Two Weeks before the Start of Fall Semester
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Saint Paul College A Community & Technical College

Two Weeks before the Start of Fall Semester

​​​Fall Semester begins August 21, 2017, and our faculty and staff are focusing their efforts on assisting our students with fall registration, while also preparing to welcome our students who will be returning or starting their higher education journey. Everyone is actively engaged in living up our mantra of "The student is"​ and our promise that "when our students start here, they can go anywhere."​ Our students remain our inspiration!

One of the things we’re all excited about is our new Health and Science Alliance Center, with all of the finishing touches being made to prepare for its opening on August 21, 2017. This is not only great news for our students, faculty, and staff, but is quite newsworthy for the greater community around us. A reporter from the Highland Villager met with me, the dean of Health Sciences and Services and the executive director of Marketing, Communication, and Recruitment, and toured our wonderful new addition.​

Our Health and Science Alliance Center includes four science laboratories, two STEM/health flexible classrooms, two health science simulation labs, three business and industry classrooms, a university center, and three general classrooms for a total of approximately 45,000 new and renovated square feet. The $19 million building project was one of four projects funded for colleges and universities of Minnesota State and a top priority of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees.

Meeting with Community Leaders​ - I met with three community leaders who are passionate supporters of Saint Paul College to discuss philanthropy, potential for partnership, and Minnesota’s current and future economic and workforce trends.

Minneapolis Saint Paul Regional Workforce Innovation Network (MSPWin) – I attended the MSPWin Executive Leadership to discuss Letters of Intent for grants and special projects from various grantees and non-profit community based organizations.

Cabinet Retreat: I along with members of executive leadership team attended a retreat meeting where we discussed the College’s strategic priorities and initiatives, and how we can work as a high performing team.

Neighborhood House Finance Committee Meeting – I attended a Neighborhood House​ Finance Committee meeting. Neighborhood House is an intentional partner of Saint Paul College.

Downtown Development Framework Steering Committee – I attended a steering meeting at the Saint Paul Riverfront Corporation to discuss their mission of creating a more vibrant, engaging, and successful downtown St. Paul by convening civic, business, and community leaders in a community-based and centered design process, and to create a Downtown Development Framework that will coordinate major public and private investment, leverage new investment, and attract and retain employers to downtown.

State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO) Policy Conference​ – I along with the Minnesota State Sr. Vice Chancellor of Student and Academic Affairs and executives from two other state systems of higher education presented at the meeting of the national State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO) Higher Education Policy Conference. We discussed policy issues that impact student success and highlight innovative approaches and best practices that each of Minnesota, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania state systems are currently employing. For more information about SHEEO, please go to

LeadMN welcome for Interim Chancellor - I attended a welcome gathering for Devinder Malhotra, interim chancellor of Minnesota State, at the Minnesota State student association, now known as LeadMN.

Pioneer Press: Critical Role the College plays in narrowing disparity gap - I along with the executive director of Marketing, Communication, and Recruitment met with the Pioneer Press editor and a reporter to discuss the critical role that Saint Paul College plays in narrowing the disparity gap as well as promoting economic mobility for citizens of our community.

Executive Director of Friends of Saint Paul College Interviews - I along with the Friends of Saint Paul College Board Chair and Board Vice Chair interviewed executive director finalists. This year the Friends of Saint Paul College foundation reached endowment funds of one million dollars. All funds raised by the foundation are used to fund Saint Paul College student scholarships.

Faculty Interviews – I along with the Vice President of Academic Affairs interviewed faculty finalist for a teaching position at the College. Investing in full-time faculty positions is a strategic priority, and advances our commitment to teaching and learning.

Scrubs Camp for High School Students - Nearly 100 high school students participated in Scrubs Camp at Saint Paul College the last week of July. Conducted in partnership with HealthForce Minnesota, Scrubs Camp was supported by Regions, Fairview, and HealthEast, anchor institution members of the Central Corridor Anchor Partnership (CCAP).​

In the news:

I will end this week’s blog by sharing an update Marcus Johnson, a young man who is a Saint Paul College student. Marcus was critically injured on July 21, 2017 in the deadly bus crash and is making a slow recovery. More information is available in this Star Tribune article: 19-year-old critically injured in deadly St. Paul bus crash 'making small steps' toward recovery. Marcus is a resilient young man, full of spirit, and strength. Please keep Marcus in your thoughts and prayers.

I am thankful to our dedicated and hardworking faculty and staff who assist our students with determination, poise, and a welcoming smile.

I wish you a relaxing weekend. ​

Rassoul Dastmozd, PhD
Saint Paul College

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