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A Response to Jacob Blake Shooting

Jacob Blake suffered seven gunshots wounds at point blank range by police officers in Kenosha, Wisconsin, over the weekend. Police were called to break up a dispute between two entirely different people. The horror of the unjust shooting was witnessed by Jacob’s three young children. Jacob’s father told the media today that Jacob is now paralyzed from the waist down. While we are grateful Jacob survived, we are deeply saddened by the pain and suffering he and his family are enduring now and will into the future.

Wisconsin is my home state. Kenosha is just south of Milwaukee, where I grew up. The unimaginable is happening all across this country, in all of our neighborhoods. Black men and women are being gunned down.

This morning, I read a statement put out by the Bradford Community Church in Kenosha, yesterday, where cars in an adjoining lot were set on fire in protest. It is one of the most powerful things I have read in response to injustice, followed by protests, and sometimes property damage. Here it is:

We, the members of the clergy of Bradford Community Church Unitarian Universalist, are outraged at the violence perpetuated in the name of law enforcement on our people of color throughout our nation’s history and yesterday in Kenosha in the case of Jacob Blake for whose life we now pray.

Despite the fact that we cannot condone violent response to injustice, we understand and appreciate the anger and frustration that fueled the events of last night. While we are relieved that our church home mostly survived the inferno in the lot next door, we affirm that we would rather lose 100 buildings than one more life to police violence. Some folks have already commented that our decision to display “Black Lives Matter” on our road sign in some way contributed to the fire or that our support of the BLM movement is hypocritical or “un-Christian.” Indeed, all lives do matter to us (that is what “Universalist” means), but given the overwhelming and disproportionate injustice suffered by Americans of color, we are compelled by our faith to speak up and affirm that Black Lives Matter too.

If this is not your faith, so be it, but it is most certainly ours and we ask that all folks be respectful in honoring our sacred calling to speak truth to power, protect the innocent, empower the disenfranchised and promote equity and compassion in human relations.

In the name of love,

Rev. Erik David Carlson

On Behalf of the Bradford Community Church Unitarian Universalist, Kenosha

This aligns with the message of our Catholic mission and faith as well. And, frankly, I could not have said it better. We continue to pray for Jacob Blake, his family, and our nation. We stand together to promote social justice, even as we mourn together the injustices ravaging our country.

At PC, we are here to support one another as we deal with the trauma and agony of these increasingly regular assaults on humanity. One-on-one counseling is available through the office of Rebecca Christiansen. For those in our PC family who wish to come together to grieve and talk through positive ways we can support one another, we will be offering a chance to meet together on WebEx. The date, time and link will be sent out soon.

God Bess!

Dr. L

The Right to Vote, The Right to Lead – An Open Letter Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Ratification of the 19th Amendment

The right to vote forms the foundation of meaningful participation and leadership.  Most of the South Dakota colleges and universities that women lead today were established decades before women had the right to vote in the United States.  Thankfully, these institutions were open to women seeking college degrees well before ratification of the 19th Amendment.  It took nearly 70 years to achieve women’s suffrage – and it took another 70 years from that pivotal moment in history for a woman to hold the top leadership position in any of the colleges and universities founded in the 1860s and 1880s.  Four of us are “first” female presidents within the last decade.

 

Grateful.  There are many who helped pave the path for women to become college and university presidents and other leaders throughout the public and private sector.  We celebrate first and foremost our forebears who supported ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.  Their sense of justice and self-worth along with their courage, hard work and resilience, resulted in the largest expansion of voting rights in our country’s history.  Enfranchisement started the long road to changing attitudes about women as full citizens in our democracy who are capable and valued contributors to self-determination.

 

We also are grateful to female colleagues on our campuses—those who served before us and those with whom we serve today—who were among the “firsts” to lead academic departments, operational functions, governing boards and alumni associations.  Their talents and tenacity paved the path further by demonstrating that women are equally competent and similarly gifted to lead as we partner effectively to develop strategies, manage budgets, recruit and retain talent, make hard decisions, and articulate visions for the future.

 

Purposeful.  When each of us assumed leadership roles, we were well aware of the trends and challenges in higher education that require more innovation, more partnerships, strategic investments and creative solutions.  We also knew that as women presidents, we would have opportunities within our spheres of influence to address lingering inequities and to empower more women within our organizations and within our broader communities.  Throughout the past decade, we’ve navigated and managed enormous amounts of change to strengthen our colleges and universities, serve more students, and fulfill our institutional missions, all while being intentional and deliberate in fostering the growth and development of more women leaders to overcome barriers that clearly still remain.

