2017 Board of New Mexico Evaluators

  Michelle Bloodworth, PhD

   President

Michelle is a Senior Evaluator at Apex Education. She has worked with partners across the education spectrum in early childhood, K-12, community schools, higher education, and school health. She has a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology as well as a doctorate in Community and Prevention Research; and she was a pre-doctoral fellow with NIMH’s Prevention and Research Training Program. Michelle is a past president of New Mexico Evaluators and has served on the Board in various capacities since 2007.

Scott Hughes, PhD

President Elect

Scott D. Hughes currently serves as the Associate Research Professor at the Center for Education Policy Research  (UNM CEPR) located at the University of New Mexico. Scott brings nearly eighteen years of research and policy  experience. He serves as the principal or co-investigator on a number of studies related to early childhood. He  currently serves as one of two representatives from New Mexico on the Board of Governors for the Regional Educational Laboratory  Southwest and the Board of the New Mexico Evaluators. Prior to coming to CEPR, Scott served as acting director for the New Mexico  Office of Education Accountability (OEA) within the Department of Finance and Administration where he had been on staff since April  2004 serving as deputy director and senior policy analyst. Originally from Michigan, Scott has lived in  New Mexico since the fall of 1981. He has a BA in history from Michigan State University and a MA and PhD in U.S. history from the  University of New Mexico.

  Carlos Romero

   VP of Finance

Carlos Romero is President and founder of Apex, a consulting firm specializing in systems evaluation. Carlos has over 20 years of experience in program planning, evaluation, facilitation and organizational development. His company's approach is influenced by developmental evaluation, utilization-focused evaluation, participatory evaluation, Results-Based Accountability, systems thinking and cultural competence. 

Nancy Shane, PhD

Co-VP of Programs

Nancy Shane is a program evaluator for the UNM School of Medicine. She has worked as an internal and external program evaluator for over 15 years, mostly in the fields of education, social services, and environmental programs. She has served on the board for NM Evaluators for a number of years in various capacities including President, and is excited to continue helping local evaluators connect with one another and improve their practice.


  Derek Kuit

   Co-VP of Programs

Derek Kuit is a Master’s student in the College of Education at the University of New Mexico (UNM) going for his Educational Psychology degree. He is a graduate research assistant with UNM’s Center for Education Policy Research working with Mission: Graduate. He has worked with Lucas Pedraza on an evaluation of PB&J Family Services as part of the first cohort in the NM Evaluation Lab @ UNM with Dr. Melissa Binder. He graduated summa cum laude and received his Bachelors with a double major in Psychology and Sociology. His research interests are centered around school culture and curriculum’s influence on prosocial behaviors in students. He is married and has three cats, no children and enjoys reading books, playing games, and socializing with friends.

  Silke Bletzer, PhD

   Co-VP of Communications

Silke Bletzer is a project director with HealthInsight with over 15 years of experience in strategic planning, project-, program- and operational management. She enjoys working with colleagues and clients to define and implement strategic objectives that significantly improve processes and outcomes. Her primary focus has been on healthcare, education and technology systems. Silke holds a PhD and a Master’s in Business & Economics from the Albert-Ludwig’s University in Freiburg, Germany.


Phyllis Clay, PhD

Co-VP of Communications 

Phyllis Clay serves as Manager of Research and Evaluation for the Albuquerque Public Schools. She has a PhD in Program Evaluation from The Ohio State University and a PhD in Psychology from Saybrook University. Phyllis has directed a team of 10 PhD-level evaluators and 20 evaluation assistants at the Kansas City, Missouri School District and has served as Director of the Research and Evaluation team at the Kansas State Department of Education. Phyllis formed her company, Synthesis International, Inc., to combine her multiple interests, including research consulting. Together with her business partner, she headed Youth Policy Research Group, Inc., which they closed when Phyllis was invited to KSDE. She has done research/evaluation consulting for universities, school districts, youth-serving organizations, private non-profits, and foundations, and has taught measurement and program evaluation at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Phyllis followed her heart to New Mexico (the mesas in Jemez Springs, to be exact) and found a home at APS. She loves her evaluation and research work, as well as her multiple other “callings.” Ask her about her Journeys to Self!

Nancy Hood, PhD

VP of Membership

Nancy Hood has more than 15 years of experience planning and evaluating multi-faceted efforts to improve public health, behavioral health, affordable housing, workforce development, and intergenerational poverty. She has worked in local and federal government, academic, and nonprofit settings in New Mexico, Colorado, Ohio, and Georgia. Her passion is to help organizations integrate data collection into practice and use data to improve service delivery and outcomes for participants and communities. In 2016, Nancy joined Apex Education, a small data and evaluation firm in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Nancy received a Ph.D. in public health from Ohio State University in 2012 with a focus on health promotion, research methods, and biostatistics. 

Ranjana Damle, PhD

Past President

Ranjana is a research faculty at the University of New Mexico Center for Education Policy Research. She has a doctorate in sociology and her graduate projects included research on social stratification based on gender, race/ethnicity, and income, and its impact on women and minority youth. Ranjana subsequently transitioned to the field of education and developed extensive experience in PreK-12 education research and evaluation. Her primary evaluation project focuses on community schools, a school reform strategy with promising outcomes for students, families, and communities. Her research interests comprise education policy, school reform, and equity and inclusion in education.

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