A major milestone of achievement by attending college is often commencement day. Held on May 16, 2019, Saint Paul College's Commencement Ceremony was an extraordinary evening. There are about 1,400 students graduating in the Class of 2019. Nearly 450 students attended the ceremony. Friends, family, faculty and staff proudly witnessed this time honored tradition of students receiving their degrees, diplomas and certificates. The profound economic impact these graduates will have in our community and beyond is simply immeasurable. Saint Paul College is indeed an engine to promote economic prosperity and mobility for our students and our community.
In my commencement remarks, I shared a quote by Ernest Hemmingway who wrote,
"Today is only one day in all the days that will ever be. But what will happen in all the other days that ever come can depend on what you do today."
Our graduates are well on their way in their life's journey, eager to start their new jobs and join the workforce in new careers or transferring to four-year institutions to continue their education. I like to think of it as delivering on the idea, that when
our students start at Saint Paul College, they can go anywhere.
I am truly grateful to be here, where our faculty and staff provide valuable service to each other and to our students daily.
Here’s a short recap of a few of my activities
Reception for Recipients of the 2019 President’s Medallion
I greeted students who were recipients of the 2019 President’s Medallion, which was a casual celebration for all students designated as a President’s List honoree. Each was given a medallion in recognition of their academic achievement.
Chief Information Technology Interviews
Members of the executive leadership team and I interviewed finalists for the Chief Information Officer’s position at the College.
Comprehensive Workforce Solution Executive Dean Interview
East Metro Region Comprehensive Workforce Solution consortia presidents and I interviewed the executive dean candidates. Comprehensive Workforce Solution East Metro uses the expertise and resources of our customized training and continuing education units to strengthen Minnesota's workforce in a manner that is financially sustainable and market competitive. This model enables us to serve more employers more proactively, more comprehensively, while delivering greater value.
Neighborhood House Board Meeting
I attended a
Neighborhood House Finance Committee Board meeting. Neighborhood House is a multi-service agency and helps people with basic needs, education, multiple youth programs, and health and well-being, and is an intentional partner of Saint Paul College.
Practical Nursing Pinning Ceremony
I attended the Saint Paul College Practical Nursing program pinning ceremony. What a wonderful
experience to witness almost 80 practical nursing graduates get “pinned” by family members and friends with the special Saint Paul College nursing pin. These ceremonies are a very significant occasion as all in attendance can celebrate the students’ accomplishments as they acknowledge the love and support they receive from family and friends.
Student Art Showcase
I attended Saint Paul College Student Arts Showcase celebrating the creative accomplishments of students in various
ARTS courses. Many different art forms were on display – beautiful, thought-provoking, wonderful works of art. I am so proud of our students and grateful to our faculty and staff who support our talented students.
Student Support Services Celebrations
TRIO Student Support Services,
Power of YOU and
Make it Count year-end celebrations. These college success programs provide individualized advising and support to each student. Many students in TRIO, Power of YOU and Make it Count will be graduating from Saint Paul College and starting employment or transferring to 4-year colleges and universities. These focused programs are amazing and integral to helping students navigate all areas of the College. We are truly inspired by the persistence, effort and academic achievements of our students!
Meeting with a Philanthropic Advancement Firm
I had a wonderful opportunity to meet with a friend and partner of Saint Paul College who will be expanding the scope of their firm’s outreach by embarking upon the Philanthropic Advancement arena.
Student Ambassador Program Luncheon
I met many Saint Paul College Student Ambassadors at a meet and greet lunch. The College’s
Student Ambassador Program is a leadership organization that gives students opportunities to be leaders through volunteering on campus, helping with tours for prospective students and participating in recruitment events and fairs. They are wonderful assets to our campus!
Weekly Legislative WebEx
I attended the weekly
Minnesota State College and Universities Legislative WebEx conference call where we discussed the latest developments at the capitol and Minnesota State’s legislative priorities.
Central Corridor Anchor Partnership
I attended the
Central Corridor Anchor Partnership (CCAP)executive committee retreat meeting to discuss and promote workforce system strategies for the healthcare occupational sector. The Central Corridor Anchor Partnership is a group of colleges, universities, hospitals, and health care organizations located near the Green Line in Minneapolis – St. Paul.
Saint Paul & Minnesota Community Foundation Board
I attended the
Saint Paul & Minnesota Community Foundation board of directors meeting. The
common board of the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundations governs the Foundations' shared services. The board of directors works to ensure that all the Foundations' affiliates receive quality services and benefit from our shared expertise.
Strategic Planning Greater Metropolitan Workforce Council
I attended the
Greater Metropolitan Workforce Council Strategic Planning Retreat.. Saint Paul College plays a critical role by training qualified talent for Minnesota’s economy and workforce shortage.
In the news
WCCO TV, By Reg Chapman, 5/10/19:Racial Disparities Remain In Minnesota’s Job Market Despite Low Unemployment
MN DEED, 5/6/19:MN Entrepreneur Kick-off Set for May 14
This is the last week of Spring Semester 2019, and I want to thank all of our students, faculty, and staff for all of your hard work during spring semester. I am so grateful to our students for making Saint Paul College as their institution of choice.
This is the most exciting time of the year for me and many of our College employees because we see so many of our students well on their way towards the completion of their academic goals.
For those students whose academic journey at Saint Paul College ends this semester, we wish you all the best as you enter the next chapter of your lives.
Thank you all for your contributions and commitment to Saint Paul College. I wish you all a relaxing and enjoyable weekend!
My best, Rassoul
Rassoul Dastmozd, PhD
Saint Paul College