Photo: Marit Andrews

Marit Andrews

Marit graduated from the MPP program in 2021 and works as a Senior Policy Analyst for the New Mexico Legislative Education Study Committee. Marit is from Michigan and her received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in creative writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She also received her secondary teaching license from Santa Fe Community College. Marit chose the MPP program because she wanted to become a more effective, data-driven policy analyst and because of her interest in Education policy, specifically, closing the achievement gap and ensuring all students have access to an excellent education. Also, because she enjoys telling stories with charts and graphs and crafting public policy narratives. For her the most important lesson from the MPP is to always keep the “why” of your work as your focus and commit to representing what the data says honestly. 

Check out Marit's MPP Blog.

Photo: Martha Alejandra Becerra

Martha Alejandra Becerra

Martha graduated from the MPP in Spring 2020 and works as the Business Intelligence Analyst for Centro Savila. She was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She got her Bachelor of Business Administration with concentrations in Finance and International Management from UNM’s Anderson School of Business. Martha has a strong desire to use the education that she was privileged to have to help her community and give back to her state.

Check out Martha's MPP Blog.

Photo: Tim Bedeaux

Tim Bedeaux

Tim graduated from the MPP in 2023 and works as a Senior Policy Analyst at the New Mexico Legislative Education Study Committee. Tim is from Sandia Park, NM and graduated from UNM with a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science. He chose the MPP because it was well-aligned with the skills needed in legislative analysis. In his work, understanding how to read academic research and collect data, then distill all of that into need-to-know information is critical to success.

Check out Tim's policy blog!

Photo: Andrea Benites

Andrea Benites

Andrea graduated from the MPP in 2023 and works as the Policy Coordinator for iCivics in Cambridge, MA. Andrea gradauated from UNM with her BA in Human Resources in 2021. She started out her graduate school journey in the MBA program but after feeling unfulfilled she decided to pursue her MPP as well. Andrea is passionate about environmental justice and conservation policy, she plans to continue to use her MPP to continue to advocate for the environment and demographics disproportionally disadvantaged from climate change.

Check out Andrea's policy blog!

Photo: Amelia Bierle

Amelia Bierle

Amelia graduated from the MPP in 2024. She is from Carlsbad, NM and earned her undergrad from UNM in 2019 with a bachelors in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology. Amelia wants to use her MPP to facilitate collaboration among the private and public sectors. Her goal is to bridge silos and unlock the full potential of our state, ensuring that combined efforts lead to substantial and sustainable solutions. Amelia’s most cherished memories from the MPP program are the moments spent engaging with classmates and professors, whose passion and intellect have been nothing short of inspiring. The most significant lesson she will take with her is the profound impact that a collective of dedicated individuals can have on our state's future. She is excited to see the positive impact herself and her peers will make in the coming years. Amelia extends her heartfelt gratitude to Melissa Binder, Emma Tomingas-Hatch, and all those who have contributed to the MPP program's excellence. Their thoughtfulness and dedication have not only shaped an exceptional educational journey but also profoundly influenced who she has become.

Check out Amelia's policy blog!
Photo: Hallie Brown

Hallie Brown

Hallie graduated from the MPP in 2023 and will continue her in role as the Executive Director at United Voices for Newcomer Rights. Hallie grew up in Edgewood, New Mexico and graduated from UNM in 2018 with degrees in Sociology and International Studies. She plans to use her MPP as a tool to bring together her passions and professional aspirations, in order to continue to have a meaningful and impactful career in public service. Hallie is invested in being of service to others, advocating for marginalized communities, and working for what she believes in, and her degree helps her do all of these things better and with a greater level of confidence. 

Check out Hallie's policy blog!

Photo: Julio Chavez

Julio Chavez

Julio graduated from the MPP in 2024. He is from Albuquerque and earned his degree in Political Science and Economics from UNM in 2022. Julio chose the MPP because he liked how the program was a blend of Economics, Political Science, and Public Administration. He felt that have these three fields combined provide skills that can be applied to a variety of career fields. Julio plans to use his MPP to continue working in the Public Policy space and pursue opportunities in Washington, D.C. Julio’s best memory of the program are the guest speakers in the Policy Seminar and hearing their thoughts on how we can better serve the needs of our community. Julio would like to thank his family for their support, his instructors for their thorough feedback, and his friends for going on beer runs to let him vent.

Photo: Clinton  Cosper

Clinton Cosper

Clint graduated from the MPP in Spring 2020 and works as a Fund Analyst for the New Mexico Public Education Department. He is from Albuquerque, NM, and received his Bachelor's in Philosophy at UNM. While in the MPP program, Clint specialized in international policy and hopes to one day pursue a career in diplomacy.

Check out Clint's MPP Blog.

