STEM Shoutout: Dr. Maria Cristina Pereyra

UNM math and stats professor promoted to department chair


Dr. Maria Cristina Pereyra will be appointed the department chair of mathematics and statistics in fall 2020. As the overseer of one of the largest departments at UNM, her responsibilities include managing faculty (collaborating with the National Labs and scientists all over the world), supporting research groups, overseeing a large service teaching component, and more.


“We have a diverse cadre of very dedicated teachers and researchers. I am encouraging our faculty to take more roles at the college and university levels so you get to meet us and we get to know you. Internally, I want each person to understand that we are all working really hard, each has its own strengths and all are needed. I find that the origin of most frustrations is the perception that your work is not valued. I try to celebrate all our achievements and use every opportunity to educate my faculty on what each group or individual is doing for the department,” Pereyra said.


Pereyra’s main goal as the department chair is to reduce the teaching load for tenure-track faculty. By fall 2021, she believes that the department should be fully transitioned to 2-1 loads similar to peer institutions and other STEM UNM departments.


“This should help increase the overall morale in the department which is a primary goal, and should have repercussions in our undergraduate and graduate programs and across the board. We are perennially short on faculty, hiring is a first priority, as a long term goal we would like to return to levels of tenure stream faculty we have not seen for many years, that will help immensely recruiting students and strengthening our undergraduate and graduate programs,” Pereyra said.