Skip to main content

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 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: 

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

Our most recent winners were:

  • 2021: Emily Ganley
  • 2020: Dominica Bennett and Kody Becenti
  • 2019: Anyssa Romero
  • 2018: Maria Kelly
  • 2017: Josephine McBrayer