October 2023 DI&A Digest header
Recap of Conversations with Mines DI&A 

Kate Youmans presenting at the Conversations with DI&A event

At the start of the month, Mines DI&A hosted three interactive campus-based and virtual Conversations with DI&A to preview and gather feedback on plans for the 2023-2024 academic year. Over 140 community members engaged. These sessions also recognized Mines community members for their contributions that advanced the goals of the Mines DI&A Strategic Plan. A recording is now available for those who were unable to attend a live session, or for those who would like to view it again. In lieu of the interactive components, this recording incorporates slides that summarize the qualitative and quantitative feedback received from campus community members. You are welcome to direct any questions about the information presented during the Conversations to diversity@mines.edu 

Celebration of DI&A at Mines, call for workshop proposals  

panel at celebration of minesSave the date! The 5th annual Celebration of DI&A at Mines returns to campus on Tuesday, April 2, 2024. You are invited to submit a workshop proposal to facilitate an interactive 45-minute session during the day-long event. Want to lead a discussion on a timely DI&A topic? Want to share DI&A efforts you’ve incorporated in your class or office to help foster a greater sense of belonging? We want to read your ideas. Proposals are due January 23, 2024, and will be reviewed by a small committee of faculty, staff and students. Mines DI&A will cover all expenses associated with facilitating the workshops and lead the marketing efforts to drum up enthusiasm for the sessions. 

First-Generation College celebration 

First generation celebration graphicOn November 8th, to honor the anniversary of the signing of the Higher Education Act of 1965, institutions around the country are encouraged to celebrate the presence and experiences of first-generation college students, faculty and staff within their communities. Save the date for Mines’ First-Generation Day celebration, November 8, starting at 10:30 AM. The celebration includes a first-generation panel, an intersectionality discussion, a photo booth and other activities to recognize and honors those who are first-generation. Cake and refreshments will be provided. All are welcome! 

Funds of Knowledge: Exploring how household knowledge and work experiences support first-generation college students’ engineering role identity development 

Dr. VerdinWhen first-generation college students enroll in engineering programs, they bring a wealth of historically accumulated cultural knowledge and distinct approaches to engaging. These shared learning histories, collectively referred to as funds of knowledge, are accrued through everyday practices and lived experiences within homes, communities and previous work experiences. Crucially, first-generation college students’ funds of knowledge can also be considered resources to help explain how they identify as engineers. On Monday, November 13, noon-1:00 PM, join Dr. Dina Verdín, Assistant Professor of Engineering at the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University, as she presents empirical evidence of how first gen students’ funds of knowledge support their engineering identity development and persistence beliefs. Her research can help engineering educators integrate students’ funds of knowledge into the engineering learning process and cultivate a more inclusive learning environment. This seminar is held in McNeil 313. 

Scholarships available for graduate students pursuing humanitarian work 

Did you know Mines is home to a National Science Foundation (NSF) S-STEM grant that provides scholarships for graduate students who are pursuing “humanitarian” research and practice, and who meet income and unmet need requirements? Most Humanitarian Engineering and Science Ambassador (HESA) students are enrolled in the Humanitarian Engineering and Science MS or graduate certificate, but it is not required. For more information on specific requirements visit https://humanitarian.mines.edu/mshes/. Email Kevin Moore kmoore@mines.edu for more information on HESA-specific application requirements. 

Evaluation and Impactworking group starts this week 

If you attended or reviewed a Conversations with DI&A presentation over the past few weeks, you might remember that the Mines DI&A team is facilitating working groups this semester to tackle top priorities for the academic year. 

Heather Houlton is leading efforts for the ‘Evaluation and Impact’ working group. The group aims to support campus partners with fostering a culture of “measuring impact” of DI&A activities. Some of the guiding questions for this work include, (1) how can we create a culture of implementing evaluations for DI&A efforts? And (2) How can this working group procure or develop resources to support campus in their evaluation efforts? 

Members of this working group include Robin Dean from ITS, Marla Draper from DSS, Scott Harper from IRSA, Justin Latici from UHSP, Megan Rose from FA&O and Megan Sanders from Trefny Center. 

Culture, not costume  

With Halloween this week, you may feel squeezed for costume ideas. Before you head out, rummage through the closet or make a quick purchase, we encourage you to remember…  

Are you wondering why this reminder is important? Check out a few resources from The Ohio State University and West Virginia University 

Meet Kelly Olson, Associate Director for Mines DI&A

Kelly OlsonQ: What are your responsibilities on the team? 

A: I lead programming and initiatives that raise awareness and messaging for Mines DI&A. This includes the DI&A monthly digest, website and social media, and the annual Celebration of DI&A at Mines. I help secure, implement, evaluate and amplify new and existing programming that supports Mines DI&A focus areas. I am also responsible for managing DI&A annual awards and finances. 

Q: How long have you worked at Mines? Please share a little bit of your professional background. 

A: I am approaching my ten-year anniversary at Mines (November 1). When I first started at Mines, I was the Undergraduate Program Manager for the departments of Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. The responsibilities of this role centered around academic advising for students in their upper division courses. I first cut my teeth in higher education in an academic advising role in 2009, and absolutely loved having the opportunity to serve in that capacity at Mines. I transitioned to the WISEM/Mines DI&A role in 2017, which has seen a couple iterations over the years based on emerging and present needs of our students and employees. I thrive on the dynamic nature of the work and the impact it makes well beyond someone’s time at Mines. 

