Joseph Gonzales is a PhD student in American Studies at the University of New Mexico. He has an MBA from UNM’s Anderson School of Management and has also earned an MA in American Studies at UNM. As an Evaluation Lab Fellow, Joseph looks forward to conducting collaborative evaluation with community organizations to aid in goal attainment benefitting communities who otherwise struggle for access to services. Joseph’s research explores cultural productions and performances as sites of refusal and resistance that create alternative imaginaries and futurisms for intersectional communities of color.
Master of Public Health
Emily Guerra is a longtime resident of the Southwest having grown up in the border city of El Paso, Texas. She received her Bachelors in Anthropology with minors in Women’s Studies & Liberal Arts Honors from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) in 2016 and in May 2019 completed a Master of Arts in Anthropology from UNM. She is currently pursuing a Master’s in Public Health with a scheduled graduation of May 2021.
In addition to school and research, Emily has worked as a Graduate Teaching assistant for a number of courses across disciplines. Her current position is as a Graduate Research assistant with the Community Engagement & Dissemination Core (CEDC) of the Transdisciplinary Research, Equity, and Engagement (TREE) Center for Advancing Behavioral Health.
Upon completion of her second Masters, Emily plans to stay in New Mexico and hopefully work with a local nonprofit or similar organization that is dedicated to addressing and alleviating behavioral health issues for marginalized populations.
Master of Public Policy
Sam is a graduate student from Maine, where he grew up on a small dairy & deer farm a short 1-hour drive from the ocean. Sam received his BA in Anthropology from the University of Maine in 2015, and then worked as an archaeologist throughout the Northeast before moving to New Mexico in the hopes of never having to shovel snow again! That it can snow in Albuquerque came as a surprise…Since graduating, Sam became increasingly interested in public policy, especially its role within disadvantaged communities & avenues for community economic development, and saw the UNM MPP program as a fantastic fit. Beyond graduate school, Sam is slowly checking-off National Parks - with Acadia forever at #1 - and is attempting to figure out his bread-baking now that he’s a mile above sea-level!
Master of Public Policy
Jessica is a first-year graduate student born and raised in the Albuquerque metro area. In 2019 she received her undergraduate degree in Sociology with a minor in Peace and Justice Studies from the University of New Mexico.
During her studies she worked as a grant writer for the Rio Grande Food Project where she developed an interest in policy and evaluation. Her experience in social inequality studies and working with non-profit organizations informed her decision to join the Masters in Public Policy program. She hopes to expand her knowledge and experience with evaluation, policy analysis, and community outreach during the program and is excited to put her skills to use by serving the greater Albuquerque community as a policy professional.
Master of Public Policy
Mary is a first-year graduate student who was born in Albuquerque and raised in the small mountain town of Sandia Park, New Mexico. She graduated from UNM in Spring 2018 with a Bachelor’s degree political science and a minor in sustainability studies. Mary’s policy interests focus around environmental issues including water security, nuclear proliferation, and climate change. After graduation, Mary hopes to work with social profit organizations to further environmental justice in New Mexico.
Masters of Business Administration
Bhavya was born and raised in India and her job brought her to Albuquerque in a strange twist of fate. She liked Albuquerque and the people here so much that she decided to move here as a full-time student. She holds an undergraduate degree in Biotechnology, and has experience working as a Financial Analyst for Private Equities and Investment Banks. However, her true passion revolves around optimizing operations & marketing functions within organizations to create value and help align the organization with its true mission. She wishes to utilize her quantitative and analytical skills for this in her career going forward. Through this program, she wishes to help our partner organizations do the same, and in turn help make a difference to the New Mexico community which she now considers her home. In her free time, Bhavya enjoys hiking, and enjoying the beautiful New Mexico outdoors.
Master of Public Policy
Gabby Rivera is a first-year graduate student and recently completed her undergrad degree with majors in Political Science, International Studies, and Honors Interdisciplinary Liberal Arts. She currently works with the health policy non-profit Health Action NM as an office administrator and policy assistant, and previously worked an internship in Ireland for the political advocacy organization Young People at Risk. Beyond the realm of public policy, Gabby plays rugby for the UNM Women’s Rugby team and serves as a coach, referee, and administrator for youth rugby across the state. She is excited to explore her potential in both rugby and public policy over the next two years at UNM and beyond, and to forge lasting professional and personal connections along the way.