 

The opportunity to lead a college, university, or other organization during good times is exhilarating and deeply fulfilling.  The right to lead during times of crisis is both exhausting and immensely rewarding.  In the year 2020, we have been faced with public health, economic and social crises that have affected our campus communities in ways we never could have imagined.  But women’s struggle for the right to vote also happened amid crises—World War I and the Spanish flu pandemic.  It’s a good reminder of what turbulent times require of all of us.  History is such a good teacher, and provides us critical context.  We will weather the storms and achieve aspirational goals with focus, determination, compassion, and by supporting each other.

 

Hopeful.  We recognize that the socialization of young women and men is based in part on what they experience and observe in childhood and young adulthood.  This socialization changes with each generation, and we know that the dreams and aspirations of young women today are limitless based on the ongoing progress of the past 100 years.  Many of our women alumni continue to break glass ceilings and become female “firsts” in their chosen professions.  We celebrate them.  We celebrate history while confronting the challenges of the present and looking ahead to the future because our campuses are communities in which young people are prepared to be active and engaged citizens, to contribute in meaningful ways to their workplaces and communities, and to lead. We are inspired by the level of public-mindedness of Generation Z.

 

In honor of the 100th Anniversary of the Ratification of the 19th Amendment, we are promoting the celebratory activities of the Her Vote, Her Voice campaign, including the “Look Up to Her” programming and the lighting of Mt. Rushmore.  We also are planning educational activities on our campuses for Constitution Day, September 17, to reflect on the history of suffrage and voting rights in America and to highlight the importance of active participation in our democratic system of government.

 

Sincerely,

 

Dr. Ann Bolman, Western Dakota Tech

Sheila Gestring, University of South Dakota

Dr. José-Marie Griffiths, Dakota State University

Dr. Paula Langteau, Presentation College

Dr. Laurie Nichols, Black Hills State University

Dr. Amy Novak, Dakota Wesleyan University

Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, Augustana University

Current PC Nursing Student Earns Back to Back Scholarships

Lorraine Krenelka Nursing Scholarship Recipients Named

                Wolali Adjokatcher, Elizabeth Diaz, Kasey Livingstone and Makinzey Young have been named recipients of the Lorraine Krenelka Nursing Scholarship at Bethany Retirement Living.  They will each receive $1,000 to apply toward their nursing education costs for the 2020-21 academic year.

                Adjokatcher attended Adisadel College in Ghana and Minnesota State Community and Technical College.  He is pursuing his Bachelor’s degree in Nursing at Mayville State College.  Adjokatcher is a Resource RN at Bethany Retirement Living.

                Diaz is a graduate of Pelican Rapids (MN) High School. She is enrolled in the Licensed Practical Nurse program at Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Moorhead.  She is a Certified Medication Aide/Resident Assistant at Bethany Gables.

                Livingstone is a graduate of West Fargo High School and attended the North Dakota State College of Science.  She is enrolled in the Registered Nurse program at Presentation College in Aberdeen SD.  She is a Licensed Practical Nurse at Bethany Towers.

Young is a graduate of Lisbon High School. She is enrolled in the Registered Nurse program at Rasmussen College.  She is a Unit Manager at Bethany on 42nd.

                Lorraine Krenelka graduated from the St. Luke’s School of Nursing in Fargo before embarking on a nursing career that culminated in her service as a surgical nurse at St. John’s Hospital in Fargo.  Following retirement, Lorraine was a hospice nurse for ten years.  Her family established the Lorraine Krenelka Nursing Scholarship in 2007 to provide nursing education opportunities for employees at Bethany Retirement Living.

In the interest of providing nursing education opportunities for the employees of Bethany Retirement Living, the Lorraine Krenelka Endowed Nursing Scholarship Fund is made available through the generosity of Lorraine’s family.  The scholarship is available to qualified Bethany Retirement Living employees who desire to expand and improve their skills in geriatric care.

Bethany Retirement Living was founded in Fargo in 1939 and is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).  Bethany provides high-quality care to the elderly in skilled nursing, memory care, rehabilitation, transitional care, assisted living, basic care, senior apartments, and personal care programs.

Kim Marchell Scholarship Recipients Named

                Kasey Livingstone and Christopher Youngs have been named recipients of the Kim Marchell Endowed Scholarship at Bethany Retirement Living.  Each will receive $500 to apply toward nursing education for the 2020-21 academic year.

                Livingstone is a graduate of West Fargo High School and attended the North Dakota State College of Science.  She is enrolled in the Registered Nurse program at Presentation College in Aberdeen SD.  She is a Licensed Practical Nurse at Bethany Towers.

                Youngs graduated from Moorhead High School.  He is enrolled in the RN program at Minnesota State Community and Technical College.  Youngs is a Certified Nursing Assistant/Certified Medication Aide at Bethany Gables.

