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The College of St. Scholastica

Dear Colleagues,

Here we are in November, already. This past week was a special one, with All Saints Day and All Souls Day. We remember those who have gone before us, family members and friends. Especially over the past 18 months, we remember all impacted by COVID-19 who have lost family members during the pandemic. We pray for peace and comfort for all.

Next week we also remember and honor all veterans who have served in the armed forces. We honor their families, and those extended branches connected to our military services. We thank them for their sacrifices, their courage and their commitment. See below for more details on how you can participate in CSS’s Veterans Day events!

Athletics updates

Congratulations to Alcia Draper, a junior from Williams, Minn., who was named Co-Defensive Player of the Year after leading the MIAC with 247 digs across 39 conference sets for an average of 6.33 digs per set in 2021! Her clip of 6.54 digs per set overall ranked first among all NCAA Division III competitors this fall. Draper also contributed 25 assists in conference play this season, along with five service aces. She is now the first Saint in any sport to be recognized with a postseason MIAC award, having earned the accolade in her debut season in the conference.

CDO updates

As a reminder, November is Native American Heritage Month. Thank you to our Native American Studies Department and Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion for compiling this resource guide with events, activities, media, articles and opportunities for advocacy: Native American Heritage month 2021. We hope you can take advantage of the many resources provided!

On Nov. 18, we also invite you to participate in a Northland Diversity in Aging Series event via Zoom from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. This series is a collaboration among the College’s Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and Gerontology Program, Duluth Aging Support, Northland Foundation and the Arrowhead Area Agency on Aging. The keynote address will be delivered by Rajean Moone with Georgia Lane and Amy Bergstrom serving as moderators.


The St. Scholastica community is invited to take part in the National First-Generation College Celebration next week, Nov. 8-12. Nov. 8 is the designated date of the national celebration as it marks the 56th anniversary of the signing of the 1965 Higher Education Act, which has helped millions of first-generation students persist to degree completion. #CSSFirstGen #CelebrateFirstGen

Community Day Recap

Our values were on full display during this semester’s Community Day. According to Steve Lyons, “Community day was a huge success this year! Kudos to Jessica Ellingson and Mary Anderson [for helping to provide a] great experiential learning activity, as well as a great community service.”

Congratulations CSS Rugby

Please help me in congratulating both the men’s and women’s rugby teams as they made it to the Northern Lights Conference Championships this past weekend!

After an undefeated season and a hard-fought match, the women’s rugby team came in second place behind Moorhead. The women had an amazing season and we are so proud of what they accomplished. The men’s rugby team won against Moorhead and were named the 2021 Conference Champions! The men will continue on their pathway to the rugby national championship this weekend in Wayne Nebraska, as they compete against the University of Nebraska Omaha.

Thank you to our coaches: faculty member Greg White and staff member Tyler Selleck. Tyler and Greg volunteer to coach these teams and have led them to have a phenomenal season. Congratulations to all involved, you make CSS proud! Go Saints!

Fall Commencement — grad stories needed

It’s hard to believe but our Fall Commencement ceremony is just six weeks away! College Communications is looking for stories about noteworthy students who will be graduating in December. These may include students who overcame significant obstacles to graduate, students who have won awards or received special recognition for their academic/community accomplishments, students who have landed a special job or have been accepted into a unique graduate program. If you have a story to share, please submit it here: What’s your St. Scholastica story?

Updates to the SafeReturn website

I’m pleased to share that an updated Alert Levels matrix and COVID-19 reporting and testing forms have been added to our Safe Return website. Thanks to Mike Turner, Kris Church and Lori Luing for their behind-the-scenes work in ensuring our page is accurate and informative!

Additionally, the COVID-19 Event Guide and FAQ has recently been updated thanks to Merry Renn Vaughan and Breanne Tepler. Of note, our masking guidance has been modified with specific recommendations for performers with/out microphones and music ensembles, see page 3. Please reference this as you prepare for your on-campus events!

Veterans Day at the College

The College is proud to honor our service members. This year, we have a series of events to thank and recognize our Veterans for their selfless, courageous service. Thank you to Jessica Johnston who serves as our military support director for her role in coordinating these events.

  • Flag Ceremony, Thursday, Nov. 11: In honor of Veterans Day, all CSS community members are invited to attend a 15-minute flag ceremony at 7:30 a.m. outside between Somers Main Lounge and the Science Building, followed by a continental breakfast in Somers Main Lounge until 8:30 a.m.

  • Table in the Student Union, Thursday, Nov. 11: Stop by the table for Veterans Day ribbons, stickers, office signs, and poster signing between 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Extended/Online community members, email Jessica Johnston if you’d like materials sent to you.

  • Concert, Saturday, Nov. 13 at 2 p.m. in the Mitchell Auditorium: the St. Scholastica Concert Band and Orchestra collaborate in a patriotic musical salute to honor our veterans. Attend in Mitchell Auditorium or online via livestream link. General admission is $5, free for Veterans, CSS students and Sisters of the St. Scholastica Monastery

  • QPR Training with a Special Veterans Lens, Monday, Nov. 15 at 11 a.m. in Tower 4105. Twenty-two veterans die by suicide every day. You can help curb that statistic by being trained in the Question Persuade Refer (QPR) intervention. This training is a 90 minute evidence-based community intervention model for suicide prevention. This session will teach participants how to recognize a mental health crisis, provide hope, resources, and support to an individual experiencing a crisis. Unlike other QPR trainings, this will have a special emphasis on veterans. If you’ve been waiting to attend one of these sessions, now’s the time!

  • Diversity Dish, Wednesday, Nov. 17 at Noon in Tower 3131 and Zoom. Join Psychology Assistant Professor Thomas Motl, PhD, in an applied discussion of his research on the stereotypes of veterans on college campuses and their role on military students’ transition to college. What stereotypes are applied to military students? What do they fear others think about them and their military status? What are the consequences of these biases? Most importantly, how can we develop strategies to build meaningful relationships with military students? Join us in this important conversation to build our military-friendly environment here at CSS.

Next week’s College update

Just a heads up that there will not be a College Update next Friday, Nov. 12. The next, and final update for the month of November will be Friday, Nov. 19.

Thank you all for your efforts in upholding the CSS Community Pledge to keep our students, faculty and staff safe! Our COVID vaccination rates are pretty amazing across the board, our community continues to mask up and take precautions and it’s paying off.

Have a wonderful weekend — enjoy these beautiful (perhaps last) fall days!