the comprehensive two-year program was expanded in 1996 when the College funded construction of a state-of-the-art clinic that could accommodate 12 students. Since then, the staff has grown to four full-time employees, as well as a host of dentists and hygienists who serve as adjunct professors and provide interactive, hands-on training to students. What sets PHCC’s dental hygiene program apart from others is the individual attention students receive. “We always have a dentist and two hygienists on the floor when students are seeing patients,” said Associate Professor Donna Low. She and Assistant Professor Deborah Nastelli (pictured center at left) are dental hygienists and

Transferring those skills into the work-force is another measure of success, Low said, and post-graduation surveys show that at least 90 percent of her students either get jobs as dental hygienists or continue their education in the field. Weeks is one such success story. She’s 28 now, married and the mother of a one-year-old. She just completed her fifth year of working for Dr. Amer Soliman, a Palm Harbor dentist, and recently accepted another part-time position— adjunct professor at PHCC. Weeks hopes to give back to the institution that gave her “a great education... If you had a question, there was always somebody there to help,” she remembered about her days as a PHCC student. Now she is eager to share what she has learned “in the real world” with those who share her childhood dream.

Runner is the Real Deal


To Tierra Monroe, her word is her commitment. So when the University of Florida and Florida State University offered Tierra a coveted place in their classes of 2014, she declined. Tierra was headed to PHCC on a cross country scholarship. She had promised Coach Jacki Wachtel she would run for two years, and she had no intention of going back on a promise. Although adults and friends tried to dissuade her, she stood fast. Almost immediately after enrolling at PHCC, Tierra began having chest pains while running. She took a red shirt year due to an inflammation in her chest wall, but continues to train with the team and run independent races to prepare for next fall. “I expect Tierra to be one of the top three women next year,” said Wachtel, whose team was ranked 22nd nationally in 2009. “She can flat out run and hang with the best of them.”

Tierra’s road to the PHCC cross country team is a microcosm of her approach to life. She signed up for cross country her first year of high school, thinking it would be a good sport for a shy, quiet girl. At first, Tierra showed little aptitude for the sport, finishing last in every race she ran. Her coach suggested she try another year. Tierra refused and transferred to a different school. Inspired by her new coach, she steadily improved. By her senior year, Tierra was a standout athlete. “She knows her deficits and works to overcome them,” said Mistie Parsons, Tierra’s advisor in the federallyfunded Education Talent Search program that supports potential first-generation college students through middle and high school. “She’ll go over the top. She’s incredible.” Educators who have worked with Tierra describe the freshman as “driven,” “grounded,” “focused,” “humble,” and, of course, “committed.” She won her first of many college scholarships in the fifth grade. By the time she enrolled in PHCC, Tierra was named one of Florida’s 52 Gates Millennial Scholars, a program that will pay her expenses through graduate school. Tierra is the only Gates Scholar at PHCC. Financial aid will be crucial as Tierra moves toward her educational goals. Only the second member of her extended family to attend college, she hopes to enter the PHCC nursing program this fall. Ultimately, she plans to become a neurologist. Tierra’s 16-year-old sister influenced that goal when she started having

seizures in 2010. Doctors cannot stop the seizures or explain why she has them. Tierra hopes one day to help patients like her sister, who now suffers significant memory loss. Tierra describes herself as a focused, organized person who looks ahead. “I like to have everything planned. I don’t like last-minute, spur-of-the-moment things,” she said. And, Tierra admits, she demands a lot from herself and others. “It’s rare to find a kid with as much drive as Tierra,” said Ben Herrod, her college and career counselor at Lake Region High School. “I wish there were more students who are as passionate about education and as driven to be successful. She’s the real deal.” Summer 2011  11

scholarship spotlight:my perspective

Michele Simon Robert D. Maiser & the Rotary Club of Spring Hill Scholarships Home: Spring Hill

What was your reason for returning to college? My late parents were extremely successful in business, yet higher education was never a priority. As my husband and I watched our oldest daughter graduate from Florida Southern College in 2009, he turned to me and said, “Now it is your turn!” I had wanted to return to college and finish my degree for 10 years. That graduation and his words were my motivation to pursue my academic dreams of becoming a registered nurse. Why did you choose PHCC? PHCC was the natural choice for me; I know several nurses who graduated from the PHCC nursing program and went on to further their careers. I knew that PHCC would be like going home. I attended school here 25 years ago, before leaving due to family obligations. PHCC’s community atmosphere boasts a welcoming environment with staff and instructors who are always prepared to answer any questions from students. What are you studying? I am finishing the pre-requisites and will apply to the Registered Nursing program for admission in fall 2011. What is your fondest PHCC moment? While taking a summer session pre-algebra class and studying Punnett squares, I said, “I will never use this, why do I need to learn it?” My teacher said, “Trust me you will.” This semester in Human Anatomy and Physiology class, I taught classmates about Punnett squares for a lab exam and we all did great. Is there anyone at PHCC that you admire and why? Professor Hendriksen, Dr. De Sousa, and Dr. Fenimore have offered wisdom by explaining that hard work will be rewarded. These professors boost students’ confidence in their ability to succeed. Angel Bess, a student, wife and mother, gained my admiration though her drive, commitment and consideration for others.

