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2024-2026 Board of New Mexico Evaluators

Contact us at

Contact us at

Michèle Banner


Michèle is the associate director of Crimson Research, a program evaluation and research group at New Mexico State University, and a senior research scientist in the Department of Public Health Sciences at NMSU. She has 25 years of experience as a researcher and evaluator in both the private sector and academia across a variety of disciplines.  Most recently she has led several grants and contracts in the areas of economic justice, mental health awareness, and prevention and health promotion, as well as varied research and evaluation efforts for the Doña Ana County Health and Human Services Department.  She has conducted evaluations in the southern NM border region, western NM, Juárez, El Paso, and nationally, maintaining a focus on health and social disparities within marginalized populations and using equitable, culturally-responsive research methods. Her doctorate and master’s degrees are in social psychology.

Mitch Herz


Mitch has extensive experience with data and evaluation in the education sector. His graduate school training focused on research methods and program evaluation, and he has worked as an evaluator and program administrator with the Legislative Education Study Committee, Albuquerque Public Schools, and the Public Education Department since coming to New Mexico. Currently, he works as a School Accountability Researcher with WestEd, a national research, development, and service organization that takes on some of the most demanding challenges in education and human development. He is a former teacher and is committed to helping educators use data to better inform their decision-making processes.

Audrey Cooper

Co-VP of Communications

Audrey is the associate director of the University of New Mexico Evaluation Lab. Audrey is also a registered nurse with a master's degree in public health from UNM concentrating in systems, services, and policy. She has over a decade of non-profit health care experience in clinical quality, evaluation, heath policy, and health center management. Audrey's evaluation interests center on cultivating joy in the professional setting, identifying what really matters, using evaluation to create and inform policy, and practicing justice in all settings.

Roberta Zayas

Co-VP of Communications

Roberta is a member of the Diné (Navajo) Nation. She is born for (maternal clan) Tsénabahiłnii (Sleeping Rock People clan) and born into (paternal clan) Tódích’íi’nii (Bitter Water clan). She currently serves as a program manager with University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center’s Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion with extensive experience in community outreach and community capacity building. She oversees the expansion of programs, establishes sustainability of programs into communities, provides project planning, oversees operations of the project, and executes objectives as they relate to all pipeline programs. She has a bachelor’s degree in sociology and master’s degrees in community regional planning and public administration.

Germain Degardin

VP of Finance

Originally from France, Germain moved to New Mexico in 2011 to attend school and play for the men’s tennis team at New Mexico State Univerity. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in business, Germain was a tennis coach in New York. This experience ignited his passion for teaching and led him to come back to NMSU to pursue a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction and a secondary education teaching license. Once graduated, Germain was an educational researcher and program evaluator for the Southwest Outreach Academic Research (SOAR) evaluation and policy center at NMSU. Since July 2022, Germain has been a science research manager for Project ECHO education programs at University of New Mexico.

Morgan Occhino

VP of Membership

Morgan Occhino has experience in evaluation, social science research, and clinical health research and has worked in academia, the nonprofit sector, and private industry. Her background includes program evaluation, research design, implementation, data analysis, and dissemination. Morgan has experience managing large federal contracts and grants with topics including COVID-19, chronic conditions, behavioral health, provider practice, and social determinates of health. Currently, Morgan is a Research Analyst at Indiana University, School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, conducting research combining epidemiological and community based methods to determine how the cultural, social, structural, and political environments in correctional facilities impact health among people incarcerated. 

Scarlett Kingsley

Co-VP of Programs

Scarlett Kingsley, State Specialist for Cooperative Extension Evaluation and Research at Oklahoma State University, has a passion for applying creative evaluation methodologies to her work to make the evaluation process more equitable and participatory. She is pursuing her PhD in Social Foundations and Qualitative Inquiry at OK State, and is a former American Evaluation Association Graduate Education Diversity Internship (GEDI) Scholar. When not busy with evaluation or her PhD, Scarlett can be found making art, curating her collection of antique typewriters, and spending time with her animal companions.

Micaela Fischer

Co-VP of Programs

Micaela is the deputy director for program evaluation for the New Mexico Legislative Finance Committee. She and her team of 11 evaluators work to provide policymakers and the public with objective, independent, and credible assessments of public agencies and government-funded entities. Prior to her role with the Finance Committee, Micaela served as a policy officer for food and agriculture at the New Mexico-based Thornburg Foundation and an advocate with the Pew Charitable Trusts on environmental campaigns. She holds a master’s degree in community, food, and agricultural systems from Michigan State University and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Wichita State University.

Tamara Grybko

Past President

Tamara Grybko has over 20 years’ experience in informal learning environments, working in museums, libraries, and cultural centers. She began her career as the Collections Manager at the Boston Children’s Museum, where she developed a passion for facilitating lifelong learning and connecting individuals, families, and communities through meaningful and inclusive experiences. Tamara has developed dozens of programs and managed projects for students, teachers, adults, children, and families. Most recently, Tamara was the Program Data & Evaluation Manager at Explora Science Center and Children’s Museum. 

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