Multicultural Affairs

Preparing School of Mines students for success in the global community through the promotion and support of cultural diversity.

OMA Mission Statement

The Office of Multicultural Affairs cultivates an inclusive campus climate that supports underrepresented populations, fosters respect for those with diverse backgrounds, and promotes cultural proficiency among faculty, staff and students.

SD Mines Inclusion Statement

South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is committed to cultivating an inclusive learning environment where faculty, staff, and students can grow and succeed. We value the diversity of unique backgrounds, experiences, perspectives, and talents within our community. It is our goal to promote a culture of respect, honor, understanding, integrity, and collaboration. It is through this diversity and inclusion that we find our strength. More Info on Inclusion & Diversity at SD Mines

Value Diversity: Dispelling Myths About Student Orgs of Color
Unmasking Inequality: A Self-Guided Workshop on Educational Success for STEM Educators:

We are here to help students from underrepresented populations thrive at the School of Mines while preserving cultural distinctiveness through the following activities:  

  • Welcome and orientation for minority students
  • Guidance, advocacy, and problem-solving help
  • Friday student lunches for networking and social support
  • Facilitate study groups
  • Connect to tutors through Tech Learning Center, AISES, NSBE, SHPE, as well as other sources
  • Identify and apply for scholarships
  • Locate internships and co-ops through the Career and Professional Development Center and other resources
  • Promote appreciation on campus for diverse cultures
  • Exposure to diversity efforts of the corporate world
  • Opportunities for professional development
  • Honoring Ceremony for American Indian graduates

Contact Information:


Jesse Herrera
Director, Multicultural Affairs

Hello, my name is Jesse Herrera and I serve as Director for the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA). I am excited to be a part of a community that genuinely cares about the success of students. Together with OMA staff, I look forward to bringing informational, useful, and hopefully, inspiring programs to campus. Whether you are a student of color or not, the OMA offers a wealth of resources as well as an experienced staff. We are located in the lower level of Surbeck, please stop by!


Abena Songbird
Program Assistant II, Multicultural Affairs

Kwai, Kwai – Hello!  My name is S. Abena Songbird and I am program assistant for the Office of Multicultural Affairs. For the past seven years at SD Mines, I have helped create and support diverse OMA programming in STEM that sustains and highlights our American Indian students and other students of color on campus. Jesse and I serve as co-Advisors to our American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES)  Student Organization, and since 2008, our office also facilitates an American Indian Honoring Ceremony for Native student graduates.   I am a member of the Abenaki (Missisquoi) tribe of Vermont, and have long been involved with Native communities in the arts, event programming, and with American Indian Education. I am a former reporter for Dakota Lakota Journal, as well as a freelance journalist (Native Legacy Magazine), poet, and recording artist I welcome all of you to OMA – your comfort zone and resource!

OMA Phone: (605) 394-1828