This week was Spring Break for the College. It has been a quieter week overall without the energy and enthusiasm of our students, but I had a great conversation with an alum. As I was eating my lunch, I sparked a conversation with an employee of Nassef Mechanical Contractors who is working on several projects at the College. He said that Saint Paul College changed his life, leading him to a job that helped him provide for his family. That is something that is at the heart of our mission “Education for Employment…Education for Life.” Later on, the same day, I spoke with a retired executive from the engineering division of 3M. He informed me that over his 25 years of service, he hired several Saint Paul College technicians who went on to become engineers and climb the ladder of opportunity at 3M Company, a Fortune 500 company.
Our employer connections are strong, and have been throughout our history. Employers serve on our program advisory committees, working with our faculty to ensure that each program’s curriculum is current and relevant to business and industry needs, and therefore providing employment connections for our students.
Special kudos to our faculty and staff who are the game changers of opportunities for our students. I am proud to be able to lead Saint Paul College in the tradition of the higher calling work at the College that betters the life conditions for our students and our community.
Here’s a short recap of my activities this week:
Northern Star Council Boy Scouts of America Youth Development STEM Education
I along with interim dean of STEM and Workforce Training & Continuing Education met with the Northern Star Council Boy Scouts of America director of STEM Education Exploration and a volunteer from the community to discuss potential career exploration opportunities for the scouts. These opportunities will be comprised of after school activities in construction, IT, manufacturing, and health. For more information, please see:
Central Corridor Anchor Partnership (CCAP)
I had a phone conference with the executive director of
Central Corridor Anchor Partnership to discuss the participation and engagement of Saint Paul College in Health Careers Pathways, along with non-profit community based organizations.
Higher Ground Academy Charter School
Our vice president of finance and facilities, director of facilities, and I met with a team from
Higher Ground Academy public charter school to discuss a potential educational partnership.
Greater Metropolitan Workforce Council Board Meeting
I along with private and public sectors leaders attended the
Greater Metropolitan Workforce Council Board meeting to discuss strategies that will benefit members of our communities who have traditionally been underserved and underemployed with a special focus on sector partnerships and career pathways to prosperity. Saint Paul College plays a critical role by training qualified talent for Minnesota’s economy and workforce shortage. Check out
Minnesota State Executive Leadership Development Meeting
I met with my president colleagues to begin nominations of a special group of talented administrators for the East Metro region for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Executive Leadership Development Training.
Communities in Schools (CIS)
I attended a capital campaign kick-off meeting of
Communities in Schools national network with a group consisting of community leaders, philanthropists, and representative from public schools and the City of Saint Paul. The CIS initiative is geared to provide wrap around integrated systems/services to students, their families, and school employees to escalate student success and achievement.
Meeting with Hmong American Partnership (HAP)
I met with the executive director of
Hmong American Partnership to discuss partnerships between HAP and Saint Paul College for the following occupational clusters: Construction, Health, IT, Manufacturing, and Transportation. For more information about HAP go to
United Hospital Foundation Meeting
I met with the executive director of United Hospital Foundation and the director of development to discuss my personal plan as a
board member of United Hospital Foundation. For more information about United Hospital Foundation, go to
Ramsey Hill Neighborhood Meeting
Our vice president of finance and operations, our director of facilities and I met with neighborhood
Ramsey Hill Association to discuss a partnership construction project.
Minnesota State Weekly Legislative WebEx
I attended the weekly
Minnesota State Legislative WebEx conference call where we discussed the latest developments at the Capitol and the legislative priorities of the colleges and universities of Minnesota State.
In the news
Helping Refugees Adjust to Snow, Ice, & College: Run by alumna Jane Graupman, the International Institute of Minnesota teaches newcomers how to succeed in the U.S.
In the University of Minnesota Alumni Association Spring 2018 issue of
Minnesota Alumni magazine, one of our graduates, Zaki Omar, now a student at the U’s Carlson School, is featured in the article. He had arrived in Minnesota from Somalia and sought help through the Institute for navigating the state’s higher education system. The Institute first recommended that Zaki start with the Hubbs Center, and then enroll at Saint Paul College. Zaki excelled in his studies here and was a recipient of the 2017
President’s Scholarship, one of our highest academic honors. Zaki also recently spoke at our Annual Gala. I am so proud of all of his accomplishments, both academically and within our community. The International Institute of Minnesota is an Intentional partner of the College, and in 2014 the Friends of Saint Paul College foundation recognized the Institute with the “Friend of the College Award.” I am also grateful for all that is done by Jane Graupman and the International Institute of Minnesota for refugees who come to Minnesota. I am so glad that they are receiving this recognition by the University as well.
Good news for job seekers
“Minnesota launched the year on a positive note with 2,500 new jobs,” said DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy. “While job growth over the past year was slower than earlier data suggested, the economy is still growing and businesses are hiring.” You can read more in this press release:
State Gains 2,500 Jobs in January--Unemployment rate steady at 3.3 percent
Loss of Stephen Hawking
The world lost a giant of theoretical science, theoretical physics, cosmology and author when
Dr. Stephen Hawking died earlier this week. He defied the odds and challenges he faced by being determined, resilient, and purposeful and was an inspiration to many the world over. His contributions to the field of theoretical sciences will be gravely missed. I will end this week’s blog by sharing a quote from Dr. Hawking:
“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet.”
I wish you a relaxing weekend.
Rassoul Dastmozd, PhD
Saint Paul College