Office of University Relations
SDSM& T News
501 E. St. Joseph Street • Rapid City, SD 57701- 3995
Phone: ( 605) 394- 6082/ 2554 • Fax: ( 605) 394- 6177
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
( July 31, 1998)
CUSTER STUDENT GRADUATES FROM SKILL NASA HONORS PROGRAM AT SDSM& T
Melissa Fox of Custer graduated recently from the NASA Honors Program hosted by the Scientific Knowledge for Indian Learning and Leadership ( SKILL) program at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology ( SDSM& T). Thirteen South Dakota students were in the 1998 graduating class.
SKILL’s NASA Honors Program is a four- year summer residential program on the South Dakota Tech campus that involves 75 students annually. Each summer the students return for a four- week session at SDSM& T that provides academic training in mathematics, science and engineering. Younger students in the NASA Honors Program have the opportunity to return in future summers until they have completed the four- year program. American Indian girls have comprised 70% of the students entering SKILL’s NASA Honors Program. The 1998 graduating class contains 37% returning SKILL students from previous years. Three- fourths of the 1998 graduates are females.
SKILL focuses on fostering interest by minority students, principally Native Americans, in pursuing careers in mathematics, science and engineering. The SKILL program is an effort by SDSM& T to help overcome an expected shortage of professionals in math and science fields. Now in its eighth year, SKILL provides a wide range of programming for students from grade school through high school, including research opportunities, tutorial assistance, classroom curriculum and academic summer programs. Beginning with an elementary program in 1989, SKILL has reached over 3,000 American Indian students. Every student who has participated in SKILL’s NASA Honors Program has remained in school! Last fall SKILL received the 1997 National Science Foundation Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring.
Students interested in obtaining information about participating in the SKILL Honors Program in future years should call SDSM& T’s SKILL Program at 394- 1828.
Photos: Dr. Richard Gowen, SDSM& T President, congratulates Melissa Fox of Custer on her graduation from the SKILL NASA Summer Honors Program.
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