PHCC Foundation: 727.816.3410 12  Perspective

What did receiving this PHCC foundation scholarship mean to you? Having four children, the need for an additional computer in our home was important. The scholarship I received allowed me to purchase a laptop and relieve some of the financial burden attending school full time placed on my family. Why do you think Philanthropy matters? Philanthropy is a great contributor to social change, and providing financial assistance to an educational institution furthers the education of all students. One donor can make a dramatic difference in so many students’ lives. My husband and I taught our children the importance of giving back to the community. What do you do in your free time? Besides having a full-time PHCC course schedule, I have a husband of 25 years, four children ages 24, 14, and twins who are 10, so free time is cherished. However, last year I logged 900 volunteer hours at Challenger K8 School, in Spring Hill. I work on several Hernando County charity projects and recently helped with middle school safety initiatives. What does the future hold for you? I look forward to being in the PHCC nursing class of 2013, becoming another successful graduate in my family, and entering the nursing profession in the Tampa Bay area.

To support a deserving student, give now.


The Blue Cheese Photo:


tanding out in a crowd comes easily to Amber Osborne ’05. Sure it’s difficult to overlook the slim 6-footer in skinny jeans, stiletto boots and a fashionable scarf, but it’s the shock of cobalt hair that gets people talking. At the monthly Pasco Tweetup—where people who talk on Twitter meet face-to-face in a New Port Richey restaurant— Amber is better known by her online persona, Miss Destructo. Followers attend to meet her and her even more statuesque business partner Antony Francis. The pair owns a hot new company, Head of Lettuce Media (HOLM), which strategically positions companies in the exploding world of social media. Tony is the CEO and number cruncher. Amber is the “Blue Cheese,” the legendary and somewhat mysterious Miss Destructo, who has mastered the art of engaging, entertaining and educating people on Twitter to the benefit of clients. She recently was named the best Tampa personality to follow on Twitter and has become a lead influencer in social media with 17,000 followers in the

Bay area. She once overwhelmed a small Tampa restaurant with business by simply tweeting its name. ‘Miss Destructo’ was conceived in 2009 when Amber found herself unemployed in Greenville, NC, without family, friends or a network. Challenged to find a job in a tough market, Miss Destructo started networking on Facebook and Twitter and blogged about her experiences. “People said: ‘You can make money off this,’” said Amber, who was captivated by the idea. She started Tweeting about her diet, which included eating Bruce’s yams directly out of the can. She blogged about how the yams sustained her and helped her network. Before long, her Twitter friends campaigned for the company to hire her. Soon a refrigerator size box of yams arrived from Bruce’s and the company asked her to mix social media into their advertising and marketing efforts. The Miss Destructo persona quickly became Amber’s platform to attract other customers who needed social media to boost their bottom

line. She knew how to develop a persona from years of working as an independent contractor with rock bands, and she used that knowledge to construct—and allow others to help construct— a myth around Miss Destructo that includes a dash of rock star mystique. At the same time, she honed the craft of creating memorable 140 character Tweets. “You’ve got to be an artist of a sentence,” Amber said. “You’ve got to get your message out, use some humor and also be able to stick in people’s heads.”

‘Miss Destructo’ was conceived in 2009 when Amber found herself unemployed in Greenville, NC, without family, friends or a network.

Today HOLM has a growing stable of clients that are learning to weave innovative communications and creative social media strategies into their marketing plans. Amber hopes HOLM will evolve into a landmark social media company. More importantly, she wants “to inspire others to do really cool things that make the world a better place.”

Summer 2011  13

Athletic Program Built on Sweat, Integrity and Trust

All of the photos in this article feature the many faces of Bobby Bowman during his PHCC career. Above in 2011. At right in 1991. 14  Perspective


sk recently retired Athletic Director Bobby Bowman about his biggest challenge at PHCC, and he’ll return to

the day he was hired in 1991. “Started from scratch with no sports tradition, no coaching staff, no uniforms or equipment, no schedules or players,” Bowman recalled.

