Mines News

Release Date Thursday, March 16, 2023

Mines Hosts Event to Foster Community Dialogue and Civic Engagement

South Dakota Mines will host “Black Hills Talks” at 5 p.m. on Monday, March 27, in the Surbeck Center on the university campus.


South Dakota Mines will host “Black Hills Talks” at 5 p.m. on Monday, March 27, in the Surbeck Center on the university campus. The event is being organized by Samantha Harkin, the assistant director of Student Engagement at Mines, as part of her work with the Elevate Leadership Institute.

“Black Hills Talks is a chance for all to come together in our community to identify issues and brainstorm solutions across a variety of perspectives,” says Harkin.

Participants will be put into small groups and led by a semi-structured dialogue model that promotes respect between all parties. The goal of the event is to get know issues fellow community members are facing through different perspectives and then brainstorm solutions together.

Preregistration for the event is required at this link. Harkin decided to take up the effort as a way to improve local dialogue around solutions to common issues faced in the community.

“I had heard about the ‘America Talks’ model and its successes at bringing people together online, and I think now more than ever people need to be able to connect in person. I noticed that what is said online behind a screen is often not what a person thinks, and that when you actively listen to someone else, you find they have the same types of worries as you do, even if their solution is different,” says Harkin. “I also wanted to be a person that could cultivate real solutions and not just perpetuate the problems over and over.”

Harkin says the solutions that percolate up from the group will be then shared with local community leaders.

“My goal for the event is connection, but my hope for it is concrete solutions that can be brought to our area’s representatives,” says Harkin.



About South Dakota Mines  

Founded in 1885, South Dakota Mines is one of the nation’s leading engineering, science and technology universities. South Dakota Mines offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees and a best-in-class education at an affordable price. The university enrolls 2,493 students with an average class size of 24. The South Dakota Mines placement rate for graduates is 98 percent, with an average starting salary of more than $70,036. For these reasons  South Dakota Mines is ranked among the best engineering schools in the country for return on investment. Find us online at www.sdsmt.edu and on FacebookTwitter, LinkedInInstagram, and Snapchat.

Contact: Mike Ray, 605-394-6082, mike.ray@sdsmt.edu