Saint Paul College's slogan “Start here. Go anywhere." can mean many things to many people. How it resonates with one student is not the same as how it resonates with another. That's the beauty of our open-ended slogan.
What I am mindful of this week is how our faculty and staff support our students in finding their own paths and academic journeys. A perfect example of this is Linda Peterson, pictured above. Linda is the Student Activities Coordinator of Student Life and had been interim director for quite a period of time during this past year. She was nominated by the Student Senate Executive Board for the annual Minnesota State College Student Association Student Senate Advisor of the Year award, and won. The award they are all holding says
“In recognition of your dedication to making students their own best advocates."
We want students to find their own best selves and to succeed in what they have chosen to do with their lives.
Here's a short recap of a few of my activities this week:
Student Recognition Celebration - We honored
20 outstanding students who were nominated by the faculty in their respective areas of study and program majors. I had the privilege of giving the opening words of welcome, and it was fabulous to see their academic excellence acknowledged and celebrated so directly by their instructors. This is a remarkable achievement for our students and I am proud of them.
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 as well as new market, consumer, and technology demands/trends. 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.
City of St. Paul Economic Development Partners - I met with the representatives for economic development from the City of St. Paul, Executive Director/President of St. Paul Chamber of Commerce, Ramsey County Deputy Commissioner, President/CEO of BOMA, President/CEO of St. Paul Port Authority, and Executive Director of the St. Paul Riverfront Corporation to discuss economic development and workforce development issues related to St. Paul and Ramsey County.
Charting the Future - I attended the College's Charting the Future implementation team meeting and discussed the progress our team is making with various initiatives at the College for the first and second year of Charting the Future and the College goals.
Hosting MN House Chair of Higher Education, Representative Bud Nornes
- I along with Chancellor Rosenstone, Chair of Minnesota State College and Universities Board, as well as staff from Governmental Affairs, met and hosted Rep. Bud Nornes, who chairs the Minnesota House Higher Education Committee. Saint Paul College students shared their experiences and challenges with our guests and how the College has been able to facilitate opportunities for success for them as they participate in their academic endeavors. Minnesota Legislators' and Governor Dayton's willingness to invest in higher education in Minnesota is paramount and encouraged as these investments are key catalyst for economic prosperity in Minnesota and to address talent shortage. Culinary Arts students and chefs did a marvelous job in preparing and serving the delicious luncheon.
New Unlimited Faculty Celebration
New unlimited faculty: Hannah Kokesh, Jason Swartwood, Garrett Byrne
The College hosted a reception honoring our new Unlimited Faculty members, Hannah Kokesh, Pharmacy Technician instructor, Jason Swartwood, Philosophy instructor, and Garrett Byrne, Machine Tool Processes instructor. It was a wonderful celebration to recognize the contributions of our faculty members. The dedication and commitment of faculty to our students is personified in these three instructors, and we heartily welcome them to the Academe!
Meeting with a Community Leader and Employer - I met with a community leader and employer who is a passionate supporter of Saint Paul College to discuss philanthropy and Minnesota's current and future economic and workforce trends in the IT occupational sector, and the critical role that Saint Paul College plays in providing relevant and innovative programs to produce well-educated and well-trained workers who contribute to our economy and a prosperous Minnesota.
Weekly Legislative WebEx - I along with presidents of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities attended a Legislative WebEX to discuss the legislative bills that are currently being reviewed in both Minnesota House of Representatives and Minnesota Senate.
Spring through the Decades – A Fashion Showcase from Flapper to Futuristic Styles
The Spring through the Decades event sponsored by Career Services, Cosmetology, Nail Technician, Esthetics and Massage Therapy programs, and is a terrific way for guests to learn about the programs at Saint Paul College, and the career opportunities for our students when they graduate. The runway show allows students to showcase their talent in hair, make-up, nails, fashion and style, from the “flapper” era to futuristic designs. Massage Therapy students provide free chair massages for event guests. I am proud of our students for demonstrating their expertise and what they are learning in their programs. This event was as spectacular as always!
Hosting Alums Culinary Arts Programs - I along with the Executive Director of Marketing, Communication, and Recruitment, Development and Alumni Relations Officer met with a group of 1967 Alumni of Saint Paul College Culinary Arts program. We hosted these individuals for lunch and provided a tour for them of our campus. They were impressed with all the developments of new facilities and building/facilities construction and development on campus. As one of the alums said,
“Saint Paul College gave me what I needed to go out and provide for my family, and set the next steps in my life and professional journey.” I walked away from our visit, re-energized and more than committed for the higher calling work, which we do at Saint Paul College.
Regardless of the program or area of study, we all have the opportunity to learn from each other, celebrate our differences and participate in this amazing thing called education! It's a fantastic journey for us all and I'm glad that Saint Paul College can share in the voyage of so many.
I will end this week's Blog by wishing you ALL a relaxing weekend.
Thank you for your efforts and contributions with student success at Saint Paul College.
Rassoul Dastmozd, PhD
Saint Paul College