Like the individuals we all are, no two journeys are exactly the same, yet somehow our paths intersect at Saint Paul College as we find common ground in the necessity of education in our lives. And for many of us, the love of education, and the transformation that takes place in us as we learn – not only in our classroom and labs – but also as we learn from each other, forever changes us. When I’m looking for inspiration, I need go no further than to talk with our students and really listen to what they have to say.
Students such as those in our Beta Xi Alpha Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, are a prime example of the vibrant student community we so are fortunate to have on our campus. Their commitment to each other and their education, helps us, as educators, to fulfill our commitment to them, and our belief that our students can start here and go anywhere!
Here’s a short recap of my activities this week:
Weekly Legislative WebEx – I attended the weekly Minnesota State College and Universities Legislative WebEx conference call where we discussed the latest developments at the capitol and Minnesota State’s legislative priorities.
Saint Paul Mayor’s Tech/Innovation Cabinet - I along with CEOs of high technology and innovation firms, the president/CEO of St. Paul Port Authority, Saint Paul Chamber of Commerce, VP of business/industry recruitment from the Greater MSP, the City of St. Paul Economic Development, elected public officials and commissioner of DEED, met to discuss how we can promote and recruit innovative companies and jobs to the City of Saint Paul for our economic future.
Neighborhood House Board Meeting – I attended a Neighborhood House Board retreat meeting at Neighborhood House, an intentional partner of Saint Paul College.
Minnesota Philanthropy Partners Investment Committee Meeting – I attended the investment committee meeting to discuss the Minnesota Philanthropy Partners investment strategies and its alignment with our Friends of Saint Paul College Investment Committee.
Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood Meeting – I attended a finance meeting for Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood, which is a transformative education initiative of the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation.
Finalists Superintendent of Saint Paul Public Schools Interviews - As an interested community member, I attended the Saint Paul Public Schools community event to meet the remaining superintendent candidates.
Chapter President Tasha Spencer
Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Induction Ceremony - I was privileged to provide the welcome and congratulatory remarks at the College’s Phi Theta Kappa Beta Xi Alpha Chapter’s induction ceremony, where 27 new members took the oath of membership. PTK is the international honor society of two-year colleges, members must have a grade point average of 3.5 or above, while studying to complete an associate degree. Every year chapter members work collaboratively to complete an Honors in Action Project, combining academic research, leadership development, service and collaboration , and a College Project in service to the Saint Paul College community. Our Beta Xi Alpha chapter has achieved five-star status, which is the highest status obtainable. Beth Arnold has been the faculty advisor for Beta Xi Alpha since 2010, and I’m grateful for her dedication and leadership. Read more about PTK and other student associations.
Higher Learning Commission Conference - I will be attending the Higher Learning Commission conference in Chicago throughout this weekend. The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) provides accreditation to Saint Paul College and other two- and four-year institutions in the Midwest.
In the news
Chef’s Dish: Culinary Instructor Sara Johannes
Food Services News features Saint Paul College Culinary Arts alum, executive chef, “Top Chef” contestant, and now instructor, Chef Sara Johannes has come full circle as she was drawn back to the College to teach.
Culinary class helps kids hone their cooking chops
The St. Cloud Times reports that Sauk Rapids-Rice High School culinary arts instructor Mary Levinski also spends a good deal of the class talking about career options in the culinary arts and in hospitality management. She mentions that "We have taken a tour of St. Paul College, and I bring in people that are in the industry," Levinski said. "Our advanced class gets to go to hotels and hear about opportunities in hospitality. I want to give them a taste of a little bit of everything."
'Water's Off 2017' Means Plumbing's On for Seniors and Low-Income Families
St. Paul Plumbers Local 34 Apprentices and Saint Paul College Students spent last Saturday volunteering to make plumbing repairs to homeowners in need. Saint Paul College alum Tom McCarthy, is Business Manager for Plumbers Local #34 and fully involved with the College. Featured in the article, McCarthy says, "This is our chance to give back to families who need our assistance." He is on the Friends of Saint Paul College Board, serving as Foundation Secretary and business representative.
I end my blog with a deep sense of gratitude. At Saint Paul College, we cannot get through the day without the dedication, commitment, and tireless unconditional caring attitude that our team of faculty and staff demonstrates each and every day, not just on campus, but as they participate in the larger community surrounding us. We also cannot do this alone! Without the support, engagement, and tireless efforts put forth by our alumni, business and community partners, we would not be the robust institution that we are. We cannot thank you enough!
Rassoul Dastmozd, PhD
Saint Paul College