A slate so clean would be slippery for most, but Bowman dug in and seized the opportunity. For the next 20 years, he dedicated his life to establishing PHCC athletics as a community college powerhouse and, in the process, cemented his legacy as a respected athletic director and a beloved head basketball coach. Bowman retired from PHCC in February and was recognized recently by the District Board of Trustees as Athletic Director Emeritus. In doing so, the College bestowed an honor on a man who rarely calls attention to himself. “We needed a two-for-one deal —a basketball coach and athletic director,” said PHCC’s first president, Dr. Milton Jones. “Bobby was experienced and held a master’s degree,” Jones said. “However, he stood out among the candidates because he was so genuine—a truly good person.” Jones’ instincts served him well, because that initial assessment of Bowman is shared today by those who know him best. Bob Bade was PHCC’s first student activities director and an assistant softball coach when Bowman was named athletic director and men’s basketball coach in 1991. “When I started, they handed me a card-board box containing a few things. I don’t think Bobby even

got a cardboard box,” Bade said. “They handed him a gym with nothing in it.” Bade remembers Bowman’s dedication to his recruits that first year. The College offered the student-athletes room and board, “but their apartments were bare,” Bade said. “Bobby would find a bed here, or a table there, contributing any item that he could. He wanted the athletes to feel comfortable and at home. ” Steve Winterling signed on as head men’s baseball coach the same year Bowman was hired. “Bobby was tremendous during the exhausting start up phase of the athletic program,” said Winterling. “Twenty years later, PHCC’s athletic program is an established, very competitive program that includes five sports and is respected throughout the U.S.” Head women’s softball coach Tom Ryan appreciated Bowman’s support and accessibility. “Bobby had an open-door policy. When we needed professional or personal advice, he always made time for us,” Ryan said. Athletic trainer Mary Manning echoed that observation. “He trusted us to do our jobs and never micromanaged us. The department was a close-knit group under his guidance and he was always supportive,” she said.

Bobby Bowman, 2000

Visionary. Taskmaster. Fair. Consistent. Passionate. These are words used to describe the man who defined and directed the intercollegiate athletics program at PHCC for two decades. As athletic director, head men’s basketball coach and instructor, Bobby Bowman’s influence lies somewhere between inspirational and iconic. From 1991 to 2011, he nurtured the newborn program to maturity, establishing a tradition for athletic achievement and integrity that will endure long after his departure. After his recent retirement, Bowman shared personal and professional insights with Perspective.

Can you share details about your formative years?

“…PHCC’s athletic program is an established, very competitive program that includes five sports and is respected throughot the U.S.” Steve Winterling, head men’s baseball coach

My father, Bob Bowman, was a coal miner. He had also been a major league baseball pitcher with the St. Louis Cardinals, New York Giants and Chicago Cubs for several years. My mother, Beulah, was a school teacher and housewife. When I was in ninth grade, my family moved from Montcalm to Bluefield, West Virginia, so I could participate in more competitive sports at the larger Bluefield/Beaver High School and have better opportunities for college athletic scholarships.

Describe your early athletic career?

I was named to first team All-State in high school basketball and baseball. As a senior basketball player, I led the state in scoring, averaging 30.1 points per game, and earned a full scholarship to Florida Southern College. I also made All-Conference first team my junior and senior years. I had pro try-outs with the NBA St. Louis Hawks (now Atlanta) and the Oakland Oaks of the old ABA. I also played baseball for two years in college. Summer 2011  15

When did you realize that you wanted to coach?

I enjoyed pro-baseball tryouts for Detroit and Baltimore. However, most importantly, I wanted to earn a college scholarship and a degree so I could teach and coach. After college graduation in 1967, I took a teaching and head basketball coaching position at Zephyrhills High School in Pasco County.

And then Uncle Sam came calling?

I was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1968. I was coaching in Zephyrhills, but had registered for the draft in West Virginia. In January of ’68, I received notification and reported for duty three days later. I coached a basketball game at Hernando High School, stayed up all night, and boarded a bus the next day.

Afterwards, you returned to Zephyrhills?

“Bobby always shared a story when offering advice. The story would illustrate an issue, and helped me face problems with greater insight,” said Kim Whitney, who coached the PHCC women’s volleyball team to a national championship this year. Former PHCC President Dr. Robert Judson described Bowman as “the architect of PHCC’s athletic program. Bobby retained good coaches and mentored athletes while keeping the administration engaged in the athletic program.” Bowman’s vision and innovation as an administrator is appreciated by current PHCC President Dr. Katherine Johnson. “Like other intercollegiate athletic programs, PHCC has endured financial stress that threatened scholarships and staff,” She said. But Bowman had a plan. Without prompting or encouragement, Bobby suggested switching PHCC to a Division II school under the guidelines of the National Junior College Athletic Association, according to Dr. Johnson. The benefits he outlined were designed not only to save money, but to draw area talent. “He wanted to pack the bleachers with the studentathletes’ families and friends,” Dr. Johnson said. “It was a very wise recommendation.” Bade, associate dean of student activities, agreed. “Bobby knew [moving to Division II] would boost community 16  Perspective

Yes. I coached high school basketball for nine years and served 11 years as a major college assistant (Southwestern Louisiana State, Western Kentucky University and the University of South Florida.) I also served as professional head coach in the Continental Basketball Association. Then I was hired at PHCC.

