On Monday August 21, 2017, fall semester begins, and there's real excitement in the air as we get ready to welcome new and returning students to campus. Our hardworking faculty and staff have been working with a laser focus on assisting our students with their last minute needs before the semester start. The efforts from all members of Saint Paul College team has been non-stop. What a dedicated group of faculty and staff! Our team members inspire us all. Thank you for going the extra mile and facilitating access and learning opportunities for our students.
After all, if we do not take care of our students and community, who will?
Here's a short recap of my week:
Power of YOU Welcome Day – Over 255 new
Power of YOU students attended the “Power of YOU Welcome Day” in preparation for their first semester at Saint Paul College. Keynote speaker, Melvin Carter, Executive Director of the Minnesota Children’s Cabinet, advising Governor Mark Dayton, provided inspirational and motivational views about making choices in life. Saint Paul College Power of YOU graduates Emilio Galvan, Nickolas Przybilla and Eloisa Segura served on a student panel focused on “Questions & Concerns about College.” I officially welcomed these young men and women to Saint Paul College at the afternoon sessions. The
Power of YOU supports as many students as possible based on student need and funds available for the program. Advising and support services are provided to help students succeed at college.
Central Corridor Anchor Partnership Executive Leadership Meeting – I attended a Central Corridor Anchor Partnership (CCAP) Executive Leadership phone conference with the executive team to discuss the future of health related workforce sector occupations.
St. Paul Port Authority – during a brief meeting with the Executive Director of the Saint Paul Port Authority, we discussed various economic development opportunities and initiatives, and the critical role that Saint Paul College plays in preparing the future need by the city of Saint Paul and our region.
Minnesota State Chief Diversity Officer Interviews - I took part in the interview process of Minnesota State Chief Diversity Officer finalists.
Generation Next - I was interviewed by a participant in the City of Saint Paul's Right Track program who is an intern at Generation Next. She'll be attending Saint Paul College, and we also spoke about her career goals. Generation Next is an organization dedicated to closing the achievement gap.
Potential Friends of Saint Paul College Foundation Board Member - the dean of Health Sciences and Services, the interim executive director of Friends of Saint Paul College and I met with an executive from a major health group to discuss interest in a potential Foundation Board Member role. For more information on the Foundation go to www.saintpaul.edu/friends
ChallengeHER - The College hosted the ChallengeHER group, a national initiative to boost government contracting opportunities for women-owned small businesses with a special focus on the Women-owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contracting Program that delivers free workshops, mentoring, and direct access to government buyers. Saint Paul College has intentionally promoted the active participation of women in non-traditional occupational cluster programs as well as small business development and entrepreneurship initiatives.
Manufacturing Academic Partnership - I along with the deans of Workforce and Continuing Education and Career Technical Education and Business, as well as our partners from Saint Paul Public Schools, met with a multinational conglomerate corporation to discuss a Manufacturing Academic Partnership aimed at developing qualified employers in the field of mechatronics/electromechanical systems. For more information about Saint Paul College Electromechanical Systems programs, go to https://www.saintpaul.edu/programs/Pages/electromechanical-systems.aspx
City of Saint Paul Mayor's 2018 Budget Address – Mayor Chris Coleman delivered his 2018 Budget Address at Saint Paul College. Two outstanding young artists demonstrated their talents and creativity at the opening ceremony. Ava McFarlane sang the National Anthem. She is the front woman of her own neo soul band and just performed a lead role in a Minneapolis opera "Mother King." She works at Walker|West and is a student at the University of Saint Thomas. Donte Collins, inaugural Saint Paul Youth Poet Laureate through the arts organization TruArtSpeaks, read his poem “Love is Thicker." (You can view his 3/7/16 YouTube video of “Love is Thicker" poem at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6b_rm507PIc). Born in the heart of the Rondo area, he is a highly recognized writer and performer, and aspires to see and participate in ongoing efforts to make this city great. He is a senior at Augsburg College.
Complete College America - I met with Minnesota State Sr. Vice Chancellor of Academic and Student Services to discuss the alignment between the Complete College America and several of initiatives currently underway at Minnesota State that contribute to student success at our colleges and universities.
Fall In-Service for FT and PT faculty - I gave the keynote address at the 2017 In-Service for full- and part-time faculty members. The theme for the coming year is “Creating Equitable Learning environments" to leverage different teaching approaches at the College with the learning styles of students in order to enhance and maximize student learning.
I will end this week's blog by sharing a quote from Nelson Mandela.
"No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite."
--1994, from his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom
I want to thank the faculty and staff at Saint Paul College who, regardless of their roles and responsibilities, exhibit and demonstrate the ethics of caring and the ability to see different perspectives through others' eyes! Our team continues to promote and create an equitable learning environment.
I wish you a relaxing weekend.
Rassoul Dastmozd, PhD
Saint Paul College