CULTURE AND ATTITUDE

The Culture and Attitude program aims to attract, retain, and graduate more women and underrepresented students in engineering through scholarships, industry mentors, professional development, and new curriculum that engages diverse learning styles. The program will also partner with community organizations to incorporate service learning into the classroom. Participating departments include metallurgical, industrial, mechanical, mining, and civil engineering.

Program Elements

In addition to scholarship support, Culture and Attitude offers several components to help students gain confidence and build successful mentoring relationships.

1) Program mentoring – Students are mentored on the departmental level, by the overall Culture and Attitude mentor, and within the program (senior to freshmen) to share success strategies in the classroom and the workplace.

2) Professional development – Students interact and network with professional engineers and Culture and Attitude alumni, while engaging in activities that help develop their career path.

3) Personal Development – Students participate in collegial and teamwork events such as discussion group dinners and outdoor activities that build confidence while addressing issues of diversity and gender bias.

4) Experiential learning – Students engage in experiential technical activities that build technical expertise and critical skills such as laser engraving, machining, welding, and structural design.  Students are also encouraged to participate in service-learning projects that provide real solutions to the challenges facing the local community.

Curricular Change

Culture and Attitude Brain Pathway
Data suggest incoming engineering students are diverse in their learning styles and strengths, falling among four quadrants: analytical, experimental, practical, and relational. Conversely, graduating engineers tend to be mostly analytical despite industry demand for diversity, spurred by research indicating diverse teams produce better results. Therefore new elements will be integrated into courses to better engage and retain students in all quadrants, such as:

  • Experiential workshops
  • Service learning
  • Kinesthetic “hands-on” activities
  • Group discussion and cooperative learning
  • Brainstorming and visualization
  • Site visits
  • Case studies
  • Team projects
  • Synthesis and historical perspective
  • Policies and procedures

Program faculty members will also facilitate the discussion of campus culture through workshops, guest experts, and sharing success stories of engaging students of different typology across campus.

Culture & Attitude is a National Science Foundation-sponsored Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (S-STEM) program and has received additional support from the John T. Vucurevich Foundation.


Culture & Attitude

Contact Us 

Program mentor, Paula Jensen

Paula.Jensen@sdsmt.edu


Student Scholarships

Students in the participating programs that qualify for federal financial aid can receive scholarships of up to $5000 a year. 

Students can apply by contacting the program mentor Paula Jensen


Program Personnel

Program Manager, PI: Michael West, Materials and Metallurgical Engineering

Culture and Attitude Lead Mentor: Paula Jensen, Industrial Engineering

STEM Research Lead:  Shaobo Huang, Mechanical Engineering

Activity Coordinator: Kelli McCormick, Mining Engineering

Program Mentor: Jennifer Benning, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Program Mentor: Andrea Brickey, Mining Engineering

Program Mentor: Cassandra Degen, Mechanical Engineering

Program Mentor: Jon Kellar, Materials and Metallurgical Engineering

Women in Science & Engineering Liaison: Lisa Carlson, Student Success Coordinator