What memories do you have of those early days? Did you have doubts or fears? Starting the PHCC athletic program from scratch with no sports tradition, no coaching staff, no uniforms or equipment, no schedules or players and watching each team participate in competitive play from the start. Seeing our teams win conference championships and participate in state tournaments. Watching the volleyball and basketball teams play in national tournaments was especially gratifying. I had significant challenges, but no doubts or fears.

Did you have a mentor at PHCC?

There were many people at PHCC, as well as colleagues, regionally and nationally, who supported me. Norm Pingley, a softball coach at PHCC, offered great insight into the college and the region. The administration was supportive and open-minded and the coaches we hired helped build a quality, firstclass program.

As the athletic director and coach and instructor, did you ever find it difficult to balance administrative and coaching duties? Being an athletic director, coach, instructor and serving on various college committees pulled me in many directions. However, I take pride in my time management, organization skills and work ethic and I managed to keep an even balance. From the day I arrived at PHCC until the day I retired, I took each role seriously and never shortchanged my obligations in any area.

When you were coaching, did you have any personal rituals? I am somewhat superstitious about game day clothes and parking spaces. I did like quiet time for game preparation, and I definitely have a spiritual side.

involvement and support. He wanted athletics to be part of the fabric” that tied the College to the community.

“The kid encountered problems that prevented him from accepting a scholarship at PHCC, explained Bade. “Both Bobby and the student were crushed. Bobby But it has been Bowman’s focus secured a place for the player on the “student” side of studenton a rival Florida college team, athletes that has distinguished knowing that him. When I this talented met him seven kid would be “Bobby knew [moving to years ago, I was competing impressed with his Division II] would boost against PHCC. focus on student How many community involvement scholarship for our coaches would and support. He wanted athletes,” said Dr. have done Johnson. “Every athletics to be ‘part of that? Bobby’s president wants compassion the fabric’ that tied the success on the integrity College to the community,” and court, fields and overrode his trails, as well as Bob Bade, associate dean competitive in the classroom, of student activities spirit.” too—Bobby never and engagement disappointed me.” “Coach Bowman was a great role Bade provided model…he raised the bar and a compelling example about kept it high,” said Dr. Johnson. Bowman’s principled commitment “He will be linked forever to this to young people. “There was a institution, and rightfully so. His truly amazing basketball player program attracted exceptional from New York whose dream was talent, developed student athletes to play college ball in Florida and and raised PHCC’s profile nationally.” Bobby recruited him,” Bade said.

What was the biggest change you’ve witnessed in athletics at PHCC?

Most high school student-athletes underestimate the quality of community college players and competition. New players must learn to accept competition and individual roles. Some players feel entitled to playing time and academic success, but the reality is that it takes hard work, dedication, commitment and a positive attitude. Getting an education comes first. Describe your life’s greatest challenges? Coming from a small town in West Virginia to earn my undergraduate college degree, a master’s degree and educational specialist degree, plus coaching basketball at the high school, major college, professional and international level and serving as athletic director and basketball coach for 20 years at PHCC have been challenging. On my 42 year journey in education and athletics, I overcame challenges by continually learning, working with great people, having the support of a wonderful family and living with the motto that “work will win when wishing won’t.”

Tell us about your family.

My wife, Linda, has been my number-one fan in the stands and behind the scenes. We’ve raised four children, Bridget, Cami, Wendy and Bobby and have eight grandchildren. It’s not easy being the coach’s family. Even if I could not attend every activity and event, I spent quality time with my wife and children. I was interested in everything they did. They knew I was always there for them.

What is on your “Bucket List?”

To continue to be the best husband, parent and grandparent I can be. With God’s help and direction, to be productive and successful. As long as I have passion, drive and health, I plan to contribute to education and athletics as an administrator or coach. I will also play some golf and tennis, travel, read and learn.

What’s the best advice you were given?

“Do the best that you can do every day in every way to be the best that you can be.” — John Wooden, former UCLA and Hall of Fame Basketball Coach.

“Bobby’s influence on PHCC athletics—past, present and future— is immeasurable.”

If you could do it all again, would you change anything?

I wouldn’t change much. I am happy that I was able to build a quality athletic program at PHCC that is recognized throughout Florida and the nation. Now I can relax and support the efforts of a new regime and watch the program continue to grow.

Dr. Katherine Johnson PHCC President

Summer 2011  17


For updates on the past athletic year, visit

Cheerleaders spell C-H-A-M-P-S The PHCC Cheerleading Team won the American Open National Championship College Cheer Level 6 Division in March. In an intense two-day competition, the squad received top marks in every category, including “routine pyramid,” “tosses,” and “formations and performance.” The PHCC cheerleading squad is comprised of captains Sophia Haddad and Nicole Milliner and squad members Nichole Alboszta, Crystal Cowell, Paulina Decker, Jennifer Grafton, Amanda Hernandez, Aubrey Hutchison, Ashley Mitchell, Nellie Perez, Jilliam Rosello, Ashley Smith and Amanda Young. Lisa Fairbanks, PHCC senior office assistant in the disabilities services office, is the cheerleading team coach.

