In Minnesota, we have two seasons: winter and construction. Here at Saint Paul College, we’re well into construction season as our new Health and Science Alliance Center is being built. I want to thank everyone – students, faculty and staff, and the public – for your patience during this time. I apologize for any noise distractions and/or building detours related to construction that may have caused some discomfort.
As summer breezes by, I am grateful for our dedicated staff who facilitate the new and returning student registration. I’m thankful for our faculty, who are so involved and engaged with our students as they provide excellent instruction in their classes and labs.
My Week at Glance:
Twin Cities Pride Parade – I was honored and proud to walk alongside the Saint Paul College PRISM Campus Alliance club, college faculty and staff, and their friends and family, as we carried the Pride flag in the
Twin Cities Pride Parade on Sunday, June 26. Please visit the
Saint Paul College Facebook page to see photos of Saint Paul College’s involvement.
Neighborhood House Resource Development – I attended a resource development meeting at
Neighborhood House, an intentional partner of Saint Paul College. Neighborhood House helps members of our community each year with basic needs, education, youth programs, and health and well-being. All of their programs are offered for free to participants.
Generation Next Stakeholder – I attended the
Generation Next Stakeholder meeting at Thrivent Financial in Minneapolis. We discussed literacy, math, career and college readiness strategies, and post-secondary education options/pathways. Through our partnership with Generation Next, we have helped several elementary-school aged children in the community by placing Saint Paul College student tutors at various schools within the St. Paul Public School system.
2016 H.E.R.B.I.E Award Luncheon – The
Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce Charitable Foundation announced Saint Paul College as a recipient of the 2016 H.E.R.B.I.E award. The Chamber stated, “We are excited to honor Saint Paul College as the organizational winner of the 2016 H.E.R.B.I.E award. Saint Paul College’s exceptional reputation as one of the best community colleges in the nation and its commitment to workforce development in Saint Paul and East Metro are two of many reasons Saint Paul College was selected as this year’s organizational H.E.R.B.I.E recipient.” The H.E.R.B.I.E. award recognizes individuals and businesses that exemplify the traits inspired by its namesake, Herb Brooks: Humanitarian, Enterprising, Resilient, Bold, Inspiration and Ethical. Each year two recipients are selected by the Chamber's Foundation Board.
Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood (SPPN) Council and Fellow’s Meeting – I attended a SPPN Council meeting and a
SPPN Fellow’s meeting to discuss issues related to education, literacy, and inclusion for communities traditionally underserved by educational institutions. The College partners with SPPN to help end multi-generational poverty in the community and creates pathways to college and career success.
Concordia University – I, along with Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs, met with the President, the Vice President of Marketing, and the Provost from Concordia University to discuss admission partnerships between Saint Paul College and Concordia University. As we say, when our students start here, they can go anywhere. Last year more than 40 students transferred to Concordia University upon completing their Associate degrees at Saint Paul College.
Gateway to College National Conference – I gave the welcome keynote at the National Conference for Gateway to College at St. Thomas University. Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) and Saint Paul College have teamed with
Gateway to College National Network to implement a nationally recognized dropout reengagement program. Gateway to College serves young adults ages 16 to 20 who have dropped out of high school or are significantly behind in credits and unlikely to graduate. The program enables students to earn their high school diploma while simultaneously earning college credit toward a college degree or certificate. Last year, 17 students graduated from the Gateway to College program, eight of whom will attend Saint Paul College in fall 2016. I am proud of our students. They are the future of our community.
District Energy St. Paul and Evergreen Energy – I attended a breakfast meeting with the President of
District Energy St. Paul and the CEO of
Evergreen Energy. We discussed Strategic Planning and their visions for the future. District Energy is considered the most notable in the United States for its use of renewable energy sources and implementation of energy conservation measures.
Access to Excellence Scholarship Campaign Kick-off – I, along with the
Friends of Saint Paul College Executive Director, the Development Officer, and a Board member attended the
Access to Excellence scholarship kick off meeting at Metropolitan State University. Minnesota State launched the second phase of the Access to Excellence scholarship campaign with a goal to raise $50 million for scholarships. This goal represents the most ambitious scholarship drive in the history of Minnesota State – more than double the goal of the previous scholarship drive. Last year, Saint Paul College broke records in scholarship fundraising.
I would like to congratulate the students from Saint Paul College who took part in the 2016 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, KY. Over 6,000 students from across North America competed in more than 100 occupational and leadership skill areas. Saint Paul College was well represented with nine students, who had advanced from the Minnesota State Conference in April, in the categories of Cosmetology, Esthetics, Sheet Metal, and the Quiz Bowl. Three Saint Paul College students won national awards. Those students are; Ashley Moua (6th place, Cosmetology), Natalie Bathen and her model Alana Knox (7th place, Esthetics), and Chad Price (6th place, Sheet Metal). I am very proud of all the students who competed at the National SkillsUSA competition this year.
As a final thought for this week and in light of Independence Day on Monday, I want to express what an honor it is for me to be part of Saint Paul College and all the opportunities it creates for our students. Saint Paul College provides support and encouragement so students can master their journey and excel in their chosen field to contribute to our city, our state, and also our country. For 106 years Saint Paul College has given, and continues to give, this great gift of talent to our great nation.
I am delighted to continue serving Saint Paul College. I am committed more than ever to working on behalf of our students, faculty, staff, and community. I am honored by the trust and confidence you have placed in me over the past five years.
Happy birthday America and Happy Independence Day to everyone!
To all, have a safe and enjoyable holiday!
Rassoul Dastmozd, PhD
Saint Paul College
Saint Paul College received Saint Paul Chamber of Commerce Charitable Foundation’s Organizational H.E.R.B.I.E Award on June 20, 2016. Pictured from left to right (back row): Audrey Bergengren, Milford Muskett, Rassoul Dastmozd, Scott Wilson, Maggie Soukup Pictured from left to right (front row): Melissa Cuff, Laura Savin, Kelly Murtaugh, Sarah Carrico