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Diversity Programming

Diversity and inclusion is essential to our UNM engineering programs because it allows our students to learn about each other, respect each other’s differences, and become more open-minded about problem-solving. Being able to address problems from a diverse and inclusive perspective, allows them to think about better engineering solutions. The fact that our students come from diverse backgrounds, also enables them to work together more effectively as part of a team, regardless of their differences in opinion or background.

We want to make sure our students receive the mentoring and adequate career development to help them succeed in their fields. The richness that students with diverse backgrounds bring to our programs is priceless and we value it. We do our best to continue bringing initiatives to encourage diversity and collaboration.

All diversity student groups, in addition to the Native Americans in STEM (NASTEM) Program and our Pre-college Programs (that include outreach activities and summer programs tailored to underrepresented populations) are housed within the Engineering Student Success Center. The NASTEM program (a.k.a. as NAPCOE) started in 1975 was the foundation for the creation of the Minority Engineering Program at the end of that decade, which was formalized with full support from the UNM School of Engineering in 1989. Our History :: School of Engineering | The University of New Mexico.

Additionally, the ESS Center was awarded the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring in 2000. This is awarded for embodying excellence in mentoring underrepresented students and encouraging their significant achievement in science, mathematics, and engineering. 


Contact the diversity program coordinator at and join the initiative listserve (


The month of February: Black History Month
The month of March: Women's History Month
The month of April: Autism Acceptance Month and Deaf History Month
The month of May: Asian American Pacific Islander (AAIP) Heritage Month
The month of June: LGBTQ+ Pride Month
The month of Sept 15 - Oct 15: Hispanic Heritage Month
The month of October: Disability History & Awareness Month
The first week of November: First Generation Week
The month of November: Native American Heritage Month


(Offering services and support since 1975 and officially established in 1989)

Contacts: Elsa M. Castillo and Yadéeh Sawyer


The root and backbone of the Engineering Student Success (ESS) Center was the Minority Engineering Program (MEP) which was created by former Dean William Gross in the late 1970s, with the goal of recruiting and retaining underrepresented students in Engineering career programs through a variety of support activities. With MEP in mind, we continued to grow through the years (becoming the Diversity Program in the School of Engineering and later known as the Multicultural Engineering Programs), placing a very important emphasis on student recruiting, while providing top support services and activities to students from diverse backgrounds. Although our support services in the ESS center are open to all students in Engineering and Computing, we offer support services that are tailored to diverse students in STEM fields. This is accomplished through:

(Established in 1975) 

Contact: Douglas Williams

(Established in 1989)

Contacts: Elsa M. Castillo and Yadéeh Sawyer

  • Technical and Soft skills development workshops for incoming female students and underrepresented minority students 
  • Scholarships support
Although the ESS Center offers support to all student organizations within the School of Engineering, it directly oversees the following STEM student organizations housed under the Multicultural Engineering Programs:
  • American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES)
  • Engineers Without Borders (EWB)
  • Hispanic Engineering and Science Organization (HESO) - SHPE/MAES
  • National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)
  • Out in STEM (O-STEM)
    • currently innactive
  • SACNAS (Society for Advancment of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science)
  • Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE)
  • Society of Enabled Engineers (SEE)
    • currently innactive
  • Society of Women Engineers (SWE) 

Since spring 2004 underrepresented student leaders heavily involved in the diversity student groups or MEP initiatives have been recognized.

Our most recent winners were:

  • 2024: Jorge Gallegos
  • 2023: Angela Patterson
  • 2022: Angelina Jimenez
  • 2021: Emily Ganley
  • 2020: Dominica Bennett and Kody Becenti
  • 2019: Anyssa Romero
  • 2018: Maria Kelly
  • 2017: Josephine McBrayer

UNM Land, Labor, & Immigrant Acknowledgements

UNM Indigenous Peoples' Land and Territory Acknowledgement. Reciting a land acknowledgment is a traditional custom dating back centuries for many Native communities and nations. For non-Indigenous communities, land acknowledgment is a powerful way of showing respect and honoring the Indigenous Peoples of the land on which we work and live. Acknowledgment is a simple way of resisting the erasure of Indigenous histories and working towards honoring and inviting the truth.

Founded in 1889, the University of New Mexico sits on the traditional homelands of the Pueblo of Sandia. The original peoples of New Mexico – Pueblo, Navajo, and Apache – since time immemorial, have deep connections to the land and have made significant contributions to the broader community statewide. We honor the land itself and those who remain stewards of this land throughout the generations and also acknowledge our committed relationship to Indigenous peoples. We gratefully recognize our history.


Statement Acknowledging the Labor and Sacrifices of Black Americans. (Fall 2022 FYEX 1110 Black Minds Matter Class)

At UNM, we respectfully acknowledge the traumatic history of forced labor of Black Americans who have advanced our country. We are indebted to the enslaved and exploited African Americans who established our U.S. infrastructure and economy, advanced civil rights, and continue to influence popular culture. We are obligated to continuously recognize historic and current systemic oppression and injustices placed on Black Americans. We are grateful to their ancestors; for without them we would not be where we are today.


Statement Honoring Immigrants in the United States. (Developed by Professor Julia So, UNM Valencia and UNM DEI)

The United States of America is a country that is built on the strength of  immigrants that came here, either voluntarily or involuntarily. Whether they look or speak differently from us, we will do our best to understand, respect, appreciate, and value their cultures and contributions, with the ultimate goal to welcome them and elicit their potential for the betterment of all societies.​.