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- 3388
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
( September 6, 1997)
TECH’S SKILL PROGRAM RECEIVES 1997 PRESIDENTIAL AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN SCIENCE, MATHEMATICS, AND ENGINEERING MENTORING PROGRAMS
The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy ( OSTP), its national Science and Technology Council ( NSTC), and the National Science Foundation ( NSF) announced today that the Scientific Knowledge for Indian Learning and Leadership ( SKILL) has been selected as one of 19 recipients of the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring Programs. Luther Williams, NSF, Assistant Director for indicated “ This prestigious award recognizes SKILL’s outstanding achievements and contributions to mentoring in science, mathematics and engineering fields.”
The National Science Foundation has been asked by the Office of Science and Technology Policy to administer the Presidential Awards Mentoring Program, which is designed to demonstrate the Administration’s recognition that mentoring and role modeling are important ingredients to development of talent among groups underrepresented in science, mathematics, and engineering. The awards recognize outstanding mentoring efforts and programs that have enhanced the participation of individuals from underrepresented in these fields: namely, minorities, women, and persons with disabilities. The award recipients will serve as exemplars to their colleagues and as leaders in the national effort to develop more fully the nation’s human resources in science, mathematics and engineering.
As a part of the Presidential Award, SKILL has been selected to receive a grant of $ 10,000 funded by the NSF for the purpose of improving mentoring activities for the groups mentioned above. Phillip Huebner, SKILL Director will attend the 1997 Presidential Awards program that also include a one and one- half day symposium entitled, “ Mentoring for the Twenty- First Century Workforce,” and a White House Awards ceremony.
Jon Haas, Oglala Lakota College Vice President for Academic Affairs nominated the SKILL program for the award.
SKILL is a pre- college program designed to increase American Indian college enrollment in post- secondary science, math and engineering education, as well as improve the college readiness of American Indian students in math and science. Now in its seventh year, SKILL has offered pre- college programs in math and science to more than 3,000 elementary and secondary school students through academic- year programs, elementary summer programs, four- week residential programs and four- year high- school programs.
“ SDSM& T is committed to supporting programs like SKILL to help young American Indians have the tools necessary to compete in a university setting,” said SDSM& T President Gowen. SKILL is producing impressive results. Every American Indian student who has participated in SDSM& T’s SKILL program has remained in school! SKILL students have participated in the AISES National Science and Engineering Fair for the last four years, with two students selected this spring to represent AISES at the International Science and Engineering Fair. SDSM& T’s SKILL students have received more awards at the AISIES National Science and Engineering Fair than any other South Dakota school. Four students presented their research at the Goddard Space Flight Center’s Small Payload Symposium in 1995 and had their research published by NASA in the conference proceedings. This was the first time American Indian students at the high- school level participated in the symposium. Fifteen experiments prepared by SKILL students have flown on space shuttle missions with the help of SDSM& T alumni involved in NASA’s space program. Four students have had multiple experiments flown.
Huebner indicated that Tech’s 1997 freshman class includes 40% of the NASA Honors Program participants. Individuals interested in learning more about SKILL’s programs may contact Phil Huebner by calling ( 605) 394- 1828 or writing to: SDSM& T SKILL Program, 501 E. St. Joseph Street, Rapid City, SD 57701.
For additional media information, contact Phil Huebner at 388- 0113.
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