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Saint Leo 360 Podcast

Episode 40: Highlighting Saint Leo University's Tampa Education Center

Posted by Greg Lindberg on July 21, 2021
Episode 40: Highlighting Saint Leo University's Tampa Education Center

Download Episode 40 Transcript

Speaker 1:
Saint Leo 360, a 360-degree overview of the Saint Leo University community.

Greg Lindberg:
Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Saint Leo 360 podcast. This is your host here, Greg Lindberg. On this episode of the Saint Leo 360 podcast, we are speaking about the Tampa Education Center that Saint Leo University currently has. We actually have a new location as of 2020 for that center, so have a lot of great stuff to chat about in regards to the center and the location. To help us do that, I'd like to welcome Matt Lenihan. Matt is the assistant director of the Tampa Education Center. Matt, welcome to the podcast.

Matt Lenihan:
Greg, thank you so much for having me. It's a pleasure, super excited to talk about the Tampa Center.

Greg Lindberg:
Absolutely. This is a very exciting time for us. I know it's just so much more going on with the center and then so many great things to come as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic as well. So a lot of great stuff to get into here.

Matt Lenihan:
Absolutely. Let's dive in.

Greg Lindberg:
Sure thing. So first off, Matt, let's just talk about Tampa as a city in general and the Tampa Bay region.

Matt Lenihan:
Sure. Honestly, Greg, I've been in Tampa for about three years now and the growth I've seen, the best way I think I can describe it, the city of Tampa and then the greater Tampa Bay region, I mean, it's just dynamic and super exciting right now. I think with COVID obviously the challenges that came with that, getting out of it now and slowly getting back to normal, I think we're emerging stronger than ever. The economy is clicking. We have the diversities of industries. We have industries that are moving here. You have people moving here, just everyone excited about the city.

Matt Lenihan:
I mean, just for example, the first amount of industries that we have in Tampa, whether it be tourism, healthcare, finance, government, manufacturing. Tech is another big one. And then obviously we have the port of Tampa, which is just a huge asset to the city. For example, some of the companies that make home in Tampa Would be Gable, Mosaic, Raymond James, Bloomin' Brands, just to name a few. And with the Tampa Center being situated where it is, it's just a great opportunity for us to grow as a university.

Greg Lindberg:
No question. Very well said.

Matt Lenihan:
Right. And you know, honestly, the way I see Tampa, the business and industry leaders that I've spoken to here and around the city, they view Tampa as a great place to grow their business. There's access to a ton of talent. We have many universities, state colleges, community colleges in the area that they can access to grow their talent pipeline. We have an airport that has international access or international capabilities. And then obviously, the weather in Florida is awesome. The weather in Tampa is great. We have access to many beaches. And then obviously the favorable tax structure of Florida is appealing to businesses, and appealing to the population. There's no state income tax. You feel that in your paycheck to it, which is always great.

Greg Lindberg:
Definitely.

Matt Lenihan:
And then obviously, to lean into Tampa a little bit more, I think our diversity of the city, of the population, it's just an excellent asset for industries and growth. I was reading something- Tampa is home to individuals representing 130 different nationalities from 140 different countries. So again, that multi-lingual talent as well, I think is appealing to the companies who are growing in more of an international presence. Obviously in the global economy that we have now that's super important.

Matt Lenihan:
And then, something that I'm really excited about, and I think everybody's excited about is obviously the Lightning, how good they've been over the last few years or so. It's just such a well-run organization. They're hopefully going to be winning their second Stanley cup in a row, and this time they might be able to do it at home versus the bubble last year. Exactly. Right.

Matt Lenihan:
And obviously Tom Brady makes his home here. Now the Bucs are Super Bowl champions. I don't see any reason... They're bringing everybody back next year. I mean, they're going to be good again. The Rays kind of fly under the radar a little bit, but they're in first place. They were in the World Series last year. There's just so much cool stuff going on here, and I think the sports really brings the city together. And I was talking about the diverse backgrounds of people in Tampa. The one thing that kind of connects everybody besides the city itself is also the kind of things that everybody can pull forward together. And we definitely see that in Tampa.

