Our Students

Photo: Tim Bedeaux

Tim Bedeaux

Tim was born in Albuquerque and raised in Sandia Park, New Mexico. In 2011, Tim secured the title of New Mexico State Champion in Policy Debate and earned a rank of premier distinction in the National Forensic League. Following this, Tim attended the University of New Mexico and in 2015 graduated summa cum laude with a major in political science and minors in philosophy and interdisciplinary honors studies. Tim spent his undergraduate years working at an Albuquerque multigenerational center youth program serving students of diverse backgrounds from a nearby community school. After his undergraduate studies, Tim began work at the New Mexico Legislative Education Study Committee, providing nonpartisan policy analysis on New Mexico education policy and spending. When he’s not knee deep in spreadsheets, Tim plays drums in a local Albuquerque band, Searching for Summer. Check out Tim's policy blog!
Photo: Amelia Bierle

Amelia Bierle

Amelia was born and raised in Carlsbad, NM. In 2015 Amelia moved to Albuquerque to attend the University of New Mexico and play soccer for the Lobos. Amelia graduated in 2019 summa cum laude in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology with a minor in Honors Interdisciplinary Liberal Arts. After graduation, Amelia started a Post Baccalaureate Research & Education Fellowship where she had the opportunity to attend a Health Care Policy Symposium in Washington DC. The symposium solidified her passion for solving problems and giving back to the community through policy. Outside of university, Amelia enjoys playing sports, surrounding herself in nature, and cuddling her kitties—Lila and Stout. Check out Amelia's policy blog!
Photo: Hallie Brown

Hallie Brown

Hallie grew up in Edgewood, New Mexico and graduated from UNM in 2018 with degrees in Sociology and International Studies. After graduation, Hallie served as a Community Health Specialist in The Gambia with the United States Peace Corps, where she worked on a wide variety of health and nutrition projects. After being evacuated from her Peace Corps service due to COVID-19, Hallie began to work for the Village of Tijeras as the Deputy Clerk in April 2020. In August of 2020, she was promoted to Clerk/Manager role, where she is responsible for overseeing 6 municipal departments, grant writing and administration, financial management of the municipal budget, and promoting transparency in local government. Outside of school and work, Hallie enjoys spending time outside and soaking up the natural beauty of New Mexico. 
Photo: Tyler Clayshulte

Tyler Clayshulte

Tyler was born and raised in Las Cruces, NM. He graduated from UNM in 2018 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and a minor in Sustainability Studies. After graduating, Tyler started an ornithological field biologist position with the Bureau of Land Management and the New Mexico Association of Conservation Districts. He later returned to be the project manager of the ongoing study to determine efficiency of conservation efforts in bird populations specifically in piñon-juniper woodlands. Tyler now works for UNM as the Sr. Academic Advisor for the Biology Department. He hopes to strength his skills through the MPP program to further his work in the field of environmental policy. Outside of his university work, he enjoys taking his two dogs on adventures, travelling, and spending time with his friends.  
Photo: Mary Costello

Mary Costello


Mary was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She graduated from NMSU in 2017 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology. Since graduating, she has worked at a local urgent care. This is where she developed a passion for policy in health care. In the future, Mary hopes to work with the state of New Mexico to provide quality health care for all its citizens. Outside of policy, Mary has a special fondness for animals. The picture that is included in this biography is right before she saw her first whales migrating past San Diego! Check out Mary's policy blog!

Photo: Leandra Dalen-Van De Griend

Leandra Dalen-Van De Griend

Leandra was raised in a small town in northern Minnesota and received her BA in Music Performance from Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota. After graduating from Hamline, Leandra worked with Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota as an Employment Counselor for folks receiving cash assistance. In this role, she helped clients identify and pursue their career goals and navigate the complex world of public assistance, sparking an interest in public assistance policy and advocacy. In 2020, Leandra joined Hired, a nonprofit in Minneapolis/St. Paul that provides a variety of career services for youth and adults, as a Program Analyst. Currently, Leandra works with Hired as their Data for Impact Specialist and supports ongoing evaluation initiatives and data analysis. Outside of school and work, she enjoys watching archaeology documentaries, playing hammered dulcimer, and exploring her new Albuquerque community!
Photo: Abigail  Goldstein

Abigail Goldstein

Abbe was born and raised just outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Harvard University in 2021 with a degree in Sociology and a minor in Spanish. While at Harvard, Abbe ran for their cross country and track teams, and will continue to run at the varsity level for the Lobos while pursuing her Masters degree in Public Policy. Abbe is interested in immigration and criminal justice reform in the United States and looks forward to learning how to best advocate for marginalized communities through the MPP coursework. She is excited to explore the beautiful outdoors in the Land of Enchantment!
Photo: Elsa Goossen

Elsa Goossen

Elsa grew up in Kansas and received her BA in Latin American Studies from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. She has made her home in the Southwest since college, first as a Mennonite Voluntary Service participant in Alamosa, Colorado, where she spent two years with an immigrant resource center. This thread led her to the border, where she lived in community at Annunciation House, a hospitality network in El Paso for people in migration. Elsa currently works as a legal assistant at ACLU-NM and supports litigation focused on immigrants’ rights and mass incarceration. A lifelong walker of trails – be it prairie, forest, alpine, or desert – Elsa also holds a strong interest in environmental justice and climate change mitigation. Elsewhere, you may find her frequenting the local library or playing her fiddle with local musicians! 
Photo: Samuel Hatch

Samuel Hatch

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! Check out Sam's policy blog here!
Photo: Emily Hoxie

