Spring 2008 Student Awards 35mm Scans

I took these 70 photos on April 16, 2008 at the awards ceremony at the (then) Daytona Beach College gym, for my Photography I class, using Kodak PX125 B&W 35mm film.

I saved these negatives for the past three years, and finally bought a good scanner to scan them. Sorry for the dust spots.

There are a lot of photos of ex-president Kent Sharples, administrators, and faculty in this archive.

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Spotlight on Daytona State’s Accreditation

I logged onto class.daytonastate.edu to find this message:

Daytona State College recently was notified that the Southern Association of Colleges (SACS) is planning a site visit. The College believes that we will be able to address any issues or questions and do so without jeopardizing the College’s accreditation.

Michael Vitale
Interim VP of Academic Affairs
Daytona State College

Do you think Daytona State deserves to continue being accredited? Why or why not? Leave your feedback by commenting on this post. I particularly want to hear from people who have withdrawn, dropped out, transferred away from, or decided not to attend Daytona State.

In my opinion, Daytona State has a high market share that does not necessarily reflect upon its high quality, but rather, the fact that people are being paid to go to or to return to college. The IRS Earned Income Tax Credit applies from the ages of 19 to 24 if you are taking 12 credits in at least 5 calendar months of the year (one major semester), which can easily provide over $3000 to your parents from the federal government. The federal government also gives many students $2775 free money per semester for the Pell grant, and many students get the lottery scholarship, Florida BrightFutures, which is $924 per semester. The Daytona State Foundation provides scholarships of $800 per semester to many other students who apply, which are provided by local business magnates. Tuition and books typically cost under $2000 per semester, excluding ignorant students who use the bldg. 200 bookstore instead of ordering online from websites such as Amazon, Half, AbeBooks, and Bookbyte. The college also provides many work-study positions to students at $7.25 or $14.50 an hour which are often undeserved, because no solvent business would provide such jobs. Additionally, the college gets tens of millions of dollars from the state per year, and professors have cushy jobs in general.

Furthermore, most students who graduate from Daytona State College have a degree in worthlessness, unless they fundamentally changed their thought processes for the better, and/or went into a field that provides real value such as engineering, science, or psychology. This is not the college’s fault because students have free reign over their choice of majors, but it does show that Americans in general, and Floridians in particular, are lazy.

Daytona State’s graduation is below 30%, and our retention rate is barely 70%. If you are a student, ask yourself: why are you really going to college? If you answer any of the following, you should drop out now, unless you have children or a family to support.

* To get a high-paying job
* To socialize
* Scholarships and financial aid
* To meet women
* Because everyone says you should
* Work-study job
* Something to do
* Power
* To have something to occupy your time
* You were fired or laid off
* Low self-esteem
* To show the world you can succeed
* To prove a point
* To feel loved
* To feel a part of something greater than yourself
* To be a slave
* To text message in class
* To cause trouble
* Social norms
* Discount movie tickets
* To get a student checking account or credit card
* To attend plays for free
* To use the college darkrooms
* To use the piano labs
* Cheap food
* To further your political agenda

All of these reasons might sound good on paper, but they ultimately will not satiate you. Only a love of learning can get your through life, and in many ways, that is not what Daytona State provides.

If you are a professor, executive, or staff member at Daytona State, if you work there for any of these reasons, you should quit now, unless you have a family and big mortgage.

* Job security / tenure
* Easy work
* Stepping stone
* To force your students to buy your textbook
* To be a cog in the wheel
* To please your parents
* High income
* To further the status quo
* Power
* Sadism
* To foster dependent learners
* To boss people around
* To set up a fiefdom
* Because your parents told you so
* To have a title
* To posture instead of postulate
* For your ego

None of the above further the expansion of human knowledge in anyway. Only the joy of helping others become independent learners, capable of recognizing truth from falsehood, and motivated to explore the domain of life without becoming bitter or lazy, will lead you to true happiness.

