SOUTHWEST FLORIDA COLLEGE IS SEEN AROUND THE WORLD: Southwest Florida College’s students, faculty and staff stay in touch with their men in Iraq

Fort Myers, Estero, Port Charlotte and Tampa: (February 23, 2009) – Southwest Florida College adopted Red Platoon Alpha Battery of the I-77th Field Artillery in January as a way to demonstrate support to all men and women serving in Iraq. As a result, the college’s familiar blue T-shirts, emblazoned “XXL Property of Southwest Florida College,” have been spotted on the makeshift gridirons and playing fields of Red Platoon Alpha Battery in Iraq.

Since January the students, faculty and staff of Southwest Florida College have supplied the men with monthly “care packages” of DVDs, magazines, playing cards, homemade cookies, sunscreen, personal-care products – and of course, Southwest Florida College T-shirts.

“Our boys were ecstatic to receive the shirts and wear them during physical training,” said Executive Vice President of Southwest Florida College, Dr. Stephen Calabro, who speaks to the men regularly via email.

“The men wear their Southwest Florida College T-shirts as a way to distinguish them from other soldiers when they play flag football. There were a few extras in the box and those were given to their Iraqi interpreter and a couple of Iraqi kids to wear in town,” he said.

Southwest Florida College adopted Red Platoon Alpha Battery with a goal of boosting the men’s spirits and letting them know they are making a difference.

The Business Club and Allied Health Club of SWFC have been hosting fundraisers to supply the men with a Wii game console. In conjunction with fulfilling that wish list, the club is actively seeking donations of Wii games and accessories, new or used. “Donations of any working Wii components are greatly appreciated,” Calabro said.

Red Platoon Alpha Battery of the I-77th Field Artillery consists of 16 front line combat soldiers and include: Platoon Leader, 1st Lieutenant William “Brooks” Allen, 25; Sergeant Nathan Allen, 28 of PA; Sergeant First Class James Crawford; Staff Sergeant John Englund, 27 of IL; Private Thomas Evans, 21 of AK; Private First Class John Ferguson, 29 of GA; Private First Class Steven Fornicola, 25 of VA; Sergeant Aaron Garcia, 25 of CA; Private Brian Huckeba, 21 of GA; Private First Class Kevin Miles; Specialist Richard Morris, 27; Specialist Alexander Ortega, 21 of CA; Specialist Brandon Patterson, 24 of MI; Private First Class Cody Penning, 24 of MI; Specialist Wesley Suer, 32 of MI; and Sergeant Ryan Swann, 30 of CA.

“Knowing that a college wants to sponsor them has been a tremendous morale lift to the men,” said Dr. Calabro.

The College invites anyone who would like to donate game cartridges, new or used, to do so by sending them to the Fort Myers campus, attention to ‘Adopt-A-Platoon’ at 1685 Medical Lane, Fort Myers, FL 33907.

“As we learn more about the men, we will share that with the college community,” said Dr. Calabro. “They are exposed to a combat environment each and every day and most of the men are under the age of 23 – it’s a lonely and frightening experience but you’ll never hear them complain.”

In his e-mail to Dr. Calabro, 1st Lt. Allen wrote: “The platoon is very happy, not so much because they are being adopted, but because they know that people care and that they have someone that they can talk to from home.”

For more information about SWFC and to learn ways you can help support the platoon, call 239-939-4766 and ask for Teresa Beckta, Human Resources Director. You can also visit the College at www.swfc.edu.

Southwest Florida College is a private, accredited senior college that has been providing post secondary education to Floridians since 1974. Its mission is providing the education that enables its graduates to pursue successful careers and lead enriched lives. For more information, call toll free 888-526-7973 or visit www.swfc.edu.


Fort Myers, Fla., (March 10, 2009) – Tough times call for tough measures. Find the hidden job market, put a polish on your resume, and take a crash course in self-marketing from one of the leading out-placement companies in the nation.

Southwest Florida College in conjunction with Resource Innovations of Fort Myers have assembled a free, day-long workshop and seminar series to help students, graduates and every member of the community translate their talents and experience into a presentation that will make potential employers take notice.

The “Job Seekers Boot Camp” will be held on Tuesday, March 31 at the Southwest Florida College Fort Myers campus, located at 1685 Medical Lane, Fort Myers, Fla., 33907. Registration will begin at 8 AM and the last workshop will end promptly at 4 PM.

Boot Camp participants will learn insider strategies for networking and master tips and tricks for getting in on the ground floor when competition is stiff. On-going workshops will be held throughout the day that discuss topics such as assessing your workplace skills, resume development, job search basics, finding the “hidden job market,” how to market yourself, and successful interviewing.

Southwest Florida College is a private, nonprofit institution and has been a member of the local community for over 30 years. Its mission is to provide an education that enables individuals to pursue successful careers and lead enriched lives.

Resource Innovations is a human resources consulting firm that has been providing a comprehensive portfolio of people-related solutions to premier employers in the Southwest Florida market for nearly two decades.
Space is limited. Please email bootcamp@swfc.edu now to reserve your place. For more information call Taylor at 239-939-4766.

Southwest Florida College is an accredited, private institution centrally located in Fort Myers, Tampa, Port Charlotte and the Institute of Interior Design located within the Miromar Design Center in Estero. Visit http://www.swfc.edu/ for more information.