STEM Shoutout: Dr. Kira Villa

UNM assistant professor of economics promoted to associate professor


Dr. Kira Villa, former assistant professor of economics, was recently promoted to associate professor in the same department. She was inspired to teach economics at the University of New Mexico because of her love for research and working with students.


“I have always loved mentoring and working with students, no matter where. However, this work was never so rewarding as it is at UNM,” Villa said, “Our student body has such a depth and diversity to it, in almost every dimension you can imagine. These characteristics bring such richness to the classroom and mentoring experience.”


Following her promotion to associate professor, Villa looks forward to the liberating work of student mentoring and research without the stress of working towards the tenure milestone. She said that she is now motivated by her research, her students, and building her department as a whole. 


Villa is mainly inspired by data and how it can reveal information about people, the decisions they make, and how it can affect their lives. In the future, Villa will research the influence of intergenerational relationships on transitional periods for individual socio-economic development. She will also examine the ways to promote long-term resiliency of street children in developing countries.


“Regarding my teaching, I am passionate about our graduate program and would like to continue investing its development with the goal of both elevating our program and having our students consistently place well on the job market,” Villa said.