South Dakota State University’s American Indian Science and Engineering Society student organization received The Outreach and Community Service Award at the annual AISES National Conference, held Sept. 23-25 at the Phoenix Convention Center.
The award honors groups, whose “Outreach and community service are the cornerstones of AISES’ goal to ensure that its student chapter members and leaders across the country help maintain strong relationships locally by staying active in local efforts and providing valuable services such as mentoring and serving as role models to the younger students interested in science and engineering.”
On a volunteer and rotational basis, SDSU’s AISES students contribute countless hours providing tutoring and other valuable services, setting an exemplary standard for any/all students to model.
This year’s awardees—Danielle Arpan, Cole Bear Ribs, Paige Cain, Traelene Fallis, Turner Frank and Cierra Sazue—brought home a plaque, ribbon and candles that are on display in the American Indian Student Center.
Arpan, the chapter president, is a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe and calls Rapid City home. Sazue is the chapter vice president and an enrolled member of the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe who grew up in De Smet. Cain is from Flandreau and a member of the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe. Bear Ribs is also from Rapid City while Fallis is from Fort Thompson and Frank is from Yankton.
“My experience at AISES was unforgettable. It was life changing. Just two short years ago, we had only two members in our SDSU AISES chapter and now we have an awesome group of students who care for each other, our community and our people,” said Sazue. “To have built our chapter up to the degree of being recognized on a national level is amazing and demonstrates the value of hard work. Our AISES chapter is an incredibly strong family, and I cannot wait to continue this journey of professional, cultural and personal development with them.”
SDSU professor Larry Browning, who serves as the chapter’s staff adviser, has been impressed with the students’ work.
“The key thing about this award has been the students and student leadership. Danielle Arpan, as AISES president, has helped build an active and involved chapter and played a pivotal role in getting students involved and feeling welcomed,” Browning said. “However, the students themselves have planned and carried out a number of great programs and initiatives and have a strong sense of community and social responsibility.”
SDSU’s AISES chapter holds meetings at 7:30 p.m. each Tuesday in the American Indian Student Center.
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