Skip to main content

Alumni of the Educational Psychology Program

Sara Abercrombie, Ph.D.

Sara Abercrombie

Associate Professor of Educational Psychology
Northern Arizona University
Degrees earned through the UNM EDPY program: M.A., Ph.D. 

“The Educational Psychology program at the University of New Mexico fully prepared me to work in my current academic position. I had wonderful mentorship from the supportive faculty, many opportunities to work on meaningful research projects, and excellent coursework.” 

Marlin Arriaga, M.A.

Student headed to medical school
Degree earned through UNM EDPY program: Master of Arts

My time in the EDPY program helped me greatly to understand and be engaged in research. Not only reading, but actually understanding and being able to carry out your own projects is a skill that is well suited for different careers. My interests have also become more clear and I am in the path to link what I have learned from this program and apply it to my future endeavors in the Psychiatry department. Primarily, how anxiety disorder in children affects learning. 

Marlene Ballejos, Ph.D., MPA

Marlene Ballejos

Assistant Dean for Admissions
Vice Chair for Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
Dept. of Family & Community Medicine
School of Medicine, University of New Mexico
Degree earned through the UNM EDPY program: Ph.D.  

“I received my PhD from the UNM Educational Psychology Program in 2010. As an educational psychologist, I am interested in the social and cognitive learning processes and underpinnings as they relate to educational and health care disparities and have devoted my entire career toward achieving excellence in education as it relates to medical school recruitment, selection, admissions and the educational curriculum. The Individual, Family and Community Education Department has provided me with the tools to pursue these interests and strive toward a broader goal of educational leadership, curriculum development and professional development in education. My educational philosophy stems from my strong desire to provide a culturally responsive and active learning pedagogy that provides inclusion for all types of learners.” 

Ashlee Begaye, M.A.

Ashlee Begaye

Associate Scientist, Prevention Research Center School of Medicine
University of New Mexico
Degree earned through UNM EDPY program: Masters of Arts

“As a health educator, I am able to use my Educational Psychology degree to help create effective programs to change the health behavior in children and teenagers. We study what motivates people to make changes in their diet and activity, focusing on several factors, including self-efficacy, interest, mindset, and choice. We work closely with teachers to incorporate our program into the classroom, as well as finding methods of increasing family participation.” 

Dana Booker, Ph.D.

Dana Booker

Senior Lecturer of Educational Psychology
University of North Texas
Degree earned through UNM EDPY program: Master of Arts
Ph.D. Educational Psychology, University of North Texas

“Currently, work to support the research and data collection that supports legislative priorities to reduce child maltreatment in TX. Our research and advocacy efforts focus on improving prevention services to families with multiple risk factors through Home visiting programs and improve policies for youth who enter CPS (policies including safe placements, educational opportunities and transitional resources)” 

Carrie Booth, M.A.

Technical & Data Management Specialist in the Clinical Education Department at Presbyterian Healthcare Services
Degree earned through UNM EDPY program: Master of Arts

“The work I did in the Ed Psych program helps me get perspective on the analytical problems I have to solve in my current position. It also helps me develop and adapt curriculum for nurses. My background in statistics I gained through this program has led to my getting hired as a data analyst and database manager.”

Amanda Carbajal, M.A.

Protective Services Division, NM Department of Children, Youth and Families
Degree earned through UNM EDPY program: Master of Arts

“During my time in the Educational Psychology program I was provided with a foundation of knowledge as to how psychological theories and factors could be affecting students learning experiences and how they can be applied properly to result in academic achievement. The EDPY program allowed me the opportunity to gain a more in depth understanding of how cognition, motivation and individual differences are all linked to a student’s success. I currently work for the Protective Services Department of New Mexico and would like to continue to work for the state, with a goal of getting into a position that has a more hands on roll on the education and vocation side for at risk youth."

Kira J. Carbonneau, Ph.D.

Kira Carbonneau

Associate Professor of Educational Psychology
Washington State University
Degree earned through the UNM EDPY program: Ph.D.  

“The EDPY program helped me develop a strong research foundation that has allowed me to utilize my applied knowledge of teaching to develop a robust research agenda that is pertinent to today’s classrooms.”

