Mines News

Release Date Monday, March 20, 2023

South Dakota Mines Hosts iNSPiRE by Omnitech to Empower the Next Generation of Women in STEM

A student uses augmented reality to complete a task during the spring 2022 iNSPiRE by Omnitech event in held Sioux Falls.

South Dakota Mines will play host to iNSPiRE by Omnitech in Rapid City from 8 a.m.-2p.m. on March 24 in the university’s Surbeck Center.

Omnitech’s iNSPiRE event gives 8th-12th grade girls an opportunity to engage in workshops and connect with local professionals in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. iNSPiRE helps young women learn more about the variety of college and career paths available in high-tech industries. Many of the volunteers and student mentors at INSPiRE are South Dakota Mines alumnae who have careers in local high-tech companies.

iNSPiRE has seen fantastic success in Sioux Falls in recent years, and Omnitech decided to expand the event to Rapid City for 2023. Last year more than 100 students from 20 schools attended the event supported by 20 local organizations and 39 volunteers. This year’s Rapid City event filled to capacity in a short time.

“Although a lot of STEM fields are largely dominated by men, it has been our experience that women who choose these careers are very successful.  We started this event to demonstrate opportunities to girls before they make career decisions and possibly iNSPiRE them to pursue STEM,” says Joe M. Krizan, Omnitech founder, president and CEO.

This year, Dr. Scyller Borglum, a South Dakota Mines alumna who is a leader in United States energy industry, will offer opening remarks and inspiration. Students will then break into smaller sessions with mentors from various fields.

The keynote speaker at iNSPiRE is Amie Konwinski, the founder and CEO of Smart Gen Society, a media use expert, national educator and frequent keynote speaker. 

Smart Gen Society is a non-profit focused on informing students, parents and educators around the country about digital safety and awareness. They provide knowledge, resources and support to empower educated users in the digital age through discussions on communication and cooperation, protecting safety and igniting critical thinking.

Konwinski has a bachelor’s degree in communications, a minor in information systems technology and multiple certificates in organizational and military leadership, network hardware, software, security and communications. She has spent her career in military leadership, computer engineering, executive marketing management and advocating for safe and private digital use.

Amie lives in Omaha, Neb., with her husband Roger, their daughters and a couple of dogs. In her free time, Konwinski enjoys adventure traveling, exploring national parks and spending time in nature.

Members of the press are welcome to attend the event to interview organizers and participants.


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 2,493 students with an average class size of 24. The South Dakota Mines placement rate for graduates is 98 percent, with an average starting salary of more than $70,036. 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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