“MMUF is a network. And I think that over time, the reverberating effects of this network are going to be very, very substantial. As the numbers continue to grow...you begin to get a second- and a third-generation effect...I think that's going to be powerful.”

~ William G. Bowen, co-founder of MMUF and former president of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Faculty Mentors

Jesse Aleman Jesse Alemán

Dr. Jesse Alemán is a Professor of English and a Presidential Teaching Fellow at the University of New Mexico. His work covers nineteenth-century American literature and US Latino/a literary histories. He has published two dozen articles and essays, including recent pieces in American Literary History, The Cambridge History of Latina/o Literature, and Latino/a Literature in the Classroom. He also co-edited (with Shelley Streeby) Empire and the Literature of Sensation (Rutgers UP 2007), and he recently published (with Rodrigo Lazo) The Latino Nineteenth Century (NYU 2016). He is currently writing Latino/a Civil Wars, a book that places US Latino/a writings about the Civil War in relation to simultaneous conflicts in Cuba and Mexico. 


Sarah Dreier Sarah Dreier

Dr. Sarah K. Dreier is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science. Her research interests include comparative politics, human rights and state oppression, gender, religion, and integrating qualitative and natural language processing computational methods. She has conducted research in East Africa, Western Europe, and the United States. Her research has been published in outlets including British Journal of Political Science, International Studies Quarterly, Democratization, Harvard Data Science Review, and Washington Post Monkey Cage. She previously worked in public policy research and advocacy in Washington, D.C. 


Matías Fontenla Matías Fontenla

Dr. Matías Fontenla is a Professor of Economics at the University of New Mexico. His research focuses on development economics, return migration, and financial intermediation, with a regional interest in Latin America. He has published scholarly articles in journals such as World Development, Economics Letters, and Macroeconomic Dynamics. A native from Argentina, he got his PhD in Economics from the University of Texas at Austin, and taught at CIDE and the University of Guanajuato in Mexico before joining UNM. His research areas include Development Economics, Return Migration, Financial intermediation, and Latin America.


MyrriahGomez Myrriah Gómez

Dr. Myrriah Gómez, prior to joining the Honors College, was an Assistant Professor of English at the University of New Mexico – Gallup. Myrriah received a Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship from the National Academies in 2011, which enabled her to return to New Mexico to conduct empirical and archival research for her dissertation.  She has taught courses in History, Chicana/o Studies, Humanities, and English departments across New Mexico and in Texas. She received the UNM Faculty of Color award for Teaching in 2015. Myrriah’s current book project is entitled Nuclear Nuevo México: Identity, Ethnicity, and Resistance in Atomic Third SpacesShe is a proud Nuevomexicana, who is always in search of ways to better the lives of New Mexicans.


PJ Harter Pierre-Julien Harter

Dr. Harter specializes in the Buddhist Philosophy of India and Tibet (particularly from the 13th to 15th century), as well as in Indian Philosophy more broadly. Given his interest in the way Buddhist philosophers reflected upon their own philosophical activity, his research focuses on themes in ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology, and on the way in which these diverse concerns are articulated into a coherent system.  Dr. Harter pursues a philosophical methodology that blends philology, history, and exegesis, and he frequently aims to put Buddhist Philosophy into dialogue with the Western canon, especially classic Greek and Latin Philosophy but also contemporary Continental Philosophy. 


Elizabeth Hutchison Elizabeth Hutchison

Dr. Elizabeth Hutchison is Professor of history. Dr. Hutchison's professional trajectory has been deeply shaped by the political and economic context of twentieth-century Latin America, particularly U.S. intervention and the spread of authoritarian regimes. Concerns about social justice, democracy, and human rights have driven her engagement with Chilean history, as well as the study of labor, gender, and sexuality in 20th-century Latin America.  Dr. Hutchison was the lead editor on The Chile Reader: History, Culture, Politics (Duke, 2013), and has recently published Workers Like All the Rest of Them (Duke, 2021), a study of the changing labor relations of domestic service in twentieth-century Chile. 


Anna Nogar Anna M. Nogar

Dr. Anna M. Nogar is Associate Professor of Hispanic Southwest Studies in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. Her research specializations include Mexican American cultural and literary studies; colonial Mexican literature; Nuevomexicano writing and culture; and community oral history. Dr. Nogar’s recent research focuses on the writing of early 20th-century bilingual New Mexican author Felipe M. Chacón. She authored El feliz ingenio neomexicano: Felipe M. Chacón and Poesía y Prosa (University of New Mexico 2021) with Gabriel Meléndez. Nogar continues to engage in literary recovery work as a member of the Board of Directors of the Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Project.


José Luis Serrano Nájera José Luis Serrano Nájera

Dr. José Luis Serrano Nájera is proud son of immigrant parents from Guerrero and Zacatecas by way of Mexicali, Baja California, México. His research foci are national and transnational Civil and Human Rights activism and social movements utilizing archival and oral history research methods. In the past, Professor Serrano Nájera’s publications have focused on advocacies, social movements, and armed insurrections countering colonial and imperial powers in U.S. and México during the modern era. He is currently working on a book manuscript tentatively titled “Confronting Colonial Legacies: Chicana/o Transnational Activism and Indigeneity, 1968-2000.”


Jason Scott Smith Jason Smith

Dr. Jaon Smith has taught courses on modern American history, the Great Depression, and the history of capitalism. He is the author of Building New Deal Liberalism: The Political Economy of Public Works, 1933-1956 and A Concise History of the New Deal, both published by Cambridge University Press. A specialist in the history of capitalism and political economy, Smith’s research and teaching range from the nineteenth century through the global financial crisis of 2008. He served for two years as a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in American Studies and visiting assistant professor of history and government at Cornell University. In 2017, Smith received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award and was named the Mary Ball Washington Chair in American History at University College Dublin, Ireland.