About Faculty of Color Awards

The FoCA recognizes the outstanding work of UNM faculty of color that contribute to the success of students of color while serving the entire UNM and the greater New Mexico community. PNMGC encourages UNM students to utilize this opportunity and nominate a faculty member that has demonstrated these characteristics in the categories of Mentorship and All Around Support.
One award was presented in each of the following categories:
  1. Mentorship - Recognizing a faculty member who has provided exemplary efforts to positively impact students of color’s educational experiences.
  2. All Around Support - Recognizing a faculty member who has provided exemplary efforts to positively impact the educational experiences of students of color including academic development, leadership initiative, social support & networking, and mentorship. (Ex: Research, teaching and service.) Note: This is inclusive of the mentorship category, listed above, but with further requirements.

Faculty of Color Awards Nomination Process:

To nominate a UNM faculty member that you would like to recognize, please fill the FoCA Nomination form in its entirety. 

The nomination form requires nominator and nominee contact information and a one page letter of recognition. The decisions of the award committee will be based on the content of the letters received. Please be sure to include all appropriate and significant information for the nomination and category. In order for a nominee to be considered for more than one category, a separate letter of support must be submitted for each category. Nominators are asked to attend the awards ceremony in April and introduce award winners.


Letter of Recognition Format:

           - 500 words /single spaced page minimum

           - 12pt Times New Roman

          - Include header with nominator full name and date 

           - Single Spaced 
           - Upload a PDF file            - File Label: LetterofRec_FacultyName.pdf


 Nomination Deadline: March 29, 2024




2023 Recipients

sojeong nam

Dr. Sojeong Nam, Counselor Education

Mentoring Award Recipient

Dr. Sojeong Nam is an Assistant Professor of Counselor Education in the Department of Individual, Family, and Community Education at The University of New Mexico. She has received a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision and a MA in Educational Measurement and Statistics from The University of Iowa, an MA and Ed.M. in Counseling Psychology from Columbia University, and a BA in Psychology from The University of Iowa. Her professional and scholarly pursuits are centered around comprehending and reducing mental health disparities. Currently, her research efforts concentrate on investigating and deconstructing implicit biases in counseling students, addressing the issues of mental health literacy and stigma within underserved populations, and developing culturally responsive interventions for suicide survivors.

Hired at UNM in 2022, Nam has already made a profound impact on her students, who praised her holistic mentoring of doctoral students, her attention to safe and inclusive environments, and the time she takes to help graduate students cultivate their professional identities.

veronica gonzales-zamora

Veronica Gonzales-Zamora, School of Law

2023 All-Around Award Recipient

Veronica Gonzales-Zamora, J.D., is a first-generation college graduate of UNM. She was raised in the South Valley of Albuquerque, attended Valley High School, and graduated from UNM’s School of Law with clinical honors. Gonzales worked at UNM’s Institute of Public Law; clerked at local law firms; and interned for the late Justice C.W. Daniels. She also worked for a local service agency caring for high-risk foster youth and clerked for the New Mexico Supreme Court and New Mexico Court of Appeals. She joined the UNM faculty as an assistant professor in 2019.

As an academic, her service work centers on access to the legal profession. She mentors pre-law and law students, alumni, and candidates for law faculty with a focus on the unique needs and strengths of first-generation law students. Gonzales teaches civil procedure, ethics, poverty law, and appellate decision-making. Her scholarly work focuses on access to justice and economic justice. Among other things, she’s recognized for being an all-around inspiring faculty member and an impactful mentor, professor, advocate, role model, and leader within the Law School, especially for first-generation Mexican/Hispanic women.