Mines DI&A Digest May 2021
Thank you for supporting DI&A at Mines

This month’s edition is the last DI&A Digest for the academic year. Like you, we take a little time off from writing and channel that energy into improvements for the next academic year. We already have a few things in the works but would enjoy hearing your feedback. What would you like to see in these monthly communications? You’re welcome to email diversity@mines.edu with your ideas.

As we turn the calendar to summer, we want to extend a sincere thank you for all the ways you showed up and contributed to diversity, inclusion and access at Mines over the year. Each of you in your unique way supported the 24 SMART recommendations in the Mines DI&A Strategic Plan. We know this work is not easy, but it’s worth it. Our community thanks you for your efforts that have helped foster a safer space for all Orediggers to be their unique selves on campus. We couldn’t do this without you.

Wishing you a fun yet restful summer. We’ll see you back in a few months.

Dr. Amy E. Landis, Tammy Curry, Heather Houlton and Kelly Knechtel
Mines DI&A

Mines DI&A welcomes a new team member

Mines DI&A is excited to welcome a new member to the team – Arielle Rainey. Arielle started at Mines as an undergraduate student in 2017 where she pursued her bachelor’s from the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering.  During her time as an undergraduate, she worked with Dr. Landis to gain research experience during a Fellowship that explored the DI&A-related landscape for Mines’ student, faculty and staff populations. Arielle was drawn to the dynamics of education as it pertains to different experiences between demographic groups and so she pursued a master’s in Humanitarian Engineering where she investigated the role that belongingness, identity and funds of knowledge play on students’ educational and professional journey. After working on three academic articles and an educational video for her thesis, Arielle wanted to pursue more opportunities focused on DI&A within engineering education with a chance to evolve data analytics skills, qualitative data gathering and policy recommendation. This is what drew her to join the DI&A team at Mines, where she will be working on a retention project that focuses on understanding and mitigating withdrawal rates and what differences exist among student demographic groups.

Now accepting applications for the Presidential Fellow for Diversity, Inclusion & Access

Dr. Landis’ term as the Presidential Fellow for DI&A is ending. Over the next few weeks, campus will embark on searching for her successor. The Fellow plays a lead role in implementing, updating and assessing the impact of Mines’ Strategic Plan for DI&A. This individual collaborates cross functionally with the DI&A Council, campus leaders and campus departments and units to help the university achieve its DI&A goals. This position is designed to be a 3-year rotation and reports directly to the President. The Fellow is expected to maintain connection to their core job at Mines so that they may rotate back to that position after their term concludes. The Fellow is expected to devote about 50% of their time to this position and the remainder to their academic appointment. The Mines DI&A team members are happy to meet with anyone to discuss this opportunity. Email diversity@mines.edu to arrange a chat. 

A new group of Orediggers join the Mines DI&A Ambassadors and Advocates programs

Mines DI&A Ambassadors and Advocates are active allies and advocates for equity. Through these programs, they help meet campus’ growing requests for diversity, equity and inclusion learning and skill development opportunities. The newest group will undergo a two-day intensive training in early fall and be mentored throughout the year by the first cohort of DI&A Ambassadors and Advocates.  


  • Mark Orrs, Teaching Associate Professor, Engineering, Design & Society 
  • Kelly Sorge, Director of Fitness 
  • Christopher Thiry, Associate Librarian 


  • Laura Ball, Human Resources Director, Mines Foundation 
  • Bora Basyildiz, Undergraduate Student, Applied Mathematics & Computer Science 
  • DRA. Stepheny Beauchamp, Director, Multicultural Engineering Program 
  • Camar Diaz, Research Center Manager, Center for Underground  
  • John Howard, Senior Director, Intramural & Club Sports  
  • Rakhi Ihiga, Assistant Director of Learning and Development, Human Resources 
  • Amanda Jameer, Assistant Teaching Faculty, Chemistry  
  • Mayuri Kushare, Graduate Student, Mechanical Engineering 
  • Sareen Lambright Dale, Associate Director, Prevention Programs and Confidential Services 
  • Olivia Livneh, Online Learning Experience Designer, Mines Online 
  • Jim Saulsbury, Associate Director of Recruiting & Employer Relations, Career Center 
  • Kylee Shiekh, Graduate Student, Quantum Engineering  
  • Olivia Tracy, Writing Consultant, Writing Center  
  • Katherine Tran, Undergraduate Student, Mechanical Engineering 
  • Duygu Yalaz, Associate Director of Career Advising & Professional Development, Career Center  
  • Kate Youmans, Associate Teaching Faculty, Engineering, Design & Society 

Learn more about the Mines DI&A Ambassadors and Advocates programs and the workshops they are equipped to facilitate. Workshops are scheduled by request. 