Basketball reaches region tourney

In their first Division II season, the men’s basketball team qualified for the Region 8/Region 10 Division II District 15 Tournament held in Wentworth, N.C., from March 3-6. The team defeated Vance Granville Community College, Henderson, N.C., in the first round, but lost to Patrick Henry Community College, Martinsville, Va., in the second round.

Baseball bats way to region tournament

The men’s baseball team was seeded third in the Region 10 Baseball Tournament, which was held in Morehead City, N.C., May 13-17. In its first season playing in Division II, the team was defeated by Surry Community College, Dobson, N.C., and Catawba Valley Community College, Hickory, N.C., in an eight-team, double-elimination tournament.

18  Perspective

Changing of the Guard Welcome Coach Johnson

As successor to long-time athletic director and basketball coach Bobby Bowman, PHCC welcomes James E. Johnson. With more than 23 years of experience, Coach Johnson began his tenure as the College’s new athletic director and head basketball coach in May. He most recently served as head men’s basketball coach and athletic director at Philander Smith College in

Softball swings to nationals

Little Rock, AR.

The women’s softball team was one of 16 programs nationally to qualify for the National Junior College Athletics Association (NJCAA) Division II Softball National Championship Tournament held at Champion Fields in Normal, Ill., on May 19. The team was seeded 11th coming into the event, and upset Labette Community College (Kansas) 5-2 in the opener. In their first year competing in Division II, the team won two games on day one of the competition before suffering two losses on the second day.

lander Smith College, the college’s

In his four years of leadership at Phiathletic program advanced from the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) sports organization to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). After establishing and directing the college sports program, he led his teams to joining the competitive Gulf Coast Athletic Conference, Division I. Johnson’s previous coaching experience includes working at the NAIA, NCAA Division I and semi-professional levels. He was an assistant men’s basketball coach at Western Washington

Volleyball teammates net honors

Congrats to PHCC National Championship Volleyball team members Ashley Seal (left) and Desiree Ates (above). Seal was awarded the Roberta Stokes Scholar-Athlete Award, presented annually to one volleyball player in the Florida Community College Activities Association (FCCAA). Ates, a sophomore outside hitter, signed a National Letter of Intent to join the University of New Hampshire (UNH) volleyball team for the fall of 2011.

University and a graduate assistant at the University of Arizona under Division I coaches Lute Olsen and Joan Bonvinici. He also coached several honorable mention All-American and Academic All-American candidates. Johnson earned a bachelor’s degree from Western Washington University and a master’s degree in education from the University of Arizona. Summer 2011  19

Intramurals: Fun for Everyone

PHCC’s five successful sports teams, including women’s softball, cross country and volleyball, and men’s basketball and baseball have won the respect and attention of the college athletic community nationwide. The College’s reputation for a distinguished athletic program was cemented when the women’s volleyball team made PHCC history by netting the national NJCAA championship title last November. For many students, however, intramural sports and activities have emerged as a popular and engaging option to intercollegiate sports—minus intense competition, demanding travel schedules and rigorous team practices. Competitive intramural sports and outdoor and indoor recreation are open to all PHCC students, with no cost to participate. As individuals or in teams, students may participate in intramural activities at all skill levels in a wide variety

20  Perspective

of events throughout the year. In its inaugural year, the college offered intramural basketball, bowling, dodge ball, flag football, golfing, hiking, racquetball, soccer, softball and ultimate Frisbee. Although the student team was trounced 17-6 in the traditional end of season softball game against faculty and staff, the match was enjoyed by all. This fall’s expanding intramural program will feature additional activities including canoeing, rafting, running and walking. Indoor activities will include table tennis, billiards and popular online games like Madden and Halo. In the meantime, the faculty and staff are awaiting another opportunity to flex athletic finesse in upcoming students versus staff faculty flag football, softball and an all new fearsome kickball competition.

For information on intramural activities, access

Celebrating Black History

Black History Month commemorates the historical events of the African Diaspora, a movement of Africans and their descendants to places around the world—predominantly to the Americas, and also to Europe, and the Middle East. Since 1976, annual celebrations are held in the United States and Canada in February and the United Kingdom in October. Black History Month provides information about African-Americans’ cultural backgrounds and reputable achievements. The PHCC Office of Multicultural Student Affairs and Equity Services presented a series of collegewide presentations, lectures and displays during February to celebrate Black History Month. Each campus featured a book display and the East and West campuses offered a photographic wall of fame featuring “Who’s Who in Black American History: Heroes and Heroines.” East and West campus students enjoyed keynote speaker Jonathan Gayles, Ph.D., associate professor of African-American studies at Georgia State University. Gayles presented his documentary film that focused on the portrayal of black male comic book characters, from the 1930s to 70s. “This presentation illustrates the integration of technology with traditional skill sets such as reading and writing,” said Imani D. Asukile, district

coordinator of multicultural student affairs and equity services. “Gayles turned his childhood hobby of reading comic books into a compelling documentary.” The presentation was followed by a photo exhibition, “African-American Agrarian Life,” which featured 18 black and white photographs from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The popularity of Black History Month has soared since its inception and observances are held in most public settings. It has also been the inspiration for National Women’s History Month, and Hispanic, Asian and Native Americans recognition celebrations. PHCC has celebrated Black History Month since 1973.

