Michelle Valverde

Day 1, Breakout Session 3: LAB Drum and Rhythm Workshop

Abstract: Participants of all ages experience the therapeutic benefits of hand drumming while learning a
new language and team building skills. The importance of self-care and caring for others and the earth are also addressed in this enjoyable and interactive workshop. Please note that space is limited.

Michelle Valverde is a founding member of the LAB Learning Action Buffet. She was born in Deming, New Mexico (NM) and graduated from Deming High School. She left the state to acquire a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Arizona and a master’s degree in Social Welfare Management and Planning from the University of California at Berkeley. She returned to NM in 1992 and after working several years in maternal child health and youth services, she decided to get a Ph.D. in Educational Management and Development at New Mexico State University (NMSU). As a W.K. Kellogg Fellow in the NMSU Hispanic Border Leadership Institute, Michelle graduated in 2000. 

For the past three decades Michelle has been involved in a variety of efforts in NM to improve health and educational outcomes at local, state, and regional levels. She has worked in the public and private non-profit sectors and has also been self-employed as an independent participatory evaluator.

As a result of these experiences, she is well versed in

  • research and evaluation methodology
  • positive youth development theory
  • educational policy analysis
  • organizational development


In addition to these professional interests, Michelle enjoys gardening, hiking, ballroom dancing, hand drumming, and spending time with family. Her two grown children also graduated from NMSU; one went on to become a fire fighter/EMT and the other is a wildlife researcher. 

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