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Native Sun News: School of Mines Native students take awards

The following story was written and reported by Karin Eagle, Native Sun News Staff Writer. All content © Native Sun News.

The SDSMT Tiospaye In Science and Engineering artwork features the eagle feather and eagle plume meant to represent the honor given to male and female graduates of the program. The artwork was created by Mr. Del Iron Cloud, Hunkpapa Lakota.

School of Mines Native students take awards
By Karin Eagle
Native Sun News Staff Writer

RAPID CITY — Two Native American South Dakota Schools of Mines & Technology (SDSMT) students were standouts at the recent 2013 American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) national conference.

Out of more than 1,600 attendees, Jacob Phipps, Muscogee, and a Tiospaye scholar, won a one thousand dollar prize for a poster presentation titled “Forestville Mystery Cave State Park Spring-Inventory/Chemistry& Flow Systems.” Phipps is a senior at SDSMT studying Chemistry.

The purpose of the Tiospaye in Science and Engineering Program is to increase the number of American Indian students graduating from South Dakota School of Mines with a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering, mathematics, and science fields through financial, academic, professional, cultural, and social support.

Civil engineering major Leo Chasing in Timber, Sicangu, also a Tiospaye scholar, is a sophomore from the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, and was awarded the Sequoyah Lifetime AISES Fellow Membership.

The fellowship program derives its name from Sequoyah, the American Indian who perfected the Cherokee alphabet in 1821, resulting in total tribal literacy in less than one year. Sequoyah fellows are recognized for their commitment to leadership, mentorship and acts of service that support students and professionals in the Native communities.

Domingo Tamayo, a Sicangu Lakota junior and physics major from the Rosebud Sioux Tribe; Kimberlynn Cameron, a geological engineering senior and Tiospaye scholar of the Standing Rock Lakota Tribe; and Grace Sumption, a senior geology major, former Tiospaye scholar and member of the Cheyenne River Lakota Tribe, also presented at the conference.

A premier event for American Indian professionals, the AISES National Conference convenes graduate, undergraduate and high school students, educators, workforce professionals and corporate and government partners in science, technology, engineering and math fields nationwide.

The mission of AISES is to substantially increase the representation of American Indians and Alaskan Natives in engineering, science, and other related technology disciplines.

Since 1977, AISES has worked to substantially increase American Indian and Alaska Native representation in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields as students, professionals, mentors, and leaders. AISES employs a "full circle of support" model that begins with pre-college programs, progresses into collegiate life, and then into the professional years of members and on into retirement.

There are currently 177 Chartered College and University chapters throughout the United States and Canada with 13 Professional Chapters and 160 Affiliated Schools that enroll more than 55,000 K-12 Native American students.

With nearly 3,000 current members and more than a thousand Sequoyah Fellows, who are all lifetime members, AISES has a wide reaching impact in Indian Country. Scholarship programs through AISES have cumulatively awarded over $8.7 million to 4,924 students, providing educational opportunities for Native students beyond the basic financial aid options.

For more information on the AISES program visit the website More information on SDSMT can be found at

(Contact Karin Eagle at

Copyright permission by Native Sun News

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