Inaugural event at SPC honors women in the military
St. Petersburg College is reaching out this month to honor, inspire and assist women who have served in or have spouses in the military.
On Jan. 31, the college’s Veterans Services department will host an event at the St. Petersburg/Gibbs campus celebrating these women, including reservists, retired military and spouses and dependents of active duty or retired military personnel.
The keynote speaker is Carol Barkalow, an author and retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel who was one of the first female graduates of West Point in 1980.
Housed at the campus’ Music Center, event participants can meet with representatives of programs both at the college and from the community offering veterans services. Information will be available on topics ranging from claims to childcare.
The idea behind the event came from an effort to recognize and honor women who have served the country through the military, including students and female veterans in the community, said Annelies Williamson, student support specialist for Veterans Services at SPC. Organizers hope participants will come away with information they need about benefits and support services offered in the community as well as opportunities and assistance provided by the college.
“It’s bringing an awareness for our veterans that they’re not alone. We’re here to support them,” Williamson said.
The event is the first of its kind at SPC, Williamson said, and there are plans to hold similar events annually.
Barkalow will speak about “a passion for leadership.” In her book, “In the Men’s House,” she talks about what it was like to be part of the first group of women admitted to what had been an all-male domain at West Point for generations. She will be addressing the audience at 1 p.m.
There will be two other speakers during the event providing information for women connected to the military.
Food and music, provided by the college’s Music Industry Recording Arts program, also will be provided.
The free event runs from noon to 5 p.m. If you plan to attend, please complete this survey.
If you have any questions about the event, please call (727)341-4274. Follow the event on Twitter at #spcmilvent.
SPC is one of the top 20 veteran-friendly colleges in the country, according to the Military Times and Edge Magazine publications. Last year it ranked 15th nationwide among four-year colleges based on a survey looking at factors such as enrollment, academic support, veterans staff and the college’s per-credit-hour rate.