Experiencing World Class Experts

Each semester we bring world-class experts from other universities, corporations and community organizations to campus. These visits provide one-of-a-kind opportunities for CSM students and faculty to:

  • Learn from and be inspired by thought leaders from around the world
  • Grow their professional networks
  • Map educational and career paths that will enable them to work as engineers for just, socially responsible and sustainable solutions.

To add yourself to the listserv of upcoming events email humanitarian@mines.edu. We maintain an archive of videotaped lectures.


Upcoming events will be announced here.


Dr. Alex Mejia

Dr. Mejia works at the University of San Diego as an assistant professor of Integrated Engineering where he researches how the integration of historically and culturally accumulated wealth of knowledge, skills, and practices, and engineering design can serve as a pathway to and through engineering. In his lecture, Dr. Mejia mentioned that the integration of other ways of knowing, doing, and being that aren’t taught academically, into engineering education will show students that these approaches are viable and suited to engineering in both a real-world and an academic environment. The incorporation of Chicanx Cultural Studies structures and pedagogies into engineering education is of particular interest to Dr. Mejia, as well as the convergence of engineering education and social justice.

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Mark Huerta

Huerta received his BS and MS in Biomedical Engineering from ASU and is the co-founder and Chairman of 33 Buckets, a non-profit focused on providing sustainable clean water access in the developing world. He presented primarily on his research, “Inner Engineering: A mixed methods study evaluating the use of a mindfulness-based intervention to cultivate 21st century skills among freshmen engineering students,” including the development and implementation of a mindfulness leadership program and findings that suggest the potential value of introducing engineering students to practicing mindfulness. He identifies that 21st century competencies in skills such as creativity, innovation, problem-solving, resilience, teamwork, and leadership are necessary in leaders capable of enacting positive change within their communities.

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Dr. Elizabeth Ferry: La Batea

Dr. Elizabeth Ferry, an anthropologist, professor, and the interim department chair for the Department of Anthropology at Brandeis University, presented her book, La Batea, written in collaboration with her brother and photographer, Stephen Ferry. Ferry has a background and interests in value, materiality, mining, and finance, and with fieldwork emphases in Mexico, Colombia, and the United States. The combination of photos and ethnographic pieces seeks “to break apart this stigmatized category and explore the histories, practices, and struggles of a range of small-scale gold mining communities.” Ferry discussed stories behind several of the pictures as well as the behind-the-scenes process in making decisions of how and what to include and the overall presentation of the book.

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FALL 2018

Leslie Collins: "Social and environmental responsibility management is key when manufacturing a product"

Leslie Collins gave a presentation on highlights of her experiences practicing social responsibility in her careers both at Hewlett Packard and Facebook. As a leader in supply chain responsibility she manages supply chain labor and health and safety practices as well as company-wide conflict minerals program. Collins’ presentation gave a valuable insight on what it is like to apply humanitarian ideas and practices in an industry setting.

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Abel Chávez: "Integrating Sustainability and Resilience One Community at a Time"

Dr. Abel Chavez of Western State Colorado University spoke on campus about best practices and techniques for achieving community sustainability and resilience. He shared some of the work he and his students did in the CS2I Lab to help smaller rural communities achieve sustainability goals specific to their community and circumstances.

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Marcello Veiga: "Alternatives to mercury usen in artisanal and small-scale gold mining"

Veiga is a professor of Mining Engineering at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. For the past 35 years Veiga has worked on issues surrounding artisanal mining and the elimination of mercury in mining practices with governments, NGOs, companies, and universities around the world. In his lecture, Veiga discussed the challenges that artisanal miners in Colombia face and the work he has done with miners to reduce and eliminate mercury use. At the end of the lecture, Veiga shared a song on the ukulele that he uses to spread the word about mercury use in mining. A recording of this lecture can be found here

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Jennifer Deboer: "Engineering in Conflict: Teaching and Learning in the Midst of Trauma"

Dr. Jennifer Deboer presented to Mines campus and HE community on her experience teaching engineering in refugee camps across the globe. Deboer is a professor of Engineering Education at Purdue University where she leads a research group striving to improve paths to engineering learning for students in low-access and low-resource contexts. In her lecture, Deboer discussed the Engineering Education program her group brought to refugee camps in Jordan and Kenya. The programs were designed to empower students with engineering skills to address problems that they see everyday and to improve their own living conditions.

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Jon Kuniholm: "Flying cars and bionic arms: Pretense or reality?"

 on served as a Presidential appointee to the National Council on Disability and is a retired US Marine combat engineer and logistics officer. He founded and runs OpenProsthetics.org and continues working to improve medical devices for amputees, with attention to the factors that determine innovation and access to these devices. Jon has been addressing assumptions since he lost his arm nearly 14 years ago, and he’s been trying to deliver the future in this area ever since.

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Dr. Breanne Przestrzelski

Breanne Przestrzelski PhD lead attendees through a personal journey, sharing excerpts from her design background in bioengineering, learning experiences, and surfing, from which attendees walked away with a greater understanding of how design applies to everyday life in unique ways.

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Julia Kramer

Julia Kramer, PhD candidate in Mechanical Engineering, lead a discussion on exploring the need to better integrate equity and political thinking into design in order to reimagine design as a democratic and socially conscious practice. This lecture focused on human centered design, a systematic approach where practitioners develop a deep understanding of stakeholders and use these insights to drive idea generation, iterative prototyping and implementation.

