Mines magazine emailed a readership survey in May, to which more than 1,600 alumni responded. To complement the analysis provided in The Network, we offer a selection of comments that were provided anonymously by respondents in response to three survey questions.
Does any story from the recent past stand out for you? If so, which one?
I am a water lawyer and do a little oil and gas work, so the recent stories about the Hoover Dam bypass bridge [Fall/Winter 2010] and plugging Macondo [Spring 2011] were fantastic. I am not an engineer; my daughter attended Mines for three semesters�. I appreciate that the articles are nontechnical enough for me to understand. I even read the obituaries; the lives of your alumni are amazing.
I liked A Sound Approach to Landmine Detection�[Spring 2011] because I spent many years in Libya where land mines are still a big problem.
I particularly enjoy the articles about new research and technology. Right amount of technical facts, insight and length. I have learned a lot from these articles that I don’t think I could have learned from any other source!
Macondo plugging and Terry Fox story [Spring 2011]: Both showed that a Mines experience can lead to expertise in a chosen curriculum or the work ethic to pursue other challenging endeavors.
Please detail anything else you would be interested in reading about.
It would be great to have a humor section, emphasizing Mines’ unique traditions and history, or just contributions from readers.
Information about the mentoring program and functions involving current students meeting with alumni. I also would like to know more about the ethics curriculum.
I’d like to see more candid photos and articles about the students, everyday life at Mines.
If you have any other comments about Mines, you may provide them here.
Every article in Mines magazine is written with the right balance of technical facts, pride in the Mines community (without bragging), and sensitivity about people’s lives and accomplishments. Mines always highlights the right new technology at the right time.
I would like to see less or no coverage on athletics, and a lot less on minorities and women in science, they are Miners just like I was (and a minority woman at that). I like to see the focus on academics and research, but still feature undergraduate training, as this is the core of Mines. I enjoy seeing alumni profiles and the contributions they’ve made in their fields and/or how a Mines education helped them.
Considering how well Mines’ athletic teams have done in recent years, we don’t give enough mention to those teams.
I think the magazine is great. I am a vascular surgeon now and completely out of the engineering field, but I enjoy reading through the magazine and seeing what is going on in the engineering world and with CSM graduates.
I was disappointed that you took the alumni updates out of the magazine and placed them on the Internet. The updates are the main reason for reading.
Ed.: You’re not alone; many readers want to see the Class Notes back in print. Unfortunately, we simply do not have room to list this level of detail for every alumnus/alumna. We are considering options for secure but simpler online browsing; for now, if you keep minesonline.net bookmarked and create a login, you’ll find that searching for your classmates is quick and easy.
In my opinion the Mines alumni mag reads like every other college alumni rag. When I went to Mines, we weren’t like every other college. Nerdy, maybe, but we were different. I’d find the magazine more interesting if it were more edgy.
Mines is about natural resources. Discuss them and eliminate articles about ‘green’ energy, global warming and other such nonsense.
Ed.: Our goal is to tell Mines’ story in its entirety. While Mines’ reputation in natural resources continues to be excellent, students and faculty study and work in fields that are not directly related to them. In particular, research in alternative energy is expanding and necessary.
Alumni profiles seem to be directed at those who have succeeded in business and who give to Mines. There are a lot more alumni out there who are interesting and do not fit this profile.
Ed.: While the value of donations to the school is indisputable, alumni featured in the magazine are chosen on the basis of interest to readers, not their level of giving. Transformative gifts to Mines are newsworthy and those who give them often have interesting stories to tell. However, we never reference a subject’s giving history before deciding to pursue a story. If you know of anyone connected to the school whom you think we should write about, please let us know.
If it is an alumni magazine, it needs to have some reasonable focus on alumni. I now consider it a school propaganda publication.
Ed.: Since the school stopped publishing Mines Today in 2000, Mines magazine has been published for both the campus and alumni communities. Most issues include a feature story on an alum, as well as profiles, Class Notes, Passings and other alumni news. We find articles about campus are read with interest by alumni (see survey results). The bottom line is, thanks to an outstanding legacy and the combined accomplishments of the many connected to the school, it’s a transformative period for Mines, and there is no shortage of good news. Please come back to campus and judge for yourself.