The University of New Mexico Division for Equity and Inclusion (DEI) has added several new additions to its staff for the FY21 academic year.

Kathy L. Powers and Marissa Greenberg will join DEI as the 2021 DEI Academic Leadership Faculty (DEI-ALF) Fellows, while Jeannie Baca will join the team as a professional consultant.

Each Fellow will develop a community of practice in restorative justice and formal institutional support for underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities, women, and persons with disabilities, in order to recommend changes that will better support all faculty, inclusive of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.

“It is of vital importance that we continue to provide opportunities for the next generation of leaders while enhancing the excellent scholarship, research, and administration currently being done at UNM,” said Assata Zerai, vice president for Equity and Inclusion. “The addition of Drs. Powers, Greenberg, and Baca will provide DEI with the opportunity to further develop and expand our diversity, equity, and inclusion imprint.”


Kathy Powers currently serves as an associate professor in the Department of Political Science. She holds appointments in the UNM Program of Africana Studies, the School of Law and the Center for Social Policy as well as the Department of Government at Georgetown University. She was recently named a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington, D.C. Her international politics research focuses on the role of institutions and law in trade, human rights, and war.


Marissa Greenberg currently serves as an associate professor in the Department of English Language and Literature. She is the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and UNM’s Research Allocation Committee. As a Fellow with DEI, she will establish a community of practice to strengthen UNM’s infrastructure for addressing the stigmatization of faculty who have disabilities.


Jeannie Baca currently serves as the director of operations, student support, and diversity for the Honors College and serves as co-chair of the DEI Learning and Resources subcommittee. She earned her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership Administration and has more than 20 years of experience in higher education. She has served in various administrative capacities at the community college and university level. She is committed to educational equity and applies inclusive leadership strategies, research, and best practices, to create collaborative partnerships aimed at student success.

The three new fellows will join Zerai and her team to advance excellence and equity across all dimensions of the academic mission, culture, and climate in ways that improve opportunities for all of New Mexico’s residents, and UNM’s students, staff, and faculty. Additional information can be found at DEI staff.

The UNM Division for Equity and Inclusion (DEI) was established in 2007 to strengthen the organizational capacity in order to serve UNM’s diverse population. DEI provides leadership for addressing institution-wide equity and inclusion and lends its support to student, staff, and faculty efforts that build on the university’s diversity initiatives. DEI Supports system-wide initiatives to enhance student recruitment and retention, academic excellence, employee diversity, and campus climate which embraces diversity as an asset.

For additional information, contact Lorena Blanco-Silva, the Diversity Programs director for the Division for Equity and Inclusion at (505) 277-1238 or