Meet Leadership of Office of Evaluation and Partner Contracts


Headshot of Dr. Maria Aguilar-Amaya

Maria Aguilar-Amaya, D.M
Director, Evaluation and Partner Contracts
Telephone: 602-496-0467

Dr. María Aguilar-Amaya is Director of the Office of Evaluation and Partner Contracts at the Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center at Arizona State University.  She is a Faculty Associate in the School of Social Work. Her current research focuses on health disparities, substance use disorder, and opioid use disorder.  She has extensive experience conducting quantitative and qualitative research and evaluation and survey development for the past 25 years.  Dr. Aguilar-Amaya served nearly 25 years working in the Arizona Judiciary in various capacities, having worked with crime victims, juvenile and adult probationers, management, and leadership. She has conducted dozens of research studies and numerous ad hoc reports in the areas of population projections, cost savings analysis, reentry, recidivism, Drug Courts, substance abuse, evidence-based practices, and probation supervision.

Dr. Aguilar-Amaya possesses the following certifications: Real Colors Facilitator by the National Curriculum & Training Institute, ACEs Trainer by the Arizona ACEs Consortium, CTC Facilitator by the UW, The Center for Communities that Care, Arizona Court Management Program and the Executive Court Management Program by the National Center for State Courts, Advanced Public Speaker by Achieve Global, and as a Motivational Interviewing Facilitator. 

Dr. Aguilar-Amaya possesses an Associates in General Studies, a Bachelor of Science in Administration of Justice with a minor in Communications, a Master of Arts in Organizational Management, and a Doctorate in Management and Organizational Leadership. She served as President for the Arizona Evaluation Network (AZENet), as a Director at Large for the Arizona Courts Association, and as a member of the Arizona Governor's Office Substance Abuse Epidemiology Work Group. She is an active member of the Arizona Health Equity Conference Committee.

Headshot of Wendy Wolfersteig, PhD

Wendy Wolfersteig, Ph.D.,
Research Associate Professor 
Telephone: 602-496-1086

Dr. Wendy L. Wolfersteig, research associate professor, served as Director of Evaluation and Partner Contracts at the Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center (SIRC) at ASU. For over 25 years, her work in substance abuse prevention and evaluation in Arizona has focused on the use of effective evidence-based strategies and data-driven decision-making. She works collaboratively with state, county, city and local agency and coalition partners to design and perform evaluations, provide trainings and disseminate findings aimed at preventing, reducing and eliminating health disparities.

Her community based participatory research addresses health equity with underserved populations and diverse subgroups. Specifically, this includes research on health effects stemming from risk and protective factors around social determinants such as food and housing, social support and isolation, and traumatic childhood and adult experiences. Recent community-based projects collected and analyzed data on social and health needs of Latino, American Indians and African Americans in Arizona around the impacts of COVID-19; evaluated county and state opioid prevention programs; and tested the efficacy of a child abuse and neglect curriculum for preK to 12th grade students.

Dr. Wolfersteig serves as a member of the Arizona Prevention Workgroup and was appointed as a member of the City of Phoenix, Fast-Track Cities Initiative Ad-Hoc Committee. She served for four years on the board of the Arizona Evaluation Network (AZENet) and received the 2021 Allison Titcomb Award for outstanding service to AZENet and the profession.