Toby Cooke, M.A.

Toby Cooke

Pursuing career in Forensic Psychology
Winchester, Hampshire, UK
Degree earned through UNM EDPY program: Master of Arts

"The Educational Psychology masters gave me the opportunity to learn for myself. Whereas I'd previously learned what others had told me, I've now developed my own understanding of topics that are relevant to me from my own reading and research such as popularity, popularity goals and aggression. When I enrolled I would never have seen myself thinking about applying to research positions in universities, but now, having been supported to do my own research and seek answers for myself, I'm keen to pursue research further. I hope at some point to be able to combine working as a practising forensic psychologist perhaps working with young offenders while also being able to conduct research."

Micah Corwin, M.A.

Micah Corwin

American Signed Language Interpreter, Albuquerque Public Schools
ASL Interpreter, APS@Home distance learning on New Mexico PBS
Degree earned through UNM EDPY program: Master of Arts

"I have worked with faculty and cohorts who have championed and empowered my learning. This has prepared me to work as a valuable expert in my field. My experience here has been very successful, I am very grateful. I work as full-time faculty for Albuquerque Public Schools. My education with EDPY has qualified me for advanced opportunities in my career. I am currently involved in decisions relevant at a district level. I am able to contribute to this discussion as a direct consequence of my education with EDPY."

Lili Dai, M.A.

Doctoral Student, Educational Psychology Program, UNM
Degree earned through the UNM EDPY program: Master of Arts

“Learning in EDPY at UNM has been an adventure for me. I am grateful to have the faculties and my classmates' sincere encouragement and support when I faced challenges in this journey. I value and am fascinated what I have learned. In particular, study of the learning theories made me reflect on my own learning experience and how to support other people's learning. To further my knowledge in this field, I will continue studying in the Ph.D. program at EDPY."

Renée Delgado-Riley, Ph.D.

Renee Delgado-Riley

Director of Assessment and Research
University of Oregon
Degree earned through UNM EDPY program:  Ph.D.

“I currently am the director for the Office of Assessment and Research within the Division of Student Life (DSL) at the University of Oregon. I facilitate and oversee providing information and evidence demonstrating our Division’s collective impact on and value added to student experiences, learning, and development while enrolled at the University of Oregon. We also provide resources, strategies, and tools to implement successful assessment and research projects at the program, unit, and division levels. My time within the EDPY program provided me a strong foundation in action research and assessment methods that are directly related to my current role. The foci on both quantitative and qualitative methodologies have guided my entire philosophy on using mixed methods in my approach to assessment and research of best practices to support college students on our campus.”

Cara Farnell, M.A.

Cara Farnell

Program Support Supervisor, Teaching & Learning Center
University of Washington, Tacoma
Degree earned through UNM EDPY program: Master of Arts  

“I use what I learned at UNM to inform choices every day about how to best tutor and support our students here. I studied the testing effect and reference that quite a bit, and I teach a course called Strategies for College Reading that covers topics like metacognition and motivation. We do academic consulting here that leans heavily on knowing the best and varied ways to study and learn.”

Tara S. Hackel, M.A.

Program Specialist, University of New Mexico STEM Collaborative Center
Degree earned through UNM EDPY program: Master of Arts 

“I use knowledge from educational psychology about how people learn, how to facilitate students’ motivation for school, and instructional strategies to design curriculum and programs for undergraduate students. I structure these programs and courses to help students learn content knowledge, such as how to develop a research question, as well as promote students’ self-regulation of pursuing educational, career, and personal goals.” 

Vanessa Harris, Ph.D.

Vanessa Harris

Educational consultant and owner of Major Change, LLC
Degree earned through UNM EDPY program: Ph.D.

“My degree in educational psychology has provided me with the essential skills to work in the area of student learning, motivation, cognitive development, and assessment.  Developmental and motivational theories are the foundation for my business.  I have been very fortunate to incorporate various aspects of cognition, motivation and assessment in my workshops and training to higher education administrators and students.”

Mary Hershberger, Ph.D.

Degree earned through UNM EDPY program: Ph.D.

