Office of University Relations
SDSM& T News
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Phone: ( 605) 394- 6082/ 2554 • Fax: ( 605) 394- 6177
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
( February 8, 1999)
SDSM& T SELECTED FOR MOTOROLA MENTOR PROGRAM TO SUPPORT EDUCATION OF NATIVE AMERICAN ENGINEERS
Motorola Company officials recently selected the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology ( SDSM& T) as one of three universities nationwide for the Motorola Mentor Program. The program is designed to partner with targeted universities to support the education and professional development of minority engineering students and increase the available talent pool of qualified minority technical graduates. The partnership includes a $ 3000 award to SDSM& T, of which $ 1,000 is earmarked for a research project by Bob Whipple, an SDSM& T civil engineering major from Porcupine with Lakota and Navajo ancestry.
The Motorola Mentor Program at SDSM& T will help support three SDSM& T Native American students at the sophomore level or higher who are interested in pursuing careers in industrial, mechanical or electrical engineering. In cooperation with the Minorities In Engineering program at Oglala Lakota College ( OLC), the program also will provide a stipend this summer for an OLC student in the MIE to work with a mentor at Motorola.
The Motorola Mentor Program’s approach is to form cross- functional teams to work with the university. Motorola engineers are paired with professors and students to work on projects related to Motorola’s Cellular Infrastructure Group technology. The program offers valuable benefits to both Motorola and the university. Motorola provides hands- on experience to qualified Native American engineering students and also receives the opportunity to preview potential employees. Students receive exposure to real- world projects and mentors, while
university professors can obtain funding for real- world student projects.
“ The support from Motorola should significantly help American Indian students seeking their engineering degrees,” said Dr. Francine Campone, SDSM& T Associate Dean of Students. “ I believe the mentoring component will prove to be especially helpful.”
Darryl Hibbard, an engineer at Motorola, serves as Native American Program Officer for the company. The other universities selected for the Motorola Mentor Program are the University of Texas - Pan American and Southern University.
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