Emily Hoxie


Emily is a graduate student who grew up between New Orleans, Louisiana and small town Mississippi. Emily received her BA in Political Science and Human Rights from The University of Southern Mississippi in 2012, then worked as a teacher in Alamogordo and an instructional coach on the Navajo Nation. Through her work, Emily became increasingly interested in the role public policy can play in cultivating greater equity in the education system. Emily recently started a new role as a policy analyst for the Legislative Education Study Committee in Santa Fe. Beyond graduate school, Emily enjoys spending time hiking around New Mexico with her dog Groot. Check out Emily's policy blog

Photo: Mark Hume

Mark Hume

Mark received his undergraduate degree in Political Science and History and UNM. Prior to working at UNM, Mark worked as a Department of Defense personnel security contactor, conducting Top Secret background investigations on federal clearance candidates with a team of 1,400 investigators all over the country. Mark has also conducted qualitative research working as a project assistant for Sandia Market Research and has also moonlighted as a freelance writer, editor and quality control specialist Viacom. Mark is currently a Research Assistant working on a Kellogg Foundation grant, analyzing evaluation documentation for NM grantees and providing Evaluation Technical Assistance via office hours and workshops. Check out Mark's policy blog here!
Photo: Marleen Linares-Gonzalez

Marleen Linares-Gonzalez

Marleen is an MPP student born in Puerto Rico and raised in San Antonio, Texas. She received her BA in Journalism and Mass Communication and Art History at the University of Iowa. Since graduating from Iowa, Marleen has worked in various communication and outreach roles within higher education in addition to working with multiple non-profits and political campaigns. Her work has paved the way for her interest in public policy, specifically that which results in the progressive advancement for marginalized communities. She’s particularly interested in cultural equity, education, and the arts. She fled the Midwest winters and landed in Albuquerque, where she enjoys exploring the southwest landscape with her two pups, catching as many art shows as possible, and rooting on the San Antonio Spurs from a distance. Check out Marleen's policy blog!
Photo: Arlo Menchaca

Arlo Menchaca

Arlo was raised in Hobbs NM and moved to Albuquerque NM in 2015 to attend UNM where he earned a BA in Psychology and Philosophy with a concentration in Pre-Law. In terms of psychology, Arlo was most interested in research and data analysis; and in terms of philosophy, he was most interested in political thought and ethics. Arlo was afforded the opportunity to attend a conference which revolved around policy and he discovered that policy married his two passions. He is excited to develop the skills of a policy analyst so he may do his part in bridging the gap between academia and public policy.
Photo: Hannah Miller

Hannah Miller

Born and raised in Southland New Zealand Hannah has spent the last four years of her life in Dallas at Southern Methodist University completing her double degree in journalism and political science. As an undergraduate, she was an honors Tower scholar in public policy and international affairs where she worked extensively on mental health and child health care through partnerships with Move for Miles non-profit and the Bush presidential museum. Hannah’s passion lies in international human rights policy and cross-cultural governance. She has developed both through her undergraduate studies while utilizing her unique position as an international athlete to build and foster relationships based on common ground.
Hannah is passionate about communications, believing good policy that truly serves, lies in public buy-in and participation, that works to teach and better social practices. Hannah’s favorite saying is: ‘policy gives hope legs’ it might not be perfect, but it gives dreams structure and enables societies to actively plan a better way. Check out Hannah's policy blog!
Photo: Shine Min Thant

Shine Min Thant

Shine grew up in Yangon, Myanmar (Burma). In 2020, he graduated from Concordia College with a degree in International Studies (Development Studies). After graduating, he worked at Innovation for Poverty Action (IPA) Myanmar where he was involved with various impact evaluation research regarding rural Myanmar. Currently, he is working as a Research Assistant for the Institute of Social Research (ISR) while pursuing his master’s in Public Policy. Shine is primarily interested in rural development policies. 
Photo: Caitlyn Moppert

Caitlyn Moppert

Born in Guatemala and raised in Albuquerque, Caitlyn attended the University of New Mexico where she graduated with her undergraduate degree in Sociology with a minor in Political Science. Her interest in equitable access to education was sparked by her work with El Centro de Igualdad y Derechos, where she worked alongside immigrant youth in advocating and organizing for the passage of the DREAM Act. After graduating from UNM, she spent one year as an AmeriCorps service member working with a team on launching a community school for immigrant and refugee students in the International District of Albuquerque. She spent the last two years at a local nonprofit where she supported young people aging out of foster care in developing career and education goals. Being that access to education has been a through-line in her work as a student and as a professional, Caitlyn is now interested in pursuing this work through a policy lens. Outside of graduate school, Caitlyn enjoys her early morning jogs and afternoon walks with her dog Gigi.
Photo: Brisa Rodriguez

Brisa Rodriguez

Photo: Alex Shomaker

Alex Shomaker

Alex Shomaker was born and raised in the Albuquerque metro area. She graduated from UNM in 2018 with her BA in Political Science and a minor in Spanish, where she developed an interest in studying acequias and water resource management in the state. Shortly after her graduation, she interned with John Shomaker and Associates, Inc. -- a water-resource and environmental consultancy firm started by her grandfather -- to learn more about local water and environmental issues. Her plan to study law quickly morphed into a desire to study public policy, primarily focusing on environmental resource matters and climate change. Alex currently works as a paralegal in a small law firm in Albuquerque, providing assistance to her attorney and clients in the realm of domestic and probate disputes. Check out Alex's policy blog!