MENTOR (Mentorship through Effective Networking, Transformational Opportunities, and Research) Institute


Create a sustainable research institute that offers inclusive and evidence-based resources and training on mentoring for faculty and students.

Leadership Team

Dr. Andrea Romero, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs

Vice Provost Andrea Romero

Dr. Andrea Romero, Vice Provost of Faculty Affairs

Dr. Andrea Romero is Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs and Professor in Family Studies and Human Development with courtesy appointments in both Mexican American Studies and Psychology. Faculty Affairs serves to support faculty through their career lifespan, from recruitment, hire, advancement, promotion, and retention. Through leadership, collaboration, and innovation, Dr. Romero works closely with faculty, department heads, deans,  and a wide range of groups across campus to advance initiatives to recruit, promote and retain high-quality faculty. Dr. Romero is grateful to all the mentors who have been part of her journey.  She has a strong interdisciplinary perspective and a solid track record of mentoring diverse faculty. Dr. Romero has been invited to give presentations on mentoring to undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty regularly since 2007. She has mentored many undergraduate and graduate students for their research, community work, and degree completion. In addition, she has been active in organizing peer mentoring for faculty, particularly among BIPOC and women faculty. Mentoring has been a key component of her work in Faculty Affairs including faculty peer mentoring for promotion and mentoring for department heads. She is looking forward to further expanding work in Faculty Affairs to also improve mentoring with graduate students and undergraduate students.

Professor, Family Studies and Human Development

Contact information:

Tel. 520-626-0202 

Dr. Bryan Carter, Faculty Co-Director

Bryan Carter profile pic

Dr. Bryan Carter, Associate Professor, Africana Studies

Dr. Carter serves as the Co-Director of the MENTOR Institute. Dr. Carter has expertise in the practice of mentoring and will bring the institutionalization of meaningful mentoring programs. Dr. Carter also brings extensive experience and wisdom working with inclusive practices around mentoring undergraduate and graduate students through his professorship and work with community partners. Dr. Carter has mentored countless number of students and helped them navigate higher education. Dr. Carter is an Associate Professor of Africana Studies in the College of Humanities and Director of the Center for Digital Humanities. 

Contact information:

Tel. 520-621-0110


Dr. Ron Hammer, Faculty Co-Director

Dr. Ron Hammer profile pic

Dr. Ron Hammer, Professor, Basic Medical Sciences

Dr. Hammer serves as Co-Director of the MENTOR Institute. He is trained as a mentor facilitator by the Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has facilitated mentor training sessions using the National Research Mentor Network (NRMN) materials across campus with emphasis in STEM. Dr. Hammer has extensive experience mentoring postdocs, undergraduates, medical students and early career faculty. Dr. Hammer is a professor of Basic Medical Sciences, Pharmacology and Psychiatry, Co-chair for Graduate Council and Co-director of the Clinical Translational Sciences graduate program. 

Contact information:

Tel. 602-827-2112


Tara Chandler, Assistant Director

Tara Chandler profile pic

Tara Chandler, Assistant Director, MENTOR Institute

Tara Chandler serves as the Assistant Director, MENTOR Institute. Her primary focus is to help coordinate UArizona Faculty Affairs MENTOR Institute activities which includes on-line internal training to support mentoring faculty and graduate students, coordinate faculty peer group mentoring communities, support the MENTOR Institute faculty directors and contribute to the implementation of innovative mentoring strategies. Tara previously worked as a Senior Instructor at the Center for English as a Second Language (CESL) on the University of Arizona campus for 9 years and served over 3 years as the Professional Development Manager for BASIS Schools. She has extensive experience mentoring others and credits much of her success to the wonderful mentors she has had over the years. 

Contact information:

Tel. 520-626-4559

For more information

If you have questions about the MENTOR Institute, please email Tara Chandler at

Dr. Adi Adiredja profile pic

Dr. Adi Adiredja, Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics

Dr. Adi Adiredja is a member of the MENTOR Fellows. As a critical mathematics education researcher, he brings to the institute his research expertise and his personal experience in navigating academia as a queer first-generation scholar of color in STEM. He is the lead PI on a National Science Foundation research grant focusing on developing a professional development (PD) program that promotes anti-deficit approaches in undergraduate teaching and learning. The design of the PD program also reflects his commitment to educational equity and active learning (inquiry) approaches in teaching. Given the interdisciplinary nature of his work, he is a part of local community of scholars who share similar interests. In mentoring, he prioritizes physical and mental health of everyone involved, while also supporting graduate students and early career researchers to realize their full potential and pursue their genuine academic interests. Dr. Adiredja is an Associate Professor of Mathematics Education in the College of Science. 



