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Who We Are

Monica KowalMonica Kowal, Ph.D.

Associate Dean for Community Engaged Learning & Research,
University College
Strategic Planner for Community Engagement,
Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs


Monica Kowal is a New Mexico native and an UNM alum, graduating in 1993 with a bachelor's in English. She holds a doctorate in Curriculum & Instruction from New Mexico State University and her research interests include the institutionalization and sustainability of university community engagement programs, faculty roles and rewards related to community engaged scholarship, university-community partnerships, experiential education, civic engagement and service-learning theory and practice. She was formerly a lecturer in the Professional Writing Program in the UNM Department of English Language and Literature. Monica also serves as Strategic Planner for Community Engagement in the Office of the Provost, where she collaborates with units across all campuses to track and monitor UNM’s community engagement activities and measure impact. She also serves on the Board of the International Association for Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement (IARSLCE).

Prior to teaching, Kowal was a journalist for 12 years, including eight years working in New York City for Reuters International News Service as a financial journalist and for The Associated Press as National Photo Editor. She also holds a Master of Arts in Journalism from New York University (’97) and a Master of Science in Teaching from Fordham University (’05).

In her spare time, Monica loves to camp, hike, sail and be in the outdoors with her husband, young daughter, and their dog Suki. She also loves to knit and sew, and she and her husband have been beekeepers since 2007.

Mariah HarrisonMariah Harrison

Community Partnerships Coordinator
Office of Community Engaged Learning & Research
Sr. Student Success Specialist, Liberal Arts and Integrative Studies,
University College


Mariah Harrison is a Lobo Grad (BUS ’02, MCRP ’12) and grew up in Santa Fe running along the Tesuque river. Her interest in human nature and community service took her through building a degree in Cultural Studies of SE Asia and the Middle East, to serving as a Team Leader in AmeriCorps*NCCC and being a Program Coordinator at Tulane’s Center for Public Service in New Orleans. Her Masters in Community Planning solidified her passion for community development and building partnerships to raise the efficacy of area projects. Being an Academic Advisor/Student Success Specialist for 10 years in the Liberal Arts program gave her the opportunity to provide direct assistance to students who found it necessary to design unique programs based on their personal and professional goals. Within CELR Mariah supports university-community partnerships to further social profit initiatives, students’ experiential learning and the mission of the university to “a
ctively support social, cultural, and economic development in our communities”.

Mariah has taught a UNIV 101 course, Finding Your Passion, for which she created a blog for Career Services; she received a PAWS Award in 2014, plays on the UNM Golf League, and is on the boards of the Albuquerque Road Runners and Impact & Coffee. She enjoys trail racing, farmers markets and road trips with her fiancé.