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Checking in With Dean Forbes - June 2020

This spring was unlike any other we’ve experienced as a College. Individually and collectively, we navigated tremendous upheaval to our academic life due to the pandemic and were moved to action by the murder of George Floyd and subsequent calls to address systemic racism. The College is committed to being part of that change and, to that end, I will convene a working group to help advance anti-racism work across our mission. 

In the midst of it all, the CBS community continued to rise to the challenge and celebrate important milestones. Here are a few examples.

  • The College’s campaign steering committee, made up of alumni and longtime supporters, led an effort to provide a five-year UMAA membership to every undergraduate and graduate student graduating this year as a show of support. 

  • Graduating seniors once again offered moving reflections on their CBS experience as part of the College’s virtual commencement ceremony. Rob Brooker gave a wonderful commencement speech and John S. Anderson led students in Hail! Minnesota as he does each year. 

  • Sixteen faculty members — a record number for CBS — were recognized at a live virtual promotion and tenure celebration. Relive the festivities here.

  • CBS alum Mary Kemen, an anesthesiologist in Iowa, selflessly volunteered to treat COVID-19 patients in a hospital in New York. You can read her story here.

A special thank you to all the instructors who helped make spring semester as productive as possible for our students. Your efforts are greatly appreciated. As we continue to adapt to online and hybrid modes of teaching, I hope you will share lessons learned with one another.

As you know, this summer and fall will look very different than past years, especially for our incoming students who will not make the trip to Itasca or come to campus for orientation. Nature of Life staff and CBS Student Services are working hard to deliver the best possible experience for the newest members of our community.

Going forward, I encourage everyone to continue to look for creative ways to connect with our students and one another. Thank you for your contributions and stay well.


May, 2020