Believe it or not, Fall Semester is already in full swing, even with the shorter work week due to the Labor Day Holiday. As always, our faculty and staff are working diligently with our students as they dig in to their studies and pursue their dreams.
I am always honored to see our alumni visit and learn about their journeys. This week, I had an opportunity to meet with Mr. Kidane Habte, a 1983 graduate of our Graphic Design and Commercial Arts programs. Kidane was born in Ethiopia, relocated to Washington, DC, when his father heard about the
Model Secondary School for the Deaf (MSSD) of Gallaudet University, a 4-year residential high school for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. After graduating from MSSD, Kidane attended St. Paul Technical Vocational Institute, at that time one of four regional post-secondary program options for deaf students in the U.S. Upon graduation, he worked for Republic Airlines as a graphic designer, and eventually moved back to the Washington, DC area, where he has lived and worked ever since. Kidane visited Saint Paul College this week because of his fond memories of his educational experiences and the deaf college community here. Ms. Belinda Martinez, one of our Sign Language Interpreters, graciously accompanied him throughout his entire campus visit. While things have changed in the 34 years of his absence, there was a lot he recognized and remembered. Kudos to Belinda for making the introductions.
Our students inspire us all. I am proud of our students as well as our faculty who go the extra mile to ensure when our
students start here, they can go anywhere.
My week at a glance:
MnAMP Advanced Manufacturing Partnership visit – I had a meeting with the
Minnesota Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (MnAMP) evaluator on progress being made on our project that was created to help close the skills gap within manufacturing careers in Minnesota. We are one of thirteen MnAMP institutions of Minnesota State, receiving $14 million. The goal of MnAMP is to strengthen educational programs ensuring that 600 students complete credentials and secure employment. Kudos to our team for making stellar progress with this initiative.
MN Philanthropy Partners Board Meeting – In anticipation of St. Paul Foundation Governance Committee meeting, I met with the Vice President of Strategy and Communication to devise the meeting agenda for the Governance Committee meeting.
Minneapolis Saint Paul Regional Workforce Innovation Network (MSPWin) – I attended a meeting at
MSPWin to discuss intentional investment on various workforce and talent development strategies such as on-ramps into pathways to prosperity.
Lunch with President Emeritus Donovan Schwichtenberg - I had a lunch meeting with President Schwichtenberg. He is indeed a “President of Presidents,” a great friend and a wise mentor. He is enjoying retirement and pursuing many hobbies, such as farming. We toured the campus and he met with some members of the College community.
Meeting with Georgetown Law Center - I had a phone conference with the Dr. Peter Edelman and the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality about their project to develop a national strategy to address youth employment crisis and pathways, building on existing programs. We spoke about Saint Paul College’s intentional role in developing pathways for youth to access gainful employment through affordable and quality higher education.
Meeting with St. Paul Public Schools - I along with the VP of Academic Affairs met with the Office of College and Career Readiness (OCCR) Executive Director to discuss further development of the partnership between Saint Paul Public Schools and Saint Paul College.
Hubert Humphrey Fellowship Program Coordinator - I had a phone conversation with a program coordinator at Hubert Humphrey Fellowship, a Fulbright program, about hosting several Fulbright fellows here to discuss workforce development and Career and Technical Education Training.
Downtown Development Framework Steering Committee – I attended a Downtown Development Framework steering committee meeting at the
Saint Paul Riverfront Corporation to discuss their mission to attract and retain employers to downtown by creating a more vibrant, engaging, and successful downtown St. Paul through convening civic, business, and community leaders in a community-based and centered design process.
Metro Alliance Presidents Meeting - I attended a Metro Alliance Presidents meeting at North Hennepin Community College, where discussed the alliance work plan for this year, comprised of: Student Success, Sharing Core Services, and Metro Four Year Degree Completion.
District Energy St. Paul – I attended a joint meeting of
Evergreen Energy and District Energy board members to discuss future workforce talent needs for these two forward thinking and innovative organizations using renewable energy sources. Saint Paul College purchases all of its heating needs from District Energy.
What a wonderful way of promoting Green Energy on campus!
Faculty Shared Governance Meeting – I along with the Chief Human Resources Officer met with the president and vice president of Faculty Bargaining Unit to develop the meeting agenda for our upcoming Faculty Shared Governance meeting.
CyberWatch West – I had a phone conference for the
National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education CyberWatch West National Visiting Committee (NVC) team membership recruitment for this national NSF funded grant initiative. The primary initiatives are student development, curriculum development, revision and dissemination, faculty development, and outreach and partnership development.
Mossier Foundation Meeting - I along with Coordinator of Multicultural Office at Saint Paul College met with a board member from Mossier Foundation to discuss global internship opportunities, mentoring, and service learning for Saint Paul College students.
In the news:
Twin Cities Business:
Why Minnesota colleges and universities are getting into the certificate business - Saint Paul College is highlighted for preparing students of all ages for jobs, with certificates offering a critical pathway for students pursuing the next level of education or a new career.
Pioneer Press Editorial:
Close to Market, Close to People – very positive press about our new Health and Science Alliance Center and the critical role we play in workforce development in the Twin Cities.
I will end this week’s blog by sharing with you a fond farewell to our long time registrar, Ms. Katie Yep, as we celebrated her upcoming retirement. Katie worked at Saint Paul College for 46 years, and also happens to be a proud alumna. Katie has always been a consummate professional who extended her knowledge and kindness to many students, staff, and faculty. While, I am very happy for Katie, I am saddened for Saint Paul College to lose such a tremendous employee, and especially one with such vast knowledge of our institution. We will miss you, Katie! We will have fond memories of you, your contributions, and remarkable career.
I wish you ALL a relaxing weekend.
Rassoul Dastmozd, PhD
Saint Paul College