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Saint Paul College A Community & Technical College

Spring 2019 Featured Programs

Atsede Guanje, Surgical Technology

Atsede Guanje

I graduated from the Sterile Processing Certificate program last year, and plan to graduate from the Surgical Technology AAS degree in May 2019, and then start working in my field right away. I had always heard from my friends that the College had good science classes, and this program has a lot of science classes, like anatomy, physiology, biology, and microbiology.

The lab environment in our classes is very realistic, and I feel well-prepared as I learn how to properly organize, clean and set-up instruments as part of good patient care. Our whole class is very excited about going to observe a real OR in a few weeks. Our training is very interesting, and I really like learning about all the instruments, the OR environment, and how to be a critical part of the patient surgical team.

"I’ve always dreamed of working in a hospital, and found out that Saint Paul College had the program I wanted."

Joseph Hanka, Geographic Information Science

Joseph Hanka

I chose the GIS program because I had taken up an interest in studying geography and landscapes. I spent a lot of time exploring the satellite imagery on Google maps. The highlight of my time at Saint Paul College was definitely working with great people in classes – fellow students and friends, my instructor, Kirk Stueve, and others – to answer questions and solve problems using GIS. I transferred to St. Cloud State University because my instructor was familiar with their GIS-related programs. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Land Surveying and Mapping Science at St. Cloud State I plan to take a stab at the workforce. I would like to work as a land surveyor, a city planner at the Met Council, or a civil engineer at Duluth Port Authority

"I saw the GIS program on the Saint Paul College website and decided that was exactly what I was interested in."

Brie Musgrave, Computer Graphics and Visualization

Brie Musgrave

Right now I am a part-time student and I work full time as a retail merchandise assistant. I switched into Computer Graphics and Visualization. At the time, I debated between going into psychology or animation. I realized that I didn’t feel the same passion for psychology. Computer graphics felt like a path towards a future as an artist - which has always been a dream of mine. The program is great preparation for many different jobs.

I learned HTML5, CSS3, and Javascript because of the encouragement of an instructor here. I met loads of fantastic people here too. It’s thanks to the welcoming environment created by some of the instructors here that I got to learn so much more about other people and other cultures.

"I learned so much about the production process in courses like 3-D Animation and Special Topics in Web-Based Game Design at Saint Paul College."

Clint Smith, Hospitality Management

Clint Smith

I chose the Hospitality Management AAS degree program because customer service has always been a passion of mine in the workplace. I plan on graduating from Saint Paul College hopefully at the end of 2019, and transferring to St. Cloud State University where I can specialize in tourism and receive my bachelor’s degree. I decided to take two online classes this semester, Consumer Behavior and Hotel/Lodging Operations, as a means of balancing work with school.

The highlight of my program/classes so far is engaging with the rest of my classmates in discussions. People who are there want to be there. Discussions on business topics, hospitality, etc., are very in-depth and interesting. You really learn a lot from each other’s perspectives and ideas, which builds on your own knowledge and understanding of the industry.

"Saint Paul College was an affordable option, close to home, and offered several business programs that captured my interest immediately."

Erik Steen, Welding Technology

Erik Steen

Erik Steen, Welding Technology I spent 20 years in a very rewarding career as a martial arts instructor, until an unexpected spinal injury ended that journey. I wasn't sure what I was going to do. I wanted to pursue something that would satisfy my artistic inclinations. As fate would have it, I volunteered as a chaperone for my two sons on a school field trip for a blacksmithing course. One of the blacksmiths recognized my enthusiasm for their craft and asked if I'd thought about a career in welding. He said welders were the modern-day blacksmiths, and an experienced welder can take an engineer's blueprint and bring it to life. He recommended Saint Paul College - and so here I am making the transition from martial arts to metal arts.

"The other day when I went to purchase a new welding helmet, my 11 year old son said to the salesman that he hopes to be a welder someday just like his dad."

Phongxoleechen Thao, Computer Graphics and Visualization

Phongxoleechen Thao

Whether it’s watercolor work, building model kits, or digital artwork, art is an invaluable skill and hobby to me. From my first Gameboy to my first car, there has always been a special place in my heart for anything electronic. I felt at home when I first decided upon the Computer Graphics and Visualization program. It included an education based on the familiar elements and principles of art. My favorite highlight has been earning my Photoshop certification! After playing with the program for several years, I learned about the certification test and was given a chance to complete it. I am working on other ones and will likely have two more by the end of the 2018 fall semester. I plan to graduate in the spring of 2019.

"This program has given me numerous chances to earn highly sought certifications and skills, like the Adobe Certifications and how to code/design modern websites."

This article originally appeared in our College Magazine - Spring 2019. Download a free copy to read more stories like this one.
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