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The College of St. Scholastica

Dear Colleagues,

We have entered the joyous season of Eastertide, the period of fifty days spanning from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday, June 5. With this comes spring showers, emerging life in our natural world, and the yearly reminder of hope and renewal.  And today is Earth Day as well, which is commemorated each year on April 22. For our Benedictine community, this is an opportunity for us to reflect on our value of stewardship, and recommit to caring for our precious resources entrusted to us.

Reporting positive COVID cases

Although we wish that COVID was in the rearview mirror, we know that cases have begun to trend up in some parts of the country. If you test positive, have had a close contact or are experiencing symptoms, please be sure to continue reporting this on our COVID-19 Positive, Symptoms, and Close Contact Report Form. Thank you, as always, for the many ways in which you protect the health and well-being of our Saints community.

St. Scholastica at TPUP

The College was well-represented at this year’s Twin Ports Undergraduate Psychology Conference held at UWS. Out of 27 posters, St. Scholastica had 14! Kudos to Nicole Nowak-Saenz for pulling off an incredible effort with Empirical students, who managed to not only propose a project but collect, analyze, and report in a single semester. Kudos also to Mei Sun, who had several students from her lab present today as well!

Community Gathering

We hosted a joyous gathering of Sisters, faculty and staff yesterday afternoon in the Benedictine Commons! Thank you to everyone who took time out of their day to celebrate the arrival of spring and catch up with colleagues in-person.

Congratulations to Assistant Professor Kaisa Syvaoja!

Kaisa Syvaoja, Assistant Professor in the OT Department, recently presented a critically appraised paper “Critically Appraised Paper: The Effectiveness of a Multidisciplinary Intervention Strategy for the Treatment of Symptomatic Joint Hypermobility in Childhood: A Randomised, Single Centre Parallel Group Trial (The Bendy Study)” at the American Occupational Therapy Association INSPIRE conference in San Antonio, TX at the beginning of April. This presentation and research is the beginning of a larger project surrounding the role of occupational therapy managing hypermobility. Two CSS OT students (Marisa Jasicki and Shylana Goplin) also attended the national conference.

CATs are very brief reviews which summarize current best evidence on an intervention or diagnosis. The tight focus of the CAT process lends itself to student involvement in research. Additionally, the acceptance process for the national meeting is rigorous and competitive. Please join me in congratulating Professor Syvaoja for her presentation! A photo is attached.

2022 Iowa & Minnesota Campus Compact Awards

Each year the Minnesota Campus Compact organization  invites member campus presidents  to recognize special achievements on campus and in the community. This year, we celebrate with our partners in the Iowa & Minnesota Campus Compact Awards. I am so proud to share the awardees for three special honors:

  • Presidents’ Student Leadership Award, which recognizes an individual student or a student organization that models a deep commitment to civic responsibility and leadership: Meredith Kevan

  • Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award, which recognizes a member of the faculty, administration, or staff that has significantly advanced their campus’ distinctive civic mission by forming strong partnerships: National Center for Computer Science Education (Jennifer Rosato)

  • Presidents’ Community Partner Award, which recognizes a community-based partner or organization that has enhanced the quality of life in the community in meaningful and measurable ways: Loaves & Fishes (Anne Schepers)

Our virtual awards event will be on Wednesday, May 4, 2022 from 11 a.m.-noon. Anyone from our campus or associated with your awardee(s) can register for this free event here.


In closing, I hope you enjoy the weekend ahead. As someone so kindly reminded me today – it’s important that we honor the time we have for these respites, step away from our work, and engage in relaxation with family and friends. Take care and be safe!


SaintsRiseUp Safe Return
Saints at the annual TPUP conference in Superior, WI
Community gathering at the Benedictine Commons
Assistant Professor Kaisa Syvaoja