Eighteenth Week of Spring Semester
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Saint Paul College A Community & Technical College

Eighteenth Week of Spring Semester
practical nursing students​​

Spring semester will end soon. Our students are busy taking their finals. And some are involved with their registering for summer and fall terms. Next week, we will celebrate a special occasion of student success: the Graduatio​n Commencement Ceremony. Our college community of faculty, staff, and administrators work very ​hard to provide support to our students so they can achieve their intended goals in their program of study.

I am grateful to you for all you do each and every day. Through your encouragement, commitment, caring attitude, and dedication, our students will have positive transformative and life changing experiences and memories. Undoubtedly, they will cherish and remember their Saint Paul College experiences throughout their lives.

Here’s a short recap of my activities this week:

Generation Next - I attended the Generation Next Board meeting where we discussed literacy, reading, math, career and college readiness strategies. GenNext will partner with Saint Paul College and apply for a Lumina grant opportunity.

Minneapolis Saint Paul Regional Workforce Investment Network (MSPWIN) – I attended a MSPWIN Steering Committee meeting to discuss legislative priorities, policy, workforce issues facing the Metro area and surrounding communities, WOIA Governance Committee, and National Workforce Initiative.

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

Neighborhood House Board Finance Committee Meeting – I attended a Neighborhood House Board Finance Committee at Neighborhood House, an intentional partner of Saint Paul College.

CyberWatch West National Science Foundation ATE - I had a phone conference with principal investigators at National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education CyberWatch West Center, which is the only ATE western regional center for cybersecurity. The primary initiatives are student development, curriculum development/revision/ dissemination, faculty development, and outreach/partnership development.

Meeting with an Employer – I met with an employer whose company provides employment opportunities for individuals with limited mobility and disability. We discussed how our students can assist as coaches and mentors for the individuals whom his company places with the employers.

President’s Advisory Council - members of our executive leadership team and I met with the President’s Advisory Council to discuss our Strategic Plan, strategic priorities, 2018 fiscal year budget, enrollment, pathway advising model, IT initiatives, joint meeting initiatives with the Friends of Saint Paul College foundation, as well as the hiring of new employees.

Interfaith Action of Greater St. Paul Annual Assembly - I gave the welcome and attended the Annual Assembly of Interfaith Action of Greater Saint Paul, which was held at the College. An intentional partner of the College, they are committed to building a more just, safe and livable East Metro by addressing the causes and relieving the effects of poverty. They played a video of Saint Paul College students they had interviewed, who shared their experiences about their training and education here. Mr. Peter Edelman, formerly of Minnesota and now a Georgetown University Law Center professor and a legal scholar, gave a remarkable talk about economic prosperity and mobility, and the role of education and policy in eradicating poverty.

Minnesota State College Student Association Meeting – Chancellor Rosenstone and I met with the Minnesota State College Student Association (MSCSA) this week to discuss various initiatives (tuition, IT infrastructure, and guided pathways) at our two-year colleges throughout the state.

Practical Nursing Pinning Ceremony - I attended the Saint Paul College Practical Nursing program pinning ceremony. What a wonderful experience to witness almost 80 practical nursing graduates get “pinned” by family members and friends with the special Saint Paul College nursing pin. These ceremonies are a very significant occasion as all in attendance can celebrate the students’ accomplishments as they acknowledge the love and support they receive from family and friends.

Race: Are We So Different? – Since the College has implemented a new Equity and Inclusion plan, members of our administrative team and I visited the Race: Are We So Different? exhibit at the Science Museum of Minnesota for insight and different perspectives. I recognize that talking about race isn’t easy. We all know that people look different. Throughout history, those differences have been a source of strength, community and personal identity. They have also been the basis for discrimination and oppression. And while those differences are socially and culturally real, contemporary scientific understanding of race and human variation is complex and may challenge how we think about it. This exhibit helped us to better understand what race is and what it is not. It gave us the tools to recognize racial ideas and practices in contemporary American life.

In the news:

This Teen Boxer Wants A Chance to Compete Wearing Her Hijab
While I mentioned this young PSEO student who is taking Sport and Exercise Sciences classes here in my last blog, I think you’ll be amazed by how she speaks so eloquently about pursuing her dream to compete as an amateur boxer while wearing a hijab. Her story is part of the National Geographic article titled "Changing Girlhood," which focuses on girls growing up in America and the messages they receive from various forms of media as they transition into young women: http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/magazine/161215-ngm-gender-issue-changing-girlhood-boxer

MN companies have jobs they can’t fill. Here’s how some are trying to reduce that
Our Carpentry program students, working on-site building a home for a service learning project, were featured by the Pioneer Press in this article about worker shortages in the trades: “When building contractor McGough has an opening on one of its construction crews, it doesn’t have to look very far. A short drive from the firm’s national headquarters in Roseville is the campus of Saint Paul College, which turns out dozens of graduates in construction for an industry eager to hire. Longtime partners Saint Paul College and McGough are an example of the growing number of relationships across Minnesota to close the so-called “skills gap” by providing workers to industries struggling to fill job vacancies.” Read more: MN companies have jobs they can’t fill. Here’s how some are trying to reduce that

I am impressed by all of our students who pursue their dreams and careers, and represent us so well. This week, I attended the graduation of a graduate of our Power of YOU program who went on to earn a Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Minnesota. I am so proud of this young man. Being a part of each our student’s journey and success, and providing them the opportunity to receive an extraordinary education here, is why Saint Paul College exists.

Saint Paul College rocks!

I wish you all a relaxing weekend.

Rassoul Dastmozd, PhD
Saint Paul College

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