RC 20/20

Improving Retention and Graduation Rates at a Hispanic-Serving Institution

Sonia Gipson Rankin, Assistant Professor of Law, University of New Mexico

Tim Schroeder, Director of the STEM Collaborative Center, University of New Mexico

Joe Suilmann, Accreditation Manager, University of New Mexico

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Pamela Cheek

Curriculum and Assessment refers to the processes used by the university to assure that students from diverse communities and in a broad range of programs thrive in their learning.  Curriculum encompasses the sets of courses that students may choose from as they make their way through the stages of general education, undergraduate majors and possible graduate programs or professional schools.  Assessment involves the study of how and whether students have full opportunities to learn in the curriculum and are supported by the co-curriculum (the range of services and non-academic programs at the university). The Interim Associate Provost for Curriculum and Assessment, Dr. Pamela Cheek, oversees the Offices of Advising Strategies and of Assessment and supports preparation for the Higher Learning Commission reaccreditation visit in Spring 2019. An Associate Professor of French and Comparative Literature, Dr. Cheek works to hear and incorporate into her own thinking the perspectives of students, colleagues, researchers and community members from diverse backgrounds. She became an educator out of a conviction that educational opportunity lies at the foundation of equity and social justice.


Tim Schroeder

Tim Schroeder is the Director of the UNM STEM Collaborative Center. Prior to UNM, Dr. Schroeder served as Senior Director of the Center for Student Engagement at San Juan College, in Farmington, New Mexico and Coordinator of Student Services at the University of Alaska Southeast (Sitka campus).Throughout his career, Mr. Schroeder has worked to assist students achieve high academic standards, especially in science, technology, engineering and math fields. Tim earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Southwestern College, a master’s degree in adult education from Newman University, and an education doctorate from the University of New Mexico.

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Sonia Rankin

Sonia Gipson Rankin teaches in the fields of Torts, Constitutional Law, Family Law, and Race and the Law. Gipson Rankin’s research is centered on the law and its impact on the Black American community, particularly in the areas of technology, family dynamics, and race.

Before joining the UNM School of Law faculty, Gipson Rankin served as the Associate Dean for Curriculum and Program Development in University College and as a Senior Lecturer in Africana Studies, both at the University of New Mexico. In 2016, Gipson Rankin was named one of 10 Outstanding First-Year Advocates by the National Resource Center for her work related to first year college students. In 2018, she was honored as a Woman of Influence Award by the Albuquerque Business Journal..

Gipson Rankin has served as a family mediator, legal advisor, and as a charter school trustee and has served on state-wide higher education committees and regularly presents on kinship care, mass incarceration, microaggressions, gender equity, and issues related to the Black American community before universities, civil rights and public policy conferences. Gipson Rankin has been committed to her community, serving in the past as Vice-President of her children’s elementary school PTA and as a pre-teen volleyball coach through the YMCA. She has taught lessons on Black New Mexico history, the constitution, and ethics throughout Albuquerque public schools and instructed at continuing legal education programs through the New Mexico State Bar. She is a former President of the New Mexico Black Lawyers Association, and a member of the State Bar of New Mexico Committee on Professionalism.