Matt Lenihan:
I live in Tampa. I work in Tampa. I'm so excited about the city and the growth potential, and then obviously where we're situated in the Tampa Education Center here in terms of what we can do and the future that lies ahead for us.

Greg Lindberg:
Absolutely. Very well said.

Matt Lenihan:
Thanks.

Greg Lindberg:
So in terms of Saint Leo university's presence in Tampa, I know that we have had a presence for several years in Tampa, but we now have a new location. So if you could just talk a little bit about the history and then the reasons of relocating and then having this new center that we have.

Matt Lenihan:
Right. So obviously the Saint Leo University makes their home in Dade City for their university campus. However, the Tampa Education Center, we opened in Channelside District in Tampa in 2011. Channelside, if you've been through there, it's obviously grown quite a bit since 2011. So it wasn't totally like that when we first opened, but we did have a strong student presence that was geared more to the adult learner who was working full time. And university leadership at the time, I feel like they saw the vision and they saw the importance of having, one, a presence in Tampa, but also having an urban center that catered to more to that adult learner who might've been working full time, or had family obligations, and building more of a flexible schedule that kind of met them.

Matt Lenihan:
Dr. Senese, our president recently did a great interview in the Tampa Bay Business Journal regarding our recent move. A big selling point for the move was to have our own buildings. So right now where we're situated, we are in our own building. The building itself is bigger than our previous Channelside location, and it's really centric to downtown Tampa. So we have access and close proximity businesses and all the amenities of Tampa we're in close location to.

Matt Lenihan:
We actually moved in in fall of 2020. Obviously with COVID complications, it's been kind of a soft opening. But as we're gearing towards the next fall, we're really getting situated this summer and really building the foundation here to hit the ground running when we open the doors gradually this summer and then for fall 2021 for our students to come back, and then for us to have more community outreach and community gatherings here.

Greg Lindberg:
Right. Very exciting, very interesting insight. And I appreciate that.

Matt Lenihan:
Absolutely.

Greg Lindberg:
So in terms of the actual center itself, the location, parking. I know a lot of people who may not be familiar with the area. Let's talk about the location and the surrounding area.

Matt Lenihan:
So I briefly mentioned earlier, we're actually in an old renovated cigar factory. It's actually at the Berriman-Morgan Cigar Factory. We're located on 1403 North Howard Avenue. It's actually right off of 275, super easy access off the interstate. Our landmark is the tall water tower with the Saint Leo logo on it. It also has a nice big Buccaneers flag on there. So really, if you're driving down 275, you really can't miss it. As I kind of alluded to earlier, it's just a super convenient location that has access to the business district of Tampa, the airport, our museums, Busch Garden theme parks, and all the other amenities of Tampa.

Matt Lenihan:
There are actually a few high schools where our center is located. Blake High School, Jefferson High School, Plant High School. And actually a big part of our presence, we're starting to develop really solid relationships with those local schools, with the community colleges in the area... Hillsborough Community College is in the area as well... to help grow our programs and kind of utilize them as a pipeline to grow the Tampa Center.

Matt Lenihan:
Again, I can't say enough. The building itself is super neat. It's historic. There's actually a basement in the building, which is super unique for Florida. You know, that's rare. We can talk about this a little bit further as we dive in a little bit deeper. I totally encourage you to come by for a tour. I'd love to show everybody around. It's really a neat building and it's really historic. It has a lot of cool kind of nooks and crannies to it that are kind of unique for Florida.

Greg Lindberg:
Absolutely. No question.

Matt Lenihan:
Yes. Like I said, it's a former cigar factory. Definitely. I encourage all our listeners on the 360 Podcast, definitely to come by if you can. It's really just a beautiful building. Especially with the COVID restrictions easing a bit, we have more and more people coming through and our doors are open now. I know Saint Leo released their new COVID-19 protocols yesterday, which pretty much allow us to have events here of less than 50 people. So that is something that I can't wait to do. I've been chomping at the bit to be able to host people here to show off our center.

Matt Lenihan:
Just to circle back a little bit, right? The history of Florida, or specifically the history of Tampa, was huge with cigars. In the early 1900s there were dozens and hundreds of cigar factories in this area, and our current building was actually home to one of the most successful cigar factories or cigar companies in Tampa.

