Director of Community Engagement Initiatives

Monica Kowal

Monica Kowal is the Director of Community Engagement Initiatives in the Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. She is also a Professor of Practice for Civic & Community Engagement with the UNM Innovation Academy. Dr. Kowal oversees the Office of Community Engaged Learning & Research, an interdisciplinary, university-wide office committed to supporting community engaged scholarship and teaching. As Director of Community Engagement Initiatives, she collaborates with units across all campuses to track and monitor UNM’s community engagement activities and measure impact. Monica holds a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from New Mexico State University. Her research focuses on institutionalization and sustainability of service-learning programs, university-community partnerships, experiential education, civic engagement, service-learning theory and practice, service-learning curriculum design, instruction & assessment, institutionalization and sustainability of university community engagement programs, and faculty roles and rewards related to engaged scholarship. For the past thirteen years, she has taught English language, literature, and composition at the middle school, high school, and college levels. Prior to teaching, Monica 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 is a UNM alumna (English-Creative Writing, ’93) and holds an MA in Journalism from New York University and an MS in Teaching from Fordham University.