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The College of St. Scholastica

Dear Colleagues,

Wow! That January “melt” sure turned into a cold spell this week across the state of Minnesota! For those Saints living in the midwest, east and southeast United States, you too are experiencing some pretty cold temps and difficult weather conditions. I hope everyone remains safe and warm.

Welcome back to our students this week! It’s been a challenging start to the semester as we continue to experience increased covid infection rates in our communities. In visiting with a faculty member this week, I was reminded that we are indeed in a period that is testing our endurance, and I appreciate everyone’s flexibility and care for one another and our learners as we navigate these first weeks back. We are a Saints community, and compassionate care is central to our values and mission!

COVID-19 updates

On Wednesday, I sent out a comprehensive update about the College’s new quarantine and isolation guidelines. Please refer back to it if you have any questions; this guidance does go into effect today. Our SaintsRiseUp Safe Return FAQ section has been updated, too, to reflect new mask recommendations and the distinction between “up to date” and “fully vaccinated.”

While N95/KN95 masks are recommended, it’s important to note that the College follows CDC guidance regarding alternative masks for special situations. This includes clear masks or cloth masks with a clear plastic panel. Thanks to the Center for Equal Access for this reminder and for all of their care and commitment to our students who have clear mask accommodations.

Further, the masks/boxes of masks that are available in Facilities are for our administrative departments to have on-hand should an employee or visitor forget theirs. Sorry for the confusion in Wednesday’s message.

For those in the Duluth area:

  • With the surge in infections and the need to take full precautions, the Monastery has requested the cloister walk between Tower Hall and the Chapel/Library building be closed until further notice, and the Chapel is currently closed to the public. You may still access the Library via the tunnel. Also, for information on Mass options, please refer to Jessica Ellingson’s email this week regarding services being held in Somers Hall Lounge for those in the Duluth area
  • In case you missed it, we look forward to hosting a booster clinic on the Duluth Kenwood Campus Friday, Jan. 28 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The following vaccines will be available:
    • Pfizer vaccine (for ages 12+) — 1st and 2nd doses; boosters for anyone eligible age 12+; 3rd doses for immunocompromised individuals
    • Pfizer vaccine (for ages 5-11) — 1st and 2nd doses (A parent or guardian MUST ACCOMPANY any child under the age of 18, and must sign a consent form for the child to be vaccinated)
    • Moderna vaccine (for ages 18+) — 1st and 2nd doses; boosters for eligible individuals; 3rd doses for immunocompromised individuals
    • Johnson & Johnson vaccine (for ages 18+) — initial doses; boosters for eligible individuals.
    • Register here:
    • Walk-ins may be accommodated, but are not guaranteed
  • If you’re eligible to get boosted before Jan. 28, be sure to check out to find a location near you

Introducing the Saints Match!

Huge kudos to our Marketing and Admissions teams for a successful launch of the Saints Match Scholarship this week! This new scholarship seeks to level the playing field by ensuring our average costs are the same as those at the University of Minnesota. Accessibility has always been one of our institution’s priorities and that’s what Saints Match is all about — reducing barriers and demonstrating that we are an affordable option for our students.

Thanks for your advocacy and helping us to spread the word about this exciting and meaningful scholarship program!

Good news from our PA Medicine Department

The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) granted the PA Medicine program Continuing Accreditation for 10 years back in November, after our April 2021 site visit. At that time, they also gave us three “citations” that the program needed to address — two by December 2021 and one by June 2023. These citations meant that there are program processes/procedures that the ARC-PA wants to see modified. For context, the ARC-PA’s average citations for accreditation site visits is 8 citations.

We submitted an explanation of the modifications we made based on those first two citations in December and just received news that this explanation was accepted by the ARC-PA. This means the ARC-PA acknowledges those citations have been adequately addressed by the program.

Thanks to Dr. Kimberly Lakhan and all of our PA Medicine faculty and staff for their efforts!

Athletics updates

St. Scholastica Athletics had 58 fall student-athletes earn Academic All-Conference honors from the MIAC on Wednesday. Dave Reyelts’ Women’s Soccer program led the way with 18 selections, followed by Chad Salmela’s Women’s Cross Country program with 13 selections. In order to qualify for Academic All-MIAC status, student-athletes must be sophomores, juniors, or seniors by academic standards with a minimum cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale. Students must also have completed one full-time academic year at their current institution prior to becoming eligible for the honor.

Congratulations to David Staniger’s Men’s Basketball team for earning the program’s first MIAC victory back on Jan. 10 with a thrilling home overtime victory over Bethel.

You can catch the Saints in action at home this weekend at Mars Lakeview Arena with the Men’s Hockey team facing Saint John’s tonight at 7 p.m. and the Women’s Hockey team taking on Saint Benedict Saturday at 5 p.m. You could also head across the bridge on Saturday and check out the Men’s and Women’s Track and Field teams competing at UW-Superior starting at noon. If you want to be outside and feel like taking a short road trip, head up to Coleraine and watch the CSS Nordic Ski teams this weekend at Mount Itasca.

Be sure to check out the calendar for schedule details and links for all future contests.

Thanks to you all for welcoming our students back this spring and supporting their belonging at CSS. Thank you too, for your flexibility and care for one another, and for your commitment to the great work we are blessed to be part of. We’ll continue to embrace our value of Love of Learning and grow from these experiences. Stay safe, be well and stay warm!

With gratitude,


SaintsRiseUp Safe Return