Marit graduated from the MPP program in 2021 and works as the Humanities Specialist for the New Mexico Public Education Department. 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.
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Martha Alejandra Becerra
Martha graduated from the MPP in Spring 2020 and works as an Analyst for the New Mexico Legislative Finance Committee (LFC). 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.
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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.
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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.
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Sam graduated from the MPP in 2022 and works in the Governor's Office as a Speical Projects Coordinator. 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.
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Jessica graduated from the MPP program in 2021 and works as a Fiscal Analyst and Program Evaluator for the New Mexico Legislative Finance Committee. 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. Jessica wants to use her degree to make a difference in her community by driving research and policy work that addresses social inequities.
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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."
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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."
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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.
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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.
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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.
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.
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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.
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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.
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