2018 Board of New Mexico Evaluators

Scott Hughes, PhD


Scott D. Hughes currently serves as the Associate Research Professor at the Cradle to Career Policy Institute (formerly the Center for Education Policy Research, 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 on the Board of NM 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.

Nancy Hood, PhD


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. Nancy is a Senior Evaluator at Apex Education, an evaluation firm in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She has a Master's degree in public health from Emory University and a Ph.D. in public health from Ohio State University in 2012 with a focus on health promotion, research methods, and biostatistics. She previously served as VP of membership for NM Evaluators.

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. 

Derek Kuit

VP of Membership

Derek Kuit is a Master’s student in the College of Education at the University of New Mexico (UNM). His background is in psychology and sociology. He works with NM’s Center for Education Policy Research  and Mission: Graduate providing research and evaluation support as a graduate research assistant. Derek spent two semesters in the NM Eval Lab at UNM where he and a partner helped PB&J Family Services improve their intake process and data tracking by reviewing and editing their intake/outtake forms. Along with his responsibilities at Mission: graduate, Derek is currently leading an evaluation of the Albuquerque initiative Running Start for Careers. Derek is also in his second year as a mentor in the Big Brothers Big Sisters Mentor 2.0 program.

Kathryn Lowerre, PhD, MPH

Co-VP of Communications

Kathryn Lowerre is the lead program and policy evaluator for the Drug Overdose Prevention Program at the New Mexico Department of Health, Epidemiology and Response Division. She joined NMDOH in 2014 as bureau evaluator for Environmental Health Epidemiology, and has worked with multiple CDC-funded programs. Previous positions include college and university teaching, work at county and regional health departments on health impact assessments (HIAs) and population health indicators, and in drug regulatory affairs as a consultant. Her first health-related position, in clinical trials coordination, was at Duke's AIDS Research and Treatment Center, where she volunteered and worked part-time while completing her doctorate in historical musicology. She subsequently earned her MPH at Michigan State University.

Tamara Grybko

Co-VP of Communications

Tamara is the program data and evaluation manager at !explora! Ideas You Can Teach.

Ranjana Damle, PhD

Co-VP of Programs

Ranjana is a research faculty at the University of New Mexico's Cradle to Career Policy Institute (formerly the Center for Education Policy Research, CEPR). 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. She is a past president of NM Evaluators.

Phyllis Clay, PhD

Co-VP of Programs 

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. She has headed her own evaluation company and provided research/evaluation services for universities, school districts, youth-serving organizations, private non-profits, and foundations. Phyllis has also has taught measurement and program evaluation at the graduate  level. 

Michelle Bloodworth, PhD

 Past President

Michelle is an independent evaluation consultant. Formerly 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 has served on the Board in various capacities since 2007.

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