Neurodiversity @ Mines
What is neurodiversity?
People with differences in brain behavior and neurochemistry should be valued as part of the Mines community, and not stigmatized or excluded for their differences.
In the same way we understand that there is no “correct” or “incorrect” gender or race, the neurodiversity-affirming lens upholds that there is no “correct” or “incorrect” type of brain.
Neurodiversity is a positively-connotated word that can be used to signal that all people — whether neurotypical, neurodivergent, or somewhere in between — deserve respect and inclusion.
Neurodivergent people are all unique ...
… but may have a wide array of strengths, such as incredible focus on preferred projects, strong passion for social justice, an ability to think broadly and creativity, excellent pattern-recognition skills, and the capacity to work independently.
Despite these strengths, neurodivergent people may face significant challenges, such as feeling misunderstood, staying organized, meeting deadlines, coping with bullying and exclusion, managing sensory sensitivities, and masking neurodivergent characteristics to better fit in.
If these challenges become overwhelming, they may contribute to anxiety, depression, or mental burn-out.
The Mines Neurodiversity Ally Network serves as advocates for the neurodivergent community on our campus, and strives to make our campus a national exemplar for neuro-inclusivity in higher education.
The vision of the Neurodiversity@Mines project is to foster dialogue and provide resources so that we may cultivate a more neuro-inclusive environment at Mines.
Training & Resources
→ Neurodiversity@Mines: A Roadmap to a More Neuro-Inclusive Campus was presented as a poster at the regional ASEE conference in May 2023.
→ Neurodiversity 101: Embracing Neuro-Differences in the Classroom and the Workplace was presented as a workshop at the 2023 Celebration of DI&A at Mines.
→ Strategies and Examples for Neuro-inclusivity at Mines is a two-page flyer with actionable bullet points that can be adopted.
→ Minimizing Miscommunication and Fostering Neuro-inclusivity is a one-page guide for all audiences.
→ A Neurodiversity collection of books at Lakes Library was created in Spring 2023.
→ Ten excerpts from Mines Students / Faculty / Staff provide insight on the neurodivergent experience at Mines. These quotes were taken from the Voices and Vignettes survey deployed in Spring 2023.
Infinity Club is a student club for neurodivergent students and allies at Mines.
Tips for Faculty
Consider using neuro-inclusive language on your syllabus or in your course materials. Please feel free to adapt or use these suggestions.
Be aware that there is a large population of neurodivergent faculty members and graduate students on campus – most of whom are not comfortable disclosing that information.
Work on this section is in progress – check back later for tips and resources!
Tips for Students
Your professor may or may not be familiar with neurodiversity. If you identify as neurodivergent (and regardless of whether or not you have DSS accommodations), we suggest that you meet your professors to communicate your unique strengths as well as your challenges that may need support.
If your professor is not familiar with neurodiversity, you may wish to direct them to this website first. Mines faculty have the ability to support your neurodivergent learning style and strengths in many ways, but generally won’t offer individualized assistance unless you ask for it.
Work on this section is in progress – be sure to check back later for more tips.
Mines Neurodiversity Ally Network
A grass roots network of faculty and staff that are passionate about neurodiversity and neuro-inclusivity has formed:
- Eliza Buhrer, email@example.com, Teaching Associate Professor (Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences)
- Abby Boyd, firstname.lastname@example.org, Teaching Assistant Professor (Chemistry)
- Meghan Campbell, email@example.com, Accessibility Coordinator (Disability Support Services)
- Laura Carroll, firstname.lastname@example.org, Education Research and Assessment Analyst (Trefny Center)
- Mary Elliot, email@example.com, Executive Director of Residence Life and Auxiliary Services
- Yvette Kuiper, firstname.lastname@example.org, Associate Professor (Geology and Geological Engineering)
- Lisa Nickum, email@example.com, Systems Discovery Librarian, Arthur Lakes Library
- Susan Reynolds, firstname.lastname@example.org, Teaching Professor (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
- Katherine Robert, email@example.com, Adjunct Professor (Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences)
- Stacey Roland, firstname.lastname@example.org, Development Assistant (Corporate & Foundation Relations)
Faculty and staff: interested in getting involved? Anyone committed to supporting neuro-inclusivity at Mines is welcome to join this grass roots network. Please contact Susan Reynolds if you’d like to be added to the list.