A significant highlight of every educator’s career is to hear from students about their experiences at their college. This week, I received an email from one of our former Saint Paul College students. The following is an excerpt from her email:
“My time at Saint Paul College is done and it still feels a bit strange. I'm writing to say a
BIG Thank You for the best college experience I could have ever asked for. I started classes at Saint Paul College in the fall of 2013 after graduating high school 18 years before that. I was scared out of my mind. I made it through my first week of classes and knew I had chosen the right school and I needed to not just complete the certificate program I was in, but I needed to complete the degree. After completing my two-year degree from Saint Paul College and staying one more year. I am transferring to Metropolitan State University.
During my time at Saint Paul College, I was part of the TRIO program and took part in the work-study program. The opportunities I had during my time at the College were completely awesome. My experience and interactions with my faculty and staff were amazing and marvelous. I will end this email by saying again a BIG Thank You for the best college experience I could have ever asked for, Saint Paul College really truly cares about all their students and it feels like a second home when a person is on campus. I will keep telling myself what I heard many times during my time at
Saint Paul College, Start Here Go Anywhere!!”
Thank you to our dedicated faculty and staff for being game changers and providing opportunities for success and achievement for our students.
Here’s a short recap of my activities during the past two weeks:
Saint Paul College Commencement Ceremony
Last week, Saint Paul College held its 2018 Commencement Ceremony, and it was an exceptional evening. I wrote more about it in my blog last week:
https://www.saintpaul.edu/news/Final-Week-of-Spring-Semester-2018. Our graduates are well on their way in their life's journey, eager to start their new jobs and join the workforce in new careers; many are transferring to four-year institutions.
Greater Metropolitan Workforce Council Board Meeting
I along with private and public sectors leaders attended the
Greater Metropolitan Workforce Council Board meeting to discuss strategies that will benefit members of our communities who have traditionally been underserved and underemployed with a special focus on sector partnerships and career pathways to prosperity. Saint Paul College plays a critical role by training qualified talent for Minnesota’s economy and workforce shortage. Check out
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 Saint Paul and Ramsey County.
Mayor Melvin Carter’s State of Our City Summit
Mayor Melvin Carter’s State of Our City Summit on Saturday morning, at Johnson High School, and look forward to the conversation about the future of Saint Paul with all those attending.
Hosting Saint Paul City Attorney
I hosted the
Saint Paul City Attorney to share information about Saint Paul College and the critical role that the College plays by helping the city and region remain competitive as our students attain viable careers at the College.
Meeting with Community Leaders
I met with two community leader who are passionate supporters of Saint Paul College to discuss philanthropy and Minnesota’s current and future economic and workforce trends as well as internship opportunities for Saint Paul College students.
Neighborhood House Board of Directors Meeting
I attended a
Neighborhood House Board of Directors meeting to discuss Social Enterprise initiative.
The Saint Paul and Minnesota Community Foundations Board Meeting and Governance Strategic Planning Meeting
The Saint Paul and Minnesota Community Foundations Board meeting. I also met with the vice president of strategic initiatives to discuss a road map for strategic planning
AFSCME Meet and Confer
I met with the AFSCME employee bargaining unit to field their questions and discuss operations and work conditions at the College.
President’s Advisory Council
Our administrative team members joined me at our
President’s Advisory Council meeting. The
President’s Advisory Council members are volunteers and tireless community leaders who provide me and the College with advice about national, regional, and local trends related to programming and initiatives so we can meet and exceed the needs of students and our Community.
Gateway to College Graduation
I gave the welcome keynote to this year’s
Gateway to College students who graduated from Saint Paul Public Schools and Saint Paul College. I can't say often enough how much intentional partnerships really matter. One such partnership is that of Saint Paul Public Schools, Saint Paul College and the Gateway to College Network. The program enables at-risk 16-20 year-old students to complete their high school diploma requirements while simultaneously earning college credit toward a college degree or certificate, attending classes at Saint Paul College. A great win-win for each student! Please go to
www.saintpaul.edu/GatewaytoCollege to read more about this impactful program. We appreciate everyone's collective work efforts to make this partnership a fantastic opportunity for our students. Again, special congratulations to the Class of 2018.
Thank you for choosing Saint Paul College!
Practical Nursing Pinning Ceremony
I gave the welcome keynote at the Saint Paul College Practical Nursing Program Pinning Ceremony. I am so honored to witness so many of our
Practical Nursing students cross the finish line and become caring health practitioners for those in need in our community. I am proud of our students and
they inspire us ALL.