STEM Equity Instructional Fellows aim to further integrate diversity, inclusion & access into course content in the fall

Last month, faculty were encouraged to apply for the STEM Equity Instructional Fellows opportunity sponsored by Newmont and directed by Dr. Derrick Hudson. Seven faculty were selected. These individuals were chosen based on their application detailing their plans to implement diversity, equity and inclusion content into classes they teach and the number of students they have the potential of impacting. The Instructional Fellows and their work will be featured in DI&A Digests throughout the 2022-2023 academic year. 

  • Brianna Buljung, Arthur Lakes Library 
  • Steven DeCaluwe, Mechanical Engineering 
  • Sebnem Duzgun, Mining Engineering  
  • Gus Grievel, Applied Mathematics & Statistics 
  • Scott Houser, Economics & Business  
  • Becky Lafrancois, Economics & Business 
  • Chuck Stone, Physics 
  • Kate Youmans, Engineering, Design & Society 
Events Celebrating Culture

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is celebrated every May. During this month, we take time out to honor Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. This month recognizes the history, culture and contributions the AAPI community has shared throughout generations.

The Mines Asian Community Alliance (MACA) was formed in November of 2021 and has been very active on campus since its inception. The next MACA monthly meeting is on June 13, 2022 and all are welcome to participate. If you are interested in learning about different Asian cultures, please join the alliance to celebrate this diverse community at Mines. 

LGBTQ+ Pride Month occurs each June and honors the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City. It was from this uprising that the LGBTQ+ community began to raise their voices for recognition and equality. The Denver PrideFest will be held Saturday, June 25th and Sunday June 26th at Denver’s Civic Center Park and includes a parade beginning on Sunday at 9:30am.

Mines has on-campus groups that are LGBTQ+ focused including oSTEM for students, and the LGBTQ Community Alliance for faculty and staff.   

Junteenth recently became a state holiday which recognizes the end of slavery in the United States. While the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect in 1863, it was not until 1865 that the last slaves were freed by Union soldiers. This holiday is also known as the country’s “second Independence Day,” and has been celebrated in black communities for over 150 years. There are several events in the Denver area to recognize this holiday, including the Junteenth Music Festival, which features live music, vendors and a parade. The Mines Black Community Alliance is one of five MCA that works to advance the understanding and inclusion of employees. For more information regarding the Black Community Alliance, contact alliance chair Alex Leach or join the alliance online.

Department and campus unit draft diversity progress reports (option 2) due May 31

Most academic departments and major campus units selected option 2 for the timeline they would follow for their annual DI&A Implementation Plan progress report. That timeline is now underway. A new template was introduced this year based on the Mines DI&A general council’s feedback. If your campus unit or department’s diversity committee is satisfied with how you gather data and report impact, you are not required to switch to the new template. You are encouraged to review the updated criteria, however, to make sure your current practice captures pertinent information. Information captured in the progress reports is shared throughout the Mines DI&A Annual Report.  

Due dates timeline: Option 2 

  • May 31: Draft Implementation Plan progress reports due to Mines DI&A. Submit directly to the DI&A OneDrive folder or email to diversity@mines.edu 

  • June 13: Progress reports are reviewed, and comments returned to unit leads 

  • June 27: Updates to progress reports made and submitted back to Mines DI&A  

  • July 1: Final submitted progress reports reviewed by President Johnson 

Sherry Muniz honored with the Library & Museum’s annual DI&A award

Last month, Sherry Muniz, Preservation Technician, became the recipient of the second annual Library and Museum DI&A Award. This award was given in recognition of Sherry’s leadership to make DI&A highly visible throughout the library.

Most notable among her many projects, Sherry created a Past, Present, Possibilities – MINES@150 DI&A display on the library’s third floor. Exhibit themes include The First Women at Mines and Women of Mines Today, celebrating female accomplishments at Mines. Her newest exhibit element on Notable Alumni, Programs and Societies at Mines illuminates the stories of early African American students at Mines, the first Native American to receive a PhD and the many Mines programs and societies dedicated to celebrating diversity in STEM. Sherry is currently developing a new, third section of the display focusing on International Students. All are encouraged to visit the exhibit.

Women graduates honored at the Continuum

For over 20 years, the Women in Science, Engineering & Mathematics program has recognized the accomplishments of women graduates at the Continuum, a celebration of Mines women: past, present and future. Graduates received a signature red rose and a Mines embossed bud vase as they crossed the stage. Both are an honored tradition and a special complement to the Mines silver diploma. The semi-annual event includes a Keynote address, a senior speech and individual recognition of graduating women and attending alumnae. This spring’s Keynote was Sarah Bartlett BS ’07, MS ’09. Two graduating Society of Women Engineers officers, Pilar Martin and Rebekka Olson delivered an interactive senior speech. Over 450 guests were in attendance. Interested in the backstory of this event? Read the history of The Continuum.

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

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