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Saint Paul College A Community & Technical College

Seventh Week of Fall Semester 2017

We all have been reeling this week in the wake of the horrible shooting that took place in Las Vegas, where so many lives were lost, even more were injured, and thousands more concert-goers were traumatized. We have all felt so grateful for those first responders and good Samaritans who reacted so quickly in treating and helping the wounded, and getting them to hospitals where medical personnel used every space possible to provide treatment. We often try to make sense of these acts of violence and the loss of innocent lives, but there are no answers that will suffice.

Sometimes it is hard to move forward when we feel such grief and sadness. What we all must do is revere life and live our lives to the fullest, so that we are all contributing to a better world. That’s the best way to honor those who have been struck down. We all matter, and everything we all do as a campus community – whether studying, teaching or helping our students – is important. Remember your journey and the mark you want to make in this world, and make every moment count.

Here’s a short recap of my week:

Meeting with a Community Leader - I met and hosted two community leaders who are passionate supporter of Saint Paul College and discussed philanthropy and Minnesota’s current and future economic and workforce trends.

President Rassoul Dastmozd

National Council of Marketing and Public Relations (NCMPR) - I travelled to Davenport, IA to receive the Pacesetter award from NCMPR District 5, on behalf of Saint Paul College. Saint Paul College also received Gold (website and outdoor campus banners), Silver (notecards), and Bronze (magazine and billboards) awards. Kudos to the Marketing & Communications department and IT webmasters for the well-deserved recognition. Our district encompasses the community, technical and junior colleges in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, the Canadian province of Manitoba, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

Open Meeting with College Community - To promote open and transparent communication, I held open office hours for faculty and staff to drop in. Our faculty and staff are an inspiration to me, and I am grateful for their dedication and commitment to our students and this college.

Germany Day of Unity Celebration - I attended the Germany Day of Unity Celebration at the Germanic American Institute in Saint Paul. This event was a wonderful networking opportunity to promote Saint Paul College brand recognition in our community.

The Saint Paul Foundation and Minnesota Foundation Community Impact Committee Meeting - I attended the Community Impact and Grants Committee meeting at Minnesota Philanthropy Partners where we approved the legislative policy agenda, as well as their community impact grant budget.

Vice President of China University of Technology Meeting - I along with department chair from our Culinary Arts program hosted the vice president of China University of Technology. Saint Paul College hosted students for a Culinary Arts Boot Camp this summer. Saint Paul College students and faculty will be travelling to China University of Technology in Taiwan. What a wonderful international travel opportunity for our faculty and students.

Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) - I served as a panelist at a national gathering of LISC. The Local Initiatives Support Corporation is one of the largest organizations supporting projects to revitalize communities and bring greater economic opportunity to residents. I along with three other community leaders discussed an increased focus on middle skills training programs or employer engagement, cross-sector partnerships and aligning workforce development and education systems may help unlock economic opportunity for all. The panelists were from four sectors— government, philanthropy, business and higher education. Our focus is on ways Minnesota is seeking to connect business growth and workforce training to create a “win-win” for businesses, individuals, and the community.

Dean of Institutional Effectiveness and Research Interviews - I took part in the interview process of searching for a new Dean of Institutional Effectiveness and Research.

Earth to Heaven: Focal Points in Meditation, North Gallery - I had the opportunity to attend an artist’s reception for a local artist’s debut of her work. I am proud of and inspired by our local artists.

Metro Alliance Presidents Meeting - I attended a Metro Alliance Presidents meeting at Anoka Technical College, where we discussed the alliance work plan for this year, comprised of Student Success, Sharing Core Services, and Metro Four Year Degree Completion.

In the News

MPR News reports that Minnesota has more job openings than unemployed people. They report that the positions with the most openings include personal care attendant and food preparation, which is good news for Saint Paul College students in the Nursing Assistant/Home Health Aide and Culinary Arts programs.

As I end this week’s blog, I am reminded of a quote by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, a post-trauma recovery specialist, author and poet:

"Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good. What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, and continuing. We know that it does not take everyone on Earth to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale.”

Our campus is blessed with a beautiful tapestry of humanity that makes Saint Paul College so unique. Let's continue to take care of each other, and appreciate our differences, as well as our common bonds, by promoting a safe and welcoming environment.

I wish you ALL a relaxing and safe weekend.

Best,
Rassoul Dastmozd, PhD
President/CEO
Saint Paul College

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