February 2023 D I and A Digest Header

Black history month

African American & Black History month is celebrated every February. During this month, we celebrate individuals who identify as African American and Black in the United States. This month recognizes the history, culture and contributions the community has shared throughout generations. We also recognize the active student organizations: National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Mines African Student Union (MASU), Kickstart and the employee group: Mines Black Community Alliance that help foster a welcoming and supportive environment for those who identify or are active allies for African Americans and Black Orediggers. These groups continue to raise cultural awareness, aid recruitment and retention efforts of diverse talent on campus, foster networking within and outside the membership base and engage campus in educational events. Meetings, upcoming events and membership information can be found on Mines SAIL’s website under student organizations and on Mines Human Resources’ webpage under employee groups. We encourage you to find a way to get involved and continue the celebration of Black history month well after February comes to an end.

Dr. Amy E. Landis, Heather Houlton, Kelly Knechtel and Arielle Rainey
Mines DI&A 

FAQs about the 4th annual Celebration of DI&A at Mines

Q: What is the Celebration of DI&A at Mines?

A: Halfway through the year, we set aside time for all of campus to gather to learn about progress on the Mines DI&A Strategic Plan, share updates on department and campus units’ implementation plan goals and engage in learning and skill development opportunities.

This year’s Celebration includes 17 interactive workshops, keynote lunch, poster session and President’s reception.

Q: Who is invited?

A: YOU and the entire campus community.

Q: When is this happening?

A: Monday, April 3, 2023
8:15 AM-5:00 PM
Green Center

Q: Who is facilitating the workshops?

A: Orediggers+. This includes, faculty, staff, student presenters and Mines DI&A External Advisory Board company representatives from Aera, CACI and Chevron.

Q: Where can I find the 17 interactive workshops and register for the event?

A: https://www.mines.edu/diversity/celebration-of-dia/

Q: What is new this year beyond the workshops?

A: Two things! 1) A poster session. In lieu of progress report flash talks, each department and campus unit that submits a diversity progress report (there are nearly 40 participating depts/units!) is required to complete a poster highlighting their goals, their alignment with the Mines DI&A Strategic Plan and the outcome/impact of those efforts. These posters will be displayed 11:00-11:45 AM in the Green Center Lobby and staffed by a dept/unit representative so community members can ask questions and explore possible collaborations. 2) A President’s reception. Join President Johnson, current DI&A Presidential Fellow, Dr. Amy Landis and new DI&A Presidential Fellow, Dr. Kate Youmans from 4:00-5:00 PM as they celebrate and review the past, present and future of DI&A at Mines and celebrate all that the Mines community has done for DI&A over the years. Beverages and light hors d’oeuvres will be served.


Nominate a colleague or peer for the 2023 DI&A awards

The annual award nomination window opened earlier this month and runs through April 24. There are many outstanding faculty, staff, students and groups who are worthy of recognition. Consider highlighting their efforts by submitting a nomination not only to elevate their work across campus, but as a word of thanks.

Award recipients demonstrate an exceptional understanding of diversity and inclusiveness as represented by their efforts to:

  • enhance inclusion through positive foster dialogue communication between people of diverse backgrounds,
  • promote an environment free from bias and discrimination,
  • raise awareness and lead initiatives that advance diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion,
  • support efforts in Mines DI&A Strategic Plan and/or
  • serve as a catalyst for change in the areas of diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion.


Accessing data for DI&A implementation plan progress reports

As a reminder, instructions have been sent to DI&A committee leaders on how to access institutional data through Tableau to inform progress made on department or unit implementation plans (IP) for 2023. February starts the annual DI&A IP progress reporting timeline for the academic year. Here are the dates you should know:

  • Friday, April 21st: Implementation Plan progress reports due to DI&A team and committee

  • Monday, May 15th: Reviews finished, and comments sent back to units

  • Friday, June 2nd: New this year – Your department can choose to resubmit the report based on feedback. This is not required and if you only submit one report, your original submission will be used.

  • Monday, June 5th: Reports sent to PCJ and VPs

Please reach out to Heather Houlton (hhoulton@mines.edu) if you have questions!

Mines DI&A begins recruitment of the next cohort of DI&A Ambassadors

The Oredigger community is invited to apply to the Mines DI&A Ambassadors program. The Ambassadors are a group of faculty, staff and students who help meet the growing requests for diversity and inclusion workshops across campus. Mines DI&A Ambassadors are trained to engage in deeper learning about implicit bias, microaggressions and other diversity, equity and inclusion topics as they relate to fostering a culture of inclusion and enacting positive social change on campus. Learn more and apply. Applications are due for this paid opportunity by March 2, 2023.

In tandem with the DI&A Ambassadors program, the Mines DI&A team partners with Mines Peer Educators to further prepare student leaders to engage in meaningful dialogue and equip students to think and act with inclusion at the forefront. Kayla Benson, a current Peer Educator, shared with us recently her experiences with the collaboration.


“The DI&A partnership with Peer Education has been a great journey in which I got to be at the helm for as the DI&A Supervision Group Lead. With many plans to grow and expand, this initial collaboration produced some memorable programming that will serve as a catalyst for more possibilities. Events included a tabling for minimizing micro-aggressions, a celebration for the International Day of Tolerance, joint events with the Multicultural Engineering Program for Halloween and Valentine’s Day and various social media campaigns educating the Mines campus about certain causes. As someone who belongs to multiple underrepresented communities on campus, I have a strong desire to create a welcoming environment for everyone. My goal is that my time as a DI&A Peer Educator acts to pay my work and passion forward for future students as they attend a more diverse, inclusive and accessible Mines.”

