Skip to content

Main Navigation

A Message from CMES Leadership

The Leadership from the College of Mines & Earth Sciences, including Chair of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences, John Horel, share a message in regards to the multiple unique circumstances experienced currently locally, nationally, and globally. Their message can be found in the box below and can be opened in a new tab by clicking on the button.

CMES Leadership Message

Dear Faculty, Staff, Students, Alumni, and Friends of the College:

Spring of 2020 will be remembered as a year of challenges and transitions for all of us.  I’m reminded of a phrase that I can’t attribute to anyone in particular: unmappable complexity.  We are all planning for all possibilities while waiting to see what COVID-19 has planned for us.  At the same time our country is staring into the mirror once again, and not just wondering how we got here, but why we are still here: a place where we still have naked racism and unjust violence against Black citizens.  Credit technology for revealing our lack of progress as a society.  The tragic killing of George Floyd (to which we are all witnesses) as well as Ahmed Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Tony McDade and countless others has reignited anger and sparked uprisings in communities across the country. 

As leaders of the College of Mines and Earth Sciences we categorically condemn racism and abuse of power.  We are a better college, a better university, and better people through our racial and ethnic diversity, our gender diversity, and our diversity of ideas.  We will always welcome you in our college, and we will always stand against discrimination.  Our thoughts and support go out at this time to our black students, faculty, and staff and all people of color, gender identity and religious beliefs. 

What can we do as a college to affirm, support, and better the lives everyone with of whom we interact, particularly those who have been marginalized? (We welcome your suggestions.) The college leadership will be working with our Diversity Committee, our Diversity Recruiter, our planned Center for Inclusive Engagement, our faculty, student organizations, and others on campus to find real ways that we can make progress on our campus and in our community.  Through our research, teaching and outreach, CMES is poised to have real impacts on grand challenges such as resilient communities and environmental racism.  The social challenges are massive.  But science and engineering, coupled with empathy and the critical and higher order skills that come from a university education can make a difference. By higher order skills, we include life skills such as how to collaborate and overcome the implicit biases that we all have.  We have made progress and are committed to continuing to improve our diversity and inclusivity of the college, to remove invisible barriers to the success of students and faculty of color, and to engage underrepresented communities by providing greater educational opportunities.  Our efforts to date are not enough. We don’t know everything.  We must try to get better every day.

We are in the midst of a global pandemic, and in a society with growing inequality and polarization.  Educating our students and preparing them for the future is more complex than ever.  As faculty, we have a responsibility to stay informed, adapt to new technology and teaching methods, find more time to listen to our students, let them know how much we value them, and create a safe and inclusive environment where they can be heard.  None of this is easy.  But we do know one thing:  If we all care for one another and respect one another it makes everything else easier.  The College of Mines and Earth Sciences is comprised of a wonderful group of world-class faculty that care deeply about our students, our citizens, and our planet.  Since Fall of 2016, our college strategic plan has stated that we strive to be a campus leader in safety, continuous assessment, diversity and inclusivity, collaboration and collegiality.  This is a statement that we all agreed to.  We will continue to let that statement of values guide our actions.

Wash your hands, wear your mask, and open your hearts.  Let’s work together to make two plus two equal five. We anticipate that academic year 2021 is going to be the year of listening, learning, and coming together.

You may find the thoughtful work of one of our student leaders of interest:


Dr. Darryl P. Butt
Dean and Professor

Dr. Siva Guruswamy
Professor and Associate Dean of Academics

Dr. Cari Johnson
Professor and Associate Dean of Research

Dr. Marjorie Chan
Distinguished Professor and Associate Dean of External Relations

Dr. John Horel
Professor and Chair of Atmospheric Sciences

Dr. Michael Simpson
Professor and Chair of Materials Science & Engineering

Dr. Michael Free
Professor and Chair of Mining Engineering

Dr. Thure Cerling
Distinguished Professor and Chair of Geology and Geophysics

Dr. Keith Koper
Professor and Director of the Utah Seismograph Station

Dr. Krista Carlson
Assistant Professor and Director of the Center for Inclusive Engagement

Samantha Davis
Director of Student Success

TJ McMullin
Development Director

Laura Meyer
Outreach Communications Coordinator
Teshia G.Koffi
Diversity Coordinator

Last Updated: 7/27/20