Fifteenth Week of Spring Semester 2018
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Saint Paul College A Community & Technical College

Fifteenth Week of Spring Semester 2018
Dr. Jason Swartwood

It is always a privilege to be honored for the work that any one of us does on a daily basis. Dr. Jason Swartwood, Saint Paul College philosophy instructor, was recognized by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees as an Outstanding Educator. He was one of only 32 faculty of Minnesota State two-year colleges awarded for their exemplary performance, professional commitment and their positive impact on our students. Several of us from the College attended the luncheon celebrating Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees Awards for Excellence in Teaching.

This recognition reflects and manifests the exceptional commitment that Dr. Swartwood has demonstrated in teaching at the College, throughout his career, in his continuous professional development, and in service to our students and Minnesota State. Please join me in congratulating Dr. Swartwood on receiving this prestigious award.

I recognize that exceptional and extraordinary work is being performed inside/outside our classrooms by our excellent and outstanding faculty and staff each and every day. For that, I am grateful to you all.

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

The Saint Paul & Minnesota Community Foundations Board Meeting

The Saint Paul & Minnesota Community Foundations Board Meeting

I attended the Governance and Executive Committee meeting of the Saint Paul Foundation and Minnesota Community Foundation Board

Saint Paul Public Schools Counselor’s Breakfast

Saint Paul Public Schools Counselor’s Breakfast

Saint Paul College hosted a SPPS middle and high school counselors breakfast to explore potential partnerships to promote student success and intentional pathways from SPPS high schools to college. Over 60 area counselors attended this event. The highlight for this event were our faculty and staff who welcomed this group and made awesome presentations for our guests.

Neighborhood House Finance Committee Meeting

Neighborhood House Finance Committee Meeting

I attended a Neighborhood House Finance Committee meeting. We discussed policies, and financial strategies. Neighborhood House is an intentional partner of the College.

Center of the American Experiment

Center of the American Experiment

I along with executive director of Marketing, Communications, and Recruitment hosted and provided a tour of the College to the senior policy fellow of the Center for American Experiment to discuss the critical role that Saint Paul College plays by preparing talent and expertise that Minnesota business and industry is striving to attract and recruit. Saint Paul College can actually do something about the “Vanishing Minnesota Worker.” See the Center of the American Experiment magazine: Thinking Minnesota: The Vanishing Minnesota Worker. For more information about Center of the American Experiment, please see: https://www.americanexperiment.org

Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood

Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood

I attended a Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood Board of Directors meeting to discuss progress with current strategic planning, Promise Neighborhood outcomes, and current strategies in progress, as well as steps we must take as a council as we embark on the new strategic planning process. I also took part in Strategic Planning processes/long term planning and Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood-Saint Paul Public Schools Alignment Processes.

Friends of Saint Paul College Foundation Board Retreat

Friends of Saint Paul College Foundation Board Retreat

I attended a Friends of Saint Paul College Board retreat meeting to discuss board member roles, responsibilities, strategies for donor engagement, fundraising, and promoting philanthropic engagement to garner financial support to fund student scholarships. Last year, Friends of Saint Paul College, Foundation raised $1,958,878 for scholarships and programs to support student success at the College.

Travelers EDGE

Travelers EDGE

I along with Business department faculty hosted and had lunch with the director of community relations from Travelers​ to discuss the Travelers EDGE (Empowering Dreams for Graduation and Employment) program, which is designed to prepare low-income and students of color for careers in the insurance and financial services industries. We are grateful to the Travelers Foundation for funding the Travelers EDGE program at the College for the third year in a row.

Career and Technical Education Dean Interviews

I took part in the College’s interview process of searching for a new dean of Career and Technical Education.

Medical Laboratory Technician Accreditation Site Visit

The vice president of Academic Affairs, dean of Health Sciences, and faculty from the Medical Laboratory Technician program and I met with the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences accreditation site visitors to review and audit the exceptional quality of the Saint Paul College Medical Laboratory Technician program. The MLT faculty and dean of Health Sciences worked very hard to prepare a self-study that attests and confirms the exceptional quality of our program.

Kappa Beta Delta Induction Ceremony

Kappa Beta Delta Induction Ceremony

I gave a welcome and congratulatory remarks to the newest members of the College’s Kappa Beta Delta, Alpha Beta Gamma Chapter at their induction ceremony. Kappa Beta Delta is an academic honor society for business majors. Eligible members receive an invitation to join the honor society. It is inspiring to see such a talented group of students. We are encouraging our students to become informed and engaged citizens who can wisely contribute to our community.

Minnesota State Weekly Legislative WebEx

Minnesota State Weekly Legislative WebEx

I attended the weekly Minnesota State Legislative WebEx conference call where we discussed the latest developments at the Capitol and the legislative priorities of the colleges and universities of Minnesota State.

Career and Technical Education Presidential Workshop

I along with several Minnesota State presidents from two-year colleges attended a workshop that sets the vision for the future of Minnesota State career and technical education.

Minnesota State Board of Trustees Meeting

I attended the Minnesota State Board of Trustees meeting

Plumbers and Gasfitters Graduation

Plumbers and Gasfitters Graduation

I attended the plumbers and gasfitters graduation. The Plumbing Diploma program is a restricted enrollment program offered through the Plumbers and Gasfitters Local 34 and Saint Paul College. What a fantastic partnership with this skilled trades organization. Our partnerships with various skilled trades unions are part of the solution to training highly skilled and well paid workers needed for a strong Minnesota economy. For more information about the Plumbing Diploma program go to https://www.saintpaul.edu/programs/Pages/plumbing.aspx.

In the news:

Star Tribune

Women's Foundation microgrants help young women lead change
The Women's Foundation says this funding can help move ideas into action, and showcases a Saint Paul College student chosen for a microgrant.

TPT/Almanac

Higher Education | Skilled Trades
Mary Lahammer explores how Higher Ed is meeting the demand for skilled trades. Saint Paul College is featured again, with new content added at 2:40 in video.

I will end this blog by sharing a story of a student with you. At the Kappa Beta Delta induction ceremony, I had a very interesting conversation with a student who has achieved great academic success since first arriving in the U.S. four years ago. Not only is she an honors student in business at Saint Paul College, she has been accepted to the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. These achievement milestones are remarkable. I am grateful to our faculty, staff, and all family and friends of our students who support and cheer our students during their journeys.

I wish you all a relaxing weekend. Spring weather will finally be getting here soon! I am cautiously optimistic.

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

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