Mines Foundation and Electrical Engineering join forces for ARDC scholarships

The Mines Foundation and the Electrical Engineering Department announced three Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC) Foundation Undergraduate Scholarships valued at $32,500. Scholarships are available to underrepresented electrical engineering majors with a focus or strong interest in the fields of radio frequency, antenna design, computational electromagnetics or analysis and design of microwave circuits for emerging technologies. Applications are due February 28. To learn more and apply, visit Mines Corporate and Foundation Scholarships.  

Hearst Scholars join the growing list of communities of scholars at Mines

A new scholars community is coming to campus this fall. The Hearst Scholars program, made possible through a grant from the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, provides students with the financial and the social support system needed to enter the STEM workforce with the strength of a Mines degree. MEP and the PASCAL Center teams will leverage best practices from programs such as the University of Maryland, Baltimore County Meyerhoff Scholars Program and their own pilots with STEM Communities of Scholars. The program extends scholarships to ten low-income, academically talented transfer students from the Colorado Community College System (CCCS), with a priority focus toward First Generation students receiving a Pell grant who identify as an underrepresented individual or are a student of color. Through this program, Mines will also leverage a new CCCS Associates in Engineering Science (AES) degree which will increase the ability of CCCS students to attain a STEM degree within three years. Each scholar will receive a $10,000 scholarship for the three-year period plus $25,000 to help support academic and personal success, particularly for students who have confronted barriers to success in the past. The total award amounts to $125,000. The first cohort will begin fall semester 2023. 

Humanitarian Engineering awarded NSF grant to support low-income graduate students

Mines’ recently awarded S-STEM project Humanitarian Engineering and Science Ambassadors (HESA): Leveraging Funds of Knowledge for Student Success will provide up to $10,000 a year, for up to two years, in scholarships and associated mentoring opportunities for 43 unique low-income graduate students in Mines’ Humanitarian Engineering and Science master’s program. This program trains students to integrate knowledge from engineering, geoscience and social science to solve contemporary challenges alongside the communities they seek to serve. Students will have an opportunity to map their personal funds of knowledge—the skills and knowledge that people develop through their daily work and family lives—and connect them with their STEM learning and development of a personal professional identity. A mixed-methods approach (interviews and surveys) will be used to study whether those practices enhance students’ confidence, interest in STEM and sense of graduation certainty. This allows the project team to investigate: 1) whether “connecting” skills can be developed through mentorship; 2) whether connecting skills enhance low-income students’ self-efficacy, STEM identities and persistence beliefs; and 3) the role of funds of knowledge in graduate training and career transitions. The program has made 16 awards totaling $157,850 to 13 unique students, three of whom have already graduated. The project team includes PI Kevin Moore, with co-PIs Jessica Smith, Juan Lucena, Junko Munakata Marr and Jeffery Shragge.  

Student organization spotlight: Mines African Student Union

Mines African Student Union (MASU) is a dedicated group of Africans and friends of Africa who represent students of color at Mines. MASU was formed to respond to the different challenges faced by African students. The group aims to promote understanding, cooperation, fellowship and networking among Africans and others without any sort of discrimination. Throughout the year, MASU hosts social networking events to help newcomers feel welcome, professional networking events to connect with other organizations and alumni and coaching and mentoring events to foster connection with high schoolers and the local community. Some of the group’s signature events include African Culture night and Afro Fest. Learn more about MASU by visiting the organization’s engage page.  

Authentically Me speaker series highlights the journeys of women in STEM

Mines faculty, staff and students are invited to join Multicultural Engineering Program (MEP) and Women in Science, Engineering & Mathematics (WISEM) for a women-focused panel as part of the Authentically Me speaker series created by MEP. Attendees will have the opportunity to network with women engineers of color and discover how they paved ways for success in their work. Five women in STEM will share their experience and expertise during a panel discussion, followed by open networking. The event is Wednesday, March 15 at 3:00 PM in Student Center Ballroom B. Registration is required to ensure there are enough snacks for attendees.  

Esteemed guest panelists Include: 
Erika Bañuelos, Civil Engineering & Latino Studies 
Chin Isaac-Heslop, Software & Information Systems Engineering  
Lisa Nguyen, Civil & Transportation Engineering 
Sade Odumuye, Mechanical & Architectural Engineering 

Women’s History Month calendar of activities announced

The Women in Science, Engineering and Mathematics (WISEM) Program has another great line-up of professional development programs and events to celebrate Women’s History Month next month, starting with the annual luncheon on March 1. This year, WISEM welcomes alumna, NASA engineer and Miss International pageant top ten finalist, Arjumand Alvi, as the luncheon’s Keynote. Visit the Women’s History Month Event page for details on all the month’s activities. An RSVP is required for most of the events. 

Contribute to next month’s Mines DI&A 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 the next Mines DI&A Digest. Submissions must be received by the second week of the month in order to make it into the Digest.  

Save the Dates 

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

  • 2/24 @ 12:00-1:00 PM Authentically Me Series – Black Engineering Panel, Brown W250
  • 3/1 @ 11:45 AM Women’s History Month luncheon, Friedhoff
  • 3/6 @ 1:00 PM Monthly Mines DI&A General Council meeting (open to the campus community) 
  • 3/15 @ 3:00 PM Authentically Me Series – Women of Color Engineering Panel, Student Center Ballroom B 
  • 4/3 @ 8:15 AM-5:00 PM Celebration of DI&A at Mines, Green Center

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