This week I attended the College’s “Happy Retirement” celebration held in my honor as I pursue the next chapter of my life. I was touched by the kindness and well-wishes that our staff, faculty, and administrators extended toward me by honoring me at this event.
Early in my journey as a young man, while still in my adolescent years, my mother taught me about the value of service by sharing with me a quote by Rabindranath Tagore, Bengali philosopher, poet, and winner of the Nobel Prize for literature in 1913:
“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.”
For the past 35 years of my journey, serving four different community college systems in various roles, as a faculty, department chair, academic dean, vice president, and most recently as the president/CEO of the most diverse comprehensive college in Minnesota, I have always tried to emulate the practices, values and notions of Tagore’s meaning of service. I have experienced great joy throughout my service to our students, our college, and our community.
I am honored and privileged to have been given this higher calling opportunity. I firmly believe in the transformative power of community colleges and that each and every day, our dedicated Saint Paul College family of staff, faculty, and administrators build bridges of hope, opportunity, and success for our students and our community. After all, when our students and
community do well, we all prosper.
Here’s a recap of a few of my activities this week:
Minnesota State Leadership Council Retreat Meeting
I attended a Minnesota State Leadership Council retreat meeting along with the other college and university presidents of Minnesota State and members of Chancellor Malhotra’s staff, to engage in strategic discussions for the Minnesota State system.
Neighborhood House Board Retreat Meeting
I attended a
Neighborhood House board of directors retreat meeting. Neighborhood House is an intentional partner of Saint Paul College. I also attended the Neighborhood House Open House event.
Meeting with a Community Leader
I met with a community leader who is interested in Saint Paul College’s programs and Minnesota’s current and future economic and workforce trends, and pursuing philanthropic engagement at the College to support students.
Exclusive Inventing Genius Exhibit Preview & Minnovation Showcase
I attended the
Science Museum of Minnesota exclusive Inventing Genius Exhibit Preview and
Minnovation Showcase, a display of inventions that were born in Minnesota and have gone on to be influential around the world.
Meeting with a University of Minnesota Scientist
I along with the dean of Career and Technical Education met with a University of Minnesota professor to discuss future skills needed for the new economy.
Metro Alliance Presidents Meeting
I attended a Metro Alliance presidents meeting via teleconferencing when we discussed the details of MetNet Strategic Plan.
Advanced Technological Education (ATE) MentorLinks
I took part in a longitudinal study of the
MentorLinks: Advancing Technological Education program to discuss the effectiveness and efficacy of AACC ATE MentorLinks program. The MentorLinks Advancing Technological Education program, is supported by the
National Science Foundation and is designed to help colleges develop or strengthen technician training programs in STEM fields.
In the News
Community College Daily (AACC), by Matthew Dembicki, 6/4/2019:
Getting the word out about trade careers
As the Community College Daily article says, “The good-paying jobs are there, but young people just aren’t interested in them.” Help spread the word to young men and women you know who are looking for fulfilling careers with good paying jobs that will provide them with the wages necessary to support themselves and their families. Have them check out our
Career and Technical Programs!
Finally, I wish you all a relaxing and re-creative weekend to help nourish your wellbeing, and get you ready for next week’s opportunities and successes!
Rassoul Dastmozd, PhD
Saint Paul College