May 2022 D I and A Digest Header

Thank you for supporting DI&A at Mines this year

The end of May signals a pause from the monthly DI&A Digest to focus on enhancements to our suite of programs and services, connect with campus partners, shift attention to larger projects and take some time off to spend with family and friends.

Before signing off, we would like to thank you for your contributions to DI&A at Mines during the 2022-2023 academic year. Whether you attended a student organization celebration event, incorporated a DEI best practice into your classroom, attended the annual Celebration of DI&A at Mines, picked up a new book and incorporated what you learned into your work or raised your voice on the campus climate survey, your efforts helped create a more welcoming environment for all Orediggers. We know this is not easy work. We also know it makes a difference. We couldn’t do this without you. To that end, we hope you find some time over the next few months to recharge and enjoy some time away from campus.

Wishing you a great summer. We’ll see you back in a few months.

Dr. Kate Youmans, Heather Houlton, Kelly Olson and Serena Lewis  

Mines DI&A 

Mines DI&A welcomes a new team member 

Portrait of Serena LewisLast week, Mines DI&A and WISEM welcomed its newest team member, Serena Lewis, who will support the administrative functions for both programs as the Administrative Coordinator. Serena brings to the team a diverse career background in research, non-profit administration and experience in the medical field. She is very excited to be of service to the Mines community and proud to be part of the WISEM and DI&A programs.

In her free time, Serena loves to spend time hiking, biking, reading and gardening.

Serena’s office is located in the WISEM house, first floor, and can be reached at or 303-273-3707.

Strong response rate for the Campus Climate survey 

Mines DI&A wants to thank the campus community for its outstanding participation in the Viewfinder Campus Climate Survey this spring semester. Typically, Viewfinder says a “healthy” participation rate is 40% for employees and 10% for students. Mines exceeded expectations. We had 58% of our employees participate in the survey and 15% of our students.

Thank you all for your support and for sharing your voice with us!

Next steps for the survey include receiving benchmarking data from Viewfinder, where they compare Mines’ results with other universities across the country and reviewing overall campus climate trends. We hope to share preliminary results to campus in fall 2023.

Year-long retention project nears completion 

Mines DI&A Research Project Professional Arielle Rainey is wrapping up the Strategies Promoting Undergraduate Retention (SPUR) project. SPUR, funded generously by the Newmont Corporation, has identified several common themes that were the most important deciding factors for students who withdrew from Mines between 2018 and 2022. Of the list of the most important reasons students left Mines, students’ mental health concerns and academic reasons, including feelings of failure and lack of faculty empathy, were among the top. Results from this research are informing Mines ongoing retention activities, student early-warning procedures and will be applied to an international framework for helping other universities understand and address their unique retention challenges.

If you’d like to learn more, please click here for the campus presentation.

Arielle will share her final findings with Newmont in June and will be presenting her research at the ASEE National Conference in Baltimore on June 28th.

If you have any comments you’d like to share about SPUR, please reach out to 

Portrait of book club groupMe and White Supremacy book club wraps for the semester 

A group of 12 people from across campus met bi-weekly during the spring semester to discuss ways to ‘combat racism, change the world and become a good ancestor’ through the writing of Layla F. Saad’s book Me and White Supremacy. The group discussed topics including white privilege, white fragility, white silence, tone policing, cultural appropriation, tokenism, white saviorism and much more. Jeri Brewer, PASCAL Center Coordinator, led the group and fostered a space for personal growth and professional development.

Savannah Allshouse, Proposal Analyst, from the Office of Research Administration was one of the participants and had this to share about her experience: As an active advocate for diversity and inclusion efforts at Mines, I was so excited to participate in the book club Jeri organized for reading “me and white supremacy” by Layla Saad. The book was honest and engaging, with each topic area (e.g., white fragility, cultural appropriation, allyship) having its own journaling prompts. I loved how Jeri and the group used these prompts as a springboard for our own candid conversations about acknowledging, unlearning, and dismantling systems of white supremacy and white privilege. I have really appreciated doing this anti-racism work in a group because, in addition to meeting some wonderful folks, we have all felt more informed and empowered to act on all that we have learned and shared this semester.  

Gender-inclusive restrooms, lactation rooms and child changing stations

Finding a single user gender inclusive restroom, lactation room or child changing stations is a lot easier thanks to Capital Planning & Design who maintains the list and keeps the webpage current. People are encouraged to bookmark this page and proactively send it to others. Summer months bring visitors to campus for camps, tours and other events; many of whom may not be familiar with our buildings and amenities. This resource is another way to signal to others an inclusive campus. 

WISEM seeks professional clothing for annual Dress for Success event

The close of the school year presents a great opportunity to clear out professional clothes you have not worn in a while, or do not foresee wearing ever again. Help Mines women students take the stress out of interviews and choosing what to wear by donating your gently worn business clothing (e.g., blazers, slacks, blouses, shoes). In early September, WISEM and Truly Bohotique co-host Dress for Success, an event to help women students prepare for Career Day events and professional interviews. Due to generous donations each year, every student who comes to the event is able to select one outfit at no cost. Help fill another person’s closet by clearing out yours. Drop off location is at the WISEM house (1710 Illinois St.) Tuesday and Wednesday 8:00 AM-5:00 PM through August.


Save the Dates 

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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