Summer 2011  21


Heart of Gold Luncheon Beats with Support The PHCC Foundation hosted its inaugural Heart of Gold Donor Appreciation Luncheon in April at West Campus in New Port Richey. One hundred guests attended this event which recognized the generosity and commitment of the Foundation’s donors and honored those exceptional students benefitting from their support. Dr. Katherine M. Johnson, PHCC president; Jeanne M. Gavish, PHCC District Board of Trustees

vice chair; Monica Mills, PHCC Foundation Board of Directors chair; and Richard Mullin, PHCC scholarship recipient offered appreciation to supporters and congratulations to scholarship recipients. Mullin described his financial struggles while working on an AA degree with a concentration in business at PHCC. Just as he was about to abandon his college ambitions, Mullin received a Foundation scholarship. Now, he

expects to graduate soon with a 3.95 GPA and plans to attend the University of Tampa’s honors program. In an event highlight, Dr. Milton O. Jones, PHCC President Emeritus, was recognized for his role in establishing the PHCC Foundation, which currently provides PHCC with more than $1.2 million in annual support.

From Left: Proud mom Sharon Mullin, Scholarship Recipient Richard Mullin and Katherine M. Johnson, Ed.D., President, PHCC. 22  Perspective


Tournament Reels in $44,000+ for PHCC Foundation The fifth annual Catch and Release Fishing Tournament to benefit Pasco-Hernando Community College Foundation, Inc., was held in April at Catches Waterfront Grille in Port Richey. The weather was beautiful and breezy as 20 boats full of anglers launched for a day of fun and sun on the water. Captains from all over the Tampa Bay area led teams to their favorite fishing locations off the Pasco County coastline. While not every angler caught a fish, the fresh air, good company and the knowledge that every cast netted support for PHCC contributed to an enjoyable outing. Prizes were awarded for first and second place in combined total inches, first place for the largest in length in each of three species categories, and a master angler award for the largest cobia. Winners in the combined total inches category included Brian Peterson, Skanska USA Building, who was awarded first place with 73 total inches. PHCC’s own Ken Burdzinski, vice president of administation and finance, was awarded second place with 52.25 total inches. PHCC President Katherine Johnson proved to be an ace angler as well, winning the award for Largest Snook with 27.5 inches. James Kenney, PSI, won the award for Largest Trout with 21 inches, and Mike Fisher, Ripa and Associates, won the award for Largest Redfish with 30 inches. The award for Master Angler for the largest cobia was awarded to Randy Ramos, J & J Plumbing, with 13 inches. The Presenting Sponsor for the tournament was Skanska USA Building. The Host Sponsor was Catches Waterfront Grille. Admiral Sponsors were Trio Plus Painting and Sunrise Landscaping. Captain Sponsors were: C.S. McKee, LLP; King and Walker, CPA; Dr. Joel Goldberg, D.M.D.; PHCC District Board of Trustees; and PHCC President’s Executive Committee. The Beverage Sponsor was Batson-Cook Construction.

Arla Altman, left, PHCC dean of institutional advancement and executive director of the PHCC Foundation, presents Randy Ramos, J & J Plumbing, with the Master Angler award at the fifth annual PHCC Foundation Catch and Release Fishing Tournament.

The Fishing Tournament proceeds will benefit PHCC students, staff and faculty. The Foundation helps support student programs, instructional resources, staff development, and facilities for the College.

Summer 2011  23




From left (back row) Susan Carrell, Stacy Clegg and John Arnstein, John J. Doskocz Memorial Scholarship Recipients; (front row) Helen E. Doskocz, Chuck Huhtanen and Sylvia Huhtanen, John J. Doskocz Memorial Scholarship Donors The Foundation received a $50,000 grant from the Edward K. Roberts Fund of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. Roberts, who died in 2009, lived in Pasco County and was a lifelong contributor to PHCC. The grant will provide scholarships to PHCC students in fall 2011. Preference will be given to part-time students who may not qualify for other financial aid. The estate of Lisa Von Borowsky contributed more than $53,000 to the Foundation to establish an endowed scholarship. Von Borowsky was one of Florida’s pioneer environmentalists and an accomplished naturalist. 24  Perspective

Charles and Sylvia Huhtanen and Helen Doskocz continued to fund the John J. Doskocz Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship benefits first generation college students. The Alfred H. and Doris E. Jansen Trust has established an endowed memorial scholarship. Scholarship endowments are established with a minimum $10,000 contribution and make a lasting impact as they exist

in perpetuity and are funded through interest and capital appreciation. The scholarship will be awarded to students who demonstrate financial need. Doris E. and Alfred H. Jansen


Foundation Board Transitions

Debra Van Bemden, of New Port Richey, was named new chair of the community relations committee of the PHCC Foundation Board at its meeting in April. Both Van Bemden and Andrew Barnes, of Dade City, were elected as members of the executive committee. The Foundation is governed by a volunteer board from Pasco and Hernando counties.

