Scholars

The RWJF Center for Health Policy at the University of New Mexico is a physical, educational and cultural home for promising health policy scholars and researchers. The varied knowledge, background, and experience of its fellows enable the center to address the full spectrum of issues that affect health and health care in our communities.

Meet the Scholars

  • Psychology Doctoral Student

    Jeremiah Simmons is a second-year doctoral fellow at the UNM Center for Health Policy, and a fourth-year doctoral student in the Department of Psychology with a concentration in Clinical Psychology. He graduated from Stanford University with a bachelor's degree in Human Biology. Jeremiah, a native New Mexican, was raised in Mescalero, New Mexico, and while he associates himself with the Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation, his family originates from the Lakota and Navajo tribes.

    His research activities are broadly focused on adolescent health disparities with an emphasis on mental and behavioral health, behavioral heath policy, and co-occuring disorders. Jeremiah is currently serving a 4-year term as a member of the National Advisory Council for the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) within the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA). He is also affiliated with the Department of Psychiatry's Division for Community Behavioral Health and works on SAMHSA related grants that serve children, youth, and families.

  • RWJF Center for Health Policy Doctoral Fellow

    Melina was born and raised in a small, rural, farm community in California’s San Joaquin Valley. Her parents are Mexican immigrants from Guanajuato, Mexico who have inspired and pushed her to continue her education.
    She received her B.A. in political science from California State University, Stanislaus and completed her M.A. in Trans-Atlantic Politics at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Her M.A. thesis explored South-North migration with a focus on Mexico-U.S. and Morocco-Spain immigration issues. Her thesis analyzed push-and-pull factors of immigration, immigration policies, and the politics behind reclassifying immigrants as economic refugees.
    Along with her academic work, Melina is also an active part of her community. She is part of the Raza Graduate Student Association and various grassroots organizations and campaigns that tackle issues relating to immigration/immigrant rights, ethnic studies and education access, and LGBTQ issues.