After having the privilege of spending time with many of our College’s Phi Theta Kappa Beta Xi Alpha Chapter students and their advisors at the PTK Annual Convention “NerdNation 2016,” I felt even more grateful to be a part of the Saint Paul College community.
The caliber of human beings on our campus with whom we can interact daily is a tremendous source of inspiration for each one of us. And I think it is something that is appreciated by those who visit the College as well. It seemed especially true this past Wednesday when we held our campus-wide Open House, where over 275 prospective students plus their friends and family members had the chance to meet faculty, staff and students to learn more about our programs and services. What a great way for us to meet future students. I hope they could see their successful futures begin to unfold and be inspired by our credo “Start here. Go anywhere.”
After the Open House, guests also had the opportunity to enjoy a free performance of Latin Jazz by the Rochester Chamber Music Society. Presented by our Liberal and Fine Arts division, this concert was part of the Spring Music Series. Always free and open to the public, the Music Series offers our students an on-campus opportunity to enjoy evenings of fine music presented by local professional musicians. I am very grateful to the Dean of Liberal and Fine Arts for adding these cultural events to our campus.
As always, I am grateful to our faculty and staff for their extraordinary efforts in everything they do – but especially for all they did for our Open House!
Here’s a short recap of some of my activities this week:
- Minnesota State College Student Association Meeting – Chancellor Rosenstone and I met with the Minnesota State College Student Association (MSCSA) this week to discuss various initiatives underway at our two-year colleges throughout the state.
- Interfaith Action of Greater St. Paul - I gave the welcome and attended the Annual Assembly of Interfaith Action of Greater Saint Paul, which was held at the College. You can view photos of the event on Facebook: Annual Assembly of Interfaith Action of Greater Saint Paul. At the event, the Interfaith Action of Greater Saint Paul presented a video they created when they interviewed students in our Culinary Arts program, who shared their experiences about their training and education: Saint Paul College Culinary Arts student interviews. An intentional partner of Saint Paul College, they are committed to building a more just, safe and livable East Metro by addressing the causes and relieving the effects of poverty.
- Promoting Voting Participation – the Minnesota Secretary of State and I discussed ways to promote student engagement and participation in casting their votes in the upcoming election. We should treasure and exercise our right to vote and value our democratic system. More info about voting, how to register, and how to find your polling place can be found at MNvotes
- Science Education Center at Metropolitan State University - I attended the grand opening of the new Science Education Center at Metropolitan State University along with their faculty, staff and students and community, business and higher education leaders, elected officials and supporters of the university. I’m truly looking forward to the not too distant future when we will be celebrating the completion of our Health and Science Alliance Center, which is currently under construction.
- Saint Paul Port Authority - I hosted and gave a tour to the new Executive Director of the Saint Paul Port Authority, an intentional partner of Saint Paul College We discussed partnerships and workforce training issues and the critical role that Saint Paul College plays in training work force talent for Minnesota. St. Paul Port Authority is.
- Leadership Saint Paul - The College also hosted Leadership Saint Paul Higher Education Day, and after giving the welcome, I participated in a panel discussion with other higher education leaders and discussed Mission and Access in Higher Education. Each year Leadership Saint Paul selects 50 emerging and existing leaders from private, public, and nonprofit sectors of the community to participate in the ten-month program in order strengthen the Saint Paul/East Metro region.
- Exploring Student Internship and Employment Opportunities with Wells Fargo - a number of our College team members and I met with the CEO of Wells Fargo and his team members to discuss potential internship and employment opportunities for Saint Paul College graduates. We are training the future workforce of Minnesota and I am proud of the diversity our graduates bring to the workforce.
- Asociación Nacional de Universidades e Instituciones de Educación Superior (ANUIES) - the Chancellor of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, several System presidents and I met with officials from ANUIES to discuss partnerships and collaboration in advanced technology manufacturing. ANUIES is an association of 179 higher education institutions throughout Mexico that serve 80% of the total post-secondary students in Mexico and are responsible for 90% of Mexico’s university-based Research & Development.
- Central Corridor Anchor Partnership – I attended the Central Corridor Anchor Partnership Executive Committee meeting to discuss and promote workforce system strategies for the healthcare occupational sector.
- Neighborhood House Board and Resource Development Meeting – I attended a Board and Resource Development meeting at Neighborhood House, an intentional partner of Saint Paul College.
- Faculty Shared Governance Meeting – The Executive Leadership of the College and I met with the Faculty Shared Governance team to discuss fall enrollment, budget, efficiencies, communication, innovative projects, Saint Paul College Foundation strategic plan, Saint Paul College Strategic Framework Performance Metrics measures, Information Assurance and Compliance, and the Racial Equity Framework.
- Higher Learning Commission Conference - I will be attending the Higher Learning Commission Conference in Chicago throughout this weekend. The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) provides accreditation to Saint Paul College and other two- and four-year institutions in the Midwest.
Special Thanks to Information Technology Services
Finally, I want to acknowledge our Saint Paul College Information Technology team who launched and migrated the entire college to Office 365 (cloud services). Their efforts began long before this week, which made this transition so seamless and user friendly. Their purposeful planning of the entire project was well managed by our IT leadership Team. These group of hardworking, dedicated, and knowledgeable IT experts are remarkable. Kudos to all of the IT team members.
I wish you a relaxing weekend.
Be Bold, Be Inspired, and Be Relevant. Amazing things are happening at Saint Paul College.
Rassoul Dastmozd, PhD
Saint Paul College