Tiospaye Scholar Program

Tiospaye is a Lakota word, given to us to use, that approximately translates to “extended family.

The purpose of the Tiospaye Scholar Program is to increase the number of American Indian students graduating with degrees in engineering, science, and mathematics through support in five areas: Financial, Academic, Professional, Cultural, Social.

Vision and Mission

  • For South Dakota Mines to be recognized as an exceptional leader in educating American Indian students in Engineering, Science, and Mathematics
  • To prepare American Indian students as leaders in STEM
  • To serve the state of South Dakota, the Tribes, the region, and the nation

How to Become a Tiospaye Scholar

  • Apply and get accepted before the January Admissions deadline to be eligible for our scholarships for incoming freshmen
  • Establish a solid academic record in your first and subsequent semesters to qualify for NSF All Nations AMP funding
    • > 2.5 GPA, $1200 annually
    • > 3.0 GPA, $2400 annually
    • > 3.5 GPA, $3600 annually
  • Contact the Tiospaye Program Director

History and Results

  • The Tiospaye Scholar Program started in 2009
  • As of May 2021, we have graduated 54 scholars with BS degrees in the following majors: Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Geological Engineering, Geology, Industrial Engineering & Engineering Management, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Mining Engineering, and Physics.
  • Several alumni are working for or with Tribes
  • Several alumni have completed masters degrees
  • One alumnus is nearing completion of a PhD in Geology
  • One alumnus has completed medical school and is in residency

What We Have Learned

  • The name of our program works
  • Focusing on degree completion works
  • Our five areas of support work: Financial, Academic, Professional, Cultural, Social
  • Can we find enough scholars? Yes
  • We witnessed the “Critical Mass” studying and supporting each other in their own study space
  • The study space is important
  • Alumni testimonials are impressive
  • Food is a good thing
  • Support across campus has been great

Funding Sources

  • 2009-2020: Funding came from the National Science Foundation (NSF) S-STEM Program
    • $1.8M
    • 85% directed to scholarships
  • 2020-Present: Funding is coming from the NSF All Nations Alliance for Minority Participation (AMP)
  • Private and Corporate Donors have been generous over the years
  • Future: We are currently developing a model for privately funded endowments

Vision for the Future

  • Pivoting to a private funding model
  • Seeking two permanent multi-million dollar endowments
  • Annual gifts from individuals and corporations
  • More and larger scholarships for the BS level
  • Matching graduate student support
  • More and better food
  • Endowed Chair for Director
  • Full-Time Mentor with Benefits
  • Funded position for assessment/research/publications
  • Support for department mentors
  • Support for supplies, travel, AISES, etc.

Maria Agnes Roybal TrujilloThe Malone Study Rooms

We are thankful for the study space donated by Diane and Bob Malone to honor her mother Maria. Dedicated in memory of Maria “Agnes” Roybal Trujillo.

    Tiospaye Program Director

    Carter J. Kerk, PhD, PE, CSP, CPE
    Professor, Industrial Engineering Department
    Devereaux Library 137
    Carter.Kerk@sdsmt.edu
    605-415-5801


    Donate to the Program

    To donate to the Tiospaye Scholar Program contact the Program Director, or contact the Center for Alumni Relations and Advancement.