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

  • Sociology Doctoral Student

    Mario is a first-year Ph.D. student of Sociology at the University of New Mexico. Mario received both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Sociology at the University of Texas at El Paso with department honors. While at The University of Texas at El Paso, Mario’s research examined the barriers that undocumented populations, such as day-laborers and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) recipients, experience when searching for employment. In addition, his research focused on unpacking the labor conditions these marginalized populations experienced once employed. Mario decided to shift his research agenda to focus on employment related physical and mental detriments and their resolution coupled with a focus on the health policies and coverages that either address, or fail to address, these possibly life-altering situations.

  • 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.