Photo: Mary Costello

Mary Costello

Mary graduated from the MPP in 2022 and works as a Program Evaluator for the Albuquerque Area Indian Health Board on projects such as substance use disorder, maternity mortality, and mental health. Mary was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico and graduated from NMSU in 2017 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology. Mary chose the MPP to make a difference in her community, specifically to improve health care policy. She has a passion for data and how it can shape perceptions in policy and she says she fell in love with evaluation after taking the Evaluation Lab.

Check out Mary's policy blog!

Photo: Leandra Dalen-Van De Griend

Leandra Dalen-Van De Griend

Leandra graduated from the MPP in 2024 and works as the Data for Impact Specialist at Hired, a nonprofit in Minneapolis/St. Paul that provides a variety of career services for youth and adults. She has been working on several evaluation projects in this role and is excited to continue finding ways to improve programs and services using research and data. Long-term, she would love to work more closely with welfare policy analysis and development to improve the current cash assistance system. She chose to pursue an MPP because she wanted to understand why our welfare system is structured the way that it is and how to influence change. Leandra really enjoyed the opportunity to study issues of poverty and inequality using multiple methods and approaches. Check out Leandra's policy blog!
Photo: Abigail  Goldstein

Abigail Goldstein

Abbe graduated from the MPP in 2023 and plans to run track professionally while continuing to work with research and policy advocacy groups. She is from Ambler, Pennsylvania and completed her undergrad in Sociology and Spanish at Harvard University. Abbe chose the MPP because she wanted a degree that would teach her skills and strategies to make a systemic impact on American society. She plans to use her MPP to help develop progressive social policy, particularly with regard to reforms to the American Criminal Legal System.

Check out Abbe's policy blog!

Photo: Elsa Goossen

Elsa Goossen


Elsa graduated from the MPP in 2024. She grew up in Topeka, KS, and completed undergrad at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. Elsa developed an interest in public policy while working on immigrants’ rights and carceral issues as a paralegal at the ACLU of New Mexico. She is excited about public policy because it involves envisioning and co-creating a society that works for everyone. After graduation, Elsa plans to pursue environmental policy work in the governmental or nonprofit sectors. Elsa loves exploring New Mexico's public lands in all seasons and ended up focusing her MPP coursework on climate mitigation and adaptation at the local level. Elsa has also become a cyclist since realizing that it’s fun and convenient to get to campus on a bike and this experience has deepened her policy interest in sustainable transportation and safe streets. Elsa would like to thank Melissa, Mike, Emma, and Dede for their mentorship and guidance; her parents, Rachel and Duane, for their unfailing support; and her partner, Amos, for talking policy with her and getting her on her bike!

Check out Elsa's policy blog!
Photo: Samuel Hatch

Samuel Hatch

Sam graduated from the MPP in 2022 and works in the Governor's Office as a Policy Analyst. He was drawn to the MPP program because of its hands-on approach and the direct connection to the community. He would like to thank Melissa and Emma for all of their help and guidance; his parents, John and Susan; his friends who have let him rant about projects and due dates; and his significant other, Rachel who has handled Sam’s most stressed moments with a lot of support.

Check out Sam's MPP blog here!

Photo: Jessica Hitzman

Jessica Hitzman

Jessica graduated from the MPP program in 2021. She works at UNM as a Program Planning Officer for student success and is the inaugural UNM program Fellow for the University Innovation Alliance, a consortium of universities dedicated to increasing the number and diversity of college graduates in the United States.  Jessica also worked as a Fiscal Analyst and Program Evaluator for the New Mexico Legislative Finance Committee where she gained invaluable legislative and policy experience. She is from Albuquerque, NM and received her bachelor’s degree in Sociology from UNM. She chose the MPP because it tied together her academic and applied policy interests, and it helped her to better understand the world around her. She plans to use these skills to shape real world outcomes and policies, she feels that this is very special because the impacts are measurable.

Check out Jessica's MPP Blog.

Photo: Emily Hoxie

Emily Hoxie

Emily gradauted from the MPP in 2023 and works as a Senior Policy Analyst for the Legislative Education Study Committee where she focuses on the educator ecosystem. She grew up between New Orleans, Louisiana and small town Mississippi. She received her BA in Political Science and Human Rights from The University of Southern Mississippi in 2012, then moved to New Mexico to teach.

Check out Emily's policy blog

Photo: Lauren Hutchison

Lauren Hutchison

Lauren graduated from the MPP in Spring 2020 and works as the Finance Analyst for the Party/Non-Party Branch of the Federal Election Commission in Washington, D.C. She is from Huntsville, Alabama and got her BFA in Interdisciplinary Film & Digital Media from UNM, thanks to this experience she explains, "So I make really good cornbread and I complain about lighting the entire time we watch movies."

Check out Lauren's MPP Blog.

Photo: Efraín Ibarra

Efraín Ibarra

Efraín graduated from the MPP program in Spring 2020 and works as a Senior Economist at the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department. He was born in Juarez, Mexico and moved to the United States with his family at the age of 11. Efraín received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of New Mexico. He explained that he chose the MPP because, "As an immigrant I’ve been passionate about helping those less fortunate.  New Mexico ranks among the lowest states on many socioeconomic lists, so I realized early on that there would be many opportunities to do what I’m passionate about – help others."