Andy Barnes (above) Kevin Ahrens (right) Debra Van Bemden (left)

Also recently elected to three-year terms on the Foundation board of directors were: Kevin Ahrens, vice president of operations, Skanska USA Building; A. Patricia Barwick, Attorney at Law, of Spring Hill; Buddy Selph, broker/ owner, Tommie Dawson Realty, of Brooksville; and J.D. Porter, Wiregrass Ranch, of Dade City. J.D. Porter

Patricia Barwick

Buddy Selph

In Memoriam Barmell Bledsoe Dixon 1936–2011

Barmell Dixon, 75, passed away on Friday, March 4, 2011. Born in Big Stone Gap, Va., she moved to Brooksville 60 years ago. She was a graduate and post-graduate of Florida State University and a retired home economics agent for Hernando, Citrus, Sumter and Pasco counties. Ms. Dixon enjoyed cooking, spending time with family and had a lifelong dedication to helping others. A student advocate, she was passionate about helping others achieve an education. As a generous PHCC scholarship benefactor, Ms. Dixon influenced the lives of many PHCC students with the assistance of the Pilot Club of Brooksville Scholarship, Brooksville Woman’s Club Scholarship and the Dixon Family Scholarship.

Colonel Thomas J. Deen, Jr. 1924–2010

Thomas J. Deen, Jr. passed away on Thursday, December 20, 2010. He was born in Moultrie, Ga., and raised in Brooksville. Col. Deen joined the US Marine Corps at age 18 and served in both World War II and Korea, earning two Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts. He graduated from Stetson University in Deland after returning from World War II. Col. Deen was employed by Hernando State Bank, which later became SunTrust Bank. He was very active in local organizations and was especially devoted to the Brooksville Kiwanis Club and PHCC. He was a founding PHCC Foundation Board of Directors member and worked with the Brooksville Kiwanis Club to establish several PHCC scholarships.

Summer 2011  2011  25 25 Summer

Alumninotes 2002

Cari Nichols, Spring Hill, is an assistant manager at Walgreens.


Linda (Wilbrett) McNeight, Beverly Hills, is a registered nurse who manages Citrus County Hospital dialysis patients, trains new dialysis nurses, and keeps the county hospital’s Acute Program staffed.


Nancy Elkins, New Port Richey, is currently employed as a licensed customer representative at an insurance agency and working towards becoming a licensed insurance agent.

David Kramer, Harker Heights, TX, works as a computer and robotic programmer. David was also married in April, 2011.


Jordan Cheek, Spring Hill, earned a bachelor’s degree in political science at the University of Florida in December, 2010.  He is a drug and alcohol prevention specialist with Youth and Family Alternatives Inc.,  New Port Richey. Milene Crossman, Abilene, TX, graduated cum laude from Abilene Christian University in Texas with a Bachelor of Science in social work in December, 2010.

Derek Saunier, Clearwater, has worked in education for the past few years and recently became a learning site coordinator for Hodges University. Derek’s office is located at PHCC’s West Campus in New Port Richey. “I am very excited to be in this new role, which enables me to assist PHCC students seeking to transition into bachelor level programs right here on PHCC campuses.”


Alisa Boderick, Tampa, received a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from the University of South Florida. She is currently working for the State of Florida Department of Health and pursuing her master’s degree in public health at USF.


Kara (Groom) Votta, Walls, MS, earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Argosy University and a master’s degree in human services from Capella University. She is pursuing another master’s degree at Liberty University. Kara became a missionary and counselor with the Network of International Christian Schools. She plans to work at a school in Belem, Brazil.

“Through the campus activities, traveling abroad and educational opportunities I experienced during my time at PHCC, I gained the courage to capture all life has to offer.”

26  Perspective

Scot Hawotte, Hudson, graduated cum laude from USF with a Bachelor of Arts in sociology in December, 2010. Jack McGeachy, Land O’ Lakes, graduated from the University of Tampa, with a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry. He will be attending the University of Florida College of Medicine and currently works as an ER technician at University Community Hospital, Tampa.


Marla Connick, Land O’Lakes, is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in elementary education at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg. Mandi Honley, Huntersville, NC, earned a bachelor’s degree in information technology. She moved to the Charlotte, North Carolina area and is pursuing a master’s degree program in information technology.

