The highlight of my day is always when I engage our students in conversations as I walk around the campus.
Here is brain teaser for you:
What do a professional male boxer, the first female amateur boxer to compete wearing a hijab, a daughter of a missionary family, a post-secondary school opportunity student, an engineer who graduated from Minnesota State Mankato, an employee of a fortune 100 company, a father who teaches at Saint Paul, and a retiring employee of the Archdioceses of Saint Paul and Minneapolis all have in common?
These individuals, either attended, or are currently attending Saint Paul College
Our students and their life journeys inspire me. Our students come from a wide array of life experiences and stations around the globe. They enrich our College and our community by offering their own culture, customs, life experiences, and values, all in search of bettering themselves, and improving life conditions for our community and their family members.
To this end, I am grateful to our faculty and staff who spread limitless generosity across Saint Paul College by demonstrating their acts of kindness and attitude of care, as a willing and passionate tireless partner for our students; whether staying beyond normal teaching hours, reviewing student resume, taking part in mock prep interviews for our students who are pursuing their first employment opportunities, guiding students with their academic plan for transfer to another college or university or attain their first chance of employment, sponsoring anonymous scholarships, or, our dedicated staff who go beyond the call of duty to answer questions and attend to need of our students with an encouraging and caring smile. Undoubtedly, Saint Paul College is where everyone’s success starts. I am grateful to our students and faculty for going the extra mile, so we can deliver on our promise,
when our students start here, they can go anywhere.
Here’s a short recap of my activities this week:
Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Leadership Council - I attended the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities leadership council meeting with other
Minnesota State presidents. We discussed Minnesota State Legislative Priorities, 2018-2019 Budget Planning, 2018-2019 Charting the Future Strategic Priorities and evaluation of these goals, System Online Strategies, and System Wide Enterprise Human Resource Transactional Services.
Hennepin County Workforce and Career Pathways Mapping - I was invited to address the Hennepin County Workforce/Career Pathways Mapping to discuss the intentional and engaged role that Saint Paul College can play in devising career pathways in Construction, IT, Business/Finance, Health, Service, Manufacturing, Transportation, and Skilled Trades.
Registrar Katie Yep, recognized for 45 years of service, with President Dastmozd
Employee Recognition & Appreciation Event
I also attended our Employee Recognition & Appreciation celebration, which is held annually to thank all of our employees for their contributions each and every day to the College.
Special recognition is given annually to the employees for their years of service: first year faculty and employees serving 1 year and every 5th year after that, and retirees. Excellence awards are given to individuals who have been nominated by their peers with the finalists determined by the HR Committee for the following: Individual Faculty Excellence Award; Individual Staff Excellence Award; and Collaborative Team Excellence Award.
Our associates at the College are fantastic. What a wonderful, hardworking group of dedicated men and women who are making significant differences in the lives of our students. I am proud of our faculty, staff, and administrators. Their ultimate goal is to help students succeed.
Evergreen Energy and District Energy joint Boards Meeting - I attended a joint board meeting of
Evergreen Energy and
District Energy St. Paul. Evergreen Energy and District Energy St. Paul are considered to be the premier, most innovative and notable in the United States for their use of renewable energy sources and implementation of energy conservation measures and system design. The College currently offers a pre-apprenticeship program to develop skilled talents that District Energy needs.
Students United and Chancellor’s Meeting – I met with Chancellor Rosenstone and members of
Students United as part of their monthly meeting. Students United represents students regarding various system-wide policies and also work with Minnesota State staff on budget issues, legislative priorities, equity and inclusion plans, and building project planning.
Kappa Beta Delta Induction Ceremony - I provided a welcome and congratulatory remarks to the newest members at the College’s Kappa Beta Delta, Alpha Beta Gamma Chapter at their induction ceremony. Kappa Beta Delta is an academic honor society for business majors at Saint Paul College. Eligible members will automatically receive an invitation to join the honor society either in September or January. It is inspiring to see such a talented group of students. We are encouraging our students to become informed and engaged citizens who can wisely contribute to our community.
Weekly Legislative WebEx - I attended the Governmental Relations Weekly WebEx meetings where we discussed the Legislative Priorities of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.
Meeting with the Chairperson of the Board of China University of Technology
Alex Feng, Director of Taiwan International Education Association (TIEA); Carol Bormann Young, Interim Provost Metropolitan State; Josephine Su, Chairperson of the Board, China University of Technology; Rassoul Dastmozd, President/CEO Saint Paul College, Chef Nathan Sartain, Saint Paul College; Winston Liu, President, TIEA; and Paul Zhang, MN Coordinaotr of TIEA.
As part of the expanding global educational and learning opportunities for our students and faculty, I met with Josephine Shang-Kuan Su (above, center) chairperson of the Board of China University of Technology. Saint Paul College has already sent a Culinary Arts faculty member to Taiwan. This summer, two of our Culinary Arts faculty members will also be traveling to Taiwan as part of a faculty exchange and visiting with various schools in Taiwan. This summer, Saint Paul College will welcome 30 students from
China University of Technology who will study various certificate programs in our
Culinary Arts programs.
Spring Concert: Songs of Love, Peace and Dance
A lovely event for spring was held this week, sponsored by the Liberal Arts Division:
Spring Concert: Songs of Love, Peace and Dance, featured the Saint Paul College Singers, and Applied Voice and Piano students. This event was free and open to the public, and a small reception was held afterwards. It is wonderful to have these creative and artistic students sharing their talent and passion for music with us all!
Head of Saint Paul Consulate of Mexico Visits the College
Saint Paul College awarded scholarships to nine students of Mexican heritage in academic year 2016-2017 through funding from the IME-Becas (Institute for Mexicans Abroad Scholarship) matching grant from the Consulate of Mexico in Saint Paul. Saint Paul Consul Gerardo Guerrero visited Saint Paul College on Friday to thank the scholarship recipients for their dedication and encouraged them to “continue postsecondary education and take advantage of Consulate of Mexico resources.” Saint Paul College is grateful for the Consulate’s ongoing support and partnership over the past seven years, which has resulted in the academic success of over 70 students.
Upcoming Events – Saint Paul College Commencement
The highlight every year is our commencement ceremony. The Class of 2017 Graduation will be held on
Thursday, May 18, 2017 at 7:00pm in the Roy Wilkins Auditorium at Saint Paul RiverCentre. Free Shuttle Bus Service will be provided for graduates, family and friends to and from Roy Wilkins Auditorium. Parking at Saint Paul College is free for the day. For more information go to
2017 Graduation Commencement Ceremony.
In the news
I will end this blog by sharing the story of a dedicated, courageous young woman who is the first amateur allowed by USA Boxing to compete in a hijab:
She fought to box in a hijab. Now she’s inspiring the next generation of Muslim women fighters.
She is resilient, dedicated, brave, and a fighter. Yes, she is a proud member of Saint Paul College family. These are characteristic of ALL of our students from Saint Paul College.
When our students start here, they can go anywhere.
I wish you a relaxing weekend.
Rassoul Dastmozd, PhD
Saint Paul College