Check out Efraín's MPP Blog.

Photo: Paige Knight

Paige Knight

Paige graduated from the MPP program in May 2019. She is the Senior Research and Policy Analyst for New Mexico Voices for Children and focuses on tax and fiscal policy issues. She received her BA in Economics from Luther College in Iowa and is originally from Minnesota. Prior to moving to the Southwest, she worked at a variety of nonprofits in Iowa City and Chicago, including a year as an AmeriCorps volunteer. In New Mexico, she worked with Accion and interned with the Legislative Finance Committee. Her experience with nonprofit and governmental organizations further developed her interest in public policy issues, particularly those surrounding sustainable economic development.

Check out Paige's MPP Blog.

Photo: Mary Lopez

Mary Lopez

Mary graduated from the MPP program in 2021 and works as a research scientist at the UNM Cradle to Career Policy Institute. She is a member of a policy research team focused on maternal child health, child care, and early childhood education. She is from Sandia Park, NM and received her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from UNM. Mary chose the MPP program because of its applied nature and her hope to use her education to make a positive impact in her home state of New Mexico. Mary’s experience researching child welfare as a graduate assistant with the MPP Policy Lab inspired her to focus her career on policy impacting New Mexico’s children and families.

Check out Mary's MPP Blog.

Photo: Hannah Miller

Hannah Miller

Hannah graduated from the MPP in 2022. Originally from southland New Zealand, Hannah came to New Mexico in search of new NCAA running and policy opportunities. Hannah is now based back in Wellington, New Zealand where she is using her MPP as a Policy Officer for the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade working in the Strategic Planning and Development Division.

Check out Hannah's MPP blog!
Photo: Gabriella  Rivera

Gabriella Rivera

Gabby graduated from the MPP program in 2021 and works as the Policy and Communications Coordinator for Health Action New Mexico. Gabby is from Albuquerque, NM and received her bachelor’s in international studies from UNM. Gabby chose the MPP because it combined her favorite elements of Political Science and Public Administration and she wanted a program with applied skills with a theoretical grounding. Gabby says that is her love of challenging work, as well as collaborating with a team, problem solving, and working toward a more equitable society that led her to this field.

Check out Gabby's MPP Blog.

Photo: Brisa Rodriguez

Brisa Rodriguez

Brisa graduated from the MPP in 2023 and works for Future Focused Education as the Evaluation Coordinator and Analyst. She was born and raised in Albuquerque and recieved her undergrad from the University of New Mexico with degrees in Political Science, Spanish, and a minor in Women’s Studies. Brisa chose the MPP because she saw the direct effect policy has on creating opportunities for marginalized communities. One of Brisa’s favorite memories of the program will be how it challenged her to become a better student and prepared her for the professional world.

Check out Brisa's policy blog!

Photo: Caitlyn Sandoval

Caitlyn Sandoval

Caitlyn, who was born in Guatemala but was raised in Albuquerque, earned her MPP degree in December 2023. With a bachelor’s in Sociology, Caitlyn was drawn to the interdisciplinary nature of the program, where students could tailor their studies to their interests. Her focus in the MPP was on the methods of policy analysis and program evaluation. She now owns and operates a consulting business, Throughline Evaluation, where she merges her data analysis training with sociological frameworks on race, gender, and power dynamics. With an intersectional lens, her goal is to use evaluation and policy analysis to bridge the gap between research and real-world problems.

Photo: Alex Shomaker

Alex Shomaker

Alex Shomaker graduated from the MPP in 2022 and works as an Internal Evaluator for ABC Community School Partnership. A major influence in Alex’s life is Star Trek. The idyllic conditions portrayed in the series – such as a society that celebrates diversity and that has eradicated poverty and injustice – motivates Alex to work in policy in a way that aims to do the same, emphasizing the destruction of historic barriers to equity and justice in real life.

Check out Alex's MPP blog!

Photo: Emily Wildau

Emily Wildau

Emily graduated from the MPP program in 2021 and works as a Research and Policy Analyst at New Mexico Voices for Children, where she coordinates the KIDS COUNT program for NM and focuses primarily on education policy. Emily is from Roswell, NM and received her bachelor’s degree in rhetoric and professional communication with a minor in government from NMSU. Emily chose the MPP mainly because of her desire to help people in New Mexico. She says it is her passion for her home state that really led her to the policy field. Emily was originally interested in law school but after working in advocacy and for a non-profit she found her way to public policy because she saw how many problems are addressed with insufficient patchwork solutions, and she wanted to find a way to be part of correcting these problems where they start in order to prevent them in the future. She wants to actively work with her community to improve the well-being of kids and families.

Check out Emily's MPP Blog.