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Saint Paul College A Community & Technical College

The Sixth Week of Spring Semester

​​I am amazed by the level of engagement that our students demonstrate each and every day at the College. On Tuesday, when the College held a staff and faculty Professional Development Day, many of our students came to school anyway and made use of the study areas and computers in the Learning Commons, Library, and Computer Labs. I also caught a glimpse of several of our faculty members fielding students’ questions during the breaks!

This is what makes Saint Paul College a special place for our students and our community at large. As I often said, if we do not take care of our students, who will?

Here’s a short recap of my activities and meetings this week:

  • Exploring Opportunities and Educational Pathways – presidents of several Metro two-year colleges, myself included, and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Chancellor met with the president of the University of St. Thomas, and her team, to discuss the feasibility of establishing a guided pathway for community college students to four-year programs at St. Thomas.
  • Closing the Gap on Disparities in the Twin Cities – I attended the “Closing the Gap on Disparities in the Twin Cities” conversation at the Saint Paul Neighborhood House. This organization serves over 15,000 people each year.
  • Saint Paul Public Schools Career Exploration Fair – I gave a welcome address to 120 Saint Paul Public Schools 9-12th grade high school students who toured the campus as part of their career exploration activities. Thanks to all involved here on campus and especially to our admissions specialists.
  • Pathways to Prosperity for Women - I met with a foundation from the Metro area that wants to promote pathways to prosperity for women in Minnesota and workforce system change, along with two of our students, our Foundation grant writer, our executive director of Friends of Saint Paul College, and our dean of Workforce Training and Continuing Education.
  • Minneapolis Saint Paul Regional Workforce Investment Network (MSPWIN) – discussed funding priorities, legislative priorities, policy agenda, and workforce system change with the MSPWIN Executive Director.
  • Healthcare Workforce System Strategies – I attended the Central Corridor Anchor Partnership (CCAP) Executive Committee meeting to discuss and promote workforce system strategies for the healthcare occupational sector.
  • Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood - Attended a Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood (SPPN) Board of Directors meeting and Finance Committee meeting. SPPN uses education as a tool to end multi-generational poverty in the Frogtown and Summit-University neighborhoods by creating early pathways of opportunities leading to college and career success.
  • District Energy St. Paul – I attended a District Energy St. Paul Board meeting. 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.

Meetings on Campus

  • Professional Development Day for Faculty & Staff - I attended spring semester faculty and staff professional day at the College, with special workshops and presentations, supporting Charting the Future initiatives here on campus. The day started with an interactive workshop “The Platinum Rule: A first step towards intercultural competence” led by our Chief Diversity Officer/Director of Student Life & Diversity, and continued with a variety of presentations and group work on student support and interaction, continuous program improvement and updates from multiple departments.
  • Faculty Shared Governance - I along with members of College’s Executive Leadership Team met with the Faculty Shared Governance to discuss strategic and operational issues at the College.

In the news this week and noteworthy items:

  • Star Tribune:Newly sworn citizens are overjoyed to be Americans features one of our students, Paw Da Eh, who was born of Burmese parents in a Thai refugee camp. I can relate to their excitement and joy, which is what I felt when I became a naturalized citizen over three decades ago. Congratulations to Paw and all of the new Americans. It’s a privilege to have you here.
  • MPR News - Top chefs: 12 Twin Citians among James Beard semifinalists - The James Beard Awards are among the most prestigious in the food world and recognize the best across North America. Four of the twelve semifinalists currently serve on our Culinary Arts Program Advisory Committee. Congratulations to these four chefs and we want to thank you for you dedication and commitment to our renowned Culinary Arts program:
        Best Chef: Midwest: Thomas Boemer, C​orner Table, Minneapolis; Lenny Russo, Heartland Restaurant
        & Farm Direct Market, St. Paul; and Jorge Guzman, Surly Brewing Co., Minneapolis
        Outstanding Pastry Chef (National): Diane Yang, Spoon and Stable, Minneapolis
  • More Culinary Arts program news:Culinary Arts program welcomes area medical professionals for hospitalist event You can view the video of our instructors and students from Saint Paul College’s Culinary Arts as they welcomed area medical professionals to the campus to talk about health and nutrition. The hospitalists were able to get hands-on experience preparing healthy meals so they could talk to their patients more effectively about healthy eating. Thank you to our amazing Culinary Arts instructors for hosting such an important event and to our Culinary Arts students who helped with the demonstrations.
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Congratulations to faculty member Beth Arnold, recipient of national Phi Theta Kappa Distinguished Advisor Award! 
Beth Arnold, philosophy instructor, has been an exemplary advisor of the College’s Beta Xi Alpha Chapter and has been recognized as one of thirty Phi Theta Kappa Distinguished Advisors. The award recognizes advisors who have served at least four years and have made significant contributions to the growth of the individual chapter members, served as the chapter's advocate on campus, and encouraged the chapter to be involved on the local regional, a​nd/or international level of the organization.

Thank you Beth for your hard work and dedication to our students as an instructor and advisor.​

I am so lucky to be at Saint Paul College and to serve our students, staff, faculty, and community. My experience is a rewarding one and I will not change it for the world! I am honored and privileged to be leading Saint Paul College.

Be bold. Be inspired. Be relevant. Amazing things are happening at the College.

My best,
Rassoul Dastmozd
President/CEO 651.846.1335
rassoul.dastmozd@saintpaul.edu​​​​

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