Fourteenth Week of Spring Semester 2019
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Saint Paul College A Community & Technical College

Fourteenth Week of Spring Semester 2019
Amy Tarrell-Florey Image  
Kristen Prucell Image  ​
Travis Mills image  

Three of our faculty members were honored on Thursday by the Minnesota State Board of Trustees as Outstanding Educators at the annual Awards for Excellence celebration, for their exemplary performance, professional commitment and their positive impact on our students:

  • Amy Tarrell-Florey, English for Academic Purposes instructor
  • Kirstin Purcell, Biology instructor
  • Travis Mills, Chemistry instructor

I am very grateful to Amy, Kirstin and Travis for their dedication and commitment to teaching and our students. This recognition reflects and manifests the exceptional commitment that they have demonstrated in teaching at the College. Please join me in congratulating them for their exceptional and extraordinary work being performed inside and outside our classrooms.

Saint Paul College Spring Open House
On Tuesday, over 600 prospective students plus their family and friends attended our open house where we showcased our 100+ degree, diploma and certificate programs in Liberal and Fine Arts, STEM, Health Sciences and Service, and Career and Technical Education programs. Every department of the College contributed to the best Open House we have ever held, so that our guests could enjoy learning about us and the opportunities available for their educational journeys. I am grateful to our dedicated and hardworking faculty and staff who went the extra mile by being at the College and showcasing Saint Paul College’s programs to our students and community members. /p>

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

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

Minneapolis Saint Paul Regional Workforce Innovation Network

Minneapolis Saint Paul Regional Workforce Innovation Network

I met with the new acting director of MSPWin, and attended a board meeting at to discuss policy and advocacy issues related to post-secondary career and technical education and transfer from two-year institutions to four-year universities. MSPWin makes intentional investment on various workforce and talent development strategies and systems, such as on-ramps into pathways to prosperity and narrowing the economic disparity gap. MSPWinN is an intentional partner of Saint Paul College.

Minnesota State Career Technical Education Presidents Meeting

Minnesota State Career Technical Education Presidents Meeting

I along with other college and university presidents of Minnesota State and senior vice chancellor of Academic and Student Affairs attended a Career and Technical Education workgroup meeting to discuss the critical role that the colleges and universities of Minnesota State play by providing access to exceptional educational and training pathways at an affordable value in their respective communities. Minnesota State is a solution to Minnesota’s economic prosperity and talented workforce shortage.

Weekly Legislative WebEx

I attended a Minnesota State College and Universities Legislative WebEx conference call where we discussed the latest developments at the capitol and Minnesota State’s legislative priorities.

Minnesota State Board of Trustees Meeting

I attended the Minnesota State Board of Trustees meeting. The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities is governed by a 15-member Board of Trustees appointed by the governor. The Board has policy responsibility for system planning, academic programs, fiscal management, personnel, admissions requirements, tuition and fees, and rules and regulations.

Education Advisory Board (EAB)

Education Advisory Board (EAB)

Members of Saint Paul College Executive Leadership Team and I met with the Education Advisory Board Team to discuss new trends, services, and product that EAB has developed as well as about the Customer Relationship Management (CRM).

Conversation with Higher Learning Commission (HLC) Liaison

Conversation with Higher Learning Commission (HLC) Liaison

The Minnesota State senior vice chancellor of Academic and Student Affairs, VP of Academic Affairs, and dean of Institutional Research/Planning and Grants and I met with the Higher Learning Commission liaison to discuss details in preparation of the upcoming Saint Paul College HLC IAC Hearing in Chicago.

Meeting with a Community Leader

I met with a community leader who is interested in investing in scholarships for students and Saint Paul College’s programs and Minnesota’s current and future economic and workforce trends.

Faculty Shared Governance Meeting

The Executive Leadership of the College and I met with the Faculty Shared Governance team to discuss systematic and strategic planning, enrollment, marketing and recruitment, program evaluation, construction projects, legislative priorities, and Friends of Saint Paul College strategic initiatives.

In the news:

Pioneer Press Opinion, 4/14/2019:Vekich, Malhotra: Reimagining Minnesota State: How to innovate, collaboratively: I am sharing with you Minnesota State Board of Trustee Chair (Mike Vekich) and Minnesota State Chancellor Malhotra’s final Pioneer Press Reimagining commentary, which has been published both online and in print.

SkillsUSA Minnesota

Finally, I want to congratulate all of those who participated in the Minnesota SkillsUSA competition held at Saint Paul College and other Metro institutions April 12-14. A total of 29 Saint Paul College students competed in the 52nd Annual Minnesota SkillsUSA State Conference in numerous competition categories, accompanied by three advisors from Cabinetmaking, Carpentry, Sheet Metal, Electrical Technology, and Truck Technician. Faculty Tom Hillstead and Keith Setley are the SkillsUSA club advisors for Saint Paul College. Tom Hillstead was named 2019 Advisor of the Year (Keith Setley received the same award in 2012). I am grateful to Saint Paul College SkillsUSA faculty advisors and other faculty members who coached, mentored, encouraged, and accompanied Saint Paul College students. To view more information and the list of 23 of our students who received gold, silver and bronze medals, go to: Saint Paul College Students Excel at SkillsUSA Competition 2019

Student Senate Election Results

I am very pleased to share with you the Student Senate election results. I am so very proud of these students who are taking on these leadership roles as a way to expand and contribute to the student experience. It is a tremendous and valuable responsibility you are accepting. Please join me in hearty congratulations to the 2019-2020 Saint Paul College Student Senate Designate Leadership Team is as follows:

  • President: Khalid Mahamud
  • Vice President: Adam Hue
  • Treasurer: Marcelus Ifonlaja
  • Diversity Officer: Jasmine Mohammad

Our students excel. Our faculty excel. We had a record-shattering turnout at our Open House. We have much to sincerely celebrate at Saint Paul College. I want to thank all of our students, faculty and staff for all of your remarkable efforts and commitment to the College.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and will be able to enjoy the beautiful spring-like weather we are supposed to see this weekend.

Rassoul Dastmozd, PhD
Saint Paul College

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