At the Student Recognition Reception this week, we honored 21 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 wonderful to see their academic excellence acknowledged and celebrated so directly by their instructors. Our Student Senate also bestowed awards at the reception for Outstanding Student Leader, Student Organization, Student Organization Advisor, Behind-the-Scenes Student Leader, Faculty and Staff. Many of the outstanding student award recipients are graduating this year, and they’ll be wearing special medallions at the commencement ceremony on May 16, 2016. They represent every division of the College, as well as many ethnicities, age groups, and diversity of life experience. That is the beauty of Saint Paul College. No matter 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.
Here’s a short recap of a few of my activities this week:
- Partnership and Collaboration with Minneapolis Community and Technical College and Metropolitan State University - I along with several members of Saint Paul College executive leadership team and our colleagues from Minneapolis Community and Technical College and Metropolitan State University met to discuss collaboration and planning of shared services and programming among institutions to better address our students’ needs, as we support and advance the Charting the Future goals.
- City of Saint 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 the city of St. Paul and Ramsey County.
- Small Business Support in Pathways for Skilled Trades – the Dean of Workforce Training and Continuing Education and I met with small business owners to discuss how the College can assist their company by promoting the participation of populations traditionally underserved by the skilled trade occupational clusters through such pathways as our Trading Up Program.
- Promoting racial equity and narrowing disparities - I attended a meeting with several St. Paul and Minneapolis major organizations and corporations executive leaders at the Wilder Foundation to discuss issues related to organizational cultural competencies, and action steps needed to advocate for policy change and ways promote racial equity and narrowing disparities.
- Meeting with City Councilmember - I met with a City of Saint Paul councilmember to discuss opportunities for paid internships, engagement, social connections, and employment for Saint Paul College students.
- Minnesota State College and Universities Branding Steering Committee Meeting (MnSCU) - I along with Director of Marketing and Communication attended the MnSCU Branding Steering Committee meeting.
- MAPE and AFSCME Meet and Confer – I met with the MAPE and AFSCME employee bargaining unit representatives to discuss operations of the college in their respective work areas.
- Power of YOU Year End Celebration - I attended the Power of YOU Year End Celebration at the College. This is such an important event for our Power of YOU students to proudly share their college success with their families. Power of YOU students enter the program in the fall after their high school graduation and attend tuition-free, and receive additional support services to ensure their success in college, including academic support, counseling and community events.
- Town Hall meeting on Racial Equity for Women and Girls of Color - The College hosted a town hall meeting to discuss issues related to empowering women as well as advocating for changes in policies to remove barriers to success for women and women owned businesses. I gave the welcome address and our Trading Up coordinator represented the College at this Town Hall meeting. Attendees included the Lt. Governor, Minnesota Legislators, community leaders, Minnesota Commissioners, executive directors of non-profit organizations, and constituents. Providing access and opportunities that intentionally promote equity is one key element of Saint Paul College strategic goals.
- Successful Perkins Compliance Site Visit - The College successfully completed a Perkins compliance site visit. Saint Paul College is the Perkins Consortia leader for Saint Paul Public Schools. Kudos to the Dean of Institutional Research and Planning, the Dean of Enrollment Management, and our Finance/Business Services team in preparing our compliance report. Perkins federal funds are used to promote the participation of high school students in the Business/ Finance, Construction, Health, Manufacturing, Service, and Transportation occupational cluster programs at Saint Paul College.
While I may often use “Be Bold, Be Inspired, and Be Relevant. Amazing things are happening at Saint Paul College.” as an ending for my blog and other correspondence, somehow for this week, it really seems like those things were at the center of most of the activities on our campus. Thank you all for your contributions and engagement in all things regarding Saint Paul College!
Best wishes for a relaxing and warmer weekend.
Rassoul Dastmozd, PhD
Saint Paul College