Career and Technical Education President Workshop
I along with several Minnesota State presidents from two-year colleges attended a workshop that sets the vision for the future of Minnesota State career and technical education.
Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees Meeting
I attended the
Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees meeting via Web Ex.
Minneapolis Saint Paul Regional Workforce Innovation Network
I attended a meeting at
Minneapolis Saint Paul Regional Workforce Innovation Network (MSPWin) to discuss intentional investment on various workforce and talent development strategies.
Lunch with President Emeritus Donovan Schwichtenberg
I had a lunch meeting with President Schwichtenberg. He is enjoying retirement and pursuing many hobbies, such as farming.
Conversation with Higher Learning Commission (HLC) Liaison
I along with members of Saint Paul College executive leadership team met with the
Higher Learning Commission liaison to discuss details in preparation of the HLC site visit.
St. Paul is Listening: Youth Summit on Gun Violence
I gave the welcome remarks at the
St. Paul is Listening: Youth Summit on Gun Violence held at the College, and Mayor Melvin Carter delivered remarks as well. The public event was hosted by
Moms Demand Action - MN and
Students Demand Action MN. It was an opportunity for students and youth from schools and communities across St. Paul to network and meet elected officials to discuss ways to end gun violence and promote peace in our communities.
Higher ground Academy (HGA) Commencement at Saint Paul College
I gave the keynote for the Higher Ground Academy Commencement Ceremony held at Saint Paul College for their high school students. With 45 students in their 2018 graduating class, over 25% of them will be attending Saint Paul College. This year’s commencement theme was purposeful living and leadership.
Hosting the Mayor of Neuss, Germany
The dean of Career and Technical Education and I hosted the mayor of Neuss, Germany, and his delegation at Saint Paul College. Saint Paul College has long standing relationship with several technical colleges from City of Neuss, which is sister city of Saint Paul.
LEAD MN Meeting with Chancellor
As part of their monthly meeting, Chancellor Malhotra and I met with students of
LeadMN, which represents the 180,000 two-year college students in Minnesota. Ongoing open dialogues and connection with students is paramount to the success of Minnesota State and Saint Paul College.
TRIO Scholar’s Award Ceremony
Along with Saint Paul College executive leadership team members, I attended the TRIO Supplemental Support Services (SSS) Scholar’s Award Ceremony. I am so proud of our TRIO students. They have crossed many challenges in order to attain their academic goals and graduate from Saint Paul College. I am grateful to our dedicated staff for caring and supporting our students at the College. For more information about the TRIO program, go to
MN Cyber Range Opens at Metropolitan State University
I along with a cybersecurity faculty member attended the opening of
MN Cyber Range at Metropolitan State University, a premier regional training facility for cybersecurity professionals. Saint Paul College currently offers CyberSecurity AAS and certificate programs:
I along with Metro higher education institutions attended a meeting with MetNet Officials to discuss IT backbone and endpoint technology needs for public Metro wide colleges and universities.
L-R: Anne Dresen, Major Gifts Officer; President Rassoul Dastmozd; Saint Paul Consul Gerardo Guerrero; David Kline, Executive Director of Foundation and Alumni Development; Jennifer Rohde, Director of Resource Development; Logan Spindler, Development and Alumni Officer
IME BECAS 2018 Scholarship Program Ceremony
Saint Paul College and several other colleges and universities of Minnesota State were awarded scholarships for students of Mexican heritage for the 2018-2019 academic year through funding from the IME-BECAS Scholarship Program (Institute for Mexicans Abroad Scholarship). Saint Paul Consul Gerardo Guerrero welcomed all participating recipient colleges and universities. Saint Paul College is grateful for the Consulate’s ongoing support and partnership over the past seven years, which has increased access to affordable exceptional higher education opportunities for our students.
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Saint Paul College will be closed for the Memorial Day holiday, from Saturday, May 26 through Monday, May 28, 2018. Please remember the
National Moment of Remembrance that encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3pm local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation. One of the largest tributes in the Twin Cities area will be the Memorial Day Ceremony at the
Fort Snelling National Cemetery on Monday May 28 at 10am.
I wish you a relaxing weekend, and look forward to the start of Summer Term, on Tuesday, May 29!
Rassoul Dastmozd, PhD
Saint Paul College