Matt Lenihan:
The building itself built in 1903. It was founded by two brothers, the Berriman brothers, Matthew and Edward. Obviously it was famous for their prominent water tower that still situates over 275 today. And then just a little brief history. In 1910, they sold the business to the Morgan Cigar Factory and they ran this building up until the 1960s. So it was producing cigars from basically 1900 on until 1960.

Matt Lenihan:
Then it was a few different things from the '60s on. However, in 2004, actually the city of Tampa designated it as a historic landmark, which is pretty cool. And I think Saint Leo being here now on the rich history that we have as university, the oldest Catholic university in Florida, I think it's kind of fitting that we're in such an historic building ourselves.

Matt Lenihan:
There is a website on our page that I definitely encourage our listeners to check out. You can learn about more about the history of this specific building, the timeline of the building and how it came to be what it is today. And what it is today is the super great Tampa Education Center. You know, the reason for the move, obviously Channelside, the rent's increasing, but we did want more space.

Matt Lenihan:
So currently we're sitting on 32,000 square feet, five classrooms, interactive classrooms. Kind of a positive of COVID, we were able to situate all of our classrooms with a pretty cool Zoom capability so that they have all the bells and whistles, multiple cameras. We have labs, meeting spaces, offices, conference rooms, you name it. So everything that you would need as the center of a university is located here.

Matt Lenihan:
And then as you alluded to earlier, and most importantly, what was a giant pain in the neck in Channelside, and I'll say it as well, there's ample parking here. There no issue with parking. There's plenty of parking spaces. We have multiple lots, multiple ways to park here. So again, you'll never be without a parking space when you're coming to the Tampa Center. I know that's super important to everybody. It's super important to me. So I'm glad to say that the Tampa Education Center has plenty of parking spaces.

Greg Lindberg:
Absolutely. No question. Just briefly going back to the history, I mean, the Saint Leo University or Saint Leo College at the time campus opened in 1889. And then you look at 1903, what? - 14 years later for this building. So really just the whole connection is just really fascinating there.

Matt Lenihan:
Yeah, exactly. And you know, anyone who's looked into the history of Tampa, obviously a huge foundation of it is in the cigar industry. And I think it's a really cool differentiating factor for the Tampa Center to be able to be in such an historic building that's renovated to fit our students' needs.

Greg Lindberg:
Absolutely. For sure. In terms of degree programs, let's talk academics here. What kind of degree programs that we actually offer at the center, and then in terms of schedules? I would imagine adult learners, our primary students that go there predominantly, ones who work, say, during the day, have families. So let's talk a little bit about that.

Matt Lenihan:
Yeah, absolutely. So at the Tampa Center, we offer both undergraduate and graduate degrees. Business, criminal justice, social work, elementary education, computer information systems, accounting. And then there are specifics as we get into the degrees a little bit with the program specifications and whatnot. But there's a multitude of degree offerings here that we offer at the Tampa Center, both to undergraduate students and graduate students.

Matt Lenihan:
I encourage our listeners to navigate our Tampa Education Center page if you want to learn more about the degree requirements or some of the courses that are involved in the overarching degree plans that you'd be taking. Or obviously, I'm a pretty good resource. Anyone who wants to call or email me at any time, feel free to reach out to anyone on our team or myself to learn more about our programs. I'd be happy to walk you through our application process, or questions you might have, or career opportunities post-graduation. Those are the types of things that we love to help our students out with.

Matt Lenihan:
But the way our programs work. We are on a term-based schedule. So we have six terms over the course of the year. It's broken down into fall one, fall two, spring one, spring two, and then summer one, summer two. The courses are over eight weeks. So typically a full-time undergraduate student would be taking two classes per each term over eight weeks. And then a full-time graduate student would be taking one class over eight weeks. And again, the students here have all the same access to resources that university campus students have, whether it be advising, financial services, career services, tutoring, ADA services, et cetera. So again, we can connect our students with all of those cool amenities that Saint Leo offers.

Matt Lenihan:
But again, I can't stress enough that if you want to learn more about the specifics of our degree programs and how the programs are kind of situated, just reach out to me, and I can certainly walk you through that. And then also, an important thing to touch on is like you had mentioned earlier, our students are typically the adult learner.

