Dear College Community,
This week marks my final week before my retirement as the president/CEO of Saint Paul College. With this, my last blog, I want to convey what an honor and privilege it has been for me to serve all of you. I have long been an advocate for community and technical colleges. I started my college education at a two-year college, and that experience made an incredible impact on my life and my belief in the power of education—in a way, that beginning led me to Saint Paul College. When I accepted the position as president in July 2011, I did so because I recognized the tremendous impact that Saint Paul College has had on its students and the surrounding community, and I knew I wanted to be part of the College’s continued growth and student success.
Community and technical colleges are key to building a stronger and more competitive workforce, providing employers with the highly skilled and well-prepared employees that are ready to make immediate contributions to their field. We know we are fulfilling our mission of Education for Employment…Education for Life when we see our students and alumni achieve more than they ever thought possible. Saint Paul College is a place that empowers students from all walks of life and from all over the world as they navigate their different pathways—whether those pathways include career training, transfer, gaining skills to become a better employee, or enriching their lives through life-long learning. Our students have told me how they were influenced by their friends, family and others in the community, and were told that Saint Paul College was a great college choice because we truly care about our students and their success. We hold true to our mission, and hope to ignite in our students the knowledge that we believe in them, in their purpose and their own motivation to be successful. And more often than not, I learned many had been inspired by our slogan “Start here. Go anywhere.”
In my many walks around campus, I would make it a point to talk to individual students so that I could learn about their journeys and aspirations. Their personal stories are indelibly etched in my mind and heart. Many have lived through unbelievable hardships, whether born in Minnesota or somewhere else in the world. So many have inspirational dreams of giving back to others, of making a difference in this world. Our graduates are serving our surrounding community in every aspect of our daily lives—in health and service, personal care, food industry and hospitality, business, building trades, transportation and just about anything we use has probably been manufactured by one of our students! I am very proud of how our students represent this institution so well and so honorably.
I firmly believe in the transformative power of community colleges and that each and every day, our dedicated Saint Paul College family of staff, faculty, and administrators build bridges of hope, opportunity, and success for our students and our community. After all, when our students and community do well, we all prosper. I know that the fine work being done at Saint Paul College will continue, and I thank you all for the amazing work that you do.
I am filled with gratitude for the many connections I have made throughout my time here at Saint Paul College, both on campus and also with the many people in business, education and industry who support our students and our mission.
I want you all to know that I have experienced great joy throughout my service to our students, our college, and our community.
Rassoul Dastmozd, PhD
Saint Paul College