Communication and Journalism
Camille Velarde raised in rural northern New Mexico, is a third year PhD Student studying health communication in Department of Communication & Journalism. She works as a TA teaching various undergraduate communication courses including public speaking, organizational communication and health communication. Currently, Camille serves as the graduate student board member for the IRB on UNM’s Main campus office and works as a graduate assistant at OMBUDS for faculty.
She proudly received both her BA and MA from the University of New Mexico, where her undergraduate work focused on organizational communication which Camille applied in the field as a legal secretary for several years and minored in psychology which she applied in her master’s work which was centered around mental health communication.
As a PhD student, Camille has won two top paper awards for her work titled “Critical Socioecological Model: A Critical Perspective to Historicize Health Inequities” at both the The International Association of Applied Demography Conference and at Western States Communication Conference both in 2019 and has presented her work at various popular culture, health, and communication conferences. Her current research interests tend to intersect digital media and mental health.
As native New Mexican, Camille feels a connection and responsibility to the students and community she serves at the University of New Mexico which is evident in her teaching and research practices.
Masters in Public Administration
Alex grew up in New Mexico, with a five year stint living in New York City working with food and baking bread professionally. She moved back to New Mexico to be closer to her family and the mountains. Alex received an undergraduate degree from UNM in Emergency Medical Services. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Public Administration focusing on nonprofit management and public policy. She has spent the last two years working with local nonprofits that aim to increase access to fresh produce throughout the state. Her goal is to increase food security and improve food systems in New Mexico. Alex lives in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains and spends her spare time mountain biking and chasing after three retired racing greyhounds.
Masters of Public Policy
Martha was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico and is a first-year graduate student. She graduated from UNM’s Anderson School of Management with a Bachelor’s in Finance and International Management in December of 2017. After interning with a local non-profit focused on international diplomacy and conducting research focused on financial literacy through an undergraduate fellowship, she found a passion for economic development and a sparked interest in public policy issues. Through this program, she hopes to acquire knowledge and skills that will help her make a difference in her community.
Masters of Public Policy
Mather is a first year graduate student born in Greeley, Colorado and raised in Belen, New Mexico. In spring of 2018, he earned Bachelors of Arts in Economics and Anthropology with a focus in Ethnology. Mather’s policy interests are in Education, Ecology, Criminal Justice, and holistic approaches to societal problems. Beyond policy, he is interested in cultures, philosophies, religions, sciences, and their histories. He hopes to stay and work in New Mexico after completing the graduate program, but enjoys traveling; especially off the beaten path.
PhD in Sociology
Jenna is a fourth year PhD student in Sociology born in Nashville, TN and raised in Hamilton, OH. She has a BA in Sociology and Psychology from Western Kentucky University, and in the summer of 2018, she earned an MA in Sociology from the University of New Mexico. Jenna also works as a research assistant at the Statistical Analysis Center within the Institute for Social Research and is currently an Evaluation Lab fellow. She is still struggling to narrow down her research focus, but has broad interests in the criminal justice system, gender, and politics.
Director of Embudo Valley Library
Felicity Fonseca is the Director of Embudo Valley Library and a Masters of Public Administration Candidate in the School of Public administration at UNM. Felicity holds a Bachelor of Arts from Oberlin College in Ohio. Under her leadership, the library has implemented new programs, expanded partnerships, and made over $900,000 worth of capital improvements to the property, including building a new 3,000 square foot library and making major improvements and investments in the Dixon Cooperative Market building and business. In 2015, Embudo Valley Library was awarded the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, an honor bestowed by the Institute of Museum and Library Services on institutions who provide outstanding service to their communities. Felicity is committed to creating a vibrant library that contributes to the well being of area residents.
Masters of Public Policy & Masters of Business Administration
Lauren is a self-proclaimed expert on Indian cuisine, the main source of revenue for all local Albuquerque coffee shops, and holds a close resemblance Cruella Deville (meaning currently covered in dog hair). Lauren graduated with her bachelors in Interdisciplinary Film & Digital Media and no less than 17 parking tickets in May of 2018. She’s currently pursuing her Master’s in Public Policy as well as a Masters of Business Administration. She hopes that in the future she can yell “I have two masters degrees!” and see if that helps her figure out how to properly open a bottle of wine. Currently, Lauren works at PBS and hopes to work for a show analyzing public policy when she graduates. Therefore, this bio was made possible by Viewers Like You!
