Mid-term exams are well under way, and I wish our students much success in achieving their academic goals. The colors of autumn are gorgeous, which just adds to our unseasonably warm weather this week. I marvel at nature’s beauty and its mastery of color pallets.
This week, I spoke with several of our students as I was walking around campus. One student in particular informed me that he graduated from Wayzata High School but chose to attend Saint Paul College. I inquired why. He responded that Saint Paul College has a reputation of being a student-centered college. I asked whether we are living to that reputation. He responded with confidence and a smile.
Each and every day, our dedicated staff and faculty welcome students from many locations around the globe; together, we work diligently so when our students start here, they can go anywhere.
After all, if we do not take care of our students and our community, who will?
Here’s a short recap of my week:
African Diaspora Lead in Professional Networking Event - I attended a professional networking event hosted by the State of Minnesota and the City of Saint Paul to promote networking opportunities with the State and City of Saint Paul leaders, employers and HR managers for African Community members of the Twin Cities and encourage social and professional connections among attendees.
German Guests – This week Saint Paul College hosted two faculty members and 20 students from Berufskolleg-Neuss, Germany. This short visit gave our faculty and students the opportunity to become familiar with the German model of apprenticeship training. Saint Paul College students and German students engaged in teambuilding and networking opportunities. Our Culinary Arts students and faculty prepared a delicious meal for our guests.
L-R: Student Senate Leadership, Galen Decker, vice president; Pierre Young, marketing & events coordinator; Tom Martinson, secretary; KaNong Yang, former marketing & events coordinator; Linda Peterson, Student Senate advisor; Amethyst O’Connell, president; Rassoul Dastmozd, president/CEO.
Meeting with Student Senate - I along with several members of the Saint Paul College executive leadership team met with Saint Paul College Student Senate leaders to discuss issues of interest for our student leaders and the student body at Saint Paul College. I am proud of our student senate leaders as they work very hard to represent student interests and advocate for them. Kudos to KaNong Yang, 2016-2017 Student Senate marketing & events coordinator, who received special recognition for leading efforts for special welcome signs in multiple languages making Saint Paul College a more welcoming campus.
Executive Director of Friends of Saint Paul College Interviews - the chair of the Friends of Saint Paul College Foundation Board, the executive director of Marketing, Communications and Recruitment, and I interviewed finalists for the executive director position of the Foundation. Last year, the Foundation awarded scholarships to 300 students, worth $350K.
Chancellor Search Advisory Committee - I along with several individuals (students, faculty, staff, administrators, and private business/industry representatives) participated in the search committee meeting for the hiring of new chancellor of Minnesota State.
MN Philanthropy Partners Board Retreat Meeting - I attended a Minnesota Philanthropy Partners Board of Directors retreat and a regular meeting to identify strategic priorities for this foundation.
Comprehensive Workforce Solution conversation – I met with the interim executive director of Comprehensive Workforce Solutions to discuss how we can ensure to leverage our customized training and continuing education to strengthen Minnesota’s workforce in a manner that is financially sustainable.
Saint Paul Public Schools Counselor’s Breakfast - Saint Paul College hosted a SPPS counselors to explore potential partnerships to promote student success and intentional pathways from SPPS to college. Over 100 area counselors attended this event. The highlight for this event were our faculty and staff who welcomed this group and made awesome presentations for our guests.
Sunrise Bank Community Breakfast - I attended the Sunrise Bank Annual Breakfast meeting. This breakfast meeting was a wonderful professional networking opportunity.
Youth Zone Fitness - I met with a representative of Youth Zone Fitness and discussed potential partnerships between Youth Zone Fitness and Saint Paul College.
Power of YOU Peer Mentor Program Meeting – I joined Grotto Foundation board members at the Power of YOU Peer Mentor meeting. The Peer Mentor program is a one-year commitment from mentors/mentees to participate in the program based on a leadership development model that leadership is knowing and living your values and working in collaboration in others to improve your community/world.
Asian Pacific Islander Minnesota Appreciation Award Dinner - I attended the Asian Pacific Islander Minnesota Appreciation Award Dinner. The Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans is an intentional partner of Saint Paul College.
James J. Hill Center Conversation - I met with a team from the James J. Hill Center to discuss potential partnership opportunities with our Workforce Training and Continuing Education department and the Center that would provide entrepreneurship training and services.
I will end this week’s blog by offering my humble gratitude to our faculty and staff who extended random acts of kindness, their care, and empathy towards our students who have lost family members and friends on Saturday in Mogadishu’s car bombing. The unfortunate acts of violence in many places around the globe remind us of how fragile life is. We should sincerely care for each other.
“Without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community.”
― Anthony J. D'Angelo
What makes Saint Paul College standout are the people who work here. We truly care for our students and our community.
I wish you a relaxing weekend.
Rassoul Dastmozd, PhD
Saint Paul College