Mines News

Release Date Monday, January 3, 2022

Mines Student Named National Student Veteran of the Year Finalist

Michael Frazer Garcia, a business management and technology major at Mines and U.S. Marine Corps veteran, is a finalist for the national Student Veteran of the Year award.

The organization Student Veterans of America (SVA) has announced that South Dakota Mines student Michael Frazer Garcia-- “Frazer,” a business management in technology major and U.S. Marine Corps veteran is a finalist for the national “Student Veteran of the Year” award.

Frazer Garcia is from Brandon, SD. He joined the United States Marine Corps in 2012 and served abroad in several locations. Michael was introduced to Student Veterans of America in his second semester at Mines; he then became active within the chapter holding several officer positions: treasurer, secretary and president. Michael not only held active positions in South Dakota Mines Veterans Club, he also held positions on campus as the PR Chair for the student association and academic chair for Delta Sigma Phi fraternity.

“This nomination is not just about me, it’s about all those around me. I would not be here without the support of my wife and friends, everyone in the South Dakota Mines Veterans Club, and the gentlemen of Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity,” says Frazer Garcia.

SVA states, “The Student Veteran of the Year Award recognizes outstanding leadership by a student veteran during the past year. This award represents the best of the student veteran community and the epitome of character, scholarship, and accomplishment, among today’s student veterans. The Student Veteran of the Year is someone who has provided leadership, inspiration and mentorship to fellow student veterans. This person works in collaboration with other campus leaders to champion student veterans on their campus leaving their chapter, campus and community better than they found it. They are committed to SVA’s mission of providing peer-support to fellow student veterans, thereby empowering them to become leaders on campus and beyond. They lead by example by embodying strong morals, high standards, and academic achievement.”

Since the day Michael started to attend classes at South Dakota Mines he has been willing to jump in and help wherever he could,” says Derek Flom, director of the Veterans Resource Center at Mines. “Michael is a very humble person but his leadership as the president of the Veterans Club has been absolutely phenomenal. To be a finalist for Student Veteran of the Year is a tremendous achievement and is a true testament to Michael and his dedication to his fellow veteran students. I am extremely thankful for all he does and congratulate him on this well-deserved recognition.

Frazer Garcia is also active in Mines’ Veterans Resource Center (VRC). Its mission is to fulfill our country's promise to care for and honor the men and women who are America's Veterans. The VRC provides South Dakota Mines veterans with a relaxing place to study or simply connect with other campus veterans.  The center offers tutoring, assistance with jobs and internships, help navigating college financing and much more.

South Dakota Mines is routinely ranked among the best schools for veterans in the United States. This includes the organization Military Friendly which places Mines among the top 10 schools in the nation for veterans.

The national Student Veteran of the Year winner will be announced Friday, Jan. 7 at the SVA National Conference in Florida.

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About South Dakota Mines  

Founded in 1885, South Dakota Mines is one of the nation’s leading engineering, science and technology universities. South Dakota Mines offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees and a best-in-class education at an affordable price. The university enrolls 2,418 students with an average class size of 24. The South Dakota Mines placement rate for graduates is 97 percent, with an average starting salary of more than $68,685. For these reasons  South Dakota Mines is ranked among the best engineering schools in the country for return on investment. Find us online at www.sdsmt.edu and on FacebookTwitter, LinkedInInstagram and Snapchat.

Contact: Mike Ray, 605-394-6082, mike.ray@sdsmt.edu

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