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Presidents Blog

The First Week of Spring Semester (1/13/2017)

We welcomed students back to campus this week with the start of a new semester. Along with them, we welcomed some of the coldest days of winter yet. While it may be cold outside, there are warm, caring, and welcoming hearts inside the walls at Saint Paul College.

I marvel at the capacity and tenacity of our staff and faculty who go the extra mile to make sure the educational needs of our students are met – inside and outside the classroom. We are so grateful to our students for selecting Saint Paul College!

My week at a Glance

College Readiness Academy Meeting – The Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs, Vice President of Student Affairs, and I met with the Executive Director of the International Institute of Minnesota to discuss our assessment of College Readiness Academy (CRA). CRA has proven success in pre-college tutoring and Saint Paul College was recently awarded the Innovative Partnering and Collaboration Award for this program by Minnesota State for producing strong community partnerships. In collaboration with the International Institute of Minnesota, Neighborhood House, the Hubbs Center, St. Paul Community Literacy Consortium, and MSPWin, CRA provides college preparation to New Americans and other individuals who would like to begin college-level classes but are not yet college-ready.

3M Foundation Meeting - A team from Saint Paul College and I met with the 3M Foundation to discuss how we can create accessible and affordable pathways for diverse students in STEM and the trades. 3M is an intentional partner and supporter of Saint Paul College.

Generation Next – I attended a Generation Next board retreat meeting where we discussed academics as well as career and college readiness strategies. Saint Paul College is an intentional partner of Generation Next, who helped build the College’s Gateway to College Program.

Minnesota State College Student Association Meeting – Chancellor Rosenstone and I met with Minnesota State College Student Association (MSCSA) students during their monthly meeting. Ongoing dialogue with students is paramount to our success as an institution and the Minnesota State system. We discussed MSCSA’s legislative priorities, as well as equity and inclusion.

Pancake, Ice cream Social, and Pizza Party – To welcome our students back for spring semester, administrators, staff, and I hosted a pancake breakfast, ice cream social, and pizza party. We enjoy these informal events where we get a chance to talk with our students and get to know them even better.

Doctoral Student Interview – I was interviewed by a student who is pursuing their doctorate degree in education. It is a pleasure to see so many of our students pursue their goals. As writer and futurist, Alvin Toffler said, “the illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”

Third Annual St. Paul Development Summit – I attended the Third Annual St. Paul Development Summit where presenters and panelists discussed St. Paul real estate and site planning for the city. I was lucky enough to be seated next to a Saint Paul College alumnus who graduated from our cabinetmaking program. This individual is now a successful Real Estate Developer. It reminds me of how Saint Paul College has touched the lives of so many people throughout the years. I am proud of our current students and our alumni.

Weekly Legislative WebEx – I attended the weekly Minnesota State College and Universities Legislative WebEx conference call where we discussed the latest developments at the capital and Minnesota State’s legislative priorities.

I am blessed to have the honor to work with many talented and dedicated people at Saint Paul College who not only make me a better person, but also a better leader. Together, we serve our students and our community.

I leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Martin Luther King, Jr., “I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

Reminder: Saint Paul College will be closed on Monday, January 16, 2017 in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

My best,
Rassoul Dastmozd

blogpictures11317.jpgSaint Paul College Welcome Week Ice Cream Social

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