Masters of Public Policy
Khadijah is a first-year graduate student from Albuquerque, NM. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from UNM with a double major in Pre-law Philosophy and Criminology and a Certificate in Peace and Global Justice. As an undergraduate, Khadijah won first place in African American Student Services’ Research Symposium for showcasing her research on the relationship between negative stereotypes of African Americans portrayed by the media and trends of police brutality in African American communities. She also volunteered with Outcomes Inc. Restorative Justice Program which teaches juveniles alternatives to violence to deter them from entering detention centers. As an intern for Bernalillo County’s Unclaimed and Indigent Cremation Program, Khadijah was motivated to become involved in promoting public health through policy work. She aims to become an effective advocate for policy changes that will benefit the health and livelihood of minority groups across the country.
PhD in Sociology
Mario was born in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, and raised in Canutillo, a small colonia located in El Paso County, Texas. He graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso with bachelors, and then a masters degree, in the department of Sociology. At the University of New Mexico Mario is a PhD student in the department of Sociology and a Doctoral Fellowship recipient at the Center for Social Policy. His experience as an immigrant and as a first-generation college student has fueled his passion for unpacking the role that racial bias plays in various institutions. Specifically, Mario's research focuses on how racial bias influences decision making by actors in institutional settings, and how those decisions influence whether Persons of Color receive either medicalized or punitive alternatives, as can be the case in school and court settings. Mario has had the privilege of working with the Immigrant Wellbeing Project and various community organizations while at UNM and looks forward to using the skills that he is gaining as an Evaluation Lab fellow to further their impact. After graduation, Mario would love to join a department that encourages balanced research, teaching, mentoring, and community engagement and/or impact.
Masters of Statistics
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Vaughn is a third-generation New Mexican and a second-year Statistics master's student, specializing in nonparametric curve estimation. In 2016, he earned a BS degree in Economics with a focus on econometrics. He has worked for various nonprofits and progressive political campaigns in New Mexico since 2010, and was also a new student orientation leader at the University of Delaware. Eval Lab allows Vaughn to develop and explore new methods of delivering services to people in need, and he is humbled by the opportunities provided to him.
Maternal Child Health
Audrey Cooper is a Registered Nurse and Clinical Quality Specialist at the New Mexico Primary Care Association, which is the organization she will be evaluating as a fellow in the Evaluation Lab. After working for the past 7 years in non profit health organizations, Audrey is excited to have the opportunity to learn evaluation and apply it to her work. Currently, Audrey is in the Maternal Child Health certificate program through the College of Population Health at UNM.
Master in Public Policy
Clint is a first year MPP graduate student from Albuquerque, NM. He graduated from UNM in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and a minor in religious studies. After graduation he volunteered with the Johnny O Perea foundation to help raise awareness of asbestos and its dangers, which sparked an interest in public policy. His interest was further shaped by spending a year teaching English as a second language in Japan that lead to a passion for foreign policy and diplomacy. He plans to use the skills and knowledge gained through the program to work abroad on a variety of policy issues.
PhD in Economics
Kevin is a fourth generation New Mexican from Melrose, New Mexico and is in the Department of Economics Doctoral Program. His heritage is rooted in agriculture; each of the three previous generations of his family farmed and ranched in the same area near Melrose for over 100 years now. Kevin graduated from Melrose High School in 2009 and then received his bachelor’s degree in finance from New Mexico State University in 2013.
After graduation from NMSU, Kevin and his wife moved to Albuquerque where she completed the physical therapy doctoral program here at UNM. While she attended school, Kevin was employed in the telecommunications industry as a project analyst. His duties included managing multimillion dollar budgets for two states, forecasting future revenue and costs, analyzing each individual projects’ expenses and revenues, and providing research and advice to directors within his former company. Kevin's future aspirations are to become a professor of economics here in the state and research rural economies (development, growth, etc.). He would love to become an authority on the New Mexican economy someday and have the chance to work with legislators to improve the future of our state.
