This week the College had two main events – one was our Open House, marking for many the beginning of their individual journeys at Saint Paul College, and the other was our Wall of Fame Ceremony that celebrates alumni and their continued connection and involvement to the College, and the multiple ways our alumni contribute. The Wall of Fame also recognizes community partners who support, advocate, and partner with the College and connect us with employers, educational institution, community based organizations and the larger community around us.
The success of Saint Paul College and success of our students relies on our being connected on campus, as well as our being connected off campus to employers, other institutions, and those who support the College. Our essence as an institution is intertwined with the incredible diversity of all the people who enter our doors – students, faculty, staff and the communities in which we all live.
Here's a short recap of my activities this week:
Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) Leadership Council Meeting - I attended a Leadership Council meeting with members of Chancellor Rosenstone’s staff and presidents of Minnesota State colleges and universities. We discussed progress with the Charting the Future initiative, system wide priorities, Minnesota State legislative priorities and the current session, on-line education strategies, incentives for innovation and collaboration initiative, comprehensive workplace solutions model, and operating budget outlook.
Public Charter School Higher Ground Academy - Our Vice President of Finance and Facilities, Director of Facilities, and I met with the Executive Director and the Head Master of Higher Ground Academy public charter school to discuss our partnership and the role we can play in addressing their educational needs.
Comprehensive Workplace Solution Model meeting – Several Minnesota State administrators and presidents continued to work on a draft of the Comprehensive Workforce Solution Model, which will be used to ensure we leverage our customized training and continuing education to strengthen Minnesota’s workforce in a manner that is financially sustainable. We presented this tentative CWS Model to Customized Training and Continuing Education Leadership Team from across the state.
Interfaith Action of Greater St. Paul - I met with a representative from Interfaith Action of Greater St. Paul to discuss active engagement of the College in Community Learning Circles. An intentional partner of Saint Paul College, they are committed to building a more just, safe and livable East Metro by addressing the causes and relieving the effects of poverty.
Minnesota Philanthropy Partners – Attended the Community Impact and Grants Committee meeting at Minnesota Philanthropy Partners where we approved the legislative policy agenda, Strategic Plan as well as their community impact grant budget.
United Hospital Foundation - I discussed my work plan as a board member of United Hospital Foundation with gift and development officers, as well as setting major gift priorities, strategies, and board development opportunities.
2017 Wall of Fame Celebration - On Thursday, I attended the Wall of Fame Award ceremony. This was a moment of celebrating our Community Partner of the Year, Representative Alice Hausman and Alumna of the Year, Ms. Pamela Wellumson class of ’81, Interpreter Training program. All the funds raised from the Wall of Fame event will be dedicated to funding student scholarships.
2017 Distinguished Alumna of the Year Recipient: Pamela Wellumson
Pamela Wellumson graduated from the Sign Language Interpreter program in 1981. She is the owner of Dynamic Communications and ASL Interpreting Services (ASLIS) and employs many Saint Paul College graduates, and also offers internships to our ASL students. She is also a member of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) and Minnesota Association of Deaf Citizens (MADC). She and ASLIS manage the Minnesota Hospital Consortium by providing emergency interpreter services to Minnesota Hospital and Urgent Care Centers.
2017 Friend of the College Award Recipient – Rep. Alice Hausman
Representative Alice Hausman is a tireless advocate of higher education and Saint Paul College. As a retired educator, her support of education initiatives and her advocacy for the well-being of her constituents, so many of whom are Saint Paul College students, has contributed greatly to the success of the College and our students. Representative Hausman is a genuine leader who truly cares about all Minnesotans. She currently represents District 66A and is in her fifteenth term as a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives.
Management Team - I attended a management team meeting where we discussed projects to support of College’s work plan, the 2018-2022 Saint Paul College Strategic Plan, and major strategic priorities.
Breakfast with Saint Paul College Student Senate – the College’s executive leadership team and I met with our Student Senate for breakfast to discuss a variety of issues and promote open and transparent communication. I am very impressed by the dedication and caliber of our students serving on the Student Senate.
Spring In-Service Key Note Address – I gave the keynote address during our faculty Spring In-Service. My central message focused on themes of the 2018-2022 Saint Paul College Strategic Plan, and advancing equity and inclusion at the College. During this in-service, I was very conscious of the high caliber of talent and dedication of Saint Paul College employees that is very deeply rooted in our campus culture, for which I am very grateful.
Meeting with Chair of Open Education Resource (OER) - our Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs and I met with the chair of OER workgroup to discuss the progress with their goals. The OER Workgroup was established to explore open education resources and inform faculty on how to use OER resources in lieu of textbooks.
St. Paul Pipefitters Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee Graduation Dinner - I attended the St. Paul Pipefitters Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee graduation. The College and St. Paul Pipefitters have a long standing partnership in training individuals for highly skilled and well-paid pipefitting careers.
Partnership with China University of Technology – Saint Paul College has started a partnership for us to send students to Taiwan to train and they send students here. Chef Sartain visited Taiwan in December to meet the Chinese delegates and tour the school. Representatives from their school came to Saint Paul College in February. Chef Sartain will be going back to Taiwan this summer for another visit. Here is a link to a video of Chef Sartain at the China University of Technology: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=share&v=gVlcYHjZa_Y&app=desktop
As we usher in the end of semester, I am reminded of the notion that we often need to pull our students along, and when they are ready, give them a little push to succeed on their own, but we never stop giving encouragement. I see day in and day out that our dedicated faculty and staff are attentive to the needs of our students. They are always seeking to be and do better and become more effective in their work. They work with honesty and humility and exemplify the values of equity and inclusion. For this, I am thankful. I thank you for your continued passion, persistence, innovation, and creativity that you bring to Saint Paul College today, and always.
I wish you a relaxing weekend.
Rassoul Dastmozd, PhD
Saint Paul College