The Tenth Week of Spring Semester
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Saint Paul College A Community & Technical College

The Tenth Week of Spring Semester

​The more discussions and conversations I have with people, particularly with students, the more enriched, enlightened and enthusiastic I feel as an educator. This week in particular was very refreshing for me as I look to the future of education as a whole, and where we all are headed.

I happened to have an in-depth conversation on education with an alumna, who is further pursuing her education at Metropolitan State University and interviewed me for her class on perspectives. We discussed the value of education and what it has meant to me, and it’s very obvious that education continues to be important to her. For the College, keeping connections with our alumni is part of our mission of “Education for Employment…Education for Life.” I also met with one of our current students who has just been elected as the Phi Theta Kappa Minn-Kota Regional President for the 2016-2017 academic year. I had the opportunity to talk to him about his involvement on campus and his involvement with our chapter of the 2-year community college honor society, Phi Theta Kappa. Our Beta Xi Alpha chapter received many awards at the regional conference, including recognition for its College Project “Destination Graduation,” promoting college completion. Educational opportunity and completion is such an important focus for us all.

Our students are remarkable and their experiences make Saint Paul College a better place for everyone. Their involvement in and out of the classroom give vibrancy to the College and our entire campus environment. I am proud of our students and moreover, our faculty and staff members, who support our students.

Here’s a short recap of my activities this week:

  • Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) Board of Trustees Meeting – I attended MnSCU Board of Trustee meeting via Web Ex. The meeting focused on academic and student affairs initiatives/policies, the business case for ISRS Next Generation, human resources, audit/compliance, finance and facilities.
  • Twin Cities Construction Group - the Dean of Workforce Training and Continuing Education and I met with the executive leadership team of Twin Cities Construction Group to discuss workforce development and training strategies and system change.
  • Central Corridor Anchor Partnership Executive Committee Meeting - I attended a Central Corridor Anchor Partnership Executive Committee meeting where we discussed workforce system strategies for the healthcare sector.
  • President’s Advisory Council Executive meeting - I met with the Chair, Vice Chair, and Secretary of our President’s Advisory Council to discuss the results of their assessment tools and future direction of the Council.
  • Friends of Saint Paul College Foundation Board Meeting - We discussed the Friends of Saint Paul College Foundation Strategic Plan and fund raising priorities to make education affordable and within reach for our students.
  • Spring Scholarship Reception – in celebration of scholarship recipients and donors, members of Saint Paul College leadership team, faculty and staff, and I welcomed individual and corporate donors and 60 of our students who received scholarships. The tireless giving from generous individual donors including faculty, staff, administrators, members of our community, and corporate donors makes education affordable for our students. This year, Friends of Saint Paul College provided 250 scholarships for our students. It’s never too late to give. If you would like to donate and be engaged for with good cause, please go to.
  • Trading Up Program Orientation and Graduation - I welcomed new Trading Up program students and also gave the graduation keynote for the program in this dual evening event. The Saint Paul College Trading Up program provides a career pathway into the skilled building and construction trades for women, veterans and individuals traditionally underserved by the Skills Trades. ​ We are grateful to the many organizations funding this project.
  • Exploring Partnership Opportunities with BestPrep - the Dean of Enrollment Management and I met with the President/CEO of BestPrep. BestPrep is a statewide nonprofit organization with a mission to prepare 4-12 grade students with business, career and financial literacy skills through hands-on experiences that inspire success in work and life. We will be exploring partnership opportunities between Saint Paul College and BestPrep.

In the news this week and noteworthy items:

Multiple Achievements of our Beta Xi Alpha Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society
I am proud to share with you the many achievements and accomplishments of our Beta Xi Alpha Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society. They received recognition at the recent Minn-Kota Regional PTK Conference. Eight of our Beta Xi Alpha chapter students attended the conference, along with their faculty advisors, Dr. Ayesha Shariff and Ms. Beth Arnold. Kudos to our students and faculty advisors for their commitment to excellence. The following is a list of awards the Beta Xi Alpha chapter received:

  • Five Star status - The Beta Xi Alpha Chapter has again earned this status
  • Distinguished Theme Award for the Honors in Action Project, “Police Perception: How are People’s Perceptions of the Police Affected by Race, Age, Gender, Socioeconomic Status, and Previous Interactions?"
  • College Project Award, 1st Runner Up, for the chapter's College Project, “Destination Graduation,” promoting college completion
  • Most Distinguished Chapter, 1st Runner Up, in the Minn-Kota region
  • 1st Runner Up for its Honors in Action Project in addition to the Theme Award.
  • The chapter was also elected to hold the office of Minn-Kota Regional President for the 2016-17 academic year. Mr. Kevin Thao will serve in this position next year.
  • Second highest combined score for both of the chapter's projects in the Minn-Kota region

I am so very proud our students and their faculty advisors, and the great work that they continue to do as part of this very prestigious international honor society. Please join me in congratulating them all on their accomplishments.

Spring Play Friday and Saturday - Please join us!

midsummer nights dream

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, by William Shakespeare

  • Free and open to the public, in our Theatre
  • Friday March 18 and Saturday March 19, 2016, at 7:30pm
    • ASL Interpreters available Friday, March 18 performance
    • Opening night reception by the Culinary Arts Department

All details can be found at

I’m grateful for another successful and productive week at our College as our students and faculty returned to campus after spring break. I can’t say enough about the support we receive, not only scholarship donations, but also funding from corporations, foundations and organizations for our many programs that provide educational and career pathways for our students. Thank you to all who contribute to the success of our students, as well of our success as a college.

I wish you a relaxing weekend.

My best,​

Rassoul Dastmozd

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