"I was so pleased to be part of the Educational Psychology program at UNM! In addition to classes, my learning encompassed many formats beyond the classroom that were very valuable to me - research with professors and other students, time together at conferences and meetings, and opportunities to engage with professionals at all levels of their careers. I am grateful to the faculty and staff for providing both a nurturing and challenging environment that will benefit my future career."

Robert C. Hoy, Ph.D.

Data Science Lead for Behavioral Science at Northrop Grumman Learning and Communications.
Degrees earned through UNM EDPY program: M.A. and Ph.D. 

“I specialize in human performance and training development. Every aspect of my time in Ed Psych program contributed to my personal and professional development.  The course work was current and applicable to the field in which I work.  Specifically, the emphasis on both theory and application fits what I do now - a combination of psychological research and application of learning psychology. Perhaps most importantly however, my time in the Ed Psych program encouraged me to collaborate and work with diverse people and gain experience in departments all over campus.  That experience prepared me to lead teams of professionals with very different backgrounds and areas of expertise to develop training in advanced simulations and Virtual / Augmented Reality.”

Rebecca Izzo-Manymules, Ph.D.

Rebecca Izzo-Manymules

Education Research Analyst, United States Department of Interior, Bureau of Indian Education Accountability & Assessment Office
Chairperson, Navajo Nation Human Research Review Board
Degree earned through UNM EDPY program: Ph.D.

“The educational psychology program has prepared me to incorporate methods of data collection, survey development, and data reporting.  My areas of responsibility are creating assessment data gathering methods, and data analysis of assessment data of Bureau funded schools across the United States. Data management is a crucial area within the organization due to the large amount of reporting to the US Department of Education.  With this, I serve as a lead in gathering assessment data and meeting reporting requirements with the US Department of Education.  I serve as a lead of one of many milestones in the bureau’s strategic plan, which encompasses development of data collection and reporting, establish data reporting calendars, providing regular communication and information to schools, parents and community members about the bureau’s established data systems. Once, the processes of data collection, data management, and reporting have been defined and established; I plan to move unto incorporating the research aspect into my work.  I plan to continue to serve in a capacity to provide research methods for the betterment of services of American Indian populations.”

Katherine Keener, M.A.

Katherine Keener

Music Educator
Santa Fe Public Schools
Degree earned through the UNM EDPY program: M.A.

“Completing the Educational Psychology program at UNM provided me with the theoretical background to improve my teaching practice in real time. Courses in human development, cognition, motivation, and assessment were especially important to helping me understand the 'how' and 'why' of best practices in Education. In addition, I was able to gain a thorough understanding of research and research practices. Throughout my coursework, I was able to put theory into practice on a daily basis as an elementary music educator.”

Veronica Lane, M.A.

Education Research Analyst, United States Department of Interior
Bureau of Indian Education, Accountability & Assessment Office
Degrees earned through UNM EDPY program (and in progress): M.A.; Ph.D. Candidate

“I utilize the knowledge and skills I developed through the EDPY program on a daily basis in my current job.  Measurement, evaluation, research design and analysis, human growth and development, and motivation are specific content areas that are in high demand in my field.  The work I do ranges from leading and assisting on projects that have implications for educational policy and initiatives on a national level to providing individualized technical assistance and support to improve service delivery and instruction at the school level.  My favorite aspect of my job is to be able to support tribal sovereignty in education and work to improve the educational experiences and opportunities of native students across the country.”  

Holly Meyer, M.A.

Professional Development Coordinator & Staff Support Ombudsman for Greater Albuquerque Association of REALTORS
Owner/operator of Work Well Strategies
Degree earned through UNM EDPY program: Master of Arts

“My degree in EDPY allowed me to serve in the United States Peace Corps as a Teacher Trainer and Program Developer.  I worked closely with the Ministry of Education in Cape Verde, West Africa in developing the country’s higher education goals. I developed a research methodology program during my service; introducing graduate students to Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed Methods research skills to be used in generating their thesis on topics related to developing English Language pedagogy and andragogy. Their research was instrumental in the founding of the University of Cape Verde, and the development of their English Language teaching department. I currently work in the private sector in education and have been a mediator for 5 years, currently serving as Treasurer for the New Mexico Mediation Association and owner/operator of a mediation service: Work Well Strategies.”