M.A. in Educational Leadership
Cynthia M. Jiménez is youth coordinator at Enlace Comunitario, and has over five years of experience working with youth and community non-profit organizations. She holds a Bachelors in Arts degree in Political Science & Spanish from the University of New Mexico (UNM) and is currently a second year Master in Arts student in the Educational Leadership Program, also at UNM. Cynthia’s main motivation for being part of the UNM Evaluation Lab is being able to help the organization is she currently part of and her own community through evaluation and more. Cynthia’s main hobbies include dancing, reading and binge watching netflix (when she is not studying or working).
Master in Public Policy
Paige is a first year MPP graduate student from Apple Valley, Minnesota. Paige graduated with a Bachelor in Arts degree from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa in 2012, where she majored in Economics and minored in Spanish and International Studies. Since graduating, Paige has worked for a variety of non-profit organizations, including a year as an AmeriCorps member. Her work with non-profits has increased her interest in public policy issues, and more specifically, economic development. In addition to her graduate studies, Paige enjoys hiking, camping, and biking around Albuquerque and New Mexico.
PhD in Sociology
Alena is a fifth year PhD student in the Sociology Department. Originally from Maryland, Alena graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Pomona College in Claremont, California in 2011 and a Master of Arts in Sociology from UNM in 2015. Alena's research interests are focused largely in behavioral and mental health, race and ethnicity, and medical sociology. Though trained in academic sociology, Alena hopes to use her training in more applied environments and learn how best to serve the community in which she lives. In her work for the Evaluation Lab, Alena is partnered with Centro Sávila.
MS in Statistics
Lindsey, a native new Mexican, is a graduate student in the department of Mathematics and Statistics here at UNM. She will be receiving her MS in Statistics in Spring 2018. Lindsey also completed two BA’s at UNM in 2013, one in Political Science and the second in Economics. Lindsey has always had a passion for education and exploring programs that help bridge the education gap. She hopes to take the skills learned in the Evaluation Lab to help get funding to educational programs with proven track records that can demonstrate their efficiency in attaining their goals and cutting programs that are not making the cut in an effort to boost the overall quality of education in the state and the country.
M.A. in Educational Leadership
Carli Romero is a native New Mexican, who is in love with the state’s blue desert mountains and won’t give up red or green chili for the world. She is invested in cultivating feminine leadership, and transforming education in her state to support WHOLE learners and teachers. She is currently studying for her master’s in Educational Leadership at the University of New Mexico. She founded and directed a branch of Shakti Rising in Las Cruces, NM from 2013-2016 after organizing with Comunidades en Accion y de Fe. She has published individual articles with Rebelle Society, Cushy, and Journey of the Heart. Carli is a Youth Empowerment Specialist at New Day Safe Home and recently published Sistar, I See You – her first book of poetry.
Ranja Andriamanana is an undergraduate student at UNM majoring in Economics and Political Science. She was born in Madagascar and moved to the United States in the eighth grade. She plans to pursue a Master’s degree in fields that relate to diplomacy and foreign policy. She wishes to return to her home country after her studies, and work for the Malagasy government. Her mission in life is to improve the living conditions of the people of Madagascar in whatever way she can. For the Evaluation Lab, Ranja is excited to be working with Las Cumbres Community Services.
Jared Clay is currently a Ph.D. student in the Department of Political Science. His primary fields of study are American Politics and Public Policy. Jared’s recent research focus has been on the influences of money in politics, more specifically, campaign funding and political polarization. Before coming to UNM, he received an M.A. in Political Science from the University of South Dakota and a B.S. in Political Science from the University of Nebraska – Kearney. In his work with the Evaluation lab, Jared is partnered with Las Cumbres Community Services.
Frejdyn received his B.S. Business Economics from Indiana University. He is currently in the M.Sc. Water Resources Program at UNM. Frejdyn enjoys teaching and learning, and his greatest passion is building useful models. Frejdyn is devoted to his daughter, LiLu Kaia, and loves writing and performing music and comedy, (re)building cars and playing/building games ("they're just models, after all"). Frejdyn is currently working with PB&J (and enjoying every minute of it). He hopes to make the world a better place through the construction, interpretation and dissemination of well-defined and easily applied models and games.
MA Community and Regional Planning
Tara Kane Prendergast received her BA in History from Brown University. Tara is a second year Master's student in the Community and Regional Planning (CRP) Program where she focuses on community development. She was attracted to the CRP program at UNM because of the opportunity it offers to work with indigenous communities and methodologies. Tara's research interests revolve around poverty, inequality, resilience, and climate justice. In her work with the Evaluation Lab, Tara is currently partnered with Breath of My Heart Birthplace. After UNM, she plans to work in public policy for a few years before pursuing a doctorate in Sociology.