Matt Lenihan:
So what does that mean? Typically, our students, they have full-time jobs, families. They're juggling a lot of different things at once. So again, we need to build a flexible schedule that caters to that, and I really feel we do an excellent job servicing our adult learners, where they feel like they can balance. You know, it's super difficult. I have a ton of respect for people that can manage it because it's not easy coming here at night while you've worked a full day, to be in a classroom space and be engaged and be alert, and walk out of here learning something while you know you have something going on at home, or work's been tough.

Matt Lenihan:
But again, I really feel like the Saint Leo Tampa team, especially, does a great job helping them navigate any barriers or challenges our students might face. Because again, me specifically, I went back to school as an adult. I kind of know some of the challenges that they're seeing. So again, being accommodating, being empathetic to their needs. That's what really differentiates us as a center. In my time here, I've really just seen us go above and beyond for our students. We love seeing them succeed because we know how much they're dealing with and what that support needs to look like in order for them to finish what they started.

Matt Lenihan:
But yeah. So in addition to our academic programs that we have here, Greg, we actually do have some partnerships with corporations in the area. So not only are we just working with students directly, but we're also working with the companies that some of our students work for. So for example, my role and responsibilities along with some of the other team members here is to go out and create partnerships or create relationships with the industries that I spoke to earlier in the podcast and kind of put together an agreement, and put an agreement in place between us and the individual corporation that kind of outlines some benefits that they would receive if they are willing to engage in the partnership with Saint Leo. One being a 10% tuition discount for all companies that decide to become a partner with the Saint Leo Tampa Education Center.

Matt Lenihan:
It's a super way to get engaged, and really it's a nice incentive for their employees to go back to school if they're looking at a promotion but they need that MBA to kind of move up the work chart a little bit. There's kind of your maybe pick a little bit to come back to school. I've seen a lot of people come back that are part of our partnership programs. They hear about Saint Leo from their coworkers. "Hey, I went to the Tampa Center. I was able to do my MBA in two years. I think you should take advantage of this." It just creates a cool environment where people are telling one another. You've gotten referrals.

Matt Lenihan:
And then the more partnerships that we have, especially with our new center, I feel like the more we can grow. So that's another super exciting aspect of being in the center here. It's giving us a new opportunity to engage with our current partners, but also seek out new partners. I encourage all of our listeners, if you are part of your company, maybe mentioned it to your team or your human resources department, that we do offer stuff like this, and to feel free to reach out to me, and I'd love to talk to you a little bit more in terms of that process, becoming a preferred provider Saint Leo.

Matt Lenihan:
Some of the current partners we have right now, Greg. We work closely with Daycare, Tampa General Hospital, Mettler- Toledo, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Department. So we see an influx of students coming from those organizations in our programs, both undergrad and graduate degrees. That's really cool to see, because again, they're coming here because they care about their career and they're trying to improve themselves, and we're just along to help them get where they want to be.

Greg Lindberg:
Definitely. Yeah. Those are some big names and obviously large organizations, so that's fantastic that we have such close relationships and partnerships with them.

Matt Lenihan:
Exactly, exactly. And then just to add on that a little bit more, Saint Leo, I know a little about the Center for Alternative Pathways. We've been working closely with them. The acronym is CAP. We've been working closely with them to develop short-term training and certificate programs here at the center, which I really feel aligns with an urban center, where we can then create opportunities for our partners or individual students to get a short term certification, whether it be leadership, communication, et cetera, where they can improve their resume by coming here for a short term credential. That isn't the same type of commitment as a full degree plan, but again, it still gives them a competitive advantage within their organization. Or if they're looking or seeking a new position, et cetera, these are really cool ways to stay engaged with our community and just give them resources that they're asking for, or what our companies are looking for in the area to help build their workforce and help build the talent pipeline.

Matt Lenihan:
Just as an example, I know the CAP's program offers a grantsmanship program, and in Tampa alone, there are so many agencies and non-profit organizations that need grant writers. Grants are what keep them afloat, and having that skill to write a compelling grant is just invaluable. The fact that we can offer something like that, I feel like really gives us a super compelling resource for nonprofit and agencies within the Tampa community.