Liah Nasution, M.A.

Liah Nasution

English Language Program Coordinator
The State Institute for Islamic Studies (IAIN)
Padangsidimpuan, Indonesia.
Degree earned through UNM EDPY program: Master of Arts  

“I am Liah Rosdiani Nasution from Indonesia. One of my responsibilities in my current position is to design program(s) that can help students to develop their skills in English such as speaking, writing, listening and reading.I started my program at IFCE Department in UNM with concentration on Educational Psychology in 2015 and completed it in 2017. Taking this program has helped me a lot in my current position as a university instructor and a researcher. The program courses, for example, prepared me with concentration-specific knowledge to work and grow academically and professionally with colleagues and students.  In addition, the experiences that I got from working with faculty members and classmates have been very significant to my social and career development. Thus, I think it is fair to say that Educational Psychology program has been of huge help in my current role now."

Michelle I. Osowski, Ph.D.

Degree earned through the UNM EDPY program: Ph.D.  

"The EDPY program provided essential knowledge in theory and methods that have allowed me to work independently on projects of personal and professional interest.  Most recently, I collaborated with a team from the RAND Corporation, and the work has been exciting."

Tenley Ruth, Ph.D.

Director of Program Evaluation and Research, Dual Language Education of New Mexico
Degrees earned through UNM EDPY program: MA., Ph.D.

“The educational psychology program provided numerous opportunities throughout my masters and doctoral studies to participate in program evaluation projects, research in my areas of interest in New Mexico, across multiple U.S. university sites, in El Salvador and in Nicaragua.  I also did research in education policy at the state level, and consulted on research design/methodology for the COE. Educational Psychology faculty supported me in all these efforts. To hone my qualitative research design and analysis skills, I took classes and worked on research in other departments in the College of Education as well - with support from our program faculty. From the time I began the doctoral program, I began teaching and I continue to enjoy teaching in our program each semester.” 

Alfred Valdez, Ph.D.

Interim Department Head 
Communication Disorders Department, College of Education, New Mexico State University
Degree earned through the UNM EDPY program: Ph.D.  

“I gained a great deal from this program.  I had the invaluable guidance of Dr. Moreno who mentored me as a scientist. Dr. Parks and Dr. Stevens provided me with an excellent background in measurement and quantitative research methods.  Dr. Armstrong completed my training as a scientist by providing me with the tools needed to investigate questions of science using qualitative methods.  I feel fortunate that I had found the perfect program to support my career goal to become an academic.”  

Frank Volpe, Ph.D.

Frank Volpe

Shanghai Community International School, Pudong Upper School
Shanghai, China
Degree earned through UNM EDPY program: Ph.D.

“I use the skills I learned through the Ed Psych program every day.  As a principal in a highly competitive international school, I rely on current learning science to inform my decisions regarding curriculum, instruction, and assessment.  My background in Ed Psych also gives me the credibility I need to lead highly experience educators in professional development.  Finally, the data and statistical analysis skills I gained through this program have helped me make informed decisions and effectively persuade others.  I couldn’t image a better preparation for what I’m doing now.”

Tyler Weldon, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, University of Central Oklahoma 
M.Ed. Secondary Education Program Coordinator
Degree earned through the UNM EDPY program: Ph.D.  

My degree from the EDPY program at UNM is directly relevant to my everyday work. The knowledge and skills I acquired are key to my successful teaching, service, and scholarly and creative works.

Almut Zieher, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Research Associate at Yale University
Degree earned through UNM EDPY program: Ph.D.

“Throughout my tenure at UNM’s educational psychology program, my interests were well supported. My developing expertise in socio-emotional learning and mindfulness was supported by the content courses and seminars related to cognition and learning. However, the greatest asset I took away with me from my studies at UNM was my understanding of rigorous methods and appropriate data analyses, including principles of measure development. My overarching research aim is to better understand how teachers can enact best socio-emotional pedagogical practices. To understand how interventions result in this, I am also working on developing measures that better inform related learning processes in teachers. My training at UNM has prepared me well for this type of work as a postdoctoral associate working on social-emotional learning projects at Yale University.”