Dr. Brandy Perkl

Dr. Brandy Perkl, Associate Professor of Practice, Organizational Leadership and Psychology

Dr. Brandy Perkl serves as a MENTOR Fellow. Trained as a mentor facilitator by the Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she has applied this knowledge to strengthen her support of faculty who work with marginalized undergraduate education researchers (AWARDSS Mentor Professional Development). In the past, she developed curriculum to promote the process of leadership (including the science of mentoring), and now supports faculty mentoring at the college (CAST) and University levels. Being a part of the Organizational Leadership faculty and her own mentorship under Dr. Laura Lunsford helped her reach the conclusion that mentoring was one of the few options that can improve the world of work (and the life of students) the most.




Romy Ceron Canche bio pic

Romy Cerón Canché, PhD Candidate, Department of Spanish & Portuguese

Romy Ceron Canche, a MENTOR Fellow, has served as a mentor to young adolescents in Mexico, in her hometown of Merida, Yucatan. She also worked in Merida with the Centro de Desarrollo Educativo (CEDE), where she worked to help improve educational strategies in the city. She has also mentored university students at different institutions, including the University of El Paso, Texas, and the University of Arizona. Finally, Romy is the founder of the Literary and Cultural Studies Working Group, which was created to aid new graduate students adapt to life in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. For Romy, mentorship is a committed practice of sharing knowledge, in order to give back to others and to foster an environment inclusive of collective improvement.




Tala Curry profile pic

Tala Curry, MSc, PhD Candidate, UA Clinical Translational Sciences Graduate Program

Tala Curry, a PhD candidate in the Clinical Translational Sciences (CTS) program, is excited to join the MENTOR Institute as a MENTOR Fellow. After completing a B.B.A. in Finance and a B.S. in Biology from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, she moved to Arizona and obtained her Master of Biomedical Sciences from Midwestern University in Glendale, Arizona. After completing her PhD, Tala aims to go to medical school and continue to build on top of her strong research foundation and continue to progress her career to becoming an independent physician-scientist who would contribute to the training of the next generation of young academic and clinical scientists. She enjoys working with other students, including mentoring masters’ students in the laboratory through their thesis projects. Tala volunteers as the graduate student representative of the CTS Trainee Seminar Series, a graduate student ambassador for the American Physiological Society, and as a graduate student volunteer for the membership and the training, education, and mentorship (TEAM) committees for the National Neurotrauma Society. Her continued mentoring experience and enthusiasm will contribute to advancing and developing best practices in mentoring.


Dr. Jeremy Garcia profile pic

Dr. Jeremy Garcia, Associate Professor of Indigenous Education, Department of Teaching, Learning & Sociocultural Studies, College of Education

Dr. Jeremy Garcia (Hopi/Tewa) is an Associate Professor of Indigenous Education in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Sociocultural Studies in the College of Education at the University of Arizona and happy to join the MENTOR Institute leadership team as a MENTOR Fellow. He is of the Hospoawungwa (Roadrunner) clan and is co-founding Director of the Indigenous Teacher Education Program (ITEP) at the University of Arizona. His research focuses on decolonization, critical Indigenous curriculum and pedagogy, Indigenous teacher education, and critical and culturally sustaining family and community engagement.






Anuj Gupta profile pic

Anuj Gupta, PhD Candidate, Rhetoric, Composition and Teaching of English

Anuj Gupta is a MENTOR Fellow and PhD student at the Rhetoric, Composition and Teaching of English program within the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Anuj's research is focused on developing, analyzing, testing, and implementing educational technologies to facilitate transformative learning experiences, with a particular emphasis on promoting social justice, inclusion, and empowerment for a diverse range of learners. Anuj sees mentorship as a process of collaborative reciprocity where both mentor and mentee learn from each other,  fostering a community of curiosity and respect. His approach emphasizes the importance of critical thinking, empathy, and the transformative power of education in addressing social challenges.




Maya Braun Yoon profile pic

Maya Braun Yoon, GPSC Executive Vice President and Graduate Student, James E College of Law

Maya Braun Yoon (she/her) is a second year law student at the University of Arizona College of Law and is excited to be a part of the MENTOR Institute. Maya was recently elected as the GPSC Executive Vice President and is pursuing a career in public interest. She is a passionate advocate for abolition, constitutional law, and equity who works in her community with the University of Arizona's expungement and name change clinics, No Jail Deaths, and the Pima County Task Force for LGBTQ+ Court Involved Youth. Prior to law school, Maya obtained a Masters in Social Work with an emphasis on diversity and gender studies. Maya has worked in behavioral health, policy, and equity initiatives.