PhD Organizational Information and Learning Sciences (OILS)
Gavin Leach grew up in New Mexico and considers himself a Lobo for life, having earned all of his degrees from the University of New Mexico (MA in Organizational Communication). His research interests include instructional design for teaching millenials, quality of life factors for young professionals and academic community engagement with non-profit organizations. As an Evaluation Lab Fellow Gavin is working with CLNKids.
Sofia Locklear is a PhD student in the Sociology Department at the University of New Mexico. Originally from Seattle, WA, she received her BA in Sociology from Seattle University. Sofia's work is centered around race, gender and sexuality, intersectionality, and social justice. As an Evaluation Lab fellow she is currently working with New Day Youth and Family Services.
BA Economics and Political Science
Alexandria Lyons is a current undergraduate pursuing her bachelors in Economics and Political Science. She is a proud native New Mexican from Los Lunas. Alexandria plans on continuing her education by applying for her Masters degree this Fall 2016. She is currently working with the organization New Day whose focus is on making positive impacts on the lives of at-risk youth. Outside of the Evaluation Lab, Alexandria is an intern with the SouthWest Organizing Project where she primarily supports the group’s “Project Feed the Hood” campaign that fights to combat food deserts and other food justice issues here in Albuquerque. Alexandria’s hopes for the future are to continue contributing to efforts that help improve the well-being of New Mexican families.
BA Family Studies and Sociology
Onesimus Al-Amin is currently a PhD student in the Human Development and Family Studies Department of the University of Delaware. Originally from Clearwater, Florida, Onesimus graduated cum laude with his BA in Family Studies and Sociology from UNM. Onesimus is a McNair Scholar with an interest in the impact of fatherhood involvement on interrupting the pre-school-to-prison pipeline. During his Evaluation Lab Fellowship he worked with La Red del Rio Abajo.
PhD in Political Science
PhD in Latin American Studies
Michael is an Engineer in Agricultural Sciences from the Universidad Central del Ecuador with concentrations in Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development. He received his MA in Environmental Education for Sustainability from Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia, and his Higher Education Diploma in Design, Monitoring, and Evaluation of Social Development Projects from La Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales FLACSO in Quito, Ecuador. Michael has been part of the Evaluation Lab since August 2015 and now he is a Senior Fellow, and works as the help desk, connecting the needs of community organizations that are members of the Evaluation Lab. Michael is pursuing his PhD with concentrations in Geography and Environmental Studies and Community and Regional Planning. His focus is on participatory watershed management. "I strongly believe that public engagement and community participation is the right approach to watershed management."
BA in Economics
Matthew Crockett is currently pursuing a double major in Economics and Psychology with plans to graduate in December 2016 and plan to enroll in a doctoral program in Economics starting in the Fall of 2017. In the first iteration of the Evaluation Lab, Matthew worked with Eric Griego and Ranjana Damle at CLNKids. He has returned as a senior fellow for the 2016-2017 Evaluation Lab with the hopes of refining last year’s work and addressing questions raised in the first iteration of the Evaluation Lab.
MA in Political Science
PhD in Political Science
MA in Latin American Studies
Charla Henley is currently employed through the Global Education Office at the University of New Mexico, where she specializes in Study Abroad in Central and South America. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish Literature and Business Administration, earned through Roanoke College in May 2014. She is also a recent graduate of UNM with a Master’s in Latin American Studies as of May 2016. During her first year with the UNM Evaluation Lab, she worked with Enlace Comunitario to evaluate their Youth Leader program through a fun and interactive focus group, paired with other supplemental evaluation activities. This year, she serves as a Senior Fellow, continuing to work with Enlace Comunitario, but evaluating a different preventative program.
BA in Psychology and Sociology
Derek Kuit is in the process of earning his MA in Educational Psychology at UNM and hopes to pursue a doctorate in the same field. Derek's research interests center on promoting prosocial behaviors in students through education and currriculum. Derek currently works as a Research Assistant for Mission: Graduate and the Center for Education Policy Research at UNM. As a Fellow of the Evaluation Lab Derek worked with PB&J Family Services.
MA in Community and Regional Planning