Principal Investigators

Principal Investigators for the RIMA Survey









Mónica Jenrette
Data Programmer/Analyst
Division for Equity and Inclusion

Mónica Jenrette has served in the role of Programmer Analyst at UNM since February 2015. She has worked with the STEM Collaborative Center and continues to work with the Office of Student Affairs, the APLU Student Experience Project and the NSF ECURE grant. Jenrette said, "I am happy to join the Division for Equity and Inclusion to assist DEI in amplifying UNM’s mission."

Jenrette is a proud UNM Alumna, first generation and native New Mexican.








Dr. Nancy López
Associate VP for Equity and Inclusion and
Professor of Sociology

Dr. Nancy López is professor of sociology at the University of New Mexico; over a decade ago she co-founded and directs the Institute for the Study of “Race” and Social Justice ( Her scholarship and teaching are guided by the insights of intersectionality--the simultaneity of tribal status/settler colonialism race/structural racism, gender/heteropatriarchy, class/capitalism, ethnicity/nativism, sexuality/heterosexism as systems of oppression/resistance across a variety of social outcomes (education, health, employment and housing) and the importance of developing contextualized solutions that advance justice. Her books include: Hopeful Girls, Troubled Boys: Race and Gender Disparity in Urban Education (2003), and Mapping "Race": Critical Approaches to Health Disparities Research (2013). She co-edited a special issue of the Race, Ethnicity and Education Journal on Quantitative Methods and Critical Race Theory. She is also known for developing the concept of “street race.” 


Dr. Heather Mechler
Office of Institutional Analytics

Heather Mechler currently serves as the Director of the Office of Institutional Analytics at UNM, a position she has held since 2016. In this role, she manages a team of analysts and data scientists who explore data pertaining to student outcomes and student success. Dr. Mechler’s areas of focus in the field of institutional research include: Predictive analytics, data visualization, equity in data science, and basic needs security in higher education. She holds a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with an emphasis on measurement and human development from the University of Alabama. Her academic research focuses on the role of moral judgment development in influencing civic engagement and political beliefs. When she’s not crunching numbers, you can find her hiking around New Mexico with her Australian Kelpie, MacKenzie, reading insatiably, or singing in vocal ensembles around Albuquerque.  


Dr. Teresa Neely
University Libraries

Teresa Y. Neely, PhD, MLS (she, her, hers), is a Professor in the College of University Libraries and Learning Sciences (College), at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.  Dr. Neely is responsible for providing leadership and planning for assessment and DEI in all aspects of the College. She has worked in academic research libraries for 30 years and is the author/co-editor of seven books and conference proceedings, and numerous scholarly and peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and conference, working, and white papers. Her most recent published project, In our own voices, redux: The faces of librarianship today (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2018), was co-edited with Jorge R. Lopéz-McKnight; and, her current project, Dismantling constructs of whiteness in higher education: Narratives of resistance from the academy, co-edited with Dr. Margie Montañez, is under contract with Routledge and due to be published in 2022.


Dr. Assata Zerai
VP for Equity and Inclusion & 
Professor of Sociology

Dr. Assata Zerai serves as the Vice President for Equity and Inclusion and Professor of Sociology at the University of New Mexico (UNM). At the helm of the Division for Equity and Inclusion, Zerai has expanded diversity programming and strategy at UNM. Zerai’s research interests include African women’s access to mobile technology, making the work of marginalized scholars more accessible, and environmental justice/health activism; she has published five books spanning these topics, the latest of which is African Women, ICT and Neoliberal Politics: The Challenge of Gendered Digital Divides to People-Centered Governance(Routledge 2019).