I think Mother Nature has been creating her own mash-up of fall and winter seasons. While I would have liked warmer weather again this week, I can still appreciate the beauty of bright white snow on multi-colored autumn leaves.
Adding to that seasonal mash-up is Spring Semester registration starting. Classes are already filling up, which means students are proactively involved in planning their next semester. During the past few weeks, Pathway Advising has held multiple, specialized advising and registration events to help students with their academic plans. Special information sessions were also held by our recruiter/admission specialists, teaming up with program faculty to help get students on the right path for starting Spring Semester.
I am grateful to all of our staff and faculty for their constant attention to detail in assisting students with course registration and partnering with them to help ensure they are fulfilling their program major requirements.
Here’s a short recap of my week:
This week, many of our students, staff, and faculty celebrated Halloween by wearing costumes to work, like the College library faculty and staff pictured on the left: library technicians Diana Lundell and Diana Tallent, library work-study Samantha Sappas, and librarian Ben Tri. The library is always a bright, welcoming place, but their costumes brought a nice amount of levity for the occasion. Many thanks to all those students, staff and faculty who brightened up the campus to celebrate Halloween!
Comprehensive Workforce Solutions Steering Committee Meeting - along with the interim executive director and four other colleges and universities of Minnesota State presidents, we met about the development of a Comprehensive Workforce Solution model using the expertise and resources of our customized training and continuing education units to strengthen Minnesota's workforce in a manner that is financially sustainable and market competitive. This model must enable us to serve more employers more proactively, more comprehensively, while delivering greater value.
Meeting with a Community Leader - I met with two community leaders who are passionate supporters of Saint Paul College, to discuss philanthropy and Minnesota’s current and future economic and workforce trends. As a matter of fact, one community leader is an alum of Saint Paul College, and we’re grateful for this lifelong support.
Meeting with a Donor - I along with the VP of Student Affairs met with a potential donor who will continue to fund two of our programs: Power of YOU (for recent high-school graduates) and Make it Count (for adult learners). These programs support as many students as possible based on student need and funds available. In addition to financial assistance, students receive advising, career and academic support to promote student success.
Meeting with President/CEO and Sr. Executive VP of Bremer Bank - I hosted and toured the Bremer Bank president/CEO and senior executive vice president of Non-Profit Banking/Investment, providing them with the opportunity to learn about the work that we do at Saint Paul College, and how the College is a catalyst for training the much needed workforce talent in Minnesota.
Saint Paul College Student Senate Equity/Inclusion Officer Meeting - I had the good fortune of meeting with the Saint Paul College Student Senate equity and inclusion officer this week. Our conversation was remarkable. We delved into the honors program, community building, food disparity, civic engagement, and environmental sustainability, to name just a few of the subjects we covered. I am proud of our students.
Downtown Development Framework Steering Committee – I attended a Downtown Development Framework steering committee meeting at the Saint Paul Riverfront Corporation to discuss convening civic, business, and community leaders in a community-based and centered design process to create a more vital downtown. We also focused on developing a Downtown Vitality Vision (DVV) and Strategies for the Special Service District.
Metro Alliance Presidents Meeting - I attended a Metro Alliance Presidents meeting at North Hennepin Community College, where we discussed the alliance work plan for this year, comprised of: student success, sharing core services, and metro four-year degree completion. Additionally, we discussed grant collaborative efforts, marketing Initiatives, foundation Services, intercity leadership visit, and sharing of services.
Central Corridor Anchor Partnership (CCAP) – I attended the 4th quarter Central Corridor Anchor Partnership (CCAP) Executive Committee meeting to discuss and promote workforce system strategies for the healthcare and financial services occupational sector.
Minnesota State Students Association and Chancellor’s Meeting – I met with Interim Chancellor Malhotra and members of student organizations LeadMN and Student United as part of their monthly meeting. LeadMN and Student United represent students from all of Minnesota State’s two-year colleges and universities, respectively.
Minnesota Management Budget Bonding Bill Presentation - I along with the interim chancellor of Minnesota State and vice chancellor of Finance and Facilities, Minnesota State Facilities Team and Governmental Affairs met with the commissioner of MMB to present the Capital Bonding request bill. I presented about our new construction, the Health and Science Alliance Center, and the State investment in terms of expanding talent development opportunities for ALL of our students, rather than thinking only about brick and mortar.
Breakfast with Commissioners of Department of Revenue and Minnesota Management Budget - I hosted and had a breakfast meeting with two state of Minnesota commissioners to discuss equity/inclusion and enterprise-wide initiatives across the state.
Meeting with the Community Network Vice President from Bush Foundation - The executive director of the International Institute of Minnesota and I met with the community network vice president from the Bush Foundation to discuss student success strategies at the College.
The Saint Paul & Minnesota Community Foundations - Minnesota Philanthropy Partners is now called The Saint Paul & Minnesota Community Foundations, and I attended their Governance Committee and Executive Committee meetings
Related educational news:
Both articles are so relevant to our students. Keeping college affordable and accessible is critical for our students. As I walk around the campus, I make a point to talk to students to get their perspectives, and learn about their journeys here. I happened to talk to two students this week - one is majoring in a skills trade program and the other in engineering. Like so many other students here, they both hold down full-time jobs while attending Saint Paul College. Both students are satisfied with their experiences at the College and their interactions with staff and faculty. I think that is because we all are so cognizant of the multiple priorities students have with work, school and their families. Our priority is to provide student with all the tools they need to be successful.
I am grateful to our faculty and staff who help our students to start here and go anywhere. After all, if we do not take care of our students and community, who will?
I wish you a relaxing weekend.
Rassoul Dastmozd, PhD
Saint Paul College