August 2022 D I and A Digest Header
Welcome to Fall 2022

Greetings, Orediggers. Welcome to the start of a new semester. We hope you’re entering fall 2022 feeling rested and refreshed from the summer months. While many of you, ourselves included, enjoyed time off with family and friends, our team dedicated significant time to pulling together the final elements on the Mines DI&A 2021 Annual Report. A few pieces of communication went out in early August giving you direct access to the full report and the executive summary. If you missed those, we highlight its publication in this month’s digest. We hope you will spend some time with it and acknowledge all the hard work being done across campus to help attract, retain and promote the success of a thriving diverse employee and student body. Over the course of the 2022-2023 academic year, we will continue to elevate the work being done on campus through monthly communications and the DI&A Councils that resume next month.

We know the start of the semester brings lots of opportunities to interact with former and new peers and colleagues across campus. Let’s all do our part to make them feel seen, heard, included and valued for their unique contributions they bring to the Oredigger community.

We are so excited to be back with you and to see what this academic year has in store for Mines.

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

Mines DI&A publishes the 2021 Annual Report

Mines DI&A is excited to announce the newest publication of the Diversity, Inclusion & Access Annual Report. Learn all about what Mines has done in 2021 and beyond to contribute to campus’ DI&A Strategic Plan goals. This year, the Mines DI&A team developed an interactive website where visitors to the page can explore data more closely and share it with your friends and colleagues. A big thank you to all the campus units and academic departments that contributed information and data to this year’s report. This report is another example of Shared Responsibility, a key tenant of the Mines DI&A Strategic Plan. Short on time or want something for quick distribution? Access the four-page Annual Report campus snapshot.  

‘Ways to Engage with Mines DI&A’ makes it easy to get involved this year

No two people’s journey in diversity, equity and inclusion work is the same. Some are just beginning, while others have been on their path for years, if not their entire lives. We know the value in giving people resources for where they are and where they want to go. That is why we created the ‘Ways to Engage with Mines’ on our homepage which highlights opportunities that grow with individuals as their comfort and knowledge with diversity, equity and inclusion topics and experiences increase.
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Fall registration underway for the Oredigger Network, a Mines-wide mentoring program

Last week, registration for the Oredigger Network opened to all community members. This professional mentoring community connects students, faculty and staff with one another, as well as with external business leaders, recruiters and alumni. Nearly 1000 Orediggers, alumni and corporate partners have joined since the program’s launch in August 2020. If you’re looking for a way to advance some of your professional or academic goals this semester, or help someone make headway on theirs, you can serve as a mentee, mentor or both. Enrollment closes September 22, 2022. For more information and to register, visit Mines Mentoring. The Oredigger Network is generously supported by Phillips 66.

Mines receives INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine’s 2022 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award

Earlier this summer, Mines received the 2022 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 that encourage and assist students from underrepresented groups to enter the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The award-winning programs include the Mines DI&A Ambassador and Advocates programs and the K-12 Virtual Classroom Takeover outreach program. Mines will be featured, along with 76 other recipients, in the September 2022 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. 

Kelly Knechtel receives the 2022 Outstanding SWE Faculty Advisor Award

The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) announced last month the recipients of its annual awards program, a nod to those movers and shakers who are making significant contributions to the STEM community and the advancement of women in engineering. SWE award recipients include professionals, collegiates and groups from influential businesses, corporations and universities across the globe.

Kelly advises Mines collegiate section, the largest SWE section in the country and the largest professional student organization on campus. Kelly has been instrumental in integrating performance management amongst the 21 executive board members, giving them practical management skills for industry and future leadership positions. She has also worked diligently to expand SWE’s K-12 award-winning outreach activities to over 500 students across the state annually. Kelly will be recognized at WE22, the world’s largest conference and career fair for women engineers and technologists on October 20-22, 2022, in Houston, TX. She will also be celebrated in the WE22 Virtual Awards Hall. The conference will gather more than 14,000 professional and collegiate individuals in engineering and technology for professional development, education and networking.

Challenge helps prepare students for success at Mines

Challenge, hosted by Mines Multicultural Engineering Program (MEP), is a four-week summer academic transitional program that offers participants, all of whom are from historically underrepresented populations in STEM (women and/or ethnic/racial groups and/or first-generation college students), academic readiness, peer support, skills development, teambuilding and knowledge of key campus support offices. These components are essential in participants’ transition to, and success throughout their time at Mines. This year, Challenge welcomed 29 participants. Students completed MATH 100, CHEM 111, User-Centered Design, attended weekly tutoring, participated in Oredigger Camp and enjoyed fun weekend activities. 

Strategies for Promoting Undergraduate Retention (SPUR)

The Newmont Corporation is currently funding a new retention study at Mines called Strategies for Promoting Undergraduate Retention, the SPUR Initiative. The primary goals of this project are to (1) understand a wide range of student experiences that may impact retention, (2) investigate what factors may be contributing to differences in retention rates between demographic groups, and (3) consider what role mental health plays in students’ decisions to stay at or leave Mines. This project also aims to produce universally applicable tools and resources that can help improve retention at other comparable STEM universities.  

New to the Miens DI&A team, Arielle Rainey, is leading this effort in alignment with our strategic goal at Mines to be attractive and accessible for all types of qualified students. SPUR will dive into the challenges that undergraduate students face, especially those from historically marginalized backgrounds in STEM. For instance, we know from research that sense of belonging can play a large role in marginalized students’ interest in engineering and their beliefs about their own success. Additionally, COVID-19 has highlighted the relationship mental health has on a student’s ability to persist in their education and has exacerbated existing inequities in access to resources for learning. Understanding retention factors will allow Mines to finetune and/or further develop the many structures in place that act as safety nets to keep all Orediggers on track to graduation. 

Donations needed for the third annual Dress for Success event

Choose image for accessible pdfTruly BoHotique, in partnership with WISEM and Women of Mines, is preparing for its annual Dress for Success event. Each year, women students are outfitted for their Career Day and job interviews at no cost. The event’s organizers could use your help gathering and donating professional dresses, skirts, pants, blazers, blouses and cardigan sweaters. Laundered or dry-cleaned items that are in good condition are most appreciated.

Clothing donations are being accepted at Truly BoHotique (801 14th St Ste B) during regular business hours: Monday-Saturday 10:00 AM-6:00 PM and Sunday 11:00 AM-6:00 PM through September 5.

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.

Save the Dates 

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

    • 9/24 & 9/25 Mines DI&A Training retreat. Invitation only
    • 10/5/22: 11:00 AM “Come Out as Disabled” tabling event on Maple Plaza

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