Our amazing team is committed to understanding the etiology of behavioral health conditions, to developing interventions to prevent the development of behavioral health conditions, and to evaluating novel implementation strategies to improve the healthcare system. We love what we do, and we do it with passion.

Margo Hurlocker, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Margo Hurlocker is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of New Mexico. She received her PhD in Counseling Psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi and completed her postdoctoral fellowship in mechanisms of behavior change in substance use treatment research at the Center on Alcohol, Substance use And Addictions (CASAA). She has an active program of clinical research on brief interventions for young adult populations and is particularly interested in the development and implementation of prevention interventions targeting young adult drinkers with co-occurring mood and anxiety issues. Her second line of research examines implementation strategies using mixed method designs to improve the healthcare delivery system. Dr. Hurlocker has 34 peer-reviewed publications and her research is funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. 

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Hannah Carlon, B.S.

Graduate Research Assistant

Hannah Carlon graduated from Suffolk University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. After graduating, she worked as a Clinical Research Coordinator at the Recovery Research Institute (RRI) at the Massachusetts General Hospital, a multidisciplinary addiction recovery research lab. While at the RRI, she studied the application of positive psychology and mobile health practices to smoking cessation/substance use disorder treatment. She also studied the effectiveness of mutual help organizations for individuals in early recovery from alcohol use disorders using longitudinal study designs.

Hannah entered the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at the University of New Mexico in 2020. Her primary research interests include leveraging positive psychology, mindfulness, and digital health techniques for addiction treatment. She is also interested in examining racial and ethnic health disparities, gender differences, and disorders that are comorbid (e.g., chronic pain, eating disorders) with addiction.

Interesting fact:

  • I’ve competed in an international figure skating competition!

Melissa Hatch, B.A.

Graduate Research Assistant

Melissa Hatch is a first-year doctoral student who holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Southern California, where she completed her honors thesis examining moderators of a brief intervention for at-risk college student drinkers. Prior to coming to the University of New Mexico, she worked as a Research Assistant at the University of California in San Diego (UCSD), where she conducted both qualitative and quantitative research with substance use disorder treatment organizations and researched the Patient-Centered Medical Home model of integrated care. She then transitioned to a role as a Senior Research Assistant in the School of Public Health at Brown University, where she studied novel brief interventions to reduce alcohol-related consequences among young adults. Melissa’s current research interests include the development and implementation of interventions for substance use disorders and improving the integration and implementation of behavioral health treatment in primary care settings.


Donia Hijaz, B.A.

Graduate Research Assistant

Donia Hijaz completed her bachelor’s degree in Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). During her time at UCLA, she conducted research on substance use problems at the UCLA Addiction’s Laboratory and completed an independent research project looking at clinical and demographic variables that were predictive of past-year smoking cessation attempts in a sample of heavy drinking smokers. After graduation, she obtained a full-time clinical research coordinator position at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) where she worked on studies addressing adolescent opioid use post-surgery. Donia helped identify factors associated with more opioid use and safe opioid disposal in adolescents. 

Donia is interested in studying early intervention and prevention of substance use problems in underserved communities, specifically opioid use disorder. She would also like to contribute to implementation science research, promoting the dissemination of empirically supported treatments for substance use disorders at the community and healthcare system level.   


Alexandra Hernandez-Vallant, M.S.

Graduate Research Assistant

Alexandra Hernandez-Vallant (Alex) is a 5th-year doctoral student in the clinical psychology program at UNM. Alex received a bachelor of science in Psychology from Suffolk University in 2011. Before graduate school, Alex worked in both clinical and research settings. She first worked as a Neuropsychology Technician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and later as a Clinical Research Assistant at McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School OCD Institute’s Office of Clinical Assessment Research, both in the Boston area. Alex began her doctoral work in 2018 with a keen interest in culturally tailoring empirically supported treatments (ESTs) for substance use disorders, translating research to practice, and understanding barriers and facilitators to the implementation of ESTs in the community. During her time at UNM, Alex has worked on a variety of interdisciplinary community-based participatory research teams partnering with American/Alaska Native and Latinx immigrant communities, respectively. Her master’s thesis examined the factor structure and measurement invariance of the Color-Blind Racial Attitudes Scale across race/ethnicity and gender among college students. In her more recent work, supported as an NIAAA T32 Predoctoral Fellow at UNM’s Center on Alcohol, Substance Use, and Addictions, she explores mechanisms of alcohol behavior change and the uptake of evidence-based practices for providers that serve people experiencing opioid use disorder and co-morbid conditions. Alex is also supported as a UNM Center for Social Policy fellow and receives specialized training in social and health policy with a focus on health equity and social determinants of health.


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