Greg Lindberg:
In terms of the faculty who teach in the degree programs at the Tampa Education Center, let's talk about the faculty and their backgrounds, and just kind of what they bring to the table.

Matt Lenihan:
Sure. I would say one of our biggest strengths is our faculty. A great thing about working at the center is you develop relationships with them, just like our students do. All of them are experts in their respective fields, and they have the unbelievable talent to teach others, to resonate with others, use real world examples to help connect with their students. They're totally committed to student success and seeing our students succeed post-graduation. Most of them stay in contact with our students after they actually leave Saint Leo, which you know is a meaningful relationship when that's happening.

Matt Lenihan:
Just to talk a little bit about our wonderful faculty, Dr. Christine Peacock heads up our elementary education program here at the Tampa Center. She's working closely with the Hillsborough County School District for our paraprofessional program, which is a great program that guarantees students placement as a teacher in the district upon graduation.

Matt Lenihan:
Dr. Debra Thrower heads up our social work program here. She has wonderful relationships with many agencies in the area. The social work program in its final semester offers an internship program, so those relationships in the Tampa community are crucial to placing our students. She's done such a wonderful job of keeping those relationships strong and afloat so our students know that they have somewhere to go within their degree plan. And then post-graduation, it gives them an opportunity to build relationships and potentially work there as a full-time social worker.

Matt Lenihan:
Dr. Bobby Sullivan, he's our head criminal justice instructor here. I can't say enough about him in terms of the student feedback that we get. They love his classes, love kind of his stories throughout his career. He has wonderful relationships with the local Tampa police and also the Hillsborough County sheriff. I know he brings in a lot of guest speakers who are former, or people that he knows just working in the criminal justice field. And what an important topic that is now. I really think that program itself with some of the current event topics that we've had over the course of the last couple of years, that really resonates with our criminal justice. Really able to do a nice job of building that program.

Matt Lenihan:
And then also Dr. C'Lant Ho heads up our accounting program here at the Tampa Center. I know he has relationships with all the accounting firms in Tampa, and there's quite a few. He does a really nice job with our students as well. Accounting, he's an expert in that. I mean, he tries to recruit me in the accounting program so I know he's always pushing the accounting program and the students just give wonderful feedback about him.

Matt Lenihan:
With the announcement of returning to full on ground classes in the fall, it's going to be great to see our instructors here every day with the students and kind of get back to that environment that we're used to.

Greg Lindberg:
Definitely. And it's really great to hear that these professors, they're not just teaching in a classroom. They have such relevant, current connections within their fields, within their industries, that just benefits students in so many different ways.

Matt Lenihan:
Yeah. And you know, us as a staff, we communicate with them frequently in terms of what we're hearing from what we're from going out to the field, maybe with industries in terms of building curriculum. And again, they do it. They've done a wonderful job of working with the departments within Saint Leo to make sure that the curriculum is relevant, compelling, and students are leaving here with a credential that has real world application. I can tell you at the Tampa Center and as a university, we're doing an excellent job of making sure that that's happening.

Greg Lindberg:
In terms of the staff that work there. I know we have many staff that also supports students there, correct?

Matt Lenihan:
Correct. So, yeah, I'm the assistant director at the center. So just a little bit about my role, is I work directly with the students, both undergrad and graduate, and helping them along their degree plans. I do outreach for centers, as I spoke about earlier, with our corporate partnerships. I work the operational duties of the center, classroom space instructors, et cetera. So that's a little bit about my role.

Matt Lenihan:
But we do have an unbelievable team here. Rod Kirkwood is our director. He's been with the university about three years now, and he's a wonderful resource for us. He's involved with the students as well. I think kind of an important point is we're all involved with the students because that's how we succeed us in university.

Matt Lenihan:
You know, Louis Reyna is our associate director at the MacDill Air Force Base. So we do have a couple of students that do attend there. Manuel Richardson is our student advisor there. At the Tampa Center, Angela Candela is our academic advisor. She's wonderful. She's sits in the second office as you walk in here. She's super interactive with our students. Allie Rincon is our new administrative assistant. So if you call the center, she's probably going to be the one that you're speaking with.

