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Outstanding Recent Graduate Award Recipients

The Outstanding Recent Graduate Award was established at South Dakota Mines in 1984 to honor graduates who have achieved exemplary career progress and recognition within 10 years of their graduation. Criteria for selection includes entrepreneurial effort, professional advancement, innovative research endeavors, technical or entrepreneurial accomplishments, community service, and industry or community recognition. Awardees serve as excellent role models who showcase the importance of continued personal growth in a rapidly changing society.

Meet the 2022 Outstanding Recent Graduate Award Recipients

Everett Brill (GEO 12) Everett Brill is an underground mine geologist with America’s Gold and Silver. His career started with Freeport McMoRan in New Mexico, where he took part in learning the basics of mining geology including ore control with logging and interpreting blasthole samples as well as collecting ABA samples. He also was actively learning about bench face and ground mapping in addition to data entry.



Joshua Green (ME 11) Joshua Green has worked for Caterpillar for 11 years across 3 different states, 11 job roles, and 4 facilities. He is currently the operations group manager over all large diesel and natural gas engine production at the Griffin, GA, facility. Josh has been the recipient of multiple awards and recognitions, including the Large Engine General Manager Award for Quality.




Lara Jasien (ACM 11) Lara Jasien (formerly Heiberger) is head of research with CPM Educational Program. Her work is grounded in collaborative relationships with educational designers both outside and inside of schools. Outside of school, she collaborates with learning environment designers to study families’ mathematical play. Inside of school, she collaborates with designers to study ways to promote teachers’ and students’ joint intellectual thriving during mathematical inquiry.


Andrew Olson (ChE 12) works for Thermo Fisher Scientific as the senior production scientist for their organic synthesis in Rockford, IL. Some of his work includes creating and working efficiently with multi-step organic synthesis in various scales to fulfill production goals for customers; engaging in process development for new products; and improving old processes and products that enable customers to make the world healthier, cleaner, and safer. He also oversees the training of other workers in the lab and production.


Andrew Smith (EE 11), Andy Smith’s career began at Bechtel Marine Propulsion Corporation at the Naval Reactors Facility outside of Idaho Falls, ID, where he was responsible for troubleshooting process equipment and writing work procedures directing Naval nuclear work. He later moved to Denver, CO, where he spent 8 years with URS/AECOM working in various power industries including generation, transmission, and distribution. In March 2021, he moved to Copenhagen, Denmark, and accepted a job with Semco Maritime, a global leader in offshore substation design and construction.

Mines Advancement Fund

The Mines Advancement Fund supports the greatest needs of our students and faculty, including scholarships, department resources, facilities updates, industry partnerships, and more. With every dollar gifted to the Mines Advancement Fund, the Center for Alumni Relations & Advancement raises an average of $9 more to support departments, scholarships, and programs. 
Consider designating your gift to the Mines Advancement Fund to maximize your influence at South Dakota Mines.