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Integrating Social Responsibility into Engineering Education at the Colorado School of Mines

Newmont was one of two industry representatives invited to an August 2016 workshop at the Colorado School of Mines aimed at incorporating the principles of social responsibility into the engineering curriculum. The workshop was sponsored by a National Science Foundation-funded project, “The Ethics of Extraction: Integrating Corporate Social Responsibility into Engineering Education.”

Allison Coppel, Newmont’s Senior Director for Social Responsibility, joined the Mines’ engineering faculty as well as professors from two partner schools, Virginia Tech and Marietta College, to help develop educational experiences that focus on developing students’ understanding of corporate social responsibility (CSR) challenges and opportunities in the workplace.

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Colorado School of Mines President Paul Johnson said that the project “fits well with our broader university goal of ensuring that our students not only have a distinctive technical depth, but also a full understanding of the broader context of their impact to society and the complementary professional skills needed for success and leadership.”

Allison Coppel added, “I was pleasantly surprised to learn how well social responsibility is already woven into the Mines’ curriculum. Professors are quite dedicated to highlighting social and environmental perspectives and challenging students to think about bigger picture .”

College of Engineering and Computational Sciences Dean Kevin Moore added that incorporating CSR into the curriculum would help teach students about their own impact. “Ultimately, the reason we engineer and work in applied science is to advance just solutions to the problems facing individuals, communities and the world,” he said. “Because many of our students are employed by corporations, we want them to learn that even as employees, they can make a difference for people.”

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Newmont looks forward to continued collaboration with the school to develop, implement and assess new strategies to effectively integrate social responsibility into the engineering curriculum.

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