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PHCC Porter Campus at Wiregrass Ranch

Construction will begin soon on PHCC’s Porter Campus at Wiregrass Ranch, a high tech urban education complex to be located in Wesley Chapel, adjacent to Wiregrass Ranch High School and the Wesley Chapel Medical Center. Gopher tortoises that inhabited the land have been safely relocated and contractors will begin clearing and grading the land to lay the foundation for the 110,534 square-foot facility. Project designer, Florida Architects, Inc., and construction manager, Skanska USA Building, Inc., met with a committee of PHCC administrators, faculty, staff, and students to discuss designs for the first phase of construction. Last November, PHCC’s


District Board of Trustees approved phase I schematics that reflect a contemporary, spacious and multi-storied design that will complement the area’s existing and planned development.


Architectural renderings of the future campus.

PHCC’s fifth full-service campus will provide the latest high-tech trends in higher education with a traditional focus on teaching and learning. Business and health care programs will train students for lucrative medical and technology fields. General education classes will prepare students for a variety of career and university transfer opportunities. The Porter Campus is expected to open in January 2014.

Pasco-Hernando Community College’s

Encore Academy

Enjoy enriching workshops or sample dozens of hands-on courses right here at PHCC. Take exciting classes in popular areas of interest! For additional savings, inquire about the many benefits of a membership in the Encore Academy. Contact Debra Duncan at 727.816.3439.

Summer 2011  27


First Grads Grace College History In 1974, Richard Nixon becomes the first U.S. president forced to resign after the Watergate Scandal, worldwide gas shortages force the U.S. to impose a 55 MPH speed limit to preserve fuel, and Blazing Saddles grosses $120 million at the box office. That same year, PHCC held its first commencement ceremony.

To date, the College has granted more than 28,645 degrees and certificates. To accommodate a growing number of graduates and guests, PHCC expanded ceremonies to include two commencement exercises for each graduating class, one for those receiving Associate in Arts degree and one for those receiving Associate in Science degrees or certificates. Commencement is held bi-annually, each spring and fall. Those who cannot attend can view ceremonies online. More than 375 degrees and certificates were conferred at the spring 2011 commencement ceremonies held in the West Campus fitness center. An estimated total of 830 spring graduates were eligible to participate.

Dr. Milton O. Jones speaking at the First Baptist Church in Dade City, the location of the first PHCC commencement ceremony. The first graduation was held at the First Baptist Church in Dade City with 69 graduates. Four Associate in General Studies, seven Associate in Science, and 58 Associate in Arts degrees were awarded that May. In addition to celebrating commencement, the first graduating class witnessed the inauguration of PHCC’s founding president, Dr. Milton O. Jones. The traditional ceremony was held during commencement, and formally acknowledged Dr. Jones’ responsibility to lead the new college. In his welcome comments, Dr. Jones noted that the first graduation was a historic event in the life of the new College.

Dr. Robert W. Judson, Jr, PHCC’s second president, at the last outdoor commencement ceremony on West Campus in New Port Richey in May 2000. 28  Perspective

“It is our firm conviction that this college will occupy an increasingly important place in Florida higher education,” said Dr. Jones. “I hope you share the excitement of being part of the challenging and rewarding experience in developing a quality community college, serving the needs for education and opportunity for all of the citizens of our two-county district.”

PHCC President Dr. Katherine M. Johnson presides over the 2011 Spring Commencement ceremony at the West Campus Fitness Center in New Port Richey.

The Tao of Everest PHCC Performing Arts Center • 10230 Ridge Road • New Port Richey Friday • September 9, 2011 • 7:30 p.m.

Tickets $5 and $7 can be purchased at

Ian Woodall uses the power of emotional storytelling to bring the triumphs and tragedies of climbing Mt. Everest several times to the audience, showing how the insights gained on the mountain can enhance anyone’s personal inspiration and practical leadership skills.

For more information, call 727-816-3410, or contact

Tee off in support of Pasco-Hernando Community College students

Country Club Quarry Course Lecanto, FL Monday, October 31, 2011

10 a.m. scramble start

Foursomes and sponsorships available.

For additional information go to

Pasco-Hernando Community College 10230 Ridge Rd. New Port Richey, FL 34654-5199


Be Remembered in PHCC’s Performing Arts Center PHCC’s recently renovated Performing Arts Center now features new seats, carpeting and stage curtains. To celebrate our new look, the PHCC Foundation is offering opportunities to purchase engraved name plates for placement on seats in the Performing Arts Center. The polished brass plates may be engraved with the names of donors or the names of friends or family members. Certificates recognizing patrons will be mailed to you or your honoree with the row, seat number and chosen text included. Consider this unique opportunity to recognize, memorialize or honor a PHCC graduate or someone special for a tax deductible contribution of $100. For details, please visit, or call 727-816-3410.

PHCC Perspectives Magazine Summer 2011