In early May, all students were invited to participate in a “photo shoot.” It was a cool, misty day, but scores of students who wanted to represent Saint Paul College showed up with enthusiasm. This spontaneous group pictured above, all who had chosen different signs to hold, wanted to be in a group shot. Their programs of study include Liberal Arts, health sciences and STEM programs. I think it’s safe to say that they all love Saint Paul College, like the one sign says, but they see a “bright future,” feel “bold,” want to “dream big,” are “inspired” and feel “relevant.” Their journeys are all different, but have met on common ground at Saint Paul College. That’s what we all hope for our students – that they connect with Saint Paul College, each other, and all of us.
Our students’ accomplishments and what education means to each of them, is as unique and distinct as each individual. We are the institution where faculty, staff and administrators dedicate themselves to providing the best education for our students in an environment that nurtures, encourages and supports them. We partner with our students to help them reach their goals and aspirations. That’s why I think of Saint Paul College as being at the intersection of opportunity and success.
Here’s a recap of a few of my activities this week:
College Leadership Meeting
I attended the College Leadership Team meeting along with members of the Executive Leadership Team to discuss Higher Learning Commission updates.
Minneapolis Saint Paul Regional Workforce Innovation Network
I met with the acting director of MSPWin and attended a phone conference to discuss policy and advocacy issues related to post-secondary career and technical education and transfer from 2-year institutions to 4-year universities. MSPWin, an intentional partner of the College, makes investments on various workforce and talent development strategies and systems, such as on-ramps into pathways to prosperity and narrowing the economic disparity gap.
Minnesota State Career Technical Education Presidents Meeting
I along with other college and university presidents of Minnesota State attended a Board of Trustee meeting via WebEx.
Science Museum of Minnesota Mission Advancement Committee
I attended the Science Museum of Minnesota Mission Advancement Committee Meeting. SMM serves a vital role in the community, providing resources and opportunities for learning that are valued by families, educators, funders, and policy-makers.
Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundations Board
I attended the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundations Community Impact Committee Meeting. The board of directors works to ensure that all the Foundations' affiliates receive quality services and benefit from our shared expertise.
The vice president of Academic Affairs and I interviewed several candidates for faculty positions at the College. Investing in full-time faculty positions is a strategic priority, and advances our commitment to teaching and learning.
Friends of Saint Paul College Foundation Board Meeting
I attended a Friends of Saint Paul College Foundation Board meeting to discuss strategies for donor engagement, fundraising, and promoting philanthropic engagement to garner financial support to fund student scholarships. The Friends of Saint Paul College mission is to inspire philanthropic giving for scholarships and programs to promote student success 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 various initiatives, so we can meet and exceed the needs of students and our community.
Meeting with Community Leaders
I met with two community leaders who are passionate supporters of Saint Paul College, to discuss a youth foster care mentoring initiative with a pathway to a post-secondary education at Saint Paul College. Both community leaders recognize the critical role that Saint Paul College plays in providing relevant and innovative programs to produce well-educated and well-trained workers who contribute to our economy and a prosperous Minnesota.
Meeting with the CEO of District Energy St. Paul and Ever-Green Energy Board Meeting
I met with the CEO of Ever-Green Energy and District Energy St. Paul to discuss strategic priorities of Ever-Green Energy and District Energy of St. Paul. In the district energy field, District Energy St. Paul is considered the most notable in the United States for its use of renewable energy sources and implementation of energy conservation measures.
Articles that may interest you:
MPR News, 5/22/19: This session, Higher Education got less than requested, but also real money
MN DEED, Press Release 5/16/19: Minnesota adds 3,600 jobs in April
Construction led all sectors annually, gaining 10.5 percent over the previous year
NY Times, Opinion, Thomas Friedman, 5/14/19: President Trump, Come to Willmar - This Minnesota town is a modern, successful American melting pot.
Finally, a reminder that Saint Paul College will be closed for the Memorial Day holiday, from Saturday, May 25 through Monday, May 27, 2019.
Memorial Day is a particularly poignant day for those whose loved ones lost their lives during service to our great nation. May we keep the grieving friends and family members in our hearts and minds on this day, while paying tribute to the valor of the fallen. 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 this country. 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 27 at 10am. Other ceremonies are listed by the Pioneer Press/TwinCities.com: Memorial Day ceremonies and events taking place across Twin Cities metro.
I wish you a relaxing weekend, and look forward to the start of Summer Term, on Tuesday, May 28!
Rassoul Dastmozd, PhD
Saint Paul College