Over 30 people representing 20 different organizations attended a special Community Partner breakfast to learn more about Saint Paul College, and to also discuss shared goals and exchange ideas for building stronger communities. I gave the keynote welcome, but the most impactful moments came from Dr. Zahra Roble, an alumna of Saint Paul College, who shared details of her incredible journey. Originally from Somalia and resettled in St. Paul, she was a student at the International Institute of Minnesota. The International Institute supported and guided her to Saint Paul College, where she earned her Practical Nursing diploma. But she didn’t stop here. While juggling work and motherhood, she attended St. Catherine University where she earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing, her nursing practitioner master’s degree and most recently doctor of nursing practice degree. Read more about Dr. Roble’s journey:
Dr. Roble’s story exemplifies how community partnerships help build the bridges from hope to real educational opportunity and success for our students. As a public institution, Saint Paul College is here to serve everyone in our community. That’s why intentional partnerships matter, and why we are so grateful for these connections. One of my favorite quotes is from the great anthropologist, Margaret Mead: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has."
Here’s a short recap of a few of my activities this week
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration Event
In honor of observing and celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, I attended the 29th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day breakfast Monday in downtown Minneapolis. Mr. Don Lemon, host of “CNN Tonight,” brought the message of “Be yourself” in a speech that detailed his bumpy rise from a child of modest means in the Deep South to worldwide recognition as a TV journalist. Dr. King instilled courage and resilience in many, including me, as I made my journey from my youth to becoming an adult.
Saint Paul Public Library Strategic Planning Celebration
I attended a celebration at the Sun Ray branch of the Saint Paul Public Library to help kick off the
Saint Paul Public Library's new Strategic Direction for 2019-2022, which builds on strengths and informs areas for improvement and growth, working toward the vision where all people feel seen, safe, and welcome and where libraries bring people together to experience hope, joy, and creativity through learning.
Meeting with a Reporter
I was interviewed by a community reporter about the critical role that Saint Paul College plays in escalating opportunities for our students and our community.
Meeting with two Community Member Leaders
I met with two supporters of Saint Paul College who are passionate about the work we do and programs we offer, and how the College is addressing the workforce talent shortage that the employers of Minnesota are experiencing.
Meeting with Vice Chair of U.S. Bank
I hosted the president of The Private Client Reserve from U.S. Bank, and we toured the College facilities and discussed workforce and economic development issues.
Neighborhood House Finance Committee Meeting
I attended a
Neighborhood House board meeting. Their mission is to help people gain the skills, knowledge, and confidence to thrive in diverse communities. We discussed and approved Neighborhood House’s new strategic plan. Neighborhood House is an intentional partner of Saint Paul College.
Meeting with Bargaining Units Leadership - HLC CQR Report
I along with members of the executive leadership team met with the leadership of AFSCME, MAPE, and MMA to discuss the Higher Learning Commission CQR report and to discuss and seek their feedback about campus climate.
United Hospital Foundation Board Retreat Meeting
I attended a
United Hospital Foundation Board retreat where we discussed new healthcare system trends, their strategic plan, and funding priorities. One element of the Foundation is to form partnerships with other organizations to support community-wide health improvement efforts.
Meeting with the New Genesys Works President/CEO
I attended a meet and greet reception for the new president/CEO of
Genesys Works. I also attended a governance committee meeting. Genesys Works alumni often continue their studies in
Saint Paul College computer science and IT programs.
President’s Advisory Council
Our administrative team members joined me at our
President’s Advisory Council meeting. The
President’s Advisory Council members are volunteers and tireless community leaders who provide me and the College with advice about national, regional, and local trends related to programming and various initiatives, so we can meet and exceed the needs of students and our community.
Event: We are all MLK-Promoting Beloved Community
I attended the “We are all MLK-promoting Beloved Community” event at
Minneapolis College on Friday. The 2019 Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration was framed by the Kwanzaa principle of Collective Work and Responsibility. This event was coordinated to honor Dr. King’s tireless advocacy for unifying masses through nonviolent protest in the name of civil rights and equality.
In the News
Congratulations to Culinary Arts Award Recipients
Saint Paul College
Culinary Arts student Emily Pollock was named Student of the Year, and Chef Pierre Rabbia was named Educator of the Year during the American Culinary Federation Minneapolis Chef's Chapter's 2018 Awards Dinner. We are so proud of your accomplishments – thanks for representing us so well! Saint Paul
College’s Culinary Arts AAS degree and Culinary Arts diploma programs are the only
Exemplary Status culinary programs in public education in Minnesota.
Once again in reflecting on another week gone by, I am reminded of the important role Saint Paul College plays as the only public 2-year college in Saint Paul, and the role intentional partnerships play in our success as an institution and the eventual success of our students. I am very grateful to all of our stakeholders, both internal, especially our faculty and staff, and external, who help us to provide “Education for Employment…Education for Life.”
I wish you a relaxing weekend.
Rassoul Dastmozd, PhD
Saint Paul College