Mines News

Release Date Tuesday, June 14, 2016

State Farm® Partners with Mines WiSE, Summer Camp Programs

RAPID CITY, S.D. (June 14, 2016) – The South Dakota School of Mines & Technology has received a $10,000 grant from State Farm to support its Women in Science & Engineering (WiSE) Center and programming along with Mines high school summer camps. The State Farm and WiSE relationship will also result in joint programming aimed at equipping women students with real-life skills, such as financial literacy. State Farm chose Mines because of the commitment State Farm has to supporting educational opportunity and to providing students a greater chance to earn engineering and science degrees.
WiSE has made demonstrated gains in this objective, beginning with a 6 percent increase in women over three years through a mentorship program in mechanical engineering—a success that prompted the program to launch campus-wide starting Fall 2014. Last year marked the new establishment of a WiSE Center on campus, the first of its kind among South Dakota universities.
One year into the campus-wide mentorship program, first-time freshmen female students, which had been down in fall 2014, increased by over 8 percent for fall 2015. In addition, first-time female freshmen retention remained at 81 percent.

Matching freshmen women students with upper-class mentors is just one WiSE offering. Other programming includes coffee talks with alumni and industry partners, an annual industry panel dinner, an outreach conference and other professional development and outreach events. The Center itself allows for increased student collaboration and serves as a gathering place where students can study, participate in team-based learning and network with faculty.

“Partners like State Farm are so valuable to the WiSE program and SD Mines. The saying ‘it takes a village’ aptly describes the value in connecting our students with industry and community leaders, who will help shape these students’ values and culture of learning as they progress along their academic path. This financial and programming support will help fund our mentoring program, provide resources for our WiSE Center and build stronger connections,” said WiSE director Lisa Carlson.
State Farm will also support STEM summer camps with need-based scholarships for high school students. During these weeklong residential camps, pre-college students are exposed to labs, faculty and programs in an authentic college setting. Approximately 9 percent of Mines incoming freshmen were first exposed to the university through a summer camp.
State Farm agents in Rapid City have a long tradition of supporting athletic departments and scholar-athletes and have been active on university boards, in competitive judging and associated youth programs. This new involvement with WiSE and summer camps offers even more opportunities for local agents and national representatives to interact and collaborate.
“State Farm is pleased to support this science and engineering education opportunity provided by the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology,” said Rapid City State Farm Agent Scott Carlson. “Education is key to unlocking a bright future for tomorrow’s leaders.”


About SD Mines  

Founded in 1885, the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is a science and engineering research university located in Rapid City, S.D., offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university enrolls 2,778 students with a student-to-faculty ratio of 15:1. The SD School of Mines placement rate is 96 percent, with an average starting salary of $62,929. Find us online at www.sdsmt.edu and on Facebook and Twitter.


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