Our Deans

jmalat23_web.jpgJennifer Malat, Ph.D.


Dean Jennifer Malat came to the College of Arts & Sciences in August of 2023. Prior to this, she was associate vice president of development at Virginia Commonwealth University, dean of the College of Humanities and Sciences at VCU, and the inaugural associate dean and divisional dean for the social sciences in the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Cincinnati.

Malat received her undergraduate degree in Sociology from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. From there, she received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Michigan and spent the first 20 years of her career at the University of Cincinnati.  . 

Malat’s academic research on racial inequity in health has received federal funding and has appeared in top journals. She has dedicated her leadership career to equity issues as well, including by increasing the diversity of faculty and college leadership, ensuring fostering interdisciplinary approaches to inclusive education, and promoting community engagement. This work is integral to her leadership of the largest academic unit at UNM, where she leads 24 departments and schools, 26 research and academic programs, and nearly 1,000 faculty and staff at the College.


Our Associate Deans

Judy Bieber

Photo: Judy Bieber

Senior Associate Dean & Associate Dean of Faculty

Senior Associate Dean Bieber has been a member of the UNM Department of History since 1994. Prior to joining the UNM faculty, she earned her Ph.D. in History from Johns Hopkins University and a B.A. in Anthropology from Rutgers University.  Professor Bieber’s teaching and research focus is on Latin America and the Atlantic World, with a focus of the history of Brazil’s interior during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.  She explores the dynamics of cultural interactions among peoples of indigenous, African, and European descent in both her research and teaching.  She publishes in both English and Portuguese-language scholarly venues, and in recent years has increased her engagement with scholars in Brazil, including those affiliated with the Antigo Regime nos Trópicos working group. Bieber has served on numerous college-level committees and has contributed service to the Spanish & Portuguese Department and the Latin American and Iberian Institute.  She has a distinguished record of graduate and undergraduate teaching and advisement and was named UNM’s outstanding Teacher of the Year in 2015. Bieber finds inspiration in the successes of UNM’s diverse student body, faculty and staff and looks forward to supporting UNM’s mission in the role of Senior Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Julia Fulghum

Photo: Julia Fulghum

Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Special Assistant for Graduate Education

In addition to her College roles, Associate Dean Fulghum is currently the Director of ADVANCE at UNM and Professor in Chemistry and Chemical Biology.  She served as Vice President for Research and Economic Development from 2008-2012 and prior to that was chair of the Department of Chemical and Nuclear Engineering from 2002-2008. She came to UNM from Kent State University in 2002, where she as a faculty member in the Chemistry Department and a member of the Honors College. Fulghum is a Fellow of the American Vacuum Society, a Student Service Provider of the Year from UNM Student Affairs in 2012, a NM Business Weekly Power Broker in 2010, and received a Distinguished Teacher Award from Kent State University in 2001. She received her Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from the University of North Carolina.

Fred Gibbs

Photo: Fred Gibbs

Associate Dean for Curriculum

Associate Dean Gibbs has been a member of the History Department at UNM since 2013, serving as its Undergraduate Director from 2018-2022. As a digital humanist, he explores how to leverage emerging technologies to bring historical awareness into everyday life through sustainable digital public history projects that combine data analysis, visualization, interactivity, and storytelling. As a historian of medicine, Gibbs examines the cultural construction of dietary advice; his current project examines the long and revealing history of "natural" food and diets. His first book untangles medieval and early modern physicians' debates about the relationship between food, medicine, poison, and disease. Before arriving in New Mexico, he served as Director of Digital Scholarship at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University where he helped lead numerous pioneering digital humanities projects. Gibbs earned his MA and PhD in the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. In his role as associate dean for curriculum, he hopes to facilitate new collaborations across disciplines, foster creative pedagogy, encourage a forward-thinking curriculum, and maximize student opportunities across our wonderfully diverse College.

Christopher Lippitt

Photo: Christopher Lippitt

Associate Dean for Research

Associate Dean Lippitt has been a member of the UNM Department of Geography and Environmental Studies since 2012. He earned his Ph.D. in Geography from San Diego State University and the University of California, Santa Barbara, and his M.S. in Geographic Information Science from Clark University. Lippitt’s teaching and research focus on remote sensing and geographic information science (GIScience). His research requires routine collaboration with government, private sector, and extra-disciplinary cooperators and accessing a diverse array of federal, state, and private funding sources. He has started several research-derived companies, helped students launch their own, and advised teams though the NSF iCorps Research Commercialization Program. Lippitt is the founding Faculty Coordinator of the Interdisciplinary Science Cooperative (IS Co-op), Director of the Center for Advancement of Spatial Informatics Research and Education (ASPIRE), and Graduate Program Director supervising the New Mexico Doctoral Program in Geography, a joint program with New Mexico State University.

Sharon Nepstad

Photo: Sharon Nepstad

Associate Dean for Student Success

Associate Dean Nepstad has been a member of the UNM Department of Sociology and Criminology since 2009. Prior to joining the UNM faculty, she earned a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Colorado-Boulder and held a post-doctoral fellowship at Princeton University’s Center for the Study of Religion. She previously held faculty positions at Regis University, Duquesne University, and the University of Southern Maine and was a Visiting Fellow at Notre Dame University’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. Nepstad’s expertise is in the areas of social movements and contentious politics, peace and conflict studies, and the sociology of religion. Her research has focused on the role of religion in mobilizing movements that aim to obstruct war, protect human rights, and promote democratization. She has also written extensively about nonviolent resistance in revolutionary struggles against authoritarianism. In 2021, she received the Distinguished Career Award from the American Sociological Association’s section on Peace, War, and Social Conflict. Nepstad has served in various capacities within UNM’s College of Arts and Sciences. From 2009-2012, she was the Director of Religious Studies. She served as the Chair of Sociology and Criminology from 2012-2014 and again from 2016-2021. Nepstad looks forward to working with departments within the College of Arts & Sciences to promote strong undergraduate and graduate initiatives that will enhance student success from admission through degree completion.