November 2023 DI&A Digest Header
SWiM celebrates its 10th anniversary

Attendees of SWiM event in Friedhoff HallOn October 20-21st, around 80 students, faculty and alumni celebrated ten years of the Society for Women in Mathematics at Mines (SWiM) with a reunion conference. SWiM was started in 2013 by Professors Deb Carney and Becky Swanson. The group’s aim was to create a community of support for students and faculty at Mines by providing a safe space for students to discuss topics related to women in mathematics. Professor Cecilia Diniz Behn serves as SWiM’s co-advisor.     

The conference opened with an Applied Mathematics & Statistics colloquium talk by Kate Bubar (BS 2019, CU Boulder PhD student). Seven alumni panelists shared advice about life after Mines and the impact of the SWiM community. Saturday events included a keynote talk by Dr. Jessica Deters (BS 2017, University of Nebraska Lincoln faculty) and breakout sessions on making professional connections, working in industry, graduate school, work-life balance, negotiation and mentoring.  

MEP’s Challenge recognized for Insight’s inspiring programs in STEM award 

Earlier this month, the Multicultural Engineering Program (MEP)’s Challenge Summer Bridge Program received the 2023 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the largest and oldest diversity and inclusion publication in higher education. The Inspiring Programs in STEM Award honors colleges and universities whose efforts inspire and encourage a new generation of young people to consider careers in STEM through mentoring, teaching, research and successful programs and initiatives. Learn more about the four-weeklong program for incoming students with diverse identities and the award in the Mines Newsroom 

‘Under Pressure’ Girl Scout Engineering Day inspires future scientists and engineers

Girl scouts watching a presentation by SWE officers.Every fall, the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) hosts Girl Scout Engineering Day, a half-day outreach event for Junior Girl Scouts across the Front Range. This year’s participants were exposed to different areas of STEM and science principles that centered on the event’s theme, “Under Pressure.The program’s student director, Bridget Germany, a sophomore in Chemical Engineering, wanted the Girls Scouts to engage in interactive stations that introduced them to ideal gas laws and air pressure, which are constantly experienced in day-to-day life but never truly observed. Nearly 80 Junior Girl Scouts and 40 SWE volunteers were in attendance. 

Engage others in a DEI topic at the Celebration of DI&A at Mines

The 5th annual Celebration of DI&A at Mines returns to campus on Tuesday, April 2, 2024. The campus community is invited to submit a workshop proposal to facilitate an interactive 45-minute session during the day-long event. Interested in this opportunity but not sure what sessions have been offered in the past? Check out last year’s Celebration agenda to help generate ideas. Proposals are due January 23, 2024. 

Annual diversity report poster templates redesigned to help improve departmental reporting 

This spring, Mines DI&A is streamlining the diversity reporting process. In previous years, all major administrative and academic units submitted an Excel or PDF document outlining their DI&A-focused activities for the year to demonstrate the progress made on their Implementation Plan goals. This year, Mines DI&A is refining the Celebration of DI&A poster session to replace the diversity progress report documents. The new poster template outlines instructions and information needed for posters to capture units’ most important DI&A activities. In addition, posters will be reviewed by a committee and scored. This evaluation rubric can be used to familiarize your DI&A committee with how posters will be evaluated during the Celebration. The top scoring posters will receive Diversity Progress Report awards.

Just in case your DI&A committee needs a boost to get started, check out this poster example. Content was graciously provided by the Department of Geology and Geological Engineering (GGE). Mines DI&A expanded on GGE’s content with hypothetical metrics, goals and outcomes to illustrate how to connect units’ work from their diversity progress report activities into the postersIf you have questions or need support, please contact Heather Houlton, Mines DI&A Research Analyst.  

Learning and Resources’ working group commenced last month 

In October, the DI&A Learning and Resources group kicked off! This working group will evaluate learning opportunities and professional development resources for advancing DEI knowledge across campus, including re-design of the current ambassador program and development of a DEI resource database. 

Led by Kate Youmans, this working group brings together faculty and staff from across disciplines to share their expertise in curriculum development and DEI topics. Thanks to Jenny Crawford, Carter Moulton, Jon Leydens, Kelsi Streich, Chris Coulston, Serena Lewis and Sareen Lambright Dale for supporting this important work! 

Do you have recommendations for DEI related topics or excellent trainings or trainers? Pass them along to! 

Meet Dr. Kate Youmans – Presidential Fellow for Diversity, Inclusion and Access

Portrait of Dr. Kate Youmans.Q: What are your responsibilities on the team? 

A: I am really excited to have the opportunity to serve as the Presidential Fellow for Diversity, Inclusion and Access for the next five years.  In this role, I am responsible for leading campus-wide efforts to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion for faculty, students, and staff. As part of this work, I support DI&A as a thought leader and strategic advisor for the best practices and work collaboratively with key campus partners to develop new activities and programs that meet the needs of our campus community. I also get to lead the small but mighty DI&A Team, who works out of the WISEM house, come say hi! My favorite part of this work is engaging with our students, faculty and staff, to understand how we can best foster an inclusive campus environment. 

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

A: It’s been a long and winding journey, but I have been working professionally to create more inclusive environments in STEM since 2010. I joined Mines as a Teaching Associate Professor in Engineering, Design and Society in fall of 2021 after finishing my PhD in Engineering Education at Utah State.  Prior to that, I led K-12 STEM programs for a charter school in Utah, where we built out programs in Design Thinking, Computer Science, and Engineering. And before that, I led middle school outreach programs at MIT and had the opportunity to work with an amazing group of diverse student leaders. Before jumping into advancing DEI in STEM, I spent some time in the medical device industry, working to design surgical instruments with Johnson and Johnson. 

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

A: As a queer woman in engineering, I know what it feels like to not belong, or to have to shift who you are in order to belong. I’m passionate about creating an environment where our students and staff can show up as their authentic selves and recognize that it takes dedicated time and effort to challenge persistent STEM culture and inequitable systems to create these inclusive environments.  

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

A: We’ve launched a ton of new initiatives this year and are re-visiting the campus needs through four focus areas: (1) Advancing institutional-level work through connected collaboration, (2) Elevating DI&A messaging and awareness, (3) Updating DI&A learning and resources and (4) Emphasizing impact in evaluation.  I’m leading the working group for DI&A learning and resources and am really excited to bring new learning opportunities for DI&A learning to campus.

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

A: It’s not exactly Denver or Golden, but there’s this really unique restaurant on your way to Evergreen called MacNation – that serves some pretty epic mac and cheese. 

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

Earlier this month, the Payne Institute, Mines Athletics and Mines DI&A teamed up to host Johnnie Johnson, former NFL All-Pro and author of the book From Athletics to Engineering: 8 Ways to Support Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for All, for an hour-long webinar. A recording is now available for those who were unable to attend the live session, or for those who would like to view it again. 

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.  

  • 4/2 @ all-day Celebration of DI&A at Mines 

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

    Diversity, Inclusion and Access