Kent Sharples Ousted with $1.2 Million Severance Package

Kent Sharples and Bruce Cook, Spring 2008

In September 2010, Daytona State President Kent Sharples lent nearly $1.5 million to the Community Cultural Foundation for the “American Music Festival,” with approval of the previous Board of Trustees. The festival was a money-loser and the foundation owes hundreds of thousands of dollars to many local businesses in addition to the college, which has now cut ties with both the Foundation and Sharples, and the new board ousted Sharples.

Sharples’ attorney negotiated a $1.2 million severance package for the retiring president and he will also be receiving over $0.5 million in accrued benefits. This puts his entire package at six years salary at his current rate of $290,000.

In other news, Vice President Rand Spiwak is retiring in January and Frank Lombardo, Acdemics VP, is becoming the Interim President on Monday, Nov. 22, 2010. Sharples’ last day as president is Friday, Nov. 19.

READER COMMENT BY DONALD ON THE DAYTONA SUN:

“We lost a builder for education and a true force of growth in our community with Kent Sharples resignation from Daytona State College. When will we receive the resignation of Ms Hosseini and her blonde puppet, Ms Haas? Maybe the pocket stuffer of our former Governor…Mori Hosseini will text them with instructions!”

I think it’s disgraceful that Forough Hosseini has led this crusade against Sharples for no good reason, and to much negative publicity. If he remains president, he won’t be able to do anything anyway, since she basically owns the Board of Trustees. Under Sharples’ 11-year tenure, the college has seen unprecedented growth. I sincerely hope this growth continues under Lombardo and the future DSC president.

Sources:
2010-11-18: DAYTONA SUN: Sharples Out
2010-11-18: DAYTONA BEACH NEWS-JOURNAL: Sharples out as Daytona State president; $1.2 million buyout
2010-11-11: DAYTONA BEACH NEWS-JOURNAL: Daytona State financial head retiring
2010-02-22: DAYTONA BEACH NEWS-JOURNAL: Forough Hosseini quits as college board chairman

Revised at 10:00pm EST, Nov. 19, 2010.

College Trustees Fight Over Global Warming

Just got word of this article from the News-Journal. Daytona State College is working with the Rocky Mountain Institute to improve energy efficiency, but three of eight of the board members are against it because RMI supports global warming. The decision went through with a majority vote, and DSC will take $1500 from RMI and send three staffers there for training ($3000 cost).

The article notes about Peter Mallory, one of the board’s members:

He specifically quoted the institute’s mission statement, which says, in part: “There is now overwhelming evidence that human activities are changing the world’s climate.” …

Mallory suggested that sunspots might have more to do with global warming than human activity.

Daytona State president Kent Sharples steered clear of the whole thing by calling it a “pragmatic” issue for advancing the college. I think he’d be better off taking a side, but he probably didn’t want to be called a wuss:

After the vote, Mallory called the board members who opposed him “wusses.” Trustee John Graham, the board’s vice chairman, later said he didn’t like being called a wuss.

That’s got to be the funniest line I’ve read this month.

“He called me a wuss! I don’t like being called a wuss!”

Talk about journalism at it’s finest. 😎

Despite the wussiness, I support Mallory. There is no such thing as man-made global warming. As I wrote yesterday in Transcending Limiting Beliefs, environmentalism is the new shield of communism. The Earth is looking better than ever, and our carbon emissions are only 2% of nature’s volcano emissions. How dare we doubt her resilience? A warmer world would help us grow more crops, either way. 20 years ago we had orange groves around Daytona Beach, but now the hard freezes have pushed them south.

Daytona State should take a stand and stop this global warming nonsense in its tracks.

Are you against the News-Journal Center Acquisition?

I was reading some of the comments on Daytona State College’s buy-out of the News-Journal Center. These ones were the most biting:

If you are sick and tired of this topic and want to voice objection to the Daytona State take over of the N-J Center, contact your State Representative and State Senator to block Florida legislative approval. With the cut backs in state funding for public safety and education, the $700,000 of state funding can possibly be blocked. Daytona State does not need to assume responsibility for this project. They already have a fine facility. Show me another community college with a theatre the size of the N-J Center. If Daytona State wants to spend tax dollars, it would be better spent on campus in student related matters.

Sharples just doesnt want to be outdone by Bethune Cookman. His ego is ridiculous. The college could use that money in other areas of the college.