Dr. Obenewaa Oduro-Opuni, Assistant Professor, Department of German Studies

Dr. Obenewaa Oduro-Opuni, Assistant Professor, Department of German Studies

Dr. Obenewaa Oduro-Opuni serves as a MENTOR Fellow. As a Black, international, and first-generation scholar, she brings a unique perspective to her mentoring role. She places a strong emphasis on fostering caring and nuanced pedagogies while utilizing innovative, interdisciplinary, and non-traditional approaches that align with the evolving academic landscape. As a facilitating faculty member for the Effective Mentoring of Minoritized and Under-Represented Students Seeking Doctorates (EMMURSSD) program at the University of Arizona, she actively contributed to generating original material and ethnographic data through interviewing and sharing autoethnographic insights to explore diverse experiences and perspectives related to the mentorship of BIPOC/URM students. Dr. Oduro-Opuni is an Assistant Professor with the Department of German Studies as well as affiliated faculty with the Department of Africana Studies. For more information on her work, please see her full bio here

  • Kevin Bonine, Executive Director, Undergraduate Research and Scholar Development
  • Sarah Kyte, Senior Research Scientist, Student Success & Retention Innovation
  • Jennifer Fields, Director, Office of Societal Impact
  • Marla Franco, Vice President, Hispanic Serving Institution Initiatives
  • Kasi Kiehlbaugh, Senior VP Health Sciences
  • Alice Min Simpkins, Associate Dean, Career Development, Dept. of Emergency Medicine
  • Kimberly Sierra-Cajas, Director, Undergraduate Research and Inquiry
  • John Hildebrand, Regents Professor Emeritus, Neuroscience 
  • Frans Tax, Associate Dean, Student Affairs, Diversity & Inclusion
  • Michelle Mckelvey, Senior Director, Thrive Center
  • Jason Wertheim, Vice Dean, Research and Graduate Studies, Medicine Administration 

A special thank you to Dr. Celeste Atkins, the former Assistant Director of Faculty Mentoring Initiatives and Dr. Frans Tax, former Faculty Director, MENTOR Institute for their leadership of the following group of Curriculum Team Members during the inaugural year of the MENTOR Institute. 

  • Kevin Bonine, Director, Education-Outreach Biosphere 2 

  • Margaret Briehl, Professor, Pathology 

  • Melody Buckner, Associate Vice Provost, Digital Learning and Online Initiatives 

  • Andrew Carnie, Vice Provost/Dean, Graduate Education 

  • Bryan Carter, Associate Professor, Africana Studies 

  • Tamara Carter, Graduate Student, Rhetoric, Composition & Teach English 

  • Regina Deil-Amen, Department Head, Education Policy Studies and Practice 

  • Nura Dualeh, Director, ASEMS 

  • Lisa Elfring, Associate Vice Provost, Office of Instruction/Assessment 

  • Guadalupe Federico, Assistant Dean, Faculty Affairs, COM Phx 

  • Jennifer Fields, Director, Office of Societal Impacts 

  • Julie Forster, Leadership Advisor/Sr. Organizational Development Consultant 

  • Karen Francis-Begay, Assistant Vice Provost, Native American Initiatives 

  • Marla Franco, Assistant Vice Provost, Hispanic Serving Institution Initiatives 

  • Jeremy Garcia, Associate Professor, Teaching/Learning and Sociocultural Studies 

  • Ron Hammer, Professor, Basic Medical Sciences, COM Phx 

  • Jennifer Hatcher, Professor, Public Health 

  • Melissa Herbst-Kralovetz, Associate Professor, Basic Medical Sciences, COM Phx 

  • Jenny Hoit, Professor, Speech/Language and Hearing 

  • Christina Kalel, Assistant Director, Faculty Affairs, COM Tucson 

  • Lydia Kennedy, Senior Director, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, UAHS 

  • Kasi Kiehlbaugh, Director Health Sciences Design 

  • Sonja Lanehart, Professor, Linguistics 

  • Eric Mapp, Department Head, College of Applied Science & Technology 

  • Judy Marquez Kiyama, Associate Vice Provost, Faculty Development 

  • Robert Miller, Director, School of Architecture 

  • Alice Min Simpkins, Assistant Dean, Career Development, Dept. of Emergency Medicine 

  • Brandy Perkl, Associate Professor of Practice, College of Applied Science & Technology 

  • Shilpita Sen, Graduate Student, College of Law 

  • Kimberly Sierra-Cajas, Director Undergraduate Research and Inquiry