Kim Marchell served as Quality Improvement Coordinator at Bethany Retirement Living for more than eleven years, beginning in 1993.  Under her guidance, Bethany’s emphasis on quality care was focused and directed to help staff and the facility reach unprecedented levels of achievement.  Kim passed away in August 2004.  Through the scholarship in her name, Bethany Retirement Living provides financial support to qualified Bethany employees who are continuing their education in a nursing-related educational program.  The Kim Marchell Endowed Scholarship Fund is made available through the generosity of Kim’s family and other donors to Bethany Retirement Living.

Bethany Retirement Living was founded in Fargo in 1939 and is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).  Bethany provides high-quality care to the elderly in skilled nursing, rehabilitation, transitional care, basic care, assisted living, basic care, senior apartments, and personal care programs.

Both stories provided by:

Grant R. Richardson

Bethany Retirement Living

Presentation College Business Student Recognized with Top Honors at PBL Virtual National Leadership Experience

More than 1200 of America’s best and brightest college students participated in the virtual Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) business student organization’s National Leadership Experience (NLE) and competition.  This marks the first year the experience and competition were held virtually. 

The PBL National Leadership Experience was held virtually in June.  Participants from across the United States and other countries attended this exciting virtual experience to enhance their business skills, expand their networks, and participate in over 50 business and business-related competitive events.  PBL attendees logged 2,678 minutes (and counting) of virtual leadership content provided by the NLE. 

Presentation College (PC) student, Alexis Begger, received eighth place for Marketing Concepts at the national competition.  Alexis graduated from PC in May 2020 with a

Bachelor’s in business.  She is from Wibaux, Montana.  Alexis has recently been hired to work full-time as the assistant volleyball coach at Dawson Community College. 

“Alexis is an incredibly talented student both in and out of the classroom.  She is truly one of the most dedicated and hard-working students, who will continue to create positive change for her community,” said Brenda Merkel, Presentation College business faculty and PBL adviser. 

About FBLA-PBL, Inc.

Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda, Inc., the premier student business organization, is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) education association with a quarter million members and advisers in over 6,500 active middle school, high school, and college chapters worldwide. FBLA-PBL’s mission is to inspire and prepare students to become community-minded business leaders in a global society through relevant career preparation and leadership experiences. The association is headquartered in Reston, Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C. For more information, visit fbla-pbl.org.

Letter from the President over Recent National Events

Dear Presentation College Community,

The tragic and senseless loss of George Floyd’s life has been weighing heavily on our hearts all week, as have the deaths of countless others who have been denied basic human rights and been victimized by racism and injustice in our country. We say their names in solidarity. We must also do more.

At Presentation College, we believe in the intrinsic value and boundless potential of all human beings and are deeply committed to treating everyone with dignity and respect, indiscriminate of race, ethnicity, gender, or any other differing human characteristics. Even more so, in the Christian tradition of the Sisters of Presentation, we love everyone; no exceptions. We are blessed at Presentation College to serve the most richly diverse college student body in the state of South Dakota. We benefit daily from the broad range of perspectives, experiences, traditions, and insights that diversity brings to us. We need to stand together in unity and solidarity with our Saints Family.

I’m calling on the entire PC community to join me in living out our mission. My parents often said when I was growing up: “If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.” Today, that statement resonates in so many ways. As an educational institution committed to social justice, we must live our values. We are responsible for learning from, and bringing hope to, a world in crisis.

Inspired by the life Nano Nagle, the foundress of the Presentation Sisters, we are called to take down our lanterns and go out to shine our lights into the world. I have struggled with how to shine that light, with what to say that would be meaningful in this devastating time. I think it’s because words seem so hollow when people are hurting. Our students are hurting. Our faculty and staff are hurting. Our families are hurting. We are hurting as a nation right now. We need to acknowledge and validate that pain to move forward.

At Presentation College we educate to prepare to stand together to address social injustice, to demonstrate compassion, and to generate positive change out of pain, uncertainty, and chaos. This is the time for prayer, self-reflection, and discernment, followed by actions to lead to meaningful transformation. We must ask ourselves how we can best comfort and support one another and then work together to bring about the lasting change our world needs. How can we unite in spirit, collectively, from the various parts of the country and the globe where we are currently scattered, to bring that light and love to drive out darkness and hate?

I am asking all Saints to reach out to one another, to listen to each other with open hearts and minds, and to live the compassion and commitment to social justice of our mission. We must—and will—be here for each other and work together to plan a brighter future. While we are only a small group of committed people in a much larger society with incalculable need, we can make a difference. As Margaret Mead reminds us, “it’s the only thing that ever has.”

God Bless,

Dr. Paula Langteau

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