September 3, 2021
Sept. 3 Safe Return update
WELCOME SAINTS! Thank you to everyone who was able to participate in our annual Saints’ Institute this week! It was so wonderful to come together in community and reflect on our mission and Value of the Year: Love of Learning. I hope that you left feeling rejuvenated and re-energized as we prepare to embark on our 110th academic year. A HUGE thank you to the committees that helped organize our events throughout the week, and a special shout out to Human Resources and the Appreciation event committee for making the celebration so special.
Congratulations to our faculty and staff award winners who were recognized during this year’s Appreciation Luncheon:
Veritas Innovation Award Winners (formerly Benedictine Professorship):
- Heather Brown, Asst Professor, PhD, Chemistry
- Lupe Linares, PhD, Assistant Professor, English
- Kevin Quarmby, PhD, Assoc Professor, English
Max H. Lavine Award
- Lupe Linares, PhD, Assistant Professor, English
Equal Access Award
- Nicholas Susi, DMA, Assistant Professor, Music
Tassie McNamara Award
- Kara Thoemke, PhD, Associate Professor, Biology
Living our Values Award
- All faculty and staff at CSS
Student Vaccination Requirement and Exemption Form Updates
With news of full FDA approval for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the College announced last week that the COVID-19 vaccination has been added to the list of required immunizations for all of our students participating in in-person academic and co-curricular activities. Today, students will be receiving information about how to submit proof of their immunization, information about upcoming vaccination opportunities (see below!), the process to request an exemption and the timeline. I want to sincerely thank those who have been involved in the process, especially our SHS staff, Laura Johnson in communications and the Cabinet members, as well as members of the Saints Rise Up Committee for their thoughtful discernment and hard work.
Upcoming Vaccination Opportunities for Duluth Kenwood Campus
To date we have hosted three on-campus vaccination clinics in collaboration with the Minnesota Department of Health, St. Louis County Public Health and Wal-Mart Pharmacy. Our next scheduled vaccination clinic will be held: Friday, Sept. 10 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. in the Mitchell Kitchenette. Both Janssen/Johnson and Johnson (one-shot series) and Moderna (two-shot series) vaccinations will be available. Sign up is available here: Sign Up for Vaccinations – The College of St. Scholastica on 09/10/2021, and walk-ins are also accepted.
Transition from “Face Covering” to “Well-fitted Mask”
Some of you have noticed the shift away from “face covering” to “mask” in recent communications and on our Safe Return site. This decision was based on feedback from the CSS community that “mask” is a much clearer, more well-defined word than “face covering.” On August 31, the MDH made a recommendation to institutions of higher education to transition again, this time to “well-fitted mask.” Based on their guidance, this is the language we will use going forward.
The CDC has a very helpful visual guide for how to select and wear a well-fitted mask on their website here: Your Guide to Masks.
In July, we reached out to the College community to ask for help in our #DoublePell initiative. As a reminder, the College has joined a national effort to double the maximum Pell Grant from $6,495 to $13,000. This federal grant helps low-income and first-generation students have equitable access to higher education which has a profound impact on many of our Saints (in 2019-20, the College had 763 Pell Grant recipients).
Additionally, we know that the pandemic has impacted low-income families especially hard. Doubling the Pell will help keep these students in school and on track to serve and transform their communities after graduation. Please take just a few minutes to contact Congress and advocate on behalf of our students. This site https://doublepell.org/take-action/ has a letter template you can use and graphics to express your support on social media. There is a sense of urgency as the House Education Committee will likely start marking up the reconciliation bill and the Senate HELP Committee (with jurisdiction over Higher Education) will take a similar step within the next two weeks. Thanks in advance for amplifying this effort and helping to make a difference for our Saints!
Duluth-Superior Pride has returned to the Twin Ports! This community-wide event began yesterday and runs through Sept. 5. Thank you to all of the members from our Saints community who signed up to volunteer at the Duluth-Superior Pride Festival tomorrow, Sept. 4. at Bayfront!
Share Your Good News!
The College is home to many incredible, uplifting stories about our faculty, staff, students and alumni. As we begin a new academic year, please be sure to bookmark this form: What’s Your St. Scholastica Story so you can share your news with the Marketing and Communication team. Story ideas that are pursued may be featured on our website, on social media and in the St. Scholastica Magazine. Thank you for helping us tell our story!
Enjoy your long weekend ahead and thank you for all of your amazing work as we bring in the Fall semester. Stay well, be safe!