Cutline: South Dakota School of Mines & Technology students attend the 2013 national conference on leadership. From left to right: Alycia Jensen, student development specialist, CAMP; Harley Bauman, mechanical engineering and computer science; Kim Osberg, associate director, CAMP; Jessie Allard, civil and environmental engineering; and Katharine Ross, civil and environmental engineering. Not pictured: Christine Gentry, mining engineering and management
RAPID CITY, S.D. (Sept. 20, 2013) - Four students at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology recently left the nation's heartland to converge at its capital for the 27th annual conference on women's leadership and career development.
Situated in College Park, Md., the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders - Leadership for Today and Tomorrow brought college women together to address important and contemporary leadership issues. Its goal was to provide a transformative experience, readying young women to return home and improve their campuses and communities. For Harley Bauman, a mechanical engineering and computer science freshman, it was a chance to gain confidence along the way. "The conference provided many different opportunities for us to learn how to speak up and stand out."
Sponsored by the Center of Excellence for Advanced Manufacturing and Production (CAMP) with funding from the Office of the Provost and mining and mechanical engineering departments, students listened to keynote speakers and attended numerous breakout sessions and a Women of Distinction Awards Ceremony.
The latter held special resonance for junior Jessie Allard, a computer engineering major. "The Women of Distinction Awards Ceremony was very inspiring. We were able to hear from seven powerful women who accomplished great things in their respective fields . . . Reshma Saujani was particularly interesting because of her advocacy for young women in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) field," Allard said. "She recognized the gender discrepancy in the computer programming field and founded an organization, Girls Who Code, to close that gap. The goal of Girls Who Code is to teach underprivileged teenage girls how to code and increase their chances of going to college and landing a successful technical career afterwards."
Students were given the opportunity to tour Washington, D.C., and the monuments surrounding the Mall, including the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, WWII, Vietnam and Korean War Memorials - and perhaps most fitting, the Einstein memorial. The women toured the Smithsonian Air and Space, Natural History, Holocaust and American Indian Museums, as well.
"Our students spent a great deal of time connecting with other women and professionals and formed very close connections all while developing their leadership skills and learning more about themselves," said Alycia Jensen, a conference advisor and student development specialist in CAMP.
Students attending were: Christine Gentry, a senior in mining engineering and management; Harley Bauman, a freshman in mechanical engineering and computer science; Jessie Allard, a junior in civil and environmental engineering; and Katharine Ross, a freshman in civil and environmental engineering.
Founded in 1885, the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is a science and engineering research university located in Rapid City, S.D., offering bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. The university enrolls more than 2,400 students from 32 countries, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1. The average starting salary for 2012 graduates was $62,696 with a 98 percent placement rate. Find us online at www.sdsmt.edu, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sdsmt and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/sdsmt.