Signature Events


Chevron Lecture Series

The Chevron Corporation provides funding for an annual luncheon each October featuring women leaders in science, engineering and business. The entire Mines community is invited to this annual event.

2018 Chevron Lecture Featured Speaker

Denise Burgess

Denise Burgess

President and CEO of Burgess Services Inc.

We always say preparation is the best way to be ready for success that might come your way.”

                                                                                                                                                                  — Denise Burgess

Denise Burgess is President/CEO of Burgess Services, Inc., a Denver-based construction management firm. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce since 2010, and is currently serving as Chair of the Board. Armed with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Northern Colorado, Denise launched a promising career in broadcast management. She was called in 1994 to work alongside her father and business mentor until his untimely passing in 2002. Denise’s career skyrocketed after she transitioned her father’s heating and air conditioning business into a nationwide firm, specializing in construction management, commissioning and quality assurance/quality control. Burgess Services’ accomplishments during her tenure include the City and County of Denver Justice Center, the Corp of Engineers Southeastern Headquarters in Miami, and the Westin Hotel at Denver International Airport (DEN). Burgess Services was awarded the largest contract ever awarded to a minority or woman owned business in Colorado history- a $39.6 million mechanical contract at DEN.

She has been listed in the Top 25 Most Powerful Women by the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce, a Woman of Distinction by the Girl Scouts of Colorado, a recipient of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award, the David E. Baily Small Business Advocate Award, CEO of the Year 2017 ColoradoBiz Magazine and Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce 2017 Ascension Awards Corporation of the Year and Colorado African American Hall of Fame.

Denise credits her continued support from family and friends as part of her success along with her dedicated employees. Never taking anything for granted, Denise regularly takes time out of her busy schedule to give back to the Denver community both personally and professionally. The Burgess Family Fund was established through the Denver Foundation in 2013 with a goal of funding the education of minority women  interested in STEM and construction. The Burgess Family Fund has donated to over a dozen Colorado organizations.

Past Chevron Lectures

2017             Liz Shwarze, General Manager of Chevron Exploration in Africa and Latin America

2016             Dr. Elizabeth Hausler, Founder and CEO of Build Change

2015             Teresa Taylor, Author, Balance Myth:  Rethinking Work LIfe Success and former Qwest COO

2014             Anita Piel, Ph.D., Mines Almna, Food Scientist and First President of Mines SWE Section

2013             Honorable Elbra Wedgeworth, Chair – 2008 Democratic National Convention

2012             Kirsten Volpi, Chief Administrative Officer, United States Olympic Committee

2011             Marsha W. French, Sr. Research Associate at ExxonMobil’s Upstream Research

2010             Michelle Moorman, Mines Alumni; Mgr. of Regulatory Affairs, Summit Utilities

2009             Dr. Ranee Shenoi, MD, LLC

2008             Faith Winter, National Field Director, The White House Project

2007             Janeen Judah, President, Chevron Environmental Management Co.

The Continuum: A Celebration of Women at Mines

In the spring of 1999, Susan Rainey, a graduating SWE member, met with a small group of SWE members, female administrators and alumnae to discuss the idea of creating an event to honor the graduating women students and recognize the accomplishments of women at Mines—past, present and future. The group developed an event known as The Continuum and held the first celebration on April 7, 1999.

Since then, family, friends, alumnae and the Mines community are invited to gather on the Wednesday evening before graduation each fall and spring semester to attend this special graduation event.  As part of a tradition started in the 1960s, when women graduates were given a red rose by Mines’ president along with their diplomas, women graduates are announced at the end of The Continuum and presented with a red rose and Mines bud vase.

The Continuum has become a tradition on campus and provides the opportunity for all women to be honored in celebration of their accomplishments at Mines.

Women’s History Month

Each March, WISEM and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) co-sponsor a luncheon event to celebrate Women’s History Month. The Mines Diversity Committee supports festivities by coordinating displays, banners and give-aways to commemorate women’s accomplishments throughout history.


Sylvia Acevedo

Sylvia Acevedo

Chief Executive Officer, Girl Scouts of the USA

A life-long Girl Scout, Sylvia Acevedo was appointed CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA in May 2017, having served as a member of the GSUSA Board of Directors from 2009 to 2016 and as an officer and member of its Executive Committee.

Since assuming leadership at Girl Scouts, Sylvia’s bold initiatives have underscored the organization’s commitment to serving all girls with cutting-edge, research-backed, and girl-centered programming that ensures the country’s workforce pipeline is filled with true go-getters, innovators, risk-takers, and leaders—what Girl Scouts call G.I.R.L.s.

Sylvia’s Girl Scout journey began as a young girl growing up in Las Cruces, New Mexico. It was at Girl Scouts that she first discovered her passion for space and astronomy, when her troop leader pointed out the stars and constellations to her and encouraged her to earn her Science badge. Her interest in STEM subjects would lead her to a career as a rocket scientist, engineer, technology executive, and award- winning STEM entrepreneur.

Sylvia has held positions with some of the world’s most respected companies, serving in executive and engineering roles at leading technology companies such as Apple, Dell Computer Corporation, Autodesk Inc., and IBM. She began her career working as a rocket scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Sylvia was one of the first Hispanic students, male or female, to earn a graduate engineering degree from Stanford University—an MS in industrial engineering—and she holds a bachelor of science degree with honors in industrial engineering from New Mexico State University.

Sylvia has been recognized widely for her accomplishments in STEM and business, for her education advocacy, and for her work to bring more girls into the STEM pipeline. She is the author of Path to the Stars: My Journey from Girl Scout to Rocket Scientist, a memoir for middle school students meant to inspire them to live the life of their dreams.

Click here to hear Ms. Acedvedo’s Interview with CSM

Past Women's History Month Presenters
2018            Robbie Gries, Pioneering Women in Petroleum

2017            Susan Frontczak, Eleanor Roosevelt:  Hammering out Human Rights

2016            Susan Frontczak, The Life and Times of Madame Marie Curie

2015             Gail Beaton author and storyteller, Gail Murphy:  A Colorado Rosie the Riveter

2014             Rose Red Elk storyteller and singer, Medicine Women of the Plains

2013             The Legendary Ladies, Stories of Five Unique Western Women

2011             Mary Jane Duran, Jeannette Rankin – Pacifist, Suffragist, Reformer

2010            Dr. Audrey Nelson, author, Crossing the Gender Communication Barrier

2008             Opalanga Pugh, The Story of Aunt Clara Brown

2007             Barbara Daubenspeck, A Portrait of Molly Brown

2005             Mary Jane Duran, Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History

Women in Geoscience Forum 2018

On March 15, 2018, Mines will host a free networking event, sponsored by BHP, WISEM, and the Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists. It will include several talks about work-life balance, career changes, harassment, communication across disciplines, and the Imposter Syndrome. The forum will also feature women professional speakers such as Whitney Trainor-Guitton, Robbie Gries, Tanya Inks, and many more.