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The College of St. Scholastica
SaintsRiseUp Safe Return

Greetings, faculty and staff!
Only a few short weeks remain before classes begin on September 8th, and I’d like to express my gratitude once again for the extraordinary efforts taking place behind the scenes to ensure we all return to campus safely. Keep up the great work. In case you haven’t already seen it, I’d like to remind everyone again to read and reflect upon our Community Pledge to follow our health guidelines. I find inspiration in these words – thank you to Associate Vice President for Mission Integration Sister Kathleen Del Monte and others who had a role in crafting this thoughtful promise, which quotes the Rule of Benedict: “…let them gently encourage one another…”

Here are a few updates for the week:

Employee Return to Work Training Program
Our amazing Human Resources team has developed a COVID-19 Employee Return to Work Training program that will soon be made available through our new Learning Management System, Brightspace, thanks to efforts of the Information Technology Department and the Center for Teaching and Learning. Please look for an email from Interim Vice President for Finance Marty Parsons regarding the launch of this program. All employees are required to complete the training. Dean of Students Megan Perry-Spears and her team have developed a parallel program for students that includes safe return protocols, behavioral expectations and a commitment to adhere to our Community Pledge. This will also be delivered through Brightspace and will be sent to all students.

Parking Update:  A parking permit is required for vehicles on the Duluth campus and the Health Science Center at BlueStone from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Friday during the academic year. Due to the fluid situation of COVID-19, the cost of a permit has been reduced to $50 for the academic year. For permits purchased after Dec. 31, 2020, the rate will be $25. Additionally, $5 daily parking passes will be available in the Saints Shop for purchase by debit/credit card only. As a reminder, Campus Safety Officers will be monitoring and enforcing parking on campus.

Congratulations to TRIO!
TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) received notification late last week that our proposal was selected for funding. This funding allows TRIO SSS to continue providing academic support, personal guidance, career development and financial literacy to 175 eligible students. TRIO SSS has been a part of St. Scholastica since 1993 providing programming, advocacy, and outreach to help the retention, academic progress, and graduation of first-generation and low-income students and students with disabilities. St. Scholastica is proud to host five TRIO programs providing a pathway of educational opportunity from middle school to graduate school (Talent Search, Upward Bound, Upward Bound Math Science, and McNair Scholars along with SSS).  Congratulations Dory and team!  #TRIOWORKS

Thank You CTL Team!
Over the summer our CTL team has offered 10 weeks of professional development to our faculty in preparing for our hybrid fall. Themes and training have covered a number of pedagogical topics and Brightspace migration. Thank you to the CTL team for outstanding work and going the extra mile over the summer to support our faculty. Special shout outs to Amy Nelson, Center for Instructional Design (CID); Nikki Schutte, CID; Jane Sims, Director, CID; Meg McBride, IT; Anne Kruchten, Director of Assessment; Greta Jenkins, Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL); Eric Mistry, CTL; and our CTL leader, Neil Witikko, Director, CTL. You are much appreciated!

Title IX Update: The Department of Education 2020 Title IX regulations are in effect today, Aug. 14, 2020. This required extensive revision of the Sexual Misconduct Policy. In collaboration with the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, the College reviewed all policies that afford civil rights protections and determined to combine Title IX into a comprehensive Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination policy and procedures addressing sexual misconduct, harassment, discrimination and bias. The policy and procedures were submitted to the Policy Committee for expedited review and were approved Aug. 11, 2020 by the President’s Cabinet. While this process covers our obligations under Title IX, it also offers a consistent and transparent process and tracking of reports of bias, harassment and discrimination. This policy will be reviewed in one year following Policy Committee procedures. Many thanks to Melissa Watschke for her outstanding work in leading the Title IX efforts and Lori Luing for getting the Title IX website updated.

Employee Recognition: On Monday we announced our Employee Recognition Awards, celebrating years of service and our major award winners. I’d now like to highlight two of these, the Tassie McNamara and Equal Access Awards, and showcase the recipients and what we heard from the nominators. Congratulations to both Sarah Stewart and Monica Marciniak for being chosen for these prestigious awards.

  • Tassie McNamara Award – Sarah Stewart “Her genuine care for students is palpable and she would do just about anything for her students (including spending all day in the emergency room with them, coming to campus in the middle of the night with a student suffering a mental health crisis, and texting students back about random things whenever they need her). She goes above and beyond for each of her students, and is right there if you need her. Her intellect, humor and general warmth makes it easy to connect with and trust her. “
  • Equal Access Award – Monica Marciniak “Monica fights for captioning, inclusivity, equity, education, safety, and awareness. She does these things through her classes and class projects that bring attention to these issues. She does it through community events she helps organize (and add numbers to), such as school board meetings and bringing in Deaf and Hard of Hearing presenters. Her students take away more than a language; they take away a new perspective. Not just anyone can have that effect, but Monica does because she believes so passionately in it.”

I’m grateful to be able to close out the week on a high note with great news of grant funding and celebrations of the achievements of our employees, and I’m looking forward to starting off the new school year with you.

Have a great weekend!
Stay well,