Mary Jo Benton Lee Papers

Identity elements

Reference code

UA 053.024

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Mary Jo Benton Lee Papers


  • 1984-2010 (Accumulation)


4.42 linear feet (4 records boxes, 1 document case)

Name of creator

Biographical history


Ph.D. in Sociology, 1998
South Dakota State University M.A. in Journalism, 1976
University of Maryland B.S. in Journalism, 1975

Adjunct Professor Dr. Lee worked for five years as a newspaper reporter in the Washington, D.C. area, covering issues ranging from urban hunger to teen pregnancy. She holds a Ph.D. in sociology, with a minor in Asian studies, from South Dakota State University. During her 25 years at SDSU, she has held a number of positions, both teaching and administrative, most recently that of diversity coordinator for the College of Engineering. She is also the co-founder and the coordinator of the SDSU-Flandreau Indian School Success Academy, an early and intensive college preparatory program for American Indian high school students. She has been an exchange professor and visiting scholar at Yunnan Normal University, People's Republic of China.

Dr. Lee's first book was Ethnicity, Education and Empowerment: How Minority Students in Southwest China Construct Identities. Her second book is Ethnicity Matters: Rethinking How Black, Hispanic and Indian Students Prepare for and Succeed in College.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

This collection is composed mainly of materials related to the Promotional Techniques for Engineers class which Benton Lee developed with Dean of Engineering Ernest Buckley in 1987. Material consists of general files for the class including lecture notes, class notebooks, and audio-visual material. Also included are personal files from 1992-2010 and cover Benton Lee's years as a graduate assistant for the South Dakota Space Grant Consortium and diversity coordinator for the College of Engineering.

Promotional Techniques for Engineers Class

In 1987, Dean of Engineering, Ernest Buckley and Mary Jo Benton Lee developed the Promotional Techniques for Engineers course. The concept was to teach journalism skills to engineering students and then ask them to promote major university-wide and state-wide events with their newly acquired skills. The ten students each year, who were hand-picked for this experience, all became student leaders.

Between 1987 and 1992, the students were routinely given budgets of $20,000 to use for the promotion of major events that drew speakers and participants from around the country. These events, all sponsored by the College of Engineering, included an Impact '87 Trade Fair, a Making Connections ethics seminar, and an Expanding Horizons Together entrepreneurship workshop.
The Promotional Techniques for Engineers Class series is composed of general files, class lecture notes, class notebooks on promotional campaigns, and audio-visual material. An item of note is the proceedings from the American Society of Engineering Education conference which includes a paper that explains the promotional techniques class in detail (page 1-8).

Class Projects

The Class Projects series is composed of promotional campaign material for various projects that the class worked on. Included are files on the Entrepreneurs' Workshop (Expanding Horizons Together - A Seminar on Entrepreneurship Opportunities), the Impact '87 Trade Fair, and the Seminar on Ethics (Making Connections - A Seminar on Ethics in a Technological Society). Included are promotional campaign reports which details the promotional techniques the class used for each project.

Personal Files

The Personal Files series is composed of other College of Engineering material that Benton Lee collected during her tenure. Included are files of the South Dakota Space Grant Consortium while she was a graduate assistant (1992-1998) during the time when South Dakota's tribal colleges were incorporated into the Consortium. Also included are files while she served as the Diversity Coordinator for the College of Engineering (1998-2010). Benton Lee took this position after she completed her Ph.D. in Sociology in 1998.

Flandreau Indian School Success Academy

South Dakota State University-Flandreau Indian School Success Academy is an early and intensive college preparatory program for American Indian high school students. This material includes reports and a history of the Flandreau Indian School.

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Conditions governing access

This collection is open to researchers without restrictions. The materials in the Archives do not circulate and may be used in-house only.

Researchers conducting extensive research are asked to make an advance appointment to access archival material. Please call or e-mail prior to visiting the collection and indicate as much detail as possible about a particular topic and intended use.

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South Dakota State University supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted as a result of their fragile condition or by contractual agreements with donors.

Languages of the material

  • English

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    Related archival materials

    Ethnicity, education and empowerment : identity construction among minority students in southwestern China / by MaryJo Benton Lee. [Archives - Books/Upper Level: LB2386.B48]

    Ethnicity, Education and Empowerment: How Minority Students in Southwest China Construct Identities by MaryJo Benton Lee (Sep 2001) by MaryJo Benton Lee

    Ethnicity matters : rethinking how Black, Hispanic, & Indian students prepare for & succeed in college / MaryJo Benton Lee, editor. [Books/Upper Level: LC3731.E875 2006]

    Success Academy: How Native American Students Prepare for College (and How Colleges Can Prepare for Them) (Adolescent Culture, School and Society) by MaryJo Benton Lee

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    UA 53.24

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