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Diana Duarte: "Engaging and Co-Creating Solutions with Stakeholders"

Diana Duarte is an engineering professor in Colombia and founder of Distancia Cero and Retos. The class focused on learning how to engage with different stakeholders at different positions of power. She facilitated an excellent hands-on, role-playing workshop where students were challenged to take different perspectives and occupy different positions of power.

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FALL 2017


Dr. Paul Polak: "Three Ideas to Change the World...and the Multinational Companies they Inspired."

Paul’s talk will focus on how his new breed of multinationals combines radically-affordable technology with radically-decentralized supply chains to earn big profits serving customers who live on less than $2/day. Paul’s groundbreaking work has moved more than 20 million people around the world out of poverty. 5 – 6:15 pm Tuesday April 25, Metals Hall in Green Center.

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Bret Ericson: "Cleaning up the World's Most Life-Threatening Pollution."



Poor characterization of soil pollution in low- and middle- income countries is thought to be a significant contributor to disease. Hear how Bret Ericson, Director of Operations for Pure Earth, has identified toxic sites and managed remediation projects in 30+ countries that suffer from heavy metals and pesticides contamination. 4-5 pm Wednesday April 19, Berthoud Hall, Room 243.

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ConocoPhillips WE2ST Speaker Adam Mayer: "Insights on the Social Context of Unconventional Energy in Colorado: Partisanship, Paradox, and Political Identity"

This talk will explore how political affiliation does – and does not – affect views towards oil and gas development in Colorado, and how avoiding sharp polarization can facilitate cooperation between industry, government, and communities. 4-5 pm Wednesday April 12, Brown Building West, Room 280.

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James Anaya: "Extractive Industries and Indigenous Peoples: A Human Rights Perspective. "

James Anaya is the current Dean of the University of Colorado Law School. He served as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, where he monitored the human rights conditions of indigenous peoples worldwide, addressed violations rights, and promoted practical measures to secure indigenous peoples’ rights. 4-5 pm Wednesday March 22, Berthoud Hall, Room 108.

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Panel Discussion: "Beyond Compliance: Cultural Heritage as a Missing Dimension of CSR"

Hear from a pioneering private developer how cultural heritage is unlocking unique value for a master-planned community in CO. 6-7 pm Wednesday February 15, Metals Hall at the Green Center. Reception to follow.

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FALL 2016

Shultz Family Leadership in HE Speaker Series presents “Specialization Is For Insects”

An alumni retrospective on the value of a Mines education in a changing job market and emergence of CSR as an engineering core competency by Joey Tucker (Exxon Mobile and Mines Alumni) 4-6 p.m. Tuesday, November 15, CO (Coolbaugh) 209.

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HE & Peace Corp Prep Voluteering Opportunity

Garlic Seeding at Warren Tech’s ACRES Garden in collaboration with the RRCC IDEA Lab. 10-1pm. Saturday, November 12, @ ACRES 13300 West 2nd Place, Lakewood, CO, 80228.

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Striving to Achieve Environmental Justice in the Conejos Land Grant Region of Southern Colorado

HE&CSR Speaker Series presents Striving to Achieve Environmental Justice in the Conejos Land Grant Region of Southern Colorado by Andrea Guajardo (Mines Alumni; Conejos Clean Water, Founder and Rural Project Services, President). 2-3.15 pm. Thursday, November 10, CO (Coolbaugh) 131.

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Shultz Family Leadership in HE Speaker Series presents Engineering for Development: Sustainable Household Water Supply Systems in sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean

Shultz Family Leadership in HE Speaker Series presents Engineering for Development: Sustainable Household Water Supply Systems in sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean by Dr. Michael MacCarthy (Mercer University and Mines Alumni) 4-5 p.m. Tuesday, November 8, MZ (Marquez Hall) 326.

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HE Community Event

Join us starting at 5 pm to have some food, fun and games! You do not want to miss this event! Dr. Juan Lucena will also have special announcements, 5-7pm. Thursday, November 3, GRL (Geology Museum’s GRL Room).

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Relations Between Mining Multinationals and Small-Scale Gold Miners in Suriname

Relations Between Mining Multinationals and Small-Scale Gold Miners in Suriname” Presentation, with Guest Speakers Dr. Marieke Heemskerk and Jurgen Plein. 4-5pm. Tuesday, November 1, MZ (Marquez Hall) 326.

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Shultz Family Leadership in HE Speaker Series presents The Value of Social Data in Mining

Shultz Family Leadership in HE Speaker Series presents The Value of Social Data in Mining by Deanna Kemp (CSRM) 4-5 p.m. Tuesday, October 4, MZ (Marquez Hall) 122.

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Shultz Family Leadership in HE Speaker Series presents Prescriptions for Helping Poor People Help Themselves: What Engineers Need to Know

Shultz Family Leadership in HE Speaker Series presents Prescriptions for Helping Poor People Help Themselves: What Engineers Need to Know by Dr. Paul Polak, Author of “Out of Poverty, What Works When Traditional Approaches Fail”, Founder and CEO of Windhorse International, Founder of Paul Polak Enterprises and International Development Enterprises (iDE) 5-6:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 20, GC Metals Hall.

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