This week the Friends of Saint Paul College held the Scholarship Appreciation Reception to acknowledge our wonderful scholarship recipients, and pay tribute to the scholarship donors who care so deeply about Saint Paul College and our students.
Above is a photo of scholarship recipient Meti Balcha, with scholarship donors Victoria Davis and Nathaniel Khaliq, who established a scholarship for “Students in any program who grew up in the Rondo neighborhood, graduated from Saint Paul Public Schools and volunteers in the community.” Mr. Khaliq is an alumni of the College and also a recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award. I can think of no better example of people who exemplify what one of my favorite sentiments is – if we don’t care of our students and community, who will? I can’t thank them enough for all that they for Saint Paul College!
Here’s a short recap of my activities this week:
City of St. Paul Economic Development Partners - I met with the representatives for economic development from the City of Saint Paul, Executive Director/President of Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce, Ramsey County Deputy Commissioner, president of Greater Saint Paul Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA), President/CEO of St. Paul Port Authority, and Executive Director of Riverfront Corporation to discuss economic development and workforce development issues related to Saint Paul and Ramsey County.
Friends of Saint Paul College Foundation Board Meeting - I attended a Friends of Saint Paul College Board Meeting to discuss strategies for donor engagement, fund raising, and promoting philanthropic engagement to garner financial support to fund student scholarships.
President’s Advisory Council - the executive leadership team attended our President’s Advisory Council where we discussed College’s priorities, budget, enrollment, and gave updates on HR, marketing, and fundraising.
MAPE Meet and Confer – I met with the MAPE employee bargaining unit representatives to discuss operations of the college in their respective work areas.
Meeting with a Community Leader - I met with a community leader who is a passionate supporter of Saint Paul College to discuss philanthropy and Minnesota’s current and future economic and workforce trends.
Vice President of Academic Affairs Interviews - I interviewed the finalists for the Vice President of Academic Affairs position at the College this week. The College also hosted open forums for employees to meet the Vice President of Academic Affairs candidates.
Minnesota State Board of Trustees Meeting - I attended the
Minnesota State Board of Trustees meeting.
St. Paul Riverfront Corporation Focus Group on Campus – I am proud of our students. They attended a focus group on campus with the St. Paul Riverfront Corporation to provide feedback and discuss planning and issues related to workforce, access to equitable housing, and viable transportation. What a wonderful experience for our students.
Enterprise Minnesota Focus Group Meeting on Campus - The College hosted the
State of Manufacturing event led by Enterprise Minnesota. The purpose of this meeting was for Enterprise Minnesota to develop a deeper understanding how and why prospective students find their passion by studying in the areas of manufacturing.
Meeting with a Minnesota High Technology Firm - I met with the CEO of a major aerospace firm to discuss workforce, expertise, and talent shortage that this company is facing, like many firms here. Minnesota State and Saint Paul College are the solutions to this complex problem, and providing even more reasons for the state legislators to invest in higher education.
Career and Technical Education Students from SPPS - I gave the welcome to Saint Paul Public School Career and Technical Education students who were visiting the College. The students also toured our labs and classrooms. The College currently offers Career Pathways Academies, Early College and Postsecondary Enrollment Options programs for high school students. Saint Paul College is the top destination for SPPS grads! Read more:
Where St. Paul grads go to college
Meeting with a Philanthropic Organization - I along with the grant writer of our Foundation and Alumni Development met with the executive director of a philanthropic organization to discuss the critical role that the College plays in creating economic mobility, and economic security for traditionally underserved members of our community who are often excluded from the mainstream of society.
Meeting with a Community Leader and Employer - I met with a community leader and employer who is a passionate supporter of the College to discuss philanthropy and Minnesota’s current and future economic and workforce trends in the IT and health occupational sectors, and the critical role that we play in providing relevant and innovative programs to produce well-educated and well-trained workers who contribute to our economy and a prosperous Minnesota.
Welding Student Sharon Blees, Scholarship Winner
Scholarship Appreciation Reception - I attended the Scholarship Appreciation Reception where almost 125 students and donors attended. This year, Friends of Saint Paul College awarded $310k in scholarships to 304 students. I am grateful to our donors who support Saint Paul College with their philanthropic engagement and generous donations. We consider scholarships to be transformational investments in our students, and the highlight of this celebration was scholarship winner, Sharon Blees, a non-traditional welding student, who shared her life story and her experience as a woman in the welding field. Michael Hofland, Friends of Saint Paul College Development and Alumni
For a list of all our available scholarships and the donors who provide specific scholarships for our students go to
www.saintpaul.edu/Scholarships. If you would like to donate to a specific scholarship or just give to our general scholarship fund, please go to
Beyond scholarships and monetary giving, every little humble gesture of kindness, every acknowledgment of each other as we pass through the hallways, even a simple “Hi” and a smile to someone we don’t know, every good thing that we do is a way of “paying it forward” to show others that they matter to us and that we care. Each small positive thing we do snowballs into larger positive things, which has made us a community of people who care for and about each other. We become partners in making the world a better place.
So, I want to give a final “Welcome back!” to our students who were on Spring Break last week. We missed you. You make our world a better place!
Rassoul Dastmozd, PhD
Saint Paul College