Matt Lenihan:
And then also Sasha Bergstrasser, who's now working remotely, but she's our VA certifying official. We do work with a lot of veterans at Saint Leo University, specifically the Tampa Center. So we do have that resource on staff to help you navigate your benefits as a veteran. She's wonderful at working with them in terms of helping them receive everything that they're entitled to.

Greg Lindberg:
Right. Wow. That's quite a group. And I know they do just amazing work. Like you said, it's not just titles. I mean, you guys are really hands on the ground with the students as well.

Matt Lenihan:
Exactly. And the way we look at it is we're all kind of enrollment, we're all advisors, and we're all here for student success. So we're all trying to grow the university. We're all trying to retain students and make sure that we're giving them the best support that they need, and then ultimately working them through graduation. We're kind of a one-stop shop for all of our students in a lot of different ways. We're all utility players in that sense that we're all willing to do what's necessary in terms of making the center as successful as it can be. And I encourage everyone to visit here and just kind of take a look at for yourself. I think you'll feel at home here. It's a really cool environment. It's all about student success.

Greg Lindberg:
I do know that you did mention the MacDill Air Force base presence that Saint Leo also has. Let's talk a little bit about that here, Matt.

Matt Lenihan:
Sure. Yeah. So Saint Leo has a rich history of working with veterans, specifically in Tampa and another great asset of the Tampa Education Center is we do have a center at the MacDill Air Force base as well.

Matt Lenihan:
Just a little about that center. Louis Reyna is our associate director at the MacDill Air Force Base, and Angela Richardson is the student advisor there. So similar to the support staff at the Tampa Center, they are working directly with students that are taking courses there. The cool thing about the MacDill Air Force Base Center is if you are a Tampa Center student and you do have base access, you can take classes there as well. So if there's a course that's on the schedule at MacDill, but not at Tampa, feel free to utilize that and connect with Louis.

Matt Lenihan:
He's going to help you just as any Tampa advisor would help you as well. He's a great resource. He's a Marine himself, has a strong military background, and he loves working with veterans. I mean, we all love working with our veterans. They are such an important part of the fabric here at Saint Leo, but I think it's important to mention that we do have a presence there and if you need to have any other questions regarding that, feel free to reach out to myself or Louis.

Greg Lindberg:
Sure. Excellent. I appreciate you mentioning that. As far as events go, I know we've talked about the university opening up, and people are just so excited to really get out there again in person, face-to-face. I think we're all really looking forward to doing more and more as time goes on, and knock on wood, we'll be fully past this pandemic at some point. But let's talk about some of the events that we've had at the center, and perhaps that we're looking forward to having.

Matt Lenihan:
Yeah. We can't wait enough to have people coming through this door, and sanctioned events. Obviously 2020 was a unique year in a sense. It kind of rolled a little bit into 2021. But as we get closer and closer to the vaccination rate where it needs to be, we are raring to go, to hold all sorts of events here and open the doors to the Tampa Bay community.

Matt Lenihan:
What I look forward to in the fall, especially, is I think we'll see things slowly returning back to normal. We'll be having guest speakers here, round tables regarding specific current events, or things that are pertinent to the Tampa Bay community.

Matt Lenihan:
Our micro-credential programs that I spoke about earlier, opening the doors to our many chamber organizations in the area, our economic development agencies, having them utilize the space for meetings and get-togethers and community events, whatever we can be. We want to be an all-purpose center to Tampa Bay, where they feel at home and welcome to utilize the space in how they feel they might be able to benefit themselves, the Tampa Bay community, and also benefit the students at Saint Leo. That's really what we're looking to be, just an urban center that has everything, as most as we can be to everybody outside of serving our students.

Matt Lenihan:
We want as many people to walk through the doors as we can. We want to build awareness of our center. We want to spread the word about how great Saint Leo University is, and how great our center is, how great the students here. And what better way to do that than by holding an array of different events here? So I myself, I can't tell you enough how excited I am to be able to get those going again. We look forward as a team to rolling out as many events as we can in the fall.

Greg Lindberg:
Definitely. Yeah. And I know it's so exciting. Of course, the degree programs are the main focus there, but having those outside events, outside of kind of the traditional class environment, I mean, they just add so much to everything. And so before we wrap up here, let's just kind of summarize for the listeners, the biggest benefits of attending the Tampa Education Center within Saint Leo University.

