If you have been on our campus during the past few weeks, you probably noticed over 20 different display banners in our hallways from Green Card Voices. Each banner tells the first-hand immigration story of foreign-born Americans, by helping us see the ‘wave of immigrants’ as individuals, with interesting stories of family, hard work, and cultural diversity. Their stories are not unlike the stories of so many of our own students at Saint Paul College. As I view these banners, I am reminded of my own story and experiences as an immigrant, and I see and hear myself in their stories. One thing we all have in common, whether we are immigrants or native-born Americans, is that like me, we have all discovered that we are never in this alone. We will always find people and places that will help guide us and nurture us. And we, in turn, will always find people and places that we will reach out to and give a helping hand, and nurture in return. I am so grateful to have found such kindness in my life and to be a part of our welcoming and nurturing community here at Saint Paul College.
Here’s a short recap of some of my activities this week:
- Andersen Corporation Meeting - the president of Pine Technical & Community College, our dean of Workforce Training and Continuing Education, and I met from Andersen Corporation human resources personnel to discuss workforce strategies and talent acquisition. Andersen Corporation is the largest window and door manufacturer in North America
- Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce City Exchange Visit - I welcomed and the College hosted representatives from the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. I provided this group information about the programs and services that Saint Paul College provides.
- Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees Meeting - I attended the MnSCU Board of Trustees meeting via Web Ex. The meeting focused on fiscal forecasting against various trends, introduction of two new university presidents, MnSCU branding, and celebration of faculty excellence in teaching luncheon.
- Minnesota Philanthropy Partners – Attended the Community Impact and Grants Committee meeting.
- Faculty Shared Governance - I along with members of College’s Executive Leadership Team met with the Faculty Shared Governance to discuss strategic and operational issues at the College.
- Minnesota State College Student Association Meeting (MSCSA) – Chancellor Rosenstone and I met with MSCSA students, as part of their monthly meeting. Ongoing open dialogues and connection with students is paramount to our success as an institution and MnSCU system.
- Construction Workforce System Change – Attended a construction occupational sectorial system change gathering along with the dean of Workforce and Continuing Education. Participants included construction firms, community based organizations, labor unions, employer organizations, and representatives from philanthropic organizations. This project is funded by a generous grant from the McKnight Foundation and Minneapolis Saint Paul Regional Workforce Innovation Network.
Events on Campus
Saint Paul College Wall of Fame Recognition Event
On Thursday, April 21, 2016, nearly two-hundred friends, family members, colleagues, dignitaries and well-wishers were here to acknowledge and applaud the 2016 Saint Paul College Wall of Fame Recognition award recipients. Each year, the College recognizes an alumnus and a community partner who have made an outstanding contribution to the success of our college. This year’s recipients are:
Distinguished Alumnus Award
Ryan Caulfield, a graduate of the Culinary Arts program in 1996, is currently the executive chef at Cossetta’s, where he recently oversaw the expansion of the restaurant to include a pastry shop and fine dining area. Caulfield has been an active member of the Culinary Advisory Committee and an important employer of Saint Paul College graduates.
Community Partner Award
Karin McCabe of McGough Construction has been a valuable member of the Carpentry Advisory Committee and a founding member of the Trading Up Advisory Board. McCabe’s efforts to recruit and retain underrepresented individuals for the construction trades benefits not just Saint Paul College, but the entire community.
Noteworthy Accomplishments by Faculty and Staff
- MnSCU Board of Trustees Award for Excellence in Teaching – Keith Setley and Kristin Pueringer
Mr. Keith Setley, Electrical Technology instructor, and Ms. Kristin Pueringer, Mathematics instructor, were among 35 Outstanding Educators honored at the MnSCU Board of Trustees Educator of the Year Award for Excellence in Teaching luncheon. These awards acknowledge and reward exceptional individual professional accomplishment and excellence in teaching. I am proud of them and I want to thank them for their accomplishments and what they bring to this institution to contribute to student success.
- MSCSA Instructor of the Year – Mr. Craig Maus
MnSCU Facility Director of the Year – Mr. Daniel Kirk
Equally remarkable, I offer our congratulations to Mr. Craig Maus, Business and Marketing instructor, for being recognized as the Instructor of the Year by the Minnesota State College Student Association. Nominated by students, this prestigious award is given to an instructor who “not only connects with their students to deliver the subject material, but does it in ways that allows students of all learning methods to succeed.”
I also want to recognize and congratulate Mr. Daniel Kirk, Physical Plant Director, for receiving the MnSCU Outstanding Facilities Management and Leadership award. He works tirelessly behind the scenes in to lead our efficient facilities team to make our campus attractive and safe for all.
- MnSCU "Golden Shoes" traveling trophy
I would be remiss not to recognize the efforts of Sarah Carrico, Daniel Kirk, Nathan Sartain, and Justin Bonnett for winning first place in the MnSCU "Golden Shoes" traveling trophy - a spring running competition that started about 14 years ago. This year’s event was at a wild life preserved in Rockford, MN - site of the annual Spring "Trail Mix" event - a 50 km (31 miles) team trail run - each member of the four person team ran 12.5 km or 7.75 miles.
I will end this blog by thanking all of our dedicated and hardworking faculty and staff who go the extra mile to facilitate opportunities for success for our students.
Be Bold, Be Inspired, and Be Relevant. Amazing things are happening here.
Rassoul Dastmozd, PhD
Saint Paul College