Q: Why does diversity, inclusion and access matter to you? 

A: I believe diversity, in all its dimensions, is essential for finding creative solutions to our greatest challenges on a community, national and global scale. These solutions will only surface through representation and consideration of all social identity groups. Inclusion is an environment where everyone feels comfortable to be their unique selves; they experience a sense of belonging in that space and amongst those who are there. Access is the result of dismantling barriers to spaces and opportunities. Inclusion and access are both essential to diversity work and my work here at Mines. 

Q: What are you looking forward to in your work this year? 

A: This year, I’m looking forward to facilitating the ‘messaging and awareness’ working group. I have a great group of colleagues who are taking a constructive eye on the way we communicate, support and amplify the ‘why’ around DI&A work at Mines, and have contributed ideas on how we can make it clearer and engage more people in the work. I’m looking forward to presenting the group’s recommendations to campus for feedback as the year unfolds. 

Q: What is your favorite Golden or Denver-metro restaurant? 

A: Hops and Pie in the Berkeley neighborhood in Denver.  

Wednesdays with WISEM featuring Dr. Melissa Krebs

Melissa KrebsCampus is invited to attend Wednesdays with WISEM featuring Dr. Melissa Krebs, Associate Professor in Chemical and Biological Engineering and CEO and Founder of GelSana Therapeutics, as she presents From Bench to Bedside: An Academic Entrepreneur’s Journey. This professional development event is held on November 8th at 8:45 AM in Ballrooms A&B, Student Center. Breakfast will be served. RSVP by Thursday, November 2. 

Help shape accessibility: share your experience

Remember the challenges of transitioning from high school to college? For students with disabilities, this leap can come with its unique set of hurdles. That’s where you come in. Mines Undergraduate Research Fellowship is conducting a short (just a few minutes of your time), anonymous survey to better understand and improve the transition experience for students with disabilities. Your insights can guide us to make essential changes and ensure a smoother, more inclusive transition for all. 

Topics covered: Support systems, academic adjustments, campus resource accessibility and overall environment.  

Access the survey  

By sharing your story, you’re not just recounting past experiences, you’re laying the groundwork for a brighter, more inclusive future for others. Your experience matters. Let’s together shape a better transition for students with disabilities. 

From athletics to engineering: 8 ways to support diversity, equity and inclusion for all  

Johnnie JohnsonCampus is invited to join the Payne Institute for Public Policy, Mines DI&A and Mines Athletics in welcoming Johnnie Johnson, former NFL All-Pro, for a virtual seminar on Monday, November 6. As the team’s #1 draft pick, Johnnie excelled for ten years in the National Football League as an All-Pro safety for the Los Angeles Rams. He was a two-time consensus All-American at the University of Texas at Austin, where he was named the best defensive back in the country by the committee that awards the Heisman Trophy. He is a member of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame.  

Johnnie is CEO of the 8 Ways to Support DEI International Sports Alliance (Johnber Multimedia Inc.) and co-author of the popular book From Athletics to Engineering: 8 Ways to Support Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for All. In his learning from athletics and engineering, Johnnie will share how a diverse, equitable and inclusive society serves as a pathway to breaking down barriers and bringing people together across ethnic, racial and economic lines. 

Opportunity to Support ODAC 

Oredigger Disability Activism and Community graphicODAC is a passionate group at Mines, united by a commitment to fostering inclusivity and understanding. We represent the voices and needs of disabled students and faculty, ensuring they have a community that hears, supports, and advocates for them. Our primary goal is to establish a safe community where disabled students and faculty can find a sense of belonging and empowerment. 

Your contribution is more than just a donation—it’s a pledge to stand with us in creating an inclusive Mines community. Every dollar raised will be invested in our events and projects. Together, with your support, we can bring about a tangible change, ensuring that Mines is accessible and empathetic to the diverse needs of all its members. 

Please consider contributing to ODAC’s Goldmine campaign during giving month this November! We greatly appreciate your support. For more information and to donate, please visit our campaign website at goldmine.mines.edu/odac.

Contribute to next month’s Digest 

Help us highlight the work you or your department is doing across campus to support DI&A at Mines by submitting a brief article to next month’s Mines DI&A Digest. Submissions must be received by the first week of the month in order to make it into that month’s Digest.  

Save the Dates 

Hyperlinks = virtual meeting access information. All times are Mountain Daylight Time.  

  • 11/6 @ 12:00-12:30 PM Mines DI&A Council Monthly Meeting-General. Open to all Orediggers.  
  • 11/6 @ 7:00-8:00 PM From Athletics to Engineering: 8 Ways to Support DEI for All 
  • 11/8 @ 8:45 AM Wednesday with WISEM, Student Center Ballrooms AB 
  • 11/8 @ 10:30 AM First-Generation College Celebration 
  • 11/11 @ 5:00-9:00 PM International Day, Green Center – Friedhoff Hall 
  • 11/13 @ noon Funds of Knowledge seminar – McNeil 313 
  • 4/2 @ all-day Celebration of DI&A at Mines 

    As always, we welcome your ideas, thoughts and feedback at diversity@mines.edu.
    Thank you for being a member of an inclusive Oredigger community and an advocate and ally for positive social change.

    Diversity, Inclusion and Access