Mines News

Release Date Thursday, February 2, 2017

WiSE Forum at SD Mines Aims to Fill Gap of Women in STEM

RAPID CITY, S.D. (Feb. 2, 2017) – The South Dakota School of Mines & Technology will host the third annual Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) Forum from 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 9, featuring a panel of industry leaders in the traditionally male-dominated fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Topics will range from career advice and salary negotiations to networking tips, industry insights, navigating workplace culture and advancing in a chosen field.

The public is invited to attend the forum in the Surbeck Center ballroom. There is no charge, but advance registration is required. RSVP through this link or by emailing wise@sdsmt.edu by Wednesday, Feb. 8.

The panel:

  • Sandy Burns is CEO of Project Solutions, a project management company that employs people through the U.S. and Italy. Burns formerly worked for IBM on the Air Force Star Wars program.
  • Dr. Katherine Degen is a physician at Black Hills Obstetrics & Gynecology and the Rapid City Regional Hospital.
  • Amy DiRienzo is a staff engineer at RESPEC and a video monitoring expert who builds computer models to predict the stability of salt mines or caverns.
  • Paige Hilton is a South Dakota Mines alumna and plant manager at Kimberly-Clark. She previously worked in research and engineering, launching new products ranging from facial tissue and paper towels to welding helmets and safety glasses in markets across the globe.
  • Kris Thompson is an environmental and quality assurance manager at Freeport McMoRan, who leads sustainability and STEM initiatives. She previously worked on a rare earth project in Wyoming and as a geologist in Arizona, Wyoming and South Dakota, including at the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs

The forum is sponsored by Kimberly-Clark and Union Pacific.

Additionally, accepted female Mines students for the upcoming year are invited to spend the afternoon of Thursday, Feb. 9, or the morning of Friday, Feb. 10, shadowing a current Mines student and female WiSE mentor, attending classes, seeing real projects and getting a feel for campus life.


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 2,654 students with a student-to-faculty ratio of 15:1. The SD School of Mines placement rate for graduates is 97 percent, with an average starting salary of more than $61,300. Find us online at www.sdsmt.edu and on  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Snapchat

Contact: Dani Mason, (605) 394-2554, Danielle.Mason@sdsmt.edu