I was asked to say a few words at the Saint Paul College Practical Nursing program pinning ceremony which was held for the 28 students graduating fall semester. I am very proud of these students and their commitment to excel in the Practical Nursing program. It was easy to feel the camaraderie and cohesiveness of this group of students as they listened to the dean of Health Sciences, faculty and fellow students speak about their shared journeys. What a wonderful and heartwarming experience to witness the 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.
Here’s some information that is very interesting about the tradition of nursing pins that was shared by our Practical Nursing department: Nursing pins have been worn by American nurse graduates since the late 1800s.Each pin is distinctive, representing only one program and upholding the proud educational traditions of that school. For the nurse, it also symbolizes completion of a rigorous and physically demanding nursing program. The wearing of the nursing pin is a privilege earned by graduates of nursing programs across the country. The nursing pin has a history that connects each new nurse to every nurse who has come before, every nurse in the United States, every nurse who has accepted the responsibility of the profession.
Here’s a short recap of a few of my activities this week:
One Minnesota Transition Advisory Board
Governor-elect Tim Walz addressed the One Minnesota Transition Advisory Board, of which I am a member, with his vision of One-Minnesota. This advisory board is led by Lt. Governor-elect Peggy Flanagan, and consists of voices from across the state to provide counsel and advice for the transition. We discussed strategies and processes in selecting the leaders to fill executive-level positions of commissioners, deputy commissioners and assistant commissioners in state agencies and in the Governor’s Office. Walz-Flanagan announced several new commissioners this week: https://mn.gov/tim-walz/newsroom/
I attended the Generation Next practice workgroup meeting at the Northside Achievement Zone in Minneapolis. We discussed the implication of policies and practices that promote the training, graduation, and retention of teachers of color in urban schools. Saint Paul College is an intentional partner at the Generation Next table.
Meeting with Co-founders of The Coven
The dean of Workforce Training and Continuing Education, as well as the executive director of Marketing, Communications, and Recruitment, and I met with the co-founders of The Coven, which is a collaborative community and co-working space designed with women and non-binary folks in mind. We discussed the feasibility of exploring partnerships and collaborating with The Coven to better address the needs of their members.
Meeting with Saint Paul College Student Senate President
I met with the president of the Saint Paul College Student Senate. We discussed how the student senate leaders and administration can work toward advancing Saint Paul College strategic priorities and the Student Senate goals and objectives from their work plan.
Meeting with the Director of Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs
I hosted the director of Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs, which is part of the Minneapolis Department of Neighborhood & Community Relations. As we toured our campus facilities, we discussed the critical role that Saint Paul College can play to provide training that leads to living wage opportunities.
Central Corridor Anchor Partnership
I attended the Central Corridor Anchor Partnership (CCAP) Executive Committee 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.
The Saint Paul & Minnesota Community Foundation Board
I attended The Saint Paul & Minnesota Community Foundation Governance Committee meeting to discuss my off boarding role from the chair of Governance Committee and on-boarding the new Chair of Governance Committee. The common board of The Saint Paul & Minnesota Community Foundations governs the foundations' shared services.
In the News:
Women’s Foundation of Minnesota Introduces Inaugural Cohort of 22 WFMN Innovators
Maya Tackaberry, a Saint Paul College Pre-Engineering student, is one of 22 young women, ages 14-24, in the cohort. She will attend the International Scholars Laureate Program Delegation on Engineering and Technology, an opportunity offered to students who have exhibited exemplary academic performance. She will continue to encourage other young women to participate in STEM. Saint Paul College alumna, Elizabeth Zalanga, will create a cohort-based fellowship program for high-school-aged girls of color with the goal of developing their political and civil leadership. For more information on the 22 WFMN innovators go to https://www.wfmn.org/foundation-introduces-inaugural-cohort-of-20-wfmn-innovators/
Friday marks the end of Fall Semester, so I want to thank all of our Saint Paul College employees for a job well done throughout this semester. Their daily commitment to our students and all of the different ways they support them, does not go unnoticed!
Saint Paul College alone cannot accomplish all that we do to provide the best education and pathways for our students, and so I want to say how thankful I am for all our community, business and industry partners. I am grateful to all for collaborating with us and each other so that we can construct bridges of hope, opportunity, and success for our students and our community.
I want to wish all of you a wonderful holiday season!
Rassoul Dastmozd, PhD
Saint Paul College