Sonia Bettez, PhD, was born and grew up in Bogota, Colombia, speaks Spanish and English and blends Latino and U.S. cultures. She obtained a PhD in sociology from the University of New Mexico (as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation fellow), a master's degree in social work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and graduated summa cum laude from Merrimack College in Massachusetts in psychology and English. As a postdoctoral scholar Dr. Bettez worked in the Department of Sociology at UNM conducting community engaged research for the Community Engagement Core of the NMCARES Health Disparity Center, School of Medicine, and became a senior fellow at the Robert Wood Johnson Policy Center.Working with and on behalf of Latinos in Massachusetts, North Carolina, and New Mexico, Sonia is experienced in addressing the issues faced by underrepresented populations and is committed to working with communities to bridge academic research, human services work and policy to improve health and social outcomes. Her passion for social justice and the awareness of structural barriers to equality and equity motivates her and fuels her enthusiasm. In her present position as Associate Director of the Evaluation Lab at the University of New Mexico, Sonia mentors students learning and practicing program evaluation. She is presently investigating how to extend the Eval Lab program to serve other areas of the state. The Evaluation Lab assists non-profit agencies in evaluating their programs and enhancing their effectiveness by integrating the concept of program evaluation into their operations.
Director, Institute for Social Research