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The College of St. Scholastica

Dear Colleagues,

Happy August!  We will resume our Friday “College Update” weekly schedule as of this week.

A few items to share with you this week:

Stender School Merger:

After much consideration and communication, including with the Stender family, we are announcing that the Stender School of Business and Technology will merge with the School of Education and Social Work; Education and Social Work will move under the Stender School umbrella, and the Stender School will be renamed the Stender School of Leadership and Professional Studies.  Dr. Brenda Fischer, current Dean of the School of Education and Social Work will take over the leadership of the Stender School.  Mr. Bob Hartl who has graciously served as interim this past year (after a failed search), moving into phased retirement and looks forward to returning to the classroom for the remainder of his time with CSS.

The change brings a lot of benefits and opportunities to CSS.

  • The combined faculty of the two schools will now mirror the size of faculty represented in our other schools, helping to alleviate workload across the board.

  • We anticipate greater collaboration and efficiencies in our work ahead.

  • The faculty, who already work together across the curriculum, will have the opportunity to reimagine and grow programs of study and delivery models as well as micro-credentials and professional training options.

  • Dr. Fischer will bring permanent and outstanding leadership to the Stender dean’s position (the Stender School has had 9 deans in the past 14 years).

Over the next months the Faculty Assembly Steering Committee and Welfare Committee will work with Brenda as we look at updates to the faculty handbook and curricular programs, signage changes, the website, and so on. The schools now occupy the third floor of Tower Hall (outside of the MSW and HIIM Departments), so no movement is necessary.

New Athletic Director Named:

On July 27, Nate Dehne, VP of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, announced that Jessica Cherry has been appointed Athletic Director for CSS. She begins her role on September 1, 2022. Jessica joins CSS from Marymount University in Arlington, VA, where she served as the associate director of athletics and compliance, and was also their senior woman administrator (SWA). Prior to her time at Marymount, she was the associate director of athletics at Colby College in Waterville, ME. Jessica also served York College in Jamaica, NY, as the senior associate director of athletics, SWA, and deputy title IX coordinator as well as an assistant men’s basketball coach. Together with Nate, the College offers our sincere thanks Merissa Edwards for her work over the past year serving as the interim athletic director and the role she played in CSS’s successful transition to the MIA Conference this past year.

Student Center and Campaign Update:

This week the Student Center Steering committee met with our architects to finalize the design documents for the new student center. The project is moving forward on schedule and very close to being on budget. Attached are some of the most recent designs that will give you a sense of what the exterior and interior entrance latest designs look like. Just a reminder, this project is being funded through the generosity of donors. And we are excited to share the latest updates with you on our campaign work. For those of you new to CSS, the Second Century of Saints campaign was launched in 2014 under President Goodwin.

The goal at that time was $50 million dollars.

By June of 2021, a total of $48,635,764 had been reached.  At that time, we decided to embark on a “public phase” of the campaign and added an additional $14 million to our goal to fund these key priorities: The Student Center, Emerging Priorities and Scholarships. Our campaign has since reached $53,137,303 (over $4.5 million raised in the last year!!). We are incredibly grateful to all who have contributed to the future of our students and our mission.

If you want to learn more about the campaign, please don’t hesitate to contact Chris Mueller, Vice President of Advancement. A huge thank you to the Advancement staff who are working tirelessly towards meeting our campaign goals, and to our volunteers on the National Leadership Campaign Committee for their amazing support.

OER Research Fellowship Update:

Congratulations to Amy Murzyn, Annette Miller, and Michele Sneed who have been accepted to the 2022-2023 cohort of The OER Research Fellowship. Their work will involve “research on the impact of open educational resources on the Cost of education, student success Outcomes, patterns of Usage of OER, and Perceptions of OER.” The Fellowship is sponsored by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and supported by the Open Education Group.

Thursday, July 14 the St. Luke’s Emergency Trauma Program and Occupational Therapy programs joined hands with students from the Program in Occupational Therapy at the College of St. Scholastica to offer a Car Fit event.  CarFit is an educational program that provides a quick, yet comprehensive review of how well a mature driver and their vehicle fit and work together. The program, which was developed by AAA, AARP and the American Occupational Therapy Association, provides information and materials and resources to enhance driving safety and increase mobility. Click here to see our students in action.

On the morning of the event Ann Forrest Clark, OTR/L, CDRS, LDI provided technician and occupational therapy practitioner training to the OT students and worked as the event coordinator. Jane Smalley, MA, RN, CEN, CPEN, TCRN led the charge for hosting the event through St. Luke’s as part of the injury prevention efforts of her department.

Callings with Stephanie Johnson:

Stephanie Johnson, Associate Professor of English, was interviewed in May for the podcast Callings about her newly published collection of essays, Cultivating Vocation in Literary Studies (Edinburgh University Press 2022). She and her co-editor discuss how literary studies can expand our understanding of vocation and speak about their own vocational journeys as professors of literature in the episode, “Close Readings, Expanded Horizons.”

TRIO McNair Students at UCLA:

During the last week of July, the TRIO McNair Scholars Program sponsored 10 students to fly out to Los Angeles to attend a national research conference hosted by UCLA. This was the culmination of their 10-week Summer Research Institute where they participated in professional development seminars and completed research under the guidance of a faculty mentor. The scholars presented their research over the course of three days alongside 450 scholars from over 45 institutions. A hearty congratulations to these scholars for their excellent work and we in McNair look forward to The College community witnessing the scholars in action at the upcoming McNair Research Symposium at the end of September.

Thank you to Julian Vela for his part in leading this group.

Click here to view images from the conference

Athletics High Achieving Saints

Academic Honors continue to roll in for Saints Athletics from the previous academic year. Todd Bouchie’s Men’s and Women’s Track & Field programs were named All-Academic Teams by the USTFCCCA. The women’s team ranked fifth out of 213 NCAA Division III programs and led all Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) programs with a 3.77 team grade-point-average. Calvin Boone and Lily Beneke were also named All-Academic Athletes.

Dana Moore’s Volleyball squad earned the AVCA Team Academic Award for the seventh straight year and once again finished in the top 20% of NCAA Division III in team GPA. David Staniger’s Men’s Basketball program received its ninth consecutive Team Academic Excellence Award from the NABC with five student-athletes named to the NABC Honors Court. Jason Schmitz’ Women’s Basketball team was named to the WBCA NCAA Division III Academic Top 25 for the first time in program history, ranked with the 21st best team GPA in the country.

Finally, the Rilee Dawson’s Softball program had 10 players named Scholar-Athletes by the NFCA and the team placed in the top-40 nationally in team GPA.

Enjoy the beautiful weekend ahead and stay safe,


From President's Cabinet