Scholars

  • Assistant Professor, Anthropology Western Washington University

    Sean holds a Bachelors and Masters degree in Anthropology from the University of Chicago and a Masters degree in Cultural Anthropology from the University of New Mexico.  His dissertation, "Sowing the seeds for the future to honor Tigua history and tradition" utilizes community based participatory research to examine indigenous epistemologies, religious gardening practices, and diabetes prevention at Ysleta del Sur Pueblo, Texas. Dr. Bruna accepted a position with the Department of Anthropology at Western Washington University.

  • Visiting Instructor, UNM Health Sciences Library and Informatics Ctr

    Dr. Candelaria-Cook was a dissertation fellow from the Department of Psychology interested in marijuana and alcohol drug addiction research. She is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the UNM Health Sciences Center working on clinical and translational research with a focus on biomedical informatics and MEG neuroimaging.

  • Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies Doctoral Student

    Anna Dinallo has been an educator for over 10 years, and she has experience in qualitative community driven research and mental health policy. She has worked in curriculum development and instructed seminars for Collaborative Learning Methods at the Center for Academic Program Support (CAPS) at UNM. She continues to instruct classes on Emotional Literacy, develop a consulting firm, and produce research related to parent engagement and social emotional literacy in school settings.

    Anna graduated with honors in Psychology and a second bachelors in Spanish from the University of New Mexico. During her undergraduate years, she studied at The Universitat Politècnica de València in Spain, where she taught English to pre-school aged children. In 2014 she completed her Master’s in Counseling from UNM with a focus on attachment therapy, yoga, and nurturing approaches to parent education. Anna has additional training in Alternative therapies such as yoga, mindfulness, and folk medicine that have supported her work counseling children from diverse backgrounds. 

    Anna has worked as a licensed mental health care counselor in Albuquerque Public Schools through New Day and as a research assistant for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy project titled, Center for Health Policy on the Considerations for the Development of a System to Distribute Tax Revenues Earmarked for Behavioral Health. Additionally, Anna worked as research assistant for the Center for Educational Policy Research (CEPR) with Dr. Meriah Heredia-Griego and Dr. Tom Dauphine to offer program evaluations.

    Anna’s focus in mental health equity is rooted in her research experiences studying emotional resiliency among post-civil war communities in El Salvador (2009-2011). Her experience witnessing the devastating impacts of globalization, militarization, and genocide have shaped her lens of equity and parent-engagement research in Latino communities.

  • Postdoc at the University of Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute

    Yajaira Johnson-Esparza, was a doctoral fellow at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy at the University of New Mexico.

    Her research interests include mental health disparities among Latinos living in the United States. Despite their growing numbers, Latinos continue to be underserved in the mental health sector and to face an array of social and environmental stressors. These vast mental health inequities sparked Peña-Esparza’s interest in pursuing this line of research. She is particularly interested in understanding the dynamics underlying psychopathology in the Latino population, with the ultimate goal of effecting policy change that will contribute to health equity. Her dissertation investigates risk profiles for depression in a national Latino sample. In addition, she has taken the lead role in an RWJF-funded pilot project that investigates the effectiveness of a residential treatment program for homeless and ethnically diverse individuals with substance use problems in Albuquerque, N.M.

  • Postdoctoral Research Economist

    Benjamin A. Jones is a postdoctoral research economist at the University of Oklahoma, Center for Risk and Crisis Management and Center for Energy, Security, and Society. He works on projects related to non-market valuation of hydropower and water, natural and manmade environmental risk, and environmental health. Currently, he is assisting with design and data collection of non-market values for hydropower produced by Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River. Economic valuation associated with disruption to Native American tribes, rural ranching and farming communities, and human health impacts of air pollution are being investigated as part of this project and within the context of coupled-human and natural systems in the western US.

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