Photo: Sonia Bettez

Sonia Bettez

Team Lead


Sonia Bettez was born in Bogotá, Colombia, speaks Spanish and English and blends Latino and U.S. cultures. Sonia graduated from the University of New Mexico with a PhD in Sociology. Her research interests span health equity/justice and Latino immigration policies. Sonia is committed to bridging academic knowledge and policy to improve the lives of underrepresented populations. At the UNM Evaluation Lab for the past five years, Sonia has worked with several nonprofit organizations, mentored students and contributed to the creation of the Summer Institute, where nonprofit organizations learn the fundamentals of program evaluation.

Photo: Melissa Binder

Melissa Binder

Associate Director and Team Lead


Melissa Binder is Associate Director of the UNM Evaluation Lab, which she helped create in 2015.  She also directs the UNM Master of Public Policy and is an Associate Professor of Economics.  Melissa is team lead for the PB&J evaluation, which has focused on developing data systems to track client progress.  Her research and policy interests include labor market and educational equity, and among her publications are analyses of the motherhood wage gap, gender equity in faculty pay, and the socio-economic achievement gap in higher education.

Photo: Audrey Cooper

Audrey Cooper

Team Lead

Audrey Cooper is a registered nurse and an Master of Public Health student in the College of Population Health at the University of New Mexico. After three years as a an Evaluation Lab Fellow, Audrey is taking on the role of Team Lead. As a nurse in nonprofits for the past 10 years, Audrey has worked in clinical quality, community health, and as the  nurse manager of a health care clinic. Audrey also had the honor of serving as Vice President and Secretary of the Rio Grande Community Development Corporation in the South Valley of Albuquerque. Most recently, Audrey completed a Policy Fellowship with New Mexico Human Services Department focusing on strategic planning and forming state policy related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
Photo: Claudia Diaz Fuentes

Claudia Díaz Fuentes

Director of the Evaluation Lab

Claudia Díaz-Fuentes received her PhD from the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Her research focused on inter-vivos transfers, particularly in evaluating the motives associated to permanency of financial transfers and their role in old age income security. Her health research has focused on utilization and access to care among Spanish-speaking Hispanics in the United States. In particular, her interests include the role of the demand for screening and treatment of several prevalent conditions among Hispanics, such as mental health illnesses, breast cancer and musculoskeletal and respiratory illnesses, and the long-term impact of these conditions on income security. Claudia started teaching introductory economics and intermediate microeconomics in her home country (El Salvador), where she also recently taught time series econometrics. Her teaching interests also include health, development and labor economics.
Photo: Charla Orozco

Charla Orozco

Team Lead and Director of the Summer Institute

Charla (Henley) Orozco is currently employed as an Institutional Researcher in the Office of Assessment & Academic Program Review at the University of New Mexico. She is also the Program Coordinator for the Monthly Evaluation Lab ECHO Learning Community and the upcoming 2020 Evaluation Lab Summer Institute. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish Literature and Business Administration, earned through Roanoke College in May 2014. She is also a graduate of UNM with a Master’s in Latin American Studies (class of 2016). Charla began working with the Evaluation Lab as a graduate student and fellow. During her first year with the 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. The second year, she served as a Senior Fellow, continuing to work with Enlace Comunitario, but evaluating a different preventative program. In the third year, Charla continued with Enlace Comunitario as a Senior Fellow, evaluating an intervention program. Last year, she served as the Team Lead for the developmental evaluation of a new program at Enlace Comunitario. This year, she continues as a Team Lead with the Enlace Comunitario group, evaluating the LIDER program.