Matt Lenihan:
Sure. I mean, I'm biased, but I will say our team here is awesome. Just the individualized attention that you receive as a student, the personalized advising that you'll receive as a student here, the ongoing support that's given, the student to faculty ratio. We have classes that don't exceed 20 students, so you know our instructors will be engaged.

Matt Lenihan:
There's just the numerous degree options, flexible scheduling. Our classes are at night to work around people's work schedules, family schedules. You can also take online classes with us too, so you can kind of situate your schedule and what's the best fit for you as a student. And then the center itself is in a great section of Tampa. We are in the midst of downtown here, plenty of access, plenty of parking. It's really just a great environment to learn and grow. But just in terms of our podcast listeners, how I'd like to leave is the best reason for you to choose the Tampa Education Center really in my opinion is you'll be working alongside professionals who really just want to see you succeed. We want to see you do well. We're always available to help. We're here to guide you along the way. We're here to be a resource for you, and we're here to support you in whatever you want to do post-graduation as well.

Matt Lenihan:
All I can stress is communicate with your advisors, communicate with your staff here as a student. We want to help. We want to see you do well. We're super excited about being in Tampa. We're super excited about engaging the Tampa community. We're just here to help you along the way, get you where it is you want to be, and help you finish what you started.

Greg Lindberg:
Excellent. Very well said. And then if a prospective student is interested in contacting the center, if you want to just recap how they can get in touch with you guys there.

Matt Lenihan:
Sure. So I encourage you to email me. My email address is matthew.lenahan@saintleo.edu. My direct line is 813-226-2778. If you are in the area, stop in, the doors were open. I'd love to show you around and give you a tour. If you're interested in the corporate partnership, give me a call, shoot me an email. I'd love to talk to you a little bit more about that as well.

Matt Lenihan:
We're a resource to the community, and it's been a pleasure talking to you. I hope this helps you learn more about Saint Leo. Like I said, we are open. Feel free to come by. We look forward to meeting you, and we're super excited to be in the Tampa Education Center, the Berriman-Morgan Cigar Factory. So thanks again, Greg. This has been super, super fun.

Greg Lindberg:
Absolutely. Yep. And I did want to mention, I will include links to all the information that we've talked about in terms of the website, the phone numbers, email addresses in the show notes for this episode so everyone can easily access those as well.

Matt Lenihan:
Great. I appreciate it, and if there's anything I missed or if you have any questions, feel free to reach out.

Greg Lindberg:
Absolutely. All right. Again, we've been speaking with Matt Lenihan, assistant director of the Tampa Education Center. Really appreciate the time and insight, Matt. Thank you so much.

Matt Lenihan:
You're welcome Greg. Thanks so much for having me. It's a pleasure.

Speaker 1:
To hear more episodes of the Saint Leo 360 podcast, visit saintleo.edu/podcast. To learn more about Saint Leo's programs and services, call 877-622-2009, or visit saintleo.edu.

Episode Summary

In this episode of the Saint Leo 360 podcast, we feature a discussion on Saint Leo University’s new and exciting location for its Tampa Education Center with Matt Lenihan, the assistant director of the center. He talked about:

  • The Tampa Bay region and everything it has to offer
  • The history of Saint Leo University in the downtown Tampa area
  • The new location of the center, parking, and the surrounding area
  • The unique history of the current building going back over 100 years
  • An overview of the degree programs offered at the center and flexible scheduling options for courses to meet the needs of all learners
  • The demographics of the student population who attend the center
  • An overview of the faculty and staff at the Tampa Education Center and everything they do to help students be successful in their degree programs
  • Types of unique events the center plans to host in the near future to engage with community partners
  • The biggest benefits of attending the center
  • How to contact the Tampa Education Center

Links & Resources

Learn more about Saint Leo University’s Tampa Education Center.

Since this recording, Matt Lenihan has transferred to a new role within the university. Please contact Rod Kirkwood, the director of the center, at rod.kirkwood@saintleo.edu.

Check out the historical archive of the Tampa Education Center building, long known as the Berriman-Morgan Cigar Factory.

pursue education degree

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