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Presidents Blog

The Second Week of Spring Semester 2017 (1/20/2017)

It was a short week after honoring Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday. I see this holiday as a day of service, not simply a day off. As Martin Luther King Jr. so eloquently stated, “The time is always right to do what is right.”

I want to thank Phi Theta Kappa and Student Senate for organizing a seminar this week called Our Future: Perspectives on the Political Moment. This event aimed to give perspective on the political moment in the United States and to open the lines of communication and understanding. Join us for the second part of this seminar on Tuesday, January 24 at noon in the theater.

It is events like these that help to create a space for learning that encompasses our values of respect, equity, inclusion, integrity, and excellence. After all, we are all here to advance our lives through education.

My week at a glance:

Central Corridor Anchor Partnership – I attended the Central Corridor Anchor Partnership Executive Committee meeting to discuss and promote workforce system strategies for the healthcare occupational sector.

Weekly Legislative Meeting – I participated in a weekly Legislative WebEx meeting with other Minnesota State Presidents where we discussed various House and Senate bills.

United Hospital Foundation Board Retreat Meeting – I attended a United Hospital Foundation Board retreat where we discussed new healthcare system trends, their strategic plan, and funding priorities.

St. Paul Riverfront Corporation – I met and hosted the Executive Director of the St. Paul Riverfront Corporation to discuss planning and issues related to workforce, access to equitable housing, and viable transportation.

Friends of Saint Paul College Foundation Board Meeting – I attended the Friends of Saint Paul College Foundation board meeting where we discussed progress with the Foundation’s strategic planning process, scholarships, endowment, and upcoming scholarship fundraising events.

Saint Paul Winter Carnival Senior Royalty Coronation – The crowning of the new 2017 Senior Royalty Court will take place this evening at the Saint Paul College Theatre. I am thrilled to give the welcome and keynote speech for this event. The Senior Royalty Coronation is sponsored by the Saint Paul Winter Carnival Senior Royalty Alumni Association.

Travelers EDGE – Tomorrow I will give the keynote speech to Travelers EDGE Scholars at their annual gathering at University of Minnesota. The Travelers EDGE program is designed to prepare low-income and students of color for careers in the insurance and financial services industries. We are grateful to the Travelers Foundation for funding the Travelers EDGE program at Saint Paul College for the second year.

This Sunday, Saint Paul College’s Culinary Arts students and faculty will take-over the Xcel Energy Center Jack Daniels Lounge during a Minnesota Wild game. The Culinary Arts department will bring their style, service, and delicious menus to Wild fans and give them a taste of how we do it up on the hill! The Wild have generously agreed to donate 50% of the proceeds from the Jack Daniels Lounge take-over to Saint Paul College’s Culinary Brandenberger Scholarship. I’m excited about this new partnership between Saint Paul College, Levy Management, and the Minnesota Wild.

I will end this week’s blog by sharing a heartwarming story with you. I met with one of our Culinary Arts instructors who had lunch with a woman in her eighties. This woman graduated from Saint Paul College and worked for the Honeywell Corporation where she wrote the first program for the first moon landing mission. I marvel at the capacity, achievement, and tenacity of our students and alumni. When they start here, they can go anywhere.

My best,
Rassoul Dastmozd

blogphoto1202017.jpgSaint Paul College hosted part one of two of the Our Future: Perspectives on the Political Moment this week. Part two will take place on Tuesday, January 24.

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