December 20, 2021
Dec. 17 Safe Return update
Tis the season! Thank you to everyone who braved the wet, foggy elements to attend our Holiday Celebration earlier this week at the Duluth Kenwood campus! We have heard from many how nice it was to gather and celebrate our Saints’ community….even in such strange weather for December. And, we even got the Grinch to be a part of the festivities (which you can see on our Facebook page)!
We continue to navigate the COVID rollercoaster. On Wednesday, we shared that the College moved to an Alert Level 2 based on our current COVID-19 campus infection rates and isolation/quarantine spaces. Unfortunately, this is a nationwide trend. Some of you might have read the news about Cornell University transitioning to virtual learning after an outbreak of over 900 cases this past week. Statewide, we’ve also reached a somber milestone: one million COVID positive cases and over 10,000 deaths. Our hospitals are overwhelmed and institutions of higher education are seeing more clusters, including among those who are fully vaccinated. And although we’re tired and weary, we also know that now, more than ever, we must remain vigilant as we prepare for time with our families and loved ones.
We strongly encourage all (faculty, staff and students) to get tested 3-4 days before returning to work, and to test again five days after your return. Testing is free in Minnesota and is available widely, at testing sites and through the MN Dept of Health home testing system.
If you are eligible, we are also strongly encouraging getting a booster which we know provides significant protection against the coronavirus. Boosters are also widely available.
Together, our Saints community can work towards a safer, healthier 2022, if we follow MDH and CDC recommendations.
Tomorrow we celebrate the Class of 2021 with both an in-person Graduation Procession and a virtual Commencement Ceremony. Like May’s ceremony at the DECC, our graduation event will follow COVID protocols and will provide an opportunity for our students and families to celebrate in a controlled environment. Please be sure to bookmark this site for the most up-to-date information about deadlines, full schedule and details about our hybrid celebration: St. Scholastica Commencement Information.
The virtual ceremony will be available to watch beginning Saturday, Dec. 18, 2 p.m. and will be available to watch for one year. Here is the direct link to the virtual commencement ceremony. We are so proud of the Class of 2021 and all of their achievements as St. Scholastica Saints; thank you for doing your part to celebrate them safely!
On Wednesday, students in the biology majors’ first courses (Global Challenges, Scientific Solutions: Climate Change and Novel Antimicrobial Discovery), the Environmental Topics course, and two of the advanced research courses (Bacteriophage Discovery and Advanced Bacteriophage Biology) hosted a Sustainability Symposium in the Benedictine Commons. Teams presented over 40 posters on sustainability issues, environmental topics, and course research projects. Thank you to Pam Freeman for helping to coordinate our students’ research efforts!
In closing, I wish you all a very blessed holiday, and hope you feel the joy and love of the season with family and friends. Thank you again, for all you have done to support our students in these very challenging times. Stay safe and well over the break, and relax and recharge!
A quick note that our next College Update will be coming to you in the new year on Jan. 7, 2022.
With deep gratitude,