Student Ambassadors

Student Ambassadors serve the university by helping with outreach to prospective students, conducting tours of the university, providing services at university events and presentations, and acting as hosts for events at the home of the SD Mines president. They represent a wide variety of academic departments and come from all over the nation. If you're looking to get a student's perspective on questions about SD Mines, a Student Ambassador is a great person to ask.




Brett Michels

Student Ambassador Brett Michels

Major: Mechanical Engineering
Hometown: Sioux Fall, SD

Why did you choose SD Mines over a different school?
It was far enough away from home that I wouldn’t go home every weekend, amazing outdoor opportunities in the Black Hills, cheap in-state tuition being from South Dakota, great placement rate, and a smaller, more personalized campus that provided the opportunity to be an active member on campus rather than being just a number at a larger university.

I couldn't survive without my . . .
Motorcycle. Live to ride, ride to live!


Dakotah Rusley

Student Ambassador Dakotah Rusley

Major: Computer Engineering
Hometown: Baker, MT

Favorite place to eat around Rapid City:
My favorite place to eat in Rapid City definitely varies depending on what mood I’m in. If it’s a Friday night and I’ve got all the time in the world to eat, my pick would probably be Texas Roadhouse. For a quick lunch between classes or studying, it’s hard to beat Blaze Pizza or Philly Ted’s.

Why did you choose SD Mines over a different school?
Originally, I chose this school because of the obvious: High return on investment, incredible job placement rates, etc. As I get further in my academic career, however, I’ve definitely started appreciating some of the “less touted” benefits, the most important of them being the location. This area is smack dab in the middle of one of the best recreation areas in the country. Be it wakeboarding on Pactola Lake in the summer, hiking Harney Peak and driving the Needles Highway in the spring, or the awesome skiing and snowboarding at Terry Peak, it’s difficult to find a time of year that there *isn’t* something to do outside.


Danielle Taylor

Student Ambassador Danielle Taylor

Major: Chemical Engineering
Hometown: Blair, NE

Where is your favorite place to study on campus?The Chemical Engineering Lounge. It’s always fairly quiet and people are more than willing to help you out on any homework.

Do you have any advice for future Hardrockers?
Start off the school year strong! It helps to keep you going when it gets harder.



Kara Togel

Student Ambassador Kara Togel

Major: Industrial Engineering and Management
Hometown: Watertown, SD

Favorite place to eat around Rapid City:
Pauly's!

I couldn't survive without my . . .
Pet fish, Frankie.


Drew Vance

Student Ambassador Drew Vance

Major: Civil Engineering, Minor -Sustainability
Hometown: Faith, SD

Why did you choose SD Mines over a different school?
This was my only choice. When I got here, it just felt right… and it was! I consider this place my home.

What is your favorite place to study on campus
Upper Surbeck and the Library.


Jen Zeise

Student Ambassador Jen Zeise

Major: Industrial Engineering, Minor- Occupational Safety
Hometown: Arvada, CO

Favorite place to eat around Rapid City:
Olive Garden! I could live off of their breadsticks and salad.

Why did you choose SD Mines over a different school?
I chose Mines because I loved that it was a small school. All the professors were really nice when I talked to them and it was less expensive for me to go here than for me to go to school in Colorado.