Let me get this straight. Tippen Davidson used company money to support this money losing endeavor, of which he only controlled 51% so his minority partner’s involuntarily paid for 49% of his generosity. And of the 51% that he did control I am sure he used his charitable donation tax deductions to reduce his tax bill thereby allowing tax payers to help foot the bill. Now a judge says the News Journal can’t do this anymore SOOOO the thearter decides to dump the whole thing on the nit wits that run Daytona Beach College and allow the state to foot the bill for this money pit and they gets to keep his company name on the building!! WHAT DEAL or BOONDOOGLE

I’ve been to the college’s theater at building 220 at the Daytona campus. It’s beautiful. Hundreds of seats, great acoustics, lighting, and layout. Does a “community college” need a huge theater? I agree with the first comment, in that I haven’t heard of any others with a theater as grandiose as the News-Journal’s.

We know Sharples wants to shed the community-college roots. All the press releases brag that the school is getting bigger, expanding, growing, becoming ever larger and more bureaucratic. Does that really benefit the students? Does moving the theater three miles from the campus benefit the students?

Sometimes I wonder. Leave me a comment and tell me: are you for the News-Journal Center acquisition, or the college’s continued expansion in general? Why or why not? There are plenty of good reasons from either side, but we’ll get a much better general opinion from blog comments than press releases.

Daytona Beach City Commission to Vote 2008 Sept. 3 on News-Journal Center Acquisition

An update on the News-Journal situation: it’s getting closer. Daytona State’s board of trustees has said yes to leasing the News-Journal theater center from the Lively Arts Center for one year.

The Lively Arts Center is giving $800,000 to the college, but I suppose the college will pay even more back. However, the state has to match this gift, so the college will get 1.6 million dollars. That should help a little.

The transfer is in fact mandated by a judge, because the Seaside Music Theater isn’t paying for the center anymore. The News-Journal won’t either, and the land is the city’s, so a profitable tenant must be found. Enter Daytona State College.

Kent Sharples (DSC president) says the state legislature needs to vote too, because they’ll be paying $700,000 per year toward the operating costs if the transfer goes through.

Clay Henderson of the Lively Arts Center’s board of directors said something interesting:

“We all are trying to keep everything going in the same way Tippen Davidson envisioned. Because that could not happen, this is the best way.”

Tippen Davidson was the News-Journal president till his death in 2007 January. He was the “driving force” behind the News-Journal Center, says the News-Journal. Apparently, he’d be rolling in his grave now, because Daytona State’s acquisition of his center is repugnant to his beautiful vision.

Either way, I’m excited that the college’s classes resume tomorrow at 8 A.M. My schedule: Calculus I 8-9 A.M., Speech 9-10, Physics I 10-11, and Biology 11-12. I wish my bag had wheels. The books are so heavy.

The Spring 2008 Awards

I was happy to cover photography for the college’s spring awards ceremony on April 16. Some of the highlights:

Kent Sharples hands out awards

Kent Sharples, the DSC president, preparing to hand out one of many awards.

DSC faculty applauds

An applauding faculty member in the audience.

The QUANTA gang

The QUANTA gang says hello. QUANTA is a community for a collection of core subjects at building 300 in the fall and spring at the college; it’s one of the premier learning communities in academia. I had a lot of fun studying and making friends their over the 2007-2008 year, and recommend it to any prospective students. Read my story here. A great book we traditionally read at the end of the spring semester is Seven Life Lessons of Chaos. Brilliant stuff; you won’t find this level of reflection and personal development in any normal class. Their motto is “don’t think either/or—think both and,” which is a welcome departure from the typical rigid mindset you find in the classroom.

It’s funny looking back, because Kent was so happy to announce that he knew the name Daytona Beach College was about to be approved, and already it’s Daytona State College.

I shot all these on black and white 35mm film, but am looking forward to shooting the next ceremony with my excellent Canon Rebel XTi and EF 50mm 1:1.4 lens. No one is camera-shy at the college, likely because of the prestigious photography presence. Unfortunately a lot of the photography department’s links are broken at the moment, but there’s some good info on that page.