I had the pleasure of giving a welcome at our College employee meeting this week. I emphasized the notion of how everyone’s intentional work and caring for our students and our community matter. Here is an excerpt from my remarks that I would like to share with you:
“Today I am standing before you as an example of what random acts of kindness can do for someone like myself, who as a young man, emigrated to the United States in the late 70's.
Throughout my journey, I benefited from kindness extended to me, especially as a student, as a young worker, and as an engineer.
In my academic career as a teacher, department chair, dean, VP, and now president, I have witnessed how the intentional care and random acts of kindness promotes hope, inspiration, and perseverance in the lives of students.
At Saint Paul College, I’ve come to believe that on our campus
these acts of kindness are not random. They are purposeful, intentional, and occur on a daily basis. Regardless of our student’s journey, we, as a caring community of staff and faculty treat our students as individuals, and their success matters to us. Because if our students are successful, our community will also be successful.”
Our faculty and staff are marvelous game changers. Their concerted efforts and contributions matter each and every day, so
when our students start here, they can go anywhere.
I am thankful to have the opportunity to work with you and lead a very community-centered institution.”
The Friends of Saint Paul College Scholarship Gala was held on Thursday evening (12/7/2017). A silent auction and live auction (Fund the Need Moment) raised additional funds during the Gala itself. Students, alumni and friends of the College provided inspiring speeches and insight into how scholarships impact our students and their success. The food for the Gala was prepared and served by Saint Paul College Culinary Arts students in the Event-Based Dining Capstone Class with Chef Sara Johannes and Chef Manfred Krug. Thank you to our sponsors, donors and guests for making it such a wonderful evening and for supporting our students!
Here's a short recap of my week:
Downtown Development Framework Steering Committee – I attended a Downtown Development Framework Steering Committee meeting at the
Saint Paul Riverfront Corporation to discuss their mission to attract and retain employers to downtown by creating a more vibrant, safe, engaging, and successful downtown St. Paul through convening civic, business, and community leaders in a community-based and centered design process.
Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Leadership Council - I attended the Minnesota State leadership council meeting with other
Minnesota State presidents. We discussed progress with Minnesota State’s Strategic priorities, on-line education strategies, launching ERP/Next Gen, strategic approaches to a Legislative supplemental request by investing on higher education, innovation and collaborative funding, and operating budget outlook.
Gateway to College Pathways Planning - the director of the Gateway to College Program from Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) and I met with a University of Minnesota researcher to discuss high school degree completion, as well as developing pathways to higher education for Gateway to College students. SPPS and Saint Paul College have teamed with
Gateway to College National Network (GtCNN) to implement its nationally recognized dropout reengagement program, which serves young adults ages 16 to 20 who have dropped out of high school or are significantly behind in credits and unlikely to graduate. The program enables students to complete their high school diploma requirements while simultaneously earning college credit toward a college degree or certificate. For personal stories about Gateway to College, go to
https://www.spps.org/Domain/10394. For more info about our Gateway to College program go to:
City of St. Paul Economic Development Partners - I met with the representatives for economic development from the City of Saint Paul, executive director/president of Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce, Ramsey County Deputy Commissioner, president of Greater Saint Paul Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA), president/CEO of St. Paul Port Authority, and executive director of Riverfront Corporation to discuss economic development and workforce development issues related to Saint Paul and Ramsey County.
District Energy St. Paul and Ever-Green Energy – I attended the
Ever-Green Energy and
District Energy St. Paul Board meeting and we discussed strategic planning and their visions for the future. In the district energy field, District Energy St. Paul is considered the most notable in the United States for its use of renewable energy sources and implementation of energy conservation measures.
The Saint Paul & Minnesota Community Foundations - I attended the
Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation Board of Directors meeting (formerly known as Minnesota Philanthropy Partners) and the annual foundation dinner meeting.
MnAMP Advanced Manufacturing Partnership visit – I attended a debriefing and an update meeting for the
Minnesota Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (MnAMP) initiative, which attempts to close the skills gap within manufacturing careers in Minnesota, and improves pathways to careers in manufacturing, mechatronics and welding through credentialing and workforce training. Saint Paul College is one of thirteen Minnesota State institutions in the MnAMP consortium which received $15 million to help close the skills gap in Minnesota. The goal of MnAMP is to strengthen educational programs ensuring that more than 500 students complete credentials and secure employment.
Twin Cities Metro Baccalaureate Plan - I met with several Metro area college presidents and Minnesota State system office leadership team members (Twin Cities Metro Baccalaureate) to discuss a Metro area Baccalaureate Plan.
St. Paul Building Trades Council Open House - I attended the annual holiday open house of the St. Paul Building Trades Council. Saint Paul College has a long history of offering skill trades programs that lead into gainful employment and livable wage for the residence of Twin Cities. For more information on the Colleges trades programs go to:
The Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) - I attended a meeting at the McKnight Foundation, with several partners that are working with the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) on a project to analyze current limitations and opportunities to promote household self-sufficiency and family financial health in the Twin Cities metro region.
In the News:
Saint Paul College is one of the colleges North High School and Tartan High School students tour as part of their Work-Based Learning programs. North High School and Tartan High School offer experiential learning that connects a student’s career goal and classroom learning with a productive work environment. You can read more about the program in the
Monthly highlight from School District 622 - December 2017 in the
East Side Review News.
I will end this week’s Blog by
thanking all of our staff and faculty for your dedication and commitment to student success at Saint Paul College.
As we near the end of Fall Semester, I wish our students success and encourage
ALL of our new and returning student to register for their classes for Spring Semester!
I wish you ALL a relaxing weekend.
Rassoul Dastmozd, PhD
Saint Paul College