Well, how does it feel to be back in the swing of things and on campus for most classes? The students I’ve talked with around campus are pleased to be back, enjoying the new picnic tables spread around campus, and being able to have live dialogue in class.

And then there’s the great coffee and food at the Daily Café!! I heartily recommend the cappuccino and the Americano.

People are respecting the mask mandate and Facilities staff are cleaning all the high touch surfaces regularly. So the mood on campus is upbeat and optimistic. Ok, some of that may have been a sugar rush due to the mini-donuts the SLC were handing out yesterday. Thank you for those!!!

There are so many things to be grateful for right now, including the opportunity we have to make a positive difference.

Digital U-Pass

One of the ways we’re reducing line-ups this year is by offering digital U-Passes. Plus, you can reduce your carbon footprint and be an active agent in reducing greenhouse emissions.
UPASS goes digital!
No waiting in line to get your sticker, no forgetting your student ID card at home, and a convenient digital pass that is securely assigned to you on your mobile device through your StMU university provided email address.

My Fare is a mobile ticketing app that allows you to use the UPASS directly from your mobile device. My Fare is available on the majority of iOS or Android devices installed with the current or previous major version operating system. Downloading the My Fare app is easy and convenient from Google Play and Apple Store.

Access to UPASS on My Fare will require your StMU email address (firstname.lastname@stmu.ca). Email registrar@stmu.ca to confirm that your StMU email address may be provided to Calgary Transit in order to access your UPASS on My Fare. The Fall 2021 UPASS will be valid from September 1st – December 31st 2021.

ADD/DROP Sept. 15th

The last day to change or add a course for fall 2021 is Sept. 15th. If you’re still hesitating on finalizing your schedule, get on it by Wednesday!

Vaccinated yet?

Also on September 15th, we draw from those students who have submitted proof of double vaccination for free fall term tuition.

% of Calgarians with at Least 1 Dose of Vaccine as of Sept. 10, 2021 by Selected Region in Proximity to StMU

Calgary Region 12-19 years 20-39 years 40-59 years
Calgary-Fish Creek 82.4% 73.2% 82.5%
Southeast 84.3% 76.7% 86.4%
Southwest 81% 77.2% 84.8%

If you’ve been putting off getting vaccinated, here are some top reasons why you should:

  • Vaccinations + wearing masks and keeping hands clean are the best ways to avoid contracting and getting really sick from COVID
  • Healthcare workers have sacrificed so much to respond to the COVID crisis – let’s show them we care as much as they do and do our part to keep people out of the hospital
  • Calgary vs Edmonton. Calgary and Edmonton are leading vaccine uptake in the province. Vaccination rates in Alberta’s two largest urban areas are significantly higher than in many rural areas – but Edmonton is leading. Let’s show Edmonton our Calgary colours and spike our vaccination numbers!
  • Keeping local business, bars and restaurants open
  • Avoiding another lockdown

Charitable Cloth Mask Sale Thursday Sept 16th starting at 9:30 in Classroom Building Lobby

Dr. Joyce Woods will be offering a range of colourful cloth masks in a range of sizes. So you can support charities and accessorize your fall wardrobe – while reducing the number of disposable masks hitting the landfill.

Over 4,000 masks donated to local agencies and community

Back in March of this year as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded, Dr. Woods watched and listened, both through the news and in discussion with her nursing and health care colleagues. She has resided in Calgary since 1988 and has a very strong connection to the community.

Having enjoyed a 46-year career in nursing and currently an Associate Professor of nursing, Dr. Woods’ first instinct was to take action in her community to ensure her fellow Calgarians were being safe while following the physical distancing protocol in place.

“What I really wanted to do, was put my scrubs back on and participate in frontline duty, but unfortunately, due to my age and a heart condition, I was not able to do that. Instead, I got out the sewing machine, and started making face masks, with the intention of providing them to people who need them most.”

Since April 1, 2020, Dr. Woods’ crusade has been a successful one, with over 4,000 masks delivered to-date. Deliveries have been to more than 35 community agencies including Ronald McDonald House, Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Center, Emma House, Awo Taan, Sonshine Village, Sherrif King, Calgary Women’s Centre, CUPS (Calgary Urban Project), Calgary Drop-in Centre, Mustard Seed, Alpha House, Inn from the Cold, Children’s Cottage, Hull Services, Columbus Manor, Calgary Senior’s Centre, Bishop O’Bryne Manor, Women in Crisis, Tsuu T’ina Nation. Other donations were made to agencies providing services to senior’s and community centers, Emergency Departments in hospitals, and many essential service workers, as well as families in the community. When delivering to many children, small plush animals or little teddy bears were included.

Not everyone has the finances or means to get a face mask, but wearing one right now is without question, essential, to protect oneself and others. I wanted to help as many people as I possibly could and in this process I’ve come across many community agencies providing such great services that I wasn’t familiar with before,” says Dr. Woods.

Approximately 300 masks were given to her own family, friends and others known to Dr. Woods who would benefit from having masks due to various health conditions or situations.

Dr. Woods has invested over $5,000 and spent countless hours sewing protective face masks, using material procured from her local fabric stores, sometimes waiting outside in line-ups for up to two hours to enter the store. Dr. Woods’ grandchildren have also contributed to her project, and made over 500 nose pieces.

Dr. Woods cleans and presses each mask before putting them in a sanitary bag, and delivers them herself to those in need. During delivery, the seasoned health care professional in Dr. Woods is in full force, as she goes through the proper way to handle, put on and remove and care for face masks with the recipients of her masks.

“It’s important to only handle face masks by the ear pieces and develop the habit of never touching your mask on the outside or inside. Washing your hands before and after handling your masks is vital.

As the COVID-19 pandemic persists, Dr. Woods urges everyone to wear a mask every time they leave the house, and to do what they can for those in need in these trying times. It is so important for us to be considerate and kind.

When asked about what motivates Dr. Woods to continue this important work, the answer comes easily, “Making a difference.” It’s something in my power to do! The whole process has been very rewarding and has provided me with the opportunity to lead by example. I would do it all again and encourage others to help out wherever and whenever they can – it does make a difference.

After a busy week on campus, I am off to enjoy a weekend camping and revel in the early fall weather.

It was wonderful to see you all this week!

Keep safe, mask, and make a difference!


Tara Hyland-Russell, PhD
Vice-President Academic & Provost