August 23, 2021 - Welcome to the Fall Semester at UMSL

Dear UMSL Community,

The start of the fall semester has always been my favorite time of year. There’s something about new beginnings and starting afresh that never fails to fill me with hope and renew my spirit and energy for the work ahead. This fall semester is one of the most unique – and honestly challenging – new beginnings we have ever had to face. I want to start it off on the right foot by welcoming each and every one of you who makes the UMSL community what it is – a family of deeply driven, compassionate and talented individuals committed to bolstering positive change in your own lives and around the world. I am in awe of you and the many unique gifts, experiences and perspectives you bring to our campus and community. And I’m beyond thrilled to get to see and meet many of you in person!

I know and want to acknowledge that it’s a new normal we’re returning to. COVID’s continuing presence and the Delta variant’s ongoing spread means precautions we once never dreamed of are still necessary, and smiles must still be covered by masks – at least for the time being. This can all be so exhausting and discouraging, I feel that. But please take heart. We have made it this far. We can and will stay the course. And we will do it together.

Because we’re still here. Because a spirit that’s bruised and desperately in need of a new beginning, is a spirit that’s capable of one – capable through hope, hard work and resilience. The good news is, we are UMSL, and collective hope, hard work and resilience is what we’re all about. It’s the stuff that transformations are made of.

Along those lines, I want to say to students especially – this semester and always – please know you are never alone on this campus or in this community, ongoing pandemic or no. Should you feel during this semester or at any time that you’re in need of any kind of assistance, please reach out. We have many resources available and many compassionate individuals ready to help. See the list below my signature for just a few helpful resources of what’s open to you should you need them.

Once again, welcome back familiar friends, and welcome aboard bright, new, hopeful faces. I’m grateful we can be here to face this new normal together, and I’m proud that, at least in part because of our collective hard work, we’ve made it possible. Let’s keep going.

Gratefully forward,

Kristin Sobolik
University of Missouri–St. Louis

Resources for UMSL students to keep in mind and close at hand:
(please note, this is by no means an exhaustive list)