What I love about my job is that it gives me so many opportunities to meet with people from all walks of life and experiences, and from around the globe.
On a global scale, Saint Paul College hosted 12 scholars of the
Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. They are currently in a U.S. State Department funded program at the University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Our dean of Career & Technical Education, coordinator of recruitment, pathway advisor and I provided an overview of post-secondary education in the U.S. and the colleges and universities of Minnesota State.
Young African Leaders also toured our campus to view classrooms and labs. It was a terrific experience for us to welcome them to our campus and share a mutual interest in education with them. I am reminded of a quote by Mr. Nelson Mandela,
"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."
On a much smaller scale, and just as meaningful to me, I had a chance to speak with a young woman who transferred to Saint Paul College from an out of state institution. She summed up her experiences at our college as
awesome, just simply
awesome. I asked why? She elaborated about her experience and interactions with our dedicated and knowledgeable faculty and hardworking, caring staff; simply
These are just two examples of what occurs on the grounds of Saint Paul College, in the hallways, classrooms, labs, and offices. I am thankful to our Saint Paul College family for making bountiful opportunities accessible and within reach for our students and our community. After all, when our students and community are successful and valued, our Saint Paul College's values and mission are right on target.
Here’s a short recap of a few of my activities this week:
Saint Paul College welcomed retirees to campus for a luncheon this week. It was wonderful to see so many dedicated and passionate Saint Paul College retirees, including President Emeritus Donovan Schwichtenberg, to honor our past, present, and future. Student speakers shared their experiences at the College, and were a highlight of this event. It is always a delightful experience when I interact with our retirees who have worked very hard by lending us their talents and expertise to make Saint Paul College what it has become today.
Meeting with a Community Leader
I met with a community leader who is a passionate supporter and advocate of Saint Paul College, and we discussed philanthropy and Minnesota’s current and future economic and workforce trends.
Minnesota State Executive Leadership Development
I met with the director of Minnesota State Executive Leadership Development initiative to discuss details associated with the work that two talented executives from Saint Paul College will be doing for this Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Executive Leadership Development Training during 2018-2019 academic year.
Central Corridor Anchor Partnership (CCAP)
I attended the
Central Corridor Anchor Partnership quarterly meeting to discuss the participation and engagement of Saint Paul College in health careers and business/finance pathways, shared purchasing and services for transportation and procurement services.
The Saint Paul & Minnesota Community Foundation Board Meeting
The Saint Paul & Minnesota Community Foundation Governance and Executive Committee meeting. The common board of The Saint Paul & Minnesota Community Foundations governs the foundations' shared services.
Friends of Saint Paul College Foundation Board Meeting
I attended a
Friends of Saint Paul College Board meeting to discuss strategies for donor engagement, fundraising, and promoting philanthropic engagement to garner financial support to fund student scholarships. Last year,
Friends of Saint Paul College raised $1,958,878 for scholarships and programs to support student success at the College.
Full Stack Saint Paul Steering Committee Meeting
I attended the
Full Stack Saint Paul meeting, which focused on the strategies we are implementing to grow a culture of innovation and to grow the workforce talent needed to keep Saint Paul competitive and vibrant.
Full Stack Saint Paul is an opportunity to network with some of the brightest minds in the tech and innovation sectors in the region. The meeting also focused on the promotion and branding of Saint Paul, as well as places and spaces which are an integral part of attracting high technology firms. Full Stack Saint Paul is a public/private sector collaboration, co-led by the City of Saint Paul and the Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce. It provides a full range of services to help tech and innovation sector businesses start and scale up in Saint Paul.
MSPWIN Postsecondary Convening Meeting
As a board member of the
Minneapolis Saint Paul Regional Workforce Innovation Network (MSPWin), I attended a workgroup meeting to discuss current research, trends, policies and initiatives that could improve postsecondary success for students of color and low-income students in Minnesota. We also selected a consulting firm that will conduct research and provide policy recommendations.
Meeting with President of Lofa County Community College - Liberia
I met with Dr. Samuel Kpehe-Ngolo Ngaima, Sr., president of
Lofa County Community College - Liberia. We discussed opportunities and challenges that higher education is facing in the U.S. and Liberia. We also discussed how higher education can play a critical role to advance democratic values as well as advancing civic engagement opportunities to our students and communities that our colleges serve. For more information, see
The vice president of Academic Affairs and I interviewed several candidates for faculty positions at the College. Investing in full-time faculty positions is a strategic priority, and advances our commitment to Teaching and Learning.
MAPE Meet and Confer
I met with the MAPE employee bargaining unit representatives to discuss operations of the College in their respective work areas as well as the College’s strategic priorities.
In the news:
I’ll end this blog by saying that Saint Paul College’s focus and mission is to provide educational opportunities for ALL members of our community, regardless of their stations and experiences in life so when
“they start here, they can go anywhere.”
To our faculty and staff, thank you for your exceptional service, contributions, and commitment.
I wish you ALL a relaxing weekend.
Rassoul Dastmozd, PhD
Saint Paul College