We have settled into our Fall term and now shift our focus to key priorities to ensure the short and long-term health of our beloved College. This year we welcomed a new chair to the Board of Trustees, David Sparby, as well as new Board members:
Board Committees meet over the next few weeks in preparation for our fall meeting scheduled for Oct. 23. We are blessed to have a very dedicated Board who care deeply about our mission, our employees and our students.
The Sisters are with us
I received a message from the Monastery that I'm sure the Sisters would be happy for me to share with all of you. Due to COVID-19 concerns, and following Minnesota Department of Health guidelines for congregate living, the Monastery and Chapel must remain closed to visitors for the foreseeable future. Yet the Sisters want us to know they are praying for us, and are happy to take specific prayer intentions at http://www.duluthbenedictines.org/prayer-requests/.They closed their message with: "We cannot wait for you to walk through our doors again." We are so fortunate to have these strong and holy women as our neighbors, our sponsors, and our inspiration through difficult times!
Daily symptom checking
Just a reminder to faculty and staff that each of us must use one of the COVID daily symptom checkers daily prior to coming to campus. Here's information about symptom checking from the Employee Reopening Plan:
Tools to Use
Apps to download (you can download these apps in the Google Play store for Android phones or the iTunes store for iPhones)
-Apple COVID-19 Screening Tool
-CDC Coronavirus Self-Checker (part of the CDC app)
-Apple screening tool
-CDC screening tool - click on Self-Checker
-provided only for those who may not have phone or computer access
Employees are expected to follow the recommendations noted after the screening questions have been answered. The recommendations may include self-quarantine or a visit to your primary health provider. Employees should notify their supervisors if the recommendation is they should not report to work. If the recommendations are not followed and the violation is reported, disciplinary action may be taken.
Duluth campuses COVID case monitoring
A big thank you to the Student Health Service staff managing our COVID testing and tracing process, Vicki Andrews, Christine Sandal, Julie Zaruba Fountaine, Teresa Guerrero, as well as many supporting their efforts in housing and athletics. The College will continue to receive weekly reports of new and resolved cases as we track the health of the Duluth campuses. There has been a lot of attention in the press on the surge in cases since colleges and universities have resumed classes. I want to thank you all and our students for adhering to our Community Pledge to wear masks, social/physical distance, and to wash hands frequently. Our situation continues to be manageable thanks to due diligence. An Alert Level has been established to monitor our status, and I encourage you to become familiar with this chart.
The Policy Committee, chaired by Dean of the School of Sciences Aileen Beard, reviewed and approved several policies this summer following an expedited review process. The Committee is now accepting feedback on these for potential revisions:
The Committee is currently working with the vice presidents to develop a schedule of policy review for this fall. Stay tuned for more information in the next few weeks.
Masks back soon
The College's handsome masks will be back in stock in the Saints Shop sometime next week. To pre-order, which is recommended if you're interested in purchasing several, go here. There's no quantity limit per customer for now; however, that's subject to change.
Annual Thanksgiving Dinner
The College has for many years been host of the Twin Ports Annual Thanksgiving Dinner traditionally held at the DECC in Duluth. Particularly during this time, we made the commitment early to continue this event. With the incredible support of the DECC, our sponsors, and local charities, we will be able to distribute Thanksgiving meals even though in-person dining is not an option. I am particularly grateful to Monica Hendrickson and the advisory committee for stepping up and making this year's event happen. With all the changes in format and the numerous regulations that must be followed, volunteers are going to be critically important. Volunteers will be needed the week before Thanksgiving and the week after. More details will be made available by Oct. 15 and at css.edu/Thanksgiving.
Supporting first-gen students
We are one of 31 institutions nationwide to receive award funding to support our 2020 First-Generation College Celebration. The National First-Generation College Celebration is celebrated on Nov. 8 and our plans to participate in this event will be forthcoming. If you're interested in actively supporting first-generation student success, consider joining the 2020-21 CSS First-Generation Forward Fellows here.
Way to go, Israel Glenn!
Congratulations to sophomore Israel Glenn '23, who represented the College admirably earlier this week as part of a panel discussion on child poverty. Here is a recording of the webinar. The program was sponsored by the Children's Defense Fund, First Focus on Children, and the U.S. Child Poverty Action Group and focused on the latest child poverty data, and what COVID-19 means to kids. During the webinar, he spoke eloquently about his own experience with poverty. Here's a profile of Israel that appeared in the most recent issue of St. Scholastica Magazine.
Three of our alums are among the Duluth News Tribune's latest 20 Under 40 awardees, for being young leaders in our community. Congratulations to Alicia Kozlowski (MBA '17), Dan Cebelinski (MBA '18) and Topher Davis '06, MGT major.
In the news
Associate Professor of Art Sarah Brokke Erickson discusses her latest project, which will be featured in an upcoming exhibit at UMD's Tweed Museum of Art, on Perfect Duluth Day.
Have a great weekend, everyone! Stay safe and well.